We were in Monmouth, Illinois over the weekend. We attended a family wedding reception at a Knights of Columbus hall. Leaving town Sunday morning, our son-in-law Nate suggested we drive by the house where the legendary Wyatt Earp was born, not too far from the Maple City Restaurant where we had just finished a hearty breakfast. My historical curiosity was piqued. So my wife and I trailed Nate's SUV in our joint pursuit of a peek at the past.
Here was our tourist auto- tandem weaving its way down streets with imposing frame houses that had seen better days. Until Nate pulled up along the curbside of what the sign said was the birthplace of the famed Western lawman.
It was a small frame building with a porch across its front. There was a For Sale sign on the patchy unkempt lawn. Next to where the house drearily stood was a dingy area surrounded by a wooden fence unsteady in spots. The place had an abandoned lugubrious look about it. We paused in our cars then quietly drove away.
It was 10:30 on a Sunday morning. Few other human beings were to be seen. It had poured overnight. But I slept like a baby at the pleasant AmericInn where we were staying.
Now it was clear and bright. And yesterday's heavy blanket of humidity had been rolled away.
We felt happy together after celebrating a wedding we had looked forward to for months. Nate's father, Dennis, and his new bride, Joyce, were ready for many years of connubial bliss.
Nothing would spoil these felicitous moments at this glorious time.
Not even a ruin.
Filed under: history