Bob Clendenin The USA




A trip for Fun and a Little Maintenance

  Maybe it is a chance to leave the cold Florida weather for the verdant springtime of 2010 in Oquawka.  The first thing I notice is the landscape is much greener here as evidenced by a visit to Fred's house.  On Schuyler Street is the rock commemorating the visit to Oquawka by Barack Obama, just down the way from the most interesting purple martin colony.  



We had that issue about how long "novelty siding" has been around.  Doug found an article on the Internet dating it to the 1890's.  We estimate the barn was built sometime in the 1920's.  Then a trip to the Oquawka cemetery for Bill to verify the spelling and placement of Beth's headstone.  From the first trip to the lumber yard to the last screw on the floor, the deck is refurbished in one week.



  Saturday night it rained too hard to use the newly constructed deck.  



It takes two people to clear the riverbank, one to run the chainsaw, the other to call 911.
The river view has improved.
Dave asked about the history of the monolith in the yard; here's the story as I remember it:  When the Colonial Hotel in Monmouth was demolished, Dad brought two of the four iron pillars from the front steps (see pictures below) to Oquawka to anchor a pier for the boat.  That worked fine until
Spring when ice washed away the pier.  Years later he was wading around and stubbed his toe on one of the columns, which he winched up the hill and planted in the yard.  The other should still be on the bottom of the river if anyone wants to salvage it.



  When John asked what was wrong with the Old Door, I didn't have a good answer until I found several gnawed-upon rodent bait packages and three mouse carcasses.  Of course I would have installed a New Door regardless.  


  Putting in the deck we find rot in the window frame extending to the bottom of the wall.  It's a temporary fix, but ideally, the window should be removed, reframed and reinstalled.  Walking down the stairs, I see the Dell Butcher, the pusher Dad and Jim took to Pigs Eye back (I think) in 1972.  


  Times change; possibly due to law enforcement, there are now only four taverns in Oquawka.  And one motel.  


  Heading home we stop in Collinsville, Illinois to see the World's Largest Catsup Bottle.  It's a 70 foot tall riveted steel bottle, sitting on a 100 foot tower.  Sometime between building the bottle in 1949 and today, Birds Eye changed the name from Catsup to Ketchup.  


  Our last stop is in Owensboro to visit Uncle Virgil.  As a bonus we visit Bruce, Bob, Teri and Bradford.  
Bob Clendenin The USA