Central Illinois Family

In addition to family history, our trip to central Illinois also included some time with family members and friends.

On the drive from Chicago, we stopped in Bloomington-Normal at Illinois State University to visit Ben in his new apartment. Since he was just moving in, he needed basic supplies. We made a trip to Walmart and Sam's Club for items such as a microwave, toilet brush, and wastebasket. We also stocked up on bulk canned goods, microwave popcorn, and other essentials. Before leaving, Ben took us to a local Italian restaurant near his new home for some great food.


While in Springfield we got together with a group of long-time Midwest friends. All the friends were connected through professional relationships established over the past 20-30 years.

group on sunporch

Sue and Randy (below left) were our hosts.

Sue Randy

Although everyone stays in contact by email, it was great for everyone to have a chance to talk face-to-face.

Dave, Ed


We spent the weekend in Clarksburg at Larry's dad's house. Since Blake was back from Spain waiting on his work visa, we were lucky to have a chance to spend time with all three of the kids. We all enjoyed playing SkipBo, Oh Heck, and catching up on everyone's busy lives. Brooke was the clear SkipBo expert of the group.

In addition to our visit, we also spent some time scanning old photos from the family collection.

Old Family Photos

The first photo shows Sylvester and his sister Savilla next to a tree that fell at the Reade house during a tornado of 1929. The next photo shows Sylvester and Lillian (Reade) Johnson in 1942 near the same location as the 1929 photo.

syl and savillasyl and lil

Below are photos of the Johnson brothers. The first photo showing Sidney, Larry, and Bob was taken around 1949 when they lived in Arkansas. The photo on the right shows Larry, Sidney, and Bob with baby Keith in 1953.


Photos of Kids

We all had a great time looking through old photos. The kids (Brooke, Blake, and Ben) have grown a little in 20 years, huh? Notice that the youngest one is now the tallest one. The first photo is 1983 and the second is 2005.

Blake Ben BrookeIllinois


On Sunday we drove to Riverton and had a mini-family reunion with great food, conversations, and photos. The photo below shows Sylvester with two of his grand daughters: Amanda and Brooke.

Amanda Sylvester Brooke

In a stroke of luck, all three of Pat and Ralph's kids were in town for Matt's birthday. We took lots of photos of the six cousins (back row: Blake, Matt, Ben; front row: Ashley, Amanda, Brooke). They had a good time visiting and goofing around.


It was fun watching the many photographers snapping shots.


Illinois Family


Pat is well-known for her love of animals. We all had fun playing with a new baby kitten.

Annette enjoyed hearing about Amanda's job, college classes, and recent birthday party.

Amanda and Annette

Brooke and Pat teamed up against Amanda and Annette for a rowdy game of Cranium.

Amanda and Annette

Amanda and Annette

Created by Annette Lamb, 8/05.