We have lost some antiquing friends in recent weeks:
— Mark Chenail, 60, recently died after a short illness in Falcon, Mo. There were no services per his request. This leaves a lot of friends at a loss because they feel they have no way to show their feelings for him.
Mr. Chenail spent most of his adult life in a wheelchair as a result of polio as a child. But this did not stop him in any way. He graduated from the University of Illinois and was employed there until his retirement.
He was a constant volunteer and never said no when asked for help. While I know of his work at the Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign County, I also know that the archives at the Urbana Free Library were his second home and he enjoyed his time there. He also worked as a volunteer at the Champaign County Historical Society.
Numerous people have asked the staff at PACA if there was a fund set up to honor Mr. Chenail. As of yet, there is not. I cannot speak for him, but because his death was so unexpected, he did not express his wishes to those close to him. From my time with him, I would say his first choice would be the Urbana Free Library, followed by the Historical Society and last but not least PACA.
I would ask those of you who expressed an interest in making a donation in memory of Mr. Chenail, search your personal memory and moments with him and make your own decision. You cannot go wrong.
— We also lost Gene Pirtle of Cisco recently. He was one of the real giants in the antiques area. He had fought bad health for years, but he was always positive despite his illness.
As of now, the family has no plans to change things, so you can still shop every Saturday at The Barn in Cisco. If that changes, they will let us know.
The place to go
I was recently ask if I could only make one more shopping trip just one more time at one location, where would I go?
That is easy. I have only been to this upstate spot three times, and I should go again soon: The Colonial Antique Mall, 890 Lake Ave., just half a block off of north Illinois 47 in Woodstock.
It is a 115,000-square-foot building, with more than 35,000 square feet of retail space on a 4-acre site.
The owner is Lee Moto, aka Sarge, and the phone number is 815-334-8960.
Bob Swisher has been a collector since he was a child. Questions or comments can be sent to Swisher by writing to The News-Gazette, P.O. Box 677, Champaign, IL 61824-677 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.