Monte and Jared

September 4, 2010

As posted earlier, Jared was a younger brother to Monte and passed away in 1998 at the age of 52.  Jared was a tall, thin man who spent much of his time in the out-of-doors.  Jared worked at the Rice Lake Conservation Area for many year before his passing.

Jared and Monte shared a passionate and affectionate relationship and while their relationship was very close, that does not mean they did not argue.  Many years ago, there was a period of time when the possibility of strip mining at the Rice Lake Conservation Area arose.  This topic created a great deal of controversy in the Banner area and split many families, people and friendships in the area.  Often times, people would avoid local taverns by the vehicles parked out front.

Jared and Monte had differing opinions of this controversy.  Monte believed ample proof in Fulton County all ready existed why private strip mining of Rice Lake would be a terrible idea.  During these years, many areas surrounding the Banner area were owned by private mining companies and fenced off.  Unless people had ties to these mining companies, very large areas of good fishing and hunting were off-limits to most people.  Also, in Monte’s belief, mining companies were not known for their altruism when it came to returning the mined land to what it once was.

Jared viewed the mining possibility as an opportunity to increase better fishing, hunting and water activities for the area.  He was one who hoped instead of a shallow lake, the mining of Rice Lake would result in deeper lakes with better hunting and fishing.

As this controversy went on, the arguments between Jared and Monte would become so heated, for a time they avoided each other.  Eventually, they had to agree not to discuss this topic at all.  Even after the proposal to mine Rice Lake was defeated, it remained a sore subject between Monte and Jared.

Below is a photograph of Jared in 1973 while manning a skiff with a push-pole at Big Lake.

Jared was known for his hard work, generosity and habit of borrowing things and not returning them in a timely manner.   Jared was known to toss coins up on the dash of his vehicles and would tell his nephew Eric, Monte’s son, he could have the change if he could retrieve it from the small space between the windshield and dash.

Jared was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed playing softball.  On many Sundays, the Ellis family would have noon-time dinners in Monterey and Jared would stretch out on the back room floor to rest.  During softball seasons it was not uncommon for him to have sliding raspberries along his legs.

Below is a sketch by Monte of Jared with a shotgun.

Below is the previously posted pencil portrait of Jared by Monte from 1964.

Below is a photograph of Jared in an unknown drinking establishment.  Jared is at the far right.

Below is a parody drawing by Monte of himself, Jared and long-time family friend Sam Ruey while in a duck blind and being harassed by a less than frightened duck.

Below is a photograph of Jared in an establishment that was then called the 9-24 Club in Banner, IL.  During the 1980’s Jared would catch and cook fish at the 9/24 on Friday nights.

Jared and other local fishermen were also known for their generosity when it came to providing fish for local benefits and fund-raisers throughout the area for many years.

Below is another re-posting of a parody pencil by Monte of Jared.  Monte’s parody drawings of Jared were not done out of ridicule but of the highest affection for his younger brother.

Monte and Jared shared another thing in common and that was their consumption of alcohol.  This is not mentioned to embarrass or shame, but to highlight the influence the culture of tavern life and drinking alcohol had upon their lives, especially in an area known for hunting and fishing.  For Monte, tavern life highlighted and emphasized the vast difference of his thoughts of the natural world when contrasted to the beliefs of others.  Walking among those who viewed the natural world as mainly the plaything of man was often revealed in the atmosphere of a tavern where the honesty of others was teased out by the lubrication of alcohol.


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