Wednesday, June 08, 2011


Monday we spent the afternoon at the beach - pictured above. Tuesday the kids spent the afternoon in their second-cousins' pool. Today, we're hoping to dash out to the beach again before the storms hit and the temperatures dive. Most kids are ready to go, we're just waiting for the piano tuner to finish with our piano.

But, before I run off to get ready myself (read: shorts, t-shirt, good book and comfy chair), I wanted to give my offering for poetry wednesday.

This week, I am being bold and daring, and offering up a poem of my own creation. (Gasp!)

Our library is holding a contest to write a story (or poem or ditty) about Wauconda. There are prizes involved, so I did not need much convincing to write something. Amazingly enough, a poem nearly flew out of my figures. With a little revision, I even got it all to rhyme, although my rhythm is sometimes off.

Here it is (please, please! be gentle):

Wauconda Questions
Michelle Leichty

How did Wauconda get its name?
Why isn’t the lake named the same?
These questions haunted me
Most of my life.
Admittedly, they didn’t cause me much strife.

Lake Zurich is a town directly to our south.
“Let’s swim in Lake Zurich!” the residents shout.
Was that their town’s founders’ creative best?
I wonder the same about Island Lake, a town to our west.
Even further west, residents go down
to swim in Crystal Lake in Crystal Lake town.
To our northeast, Grays Lake graces Grayslake.
Why, in Wauconda, is it not Wauconda Lake?

In school I learned Justus Bangs settled here.
He built a fine house and lived here all year.
The children who lived here attended a one-room school
Where the teacher used Cobb’s Speller as one of her tools.
Well, that explains the name of our lake -
Although I don’t think Bangs owned all of Bang’s Lake.

What about the name of our lovely, fair town?
Why didn’t they call it Bangsville or Bangstown?
Instead we have a difficult-to-spell name:
Wauconda. Unusual? Sure. Different? Yes.
Only one other town shares our name in the US.

Tradition says an Indian chief is our town’s namesake.
He might be buried somewhere by the lake;
Though his grave is forgotten, his name has lived on.
Though the spelling of it? Yes, the spelling is wrong.
Chief Wakanda! remembered the leaders of our village.
But spell? No they couldn’t, no matter their heritage.

So Wauconda was founded. And so it grew.
Over ten-thousand residents - amazing from so few.
Two hundred started here in 1850.
Limestone, a mill, a stage coach, a smithy,
Wauconda boasted three stores in the 50’s.

Now we’ve grown larger, and have businesses aplenty.
And we’re not the only town mismatched - namely
Just to our east, practically just down the street,
Mundelein residents swim at Diamond Lake Beach.


DoRe' said...

Cute. :) Funny to read of "Island Lake," 'cause that's the lake sitting outside my bedroom window. In a town named Silverdale. ;-D Happy Friday!

Kris Livovich said...

I hope you win the prize, Michelle!