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Peasley: Ready to enjoy memories of home

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For the second time this year I’m going 225 miles to my home community to a family wedding, and I have confidence many things will seem the same, but I’m open to accept inevitable changes.

People I knew for so many years – my parents, my first girlfriend, the high school teachers I admired, and of course, my brothers and sister – are no longer in my once-familiar surroundings. Some people warn me I will suffer a letdown “because things aren’t just the same,” but I have a barrel full of memories to help me overcome those changes.

This wedding of my great-niece will give me an opportunity to greet relatives, learn how farmers are coping with the drought in western Illinois, and keep up-to-date on something genuine and vital: family members of several generations.

I’ll enjoy seeing the new bridge over the Mississippi River that leads from Illinois to Burlington, Iowa, where we’ll headquarter in a motel. The old bridge had a 25 cent toll; the bridge keeper would give you a receipt for return to Illinois without further charge. This new bridge has no toll, and you rise high above the river as you head into Iowa!

We take the back roads to Burlington from our farm home near Terre Haute, Ill., a 15-mile trip, through Lomax and Carmen en route to U.S. 34 and points west. I do have fun going down Memory Lane.

Learning from past life experiences is a big step toward success as you become older.

• • •

Months of rehearsals herald the Oct. 5 opening performance of “Crazy for You” at Woodstock Opera House. Director Barry Norton and vocal director Rosemarie Aiello promise an entertaining evening of comedy and Gershwin music with a live orchestra in the pit. Choreographer Kara Williams leads a team of talented chorus members ready to tap dance to “I Got Rhythm” and “Slap That Bass.”

Performances continue at the Opera House Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through Oct. 27. Box office: (815) 338-5300.

• • •

Friends and family members gathered at the gravesite of Nyda Fogarty in Oakland Cemetery Sept. 22 for a memorial service. Brad Schmelzer, Nyda’s son, recalled her many community activities during her 84 years.

I remember Nyda for her lengthy service as a leader in the Woodstock VFW Auxiliary. She served as the VFW’s Fifth District Auxiliary president. She served as president of the Woodstock VFW Auxiliary in 1978 and stepped forward to serve more terms in later years. At Memorial Day ceremonies on the Square, Nyda would read General Logan’s Orders and place a wreath in remembrance on the Civil War statue.

• Don Peasley has been editor, columnist and historian in McHenry County since October 1947. He began his association with Shaw Publications in 1950. 815-338-1533.

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