Letters to Mother Burg 2003

From: ???
Email: RBrad15424@aol.com
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003
Subject: East side Galesburg

Is there anyone out that that grew up on Walnut St., Chestnut St., Lake St., etc., in the 60's? Alan Park Elementary, Lombard Jr. High, Galesburg High. I was born in 1956 at St. Mary's Hospital and grew up on Chestnut St. until my family moved out west in the early 70's. We used to love Virginia's Ice Cream and Booker's (?) little grocery store across Main Street. Used to love to go to Bud and Hanks for catfish dinner. Although I have many, many more memories of Galesburg, I thought I would start with these.

From: Michael Baker
Email: Myhalloweenmagic@aol.com
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003
Subject: Growing up in Galesburg - 1956-1971

How pleased I was to find this site! I too am an expatriate Galesburger. My name is Michael Baker, which in itself is not unique enough, because I grew up down the street (McMasters) from another Michael Baker and went to Lombard Jr. High with still another!

Reading the submissions to "Letters to Mother Burg", sent chills up my spine, as I have also felt a longing to recapture the essence of what Galesburg is all about, and what I remembered from childhood.

I was born at Cottage Hospital in 1956. I went to Nellie Swanson and to Lombard Jr. High.

As a child, I had a paper route for The Register-Mail, and spent my profits buying magic tricks at Ray's Hobby Shop, Saturday matinee tickets to The Orpheum, wax lips at the Dairy Cream on Grand Ave. and the latest copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland at the Hi-Lo on Grand (so that I could watch, in style, The Acri Creature Feature at midnight on Saturdays!).

I and other kids in our neighborhood (McMaster, Newcomer, Indiana, & Farnham) spent much time in the summer playing baseball in the huge playground at Nellie Swanson, fishing at Lake Bracken, getting ice chunks thrown from the milk truck, climbing trees, playing with G.I. Joes, playing "Ghost in the Graveyard", hanging out in front of Park Drive Dairy having belching contests with RC Cola, waiting for the Burlington switch engine to flatten our pennies, and playing in the corn fields until the farmers chased us out.

At Lombard, I played football under coach Fritsch (terribly) and terrorized Mrs. Rabenort as one third of the infamous trombone trio. Believe it or not, the Lombard school cafeteria actually had pretty good food!

We rode our bikes everywhere, until the snow and ice made it impossible.

When my dad was transferred at Butler Mfg., I moved away in 1971 (actually, I was ripped out by the roots, kicking & screaming the whole way) and relocated in Birmingham, Alabama. The culture shock nearly killed me!

A few years after high school, I moved back to Illinois, settling in Peoria to attempt to begin a career as a professional magician (Ray's Hobby Shop did their job well!). In 1986, I moved back to Birmingham. This was a decision based on economics. With Birmingham as a hub, I can easily work shows in Nashville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, New Orleans, Mobile, and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

In a way, I actually consider myself lucky to have left Galesburg when I did. You see, my life had not yet become filled with the disillusionment that adulthood brings with its constant reminders of life's problems. The best memories I could have of my hometown have become permanently fixed, undiluted by change.

Although my heart is forever in Galesburg, and I do occasionally visit, I will probably be a fake southerner for a while longer (I have a southern wife and a son born here).

I would though, enjoy hearing from any of you willing to take the time. Thanks, Galesburg!

Michael Baker
Birmingham, Alabama

From: Dave Olson
Email: Jaknscot3@aol.com
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003
Subject: Growing up in Galesburg

My name is Dave Olson. I'm glad I happened across your website. I grew up on S. Farnham during the sixties and seventies. My sister Laura and I went to St. Joes and one of my best memories is getting off the schoolbus at the corner of Farnham and Knox, stopping at Flavor Freeze to get a cone, and then climbing into the back seat of my dad's VW bug while he was getting a haircut at Moulton's Barber Shop.

Dave Olson

From: Louise Anderson
Email: catlou@tnh.net
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 2003
Subject: Memories

I will always have fond memories of the home town where we raised our family and worked.We left galesburg when Burlington Truck Lines closed,went to Kentucky where my husband worked until he retired, then on to Florida which was his dream, but he only lived a few months, but he had his dream. I will always think of Galesburg as my home. I miss my friends and the good times. It is a good place to raise a family and I am proud of them all. With fond memories.

