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About The Author

Chuck Engels

Chuck Engels photos through the years 1967 - 2009

Hi, My name is Chuck Engels and I am the author of these Carpentersville pages.

I lived in Carpentersville for 12 years (1963 - 1975) and visit as often as possible.  We moved to a house on Grenada Road, just down the street from the Di Simoni family, in 1963.  My parents were renting that house until they found a house to purchase, that happened the next year.  In 1964 we moved to 412 Amarillo Court and lived there until 1973, I later moved back to Grenada Road and lived with the Di Simoni family for about a year in 1974 - 1975. 

One thing that truly amazes me when I think back; how free we were as kids.  My friends and I could ride our bikes 10 miles away from home.  No cell phones and still no worries.  We would walk to the Meadowdale Shopping Center, the bowling alley, the Cinema and spend the whole day there.  My mom would say "be home by dark", that was it.

I loved growing up in Carpentersville, it was a wonderful time.  I suppose it probably wasn't any different than most Mid West suburban towns back then .  The times were different, it's hard to realize just how different they were sometimes.

We lived within two blocks of all three schools; Kings Road Elementary, Perry Middle and Crown High.  My brother and I played Little League Baseball in the park that separated them all.  We walked to school all of my years growing up there, as did most of my friends, we went home for lunch too.  I was a crossing Guard (Safely Patrol in those days) and stood at the corner of Toro Circle and Amarillo Drive across from the entrance to Perry Middle.

We pitched tents in friends yards and stayed up all night.  We would sneek to Mr. Donuts at 3am dodging the C'Ville Cops which wasn't hard to do back then, they probably saw us just didn't really care.  There weren't many troublemakers back then, which is why our parents didn't have to worry about us.  We weren't out getting into trouble, we weren't bored and we definitely didn't do anything illegal.  Even with all we didn't have, ipods, computers, the internet, Playstations, Nintendos, Game Boys, none of that and we still weren't bored, most of the time.  The police didn't have to worry much about the kids in Carpentersville, we respected them but most of all we feared our parents (it was a good healthy fear).

Back then we got in trouble for things like chewing gum in class.  No one brought guns or knives to school, except maybe for 'show and tell' and then it was ok.  I remember back in 6th grade my grandmother had given me a book, 'The Wizard of OZ'.  It was an original first edition, wasn't worth so much back then I guess.  I cut the center out of the book and loaded it with candy, the teachers at Perry Middle had a hard time figuring out where the candy was coming from for awhile.  That earned me a trip to see Mr. Rayka, who was then the vice-principal, not to mention how much I would love to have that book in one piece today.

In 1973 we moved to Wisconsin, Coleman, a very small town about an hour north of Green Bay.  I moved back to Carpentersville after being invited by the Di Simoni family to move in with them for my senior year.  That turned out to be my Junior year instead as I had lost a year after dropping out of the school in Wisconsin, that is another story for another time.  I spent the next year in Carpentersville but after all of my classmates had graduated it wasn't quite so much fun anymore.  Ended up moving back to Wisconsin for my Senior year which was now 1976 rather than 1975. 

I went into the Army in June of 1976, spent time at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and Fort Ord, California. Since then I have; gotten married to Criss Dickson (Crivitz High 1978) in 1979, we have had 4 children (Brandon 1983, Heather 1984, Brittany 1986 and Joshua 2001), written a book, became a chef, a radio announcer, computer programmer, video editor, learned about the saving grace of Jesus Christ and have had a wonderful life so far.  Not that it was all easy, and Criss took the worst of it, but thank God we will celebrate 31 years of marriage in August 2010.  Even though we were married in Crivitz, Wisconsin my groomsmen were my brother Bruce and two guys from Carpentersville, Art Little (my best man) and Dave Maycroft.

Spent some time at the University of Wisconsin - Marinette and the University of Minnesota - Morris.  Graduated from the Trans American School of Broadcasting in Wausau, Wisconsin, that lead to my years in radio.  Worked at KMRS Morris, KLQP Appleton, KBRF Fergus Falls, all in Minnesota, writing commercials and doing on-air work.  Then we ended up back in the restaurant industry before getting involved with the business of moving freight all over the world.  I've owned my own air freight company and been everything from operations manager to company president.  For the past 10 years I have been in the Information Technology department as a software developer and programmer, still in the transportation industry.  Although my love of media still hasn't changed, I get to do lots of video and camera work too.

