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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Just Married, First Home, First Job After College

    by deecat Updated Sep 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In 1963 Allan and I graduated from SIU, were married August 10th, and started our first jobs as teachers! The photograph is an old picture of the apartment house where we lived upstairs{see the outside staircase on the right side}.
    I taught at Grayslake High School and walked there because our home was just a few blocks away. Allan taught in Lake Bluff, Illinois, and drove there.
    Grayslake, at the time, was such a small, rather rural town. There were hardly any places to rent. My school was also rather small. In 2003, Grayslake's population is 20,330. It was established in 1859 and is located in central Lake County approximately forty miles north of the Chicago business "Loop" and fourteen miles west of Lake Michigan. There is a 78 acre recreational lake right in the town.
    Grayslake was named Tree City USA for the tenth year in a row. Nature is important to the citizens of this city. They have bike paths, wonderful parks, and the city is contemplating additional trail systems.
    The downtown is located in the heart of the Village. It includes the historic downtown with its antique lighting, historic storefronts, and its "downhome attitude". There is an Aquatic Center, a Skate Park, Public Library, Senior Center, many fine Schools, and an active Park District.
    The Grayslake Metra Station serves the Milwaukee District North Line between Chicago and Fox Lake. It is also served the the North Central Line between Chicago and Antioch.
    The College of Lake County is located in Grayslake as is the new Multi-University Center Grayslake Campus and the Lake County Fairgrounds.

    Fondest memory: The two years that Allan and I spent in Grayslake is a time of fond memories. Our first apartment cost $95.00 a month and was located between the town's two grocery stores! I was given the first cat I ever had by my husband Allan, which began a long line of other cats in my life down through the years. Those two years were times of adjustment to a new place where Allan and I knew no one; a new marriage which we worked hard to keep "interesting"; and new teaching jobs which challenged us each day.
    We survived it all and smile when we think bad on those times in Grayslake.

    Our First Apartment in Grayslake, Illinois
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Once a Small College. Now, a Large University.

    by deecat Updated Sep 30, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: When I attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois, from 1959-1963, there were about eight to ten thousand students; today, the university has two campuses that total more than thirty five thousand. During my stay there, emphasis was on: Education,Culture, Physical and Spiritual Well Being, Social Growth, and Community Service in our lives. Southern was growing faster than any university in the country, It had already skyrocketed from a small institution for teacher training into a diversified educational center.
    I personally was studying Business Education with a minor in English. It was the English that won my soul; thus, I taught English for over thirty years after graduating.
    The Library, the Student Union, the Science Building, and Thompson Point Dorms were all brand new. I lived at Thompson Point where I looked out on the Campus Lake, and I had to walk from the main campus through Thompson Woods to reach my dorm. What a fantastic place to live.!I stayed there all four years; my last year as a Resident Counselor.
    I met my future husband there; I learned the importance of a well-rounded education, and I learned about the importance of the natural environment there.
    John F. Kennedy visited as a Presidental Candidate. The Four Lads and the Diamonds both entertained us there!
    I learned about Egypt since the area was Little Egypt. The yearbook is called Obelisk; the team mascot is the Egyptian Saluki Dog, Towns around Carbondale had such names as Cairo, Thebes, and Dongola!

    Fondest memory: Besides my academics, I was an SIU Cheerleader, a member of Pi Omega Pi (a national honorary Business Education fraternity, on the Social Council for my Dorm, and I served as a Resident Counselor for one floor in my Dorm.
    I especially loved the Campus Lake, which had been in operation for only two years. It provided swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking, and a place to commune with Nature. Only Southern's students & faculty were allowed to swim there. The Canoes, rowboats, paddle boats, a a surplus amphibian craft called the "duck" certainly provided fun. We could picnick around the lake on the ground or at one of the numerous Geodesic dome shelters. The Campus Boat House provided the setting for dances, picnics, and contests at SIU. Scattered around the lake were many cement fishing piers. This place was greatly appreciated because of the strict car ban instituted because of a lack of space.
    Carbondale and SIU were my home for four years, and I have such fond memories of this beautiful place.

