*by Barbara Taylor with Homer S. Sewell III *
After spending the weekend of February 5th and 6th in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin with Dr. Lance and Linda Rothberger, Homer spoke at their children’s, Sara and Timís school, St. Joseph Catholic School. He was reminded several times by teachers and students alike that the other Mr. Lincoln had been in the area 168 years earlier during the Black Hawk uprising. We then drove over closer to the edge of Lake Michigan and he spoke at Somers Elem in Kenosha, Salem Grade School in Salem, both Concordia Lutheran Schools in Racine, and then back to the other side of the state to speak to the students at Elroy Primary in Elroy. This was 20 miles away from where we had been the previous Friday at Sparta, home of the giant bicycle. We then drove to Carbon Cliff, Illinois to speak at Apollo Elem. While driving that afternoon towards the Kickapoo State Park to spend the weekend we had another tire blow out....just 50 miles from our destination. We spent four hours on the side of the highway waiting for Good Sam to send us a repairman to change out the tire. Instead of getting parked and settled in at 6 PM we finally got in about 10 PM.
On Valentineís Day Homer spoke at the Northview School in Rantoul, Illinois. We went out to eat and to see the movie, The Beach. Homer bought me a Bashful Doll, an angel that says, "You're" the Best and a "Bluebird of Happiness". I got him a box of chocolates and a cute little musical bear. We had a nice day together. I hope all of you had a wonderful day with your favorite valentine. Then we finished up our visit in Illinois at the Moweaqua Elem in Moweaqua and the Bond Elem in Assumption. We then drove over to the west side of St. Louis and spoke to Clearview Elem in Union. We drove back to St. Louis and parked at the Rossman School. This very rich, private school was founded in 1917, I think. We unhooked the car and drove about 15 miles downtown to the arch. I had my heart set on being able to take the tram car up to the top but we didnít get there until 5:45 PM and the last tram to the top had been at 5:15. That was a big disappointment since we had passed close enough to see the arch in the distance several times in the past two years but had never been able to stop and see it up close. We did get to visit the museum under the arch for a few minutes before they closed. We planned to come back on Thursday after finishing up at Rossman and Conway Elem. But, as luck would have it, a rain and ice storm came through town and we were not able to go back downtown to the arch before leaving town.
We then drove to Jefferson City, the capitol of Missouri. We drove for about an hour to spend the weekend at Lake of the Ozarks State Park. We finally got into some warmer weather and have it in the fifties these last few days for the first time since leaving Jasper. We took a nice walk on Sunday afternoon and gathered some pieces of driftwood for me to make some things with. There were lots of deer in the park and more peace and quiet than we have had in a while.
Homer had Presidentís Day off today so we spent the day shopping and taking care of some errands. We moved over closer to town to the Ozark Trails Campground and the owner helped Homer weld a small crack in one of our wheels on the AbeMobile. We found a small bust of ABE and another music box for me. Homer did a live radio interview with a station in the Twin Cities, Minnesota via cell phone. When he was asked about what "ABE" would have to say to our current politicians, Homer told his radio audience that "he would tell Bill to tell the truth."
I hope all of you are doing well back in Pickens County. Until next time, Barbara and Homer signing off for now.