Letters to Mother Burg 2005

From: Phil Everist
Email: Pweverist@aol.com
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005
Subject: Nice surprise to find this site

One of my internet favorites is "Newspapers of the World on the Internet". Yesterday, I came across your Zephyr site. I left Galesburg in 1948 after GHS, and really never came back except for college summer vacations and then infrequent, short visits. After college I spent eleven years in the Navy, thirty four years in the steel industry, and now seven years in retirement. I've lived in quite a few places but mostly in towns about 25 miles east of San Francisco, California.

What I remember most about Galesburg are the World War II years. As a railroad center we had many "troop trains" passing through. Sometimes one would get held up in town and we kids would converge on the train. The soldiers would give us money for food, we would remember the car number and run to the nearby Beatrice Creamery (Name??) and bring back milk or ice cream until the train moved out. One summer late in the war or just after it ended I worked washing cars at a gas station. A "drifter" came through and worked with me for a few days. He had a badly disfigured, burned face and hands. He said he had been in the "D-Day" landings at Normandy, his burns had occurred on the beach and he woke up a few days later at a hospital back in England. Then he disappeared. I've often thought of him and wondered how the rest of his life turned out.

I met my wife in California through a Galesburg connection. She went west after Iowa State with a Galesburg girl- Mary West- to work in retailing. Mary was the only person I knew in California. Another Galesburg connection. When I first moved to Moraga 15 years ago, I ran into a guy on the street in a sweat shirt with KNOX on the front- yes Knox College. He said he often wore logo cloths from Knox and was frequently stopped by people, including in faraway countries who knew of the college. Fred Kupperman graduated from Knox in the 60's.

Phil Everist
Moraga, CA

From: Carlos M. Gomez
Email: CarGomez@Bellsouth.Net
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2005
Subject: The Burg

Secret Squirrel...that was hilarious! I had forgotten about the Assistant Principals given alias. The name alone conjures up mischief and just plain ole good times. What other name would you expect for an Agent of the Principal? And who can forget all of the torture that kids can inflict on each other let alone the staff at GHS and Lombard. haha Anyone else have recurring dreams where you are at an empty GHS trying to open your locker where the combination does not work? Or is that just me? ; )

I remember all of the sweet summer dayz hanging out at the lake by day and the square(circle) by night in search of teenaged fun. Of course the group that I hung out with created a name(Friday Knights) that we went by just to be cool. Then Officer now Captain Lindsay May thought that we were a group possibly on par with the Hells Angels. We were not and he probably did not but we sure ran into him a lot. One of our group of gladiators drove around the circle square continously for quite some time one night until our friend Lindsay showed up to watch then stop the world record attempt.

Of course cruising the strip was the best. I would jump into my 69 Chevelle SS 396 and pretend to be a playa. As luck would have it, I bought it for 275 bucks! Some of the guys back then had some outrageous ridez! Who had the 70 Monte Carlo 454? Later my good friend Dave bought the Chevelle from me and turned it into a show stopper.

Anyone else hop some of those slow moving trains just for a thrill? Naturally, I am surprised to some extent that I am still breathing but I recall having quite a lot of fun in Galesburg. Of course it appeared quite mundane at the time but quite action packed on reflection.

Now I install and program PBXs and network stuff but sure had fun in the Burg.

Carlos Gomez (The yearbook has me as Carlos Gomer...bad form! ) Class of GHS 1980


From: Judy Boynton
Email: jd1207@hotmail.com
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005
Subject: maburg

Thank You to The Zephyr for all the memories. What a blast from the past!! I went to Weston Elementary, Lombard and Churchill Jr and of course our beloved Silver Streaks. And all the partying.I often wonder who of my old buds are still in the burg. I remember cruising Main and Henderson Streets, Lake Story and Bracken, pontoon boats, June bugs and the 4th of July. I graduated in "77" and moved to Scottsdale, Ariz. month later. I went to work for The Hertz Corp and moved on to Palm Springs, Denver, Los Angeles, back to Phoenix then to New Orleans andended up here in Palm Beach since 1989.

I have not had the chance to return to the Burg since "77" but am planning a trip in the near future.

A big hello to all my buddies...I miss you all...Please mail me.

Judy Boynton

From: Steve Van Nest
Email: threecarblack@webtv.net
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005
Subject: Old Friends

I moved to Galesburg in 1974 from Ohio. I had a ball in the burg. I am forever grateful to some good old friends. A person only grows up once, so those people who make a difference in your life matter. People like Larry Whitman, who i shared an apartment with. Charlie Chukes also lived with us on main street. Larry had a bad 69 mustang that we would cruise the loop in until dawn. Jim Anderson had his black Duster 340. Mark Johns had his bad old corvette. Mark Oakman and his 454 pickup truck. We had a ball. I knew allot of good people in them days. People like Steve Olsen, Bill Myers, the Wilmot boy's Mark and Matt. I remember all the crew at Gunnies Tap. I wish i knew where these guy's are today. If anyone knows the whereabout's of any of these people give me a holler. We should never lose track of old friends. Thanks Galesburg for all the memories, I miss that town allot.

