StoryCorps: Karen Schock & Mayor Ed Schock

 Ed Schock, mayor of Elgin from 1999-2011, is interviewed by his wife Karen.    They discuss his childhood, life as a school principal in Elgin and how they both successfully battled cancer.


StoryCorps: Joan Berna & Ruth Bradburn

Friends talk about what brought them to Elgin.  Joan began the English as a Second Language program at the YWCA in 1972, earning many grants for this quickly expanding program.   Ruth met Joan through this program when she volunteered for three years and taught English to Vietnamese, Laotian, and Cambodian immigrants at the YWCA, apartment complexes, and churches.    During this time, Elgin was part of a refugee program which provided support to political refugees.  Joan and Ruth were instrumental in many of these programs and met many inspiring people during this time.


StoryCorps: Jack & Marlene Shales

Husband and wife Jack & Marlene Shales describe meeting at Elgin High School. Jack worked for Illinois Hydraulic Construction Company before starting his own construction company, Seagren Shales, which is now Shales McNutt. Marlene was a nurse who also served two terms on Elgin’s City Council. Her father worked for the Elgin National Watch Company, as many Elginites did before it closed. They believe in giving back to the community which they have done through participation in United Way and in offering scholarships to nursing students at Elgin Community College.


StoryCorps: Gordon Schnulle & Dean Schmeltz

 Dean Schmeltz is a recent graduate of Elgin High School with plans to attend Reed University. He discusses his good feelings about his high school experience, and looks forward to attending college. Gordon Schnulle is a lifelong Elgin resident who took part in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. He recalls how many men jumped to enlist after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and stresses that we should ”appreciate our freedom because it wasn’t free.”

StoryCorps: Dr. Carolyn O’Neal & Rise Jones

Rise Jones interviews Dr. Carolyn O’Neil, a long-time teacher in Elgin. As an African American woman, Dr. O’Neil discusses race relations at different points in her life. She discusses how the bad economy has made families “in need” who have not been in that situation for generations. Her message is that we need to take care of each other and the environment. As a teacher, she also says that no one can predict what a child will do with his/her life, so you should treat them all with respect and give them the support to do well.


StoryCorps: Carol Rauschenberger & Aloun Khotisene

Aloun Khotisene was born in Laos, and escaped with his family at the age of 7. He lived in a refugee camp in Thailand before moving to France, and later to Elgin, Illinois. Carol Rauschenberger was raised in Elgin but only recently returned to Elgin to live. She has adopted two children from Cambodia.  Both discussed the immigrant experience from their different perspectives. Aloun emphasized the need for 3rd and 4th generation immigrants to be grateful for opportunities available to them in the United States; they are often unaware of how lucky they are. Carol describes immigrants as the most resilient citizens of the United States and dislikes hearing talk of preventing immigration because the United States is a country of immigrants. Their Story was recorded on July 22, 2010 in Elgin, IL.

StoryCorps: Dave Kaptain & Larry Jones

Dave Kaptain started his career as a chemist for the Water Reclamation Department where he began to make changes to make the Elgin Area more environmentally friendly. He then went on to serve on the City Council and eventually became Mayor of Elgin.

Larry Jones started out as a police officer in South Elgin, and eventually became Chief of Police there. He now works for the city government of South Elgin. Dave Kaptain would like to see the environment and economics of Elgin improve from the bottom up. Larry Jones would like to see the infrastructure of South Elgin to be brought up-to-date with more funding.