Being a G-burg aficionado...
Have you ever done any research into Galesburg's gift to the Surrealist movement? She was an excellent artist in her own right, often noted as the "best" of the women surrealists. In a patriarchal art world, she was most often known for having been married to no less than Max Ernst. A fine autobiography entitled "Birthday" published by Lapis Press, 1986, has a picture of the G-burg library in it with the caption "scene of my corruption". I got my copy just recently.
I believe I graduated with her niece, Martha Johnson (Johnston?), in 1966. Fool that I was, I didn't get it when Martha told me of her aunt back then.
Re: Joel. Two years older than me. I remember your name more than your face. You must have run with him a bit. I was the "brat" under my brothers foot. Always was art identified... still am, now Director of Chicago Public Art Group.
I, like a lot of you all, found this wonderful web site about our home town. I was a little surprised that a small paper like the Zephyr has this great site and the Register-Mail doesn't have one set up. I remember stopping by the Zephyr office and looking around with a friend the worked there at one time in the 70s, Steve Maranville. I wonder what ever happened to him?
Galesburg was a wonderful place to live as a youngster. I never, or my parents never, worried about leaving the doors unlocked or helping someone along the highway 34 or 74. I would get a little upset with them if we were heading to Lake Storey. They would always pull over. I would pray that no one had any trouble along the way...:^)
I love that it only takes less than 15 minutes to get anywhere through the city unless you were stopped and the numerous trains. I miss hearing them at night until recently I bought a house about 1/2 mile from a track.
I am glad they want to fix up the pavilion at Lake Storey. It was a nice place at one time. Please save it. Galesburg, you should be proud of it. The lake used to look so much larger when I was a child. I went back to the Burg in 97. I videod the beach. I miss the diving boards, climbing the high dive and the platform would move as you were running down it. I love to see that Galesburg is growing... all the new houses near the south side of the lake. I hated that you chopped the trees along the dam. It was fun walking along the paths to the slime spillway.
Well, I have gone much too long. If anyone remembers me please e-mail me, or does anyone know what happened to old friends Tim Guenther on Indiana Ave., Steve M., Barbara Nash, Cindy Reiber, or others from the class of 78? Well, take care; try and stay warm. It is supposde to get inthe mid 60s here. Love it!
John Liska, 494 Oak St., if that helps anyone to remember me.
Hello Mother Burg:
My name is Lee Custer and my family and I left Galesburg in 1965 and have lived in Collingdale Pa since. I was born in Rio area in 1931 -- mile west and a mile south in country farm house.
My main question is if it can be determined if Rio had a Masonic hall in 1847. My wife passed two years ago and have been doing a lot of rooting and cleaning out things. I found an old Commorative coin from some chapter of RAM in Rio Illinois. It is about the size of a half dollar and on one side has a masonic logo and says one penny. On other side it say " Whatsoever is right that shall ye receive." At bottom is printed "Rio Ill." and the date "1847." Just real curious.
Went to Rio school for about 4 years and then moved to Galesburg area. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanking you for your time.
Lee S. Custer
I am trying to contact some old freinds. I think they still live in Galesburg. They are: Phillis Smith (Bramlett), Jackie Jones, Debbie Lagenbaum (sp?), and Jane Peci. Anyone know these ladies whereabouts have them contact me at: email@example.com.
Thank You , Al Hughey
I was born in Galesburg at St. Mary's Hospital on May 4, 1950 to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mikkelsen, then co-owners of Poulings restaurant and later the "Sign Camp." Bring back any memories?
I went to three elementary schools there. Mary Allen West, Weston and LT Stone. I miss some of my relatives who still live there, memories of growing up, the brick streets, the trains and Carl Sandburg. I don't miss the cold winters!
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
I graduated in 1999 at Galesburg High School. I attended King Elementary (when the mascot was the Viking) and attended Lombard Jr. High. I don't have very many pleasant memories of Galesburg because I was teased mercilessly throughout my schooling. I have since relocated to North Carolina, which I consider more of a home than Galesburg, IL ever was. My advice to those who graduate soon: Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Wish I was.
