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Family auto inspires children's story collection

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 2:50 p.m. CDT

Growing up on the family farm outside Hinckley, Troy Fohrman heard many stories of the Jordan automobile in the family barn.

The Jordan had been purchased in 1926 by a young contractor from Aurora named Lars M. Skoglund, as a reward to himself upon completing a major building project. The Jordan was a family sedan, much better than his Model T Ford, and more comfortable for his wife and daughter.

Many years later, Skoglund’s youngest grandson, Barry Fohrman, originally of Elgin and now of Hinckley, found the Jordan in the garage, where it had been stowed away through the Depression and World War II. At first, he used the old car for play. But eventually, Barry began working on the car – first because he wanted to hear it run, then later because he wanted to see it in its original condition.

Barry Fohrman's son Troy joined his father's efforts to preserve the family legacy. In addition to preserving the Jordan, Troy Fohrman worked to preserve the stories left behind by Katherine Nylen Skoglund Fohrman, Lars’ only daughter and Barry’s mother. Kay Fohrman was a radio announcer for a children's program who wrote many of the stories and poems she read on the show. Though Troy did not remember his grandmother, he grew up hearing her stories. As an adult, he edited her manuscripts, moving them ahead 70 years and adding new illustrations – including illustrations of the Jordan automobile – to create children's books for a new generation.

Recently, Troy Fohrman has been joined in his efforts to preserve the Jordan, and the children’s stories, by his two of his own sons, Tyler and Kyle, and three longtime artist collaborators whose credits include graphic design work in the feature films "The Avengers," "Thor," "Thor The Dark World," "Captain America" and "X-Men: First Class."

Kay Fohrman's stories, as well as Lars Skoglund's original Jordan, are now part of the new Children’s Vintage Stories books, which have been translated into 12 languages and can be found retail outlets including iTunes, BarnesandNoble.com and RoundtablePublishingInc.com. They can also be purchased at the Hinckley Fresh Market, 710 James St. in Hinckley.

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