From: Monica Van Liew

email: samuel96@gte.net

Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998

My name is Monica L. Gardner VanLiew and I am accessing Galesburg's only source of news on the web. I'm writing from Tampa, FL, where I have been for exactly 3 years this week. My fondest memories of Galesburg would include performing in the Orpheum Theatre. But on a more personal note: I learned an awful lot about Galesburg history from a wonderful man. Through his eyes I discovered the rich histories that lurked behind the somewhat neglected facades of homes and buildings. How things used to be.

Years and years ago, his neighbor, Gus the milkman, personally knew Carl Sandburg. (I always thought Galesburg and Sandburg were synonymous, but down here people say "Carl WHO?!?") Earlier this month, my Galesburg historian, my grandpa, passed away. I didn't go to his funeral. I had gone to see him earlier this summer (during RR Days, as a matter of fact). So much of what I know about our Mother Burg comes from him. And so much of who I am comes from him and Galesburg. It won't be the same without him, but thanks to him, I'll carry his stories and remembrances for the remainder of my life; no matter where I live. I will do my best to honor the memory of Gramps by imparting his words and his wisdom into my own small son. I love you Gramps.


Monica L. Gardner VanLiew



Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998

To: zephyr@misslink.net

From: Christine Curtis-Todd

email: unlisted

Subject: letters to motherburg-- greetings from Hoosierville

Galesburg is many things to me. Though I've lived many places, I will always consider G-burg my hometown. I moved to Galesburg at age 15 from Rockford Il. I soon embraced a community filled with friendly people that made me feel like I had always lived there. There was so much going on a GHS, that I didn't want to miss a day of school. I will always "sing" the praises of my favorite teacher, Mr. Hegg, for giving me the chance to be in his A capella choir and ensembles. I want to thank the people of Prairie Players Civic theatre for giving me the the pleasure of playing so many wonderful roles! From flying high in "Peter Pan"...to being in first cast to perform on the stage of the newly refurbished Orpheum Theatre in "South Pacific". The night I first stepped on that stage with an audience and began to sing my first song "Cockeyed Optimist"...well..it was a truly magical experience! Galesburg Community Theatre gave me the honor of playing two of my favorite roles Anna in "The King and I" and Eliza in "My Fair Lady" again at the beautiful Orpheum. Thanks to Jay Matson for giving me my first jobs when I returned back to the Burg. AHHH...who can forget all the fun we had at Lullaby Dads...those were the days...er ah..nights. Of course I'll never forget my years at WAIK/Q93, they gave me my first break into radio. ( I heard my commercials for years afterward on all the area stations.) Thanks to Video Media Productions for letting me get my feet wet in the world of tv commercials and industrial videos. And of course, special thanks to my dear friend Rossann Baker Priestley! I shall never forget touring the schools with her PAACE Children's Theatre Group. It was an extremely rewarding experience! (and..Ross..we'll always have Galveston..haha!) You and many other super people are why the arts are "alive" in Galesburg! This year's Class of '73 25th reunion was a blast...see you guys again in 5 years! Best wishes to a bright future Galesburg! You're always in my heart.

Chris Curtis


From: Lawrence A. Martin

email: MartinMinn@aol.com

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998

To: "LettertoMotherBurg"

Subject: Mediocre Galesburg High School I don't miss its mediocre high school.

Lawrence A. Martin, Class of 1957


From: Christine Curtis-Todd

Date: Fri., 28 Aug 1998

Subject: response to Lawrence's MOTHERBURG LETTER

High school is what YOU make it. (Be proactive! Get involved! Use your talents! Join some clubs!) It sounds like you're hanging on to some old baggage. Give it up and grow-up! You've been out of high school too long to be holding on to such resentment. Try going to a big city school. I did my freshman year. Riots, fights, overcrowding, etc! It really made me appreciate GHS.


From: James Symmonds


Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998

Dear Mother Burg,

I am writing to thank you for all of the memories you gave me. "Growing up on the prairie" and in Galesburg created ties to that time and that place that can never be severed. I remember GHS (if we don't win we are going to die) basketball, hot dogs at Coney Island, rain slicked brick streets and the wineglass elms that formed green tunnels over many of the avenues. I was there when Harry Truman professed his surprise that there were "ten acres of people" in Galesburg during his whistle stop campaign for the Presidency. I was also there that tragic night when the old Carnegie Library burned. There were places that held a special magic for me as I was growing up. Old Main on the Knox College campus was such a place. It sometimes seemed as if you could feel the brooding presence of Lincoln around the building. Carl Sandburg's home was a reminder that people from small towns (and small houses) could be talented and achieve recognition. Lake Story was the focus of life during the summer. Diving off the "high dive" on the swimming platform was a rite of passage for hundreds of Galesburg adolescents.