The few good memories of Galesburg I do recall were some of the teachers that I have had as a student there. Miss Hinman and Mrs. Landon both taught me the fine art of poetry and praise. Thanks to the both of you, I write poetry decent enough to be included into contests and collaboration books. Mr. Glasnovich, thanks for making Civics and Law in America interesting and fun to learn (See, I was awake in class!). Mrs. Harris, even though kindergarten was long ago, I still remember you. Thanks. To those teachers I have not mentioned, I simply forgot how to spell your last names! Each and every teacher that came across my path taught me valuable lessons: to learn to stand up for oneself, to face obstacles with grace and to persevere with the same grace, and to give credit where credit is really due. So, to each of you, thank you. Thanks for being tough on me. Thanks for believing in me when no one else really did.
Oh, I haven't forgotten those who had hurt me. Forgiveness is hard, but it has been done. That is the ultimate goal. To forgive those who wrong you and to move on with your life. I wish not to be contacted, however, if I am, I welcome your replies.
Tanya "Marie" Nicaise, Class of 1999
At age 6, I lived just 2 doors South of Mother Burg on Pearl St. Lincoln School was located on the northeast corner of Pearl and North Sts and I started school there. After graduating from GHS in 1938 I was away from Galesburg for over 30 years. When I returned in 1972, I bought a home right on the northeast corner of Pearl & North where I started school in1926. So here I am right back in first grade --so to speak.
I still have a tin of Mother Burg salve in my medicine cabinet.
I must admit I haven't looked for your site in some time, just found it again and was delighted by all the wonderful letters. I, like many of the writers, was born in Galesburg, St. Mary's Hospital. I would have been in the class of 64 I think? I didn't finish school in Galesburg. I was the only one in my family of 7 to go to a different school. Our parents died while we were young, and I had the worst time accepting the fact that they were gone. I spent time in the Mary Davis Home and in and out of trouble.
I never could just tell anyone then that all I wanted was to be like the other kids. Too some degree I'm glad I never made it there. Most of the people I went to school are either dead or in jail, glad I learned my lessons while I was young.
I will tell anyone Galesburg was and is the best place to grow up. I remember the fun as well as the bad times and I think there were more good times than bad!
My brother is the pastor of a church there and my oldest brother still works on the railroad job he started at 16. I know lots of people there and keep in touch with Jerry Cato, my childhood friend and foster brother.
As I was reading through the letters I ran across one that really caught me eye. I remember Roger Callahan. We were friends. We played together a lot. There was Roger, Rosemary Woodside, Clara Barnstead, Patty Buck, Jackie Shannon, Morris and Bobby Coleman (cousins)David Thierry (sp). I know lots of people will remember me, Shirley Boyd. They use to call me that poor little Boyd girl because I lost my mom and dad both before I was 10, mom at five and dad at 9. And that I really hated to sit on my porch and just watch the cars go by. An old friend (debatable) of my family took care of me. She never let me go anywhere to play or otherwise. I left home at 13 and never lived longer than a year in Galesburg after that. But I would still tell anyone that would listen it is the best place in the world to raise a child.
The values that I learned from Cooke School, Churchill, and Lombard still are part of my life today. Mrs. Smith (3rd grade) taught me spell any word and to give you the meaning by finding the root word, I will always be thankful to her for that. Mrs. Clemens taught me that all adults won't beat you. And Poor Mr. Morgan could not believe that I was just plain smart; he stopped me from playing in a ball game because he thought I had cheated on a test. He never thought that maybe someone had copied off me, and the Mercado sisters were not known for their "A" grades.
