Letters to Mother Burg 2004

From: "john"
Email: johnny@maplecity.com
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2004
Subject: the 'burg

What a nice site, thank you Google & Zephyr. growing up in Galesburg, ill with two older sisters and a wise mother and hard working father was what it was suppose to be....enjoyed the American beauty every Sunday after church, spent a lot of paper route money buying xmas gifts at O.T. Johnson.............I played and messed around the burg for fifteen years, I hated the dividing lines the city established and the degree of who was who and who, who wasn't ....lake bracken was fun, lake rice was boring and lake storey pavilion was the greatest.........my parents taught me to see and respect color & gender...this helped my management skills as a executive in the real world.... john thiel was a friend, art fish was a teacher, a father and a man..........c.c. was always busy, chuck b. was always busy, but took time to listen, Coney island-yes-brad's yes, professional wrestling on main street was unbelievable and so was stk n shake.........my first year of high school was shattered by polio, my wishful thinking of being on a sports team was gone...........many friends were scared that they may have polio by association... didn't happen......I graduated from GHS...work on ships on the great lakes to pay for a education, got educated after I received my degrees, employed & retired...came back to the burg 30 years later and found the line in the sand was Losey street.........and GHS sports is still important...thanks to all for the memoirs.

From: Greg Godsil
Email: ggodsil@martekbio.com
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2004
Subject: Memories of the 'burg

I grew up in Oneida, but of course tell people Galesburg, as if that will help! Here are some of my memories of Galesburg (and Knox Co.):

Galesburg (and ROVA!) basketball.

Mr. Laubach’s woodshop class at R.H.S.

Sherrill Swanson’s haircuts (the best I’ve had anywhere). Nice, quiet country roads for some fun (wink, wink) Bunker Links and Oak Run too.

Summer baseball and our Babe Ruth team getting screwed by the Galesburg team.

Summer league basketball at CSC.

Coach Swanson’s tough basketball teams.

The Knox Co. basketball tournament & the Turkey Tourney when it was big Kurt Bell, John Davidson & Tom Meredith, Rick Woodside, Steve Johnson & Nate Lansing.

The cruise from McDonald’s on Main to McDonald’s on Henderson, over & over again.

The Mall (is it still considered one?)


Lincoln Park, Custer Park

July 4 at Lake Storey

Whatever happened to Railroad Days?

Wiggle and Wag (great radio)

The drive to the big town (Peoria)

Jim Sundburg

The Register Mail

The Drive-In

Greg Godsil
Sales Manager-Foods & Beverages
Martek Biosciences Corporation
6480 Dobbin Road
Columbia, MD 21045

From: Ted Green
Email: tsgreen@mchsi.com
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004
Subject: Galesburg

My name is Ted Green and we lived on 79 Silver Street until 1959 (moved to Florida).

Born in 1947 Cottage Hospital. Grades 1-6 Farnham School (was a patrol boy in the 6th grade). Watched the trains go under Farnham Bridge. Loved getting ice cream around the corner on Main St. First grade teacher was Ms. Myers; there was a Myers Tobacco Shop in town. Went back to visit in May 2003. Had a great trip.

Ted Green

From: Tanna Haynes
Email: tsrhaynes@sbcglobal.net
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2004
Subject: Galesburg memories


I am not from Galesburg, but had a very dear family member from there. He sadly died last year, but he shared with me many wonderful stories of growing up and living in and around Galesburg. I am wondering if anyone is still out there that remembers some of these people, places, things.

My dear Uncle, Jess Barlow, was born and lived at 12 Chestnut St. throughout his young years.(mid 20's to 1941).

"East Enders" Merlyn "Buzz" Buzech, Les Webber, Bob Scott, Andy Geanbenis, "hambone" Hamilton, Eugene Bernston, "Weenie" Sandburg, "Pud" Lohman (spellings may be off, please forgive me).

The Circus unloading animals, wagons on RR siding at Farnham St. probably in the mid 1930's.

Climbing up on Washington Addition School to ring the bell.

