Thursday, September 18, 2014

Road Trip--My Home Town


Well, a long delay finishing my road trip adventure.  In today's edition, we cover Roanoke, Illinois where I grew up.  It's been 10 years since I visited, and I was pleasantly surprised that things looked good, not as depressed as the town seemed in the past.  New subdivisions, a swimming pool in the park, new grain elevators, and corn, corn, corn.  The most intense corn crop I've ever seen...  so thick that driving country roads was an adventure, crossroads had no visibility for other traffic.


Mt. Jumbo, the old town landmark, really isn't much of a mount these days, especially since I moved West into the Rockies.  Jumbo is really a slag heap from the old coal days, long gone before I was born.  The American Legion used to blast fireworks off the top, then roll an old car ablaze off the side!  What a 4th of July thrill!

Below Mt. Jumbo is the ball park, not very well developed, but the scene of many afternoons of baseball.  And nice to see a new tribute to the old coal industry.



And here's those new grain elevators.  We are definitely in midwest farm country now...


Went past the high school since it was my 50th class reunion...  Nice new rocket, but the old school building is coming down at last, making way for a new facility.  Sorta sad...


I also drove past my old house...  it's been redone so many times I didn't recognize it.  Well, it has been 50 years!


This trip was a multiple reunion.  I found a favorite cousin who I'd lost contact with...  he's moved back to the family farm and is still quite active at 92.  I also had lunch with another cousin couple who have the most amazing farm...  a combine bigger than my house,  Turkey coops extending seemingly into the horizon, and of course, corn.  I guess I just have some of this farm boy stuff in my genes somewhere, I thoroughly enjoyed my time surrounded by corn.

Then the class reunion, great to see so many show up.  Older, hopefully wiser, retired or close to it, but mostly alive!


I had one other bit of business back in Roanoke.  Finally, a gravestone for my mother.  Her ashes are buried in the old church graveyard out in the country, along with my uncles and aunts and grandparents.  Very peaceful and moving.


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