Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Glen Ilse was born in Flandreau, South Dakota, and he grew up in Egan. Involved with his father in the construction business, Glen developed proficiency in cabinetwork. That, and making boxes, still interests Glen.
As a young man, Glen moved to Sioux Falls and began working for the city as an equipment operator. Then he went to work for Holcomb Freightliner, driving trucks and helping out with maintenance and sales of trucks. Now, for the past eleven years, Glen is retired and enjoys carving as a favorite pass time.
Artistic talent must run in Glen's family. His twin sister is very artistic in drawing, painting, and fabric work, and Glen's daughter is very good in clay sculpture and loom creations. It was Glen's older brother, also a woodcarver, who encouraged Glen to start carving about 20 years ago. He even signed him up for a subscription to CHIP CHATS!
Glen's first carving was a small dog, and it is still with him. "It was fun!" said Glen. His favorite projects are caricatures and cottonwood bark "wood spirits", and he enjoyed going along with the Dickey family for a John Burke carving class in Emmetsburg, Iowa. (An interesting side note is that Bill Dickey and Glen's wife Cheri are related to the professional artist, John Greene.)
A mutual friend introduced Glen and Cheri to each other. Being both retired allows plenty of time for spoiling grandchildren (nine of them), sewing, board games and cards with friends, fishing, and traveling. Of course the gift and calling to serve as Santa Clause has given Glen a special distinction. We were very pleased and fortunate to have Glen appear as Santa at our Annual Christmas Show and Sale last December at the Park Ridge Galleria, but something we may not know is that Glen has also been Santa in California, Chicago, and even New York City. One very memorable job as Santa was in New York City in December of 2001, when New Yorkers were still having a very tense time and had strong feelings about 9-11.
Glen, thank you for being a member of our club, for being our Santa Clause, and for letting us get to know more about you!