7 or 8 boys from Galesburg hitched to Peoria to join services in 1942, among them were, 1 joined the marines (name not mentioned), 2 joined the Navy (names not mentioned), 1 joined Coast Guard (name not mentioned), 1 joined Merchant Marines(name not mentioned, the rest joined the Army, George Horaney, Cub Harding, Johny Alreado, Jess Barlow. Johny was killed at Anzio.

After WWII "Augies" tavern, ran by Augie Duloca; Olsen Brothers, Broadway Hotel, Sportsman Club, eating at Alacazar and Smokehouse where Crow and Bill Nicholson cooked.

Ora Ray, Ralph Courtright, Henry "Hank" Kohler, "Buzz" Buzech & Jess Barlow lived at Y after WWII.

Jess married Mary Dennis and lived on N. Kellogg St. in the 1950's. He also remembered a story of Al Capone being in Galesburg, as a policeman hid in the Dennis' bushes watching for him. The Dennises lived on Broad St.

I encourage each of you to share your stories. The people and things of the past only live on thru the telling and retelling of stories. Some think their stories are too mundane, but everyday people make up the history of this Country. Thank You for such a wonderful site! Would love to hear from anyone who remembers any of these people or places.

Tanna Haynes

From: Louise Anderson
Email: catlou@tnh.net
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2004
Subject: My Home Town

I had written before and guess what, one of a school friend of my oldest son, Larry Burkhalter E-mailed me and wanted to know Larry's e-mail address, so you see we can find friends we haven't heard from in years. I haven't lived in Galesburg for 20 years. My children's father worked at Burlington Truck Lines and when they closed we moved to Louisville,Ky. I now live in Florida and three of my children still live there. One son, Steve, lives near me as also my brother, Philip North, whose wife Ethel passed away this month.

I stll miss friends like the Hoffmans and Mathews families who live in Knoxville. Just a few lines hoping people I know will read this.and know I will always have a spot in my heart for Galesburg and Knoxville.

Louise Burkhalter Anderson

From: Buck Montgomery
Email: steelcowboy28@hotmail.com
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2004
Subject: Mother Burg

Well, I was certainly surprised that there was ANYTHING about Galesburg, Illinois on the internet, but I guess every town has something to tell. I grew up on the outskirts of Galesburg in Warren County, Kelly Township. An area that has been settled by some member of my ancestry since 1794. My memories of town were mixed I guess. I remember going to Ken's Coney Island with my dad and devouring 4 or 5 hot dogs and a cold Royal Crown Cola. The place is still there and they put out a great dog, but somehow its just not the same.

I remember bringing in our corn and soybeans to consumers and all the cool things I saw at the grain elevator, well cool to a farm boy anyway. I remember thinking how sad it was that they tore down the old railroad depot. What a wonderful old building it was.

I didn't realize till much later that Galesburg was and probably still is run by the wrong people. I have vivid memories of how some banker decided to run a lot of family farms out of business and give it all to a couple of other farmers who were no doubt in his back pocket. I didn't know just how crooked the rich folks in Galesburg were until I left.

I have traveled and worked all over the country nowadays and it really shocks me when I go back home to find a little more of my past gone forever. Mostly due to some over paid "Genius" brought in by the city to make Galesburg something it will never be, A big deal!

It saddens me when I hear of all my old High school friends who have passed away. It seems like the class of 1979 must have a curse or something. I never go to my class reunions, so I don't know who is still around or not. I guess its just real life, the things that have happened to my Galesburg. I can't change them, but sometimes I wish I could. I grew up thinking that I was in a really big town and not till recently did I realize just how little my world there was. I miss a lot of people there and they seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate. I don't think too much of my old classmates. I don't hold a grudge to those who were mean or picked on me, that happens when you are a kid.

The truth is, I never thought much of them when I was there. I have made my mark in the world, I have so far had an incredible life and few regrets. I happily served my country and I am now an officer with the United States Naval Cadet Corp.

I wish I had the ability to make Galesburg what it was in its Heyday, but too many people there got greedy and ran all the business out of town. I think it will someday prosper again, but it will never be the same. Don't get me wrong, I'm not really bitter about Galesburg. I have many very good memories about the place, but my life there is over and I can't change that and I wouldn't even if I could. I just hope the townspeople there remember what has happened to their town.

