Schonberg with the motorized log cart he designed Photo courtesy Kay Schonberg
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Philip Schonberg is best known in this area for his tree trimming business (Schonberg’s Tree Service) that he has run with a couple of his sons and a handful of employees for many years. But Schonberg is more than just a tree trimmer; he’s an inventor of sorts.
He insists he’s not really an inventor, but more of an “adapter.” He figures out how to make things better by building, rebuilding, and rethinking something to make it more useful. Take the motor-driven log cart that he designed. Because there is not a lot of equipment on the market that you can use in the trimming business that is suitable for small or well-manicured yards, Schonberg came up with the cart that is marketed under the name “little helper cart.” Don’t let that name fool you because it is a big help to those in the tree business, and surely saves a lot of wear and tear on muscles.
At only 240 pounds itself, the cart can carry a load of up to 800 pounds. (Try moving that much weight in a wheelbarrow!) It’s self-propelled, can move a heavy load uphill and doesn’t tear up the turf in a yard. Even a small person can operate it. Schonberg allowed me to drive one around his equipment yard after the interview, and the cart practically drove itself. I had to hang on to keep up with it. Granted, it didn’t have 800 pounds in it, but Philip had stacked several big logs in it for me.
Because his tree business can only be done eight or nine months out of the year, he takes advantage of the winter months to build the carts. So far he’s sold about 90 carts, and he gets rave reviews from those who have bought them. A training and safety supervisor in Kansas City called the little helper cart “a life saver.”
“Tree trimming is still a lot of work,” admitted Schonberg, “but the cart helps. It is so much easier than using a wheelbarrow or a dolly.”
Schonberg comes from a family of inventors. His dad, grandfather and uncles came up with all kinds of inventions.
“My Uncle Harry built a tractor out of old car and truck parts,” Schonberg said with a laugh. “Being poor is fertile ground for inventors. There are probably some people who sit around trying to invent things, but most inventions are made by hard-working people just trying to figure out how to make things better.”
Not everything Schonberg creates is for business. He built The Flying Banana, a trailer he pulls behind his tractor that looks unmistakably like a huge banana, for the pleasure of his grandchildren. It has plenty of seating for his numerous grandchildren with a little gate that closes so that a child can’t fall out. Adults enjoy the excursions in The Flying Banana as much as the kids.
Schonberg also has a huge organic garden that produces much of the food his family enjoys all year. Even the swing on the porch was handmade by Philip, and it’s much more comfortable than one from a factory. It practically invites you to slow down and sit a spell to enjoy the serenity of his country property.
Phil and his wife Kay live a few miles south of Eudora in a home they built themselves. They have four grown children and a banana trailer load of grandchildren. Schonberg can be reached at 785-865-6789.
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
Local band Listen Mister will be hosting a fundraiser for the Eudora Food Pantry this Saturday night from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM at Cutter’s Smokehouse. There is no cover charge for the event. All tips the band receives will be donated to the food pantry that is located at St. Paul United Church of Christ.
The band that features classic rock & blues music. They formed in early 2012 as a way for the members to share a common interest in music.
“Mostly we get together just for the pure enjoyment of playing and sharing music,” Vocalist Deb Kummer said.
When asked about the reason for donating the bands profits from the night, Kummer came up with a very simple reason.
“We just like to help with benefits and fundraisers that come up. The band wanted to give something back to the community.”
Cutter’s Smokehouse is located at 218 E. 20th Street, just south of K-10 next door to the Eudora Township Fire Station.
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
The Eudora Ministerial Alliance will be hosting their annual Community Christmas caroling sing along Sunday, December 8 at 5:00 PM. The event will take place at the old Holy Family Catholic Church at 301 East 9th Street.
The program will include members of the Holy Family Catholic Church Choir and the Eudora United Methodist Church Handbell Choir. The ladies of Holy Family will also be providing cookies, snacks and refreshments during the old fashioned sing along.
The public is invited to attend this joyous celebration of the Christmas season in Eudora.
Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
This Week in Eudora History, will take a look back at some of the people, places and events, that shaped the history of this fine community. We will look at “the week that was” from times past.
For the dates of December 1 – December 7:
December 1, 1993, 20 years ago
Detours through DeSoto or Lawrence. That’s what awaits local residents if the Kansas River Bridge north of Eudora is shut down for repairs sometime in the next two years. About 12 local residents attended a Douglas County Commission meeting to assure the county looks at all the consequences before making a decision about closing the bridge.
December 4, 1968, 45 years ago
Special consecration services for the new educational building at the Clearfield United Methodist Church will be held on Sunday. Rev. Neal Hiatt, District Superintendent of Ottawa, will be the principal speaker and will have a prominent part in the ceremonies. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new addition were held March 24 of this year.
December 1, 1927, 86 years ago
Some miscreant stole the spare tire off the J.F. Marley coupe while he was attending services at the M.E. church last Sunday evening.
Compiled from the Glenn Wineinger Newspaper collection at the Eudora Area Historical Society
The Eudora Area Historical Society operates the Eudora Community Museum which is located in the former Nottingham Elementary School at 14th and Church Street. For more information about the Eudora Area Historical Society, you can find them on the City of Eudora’s website or check them out on Facebook.