    Dee as Cheerleader at Homecoming Bonfire
    Related to:
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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Oil and Candy Do Mix In Robinson, Illinois!

    by deecat Updated Sep 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I lived in Robinson, Illinois, from the age of nine until my early twenties. I have fond memories of this southeastern Illinois town of about 7,000 people near the Indiana border. My sister and some of her family still live there, so I go back to visit every once in awhile. It certainly has changed. The local teen hang-outs, The Cream Pitcher, The Sugar Bowl, & The Deck Teen Center no longer exists; the Carnegie Library still stands but is no longer used as the town's library; instead, a new modern library now exists. The drugstore with its soda fountain is no longer open; some of my former grade schools are gone and replaced with newer schools in different locations; and all the wonderful clothing stores and Root's Department Store have long ago departed.
    But, it still has that Midwestern friendly down home feel, and the Court House on the Square still stands as do the banks, the Dog N'Suds(where I worked as a Car Hop), and the Robinson Community High School where I was active in Drama Club, Student Council, Pep Club, Newspaper Staff, the Senior Class Play, "Rebel Without a Cause", and Varsity Cheerleading. The First Christian Church(where I went to church and Bible School) still welcomes parishnioners. Oh, yes, and the Methodist Church (where I was married) is still open and active.The original Health Candy Bar Offices are closed, but Hershey Company purchased it and still makes the original Heath Candy Bar...and The Marathon Oil Refinery still lights up the nightsky and provides almost 600 jobs for the community.

    Fondest memory: When I was growing up in Robinson, the two most important employers were Heath Candy Company and Marathon Oil Company's Refinery. My father worked for Marathon in the offices, and so Marathon played a big role in my life. That refinery has been around a long time...established in 1906! They produce, refine, and deliver petroleum and natural gas products. They specialize in exploration, development, production, refining, distribution, and marketing of a much needed product in the USA. The original office of the Heath Company was located near our house, and I just always thought it would be there forever.
    It was found in 1914, by the Heath family. Their most famous candy was the Heath English Toffee Bar" which was conceived in Robinson and is still produced solely in Robinson (in the former plant that is now Hershey's Chocolate Robinson.) Heath had the first Pepsi-Cola bottling franchise in Robinson in 1935. I remember in 1964, a new Pepsi plant was built at the west edge of Robinson on Rt. 33. Actress Joan Crawford (then Chairman of the Board of Pepsi) came to Robinson to dedicate the facilities. Heath then built a new candy plant next to the Pepsi plant in 1967 and sold Pepsi Francise in 1969. The Heath Family ran the company until 1989; at that time it was sold to Leaf, Inc. and then Leaf sold to Hershey.
    So in my memories of Robinson, Oil and Candy do mix quite nicely!

    Note: Photo to show the time period when I grew up in Robinson, Illinois. This is my prom photograph from 1959!

    Dee's Senior Prom, Robinson
    Related to:
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    • Food and Dining

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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    Salem, Illinois:Gateway of Little Egypt

    by deecat Updated Sep 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I was born in Salem, Illinois, and lived there until I was nine years old. My father worked for what was then called The Ohio Oil Company and is now called Marathon Oil Company. We moved because he was transferred.

    Our situation was unique...we lived next door to my Mother's parents. My Father's parents died when he was a boy, and my Mother was an only child, so all of us were close to my grandparents. We lived in a small house that my father and grandfather built. It was kind of out in the country and a great place for a child to grow up.
    Located 90 minutes from St. Louis, Missouri, via Interstate 64, Salem, Illinois, has a population of about 8,000 with three elementary schools, one high school, and a community college. There is also a town hospital in Salem.
    Salem's most famous citizen was William Jennings Bryan (The Silver Tongued Orator).
    Salem is also the home of the G.I. Bill of Rights which was written at the American Legion Post, and it assisted veterans of active service in the Armed Forces during World War II..
    A local restaurateur at Max Crossett's Cafe created a salad dressing called Max's X-tra Fine Salad Dressing in 1931. It was so good that the Kraft Company bought it for $300.00 and renamed it "Kraft's Miracle Whip"!
    Salem is called Gateway of Little Egypt because in 1820 a severe drought hit northern & central Illinois so wagon loads of people came to Southern Illinois to obtain food for themselves and their livestock. This was compared to the Biblical story of Israel going to Egypt to purchase grain; thus, southern Illinois became known as Egypt or Little Egypt, and Salem became the
    "Gateway of Little Egypt".
    Salem is the County Seat of Marion County so it has the Marion County Court House located on the town Square
    I remember vividly visiting the town park that is called Bryan Memorial Park where there are tennis courts and a swimming pool.