The Bible say's "the corners of the fields are not to be reaped, and the sheaf accidentally left behind was not to be fetched away, according to the law of Moses. I think that is what has happened to my hometown of Galesburg, Illinois. I think too many people took all there was to take and now they have nothing left. I wish them the best. For now, I'll be happy to remember the good times I had there, and the good friends I left behind. God Bless them all.

Curt Miles, LTjg. USNSCC
class of 79

From: Donna Williamson
Email: DonnaW@AIKComp.com
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2004
Subject: Letter to Mother Burg

I've been reading the Zephyr online now for years and have always meant to write this letter eventually. I guess the time has finally arrived.

After moving to Galesburg in 1976, I grew up in there with my two brothers, Vernon and Carl. We were raised by our father and life was not easy as anyone who knew us or our father knew. We were the Hunborg kids and we were frequently in and out of trouble. We lived primarily on West South Street and ran with an older crowd for the most part (Ricky Clark, Jeff Hendricks, Wardell Cato, Becky Goodwin, Jean Riley, Milo Johnson, Allen Jones, Randy Touchette, Leslie and Regina Richardson, Randy Upton, Tina Shepler, Ralph and Rose Calhoun, Vaughn Falls and his sisters, Tracy Neal, Vicki Johnson, Cissy Driffell and her sister Starr and their brother Troy Driffell, Penny Skaggs and many many more). Drinking was prevalent as well as pot and speed in our crowd. My husband's parents and younger siblings lived just down the street from us and his youngest brother, Dino Williamson, and my older brother Vernon were best friends. His other two younger brothers, Busse and Chris Williamson, were also part of our group.

Looking back, I loved growing up in Galesburg and had things gone differently in my life, that's where I planned to raise my daughters as well. I graduated in 1985 with my class despite a few roadblocks I had managed to put in my own path (quit my sophomore year about 2 weeks before the end of the school year, was expelled my junior year but brought back on probation). I have to admit that I could not have done it without the assistance of many people at the high school: Mr. Phil Trapani who helped arrange a correspondence class for me to take to make up a credit, Mr. Fitch, Ms. Sullivan and Ms. Willabell Williams who were my counselors through my high school years; Ms. Barb DeVena who spoke up for me at the expulsion hearing with the school board which ultimately allowed me to return to school in a probationary status; Ms. Lorraine Seggelke who gave me a job in the audio visual department my senior year and paid me out of her own pocket; and many more. Without their help I wouldn't have graduated, much less on time, and many of them managed to find ways for me to afford graduation items (cap and gown, graduation mug - which I still have, announcements, cards, tassels, and even my diploma itself).

We live in Louisville, Kentucky now having moved here in mid-1996. I love it but do get back to the 'Burg a few times a year. My girls and I still have family there as well as some of my old friends from my teens and I just love to visit. My younger daughter always says she's moving back there when she is old enough. I wish the schools and teachers here are as devoted to going the extra mile with their students as GHS and Churchill faculties were for me. It must be the smaller town influence there.

I'd like to say that the kids were as great to me as the teachers were but why lie. I was, for the most part, treated as an outcast by the majority of the student body both in junior high and high school. As we all know now, kids can be mean and I wouldn't wish your treatment of me on my worst enemy. We were raised on public aid as Dad didn't work and we didn't have the nice clothes, etc, and our classmates made sure we were aware that we didn't meet their standards. While it would have been nice to be accepted as being human, lol, I found that the friends I had more than made up for the treatment we received. I did have my own select group of friends, many of whom I'm still good friends with today. A few years after graduating, I did become friends with a number of the girls who wouldn't speak to me without sneering in school as I worked at a bridal shop and helped them either with their own weddings or weddings they were a part of. The old days and old ways are all forgiven and forgotten.

