Sunday, November 28, 2010

My Very First Job

A part of my life when I was in high school was spent at the hardware counter at Ben Franklin's during the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school and also on Saturdays during the school year.  My pay for a Saturday's work was $2.38 - now how do I remember things like that?   This picture of Ben's was taken in about 1936 and it would have been 8 years or so later when I was there so it would not have changed that much.  The ownership changed while I was working there and the Smiths sold the store to John and Bernice Lee. 
Here is the staff of Ben Franklins during the mid 1940's.  Darlene, Anna Mae and Mrs. Lee are standing and Goldie, little Alice Lee and I sit in front of them.  Mr. Lee and Wilma  stand behind the cosmetics counter.  You can see the candy counter on the right and the cards on the left.  The hardware counter, my section, was all the way to the back on the same side of the store.  How about my clean white shoes?  I probably was 16 years old.  Many, many moons ago!  This picture is further back in the blog but  it needs to be here with the exterior photo of my old stomping ground.  (Click to enlarge - this is a fun one to look at and see all the little "dime store" things)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Here is another old postcard that was in with some old pictures.  I certainly have never heard of  "Jug Rock" but it must have been a local attraction.  Interesting back of the card - certainly the person who addressed the card was not the same person writing the message.

Here is a picture I found on the internet of Jug Rock.
Location: Next to the town of Shoals, on Highway 50 west of town. The pullout where you can park is unmarked, but is on the north side of the roads about 200 yards downhill from the Shoals Overlook Rest Park. Another part of the preserve is reached by going back to Shoals on US 50, turning right on Polar Street and right again on White River Road, with another pullout about .4 mile along between two private homes.

Description: Two interesting sandstone formations. You can climb to the top of the Pinnacle for a good view, but climbing to the top of Jug Rock is both illegal and inadvisable.

Ownership: Indiana DNR
(Click to enlarge)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I found this picture and thought what an appropriate "piece of the past" for Thanksgiving Day.  Looking at it closer, the gentleman carving the nicely browned bird looked vaguely familiar.  Then I looked at his wife and I knew - it was Ike and Mamie ready to enjoy their holiday feast.  I thought at first it might have been taken in the White House, but on checking it could not have been there.   Their son, John, stands beside him and   John's wife is Julie Nixon, daughter of Richard Nixon.  John and Julie were married in 1968 and Ike went out of office in 1961.  As the picture shows, the couple has three children so it must have been in the 70's.  Regardless, a sweet family picture.   I cast my first presidential vote for Eisenhower - and didn't get to do it until after I was 21 since that year there was no election.  Looks like everyone in the photo is anticipating a great dinner.  I hope you have one, too!  (Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 22, 2010

From Fashion Friday on Funoldhag

The lovely model for today is my Aunt Leah, Nan's sister, who must have been in her mid-teens when this photo was taken. Leah is looking cute and stylish in her high button shoes, dark stockings, possibly a pleated skirt and dark coat. Around her neck is a pretty scarf and she is wearing a wool cap with a cute pompon. I am sure she probably has some nice gloves or mittens but her hands are in her pocket since it is a cold day in Peoria, Illinois. I know exactly where this picture was taken - it is in the back yard of my grandparents' home and that is a very large old garage that is almost barnlike. Aunt Leah was very special to me - I loved being around her. She never married and lived with my grandparents all her life - there was just Grandma and Leah for quite a while. When I was a child, I used to love to stay at their house for a week or two in the summer and sometimes for a while during Christmas vacation. It was like a second home.   (Click to enlarge) 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Old Chillicothe

From 1936, this old book shows all the houses and businesses in Chillicothe, Illinois,  a town only three miles north of the little town of Rome where I grew up.  I went to high school and later lived in Chillicothe when I was first married.  We were transferred to Iowa from there in 1956, but returned in 1984 after my husband retired and lived there another 8 years.  So Chillicothe is dear to my heart and this old book is fun for me to look through.  I thought I might do posts weekly with some of the pictures that are there. 
This old building is still there and is right on the corner across from the city park. 
The city hall at the end of one of the two blocks that made up the main street where the businesses were located.  The police station, fire trucks and jail were all in this building.  Note the old cars.  We  moved to the area when I was seven years old so had been there about a year when this was published.  
Here is the city  council - Ilion Wait, the City Clerk,  served for decades.  Ed Pennington, Mayor, was the town barber as I remember.  Stay turned for more pictures of this little town just north of Peoria in the heart of Illinois.  Actually, a great place to live and to grow up.  (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Another postcard I found in with the old pictures.  Have no idea who this belonged to and, as you can see, it was never used.  It is a beautiful old church and is from a town north and east from our hometown in Illinois.
I remember reading something by one of the collectors about the backs of postcards that were undivided and the back of this one is in that category.  Pretty old card.  Thanks, Beth, at   for your great job of hosting.  One other note, if you happened to have ready my granddaughter, Hannah's, blog, there is a short post today.  They have all learned now where they will be for the two years in Africa.  She will actually be setting up a new site by herself.  I am so proud of her and know that she is an intelligent, hardworking, determined young woman.  It's hard to think of her so far away, but I am behind her all the way and very in awe of what she is doing.  If you would like to read her blog, just click on her picture on the sidebar and go to Singing Under the Southern Cross.  (Click pictures to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