    Fondest memory: My parents and grandparents used to tell us about the great Oil Boom which started in the 1930's just after the Depression. By 1939, Salem 's oil industries and land owners were part of a business which had the second highest amount of oil production in any one area. (93 million barrels were pumped from Marion County's farmlands and sold for fifty cents a barrel!)
    My grandfather talked about the enormous amounts of MUD created by the Oil Rigs being created in the worst of weather. The mud in the fields was four feet deep!

    Note: The photograph I have selected is of my sister and I as children. We look like "rag-a-muffins" because we always played outside for hours and hours, and, as you see, got mighty dirty. You can tell from the photo that we certainly had little money but lots of love.

    Dee Dee & Ronda in Salem in 1944
    Related to:
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  • deecat's Profile Photo

    A Personal Description of the State of Illinois

    by deecat Updated Sep 26, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Read this to understand the Organization!

    This is an explanation of how I am organizing the pages about Illinois.
    I have decided to incorporate a personal view of the state; therefore, the general tips will include all the places (towns) that I have lived in and written from my personal perspective.
    The Must See will be the more typical of the presentation and also less specific.
    I hope you enjoy this style of organization.

    Fondest memory: I was born in Illinois, went to school in Illinois (excect for two years in grauduate school), was married in Illinois, taught High School English for 30 years in Illinois, adopted our daughter Jill in Illinois, and retired in Illinois.
    I've lived in the southern and northern parts of the state and enjoyed both.
    I really love the four seasons which we experience, the friendliness of the midwestern people, the opportunities that our state's largest city, Chicago offer, and, finally, the cosmopolitan yet "down home" ambience that permeates the lifestyle of Illinois.
    Won't you join my life adventure here in The American Heartland?

    Dee in Her Waukegan Garden
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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  • gmjohnson's Profile Photo

    The Sandwich (Dekalb County) Fair

    by gmjohnson Written Apr 9, 2003

    Favorite thing: Sandwich, at the southern edge of DeKalb County, Illinois is located on Route 34. It is south of DeKalb, southwest of Aurora, northwest of Joliet and northeast of Ottawa, at the edge of Kendall and LaSalle counties.

    As you wait in anticipation to get through the gate, the kids in the back shouting with excitement. The sounds of the fairgoers already enjoying the day on the midway. The wonderful smells of the many foods along the paths to the exhibits and rides. The Sandwich Fair, is truely and experience. But, don't just take it from me. The thousands of tourists the visit the fair the Wednasday through Sunday after Labor Day weekend, make the fair the second largest fair in the state (next to the Ill. State Fair). If you plan to be in the Northern Illinois area around this time. Put this at the top of you list!

    The Sandwich Fairgrounds is easily reached from Chicago (little more than an hour's drive) by driving west on the Eisenhower Expressway (290) to the East-West Tollway (I-88) beyond Aurora to the Sugar Grove exit. At Sugar Grove, fairgoers may continue west on Route 30 to Hinckley,, and then proceed south on the Somonauk Road (Blacktop) to Pratt Road where signs will direct you to the new entrance on the North side of the fairgrounds. Signs at both Route 30 and 34 will direct fairgoers to the Sandwich Fairgrounds. The Sandwich Fair opens each day at 8:00 a.m.

    Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Illinois is my family. I am an active duty member of the United States Marine Corps. Currently stationed in San Diego, at MCAS Miramar. I was born and raised in the Sandwich area, and miss the quiet of the town, and the kindness of the people. The school system is great. State wrestling champs for many years! Sandwich, is a very historic and prosperous town.

    The Train at the Fair
    Related to:
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    • Arts and Culture

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  • soccergrrl's Profile Photo

    Grant Park

    by soccergrrl Updated Sep 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Chicago is a wonderful city with lots of interesting architecture. If you want to escape the steel and cement of the city, visit Grant Park along the lake.

    Fondest memory: The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and the pickup match in Grant Park was loads of fun. Of course, cruising up and down the lakefront because our driver (a Newcastle man relocated to the Midwest--I don't know why we let him drive) was lost was also pleasant. 'Look at those lovely apartments. Again.'


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  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo

    Chicago is great, but Illinois has it plus more

    by Faiza-Ifrah Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Contrary to what is the general perception about Illinois, it is much more than Chicago. It is the land of 42 state parks, of 3 universally acclaimed universities, of a top-most zoo, a top-most theme park, of Monmouth where double faceted Wyatt Earp spent his childhood and obviously of Honest Abe, as Abraham Lincoln is affectionately known and remembered as.