I can remember getting in trouble by our father for riding our bikes out to Lake Storey on nice summer days while he was at work when we lived on North Cedar. It was always worth it though. At that time we lived close to Swedoughs and loved going there, if only just to smell -- lol. My brothers used to deliver the Register Mail and won a basketball hoop and backboard when I was 9 I think. Later when I was about 12 or so, they each one a trip to Six Flags from the paper as well. I tell my kids now, who complain about walking a few blocks to school that I used to have to walk from South Street all the way to Churchill, rain snow or sun. They just laugh at me and say "yeah mom, we know, up hill both ways" - lol. We're looking at buying a house here in Louisville and I can't help but compare them to the houses there in Galesburg.

For those interested, my brothers and I have all turned out very well as have many of our old friends. Vernon is currently a Sergeant in the Army and will be retiring in a about 5 years (He'll have been in 23 years at that time). Carl lives here in Louisville, having followed me eventually. Contrary to what was expected by many to become of me, I work for an attorney and at one time worked for the Probation and Parole here in Louisville instead of being a client of theirs - lol. Tracy lives here in Louisville with her family. Leslie, Cissy, Troy and Starr are doing well as well. Jeff Hendricks and his family became a second family to me and he's the reason I moved to Louisville, He's doing well also.

I've enjoyed reading all the letters to the 'Burg over the years and have seen some from people I knew from the old days. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers us. Also, I would love to find Tina Shepler again. We haven't seen each other since our children were little and she was married to Tim White at that time. If anyone knows any of the people I've mentioned and would like to contact them, let me know. I know where all except for the two Randy's, Vaughn or his sisters, Regina, Milo (aka Mike), and Penny. I'd love to hear from any of them.

To those kids who made my life rougher than it already was, thanks. You managed to take away more of our own self-esteem than was already gone but without you doing that, I wouldn't be the person I am today and I really like who I am. To those people who were there for us when we needed someone, many, many thanks and undying gratitude come your way - without you showing us that someone did care what happened to us, we probably wouldn't have turned out as well as we have. A special thank you to Officer Eddie Barragan - you showed me kindness, consideration and friendship that I greatly needed. You also let me know that you were there if I needed you and with my home life the way it was, knowing I had that safety net was priceless.

While we live in the big city now, I will always call Galesburg home. It was a great place to grow up and live.

Donna Hunborg Williamson
Louisville, Kentucky

From: Deb Smith
Email: hawkinson55@yahoo.com
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004
Subject: Memories of Galesburg Past

Who can remember Lincoln Park when there was a black bear in a bear cage tucked into the side of one of the rolling hills and the gold fish pond back in the corner of the flower garden? How about Kiddy Corner, Galesburgs biggest toy store in the late 50's. I remember Saturday morning art lessons there. Golden Cream Dairy. O.T. Johnsons with the smell of hair perm solution filling the air, a crowded lunch stand and the only elevator operator that I'd ever seen.

Entrances to business on Main St. that were in the basements of buildings, big iron railings with steps down to the doors. Galesburgs' Amusement Park, Kiddyland and of course the Kiddyland light. Does anyone know that the train from Kiddyland is now housed in the Discovery Depot Museum here in Galesburg? I caught a glimpse of it one day when I had my grandson in the museum for a visit. I got chills up my spine and remember riding that train and watching for the kiddyland light out my bedroom window.

Irv's lunch stand, right next to Sears Dep't. Store which was across from the Post Office. Buying 45's at Lindstrom's on Saturdays. Neighborhood grocery stores in every neighborhood. Milk delivered. Doctors making house calls.

We never locked our doors even when we went away on the weekends.

Silas Willard school, Mrs. Ginegar teaching us sight reading (instead of phonics), we were an experiment during the early 60's. (still can't pronounce anything I haven't seen before).

Shotts neighborhood store where we stopped for candy on the walk home from school, Northside Drugstore who had a small lunch counter. Grants is the place I miss with their hot dogs that no one has been able to top to this day. Specially grilled buns made by Lucky Boy Bakery that was on Main St. back then (if my memory serves me right on that one).

I can still remember the fires downtown but was too young to know which was what burning, the old Galesburg High School, the Public Library or the Broadview.

There are fond, fond memories of this city and sadly I didn't get to hear the old folks in my family talk too much about the older days of it. I'm sure there was many many stories to hear as the family goes back to the middle 1800s.