Well, like most I guess, I have gone on long enough, but now that I have found you again I will write and write and write. If anyone can put me in contact with Jimmy Smith I would be grateful, his parents owned Smith's grocery on the corner of Henderson and Monmouth. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to know if anyone knows either David Rosenburg or Cathy Hicks. David lived across the street from the park on third, and the White's House Johnny. Cathy Hicks lived across the Third street bridge, right at the foot, and around the corner from Carl Sandburg's birthplace. I sure would like to hear from both of them, and maybe anyone that could remember Stehanie. I don't know her last name but her trademark saying was "Sons of Nab" and "Judas Priest" she use to run around with Marty Cohen. And Bobby White, I think they all lived at Lake Bracken. Hope to hear from someone soon.
Kenndra T. Marshall
AKA Shirley E. Boyd
Hi, Mother Burg,
Just went on line to check your sight and I was so surprised to see that Roger Callahan has come back to Galseburg. And as City Director no less. It must really be a proud day for his family. That he would want to come back to his roots and settle in that wonderful city. I tried to find a site where I might contact him, but your city directory was limited to the wards and the mayor. Anyway if you might put him in contact with me. He can contact me at email@example.com. Having some trouble with my other email so please use this one.
Thanks so much
AKA Shirley E. Boyd
Am serving in Kosovo; would be interested in renewing contact with old h.s. or college fellow alumni.
In short, after a period of wandering and writing, I joined the Army, and here I am in Kosovo.
I recall some family names which may have come from this part of the world: Glasnovich, Shragel, Cirimotich, Peterka, Zefo
I kind of wish that I had known some of you better back then. I guess that I wasn't very extroverted then.
Folks here tell me that Zefo is an Albanian Catholic name. Any Zefos out there want to confirm or modify that claim? I recall a Mr. Zefo lived on North St just east of Academy. Don't know anything about his family except that they probably were Catholic.
Never forget that in me you have a faithful friend,
John Peter Creighton
Corporal, US Army
I was pleasantly surprised by the results of my posting earlier this year in the Ma Burg webpage of the Zephyr. I must say, the first steps to "coming in from the cold" were somewhat scary, but it seems this is part of a healing process.
Recent events include my demotion to specialist, transferral to another platoon, and being diagnosed with a stomach ulcer (as to this latter, it seems to run in the family!) Alas, it seems a successful career in the Army has eluded me. But then again, that's not why I enlisted. But that's another story...
Still trying to locate Bill Inglebright, GHS Class of '79, John Zich, same class, Kathy Peterka, GHS Class of '78, and Diane St. George, GHS Class of '78. The last I knew of Bill, I'd seen him in Manny's Pancake House just off Clark, a block N. of Belmont near the El stop. We breakfasted together, after a chance meeting (I was living in Rogers Park and going to Loyola/Lakeshore Campus). He told me that he planned to travel to Morocco, and thence to Turkey. This was sometime around fall '84 to spring '85.
O.K. All of you fellow Burgers, take care; watch out for terrorists, but don't let recent events make you too paranoid. That might be what the bad guys want to happen.
John Peter Creighton
Nelson's Confectionery at the corner of W. North St and Monroe St/Walnut Ave -- my old stomping ground as a kid, into my teen years, and beyond. My maternal grandparents lived on Walnut Ave until they passed away as well as two cousins right across the street from them; two more cousins lived on Henderson St through the back yard of my grandparents. At one point, two other cousins lived on Monroe around the corner from Nelson's, and even my paternal grandmother lived on Walnut Ave. during some of that time. I had all kinds of reasons to be in that neighborhood from the time of my birth in 1952 until Pearl passed away just a few years ago.
The mere thought of "Nelson's" still brings an "oooo and ahhh" in my mind each time I remember those summer days that were lazy and long before life got crazy. I had not a care in the world then. Just money in my pocket and a sweet spot in my mouth. As you entered Nelson's from Friday night on through Sunday evening, the place was filled with a wide range of age groups. Teenage boys found their way to the "back room" where there were pinball machines (now called Play Station/Nintendo 64). And almost everyone inside had a snowcone in their hand or were having one made by either Pearl, Ed, their son, Dennis, or Hammie. WGIL used to have a contest about when the first frost would be and how many degrees -- and I remember Hammie won it one year. Pearl and Ed were the owners of this luxurious "kid spot" and their son, Dennis, worked there sometimes. Hammie was a friend of their family and worked for them.