From Fashion Friday on Funoldhag

Today there are several lovely models and outfits to admire. Nan, my stylish mom, is on the right end of this group of nice looking young people out for a day of an unknown activity. Nan's date has a piece of paper in his hand that could be a program of some sort - maybe a concert in Glen Oak Park? I think his plaid cap is so cool, don't you? The girls all look stunning in their pretty outfits and wonderful hats while the fellows tend to be wearing very similar suits except for the fellow who has made his stand out with the plaid cap. Another observation - there are three fellows and four girls so don't know which ones are couples and never will, sigh. A light bulb just went on over my head!! There probably is one more fella - who would be taking the picture? DUH! Another senior moment!! One more comment, the two little gals on the left must be very, very short. Nan was not tall - probably 5' 3" - but she looks tall in the photo. When I was looking closely at this picture, I spotted something around Nan's neck - and it dawned on me that it was her watch! I have that watch and above is a scan of it. Inside the case is engraved "Nan Pearce" so there is not doubt at all. On the outside of the case is an NP which I'm not sure will show up when enlarged. I have so grown to appreciate all the old pictures as I have grown older. Hope you enjoy them, also.  (Click to enlarge)    
 (Posted earlier on Funoldhag)

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Good Old Recipe

(This is a wonderful recipe for home baked beans - but I never put that much salt in - maybe a teaspoonful - and I chopped the onion.  There is also a quick method of soaking beans which entails boiling them and then covering and letting them set for a certain amount of time.  You can check in a cookbook or on the internet.)
When we moved to the Kansas City area, we had a nice old couple for neighbors - Mil and Jun.  At the time, Ray and I were in our early forties and the Wilsons were in their early 70's.  They were fun people - Mil and I went together and had our ears pierced - she bought diamond studs and I wore the junky type I still wear.  They never had any children, but they had good friends with a daughter and they were like family with them.   Mil gave me this recipe for baked beans from scratch and also told me how to fix barbecued brisket that they used to have on Christmas Eve. This is one heckuva delicious meal and one that I have made many, many times in the past 35 to 40 years.  The family loves it.  I haven't  made it much lately as I just don't cook like I used to.  Sherry has carried on with the brisket part and it's always really well received.  Around here, it's hard to find a whole brisket or the flat end but in the KC area they were out in the meat case all the time so you have to ask the butcher ahead of time to save you one.  The way Mil told me to fix that was to put aluminum foil in a pan big enough to hold the brisket and have plenty foil to seal it but  not wrapped tightly around the meat.  I always sprinkled lots of good stuff over it - salt, pepper, dill weed, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, paprika, minced onions, barbecue spice, etc., whatever you have in your spice cabinet that might sound good.  Then you bake it slowly -250 for 8 hours (get the connection - the same as the beans!) and then drain the liquid off and there will be a lot of that since the brisket really shrinks.  Add your favorite barbecue sauce and bake some more - use your judgment, I don't have a specific amount of time but you would raise the oven temperature.  My daughter shreds the brisket after it is baked and puts it in a crockpot with the sauce and uses it for sandwiches.  I always just sliced it and served it that way.  Regardless, this is a good meal - comfort food!  (Click to enlarge)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Happy PFF--This week I did some searching on the old hospital in Topeka and found out what has happened to it over the years.  So here are some more pictures and the story of what has become of it.  A big thank you to Beth at for hosting this every week. 

There were many hospitals up and down the line on the Santa Fe Railroad.  If you would like to find out more about them and see the old postcards that are shown go to  Here is Santa Fe Hospital, Topeka , KS, built 1898-99. The picture above is the original building.

If you compare this view  with the one above, you can see there has been a new wing added.

Santa Fe Hospital, Topeka , KS. Compared to the previous picture, the add-on wing is intact
but in 1953 the original 1898-99 building was demolished and replaced with the new building on the left. Note the cars in the parking lot.

Yet another addition has been built over the site of the parking lot. Postmarked 1971.

 The following I found on the internet telling about the old hospital in Topeka now:

Topeka Capital-Journal, The, Sep 23, 2003 by Steve Fry Capital-Journal

  A redevelopment project that has cost $7 million so far has turned the old Memorial Hospital at 600 S.E. Madison into the Santa Fe Place Senior Apartments. All but one of the 91 apartments is occupied.
Don Cooper, vice president of operations and development for the Commercial Group, talks about the variety of floor plans at Santa Fe Place.

The building's railroad heritage shows in the Santa Fe logos above the drinking fountains.

