Celebrating unusual jobs in honor of Labor Day

Suburbanites make a living in history, dancing and animals

  • Bearded dragons wear cowboy hats in Deb Krohn's Frog Lady Presentations.

      Bearded dragons wear cowboy hats in Deb Krohn's Frog Lady Presentations. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 9/7/2015 9:21 AM

Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and join our Labor Day celebration of American workers and their occasionally offbeat jobs.

Go ahead, stroll inside our Tent of Unusual Professions, if you dare, and meet four of your neighbors who don't spend their days in offices or factories or stores or restaurants. White-collar jobs? Hardly. Blue-collar jobs? Nope. More like no-collar jobs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Look over here at the Hawaiian dancer. Or over there at the frog lady.

What's the deal with the guy in the farmer's outfit from the 1890s or The Bat Lady?

Take a good look. It's not every day you get a chance to learn about four such diverse personalities who have discovered what we all instinctively know: It's not really work if you're doing what you love.

Batty?

Meet Sharon Peterson, the Bolingbrook school librarian known as the Bat Lady. "We live in an ecosystem that needs all of our players, everyone doing its part," says the proud owner of 13 bats. Read about her, the bats and her skunks here.

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Or froggy?

The Bat Lady, the Frog Lady, the dancer and the historian. In honor of Labor Day today, we profile four suburbanites with unusual jobs.
The Bat Lady, the Frog Lady, the dancer and the historian. In honor of Labor Day today, we profile four suburbanites with unusual jobs. -

Naturalist Deb Krohn has become what she calls a "nature missionary" since launching her own business, Frog Lady Presentations, in 2010. Her job takes her to libraries, schools and private parties to educate the public about nature and animals. She keeps to amphibians because her husband put a mammal ban on their home. See more here,

Or grassy?

Gwen Adair Keake'akamai Kennedy is lucky because her job doesn't feel like a job. Hawaiian dancing is her passion that pays. And love it she does, from the grass skirts and drum beats to fiery tricks and swaying hips. Meet her here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Or old time-y?

Keith McClow's job title is education site manager of Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago. But it may as well be time traveler as he transports visitors to another era. "it's very different to read something in the book than to actually get out there when it's 95 degrees and make it happen," he says. Learn more here.

• See more from our Labor Day Tribute here.

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