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Peasley’s legacy

Published: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor:

When our number is up, it’s up, or so the saying goes. Most of us hope in some small way that our lives make a difference for our families, friends, community.

There is no doubt that Don Peasley, photojournalist and, by extension, local historian, made a difference and left a legacy rich in the documentation of time. He held a unique position in McHenry County, not so much for his longevity of residence and business interests in Woodstock but rather because of his longtime, consistent use of photography and the written word to tell our stories.

With foresight and the support of individuals like Virgil Smith, Cheryl and Jim Wormley, and Joe Gitlin, all of Woodstock, Don’s legacy photo collection now resides at the McHenry County Historical Society Museum in Union.

Because of Don’s documentation and the efforts undertaken to preserve that record, thousands of area residents both past and present are part of this county’s history.

The McHenry Township farmer showing off his up-to-date 1950s milking equipment; public officials at the open house for the new courthouse out on Route 47, north of Woodstock; numerous high school graduates, county dairy princesses or county fair queens; war veterans, little league teams, businessmen and women; grand openings and catastrophic fires; and, above all, people just going about the business of living their lives make up the “stuff” of history.

Don gave so many of us a role in making that history. I’d say that was a pretty generous contribution both to his legacy and to ours.

Nancy J. Fike


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