Louise Burkhalter-Anderson

From: Tia M. Harlan
Email: Harlant@mtwhitney.navy.mil
Date: Sat, 24 May 2003
Subject: My memories of Galesburg

I was reading over some old letters that appeared in your column some time ago. I am a native of Galesburg, Illinois but these days home is Norfolk, Virginia. I joined the Navy almost 4 yrs ago. Matter of fact, I graduated GHS May 31st of 1999. Four years have come and gone by fast. I can honestly say that a lot of my memories are not the world's best but I can say without a doubt the years I spent in Lombard Jr. High and Galesburg High School were the most educational experience I have had.

I can relate to one friend's account of how people treated me. I had no real friends my age until after I left Lombard. I was teased and made fun of my whole life practically. I owe much of my personality and "thick skin" attitude to those who chose to dislike me and not see who I really was. But I do owe a great deal of thanks to a large number of people.

To Mr. Hicks, Mr. Olzewski, and Mr. Petrie, thank you for giving me something that I can carry with me where ever I go. It was you three who showed me I was good at music. It was my place to shine and have a little confidence.

Mr. Glasnovich, thank you for giving me such an entertaining class. Never a boring day in Law in America.

Thanks Ms. Hinman for influencing me to carry on my poetry writing ability. I will visit GHS every year when I can to thank all of you for all you have done.

Aside from the teachers, I will always remember those who always showed me respect and kindness. Tanya Nicaise and a little lady named Sherry Ryder are just two of those people who went to school with me through the years who were always kind.

To those who tormented me all those years, Thank you for making me tougher for the rest of the world. No hard feelings here any more.

Good luck to the class of 2003 and my warmest hellos to the class of 99. Hope to see y'all at the reunion in a matter of 6 years.

Take care and God bless
PN3(SW) Tia M. Harlan

From: Shawn Farrell
Email: farrels@cox.net
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2003
Subject: Galesburg then, and now

I have been reading many letters on the Mother Burg site, and finally decided to put in my 2 cents. I was born, and raised in Galesburg. Elementry school at L.T. Stone; middle school (3 different ones, but 2 years at Steele); Churchill Jr. High; and finally GHS. I hated my school years there (many did hate school for different reasons); mainly because of others. I graduated in 1986, though I was supposed to be part of the ’85 class (my fault) and left town soon after.

Galesburg then (to me) was a dead end. I moved around out west, and am now currently in the Phoenix AZ area. The last time I was in Galesburg was in the fall of 1992, and nothing had changed much. Still kind of sleepy compared to Seattle WA (where I was then), and Phoenix.

But now, in less than a week, I am returning for another visit. The past 2 months planning the trip has been a trip down memory lane; some good, some bad. I think on how I still despise the people who made my life hell during school, and growing up. How I should seek therapy for the feelings I have (not). What those people did to me helped to form me into who I am today, and I have learned to like myself. It would be hypocrisy to say thank you, so I won’t. I could have done without the pain and been fine, but the past is beyond our control.

Since my family is coming there for a visit, I thought to look up some news about Galesburg. The news was sad. Maytag, just like every other corporation in America today, is more concerned about bigger profit than supplying jobs to earn more profits. Maytag says "We can go to Mexico and pay pennies to workers; avoid benefits and high overhead and make billions!!!!" What no one stops to think of is this: Who is going to buy the product made? If all of our jobs go out of the country, how will Americans make enough money to buy the products made in Mexico; China; Taiwan? Who will pay the cost? Not I, when my job is "outsourced".

Enough. Galesburg has survived so far, and may still survive further, I hope. I had thought of trying to move back to raise my child in the city I grew up in, but with the economy this way, and Maytag leaving, it is probably a pipe dream. I am actually ashamed (to a point) of owning a Maytag washer and dryer.

