Stan Crader

Author & Lecturer on Writing About Rural America

Stihl in America Blog 16 – A Quintessential All American Couple

He was the son of a Connecticut florist—she was the daughter of a wealthy Missouri banker. He was known for his love of horses—she was known for catching a car on fire with a smoldering cigarette while on the way to grade school—both were known for their service to America during WWII—one flew planes and the other went Navy–they were of the greatest generation.

Margot – Far Left

Tom Reck was born November 1914 in Bridgeport Connecticut, the home of P.T. Barnum, birthplace of the Frisbee, and Subway, and once headquarters to numerous well-known companies, including Remington Arms. Situated in… Continue reading

Let Liberty Ring

While many are dusting off their artificial Christmas tree and placing the spider infested contraption in the traditional place of prominence, others are heading to a crowded parking lot occupied by their favorite local civic organization selling trees shipped in from who knows where. The more fortunate will be keeping with tradition and traipsing into the woods and choosing the perfect conifer suitable to be adorned with all of those ornaments brought home by the kids during their elementary school days, at least the ones that weren’t edible and still have a remnant of glitter clinging to the, now fragile… Continue reading

Stihl in America Blog 15 – Opportunity and Commitment

Glen Banks was born November 25, 1902 in Columbus, Ohio to Lewis Banks, a railroad conductor, and Barbara Calhoun Banks, reportedly a relative to the late John C Calhoun, who was famous for serving as vice president for both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.

Glenn earned a degree in Forestry Management in Mansfield, Ohio, near where the legendary Johnny Appleseed supposedly planted one of his many apple trees. Immediately following graduation, Glen accepted a position with the city of St. Louis managing the trees in the city’s many beautiful parks, including the famed Forest Park, known then and now… Continue reading

STIHL in America Blog 14 – He Could Have Played Baseball

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Jimmy admiring his billboard

His father was employed with the civil service at Wright-Patterson Air base; he grew up just down the street, a few blocks, from the garage where the Wright Brothers designed the first airplane. One would assume that during his formative years he’d dreamed of strapping on a leather helmet, wrapping his neck with a silk scarf, becoming an airborne swashbuckler, and barnstorming across America. Rather than using a vacant field to fly kites and balsam model airplanes and idolize Ohio’s Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy migrated to the field where America’s favorite sport was being played—baseball. His idol… Continue reading

Stihl in America Blog 11 – He honored the family legacy and then some…

On possibly the same day a Pan American Lockheed Super Constellation night-flight from New York to Stuttgart, Germany, carrying Gordon Williams and Harding Smith on their quest to secure the famous one page contract, a young, driven and clever Dorsey Glover was possibly sitting in an afternoon class on the sultry campus of the University of Arkansas, wishing he had drank more coffee before attending class to suffer through a monotonous law professor drone on about torts. It’s not likely that the lanky soon-to-be lawyer was sitting in class and obsessing about torts the way Gordon and Harding were obsessing… Continue reading

Stihl in America Blog 13- The Gold Standard

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Kathryn, Alphonse, Rita, and Hugo Brandt

Missouri’s Rhineland lies along the last hundred-mile stretch of America’s longest river, the mighty Missouri. Big Mo begins 2300 miles upstream at the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers, near Three Forks, Montana. While the French were the first Europeans to explore and establish settlements along the entire length of the river, German immigrants, following soon thereafter, settled primarily along the last hundred miles between Jefferson City, Missouri’s capital, and St. Louis, where the Missouri flows into the Mississippi.

The most well-known village along this stretch is Herman, named in honor of… Continue reading

Stihl in America Blog 12 – The Chief

Osage Indian_Citizenship_ActFour Osage men with U.S president Calvin Coolidge after signing the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, which granted Indians across the country full citizenship for the first time.

Like most Native American tribes, the Osage suffered countless broken promises by the American government. However, unlike most tribes, by the time the Osage were forced to re-settle in Oklahoma, they had the financial wherewithal to purchase the ground upon which their reservation was located. Much of this wealth gained as a result of being paid by the federal government for the land they’d been forced to acquiesce in Missouri and… Continue reading

Stihl in America – Blog 10 – The First Flying Stihl Distributor

Virg with planeIt’s possible that Gordon Williams met the chainsaw legend of Hood River while visiting the Oregon chain plant during his days at Estate Equipment. If the two hadn’t met, Gordon most likely knew of the reputation of the owner of H&D Logger Supply, Virg Hatfield. Virg’s parents had migrated to Oregon from West Virginia. It’s possible they were trying to get as far from family as possible since during the time of the migration, the Hatfields and the McCoys were bent on killing each other—some say over a disputed pig, while others claim the feud was a remnant of the… Continue reading

Richard Lamm–Former Democratic Governor of Colorado on Immigration

We know Dick Lamm as Governor of Colorado .. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of America ‘s finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, ‘Mexifornia,’ explaining how immigration – both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California . He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up… Continue reading

The Piano Player – Blog 9

Leora Back (Bach) was born 1912 at the home of her parents near Zalma, Missouri. She was one of eight children, four boys and four girls. Seven of the children graduated 8th grade from Zalma. One brother died at young age a few days after falling into a boiling kettle of lye.

Leora’s parents never owned a motorized vehicle. The farm was four miles from town one way and four miles from Berong Baptist Church the other. They’d all ride on a wagon pulled by a team of horses to both places at least once per week, sometimes more… Continue reading

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