My father did tell me stories about the dances that he attended as a young person on the rooftops of buildings in downtown Galesburg. And I hear alittle about the old shows at the Orpheum Theatre, which by the way, was where my very first job was as a 16-year-old. I won't mention the year on that though.

I'm the last one alive in my family that still lives here in Galesburg. Sadly I'll be leaving here soon. It's a huge loss that I'm grieving over already. It's home with very, deep roots and many happy memories. May she live long and prosper.

Deb Hawkinson, Great Grandaughter of Hawkin Hawkinson, Great Neice of Peter Hawkinson.


From: Trudy Ring
Email: trudyr_1999@yahoo.com
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004
Subject: Letter to Ma Burg

While my desire for big-city adventure led me to leave Galesburg eventually, I certainly have some great memories of growing up there. A lot of them involve downtown. I just heard about the death of one of downtown Galesburg's finest merchants, Fred Schubach; that made me recall what a pleasure it was to shop in his store. It had the best-quality merchandise in town, and I could afford it only at the twice-yearly Dollar Day sales--but what a joy those were! Grabbing up beautiful dresses for $10, separates for $5 or so. I wish I still had some of the clothes I bought there (although I wouldn't be able to fit into them anymore). Mr. Schubach was always gracious and polite when I saw him in the store; I also knew his two very nice daughters, Ellen and Terri, at Galesburg High School.

Oh, then there were Frankel's, Fleck's, Kline's, Gerwig's (another of my favorites), the Rogers, Bloomquist, and Bowman's shoe stores, a local Carson Pirie Scott, the Grant's and Kresge's dime stores, and, of course, the store that I would guess most Galesburgers remember most fondly--O.T. Johnson's. My sister, Judy Squires, and I like to say that when we die and go to heaven, we'll meet our mom waiting for us in O.T.'s luncheonette. We had so many Saturday lunches there--oh, the tenderloins, the fish filets, the malts, etc. (OK, fashion and food are my obsessions.) And how we loved the shoe department, the dress department on the second floor, the cosmetics department (which stocked brands you couldn't find anywhere else in Galesburg, like Charles of the Ritz), the jewelry department (right where you walked in), the O.T's Burg sportswear department, and the toy department in the basement. And for a while in the late 1960s, perhaps into the early '70s, O.T's had a hip little boutique on the second floor called The Spot. It made me feel so trendy and with-it to buy clothes there!

Sometimes our family didn't have enough money to shop at regular stores, but we frequently got great bargains on used clothing, as Mom was good at finding treasures at the Salvation Army store and always knew where the best rummage sales and yard sales were. I remember going to rummage sales on Friday nights in a storefront on South Seminary Street; it may have been the building that now houses the Landmark, but if not, it was definitely in that block. And the Temple Sholom (of which Mr. Schubach was a leader) had the top rummage sales in town.

I'll end my memory lane journey there, but will pick up later with such matters as matinees at the Orpheum and the West, ice cream at Virginia's (which our family always called Fogarty's, for the onetime owner, Carroll Fogarty), french fries at Nash's, the rides at Kiddieland, etc.

Trudy Ring
GHS Class of '72, now living in Burbank, CA, after stints in the Quad Cities and Chicago

From: John and Tere (Powers) Norris
Email: Jnorris60@aol.com
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004
Subject: Dear grubselaG

It was great finding a site about our hometown. When we travel back to Galesburg, we always say we're going home to visit...even though collectively we have been away from Galesburg (on and off) for 30 + years...That sounds like more than it is, because we moved away again most recently in 2002. Let me clarify the "we", John and Tere (Powers) Norris. (Okay, my husband is making me type in that you either loved him, or you hated him, but he sends his warm wishes to both friends and enemies. If you know him, you get this.) I on the other hand, hope I have more friends than enemies and would like to say a special "hello" to Cindy Lewis -now Kitchen, and Candy Postin and Lori Morgan, and all the other Landmark gals... Also, hi to Jim Currie, Kerri Mann, and Monica Gardner. Mrs. Cheryl Hinman ( freshman English at GHS 1985), I am an English teacher now, and you were a big inspiration, thank you.