Shawn Farrell

From: Patti Hendricks
Email: patti_hendricks@hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003
Subject: ma burg

I didn't know that this site was here, but glad to find it. I spent most of my life in Galesburg until six years ago. I grew up on Willard street and attended Silas Willard, Churchill and Lombard. Graudated from GHS in 1978.

I guess the home memories will be in my soul forever. I remember kiddie land, attended Bethel Baptist church, looked forward to weekend trips tho Virginia's Ice cream parlor, Climbing the weeping willow tree behind our house it was the goal to climb to the top which I did several times. I was some what a free sprit growing up I am sure that I made my mother age from the things I did.

I always knew that I would some day move away for good and only visit on certain occasions. I do remember being in the thrift shops from a early age collecting old clothing and items of value. It has turned into a passion that I still do in my travels. I remember sinking my dad's fishing boat intoLake Storey with Bruce Toal, Jimmy Jonyer, and Michelle Wolfe, only to go back and retrive this after the lake was drained that year. I remember cross crountry sking on bunker links golf course in the wintertime. My fondest memories are when my father was alive he used to take us to Lincoln Park to ice skat,e packing hot chocolate and blankets and of course sledding the hills of the park. To the Spoon River to go fishing and teaching me to dehead the catfish!!!

Kent Westerfield, do you remember when you got stuck into the rivers whirlpool? I have been blessed to remain friends with several burg residents but I am glad to say I have found by moving away I have advanced in my profession and don't think this would have been possible had I stayed in ma burg.

I am pursuing advanced degree and have pursued my passion of vintage clothing and items that I will be putting into a website soon.

Again, Wish that the city council would see that by not bringing into galesburg new businesses the city has not been productive. The residents need to obtain jobs on a not who you know basis but on their true abilites. I think this has also been a setback.

Although I have my daugther and granddaugther in the burg, I still like to think someday they too will realize the need to move on and leave the good memories. Ola to you all!!

Patti Hendricks

From: Jan Gerstner
Email: gerstner@execpc.com
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003
Subject: If ever I return. . .
Date: Wed, 09 Jul 2003 18:58:40 -0500