Back then, there were no laser lights or fiberoptics to daunt the store windows, but the colored neon-lit sign "Nelson's Confectionery" bordered by more neon lights and could be seen for blocks. As time passed, the neon lights gradually went out and were not replaced.
There is a certain smell that comes to mind even now; a very specific aroma as you entered the quaint familiarity of that little store. There was an indescribable squeak to the screen door, especially in the summertime when it swelled from the heat. A certain feel of the wooden floor under my feet as I walked barefoot down to the fountain area to be waited on. Comic books immediately to the left of the door, an area generally very congested with addicted readers of the most current edition of "Superman", "X-Men" or "Daffy Duck". Stools bolted into the wooden floor lined the fountain bar with anxious buyers atop them, spinning on the stools as they talked about their latest date, the newest record (also a thing of the past), or the new swimsuit they bought.
Penny candy, snowcones, milk shakes, chips, a sandwich, magazines, newspapers, a loaf of bread and some milk for home -- a bottle of pop, or just some company and laughs. It could all be found at Nelson's. Ed and Pearl were always hospitable. And from what I understand, even helped some kids with troubles from time-to-time so many years ago.
I moved back into this area of town when I had children of my own. Pearl still recognized me well into my 30's and didn't even need a hint to tell me my name. My children had the privilege of being patrons of that wonderful store.
Nelson's still had penny candy until the day the store closed. The snowcones were still made with the original odd-shaped, metal ice scraper that anyone of them always had used to shave the ice block, kept beside the ice cream and just below all the different colored "flavors" to choose for your snowcone. Pearl made home-made ginger that was pretty "warm", one of my favorites -- a ginger snowcone, second a lime one, and third was a Pepsi snowcone.
So much of Nelson's past becomes so very clear in my mind as I reminisce of Nelson's even today. I am nearly 50 now and remember with great fondness every detail from the gray shingled outside to the old cash register that put a metal number up on the top when you depressed the button for that amount. After Pearl passed, the building sold, and auction was held. I could not bring myself to go to the auction and since have regretted that. I've often wondered who bought the infamous metal ice shaver, the bottles that held the flavored liquid that still makes my mouth water just thinking of them all lined up on the fountain counter. I wonder who has the bar stools, that old time cash register, the comic book rack, all the ice cream and soda glassware. I wonder if they think of Pearl, Ed, Dennis, and Hammie.
I was born at the corner of N. Henderson St and W. Fremont. I learned to ride my 2 wheel bike on Henderson St. because it was paved and Fremont wasn't. That really dates me does it? I just found this site tonight. Needless to say, I've spent quite a bit of time. Cindi, when we moved from Henderson we moved to Clark St. and my Mom and I would walk to Nelson's in the summer evenings, that was before the Temple was constructed and there was a house there that everyone said was haunted. It sounds silly now, but it wasn't then.
My folks sold minnows to the fishermen going to Lake Storey and I agree with one of the other writers that it seemed bigger then. When I was by it this fall the water level was way down. My brother was a life guard at the Lake and I can remember of a drowning and the police stopped and picked him up to help them find the body. I wasn't very old then. He went off to the WWII and never came home again.
My Dad was a railroad man. He worked the depot platform for 38 years. Yes, I too miss the sounds of the trains. Something so simple but in most of the letters everyone says the same thing. I remember when we had a brown out because of the 'humps' being so big and critical to the war effort everyone on the civil defense thought that we'd be a prime target if the Japanese or Germans every got that far in land.
But my best memories are of the airport on N. Henderson St., the grass growing up between the bricks, not enough traffic in the those days, Wilkins market, for the best watermelons and peaches in the summer time and all that good penny candy. Is Bud Wilkins still around?
