Sculpture tops off honor for Geneva’s Jamie Daniel

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Jamie Daniel admitted she was a bit embarrassed when the Geneva Chamber went out of its way to dedicate the Visitor Center conference room in her name late last year.


“I was overcome by it really,” said Daniel, a longtime Geneva businesswoman and community volunteer. “Where I came from (New Albany, Mississippi), the only time a person had their name in public was when they were born, got married or died.”


Daniel is very much alive at age 92, and having the conference room named for her was just part of the chamber’s plan. The room now has a sculpture on the wall, also with Daniel’s name on it, a project many months in the making.


Last fall, Steve Burnham of the Paper Merchant asked Larry Johnson of LK Johnson Studio in Geneva if he could make a brass sculpture that would represent Daniel’s importance to Geneva.


Because Daniel was not interested in a personal bust, Johnson and Burnham collaborated on a piece that would symbolize her without going overboard.


“Even down to the letters, we kept it very simple,” Johnson said. “The context was of her being a pillar of the community and through her quiet generosity she helped a lot of people get their feet on the ground.”


The column on the sculpture represents her strength, and the magnolias at the top symbolize her flowing contributions, Johnson said.


The sculpture wasn’t back from being cast in bronze at the foundry last fall when the chamber dedicated the conference room, so Johnson took a picture of the concept and gave it to chef Alain Roby at the All Chocolate Kitchen. Roby created a chocolate version to use at the room dedication.


Johnson brought the completed sculpture to the center at 10 S. Third St. in April.


“I didn’t even see the real sculpture until last week,” said Daniel, who retired from her real estate work two years ago and volunteers as the Geneva History Center’s historian emeriti.


“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

Open for visits: With Swedish Days ramping up this week in Geneva, it was a good idea for the Geneva Chamber’s Visitor Center to have an “open” banner to set up outside.


Before that sign was put up, far too many visitors in downtown Geneva had no idea there was a place for information and brochures available to help them.


The banner stands out nicely at an angle where those walking by can spot it at a distance. It makes you stop to see what it is that is open.


Swedish Days mob? Yes, that’s what the Geneva Chamber would like to see, starting as early as 5 a.m. Tuesday when the annual festival kicks off its 65th year.


Why so early? ABC Channel 7 plans to broadcast live shots in downtown Geneva early in the morning. Chamber communications director Laura Rush will do a live interview with TV anchors, and she’s encouraging everyone to wear blue and yellow colors and be part of a crowd for the TV cameras.


You know how this drill works. Someone is getting interviewed and people in the background are looking all excited and happy. But it’s Swedish Days, so why not?


Colonial’s long run: Folks whose families have deep roots in this area know that the Colonial restaurants have been around a long time. The company, in fact, began getting folks in St. Charles raving about its ice cream in 1901.


Colonial has had many different locations in the area since then, and plenty of great ice cream creations, like the Turtle Sundae in 1966 and the Kitchen Sink in 1976.


But it still astounds me that the restaurant on the east side of St. Charles is celebrating its 55th anniversary this month.


It has a ways to go to match that longevity, but the Colonial Café on the west side of St. Charles has been at its “new” location on Randall Road for four years.


Rescue in the bin: Can you imagine falling into a grain bin and getting swallowed up by the grain, as if you were in quicksand? It’s something folks who work in these elevators know is a possibility.


The Kane County Farm Bureau says suffocation is a leading cause of death in grain bins, and those types of deaths have doubled in recent years.


The bureau is hoping to do something about that. A pig roast fundraiser June 27 at the farm bureau office at Randall Road and Oak Street in St. Charles will raise funds to purchase a grain rescue tube for the area fire protection districts.


During a rescue, these tubes are placed around the victim and the grain is sucked out of the tube area. Rescue teams know there isn’t much time in cases like these.


A 6-foot-tall worker can be covered with grain in 11 seconds and unable to free himself after the first 5 seconds. The tube gives everyone a fighting chance.



But Geneva Ace Hardware is going one better. The store now has an assortment of “classic” soft drinks in bottles, giving it the real look and feel of an old-time general store. You know, the kind Barney or Andy might have stopped at in Mayberry for a bottle of pop.


Here’s a few that you can find at Geneva’s Ace: Avery’s Pumpkin Pie Soda, Sioux City Sarsaparilla, Faygo’s Original Rock and Rye, and Swamp Pop Praline Cream Soda, among others.


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