I would love to hear from anyone else from GHS or Churchill who graduated (or not) in 1989. Okay, enough of her babble, this is John now...reading through the letters, I know the one from (MR.) Steve Harlan-Marks...my former English teacher at GHS. YES!!! I remember you fondly and "secret squirrel". The owner of Under the Sun Headshop wrote an article in his underground newspaper about secret squirrel, about claims from students that he must be a MEG (multi enforcement group) agent. Thought you would get a kick out of that. By the way, didn't you also teach a film class at GHS?

If you happen upon this email, old friends, don't hesitate to get in touch...Matt Hoben, Dan Bick(my old childhood buddy), and any other 1979 pals. We decided what we miss the most about the burg is the brick roads, Swedoughs, Cony Island dogs, sliding down suicide hill in a deep winter snow, seeing plays at the Orpheum, spinach bisque at the Landmark, and the sound of train whistles.

Take care to all, John and Tere.


From: Scott Scholz
Email: scottscholz@yahoo.com
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004
Subject: Old friends

'twas interesting to see the letters from some of the folks I knew back in Galesburg. I moved there in the summer before 6th grade. My father was a salesman (later to become sales manager, then general manager of Kanartex), and Broad Street was a neat, safe place to play.

I still keep in contact with a few folks--but they too have moved away. I went to Bradley, then to the Air Force (stationed mostly in the East and Midwest), and now Texas. I finally managed to hit every state in the union when my wife attended a medical conference in RI.

I finally did pick up a degree--from SIU--with about 340 semester hours listed on my transcript! Ok, so I liked taking courses....

I'm now in Paris, Tex. .. .and yes, the hotel commercial showing an Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat is an accurate picture. One street here reminds me of Galesburg--the old Victorians on the tree-lined street, but a good portion of the town was destroyed by a fire, and later a tornado did it's worst, so most of the town is mid-forties or newer. A shame.

What I remember about Galesburg:
Lincoln Park
Lake Storey
the elm trees all down the streets--until the Dutch Elm disease hit
Train trip to play the Christian Brothers at Quincy (heck of a poker game seemed to be going on)
the brick streets
the neat older houses
working the college summers for the Water Dept Tom Kammerer and I getting our draft numbers (5 and 10) and hitting some homemade beer that night.
the Coffeehouse at Ferris Furniture
the bus to go sandbagging on the river (1969)
the Pasteur Society's 1968 Chicago trip
Ken Phlamm
The Spencers
4AM--the crisp, clear, bitingly cold mornings that were so quiet that you could hear your own heartbeat when I had a paper route from Broad to Seminary and Losey to Fremont.

Good Memories.

Scott Scholz, MSgt, USAF(ret)
GHS Class of '69

From: John Cooke
Email: jcooke@Cherrydale.com
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004
Subject: The Bests

GHS Class of '69

Galesburg is, without a doubt, my most favorite place in the world. I have lived or gone to school in other places like New Orleans, Chicago, Colorado, Indiana, Utah, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Tennessee (my second most favorite place) but G'burg still remains as the best. Amazingly, this is also true in the minds of my children who have never lived there. The visits to Grandma and Grandpa's did the job for them. Galesburg is a great place you should be happy you live there. John Cooke

John Cooke
Allentown, Penn.

From: John Sollenberger
Email: gigscribe@yahoo.com
Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2004
Subject: Cindi Drasites' letter re: Nelson's

Hi All! I was doing a google search the other day, trying to find some of my old Galesburg buddies, and I stumbled across the Zephyr site and Cindi Drasites' letter about Nelson's. Wow, did that bring back memories.

First, some explanations are in order. My name is John Sollenberger, and I never actually lived in Galesburg, except for a short time in college back in the fall of 1970, just passing through at Sandberg waiting to transfer to Western. We were country hicks and I lived in the countryside and small towns out between Galesburg and Peoria and graduated from Williamsfield High in 1969.

However, in the '60s, I got a job at the old Parkway Drive In and started playing in a rock band with the owner's son. The two jobs led to me making lots of friends in Galesburg, and I ended up hanging out there and had more friends there at one time than I actually had in Williamsfield.

