Going home is always something special for us. We try to make it twice a year, and doing it at Fall Festival weekend makes it truly special. We were at the parade early, and right away we began to see a lot of our friends. After the parade Christine had her pork burger, a favorite of hers, and I had one of the Lions Club’s steak sandwiches topped off with one of Glen Miller’s lemon shakes.
At 1:30 we went to our car. I had parked it behind the First National Bank, and we took a two-hour nap. With the windows open and a nice breeze, we were no doubt the only ones who enjoyed such a luxury. Wide awake at 3:30, we returned to the festivities and visited with many more friends.
I was able to see many who had worked for me at the Beardstown Park District many years ago. I saw Teena Scheer, Bill DeSollar, Mary Jo Howell, Marsha Allison Nuckels, Becky Jones, Kaye Hardwick, Sue Rolf, Jason Brockschmidt, Marilyn Butcher Walter, Doris McKenzie, Sue Walker and Debbie Brockschmidt Radliff. A great group. Several have grandchildren now.
There were many more friends that I talked to , and I’m sorry if I had to ask you to tell me your name. I could tell you where you lived, and what you did in high school or Little League, who you married, and all about your parents, but the memory of names has gotten away...
It is like this: “My hearing is fine with the use of my hearing aids, my dentures fit perfectly, my bifocals make my eye sight about perfect. But God, please bring back my mind.”
It was an unexpected pleasure seeing Jim Krohe, a former Beardstown resident, and a noted musician, who lives in Springfield.
The Festival entertainment committee did a great job in having more local people performing, and they were all good. Ruth LaMaster, sang for two hours with her group. I remember having Ruth sing in the Summer Theaters that the Park District had back in the 70’s, and before that with the Beardstown High School musicals. I sent a note to the stage requesting “Hello Dolly,” one of the musicals she had a big part in. She obliged, and announced that she would have to sing it acappella because her musicians wouldn’t know that kind of music.
Another group that entertained was the Bill Butcher’s quartet from Macomb. Bill, his son and cousins harmonized so well. Bill was in a Cub Scout Den that my wife and I had about fifty years ago.
The third bunch was the Broseph E. Lee band with Brock Jones, Chris Yost and Russell Orrill from Beardsown in that group.
“Coming Home” meant a lot more as we drove around to see what was new in town. We saw the change of the old Wal-Mart building becoming the Jenning’s auto market, we visited the Beardstown Museum at the old City Hall and noted all of the improvements. I would like to spend more time there if there is another opportunity.
We drove through the parks and noted the new buildings at the Bill Cowen Little League Ball Park. My how Bill would be proud of the way the Little League Park is now, the best in the state.
It all started sixty years ago with a card table placed behind the home plate back stop for the score keeper.
The most impressive place we visited was the Fallen Soldier Memorial out at Beardstown High School. Jack Fearneyhough and his committee did a wonderful job, and in my visit with Jack, he told me that there were visitors here to see the memorial from high schools in three other towns, who must be thinking of doing the same type of memorial.
We are back in our retirement home with more nice memories and realizing what we always knew, Beardstown is a great town.