G'burg, 1947-67

Brown Avenue, a block from the RR. Once a month the coal-burner, flames from its stack, "chuff chuff chuff". . . looking for still-hot coals in the tall grass, looking for the nickels and pennies we put on the rails for the wheels to flatten. Mr. Woodly in his Gypsy Trailer. The corner of Brown and Fremont, where the sidewalk started. Quiet nights, with a gentle south wind, the sound of the rail yards. Mile-long trains. The "headwaters" of Henderson creek, by the old haunted house. The awsome, austere feel of the post office from the seat of a Schwinn Corvette. The whoops and dips of the bricks as they heaved from the heat and passing traffic, on Broad and Cherry. The drug store and soda fountain downtown, on a Sunday afternoon with my mom. Spudnuts. Sitting at my bedroom window, looking toward the "nut house" and smelling the hot tar on Dayton. Long rides on the Schwinn and the previous Sears, to Lake Story, stopping to steal golf balls from the water trap. The wonderful aroma of Silas Willard, and the China man who taught us all the Yo Yo, and carved a horse on mine. The all-electric house. "Mexican town," and Senora Ponce who fed me tamales alongside her children. (Muchisimas gracias mi "Mama." Te recuerdo.) Standing on the public square with my parents as the library burned, and the fire department cried with frustration as the water pressure dropped, and their hoses sputtered. Sitting on the roof of the Knox Women's dorm as the old high school burned. Learning to swim in the old high school pool, from Mr. Art Fish. Everyone had to be nude. The "Run," from the bowling alley on North Henderson, to Main, slowing to a crawl to cross the heaving RR tracks, up the hill past the grave yard, around the square, pass by Marty's Pizza, back to Main, start it all over again. Sultry summer Friday nights at the Eagles, teen bodies lining the walls, daring to dance, clustered at the door, meeting, planning, dreaming, talking, gazing, longing, hoping, fearing, waiting. The awful highway to Peoria, speed limit 65, heaving side to side in a '58 Chevy. Thirteen Curves, and Lover's Lane. Lake Braken, and the day Kathy wore the swim suit which became transparent when wet. Running along Henderson Creek, deep in the ditch and trying to stay up on the slippery tiles when it was rushing with a heavy rain. Fourth of July fireworks over Lake Story, and the night one backfired and burned up the whole thing. Somebody was badly burned. Rodney, who badly sunburned his feet on the beach. The reverberating echo of '50s and '60s rock in the pavilion, wet feet on the sandy, cold floor. Looking, and "not looking" at swim-suited bodies in its cool shade while sipping a Coke. Breakfast at The Huddle. Racing the length of the new runway at the airport in the middle of the night in a '59 Buick, lights out. The Beetles. The A&P, every Saturday morning with the '54 Chev. The elms, OH, the elms. Bob M's Victorian home, and the others north of downtown. The Mayor's house every Thanksgiving, and the Grove theater, with the lovely ladies in diaphanous veils; converted to a church! My red sports car stuck on a snow drift on Seminary, by the YMCA. Steve W., Galesburg's James Dean. The Pizza House, which my parents liked better than Marty's. Watching the firemen spin down the pole. The old police station on the Knox campus. Pounding, heaving, swaying, shouting chanting, roaring at basketball games. That was me on the sideline with the Graflex. What a camera. Thanks, Mr. A. Woolworths, and my first record. 33 1/3 album. Followed by a collection of Elvis 45 originals. Still have them all. Roy Rogers at the Orpheum, and finding a 2-cent piece, 1871, in the street. An ice cream soda at the fountain on Fremont for 10 cents; then 25 cents; then 50. My dad was outraged when they reached a dollar. We'd walk there from home - over a mile, before he got the Chevy. The old wooden, rounded-over bridge over the RR on the east side of town. Knoxville. The old brick yards. Bruce N. and his blindingly fast '58 Corvette. And the MGs he restored. Chandler, Martin, and the others who gathered on hot summer nights, on country roads between the steaming corn fields south of town to drag race. The night the guy with the Mercedes suffered a blower meltdown. My first exposure to the smell of melting aluminum. The time the local judge "ate" his shotgun, resulting in a local lawyer holding court just when I got my first (of many) speeding tickets. "D'ja do it, son?" "Yes, sir, I did." He grins. "Ten dollar fine, five dollar court costs." My dad, suppressing, for the moment, his anger, pushes me out of the way and throws the money on the desk in the musty, wood-paneled office above the Pizza House as we hear through the open windows, cars start through the intersection when the light changed. The lawyer puts the ten-dollar bill in one pocket, the five in the other. My dad drags me down the narrow stairs, futilely explaining how lucky I was. Ron's father was doing the same thing to him. Bob M and I at the home of two sisters we were dating. I was trying to kiss without banging my teeth. My apartment on West Street, when I worked for the City repairing streets. Second floor. No AC. Opened on a courtyard. Bullet hole in the wall. The old Illinois Power generation plant just to the other side. A girl sub-let from me for a month. Who were you? Neat place. Anyone who didn't see it, really missed something. They ran it only on rare occassion, to be sure it still worked. Working for the telephone company, splicing cables in man holes. Knox College. Drafted when my grades weren't good enough to get into grad school right away. Vietnam, fighters; tactical airlift. A career flying. Still do, in another capacity. Hardly ever go back.

Dennis. Billy H. June W. Ralph D. Gloria G. Karen R. Elaine L., whom I later dated, and lost. Jimmy S. And Jim W. Netza P. Don, who spit. Yolanda H. John F. Roger D., my best bud (Where are you, Rog?), and John F. . Rob S. Jim M., who moved to NJ. The beautiful Beverly L. Stewart F: his mom and mine were best friends. Russ M. "No Bull" Steve S. Ron R., my "drag racing buddy." And, of course, Officer Fox and his club. Steve, son of the former mayor. "ZZ." John D, for whom I performed a "re-up" ceremony in the USAF, after Vietnam. Mike F. Darrel A. Darrell C. Elaine E. Marilee A. Sharon A. Don B. Nancy O. Dianne P. Peter B. (I loved your mom.) Maria Carlota Pinhiero Maia. One a murderer. One dead in Vietnam. One early dead of disease. One rich. Bruce R. Roxie R. Roger C.z.: HI ROG!. Jim S, and the whole "S" family, up the street and one block over. "Jim," the biggest little man I eve knew. La Vina D'R: I hope you're very happy. Fritz M. Hey, Fritz, I still have a piece of your pencil in my hand.

