Then: In the 14 years Larry Thoren spent in Hastings as the city's chief of police, he didn't just sit in an office. It was common to see the former Illinoisan directing traffic at an accident scene or doing crowd control at parades.
But when Thoren retired last summer after more than four decades in law enforcement, he traded his police uniform for blue jeans and took his Midwest work ethic back to northern Illinois to fulfill a lifelong dream.
Now: The 65-year-old Thoren isn't content to sit in an easy chair, even in retirement. He and his wife, Bonnie, left Hastings last August and moved to the 100-year-old farmhouse near Savanna, Ill., they had purchased a few months earlier.
The house, which was in nice shape and needed little more than a bit of cleaning and maintenance, sits on just over 11 acres of rolling hills "in the middle of nowhere," Thoren said. The nearest neighbor is about a quarter of a mile away, and the gravel road near the house sees about half a dozen cars a day.
"It's kind of like a happy farm," Thoren said. "We're trying to get as self-sufficient as we can."