(Nester) Steve Van Nest.

From: Ken Ritter
Email: ralpher@earthlink.net
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005
Subject: Memories

Was born and raised in Galesburg, till age 17, but were for the most part good years, was also from the south side of town, same block as Douglas school, went to Lombard JH the GHS.

I have very vivid memories of Salmon’s grocers (forgive spelling) my grandparents ran a in home grocery store for many yrs on S Pearl street. Mom’s donut shop, and my dad’s job at meadow gold dairies, hi lo was a block away, the cb&q roundhouse offered many hours of adventure exploring the humps and hoping trains to ride the cars being sent to their place in line. There was a park down farther south at the edge of town then, with a pool, was a favorite summer hangout, but the best was the ride on the schwinn bicycle down Broad Street to the lake, with a pole and trunks. Fishing and swimming is what summers should be for young boys.

I delivered papers for the register mail in early 60’s, got enough money for a car and then the cruising started and greater adventures, the east Galesburg brick factory, St john coal mine fishing. I still remember the night cruise route, steak and shake turnaround, next to Wong’s Chinese, back on main past square, see who was parked, then on out to Henderson street then McDonalds, the 19 cent burger then, can’t imagine how much tire rubber we kids laid down on that route.

I can remember the sadness when the old library burned to the ground, what a great loss, so many great thought of mine came from those books. Also worked at Sear’s parking lot handing out tickets, then Gorham carpets, learned my first trade there. My mom worked in a restaurant between the two; I think it was called Irv’s ; it seemed as a boy the whole downtown district stopped when the World Series was on the TV, one of 4 channels I believe (pre cable/satellite).

I will mention a few friends here, but am very regretful for not keeping up with them all these years, Steve Johnson, we learned from each other, Donald Mundy, he taught me about being all alike , no matter outward appearances, if you notice I don’t mention many friends , because there were few. I was taunted as a kid because of my size, it could be put that I was an egg with legs, But some good became of it, I never ridiculed any person for their looks, so even bad taught me good.

I hope I got most of the place names right, it’s been a long time but one thing is certain Galesburg was a fine place to grow up in those years. I sincerely hope it still is. People are still people all over the world, but it seemed in those days a lot were concentrated in Galesburg.

Ken Ritter

From: Nate Mims, Jr.
Email: Wkmims@aol.com
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005
Subject: god I miss home

Well, I was born in galesburg in 1974. I graduated from G.H.S in 1992 and moved on to go to the University of Iowa. I have so many memories of Galesburg. As I've often times said here in Iowa City, I'll beat someone if they say something bad about my home town, although my own comments have often times been far from positive. I love all the city. It taught me so much, from how to relate to others to how to interact with myself. If it wasn't for the lesson I learned on west fourth street, never would be able to survive in the world today. Anyway, I still have plenty of family back home, and I am certain that I'm not quite done with Galesburg in my life. So until the day I come back, remember me fondly...

Nate Mims Jr.

From: Ardie Wingo
Email: ardienga@aol.com
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2005
Subject: I miss hearing from the GHS Class of 1966 & ole Friends from around the area

Well, I miss hearing from all of the old friends I went to school with in Galesburg High School and the Junior High, and Grade School's, also from Lillian Taylor School too! I miss hearing how their life's turned out, and where they are now. There are a lot of memories I have of those days, would love sharing them with ole friends. I never met a stranger felt like all where friends. I remember Lester Pritchard a good friend I grew up with, and all the fun we had as children playing at his parents home with his family. I remember when he came to see me later in life, when he was in college, just drop by, what a nice surprise.

Also remember Bonnie Jean Porter and the fun we had in school, and in the play we where in, and all of the teacher's there, and all of the other students too.

I remember my first speeding ticket (my one and only one) I was on the highway with Gaileen Hoots and we where going to graduation, and a plain car came up behind me keep getting closer and closer on the old road from Wataga, I thought the person was drinking so I drove a little faster, they kept coming, and I drove a little faster, then put out a light. What a graduation gift...........ha! ha!

