The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.








by Toneeke Henderson

OZ? Does anyone know where that is? I do and it wasn't in Kansas. I bet you thought it was but do you really remember the story? Dorothy was from Kansas but they never said where OZ was. We found it! OK so we found part of it. I found the scarecrow in all the cornfields across the state of Illinois.
In the spurt of a moment my husband Lynn so daringly whisked me off to the grand state of Illinois to review where his life had been. He had lived there for many years, many years ago. His son David lives there as well as most of his greatest friends in life.

You will always know the trueness of good friends when you see the smiles on their faces as my husband Lynn surprised each one while in town.

The adventure began just outside of Chicago in Sycamore, Ill. We looked for a guy named Morey McPherson aka "Frenchie", who's dad owned a place called "The Blue Room" a sports pub that encountered many visits from bus loads of sports fanatics. His mother won the lottery so they closed it up and moved to Texas.

Neighboring was the town of DeKalb, now that was a kewl place. We went to a place called "The Twins." It is a family oriented eatery named for two brothers who made it such a wonderful place, famous for their knack for enforcing the words "if your money is needed at home keep it there". Mike, one of the twins' son now runs it.          Lynn called a few numbers of old

Toneeke Henderson

friends and left them messages that he was in town. We left word at " The Twins" that we would be back at a specific time. While we were waiting we drove to the DeKalb Nursing Home to visit Lynn's ex-mother-n-law "Inez" she was a very nice lady.

Back to the Sports pub "The Twins," we had a wonderful lunch and reunion with Richard Luxton and his wife

Bev. This was Lynn's first neighbor when he got out of the service. We had also visited with Nole Hayes and his wife Ula. We were told that at the retirement party when Nole retired he had mentioned about his good friend Lynn. How kewl that can feel to know someone cares about you that much.

Then we went to trace down one more friend that we could locate. This friend had no clue that we were coming by. This is Sonny and Peggy Walt of Courtland, Ill.  We drove up in the driveway acting like we knew what we were doing. We opened the car doors and stepped out. A woman was in the yard tending her flowers, and a guy came waltzing out of the garage. Then all of the sudden the mans face emerged into a starburst smile, proclaiming 'I would have never thought I'd see you of all people drive up in my driveway and embraced him with true friendship.

All of Lynn's friends are very kewl people. We even stopped at a little place called "Sullivan's Drive In".  Guess what… yep they knew him there too. We relaxed for the night and the next morning we had a wonderful experience of going through his phases of childhood.

We went to Dekalb again and looked at the Egyptian Theater that had once been owned by his other friends

  The Egyptian Theater at Dekalb, Illinois.

father. This is one of those little towns where Lynn got thrown out of the theater for playing with his toy pistols while running up and down the isles. Between there and the DeKalb theater Lynn was running out of places to shoot up with the cap guns.

We also looked at the places he lived to see how different they are today. The next town over is where he went to school. Shabonna, Ill. Population 950. It was lunch-time and we decided to stop again in the middle of this wee little town at a place called Night Crawlers, nicknamed "The Worm Bar". Here again it is a small Sports Pub that is very well visited. A fancy new Golf and Country Club and a lake surround it. Places like this are found to have a wealth of information.

It was about 12:30 in the hot afternoon. We had just walked in and sat down. We heard the words first drinks free, now remember they serve more than beer - OK, like coke, Pepsi etc. Anyway, before we could say "thanks" or "oh really" a man sets a plate of fresh fried fish in front of us and said more is coming right up, it's a free fish fry every Sunday. He even took fresh fried catfish to the guy at the gas station cause he had to work. Now how about that kind of Andy Griffin story.

While we were eating our fish a family came in, they noticed a young man sitting in there and realized he was the one who had found their dog after the July fourth fireworks had scared him into to running away. They announced there sincere thanks.

We had a great time. An elderly lady came in and sat near us and Lynn asked her several questions about who is around the area. After all she had been around Shabonna long enough to raise children and have grandchildren and to see the changes take place. Her name is Iola Schumacher. As our conversation went on we found that one of her kids Lynn was friends with in grade school. What a small world.

Iola also said Lynn's house use to be where the clubhouse is now at the golf course. The grade school had just been torn down this summer. We drove there later to see and sure enough there was a new school there.

Lynn first came to Illinois when his father drove them there in a bus; the bus broke down in Waterman just a cornfield away from Shabonna and exclaimed this is where we are going to live. They did just that. This is the famous spot Lynn ran through the woods. He showed many places that he and his friends would ride their bikes and kewl things that boys did back then.

Just as his father before him Lynn is a hardworking man and has never let his family be without. He has recently retired and is going to finally get the chance to do some of the things he never had time to do.
Geeze, I don't know if I can sum this one up but I will give it a try.

All of us should have had a childhood that is memorable. To know all the simple things life showed us still exist in a part of the world that doesn't mind not being Atlanta. Where families are still families, and friends are the forever kind.

To know you can travel back in time and see how much you meant to the people you grew up with. To see that yes some things change to a certain degree but they don't have to and some things are worth more having not changed.

For what I experienced in meeting all those wonderful people in Illinois who made that trip more than worth while, I would like to say: Thank you for being that family of friends that shared in the life of my husband Lynn. It is in that friendship that we have conversed of happy times and antics that most people will never comprehend. To encourage each other to be themselves and become that beacon of light that has weathered well those duties of life.

To know he has made that trip back home to see those of you there and to know you are happy as well affirms your friendship. Thanks for the added memories.

PS. for those I did not mention by name - you are still noted in his heart.