This is what the house I grew up in looked like the last time I saw it. Not long afterwards, the local fire department burned it down. I was back in Chillicothe for one of my high school reunions and Jo and I went down to look at the old place. This would have been taken about 1976.
Below is how it looked when we moved in when I was seven years old. My parents, like so many other people, had gone into debt because of the depression and lack of jobs. They had unsuccessfully tried living with my grandparents. North of Peoria about 20 miles was a little village called Rome and they found this house that could be rented for $10.00 per month, and Dad was able to pay the rent by doing work for the family who owned it and three cottages along the river. He took care of their yards and kept meticulous records of the time he spent. We three kids knew never to take his pencil - that was a given!
Regardless of the fact that we had no bathroom or telephone and were probably considered poor, I look back on my childhood and high school years as happy ones. My parents were hard working, loving people who took good care of us and loved us very much. The picture below is in 1943 when the Illinois River left it's banks and flooded the heck out of everything. We had a one room cellar (with a dirt floor) and I remember hearing the fruit jars gurgle as they filled with water. The water did not come up into the house and we stayed in it throughout the flooding period. Everyone had to have typhoid shots since all the wells were covered. Naturally, drinking water had to be boiled. We rowed the boat around the yard and up and down the street - kids enjoy things like that.
This next picture is not really very good - but that is our outhouse!! And to the left is the coal shed. In front is Dad's canna bed and in the right background are lots and lots of gladiola. His garden was gorgeous. Almost every kind of vegetable you can name and also peanuts and popcorn.
In the picture below is my cute, grinning kid brother, Bud, maybe 10 or 11 at the time. I know you read my blog, Bud, so leave me a comment and set me straight on whose gocart that is. I think you told me it wasn't yours and I don't remember you ever having one. The old house looks much nicer with a coat of white paint and roses climbing on the old fence. That, I am pretty sure, is our old Chevie parked there. And the gate is where I stuck my tongue one winter day and lost some taste buds! Never did that again.