At about the same time I started playing in the band (a guy named Woods was the bandleader, and son of the Parkway owner), I met my first steady girlfriend, a girl named Cheryl Myler. She lived just a couple of blocks or so from Nelson's, and we'd always go there for sodas and stuff when I'd be at her house visiting.

It was a great old place, and I remember thinking that you really didn't see many places like that; even as far back as the late '60s, those kinds of little Mom and Pop places were fast becoming relics.

Anyway, I'm living in Pasadena, CA now, working as a writer and part-time musician.

BTW, I recognized Cindi's last name. I used to be a big sports fan, and wasn't somebody named Drasites a sports star at GHS back in the '60s?

Anyway, Cindi's letter stirred up some old memories, and I just had to write and tell you guys "Thanks!"


From: P.J.
Email: pj718@sbcglobal.net

Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2004
Subject: My family

I lost touch with my Dad and big brother after my Mom died. My Dad remarried Lola Faye Wingo. I remember being told Galesburg was an old folks town cause there was nothing for the young-ins to do but I used to go to the West and the Orpheum theaters. Then we got big and got that ol mall out there . I came back about 5 years ago and my old house was changed. The entire town has changed. I remember the water on W. Losey Street being so deep the folks would take out the john boats to go up and down the streets ... and going to the penny store and the white house to get all that candy. I lived on W. Losey and Marston which was a dead end street. Now with a beautiful church standing. I was a L. T. Stone kid and a graduate of GHS and the first Silver Streak was designed by my brother, Roger Berg, God rest his soul. My Dad's farm house was known for the large lady on the side of the barn I, too, was a Lake Bracken brat :). I hope you can let me know if my Dad is still with us. His name is Virgil H. Berg

Thanks and love to Galesburg

P. J.

From: Bill Andrews
Email: woodwrk1@yahoo.com

Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004
Subject: The American Beauty Restaurant

This letter is a follow-up to Mother Burg letter #82 from Tim May sent in January 2002. In it, he recalls many details about people and food at the American Beauty Restaurant. I have many fond memories of the Restaurant as well. I am Bill Andrews, the grandson of the Greek candy maker Jim Anas (shortened from Anagnostopoulos) and my Greek grandmother Christine (nee Poulos) who was the baker. The owners, George and Jean Poulos were my cousins on my dad’s side.

Every summer in the late 1960’s, I was invited to leave Chicago and spend two or more weeks in Galesburg with them. My parents would drive me there via Route 34 or on the C.B. & Q., which I preferred, since I was fascinated with railroads. What better place than Galesburg to see trains all day long from the Burlington and Santa Fe. To satisfy my interest, my grandfather took a walk with me every other day south along Seminary Street to the Burlington Depot on warm summer evenings to see the Denver Zephyr arrive from Chicago. I kept peering east down the tracks for that bright pulsating headlight while eating a Fudgsicle from the station vending machine. The power and size of the train with passengers going across country was so captivating to me. The question in my little kid mind was how to con my grandfather into taking me to the Santa Fe Depot as well!

Workdays started VERY early for my grandmother the baker. It seemed like it was six in the morning when she walked to work to get her ovens busy. I went with my grandfather to the restaurant a few hours later. After arriving, I would greet my grandmother, as she was busy making what seemed like a thousand fresh cinnamon rolls in huge trays. Some people like to start their meal with bread and butter, but I think a lot of American Beauty customers came for the fresh cinnamon rolls, among many other reasons. I would help peel and core apples for the many pies she made which included at various times apple, cherry, peach, lemon with a huge mound of toasted meringue, lightly toasted coconut cream pie, rhubarb and others I don’t recall anymore. I helped load them on the dumbwaiter and set them on the glass shelves for patrons to enjoy.

For many years, my grandfather was the candy maker for almost all the candy the American Beauty sold. The amazing thing about his job was that he was a diabetic! I helped him make several candies such as caramel for the caramel cubes, stirring a sugar confection that became the vanilla center in hand-dipped chocolates and dipping peanuts in chocolate for peanut clusters. I placed hundreds of candies in little paper cups. Later in the afternoon, in an air-conditioned area, I helped my grandmother pack dozens of one and two pound boxes of candy for sale by the cash register. My grandfather also made one of my favorite candiesŠDanish Mints. Carrie Poulos who was George’s mother, was Danish and that solid chocolate mint was named in her honor. They were similar to a Frango Mint today, but much better of course! I always wondered if Frango Mints were an unabashed copy of the Danish Mints.