    Fondest memory: The fondest memory comes from both the urban and pastoral touch, from ease of travel to 4 adjoining states, from having lived with my parents and brothers and their families in Chicago and later in Skokie and also from my going to school there and my husband going to Northwestern.

    Suhail's sister at Apple River Canyon State Park
    Related to:
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    • Museum Visits

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  • dreamworld's Profile Photo

    CHICAGO is a beautiful city,...

    by dreamworld Written Sep 12, 2002

    Favorite thing: CHICAGO is a beautiful city, especially if you are into skyscrapers (which I love). For a great view of the city...don't go to the Sears Tower which is a tourist trap I guess...but rather go to the Hancock Tower north of downtown. This building is slightly smaller but the view is equivalent and it's cheaper !!! Also you'll face less waiting time during peak tourist hours.
    For entertainment and shopping, Navy Pier is a great place to go. Generally speaking the downtown lakeshore is very pleasant, with some nice parks and fountains. North of downtown, you may also find some beaches (but we didn't swim...water being ice cold and not really really clean in appearance). Chicago is big and there are tons of things to do, look at the numerous websites for more info.

    Fondest memory: The view of Chicago from Hancock Tower !!!

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  • jjmarie's Profile Photo

    Visit Chicago in the...

    by jjmarie Written Sep 8, 2002

    Favorite thing: Visit Chicago in the much to do. Festvals, craftshows, concerts and more. Besides the weather is nice. See the lake front. Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain and a paved path for a jog or stroll.

    Fondest memory: Being in the city at nite during the summer. Many people out and yummy places to eat. You have to try the famous thick crust pizza...I miss it.

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  • If you love city-type...

    by DrWatson27 Written Sep 7, 2002

    Favorite thing: If you love city-type activities you have to visit Chicago.

    Fondest memory: I spent the first 21 years of my life in Illinois so I have a lot of fond family memories. But going to see the Chicago Blackhawks play the New York Rangers in old Chicago Stadium has to be one of the single most enjoyable trips I went on.

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  • miner's Profile Photo

    The single most important...

    by miner Written Sep 2, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The single most important activity is going to work here.Several years ago we could take friends and family on little tours on non-production days.We are not allowed too take visitors underground any more.The mine is far more spread out and roof conditions are more hazardous.Mining has developed south of the original portal and in summer of 2001 Wabash mine moved to the Cowling,Il. portal.

    Fondest memory: Hiking through Beal Woods State Park with my kids and watching the whitetail deer and seeing this sight in my rear view mirror after a day at work.

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  • Visit Chicago in the...

    by JNehal Written Aug 26, 2002

    Favorite thing: Visit Chicago in the Summertime - every weekend there is a major festival downtown. There are also many, many art festivals and neighborhood festivals. If you go to the Chicago Tribune webpage, there is a link to the summer festival schedule.

    Fondest memory: I love big-city Christmas; Chicago is second, in my opinion, only to New York in putting on a family Christmas. I live in the tropics now but at Christmas I will miss the snow and the lights and the chill in the air.

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  • drkaito's Profile Photo

    Visit Chicago! If you are...

    by drkaito Written Aug 26, 2002

    Favorite thing: Visit Chicago! If you are visiting Chicago for the first time, you must visit Navy Pier, Water Tower Place, The Museum of Science and Industry, The Shedd Aquarium, and the lakefront. There are many nice views from the Sears Tower also.

    Fondest memory: I have been to St. Charles and Geneva many times, and something keeps taking me back again and again. It's very peaceful and a great place to go if you want to relax, whether it be for a day, or even a weekend.

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  • NYQUE's Profile Photo

    My favorite place to visit...

    by NYQUE Written Aug 26, 2002

    Favorite thing: My favorite place to visit during the Summer is the Six Flags Great America theme park. It has some amazing rollercoasters. My favorite thing to do there is the Dare Devil Dive. You are strapped in a harness and raised high in the sky by a crane, once you get up there you have to pull a cord that releases you. It is such an adrenaline rush. I also recomend the State Parks. They are beautiful. You can go camping, hiking,conoeing, and much much more.

    Fondest memory: It is hard to pin point, one specific memory. I have so many great memories from the time that I spent in Illinois. The best times were the ones that I spent with friends and family. We always did things in big groups.

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Illinois Hotels

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    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Couples

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

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