'It's a nice, fairly quiet town'

Every morning, 75-year-old Al Gloeckle takes his English spring spaniel, Josie, for a walk down Ashley Road and waves at his neighbors as he passes them.

He's become such a fixture that if he skips a day, it worries people, he said.

"They'll ask me, 'What happened? We missed you yesterday.'"

After his wife of 50 years, Mickey, died in August 2002, Gloeckle's children encouraged him to move back to the Midwest, but he wanted to stay.

"The taxes are reasonable. It's a nice, fairly quiet town," he said. "The city does a nice job keeping the town clean, and I like that. The winters don't bother me, and the city helps me with snow removal in the winter since I'm a senior."

Gloeckle and his wife moved to Craig in 1990 after vacationing here for years. "I think it double grew since then," he said. Before moving, he used to come here from Lake Villa, Ill., to hunt and fish.

He stays busy by singing in the church choir at St. Michael's, where he also is a member of the Knights of Columbus. He's also a member of the American Legion (though not the local chapter), having served in the Army as an MP in the early 1950s.

If he has one suggestion for improving life in Craig, he would like to see more activities specifically geared toward senior citizens. But for the most part Gloeckle finds Craig a rewarding place to live. He especially is impressed with the cooperation among local congregations.

"When one church has some doings ... everyone tries to help out," he said. When he got sick a few years ago, he was on several prayer lists and his neighbors checked on him often and brought him food.

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