GHOSTS OF MY HOMETOWN. Beardstown, Illinois

driving through my hometown sometimes feels like thumbing through a forgotten photo album.

large parts of it are a shadow of its former self.
from the shuttered turn of the century ballroom to the 1930's movie theater with the missing roof.... they stand (barely) as constant reminders of a stronger economy, a more robust main street, a bustling town square.

don't get me wrong, it still has its charms.

Great hunting, fishing, affordable land -
and it has evolved culturally considerably- beardstown is far more ethnically diverse than when i lived there. Puerto Rican, Mexican and Nigerian immigrants now make up nearly 30% of the overall population of 5000.

Thats saying alot considering that up until 1995, you could count on one hand the number of minorities living there.

Its where my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents lived.
and where much of my family still resides.

There is no replacement for knowing that you can walk into any store in town knowing that at least one person there will remember you when you were a kid.

but its still a little sad to me to see so many lovely old buildings turning to dust.

THE MOVIE THEATER where my dad worked as an usher when he was a teenager.
THE WOOLWORTH where i distinctly remember going to get sewing supplies with my grandma.
THE BOWLING ALLEY (next door to where i worked in high school)
THE GAS STATION everyone supported until the big stations took over.
BEATTY'S HARDWARE where we would get garden supplies and just about everything else until Walmart moved into town and shut them down.
THE ELKS & VFW where everyone had their wedding receptions (and still do)
THE STARLIGHT DRIVE IN where i watched gremlins, and my parents went when they were courting.

check out this nice write up: http://tinyurl.com/3qm42a7
Unknown said...

A great entry to the blog Tereasa. I too got memories of those places not the ones you pictured but ones in my good ole' hometown, sure do.

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