Tag: Dupo

Why you shouldn't miss your class reunions

Waterloo, Illinois sunset.
I highly recommend you go back to your high school/college/kindergarten class reunions (any reunion!) if you get the chance. It’s a great way to reconnect with your roots and share stories that only longtime friends can know. This was my 3rd time at Dupo, Illinois’ “No Class Reunion“, lovingly conceived and orchestrated by Marsha Bieber... Read more »

What I love most about Christmas

Christmas with the Jordans.
When I was younger, it was all about the gifts–the latest handbag, a piece of jewelry or a rare book would make me scream with joy. However, now that I have all of these things, my desires have become a lot more simple and, I think, much more in keeping with the true spirit of... Read more »

50 reasons why I give thanks today and every day

50 reasons why I give thanks today and every day
In this time of such uncertainty, upheavals, terrorism, taxes and crime, I’m excited to write a happy column about gratitude. And even though giving thanks seems particularly topical on Thanksgiving, duh, I give thanks every single day for the following: 1) First and foremost, I’m grateful for Chuck, without him, nothing else really matters. 2)... Read more »

A No Class Reunion with old friends in a small town

No Class Reunion official photo with 1971 and '72 classes combined. We were missing quite a few classmates.
It started when we began driving down to Dupo, Illinois–a small railroad town near the banks of the Mississippi. Just seeing the rows of corn stalks set against a Windex-blue sky brought back waves of nostalgia–thoughts of a simpler time without all the strife and discontent. That five hour drive was idyllic and more calming... Read more »

Memories of a childhood Christmas: An aluminum tree, baking cookies and Jim Crow Laws

Memories of a childhood Christmas: An aluminum tree, baking cookies and Jim Crow Laws
I remember most Christmases past like they happened yesterday. As an only child of divorced parents, I was used to splitting my time between different households, each very different. My dad’s humble little house was located in East St. Louis, Ill. (when the now beleaguered city was actually chic and a popular entertainment hub). I... Read more »

A small town reunion with a big heart

Dupo Community High School, home of the Dupo Tigers!
I went back home to Dupo, Illinois, for my first class reunion this weekend. This small railroad town, population 3000, sits near the banks of the Mississippi River and is within spitting distance from St. Louis (home of the dreaded Cardinals). The get-together was dubbed the “No-Class Reunion” since event organizers wanted to include ALL... Read more »

Musings on Father's Day weekend about my "other" dad

With Mary and Jim Johnson in East Carondelet, Illinois.
Last year, I wrote about my dad, Richard John Collins, for Father’s Day but, this year, I’m going to write about a father figure who played a very important role in my life. James Vernon Johnson was born in 1904 and told me his family was descended from slaves. He used to tell me about... Read more »

Why I love old stuff

Antique vignette with Mickey passing through.
Every once in a while, Chicago Now community manager and all-around nice guy (suck-up points here) Jimmy Greenfield, gives his 300+ bloggers a writing exercise. The topic this time around was “Write about something you find beautiful that you feel others may not understand.” Well, this is an easy one for me because I collect... Read more »

Remembering the Great Flood of 1993 and praying for friends/family there now

Remembering the Great Flood of 1993 and praying for friends/family there now
I’m very worried about my friends and family who are suffering through yet another flood down in Southern Illinois and St. Louis. Reports state that this could be the biggest one of all with the Mississippi River now being at 13′ above flood level and rising. The National Guard has been activated and they’re monitoring... Read more »

On going home and losing loved ones

A pumpkin train!
Chuck and I returned to my hometown of Dupo, Illinois last weekend to say goodbye to my beloved Uncle Marvin Stott. It was bittersweet since I was so happy to be back home and yet not, certainly, for this reason. Marvin was the town’s historian. He knew every piece of history worth knowing and then... Read more »