Mr. John Aitchison, who got his wish. Sanford Flickinger. His wife was my sixth-grad teacher. Hageman and his personal pronunciations. Fred Jones and Geometry. Chauncey Kenny and his "My airplane can out-drag your hot rod." (And it could.) Edda Prats - Muchisima Gracias Senora Prats. Te debo mucho. LaMorne Hickey, an unappreciated neighbor. Dena Saaijenga (If you weren't there, you can't pronounce her name.) Wm. Sullivan, Jr. High and High school. Geo Lundeen: Fooled you, didn't I?

Fooled them all.

Jan Gerstner

From: Lori Boynton Hoffman
Email: PHoffmansr@aol.com
Date: Sun, 27 Jul 2003
Subject: Class of 1973

Just last week I missed my 30th class reunion. But thanks to my cousin, Karen Boynton Cratty, I have been kept abreast of the events. I did however attend my 25th and 20th. Fortunately, my grandmother, Lucy Hedrick, still lives on Maple Street and keeps me posted on the local doings.

I miss Galesburg and that HOMETOWN feeling, but as we all know life takes us on a journey to places we need to be. I have found a home in Wellington Florida and I am newly married to a magnificent man, Paul Hoffman, a chocolatier and entrepreneur.

Recently we opened our own Collectible shoppe, called Hoffman's Collectibles and Treasures which can be accessed on the web: www.hoffmanscollectibles.com. My love of the winter holidays, as is Paul's', is felt throughout our shoppe. The warm Christmas spirit is such apart of our lives.

Even though I've been in Florida for 18 years, my heart belongs to Galesburg and the memories of wonderful Christmas Parades down Main Street, standing outside the Post Office on very cold winter days. Shopping sprees Down Main Street, (pre Mall days) were so memorable. Carson Pirie Scott, Klines, Lindstroms and O.T. Johnsons, were just a few great places to shop. I even learned to parallel park on Main Street!

Donald Boynton, a Galesburg Firefighter, was my father and my mother, Shirley, was a teller at Bank of Galesburg. My father is deceased, but my Mom lives in Dewey Arizona. My sister, Judy and brother Brian, both live near me.

At times my mind takes me back to days I so easily remember and wish to return to, but fate/reality keeps me present.

Thank you for the opportunity to visit memory lane and the great feelings of my childhood and birthplace.

Hopefully, my husband and I will soon visit Galesburg and say hello to some old and valuable friends.

Until we meet again, Gentle Blessings,

Lori Boynton Hoffman

From: Sharon Henson Huffaker
Email: thuffaker@tds.net
Date: Fri, 3 Oct 2003
Subject: A former 'Burger

Grew up in Galesburg and graduated from GHS in 1967 and married my high school sweetheart - we left just long enough for him to serve his military duty after being drafted, returned in 1969 and stayed there until 1985 - when he lost his job at OMC. There are places I remember as a teen - Marty's & Teen-a-Go-Go are 2 that come to mind - does anyone else remember the dance hangouts on Friday/Saturday nights? We had lots of DRUG FREE and ALCOHOL FREE good times. Just a lot of kids dancing to good rock and roll music, with some nice romantic slow dance thrown in. No one worried about someone slipping anything into their drink and the phrase 'date-rape' was unheard of. Memories of those days past make me think of an old song - "For the good times............."

We still come to visit since our families are still in the 'burg. With grown children and now grandchildren, we don't get back as often as we would like. I am bringing a friend "to town" the last weekend of the Scenic Drive this year - It will be fun showing her around. She is from New Hampshire, but we both now live in Tennessee.

Isn't is funny - when we lived in Galesburg, I NEVER participated in the Scenic Drive - now I live 500 miles away - and the reason for the trip IS the Scenic Drive. Go figure.

