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Our sister Lynne went on another big camping adventure, this time to the Henderson County Fair in Stronghurst, Illinois, our hometown.

We hitched up the June Bug and headed west, with Lynne riding in my sister Susan’s Jeep. Our camp set-up was arranged in my childhood friend Eleanor Ann’s front yard, which is directly across the street from the fair grounds.

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When we were little kids, Lynne was unable to ride a bike, so she pushed the neighborhood kids around on their bikes before we could even ride them! And because Stronghurst is such a small town, Lynne was able to walk around and even go the few blocks uptown all by herself. Because of her friendly nature, everybody in town knew her, and many folks remember her to this day. So it’s a BIG DEAL when Lynne comes back for a visit. She was able to sit in the food barn and visit with some long lost friends, holding court and watching people come and go.

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On our first night in town, we enjoyed a fantastic fireworks show, and had the greatest seats in the house, right on the front porch.

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Fireworks and Tractors!

This year we weren’t about to miss the Tractor Pull and Figure 8 Races. As soon as the races began, I felt like I had found my calling. I now want to drive a beat-up car around a dirt track! And the people watching was fantastic. I think people crawled out from under rocks and drove over from the big towns to enjoy the destruction. It was LOUD and VERY DIRTY, and we loved every second of it. How could you not?!

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Fair Food!! The rib eye and pork chop sandwiches were the best in the world!

Fair Food!! The rib eye and pork chop sandwiches were the best in the world!

Last year after the fair, a guinea escaped and has spent the year in the Wisslead’s yard. Guineas are hysterical birds, kind of a cross between a turkey and a chicken. Evidently they make great watch dogs as they squawk loudly. I tried to get some photos of “Joe”, but he was pretty skittish and scampered away from me whenever I got close. Here he is:

“Joe” roosts on the windowsill all year long.

“Joe” roosts on the windowsill all year long.

The fellas golfed one day in Burlington, Iowa (where most of us kids were born) and we gals sat around the yard just laughing and telling stories from our childhoods. Our cousin drove up from Quincy to join us, and Lynne was absolutely in her own personal heaven!!

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The historic Raritan Opera House, built in 1902

The historic Raritan Opera House, built in 1902

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Our group made a few side trips to some local points of interest while we were in town. One of our favorites was the Henderson County Museum, where our dad’s WWII Marine uniform is proudly displayed.

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And no trip “home” is complete without visiting the cemetery, to think about our family members who have passed on and tend to their graves.

Lynne always wants to “visit Mom and Dad and Mike”, and we’re thankful she can’t read, because her own headstone is in place there. But isn’t this a sweet photo of her?

Lynne always wants to “visit Mom and Dad and Mike”, and we’re thankful she can’t read, because her own headstone is in place there. But isn’t this a sweet photo of her?

All the siblings visiting with our 93 year old cousin Lil in Kirkwood, Illinois

All the siblings visiting with our 93 year old cousin Lil in Kirkwood, Illinois

Free sweet corn up at the park. The brick house in the background is where our mom and dad were married in 1944.

Free sweet corn up at the park. The brick house in the background is where our mom and dad were married in 1944.

Supper at the Witch’s Rib, a fantastic bbq join out in the middle of nowhere near LaHarpe, Illinois

Supper at the Witch’s Rib, a fantastic bbq join out in the middle of nowhere near LaHarpe, Illinois

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Our week in Stronghurst was hot, humid, fun, and quite emotional. Bob commented that it made him wonder what his life might have been like had he grown up in a small town rather than the big city of Los Angeles. Who knows? But I sure appreciate the upbringing I had in this quiet little place.

Getting ready to say farewell, until the next visit…

Getting ready to say farewell, until the next visit…

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“Our hosts, Steve and Eleanor Ann Wisslead”

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Quincy Adventure with Lynne
Jackson Center Check-Up

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