We lived in Minnesota for over 20 years and had 3 of our 4 children there before moving to Geogia in 2001.  I am Working with video, cameras, audio and lighting on a weekly basis, with local churches and for a professional media company.  Criss works with the 2 year olds in the nursery and has done that for many years along with being very involved in Vacation Bible School when she is able.

Our children (2011); Brandon, Heather, Brittany and Joshua
The Engels kids in  2011


Our grandchildren (2011); Chaya, Aidan, Braelyn, Trinity, Cayla and Paige
The Engels kids in  2011


To all of my friends that visit this site, I hope you have had a wonderful life.  I have thought of many of you often and hope to someday see many of you again.  If you have some time please stop by the contact page and drop me a short note, just to say you are alive and well.

One day it would be fun to walk the streets of Carpentersville again, hopefully soon.

Some of my favorite Carpentersville memories are;

  • Playing with the Crown Imperials and the summer tour of 1974

  • The Imperial Snow Ball (Band Dance) in 1974

  • The Valley - that big area where the Fox View Apartments and the football field are today.  It was lots of fun on mini-bikes, walking the trails, and exploring.  We used to drink the water from the stream that was there.

  • The Pepsi O Rama - Where you could get into the Meadowdale Cinema for 6 Pepsi bottle caps.  We would walk there, looking for bottle caps on the way all along Hwy 25.  We usually found enough too.

  • Crown High Homecoming - The bonfire, the football game and especially building the floats for the parade.  I remember making tissue flowers in a room at the community center, then taking them (100s and 100s of them) to the barn were the float was being built.  Then they were all tied onto chicken wire with twist ties, lots of work but so much fun.

  • Riding bikes everywhere - We rode our bikes to more places than I can remember; Tyler Creek Park, the Dairy Queen in Dundee, Algonquin, Cary, not to mention all over Carpentersville too.

  • Working at McDonalds in Carpentersville

  • Queens Court Park (Andres Park) - We always called it Queen Court park because we always entered from the Queens Court side.

  • Little League Baseball - Carpentersville had a wonderful Little League program, I remember all of my coaches and many others.  Mr. Preis, Mr. Windholz and Mr. Ptack are just a few that stand out in my mind.

  • Any trip to Mr. Lions - Penny Candy, who could ask for more?

  • My mom loved the hot dogs and tamales at the Bus Stop by Rocky's Shell.  I rode my bike there a few times a month in the summer.

  • 8th grade at Perry Middle School - Mr. Smith dubbed our class the 8 C Wonders.  The school decided to split up all the kids into classes that reflected their grades.  They put all the 'A' kids in one class the 'B' kinds in another class, the 'C' kids together in one class and the same with the 'D' and 'F' kids.   What a huge mistake that was !!   All of the class clowns in one group, all day long. We drove the teachers crazy I'm sure.   Someone even wrote a song about us (I think it was Kim Gates); "We are the 8C gang, and we drive Smith insane, if we're not on our toes, we get a smashed in nose", how's that for memories?

  • There are so many memories of people and places, I hope to list them all somewhere on the site.  Thanks for visiting my Carpentersville pages, I truly hope you enjoy your visit here and that these pages are able to bring back some good memories for you as well.

    All the best,
    Chuck

    Here are some images from my past life in C'ville ...

    my mom and dad in front of our house at 412 Amarillo Court Carpentersville in 1965 playing baseball in the street in Carpentersville was a daily occurance in the summer - this picture taken in 1971
    1st Communions were a big event in Carpentersville - this image from 1968 me and my drum set in 1970
    The Iving Crown Imperials marching band in 1972 my sister Linda as Little Miss Democrat at Meadowdale Shopping Center in 1972
    412 Amarillo Court Carpentersville 1972 - my Mom and my sister Jeannine Carpentersville friends and neighbors in 1973
    Chuck Engels and his sister Jeannine in 1971, Chuck had a cast on his left leg for three months Chuck Engels Jr. Confirmation Day
      Confirmation Day - Probably 1968
    Bruce, Chuck and Charlotte Engels in 1963
      My brother Bruce, me and our Mom in 1963
    Chuck Engels Jr. 1969
       Me in 1969

    Me in 1970
      Me in 1970
    Moving day 1973
      Moving Day 1973, the day we moved from C'ville
      to Wisconsin.   It was a sad day...

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