Friday, July 19, 2013

German war prisoners, and, corn! Also, hello Indiana.

Today was our last day in Hoopeston. Sad face. Doug got to play on the slides, though, so happy face for that one.

We took a run together this morning. In four miles, we never saw one car (or one person for that matter).

We've been staying with my great aunt Sue, about ten miles outside of Hoopeston. Here's a video of her house:

Here's some photos if you can't see the video. This is her house and the barn:

Here's the pit where they burn their trash, the outhouse, and her little garden.

Soy field to the left, corn field to the right.

This is the intersection about two miles from her house. Video and photos. Corn and soy for as far as you can see.

Back in good old downtown Hoopeston, this is an interesting landmark. This spot is a former German prisoner camp during the world war. My great great grandparents lived very close by. Every day, about 200 prisoners were marched out by American soldiers to go work at the factories. They marched in unison and sang songs. When my grandmother was at their house she'd run out to watch them march and sing. They said they had to guard the prison tightly, not to keep the men from getting out, but to keep the girls from getting in :-)

Spent another great afternoon with my great grandma. Heard stories of my great grandpa chasing her around the farm naked to douse her with water, cooking huge dinners (served at lunch, supper was dinner) that always included dessert, and traveling two or three times a week to nearby towns to square dance. They were excellent square dancers, and she even sewed her own dresses. (And always made sure she wore special undergarments, because with all that twirling sometimes the dress got a little risqué :-) 

With that we were off to Indiana.

Oh wait, you want more corn talk before we leave? OK. They have a lot of signs like this up at a few farms. The farmers try a new varietal and farmers get paid to advertise it. 

OK we're out. See ya later Illinois!

When I asked my dad for some background on where he drew up and where my paternal grandmother was buried, he responded by giving me a phone number for a relative I've never met. Luckily aunt Chris (cousin Chris?) is awesome, and her husband cooked us a delicious meal of carnitas and guacamole. Cause you know, we're Californians in the Midwest, so a little Mexican food should make us feel at home :-) 

So, anyone hankering for some corn yet? When was your last burrito? What's your favorite slide? And what do you think Jerky's up to?


  1. While you and Doug are wasting your time connecting with family, learning about new parts of our country and its history, and spending time together, I think you should know that I'm totally smokin' you guys on Breaking Bad. You're going to need to work hard to catch up. I'm being very productive here.

    On another note, I thought I'd share a quote from the Totally Corn Cookbook: "People have tried and they have tried but sex is not better than sweet corn" -- Garrison Keillor

    BTW, could you please bring me back a suitcase full of sweet corn? Thanks.

    1. Wow. Sweetcorn better than sex. Wonder what great grandma would have to say about that? Or my grandma did that matter. They both had four kids so you know... Yes I'm way behind on my television relationships. Accredited, while difficult, must be made!