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by Sara M.B. Futh
Starberry Collies

Colliesonline.com Article published in 2001

Lodestone is a name like Parader, Sterling, ToKalon and Arken, all
but unknown to many of today's new breeders, but revered by the old timers who know what it stood for.

This will be a short piece to acquaint some of you who never knew the Kems with the history of Lodestone, and to tell you about the Kem Sweepstakes, which will be held this year for the forty-fourth year, with one of its originators, Sue (Sturm) Barlow judging, in Edinburgh, Indiana, near Indianapolis March 25. Sue has been administrator of the Kem for the past 25 years, and was a good friend of its originator, Gus Sigritz. In between, Betty Johnson, Ted Paul, and Ed Hanley served to keep things in order and rotation

The first Kem Memorial Sweepstakes, held in memory of Mr. and Mrs.
Kem, was held in March, 1958, in conjunction with the Indiana show,
and the winner was a lovely bitch owned by the JaBaays, Ch Vi-Lee's
Starring Jovi. A list of the winners since then reads like a who's who of Colliedom -- I regret to say that none of the beautiful Kem trophies, which always used to be a silver punch bowl set, resides at Starberry. The only time besides 1958 that I showed in the Kem, it was Edith Levine's Ch. Glen Knolls Spun Gold who won, under Oren Kem himself in 1963, and of course Edith was very pleased to keep the trophy for herself! I would have been happy to keep Penny, as well...

One of the first trophies went to Cherrivale, Marnus had two as did Rita Stanczik and at least one at Twin Creeks, and Marcy Fine owned one and bred another, but pride of possession has to go to Ben and Joyce Houser's Twin Creeks, who took home SIX Kem Bowls and bred a seventh. Unfortunately, my records go up only to 1998 -- minus '93 and '95 -- so there are probably more duplications. I would love to know who won in 1993, 5, 8, 9 and 2000. (Please see our Editors note below.) And in a few weeks I'll be able to tell you who won in 2001!

The Tri-State clubs of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana rotated the sweepstakes among their spring specialties; Debhill Razzle Dazzle won at Cincinnati the first Louisville CCA weekend in 1959, if I remember correctly. The patrons of the sweeps were originally a group of individual friends and admirers of the Kems who donated the trophy annually. Now part of the entry fee is used for that purpose; the $800 punch bowl is offered outright.

Who were the Kems and what was Lodestone, to hold such a revered place in Collie history? Fred Kem, who died in 1945, was a farmer and cattle breeder, a teacher and agriculture leader, who brought his knowledge of livestock breeding to dogs. The Collies at Lodestone were healthy in temperament and structure, used to herd the Jersey cows as well as establishing a line known for its head detail and quality.

Star, Landstar, Lodestar, Live Oak, Lance were all sires used by the astute to bring Lodestone qualities into their lines. Lodestone Bandoliera was the dam of Ch. Silver Ho Parader -- 'nuf said.
Ch. Lodestone Lute was one of Mrs. Long's foundation bitches at Noranda; finished by her purchaser, as the Kems did not show their dogs. Fred and after him Oren for many years wrote "THE" Collie column in the old Dog News magazine, reporting on shows and philosophizing on Collies subjects -- Oren was a great letter writer and an epistle from him was always a highlight.

With his background in Collies and Collie people he was a great support and mentor for a neophyte editor and secretary back in the late 50s.

Mrs. Kem -- Madge -- always stood a little in the background, but it was she who raised, and had a great part in choosing the puppies, as well as planning breedings. A gentle spirit, she was missed by all who knew her. After her death Oren lost his enthusiasm for breeding, and went back to farming with his brothers. The family's influence continues and will as long as there is a descendant of Lodestone, which means as long as there are Collies.