I remember picking corn behind a team of horses behind that Luthern Church on W. Fremont St when I was young. There was a great orchard where that Church stands now. It belong to Otto Perdew, the Perdew's never had a car always came to town with a horse and wagon. Does anyone remember a Mr. Dowd, that mowed with a team of branded mustang's. He mowed lots for the city back in the 50's. He bought them from my folks before we left the corner.
Yes, Galesburg was my home for 49 years. Most of them happy some not so happy but it is still home. I love my new home but I like to go back to my old one every couple of years and get my fill of memories.
You'll hear from me again at a later time. I'm so thrilled that I found this web sight, you can rest assured that I will pass it to many people that I'm in contact with and make sure that our class is familiar with it as we have a 50th reunion coming up in September of 2002 and I intend to be there if health permits. When we reach this age we take each day and are thankful for each one of them. As my Dad used to say in his later years when I'd ask 'how are you, Dad?' he'd reply, 'able to set up and take nourishment so I still must be alive.' I never realize that he was marking his time that way but I understand and each day that I can do that is a good day.
Joanne Stephens Flack
As the basketball season is upon us again, I thought about when I was a 1936 senior at dear old Galesburg High School -- on Broad Strreet. Basketball was my main thought on Friday nights and going to the games in our new gym, everybody excited and noisy, the band struggling to finish the William Tell Overture. (We didnt have a wonderful band.)
As the referee poised to toss the first tip-up ball, Bob Hatfield, our 36 classmate, who previously had named the Silver Streaks in a school contest, stood up and yelled ³Hi 0 Silver, Away!² That was the yell that got us going. There are some who say ³Hi Yo Silver² or ³Hi Ho Silver,² but Bob said ³Hi 0 Silver, away!, just as the Lone Ranger said on the radio and in the comic strip.
Bob has been gone from us since November, 1987, but his Silver Steaks and ³Hi 0 Silver, Away² lives on. How nice. Thank you, Bob.
For those who dont know about the Silver Streak it was a very new, modern, diesel passenger train that premiered about 1934 or 35 called the Zephyr. It had a bright and shiny silver finish. It streaked over the countryside from Chicago to Denver and back.
I was born at the Corner of N. Henderson St and W. Fremont St when the streets were strickly brick and W. Fremont St west of Henderson was a dirt road travel by horses and wagons. I learned to ride my bike on Henderson St. there was grass growing up between the bricks, can you imigine that today? By the way, the house is behind the funeral home on Hawkinson Avenue now.
I thought we were big farmers; we had 12 acres of land that we rented from Al Nystrom. Dad and Mom raised cows, pigs, chickens, horses, and some totally awesome gardens that fed us well. Although Mom didn't make bread, we always had fresh butter and eggs. We did have homemade baking powder biscuits and corn bread almost daily. Dad would only eat the bread that came from the Strand Bakery. It was in a yellow wax wrapper with red writing on it. It was ten cents a loaf and I got to walk to Wilkens Market to get the bread when ever we need it and I always got a penny for candy for going after it. I think it was called 'Harvest Cream' but I'm not sure. There was no place like Wilken's Market with the saw dust floor, the large tanks of water with ice and cold watermelons, yum. They would cut a plug that was a triangle shape so you could smell and taste the melon you were buying. They also had the best peaches.
Dad and Mom decided to expand and started selling fishbait. Since we were on the road to Lake Storey. We always had fresh minnows that we would seine and bring home in big wooden barrels. We also sold dew worms, now they are called 'night crawlers' and we sold the little red worms that came from the stock yard. They were hard to count, I never liked them. I learned to count by counting worms and minnows and making change came easy for me as I had to learn that skill at a very early age.
I had two older sisters, Grace and Minnie, and one brother, Steve, who joined the Marines and didn't come home from World War II. Grace as many of you know, died carrying the flag Nov 11, 1975 during the Veteran's Day Parade at Cherry and Tompkins St. Minnie has since died, too. So there is just me left of the family.