Eudora News and Information - www.eudorareporter.com
On behalf of all the staff of Eudorareporter.com, we would like to extend our best wishes to all on this Thanksgiving Day.
A little over three years ago, we began this site with the intention of having a nice little site where we report on the major events and happenings around town. Little did we know, how large and popular this site would grow. In our wildest dreams, we never thought we would grow in popularity as we have. While the numbers may not put us on the top listing of web sites in the world, reaching between 5% and 10% of the city’s population every day, is something we are extremely proud of. We are extremely grateful to each one of you that read Eudorareporter.com on a regular basis. We are here to serve you, the public, trying to keep you up to date on news and events happening in our fair city.
This is our annual column where we take time to thank many of the individuals that make this site possible. Without any and all of these people, we could not do what we do here. This is our opportunity to spend a moment and give tribute to those that, in one way or another, keep our city running:
Thanks to City Manager Mike Press, Mayor Ruth Hughs, Vice Mayor John Fiore and City Commission members Jolene Born, Kenny Massey and Tim Reazin. A special thanks to the City staff that help us bring the news to you: Police Chief Bill Edwards, Fire Chief Ken Keiter, Public Works Director Mike Hutto, City Clerk Pam Schmeck, Assistant to the City Manager Barack Matite and the entire staff of the City of Eudora. We do want to thank some of those that served Eudora in 2013 and moved on. That includes City Administrator John Harrenstein, Mayor Scott Hopson, Councilman Bill Whitten and Economic Development Director Collin Bielser. A special thanks goes to all the police officers and volunteer firefighters that do the great work they do and risking life and limb to do it.
We would like to thank Eudora School District Superintendent Don Grosdidier, Board members Mark Chrislip, Dr. Daniel Dickerson, Joe Hurla, Mike Kelso, Joe Pyle, Belinda Rehmer, and Eric Votaw. We also wish to commend the staff, teachers and support personnel of USD 491 for their help in educating the young citizens of the city. Thanks also to Kristin Magette, Communications Director and several key district personnel who assist in making sure that we keep you up to date on all the happenings in and around the Eudora School District.
Another warm thank you goes to all the pastors of the area churches in town. Rev Glenn H. Weld from Assembly of God, Rev. Lane Bailey of Clearfield United Methodist Church, Eudora Baptist Church minister Rev. Jeff Ingle, Rev. Lyle Seager of the Eudora United Methodist Church, Rev. Phillip Scott from Family of Faith Fellowship, Hesper Friends Church pastor Rev. Darin Kearns, Holy Family Catholic Church’s Fr. Pat Riley and St. Paul United Church of Christ pastor Rev. Rodney Nitz. Without the spiritual guidance all of these fine individuals bring to us, Eudora would not be the great city it is.
We would like to thank all the businesses of Eudora. Many of them could have better opportunities in bigger communities and they chose to locate here in Eudora. We would like to especially thank the fine sponsors of Eudorareporter.com:
Amanda’s Dance Academy, Black Cat Cafe, Byrne’s Pharmacy, Cutter’s Smokehouse, Edward Jones Investments, Eudora Family Care, Free State Gun and Tactical Weapons, Gene’s Heartland Foods, Heads or Nails Family Salon, The Independent Order of Oddfellows, Kansas Public Radio, Kaw Valley State Bank, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Mateo Chiropractic, Medicalodges Eudora, Miller Agency Insurance, Reece & Nichols Real Estate Agent Susie Brown, Rock Family Chiropractic, State Farm Agent Keith Knowland, Sydney the Wonder Dog and WilLaDrew Photography.
The sponsors is what keeps this site going. Thanks to all of you. While we especially encourage you to support the businesses listed above, make sure to frequent all of Eudora’s local businesses and Shop Eudora First. They all help make this community shine. Make sure to remember this Saturday is “Small Business Saturday”. The day where you shop local and support the Mom and Pop businesses out there.
I would like to thank those who worked for EudoraReporter.com in the last year. That includes Ben Terwilliger, Steven Neis and all those involved from the Eudora Historical Society who help put together our This Week in Eudora History Feature. Also, sports photographers Julie Stewart and Joe Pelzel who did wonderful work this season through a variety of weather conditions. I also want to thank our newest staff member Diane Chrislip. Her help and great work has been indispensable. All these people help me out greatly and I appreciate their hard work.
I also want to thank all of those that took the time to submit news items and information for stories of interest over the last year. While not being able to list a litany of great people that took time to let us know about things going on and stories out there, your help has been invaluable and I could not do this without your wonderful assistance.
Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank my wife, Madalyn for her kind support and help with making Eudorareporter.com possible. She is an editor when the tougher story comes along. She helps in numerous ways, keeping me on track and she also puts up with me when I have a meeting or an interview to go do and it comes before many other things that should be taken care of first. Thank you dear for your love and support.
Again, thanks to all the citizens of Eudora. Each and every one of you make Eudora such a special town to be a part of.
May God bless all of you on this day of giving thanks.