I hit Peoria about mid-day and crossed the Illinois River into Morton, a sleepy little satellite to Peoria. I remembered I "went steady" with a girl from Morton when I was in high school... can't remember her name, tho... some relationship! Oh, and it's the pumpkin capitol of the universe (big Libby canning plant).
Anyway, CarPlay and my iPhone found my friend John's house and I was soon settled in his wonderful domicile. And soon I meet his wonder wife Peggy. John and I were childhood friends and have managed to keep in contact over all these decades. So many of our high school class have passed away, and others are scattered. I myself ran away from home after graduation, soon to fall into college life and the 60's lifestyle of sex, drugs, and rock & roll... and radical politics. Thankfully I made it through, somehow, and hopefully, finally, gotten my shit together as a person. Well, time wounds all heels, or something like that, and now life is good, and it's wonderful to still have some contact with my past.
John informed me there was a Caterpillar museum in Peoria, so off we went to check it out. Cat had a big influence on me and my home town... many fathers worked there (mine, briefly), my uncle retired from Cat, and several classmates, including John, also worked for Cat. Every childhood visit to Peoria usually involved a drive past the extensive plant facilities.
First up at the museum was the giant, and I mean giant (50 feet plus high) ore truck. The bed is so big, the museum put a movie theater in the bed (showing historical movies about how Caterpillar helped change the world!). Not sure this pic even begins to do justice to its size.
And here we are in front of the truck's tires (imagine changing a flat!):
Then I tried the bulldozer simulator... not only did I not fill the trench with dirt, I bombed the whole simulator! Don't let me around heavy equipment!
After visiting the Cat gift shop and buying a couple t-shirts, we went next door to the Peoria Riverfront Museum. They had a special exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. But what NASA never knew was that I was holding up the moon helping the astronauts find a good landing spot.
That evening, looking for some good music, John found a listing for the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra. Well, I'd heard of this group from their applications to the Utah Arts Fest, so I was excited to actually see them in person. So off we went to the Peoria Contemporary Art Center to hear the band. And they were everything I hoped, mostly instrumental which I appreciate, and with the stage presentation I expected. Sorry the pics are crappy, too much motion from the players.
And, of course I bought the t-shirt and CD... A fun night... sometimes fate just delivers...