Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Week in Keithsburg One Day

There is a little car show in Monmouth in the summer that gets a couple thousand cars.  It's too big for me now.  But I went to the first 10 or so back in the day.  The first year there were about a dozen of us parked on a couple corners near the bank on Broadway.  From those early beginnings was born a mega-monster gathering that is too big today to see everything.

Maybe it will happen in Keithsburg.  In the past couple of years they have had a truck and tractor show at the First Christian Church on the outskirts of town.  This year they opened it up for cars.

If they had had trophies Ole Miss Frump would have earned one.  Unfortunately they didn't.  We were also one of the first to get here.  Apparently the public information department needs to tighten up next year:  they had 2 different time for its start 8 and 10.  Miss Frump, never one to be late was all set to strut her stuff  at the former.  Sometimes you can get an early indication that it's going to be a long, long day.

The following pictures are of my two trips uptown and looking around a tired old river town.  I'm going to keep quiet pretty much from now on, but I will say that the above picture reminded me of something I haven't felt since I was a kid.  The combination of summer smell, the sight of an empty block and the overgrown crumbling sidewalk really sent an old message to my brain of when we townies would spend time in areas much like this in Seaton.    

The areas of Keithsburg and Oquawka really do seem to have an inordinate love affair with the South and the Confederate Battle flag.  Racist or just embracing their heritage?  I don't know but it is a chilling reminder that we are far from a united people.

Other things to see in this old crumbling town.

Russ and Rosie Hendricks owned and operated a bar here 40 years ago.  Russ died unexpectedly in '76, and Rosie took it over.  Now it is just another old empty stately relic of the past.

These are steps going down to what may have been a dock at one time along the river.  It is in front of the old Lighthouse bar which, while empty now, has the greatest potential for a decent bar and grill overlooking the river.

An actual pay phone.  How many could possibly be left in the state?

An old boarding house built when Keithsburg was more than a dot on a roadmap. A hotel was across the road and was recently demolished.  Look quick, this one will be down soon.

We do love our southern symbols down here, don't we?   

It just takes one person who wants it.

Another set of steps to wet. 

The dark churning and brooding river.

Bet the only time this baby ever gets wet is when it rains.

Wonder what's in it.

There ended up being 3 cars at the show on this day.  The Frump is always a crowd-pleaser even when parked next to a goosed Camaro SS with nitro tanks in the trunk and a large chrome air intake coming out of the hood.  (Lord!)  The best part of the day was the drive to and from.  

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