Santa Fe Hospital, Ft. Madison, IA

One more picture - this is the old ATSF hospital in Ft. Madison, Iowa, a town we lived in in the late 50's and early 60's.  I don't remember it and I don't think it was in service then.  The only hospital I remember there was the Catholic hospital.     (Click to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Injun Summer

For some reason or other, I got to thinking about something I used to see in a newspaper every year when I was a little girl back in Rome, Illinois.  We took the Peoria paper, but on Sunday Dad usually went "uptown" to Chillicothe and bought a copy of the Chicago Tribune which had marvelous funnies.  The Katzenjammer Kids, Fritzy Ritz, and Brenda Starr.  Wow, a bonanza.  (Brenda may have been in the Peoria paper, but that's neither here nor there.  I loved her especially when there were paper dolls!!)  I could recall seeing on a supplement to the paper a cartoonlike picture of a cornfield in the moonlight with dreamlike visions but couldn'temember exactly what it was like.  I knew it was very fallish and sweet.  
So, a little while ago I decided you can find anything on the internet - and started putting phrases in the search box.  I tried  "cornfield in the moonlight", etc., and did get some pictures that did fit the description but not the one I remembered.  Then a phrase popped into my head - Indian Summer - and lo  and behold up came the top picture with the address of a blog and I went there to find "Injun Summer", my picture - two of them - that I remembered from so long ago.   This really is a "piece of my past" and conjurs up memories of the fall in Rome (Illinois, that is) in a much simpler time.  There was an orchard behind our old house and I can still remember the smell of apples that were frozen on the trees and how wet the long grass was when you walked through the orchard.  Read more about Injun Summer on My Over the Fence blog. 
(Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 8, 2010

From FOH Fashion Friday

Here again is one of the best dressed chicks in Peoria sometime around 1915-20. Mom seemed to just love posing in her pretty outfits. This one features such a lovely hat with a gorgeous feather and a chic fur stole. According to the times, she wore leather gloves and high button shoes and her suit was probably wool. How times have changed. Most people rarely dress up to such an extent - at least the ones that I know. I do like the casual approach better.  (Click to enlarge)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

When I was Young

Ah, each generation has it's music - and, being in my 80's, I don't understand some of the strange music of today's youth.  It was so simple and melodic when I was a girl.  I thought I might share some of it with some of you younger folks to let you know what you missed out on in the 30's and 40's.  Let's start with this one -

Now wasn't that fun?  If you like it, I will hunt for some more gems from the past!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Postcard Friendship Friday

Two old cards that I found on the internet some time ago when I was looking for Santa Fe memorabilia.  As you know if you have followed my blog, my husband worked 41 years for ATSF and we did a lot of moving over the years.  From Chillicothe, IL, to Ft. Madison, IA, to Topeka, KS, to Newton, KS, to Kansas City, KS then back to Illinois upon retirement.  This card shows the big office building in Topeka that was headquarters for Santa Fe.  When we moved there, it meant he was not on the road like he had been before so that was really nice - for a few years.  Then they sent him back to Ft. Madison on a long job but he was not transferred there.  So again, he would be gone from Monday morning until Friday night.  You get used to it but never really like the idea.  When we finally moved to KC area, he was home all the time - that was good.
Above is the Santa Fe Hospital in Topeka that serviced the system's employees.  I can't remember if it was still being used when we were there or not since, thankfully, we had no need for hospitalization when we were living there.   I will have to do some searching one day and find out more about it.  Thanks, Beth, at for hosting  -  and Happy PFF.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh, Baby

A very old picture of me at probably under a year old sitting in a fancy old rocking chair. I may have been older than that since it looks as if I would have been walking because of the hard soled shoes and the bottoms of them that appear to have been wallked on . 
This is one of the photos that is taken in a little booth in a dime store.  Probably two to three years old in this one.  Kinda cute little girl!    (Click to enlarge)

Monday, November 1, 2010

From Funoldhag's Fashion Friday

There are quite a few pictures of my mother in her younger years that just fascinate me. At one time, my grandparents, although not wealthy, led a very comfortable life and some of the old pictures reflect that. My grandfather worked for Thomas and Clark Cracker Company and was active in politics in Peoria. He was city treasurer when I was born despite having only an elementary school education. Mom and her sisters, especially Nelle, the older one, wore such pretty clothes for the time. The Pearces also had a cottage up the river in Rome, Illinois, a wide place in the road  where I grew up some years later.

 This picture, I am almost 100% sure, would have been taken at the conservatory in Glen Oak Park in Peoria. Nan and her friend (I think she was a girl Nan worked with at Powers Camera Shop) are admiring the lovely blooms. Nan is holding her hat which looks as if it were trimmed with a lovely flower and she is wearing a pretty summer dress with three-quarter sleeves trimmed with lace and a big sash. I would guess the dress is white and sash blue. Her friend has a lovely plaid skirt and white blouse and straw hat with a halo of flowers around the brim. This most likely was a lovely summer afternoon and the girls had been for a walk in the park.  (Click to enlarge)