Brownstown-Sefton News

A Pleasant, Peaceful Day…
… flavored also with good memories, was enjoyed by the human inhabitants of the homestead (namely Bill and Panzi) as we took a car ride down in the Shobonier/Southern Vandalia countryside one day last week.
It began with a search for homegrown, fresh-picked ripe red tomatoes and we found them at the little roadside stand of the Mennonite Weaver family. Manned by the Weaver young men, Dean and Mark, we enjoyed a visit with them amidst the tempting variety of fresh garden produce – cucumbers, onions, the sought-after tomatoes and various other wholesome-looking products of early harvest of all things good for you.
It is interesting that as you pick and choose among the produce in the stand, you can look right out over the gardens from which they were planted, grew and harvested!
As we visited with Dean and Mark, we learned that their brother, Jesse (from whom we used to buy the produce when he was a boy), lives not far from their home, and besides working building homes and buildings, also has a feed and variety store at his home.
We drove on over to see Jesse Weaver and his very nice wife, Christine, and their two young sons, Jonathon and Clayton. We found the variety store chocked full of merchandise of all kinds, including bolts of pretty materials, patterns, sewing needs and notions, shoes, boots, books, food, gardening needs, etc.
A friend and the Weavers’ neighbor, Charlie Kruenegel, dropped by and we enjoyed visiting with him for a few minutes. He commented that we should feel familiar with the place (which we did) because it was the old home place of the late Wayne Beckmeier, who was my brother-in-law and whom we visited many times when my sister, Norma Beckmeier, and he lived there.
The Beckmeier family, including Wayne’s parents, had owned thee place, lived there and farmed the ground for many years. Wayne told us of “Toots” and “Casper,” the team of mules that pulled their plow as they walked behind them. He gave a picture of them to me, which inspired a poem. We gave a framed copy of the poem (decorated with a copy of the picture of “Toots & Casper”) to Wayne for his birthday, which he hung in his room. It remained there until Wayne passed on. Norma moved to the state of Washington, near her daughter, Linda.
Jesse and Christine bought the place and renovated the old two-story house into a very pretty and comfortable home for their family. Jesse obviously put a lot of labor into it, and Christine keeps it immaculately clean, homey, and attractive. They invited us in to see the changes they had made. A white picket fence keeps the back yard safe for the little boys to play in.
The store is located in an attractive building (another labor of love by Jesse) a stone’s throw from the house, so if Jesse and Christine are with customers, they can still keep an eye on the boys.
The site of the store is where the Backmeier old chicken house once stood, and which Wayne had cleaned and made into his workshop. Within those humble walls, he set up his woodworking tools and made beautiful furniture, including hutches, working only from store newspaper ads pictures for a guide.
We truly enjoyed the afternoon, seeing our friends and also seeing how the house with our memories is being enjoyed, loved and lived in by new generations. We think Wayne would have enjoyed seeing this too.
To Avoid Being Scolded …
 …by our readers, a few words about the Critters. All seem to be doing well. Baby Buckwheat Burro calls to me if he sees me outside, wanting a carrot. Lady (mini-horse) and Madricka (mother donkey) are still getting along, sharing their barn space. We want to extend their pasture area, if it ever dries up enough.
Our “favorite” (and) only farrier, Colleen, will come out to give Madricka a pedicure soon. Probably Lady will want one, too. Baby Bucky might consider that “girl stuff,” but then he might like pretty little Colleen.
Local Celebrations
Birthdays-Kenny Nickels, Braden Schwarm, Betty Williams and JoAnn Gelsinger.
Anniversary-Andrew and Rita Grull.
Brownstown HS Class of 1980
The Brownstown High School of 1980 will hold its 35-year reunion, in conjunction with the Brownstown Alumni Reunion, on Saturday, July 25, at the Vandalia Moose Lodge, 328 South Third St., Vandalia.
• Registration, meet and greet, and get reacquainted, 4-6 p.m.
• Evening meal, 6-7:30 p.m., with the meal costing $15 per person.
• Business meeting at 7:30, followed by class photos and visiting.  
A DJ will provide music later in the evening.  A donation will be taken to help cover his expenses.
Reservation forms were mailed out by the Alumni Reunion and the Brownstown Foundation in early May. If anyone in the Brownstown Class of 1980 did not receive an invitation to the Brownstown Alumni Reunion, call Christy (Braun) Warner at 335-3633, Tammie (Becker) Kramer at 347-2258 or Sandra Stine at 283-9211.
Reservations for the catered meal will be taken until July 17. Return reservation forms to: Brownstown Alumni Association, Box 344, Brownstown, Ill. 62418.
Ginny (Fisher) Wilbur is the president of the Alumni Association and can be reached at 699-1518 with any questions.  
Summer Lunches for Kids …
… is in progress on Wednesdays, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., at the Brownstown United Methodist Church. Creamy-style peanut butter and grape jelly are needed. Monetary donations are also appreciated for purchase of other items in lunches.