A note to Jan Gerstner - I think the John F. you are looking for now lives in East Peoria. He is/was a mail carrier for the USPS. It was really fun reading all the things people have to say about Galesburg. It was a great town to grow up in. I began my academic career (?!?) at Bateman Elementary & transferred to Mary Allen West in 2nd grade. Jr High years were at Lombard and then on to good ole GHS. I've never made it back to one of my class reunions - but would like to. It seems like something else is always comes up and we can't make it. I hope to make the next one! My husband graduated in 1965 and has NEVER even gotten information about any reunions. Does anyone out there know if the class of '65 has a reunion committee we can contact? He would like to go to the 40th that would be coming up in 2005.

I guess that's it for now. Oh! I found this site only because I typed "Mother Burg Salve" into a search engine to see if anyone knew what it was and if there was any where to purchase it. There is someone who mentioned it in one of the posts - and that's how I got here! Still haven't found any salve, but I did find a fun place to visit when I want to read about Galesburg! Thanks Zephyr for giving me another place to browse!

Sharon Henson Huffaker

From: Cheryl Boren Counts
Email: Campcounts@aol.com
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 2003
Subject: I've been missing Galesburg

I found this site a couple of months ago and have wanted to write sooner. I'm not the most exciting letter writer. But I would love to find some old friends from Galesburg or even some new ones.

I lived in Galesburg for the first 14 years of my life at 1719 Brown Ave. (still remember the address, but can't for the life of me remember the zip code!) Went to Silas Willard, Lincoln Middle School, and Lombard Junior High before moving to Southeast Missouri in 1981. I always liked school, but it's Silas Willard that I would love to see again. It is such a unique old school. I remember the big bay window that was in my kindergarten classroom, the two playgrounds, the painted brick walls, the huge gym, ice cream socials (where you could win GOLDFISH!), the lunch lady pulling the bad child by the ear (never forgot that), I haven't forgot all my teachers, especially my 5th grade science teacher at Lincoln Middle School - Mr. Sappington. I'd have to say he's my favorite teacher.

I dearly miss my two best friends from Galesburg - Debbie Agans and Mary Nemeth. Some of the other friends I'd love to hear from - Marcia Derry, Carol Park, Andrea Richards. These were my friends from elementary school on, but there were many more I'd love to hear from. I was in band at Lombard Junior High and it was a blast. Right before I moved, the Lombard Junior High Band won a concert compitition. I remember us all singing "We are the Champions" on the bus home. We also sung "Leader of the Band" to our band instructor Miss Leonard. Does anyone else remember that?

Besides my friends from Galesburg I also miss.....the brick streets (perfect for writing on them with chalk), Swedoughs donuts (I want a clam soooo bad, Do they still make those?), Lake Storey (the pavillion, the swimming dock, the wonderful fireworks over the lake, the playgrounds, ice fishing, the paddleboats), Lake Bracken (the beautiful bridge, the fireworks over the lake, the beach, the swimming pool and swim caps), Canton Cafe (haven't had chinese food like that ever), Rib Shack, Steak -n- Shake (the one where I live doesn't seem the same), walking to Northside Drug for penny candy, riding bikes all summer long, hide -n- go seek (with any neighbors yard, front or back, being in the game), hanging out at the mall with my friends, even better - hanging out at the rollerrink, Q93 and the busy signal (ha,ha), our little Halloween party at Suzie's house (if you were there you know what I'm talking about!! HeeHee), all the trains (I tell my kids all the time how you can't drive anywhere in Galesburg without being stopped by a train, or going under or over a train), the snow (hardly see any here), downtown (sidewalk sales, Calico Cat, the department store that had the elevator man or woman -don't remember the name, railroad days), Gates Rubber Companys Christmas Parties and picnics (they were HUGE and probably deserves a whole letter by theirselves), Lincoln Park, the Research Hospital (it was right down from our house, escaped patients in housecoats), Nancy's Tumbling Studio, our dentist - Dr. Long, crunch cones (haven't found those here either). There are just so many things I miss about Galesburg. It's a wonderful city and am so glad I got to spend my childhood there!