My strongest memories are of people like Charles and Neva Fach, who owned the Illinois Camera Shop located in the Weinberg Building, where I worked after school. They not only taught me how to work, but also an appreciation for art and the written word. They were truly extraordinary people. The Swedish influence was still very strong. In retrospect, it seems as if nearly all of my friends had names that ended with "son". I have often wondered why Galesburg has not capitalized on its Swedish heritage with the formation of a sister city in Sweden and ethnic festivals. I just wanted to tell you, Mother Burg, how proud I am of you and your abolitionist history, pioneering spirit, and tradition of caring. I want you to know that I am proud to be from Galesburg.

James Symmonds, GHS Class of 1955

Linn, MO 65051


From: Jeff Johnson

email: Goldguitar@aol.com

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998

To: zephyr@misslink.net


I have very fond memories of Galesburg. When I was a kid I used to visit my aunts and uncleŠ&7236;om Self, Lillian Self, Lottie Carlson, and I have a cousin in Galesburg now Bob Self (son of Tom Self (whom I loved so much as a child) who is deceased). I remember so. Arthur and the park where I used to go and watch the baseball games and kill mosquitoes to see how many I could get!All the lightning bugs that I never saw in Tucson where I am now. I miss the beautiful tomatoes and the fresh raspberries. My cousin Bob Self is a dog trainer and dog show judge and I remember something about Dr. TrimbleŠ I believe was the vetŠ ah Galesburg is a neat town. I envy all of youŠ til it snows hard! Jeff Johnson

P O Box 40602

Tucson, AZ 85717-0602


Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998

From: Judy Squires

email: rwentzel@sophri.cc.oxy.edu

subject: Hello Galesburg.

After living in the "Burg" for forty nine years, I made the choice to come to Southern California last fall after my twin daughters came here to teach school. I do miss friends and family in Galesburg, and my fellow workers in District 205- -note I said "workers"-- not administrators. I must say my daughters received a great education in Galesburg and were inspired by wonderful teachers-- David Moore and Ann Pennington, to name a couple. I especially miss the South Side of town-- Douglas School, Sandburg Birthplace and Bill and the great folks at Hi-Lo Grocery on South Seminary Street. It was a terrific place to raise my girls. Since being in California my sister and I have appeared on Jeopardy! She won, I didn't and we've had wonderful adventures, but Galesburg (with my childhood memories of Main Street and O.T. Johnson's Department Store) will always draw me back for visits.

Judy Squires

321 S. 6th

Burbank, CA 91501


Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998

From: Jana Riess

email: JKRiess@aol.com Well, here's a Galesburg experience -- I just read the other letters and I knew two of their authors from Prairie Players. (Hello, Monica and Chris!) I'm writing from New Jersey. I've been living on the East coast since I graduated from GHS in 1987, and yes, living elsewhere sure does make me appreciate small-town life in the Midwest. I work in New York City, and while it has been stimulating, I'm anxious to finish my degree and go somewhere *else*. I think sometimes that what I miss most about Galesburg is the sound of the trains at night. I find them so comforting. We have a commuter train that rushes by our neighborhood during the early morning hours, but it is not the same as those slow-moving freight trains. (On the other hand, I don't miss waiting ten minutes for them to pass when I am stuck at a railroad crossing.) I was chuckling at the comment about Swedish names in Galesburg. When I was married there, the photographer, the cake decorator, the florist, and the people who preserved my dress were all named Anderson -- and none of them were related to each other. :-) Kudos to the Zephyr on such a great website. It's great to read some news of home. Jana Riess


From: LeRoy Miller

email: ROY8889G@webtv.net

Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998

What do I miss about Galesburg ? Certainly not THE STINKING BURN BARRELS the selfish few kept in their backyards because "we always had one" (I see on the Zephyr page where "they" got it on the ballot this coming election.) Now if they can just find someone to help them make a X on the ballot. Sorta guide their hand. Neither do I miss the morons that got a big dog for a family pet and then staked it out in the back yard to bark at everything that moved out of sheer boredom. I do miss watching the city council on tv. It was better than a sitcom and they didn't even know it. Especially when Grandpa Gifford started his pontificating. You could take a nap and not miss a thing! I do miss the old railroaders and payday on Main Street. How the "cinders" flew! Especially in Louies backroom and the Alcazar. I guess my reference to these old establishments dates me but what do I care? It's better than the alternative. So hello to all my old friends and to those not so friendly, Have a nice day! LeRoy Miller

8889 Gerking Court

Indianapolis, IN 46256


From: Kenndra T. Marshall (Boyd)

email: stopde@pacbell.net

Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998

Hello Galesburg, I never knew you could miss a entire town, those old brick streets and that wonderful smell from the soy bean factory. I thought it was the best smell in the entire world, I loved that smell so much. And now all these years later I think now and again of the happiness that so many of us shared. Halloween was a fun time for us kids along West Third and Cedar Street, we had good clean fun and on the morning after we cleaned up our mess. I can see in my minds eye as my older brother Harold the cook of the family, made candied apples and fudge from scratch. And after all these years I can still hear the whistle's of the passing trains, and see the engineer as he waves to us kids. I still have family in Galesburg, my brother Lawrence lives on Main Street off Henderson and I have a cousin that I shall leave nameless. My background is from that small town village, where everyone knows everyone else, I often wonder what happened to the kids I went to school with. Are they still all okay and doing well, and how do they like the new Galesburg? Well you'll be hearing more from me, because no matter what they say you can go home and love every minute of it. Peace.