Fayette County HCE Board Met …
… at the Extension Building in Vandalia for the Association for Home & Community Education Board meeting on Monday, June 22,
The club president, Flo Allen, called the meeting together and led the pledge to the American flag. Present were: Sefton Unit: Flo Allen, Shirley Klitzing and Panzi Blackwell; Vandalia Day Unit: Debbie Segrest, Carol Bridges and Ashley Davis;
Bingham/Ramsey: Donna Blair; and St. Elmo-Anna Jean Rhodes. Also present was Erna Koontz from the Wheatland Unit.
Minutes were not read due to secretary’s absence. Treasurer Carol Bridges gave the financial report, and gave each one present a copy of April 2015 financial report and a copy of the (club’s) proposed 2015-16 budget.
Allen asked for the officers’ reports.
Vice President Debbie Segrest reported receiving letters and information regarding human trafficking, a letter received from Annie Shoemaker as a possible speaker for future informational meeting on human trafficking meeting, with public invited, hosted by Fayette County HCE, which is interested in making the public aware of human trafficking and how to help those victimized have a chance of recovering.
Cultural enrichment officer Ashley Davis is obtaining more information on human trafficking at the request of State IAHCE president Jane Chapman and District 6 Director Marilyn Schaefer.
Human trafficking involves adults and children, with 5-year-old girls as a target, but young boys are also targeted. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. While the focus is on sexual abuse (prostitution, pornography and sex tourism) the victims are also taken for forced labor (including domestic servitude, sweatshop factory work and migrant farming).
Topics discussed were the possibility of two speakers and payment for speaker for program. Rhodes suggested a set amount for speaker.
There will be half-day workshops, sewing classes for 4-H youths, hosted by Fayette County HCE. Everything will be furnished for the students. They will make two pillowcases during the class – one to keep and one to give to the cancer program for the patients.
Appropriate raffle tickets for fundraiser: arol Bridges agreed to design appropriate tickets. She suggested the start of sale of tickets at the next board meeting and a drawing at the International Dinner in October 2015.
Second Vice President Anna Jean Rhodes gave the club status in membership and that St. Elmo Unit member Vicky St. Clair died at age 95;
Cultural Enrichment Ashley Davis announced the Aperion Care will have a presentation, “The Longest Day,” to benefit the Alzheimer’s programs on June 27 from 1-9 pm. Fifty per cent of the proceeds will stay with the Aperion program and 50 percent will go to the state for Alzeimer’s programs.
Family issues – Donna Blair displayed a colorful and attractive necklace and bracelet made of T-shirts, a part of the human trafficking project the Fayette County HCE is taking up in an effort to promote public awareness.
Public Relations – Panzi Blackwell reported the newspapers and local radio station are still cooperative in printing and announcing the IAHCE news and informational items d given to them. She also reminded all that the time is near for sending the reports for the IAHCE Newsletter and pictures and/or photos and/or items should be submitted to her as soon as possible.
Additional HCE Topics Discussed
Debbie Segrest reminded all present of the 2015 Fayette County Fait and encouraged entries by HCE members in the various categories of contests. The adult entries must be in by July 12.
Shoe money (10 cents for each pair of shoes you have) must be brought to the July board meeting.
Rhodes read an IAHCE poem entitled “10 Little HCE Members,” which described in verse how an HCE club may founder and possibly die out, and how one or two enthused members may bring it back to life.
Twenty T-shirts were brought to the board meeting for the human trafficking project. They will be given to the proper people for the distribution among the program.
Carol Bridges shared a request for a donation to the “Tools for School” program.
Brownstown United Methodist Church
Pianist Bette Stolte played the prelude as the congregation of the United Methodist Church gathered for Sunday morning worship services.
Emma Laow and Jarin Evans lighted the altar candles. Pastor Don Thomas greeted, recognized the birthdays and anniversaries, shared the announcements and prayer list, and led in prayer. Following the scripture lesson, Thomas delivered the message.
Children’s worship was led by Rebecca Evans, who served breakfast pizza to the children. The children served breakfast to the adult class in honor of Father’s Day.
Flo Allen led the adult class.
• Friday at 7 p.m. – Bible study group meets at Brownstown UMC. Refreshments afterward.
First Christian Church
The congregation of First Christian Church was greeted by Brent and Janet Keyes, and led in song by Joann Strobel. Deannea Miller and Cameron Callaway, accompanied by pianist Susan Smith, Mitchell Smith on drums and guitarists Chuck Enlow and Walt Kinney
Special music was given by all daughters in attendance as they sang for the fathers.
Also serving: Sunday school nursery-Liz Oberlink; a.m. nursery-Tena Gould; toddler worship-Rae Lynn Koehler and Robbi Edwards; Quest-4-Christ-Q-4-C team; and shut-ins-Duane Willms and Mitch Koehler.

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