As I read through all the letters after finding this web sight I thought of all the memories I have. Then tonight I looked at the list of people who have lived in or visited Galesburg and there was a question mark behind Al Capones name. You can remove that question mark. This would have been back in the twenties before my time. But I heard the folks talk about it enough. They lived on Fulton St. behind where the 'Steak 'n' Shake' was. They had a large barn there that was used as a garage. My sister Minnie had been ill and had surgery and money was not plentiful then. The folks had a huge grocery bill at Burglands Market at the corner of Fulton and E. Main St. Al Capone approached Dad one night as he returned home from work. He wanted to rent the garage but didn't want anyone to know that he was using it and that it would be kept locked and there would be one of his men inside it when there was a car in it.
The pay was always cash and they got the folks out of debt in a big hurry.
Dad worked 38 years for the CB&Q railroad most of it on the depot platform checking the trains to make sure they were safe to continue on their journey. I have his lantern that he used to check under the cars with. One of my fond memories about his job was when I was in High School, I would walk down there and pick up the truck, we didn't own a car, and have it to run around in at night. The California Zephyr had come in and had a lid for a journal box tore off. Dad sent me home to get his drill and a piece of 3/4 inch marine plywood that was in the basement and I was to hurry. That didn't mean speed, it meant hurry. Then he told me how to come back to the Depot so that I could pull the truck right up on the platform and he wouldn't have to tote things around. We held up the train but Dad got the nicest letter from the President of the Railroad for service above and beyond the call of duty to see that the train was kept running and in a safe condition. I cried when they tore down that magnificent building. Such a waste.
Yes, I was there when Harry Truman came through town on his Birthday and we had made him a cake because we knew he was coming. The song 'If I knew you were coming, I'd a baked a cake' was popular at the time.
How many of you remember seeing all the big airplanes land and unload all the men from World War II for the Hospital that later became a University that became a Mental Health Center to whatever it is now. We lived on that corner and the planes rattled the dishes in the cupboard and I stood outside and waved my arm until I thought that it just might fall off. But it later years, after the War and we were going to Grandma's in Texas, Mother and I were playing cards with some Air Force Men and when we told them where we were from, one of the men told of this little girl that had been what he called the 'offical greeting party of one' when he would land there. My Mother informed him that I was his partner now in cards. We did lots of walking down memory lane then. The pilots rarely got to leave the airport. They came refueled and left again.
We moved from that corner to the house that the folks bought on Clark St. I still had to walk to school, Bateman, Hitchcock and then GHS. They finally consolidated the schools and brought the country kids in on buses. They got to stay home lots of snowy days but we had to go to school anyway. Such a hard life.
I read the letter about Nelson's on W. North St. and I remember going there. I also remember Gregory's Ice Cream on the Square. Where you could get the best lemon ice cream made. This time of the year, he made fresh candy for Christmas and always had great big candy canes and it was a tradition that I always bought one for Dad, it would take him until Easter to eat it all but he enjoyed every bite of it. Mr. Gregory became a personal friend as he liked to fish so we often traded minnows and worms for ice cream. Even when we moved to Clark St. we sold fish bait. We had a big garden there, too. Mother did all the canning and we rarely had anything out of a can it all came out of mason jars.
As I became a teenager I worked as a car hop at one of the root beer stands, then I got a job at Grants and thought I had the world by the tail until I got a job at the Spiegel Catalog Order Office. I worked there all through High School. I think that is where retailing got into my blood. I just love working with people. So I still do. After raising my family, going through a divorce and a suicide, I left Galesburg and went to Wyoming where my youngest daughter was residing at the time. She had a premie and that baby needed a grandmother's care. I married in Wyoming and since my husband has relatives here when my kids were transfered farther west we returned here and have been here for 15 years. It is a great place, as nice and good as Galesburg, people here leave but they always return to S.D.
I'm glad I found your web site and I will check it frequently to see what is going on back there. I hit one of the links to the Register Mail and read the obits. I wanted to make sure I was still alive (just kidding). Sure enough there was a name that I knew from years ago. So now, I know how to keep in touch. I will e-mail some who has written in and touch base with the past. I thank you for making it possible.
Joanne Stephens Flack