THE KEMS OF LODESTONE -- FRED, MADGE AND OREN
AND THE KEM MEMORIAL SWEEPSTAKES
by Sara M.B. Futh
Colliesonline.com Article published in 2001
Lodestone is a name like Parader, Sterling, ToKalon and Arken,
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
Kems with the history of Lodestone, and to tell you about the
Sweepstakes, which will be held this year for the forty-fourth
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
Kem, was held in March, 1958, in conjunction with the Indiana
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 --
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.