I met wonderful people at the Restaurant as well. Everyone treated me so kind. The waitresses were beautiful women and I always wished I were older to go out with them!

It was sad the Restaurant closed. I understood the Bank of Galesburg wanted the space and so the American Beauty’s days were numbered. A long time has passed since those days. George and Jean Poulos passed away a while ago. My grandfather James passed away in 1970 and my grandmother Christina passed away in 1992. She continued to make her special pies and strawberry-topped cheesecakes for family parties for many years afterward.

All good things come to an end, and my memories of the American Beauty and Galesburg will always be special for me.

Bill Andrews
Naperville, Illinois

From: Adam Ruehmer
Email: adam-ruehmer@augustana.edu
Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2004
Subject: letter to mother burg

Hey Norm. I saw this section on the Zephyr site, and had to give my input.

I'm writing this email from a house at Augustana College. Although I'm only 45 minutes away, I can still miss my home. Growing up, my friends and I always talked of how boring Galesburg is, and how we hated it and couldn't wait to go to college! (because Rock Island is so much better and all) It wasn't until I went away to school that I realized my fondness of that small midwestern town. Galesburg was a great place to grow up. I still see the kids I grew up with from time to time. We talk about high school and the summers spent playing jailbreak all night. We talk about the friday night football games, and the AWESOME girls basketball team that we traveled around the state every Thursday and Saturday to watch play. I came home for the GHS homecoming game this year. I looked over to the student section and remembered my friends. I say to the current kids living in "the burg", cherish it. You'll realize when you leave how much it really means to you. I know Galesburg High is a crazy place... it really is one of a kind. When I tell stories about GHS to my friends at school, they don't believe most of them. My friends from high school and I have coined the saying, "GHS... you had to be there".

When I do get home from time to time, I make the regular stops. In the summer, we still get to Castle Cream pretty much every night. We still go out to the spillway and talk for hours. We remember growing up. That's all we talk about anymore. The best friends I've ever had and ever will have are from Galesburg. We'll always have that no matter where we are in 10 years. In the words of Will Ferrell, "You stay classy Galesburg".

Adam Ruehmer

From: Ardie Wingo Scott
Email: ArdieNGA@aol.com
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004
Subject: Mother Burg Christmas Is What I Miss, From One Of Her Own

Mother Burg, Christmas, 12-17-04

Well, what I miss about Mother Burg is the downtown area When I was younger, in my 20s, I remember going Christmas shopping with a friend, Bill Wessel, and it was snowing so hard, and the whole town was full of people who here walking the whole town, Christmas shopping, in and out of every store in town, looking for just that right gift. The Spirit of Christmas was everywhere. No one minded the cold and blowing snow. The whole town was in the spirit. You could hear it in the laughter and joy that came from all.

That is one of my most favorite Christmas. Nowadays everyone runs inside malls or superstores and misses all of the winter joy of shopping. It was such a simple time back then. All of the town lit up, and all faces lit up too.

That's what I miss about Mother Burg. I live in Georgia now and have for over 20 years, but do miss all the joy of a small home town, adn all of the family and friends, and the family gatherings & reunions. There's no place like home for Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all in Galesburg and surrounding areas.

Sincerely Yours,
Ardie Wingo Scott

From: B B
Email: jeger2006@yahoo.com
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2004
Subject: Seasons Greetings

It has definitely been a long time since I was in G Town. The Burg was my home during my Jr and Sr HS years and thinking of the time I spent there brings back fond memories of many friends that I have not seen in such a long time. Hopefully all is well with all and you all have way too many kids to count. I have bounced back and forth in the US and to and from Europe on the touristy trail the last few years and came to the brink of moving away for good. I guess my heart is in the good ol' USA. Thinking of the years I spent in Galesburg are a pleasant respite.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year,

Brent '73

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 2005
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 2006

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