The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor Fred Link Jr. of Oquawka.

Fred was born in Burlington, Iowa, raised in Oquawka the son of Fred Link Sr. and Evelyn Myers Link of Oquawka.

He attended Oquawka Grade School 1-8 and was a member of Union High School Class of 1972 and graduated with his GED in 1975.

Fred worked for Harold Oaks, farming, Twomey Grain for a few years, loading barges, and loading and unloading grain trucks.

He has lived in Phoenix, Arizona where he worked installing Security Systems. In 1979 he went to work tuck pointing for Ervin Tharp Masonry for 11 years and worked for Roger Tharp and "Union Construction".

In 1999 he went to work for Tony and Frank Tharp of Seaton, owners of Northwest Restoration Company where he is the Superintendent. Their company does brick laying, tuck-pointing, concrete restoration, building cleaning, caulking, transparent water-proofing, and sandblasting.

He is a member of the Brick and Tuck Point Union Local #5 in Rock Island.

Last February he and his bride, Debra Oaks of Biggsville, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Debra is employed at the Henderson County Treasurer's office.

Their family consists of a black kitty, now a beautiful cat named Scooter, that adopted them three years ago.

His mom, Evelyn Link, is retired from being a bartender and working at HyVee Grocery. His dad is a truck driver for Russell Manning and is a house painter working on his own.

Fred's hobbies are cars and music. He loves crusin' in his bright red Honda convertible on nice days. He enjoys rock and roll and blues. He attends a lot of concerts and says he has seen almost everyone in the blues scene more than once. Some of his favorites are Johnny Winter, BB King, Greg Allman,Eric Clapton, Tommy Castro, and his idol Stevie Ray Vaughn.

He and his wife vacationed in Antigua in the Caribbean Islands one year and were fortunate to get a glimpse of Eric Clapton's huge home.

Fred has a picture of Clapton's huge home on the peninsula of the Antiqua Island. He said Clapton built a rehab center nearby.

Fred is part of the Mississippi Valley Blues Club, and the Great River Blues Society in Burlington, Iowa.

He with his wife usually attend 4 or 5 concerts a year and have attended as many as 19 in one year.

Eric is learning to play the guitar but says he is not very good.

I enjoy stereo equipment, I''ve got to have that," he said. "Lots of it."

When dating, right off he and Deb had common ground because they both loved the same music and they love to travel.

So Deb will spontaneously find some good tickets for a concert, and it is always a go!"

"We love general dining at the Rib Shack, steak houses; anything pretty much."

Fred admits he also likes watching football, golf but he also likes being outside in the yard or working on a project.

For his recent 60th birthday Fred lived high. He celebrated in Las Vegas by jumping off the Stratosphere Hotel 108 floor building. "It was a blast and it was great seeing the lights, I'd do it again. It's extreme!"

His wife didn't take that plunge with him but she joined him on a zipline in a Mexico over a canyon in Porta ba Puerto Vallarta.

He loved it so much he wanted to build one here. They also parasailed off the back of a boat 450 feet high solo!

At home he enjoys car shows and have attended the Nauvoo car show many times.

In his earlier years he liked 34 Raceways dirt track and watching Stony Stoneking and Allen Tee race their Sprints, and modified with Red Tee.

He and his wife love jumping in their 2001 S-2000 two seater red Honda convertible with a black top. Fred said, "It's a beauty." It is perfect on Saturday drives and evening cruises after his work and on weekends.

His love for convertibles started with a bright blue 1977 MGB roadster.

Fred has 5 siblings, 2 sisters and 3 brothers. Kay (Ervin) Tharp of Keithsburg, Connie (Bud) Chenault of Burlington, IA, Bill Link of Monmouth, Allen Link (Cindy) of Oquawka and Jim Link of Burlington, Iowa.

His future plans are to retire in a few years and go, go, and go; concerts, a vacation in Curacao in the Caribbean. Fred's motto is, "Have fun, and enjoy your days and be happy, and especially laugh a lot.

"We crack each other up all the time."