Kenndra T. Marshall (Boyd)


From: Robert Morris

email: flea97@hotmail.com

Date: Fri, 6 Nov 1998

My name is Robert Morris. I am 19 years old and I grew up in Galesburg all my life except for the last year and a half... My Junior year in high school I joined the Army and left for basic training on Sept 23 of 97. I am now a military Police officer serving a year in South Korea. I just wanted to write to tell some memories and to give some advice to who ever thinks Galesburg is not the town to live in. First, I remember back in the days of high school getting up real early to go to school to find myself 20 mins late and missing the bus to Building Trades... I remember going to football practice to find myself not playing in the big game because I was so small... I remember going to the fishing derby to help my nieces win a Barbie or a new fishing pole... and there are so many more.. some in which would not let me come back to Galesburg cause the police would be looking for me... But I want to say when you leave a small town, leave your family, your best buds, you leave a part of your heart there too.. My home will always be in Galesburg no matter where I end up with this Army.. I hope to get out and become a Police Officer back home one day to continue my life in my favorite town. Now for my advice... I always say never take anything for grantedŠ simple hugs, simple smiles from strangers.. to be able to say hello to someone walking down the street...You leave something behind and then you realize how much you miss the hugs, the cruising, the smells of the Knox County Fair. I miss Galesburg because I took everything for granted... Enjoy everything about Galesburg... Your most valuable possession can be gone in a sec. Thanks for your time...

Robert Morris US ARMY ROK


From: Ginny Seaholm

email: rgseaholm@globaldialog.com

Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998

Loved the article by Rex Cherrington on the Santa Fe Railway. Where was Surrey? Is there a four-corners left for recognition? 2.8 miles from Cameron? I share the nostalgia and stories of Galesburg. Last week, cleaning the basement of my 'memorabilia', I found some old diaries I'd written in, as a kid. Entries of ...."we went to town today"...and then where we went and what we did brought back visualization of lovely old homes of friends and relatives, great old buildings now gone, and Pralines from the candy shop toward the east end of Main St. What a treat for 10 cents. One memory..as a little girl, during WW II, was of standing on Main St., (near Penny Grocery or the Broadview) holding my mother's hand, and listening to talk of "the War" as friends stopped to chat. The phrase, "The boys say we just don't know how bad it is 'Over There'"rang out over and over. I would think, in my little mind, 'how exciting it must be to be "Over There." (My world was VERY small!). Now I have an idea how the song originated. And I now know it was NOT exciting to be "Over There."

I am in need of a plat book of Knox Co. Also of Randolph Co., Washington and Schuyler counties. I am tracking some original land plots from the early 1800s, of my family. These are signed by the presidents of the U.S. at the purchase time.

They are quite fascinating. I will purchase, trade, barter or beg. . If anyone has an interest try this web site-- (you may need to drop the 'gov' to get to the Bureau of Land Management. Illinois was recently added and it has many old names of Knox and Illinois' early citizens. Most states east of the Mighty Mississippi are now online. Thank you for this 'vehicle of opportunity' to share and compare memories.

Cheers, Ginny Seaholm

1017 E. Walnut St.

Horicon, WI 53032

ICQ #24984666

(920) 485-2917


From: Robert Morris

email: flea97@hotmail.com>

Date: Wed, 30 Dec 1998

Hello, Its me again Robert Morris and I am writing to share some more memories and advice to all the readers of this newspaper and homepage. I can say that Galesburg is a very special place to me. I, first of all, would like to thank the members of this newspaper for publishing my short story of the e-mail lI sent before... I received a lot of compliments on it.. OK on to my memories and advice... I remember in the great city of Galesburg my family and friends most of all... I remember going cruising with one of my best friends Billy Breesaw, going around and trying to talk to the girls only to be turned down.. But that's ok.. I remember hanging out with my other two best friends Brian Haneghan, Jason Milan *who is currently in the navy as a hull spec.*, and my Brother James Morris heading to a heavy metal concert in the cities.. having my car break down and having to find another car to go... I remember going to open lunch with one of my best buds Adam Marshall and coming back 5 mins till the bell running to our next class... I also remember being with my family... Enjoying everything we do together, in which I took for granted.. I love my family and friends so much I took them for granted... I love Galesburg and everything about it.. If someone says there is never any thing to do in Galesburg, tell that person to drive around any enjoy the scenes.. that stuff can be gone in a sec... You will never have it the same again...Just love it while you have it.. which that would be my advice too... just don't take anything for granted... A reader,

Robert Morris


Military Police

Send a Letter To Mother Burg

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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Last updated January 3, 2004