- Featured Stories
- Douglas County
- City of Ava
- General Interest
Sam Frye spent Thanksgiving week visiting with family members in Davenport, Iowa and Rockford and Rochelle area of northern Illinois. His son, Rod Frye, and his sisters, Lena Sears, Hester Ranick, and Maxine Levan and members of their families live in that area. Sam said that there was about thirteen people together for Thanksgiving.
Debra Bohnstedt of Springfield drove down Friday evening for a visit with her mother, Norma Stillings.
Norma Stillings attended the Legislative Brunch that was held last Thursday at the MOCH Wellness Center Conference Room. It was an interesting and informative meeting. The Douglas County Interagency/CHART group met with several of our local and state officials so that they could be aware of the projects and concerns of the different agencies.
Norma drove to Springfield, Monday to attend an inservice at the Long Term Care Ombudsman Operating Agency which is located at the Council of Churches Building. The subject of discussion was how a nursing home can be a good place to live and not just a place to die. The culture change with its focus on residents rights and allowing residents to make choices in respect to their care has had good results.
It has been seventy years since the bombing of Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. This event is one of the things that stands out in my early memories. I was four years old and I did not know what a harbor or a bomb was, but I knew that something really bad had happened. We had a battery radio. We did not turn it on often or for very long, because I suppose the batteries were expensive, but there were neighbors who came to sit and listen to our radio a lot during that time.
The world that I had known before that day was comfortable and secure. It was bounded on the north by the house where my grandma, Columbus Putnam, lived with the aunts, Faye, Marie, and Leanna and my Uncle Herbert. On the south was the Nubbin Ridge School house where we went to church with all sorts of uncles and aunts, great uncles and aunts and cousins on the Rogers side of the family. Ava was the eastern boundary. Beaver creek was the west boundary but another bunch of aunts and uncles lived in that far off place, Springfield. But everything changed.
Over the course of the next year, it seemed that many the uncles, cousins, and neighbors disappeared. Some moved away to California to work in defense plants and never came back. They stayed on in California to raise their families. Some went into the Army, Navy, and Marines and some of them did not come back. Our world no longer felt so safe.
My sister, Anna, and I would play in the yard of our home on the south side of Pilot Knob. Sometimes, off in the distance, we could hear the rumble of airplanes coming from the west. There would be bombers and smaller planes in formations moving across the sky. We would watch in some fear and a great deal of excitement as they disappeared to the east. We did not know that these were planes being flown across the United States on their way to serve America’s military. We had seen some News Reels at the Movies in Ava and in them doors would open under the bombers and bombs would come falling down. By that time I knew what a bomb was and did not want one falling on our house.
The worst part of all was listening to the news reports every noon and evening to hear casualties being read off. Sooner or later the name being read was someone we had known. This war hang like a dark cloud of fear over me from the time I was four until I was eight years old.
I attended school in Ava during the first four grades. We would bring dimes to school to buy stamps for “War bonds.” When the stamps filled a book it could be exchanged for a bond. People in the neighborhood would have pie suppers to raise money for something to do with the war, perhaps the Red Cross. At any rate, we felt that we had a part in helping our service men. I am still thankful for those who returned from that war.