I remember in Junior High (well I went to both transferred from the one to Churchill) Well, I remember one of my friends in class kept taking Pictures of me, every time I turned around. I was forever blushing, One of the Watson Twins. Also remember Connie Westfall, ( Rosemary Horkstrom, she was in California the last I heard from her, would love to hear from her again. )

I remember the special times we had in High School with all of my friends. I remember the Roller Rink, and going a lot and all of the fun we had there, and all the friends from towns around Galesburg. I remember the main street and all the way out to l Lake Storey we all used to drive every weekend. I remember Grandview and all the fun working there, also all the fun before the Skating Rink. Also Teen A Go Go, and Pepper Mint Lounge, and The Eagle's Teen Dances, also the singing talent they held there, for teens to sing. I remember the Teddy Bear Club, I believe it was called. There is a lot that I remember about Galesburg, and all of the good times there. I had a lot of good friends there from school, an from the surrounding towns, to many to mention all, but you know who you are! I would love to hear from all that I went to school with and other friends I made over the years too.

Feel free to E-mail me, in the Subject: just mention your name and Ma Burg. Let's share ole memories of Galesburg and the Good Ole Days!. We do get back to Galesburg every now and then. I love what they had done to Lake Storey, and the Camp Grounds too. We enjoyed our stay there, when we came home to Galesburg. We had plenty of room for our motor coach there, some camp grounds we have stayed at where hard to get in and out of, but Lake Storey was so nice, and Shaded too, and very friendly.

Ardie Wingo

From: William Mohnen
Email: Mohnen_William_L@cat.com
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005
Subject: Ma Burg

My name is Bill Mohnen. I grew up in Galva, and used to cruise the streets of Galesburg during the early 60's in a gold '57 Chevy. I dated a girl in Galesburg at the time.

From: John Peter Creighton
Email: johnpc93@alltel.net
Date: Sat, 21 May 2005
Subject: from Tattnall County, Georgia

I just submitted "Galesburg" into the Collins Living Dictionary, and am waiting for the entry to make the appeal stage. By the way, anyone now can enter words through their Word Exchange. It's lots of fun. I hope to become a lexicographer, though it's fun just being an amateur at it.

Enjoyed the letters, though the submissions seem to be slowing down this year. What's up people?

I haven't thought much of the town until late. Maybe with older age, and having lived some harrowing experiences and lived to recover, I am in the reminiscing stage.

I've been on the horn lately to me ma and pa, on Willard Street too, recently. They're well, though the neighborhood as the town has changed much. My brother's still around, trucking and what not. I think I found one of the Rheinharts has posted a thesis for a Master's or something, on a runaway slave. Some of you may be aware that Lil Sis is alive and well in Catalunya, and makes regular pilgrimages back to the Burg, though she tends to get away to Chicago, Lake Bracken, and other exclusive hideouts in the country. Not-so-lil Sis is still with Mom, Lord bless 'er.

I'm living on a disability, 50%, while working at a local warehouse as an "inventory specialist." They trained me to operate fork lifts! Yehawww! You've heard of a major vehicle manufacturer's campaign, "Truck Love?" Well, I've got "lift love." Some of ours are Yale, though I've seen at least one Caterpillar.

Am back to writing too, now for The Glennville Sentinel. Did a story on the departing National Guard Troops. Got to use a fancy camera! We'll see, what comes next.

My best, to those of ye who knew me. Let us not be strangers. John-Peter Creighton

From: ralpher
Email: ralpher@earthlink.net
Date: Sun, 29 May 2005
Subject: Loose meat sandwiches

My mother worked at both OT's and Maidrite, out by Admirals, she had the recipes and they were passed on to me by her, I am a personal chef in Kansas, and still cook em today for movie night or game day for the family.

Mike Dysert letter #98, in 2001 is the one requesting this info, but his address is not a valid one, email me if anyone is interested


From: Steven Gabbert
Email: slgabbert@comcast.net
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005
Subject: Growing up in Galesburg

While growing up in Galesburg from 1958 to 1972 we lived at 1423 Lane Avenue. I attended Silas Willard Elementary School, then the middle school system started and I attended Lincoln Middle School. After completion of middle school I went on to Lombard Junior High. My family decided to move to Abingdon in 1972 so I finished up my schooling there graduating in 1976. Growing up in Galesburg was uncomplicated compared to what goes on these days. Everyone walked to school without ever worrying about some predator trying to take control of us. Everyone seemed to know everyone else and kept a watch over us. After graduating from Abingdon High School I joined the Navy and spent the next 26 years and 3 months seeing the world. I retired from the Navy in September 2002, just to go back to work for the Navy as a Civil Servant. I currently live in Oak Harbor, Washington.

From: Debbie Tasker,
Email: cougar54@bellsouth.net
Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2005
Subject: What I miss about Galesburg

Hi all, my name is Debbie Tasker, and here is what I miss about Galesburg. falling asleep to the trains in the hump yard building "rooms" in Mr. Gehring's cornfield next to my house. (I was a kid, sorry Mr. Gehring!!) The snow getting so deep that you couldn't get off our street. (Grew up on S. cherry st) Cruising from McDonalds to McDonalds

Going to lunch with Vicki Lefler and Layle Galaxy of Games!!