One more thing I miss and tell my kids about is the big concrete water tower on Florence. That thing always scared me as a kid. Get this, I was scared lightening was going to strike it and the whole thing would come crashing down and flood the city!!! Ha ha! As I got older we would ride our bikes around it. Talk about getting dizzy! Is it still there? If anyone has a picture of it please e-mail me it. Please.

I live in Cape Girardeau, Mo. Have been happily (most of the time) married for the last 13 years and have 2 wonderful boys. I work at a hospital here as a Surgical Technologist. I love it most of the time, but sometimes surgeons can be ***********!!! I would love to find some of my old friends. Please write. Sorry so long.

B.F.F. Cheryl Boren Counts

P.S. Sal Santamaria - I remember a Eddie Santamaria. One of my friends had a crush on him. He was pretty cute. He rode our bus while we were in Junior High .

Kelly Kilgore - I remember you. I think we might have been in Mrs. Inmans class together. I remember taking a field trip to Bishop Hill in 7th grade. Even if you weren't in any of my classes, I still remember you.

From: Tia Payne
Email: PayneT@psalant.navy.mil
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003
Subject: A reflection

Dear Mother Burg,

I was reading the Register Mail online this morning and a reflection came to mind. I no longer reside in Galesburg or even Illinois anymore. I am a sailor in the United States Navy and a mom-to-be-now. Two stories brought back memories. The main one was the mentioning of an old classmate from Abingdon who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Marine. I can still recall not so long ago when Chris Norvell and I were just like the kids he visited recently. We watched on our tv sets as Desert Storm raged on so far away from us. It seems so hard to believe sometimes that we were those kids. The other story that caught my attention happened my Freshman year. I read that the Lady Streaks of 1995-96 were possibly going to the Hall of Fame. I can still remember being in the band as a freshman watching them drive away to state competition. I guess you could say that so much news from back home reminds me of all that I have lived to see in my short 23 years of life. I guess for those of us who have left home and have remained gone for a few years, storied like those bring on a moment of reflection just to see where we have been and where we are going. I think that is the advantage of leaving home. For the record, I hope that the 1995-96 girls get their induction because they were one of the best teams that GHS has ever had. Just a reflection.

PN3(SW) Tia Payne, GHS Class of 1999

From: Mike
Email: Highlander----@webtv.net
Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003
Subject: A reflection

Dear born there

Well, some forty-one years ago I did have the opportunity to be born August 16,1962 in the city of Galesburg in the county of Knox. Now, I couldn't tell you much about the fine city, as I was adopted some eight days later and have never made it back. But thanks for having me as long as you did, otherwise I could have never made it to where I am today, Thanks........Mike

From: Brad Townsend
Email: csr2@thedesigndsk.com
Date: Wed, 17 Dec 2003
Subject: Miss the Most

Dear Mother Burg,

Though your prime has long since passed, your subtle charm still lingers. A charm that long time residents say no longer exists, somehow remains despite years of recent failure. And even though I return to Galesburg several times a year to see family, I continue to reminisce and treasure days past. These things I miss most:

My folks, Nelson's sno-cones, Lombard Junior High School, Douglas School, Gale Ward, OT Johnson's, Sears downtown, Calico Cat, Coop Records, the Santa Claus trailer on Main Street, Jimmy Crown, Coney Island, Il Primo's Pizza, the old 4th Street bridge, the old Farnham Street bridge, Steak and Shake (both of 'em), cruisin' McDonalds, Orpheum Theater, Streaks Basketball, Belscot, Arland's, Kresge's, Little King, grandma's house, grandpa's garden, Custer Park, the Christmas parade, Flavor Freeze, Hi-Lo Grocery and of course, the Drive-In.

As the future of our hometown remains in question, the value of each memory is compounded. And though images begin to fade as time passes, the name Galesburg will always bring a warmness to my heart.

Brad Townsend
McHenry, Illinois

Send a Letter To Mother Burg
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 1998
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 1999
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 2000
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 2001
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 2002
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 2003
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 2004
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 2005

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