Going swimming in Lake Storey

Railroad Days

I live in Charlotte NC now, but love Knox County enough to come back in 33 days to have my wedding there! (marrying another from Galesburg to boot!!)

Debbie Tasker

From: Chester Wells
Email: Shoebe1964@yahoo.com
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005
Subject: 1980 - June 1988

When we first moved to Galesburg with a truck full of furniture and towing a small trailer with same. I stopped at the Fraternal Order of Eagles (#518) on Chambers St. and mentioned my having a possible problem unloading the items. Would you believe a number of the members followed me to our new apartment on Clark St. and an hour later the truck and trailer were unloaded and one of the brothers had the bed set up. Never had I experienced such a fine group of people helping people as I did that day. A gesture that I'll never forget. I became active as an Eagle and was their President 1984/85. I'm wishing my best to all the fine people that I was honored to have met the short 8 years that I resided there.

Chester Wells

From: Charlene Walvoord
Email: CWalvo@lsuhsc.edu
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2005
Subject: The Galesburg Project

I was so interested to see your project on the web. I was talking about Galesburg to a friend and wanted to give her some additional information and saw your listing.

 You would probably know if there is still a Mary Allen West Elementary School. It could not have been very far from our house which I think was on South South West St. or West South St. at the edge of Knox College.   

 My dad was an instructor in ROTC. Mid 1950's

 Anyway I do have some photos from a homecoming parade at Knox College. Also a picture of our school classmates on the front steps of the school holding birdhouses. The principal was a very elderly woman about 5 ft tall who wore rimless glasses perched on the end of her nose. She always wore black and scared everyone out of their wits.

 There were quite a few kids in my school from a nearby orphanage or children's home. 

 Do you know anyone who would like to reminisce about the 1950's in Galesburg ? Thanks and good luck on your project. Charlene

 Charlene Walvoord, MLS, CIP, CIM

Senior IRB Coordinator

LSU Health Sciences Center

(504) 568-4060

FAX (504) 568-8808

From: Kim Oathout
Email: paper_scissors_crop@verizon.net
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2005
Subject: Living in the burg

I was born in Galesburg in 58, at Cottage Hospital. Hey my brother is Greg Huss. Saw his name mentioned earlier. I am his baby sister. There were four kids in our family, Pam, Greg, Rod and Kim. We moved from there in 63 to Chillicothe. Our Dad managed the Gambles Hardware Store in Galesburg and bought a hardware store in Chilli. Even though I was five when we moved Galesburg made a huge impact on my life. I loved the park with the wading pool. Watching my brother play ball in the little league park. We ate at Steak 'n' Shake nearly every Sunday night. Our family also loved the Maid Rite. Yummy! Dad would take us to the Rib Shack, Kiddy Land and then to play minature golf. We lived on Phillips St., not far from the railroad tracks. We had a baby sitter, Mrs. Traft. She lived about right on the tracks. I loved visiting her at her house. Our mom always talked about the Swedish people in Galesburg. She loved her neighbors and having coffee every morning. Our family attended Swedish Covenant Church. I have memories of Greg riding me on his bike across the Farnham Street bridge. I am so excited to find this site. Hope to meet some more that knew us. This is a great link to our parents. Both of our parents are gone now. Dad passed away in 2001 and Mom followed in 2002.

Kim Oathout

From: Tim May
Email: timgmay@bellsouth.net
Date: Thu, 01 Sep 2005
Subject: Need more MotherBurg letters

Personally I think it is a shame that more people don't write into you and share their experiences of growing up in the Galesburg area. So many that have written grew up in a parallel word with mine only coming along at a different time. Some of the names that have shared are familiar to me even though I never actually met the person. People talk and share information in a small town and I figure a few may have heard about me also. The stories about the old High School and "Nelson's Confectionary" and Pearl and Ed, also the Custer Parks with their wading pools and baseball were near and dear to me. You know I was in Little League right up through senior hardball, I suited up and showed up and never played a game. The coach wanted to win and I was a lousy baseball player defensively and offensively, it is true. Stories from all around Galesburg make me feel almost as if I was home again for a little bit, but with the lackluster showing Ma Burg could get into the danger of extinction.

Well anyway, I reckon when we begin to grow old we worry about the most trivial things, but Ma'burg is great and I would love to see her not only remain but grow in popularity.

Tim May
Cherryville, NC

Send a Letter To Mother Burg
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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 2006
Read the Letters to Mother Burg written in 2007 and newer

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