“On the road again -
Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again
On the road again -
And our way is on the road again.



What memories traveling down Route 66 came alive to me. It was 1955, and I had been working for John Deere in Des Moines; when I got my orders to report to duty for the Uited States Air Force. At that time Dottie was a TWA Stewardess stationed in the Detroit area. Of course the direct route from Des Moines to Albuquerque was through Chicago, so it was off to Chicago for a date with the beautiful lady.

1955, Miss Dorothy Lewis now Ms. Dottie Ribble


I had to hurry home, pack and report to San Antonio in less than a week. So on a Sunday afternoon when it came time to put my bride to be on her air plane, I took off down Ole Route 66 to Albuquerque. I was in love, my head was in the clouds; and the first fuel stop was Springfield. I loved this sign post we came across, as it reminded me of that drive down Ole route 66.

In the Museum this bust of Lincoln just jumped our and grabbed me. It was only after taking the picture, that Dottie observed a sign that stated "NO PICTURES ALLOWED." So you don't see this bust do you? I certainly didn't take a photo.


My comments on President Lincoln are not to be interrupted as a lesson in history, as there are thousands of authors who have researched and covered this subject in a most knowledgeable manner. This dialog is on our observations in Springfield and the Lincoln Museum. This has been a very educational and uplifting experience. Now my story.

The 16th President of the United States 1691 - 1865. He was assassinated 150 years ago. It is amazing to me to observe the laurals and greatness attribute to this man, remembering that he only served as President 4 years and 41 days.

Springfield is the Capital City of Illinois, and a city of only 210,000 in the metro population. It is a quite town and was a delight to visit. The State of Illinois has done a terrific job in the preservation of the downtown area, and especially anything that was or could be attached to the memory of President Lincoln. The streets are wide; and they have provided ample parking structures, so that access to the area is close and within easy walking distances.

Directly across from the Museum is the Capital Building of Lincoln's time. He served in the state legislature here for 11 years.

Old Capitol Sign

Capital (download)

The Train depot is located immediately behind the Capitol.

Rail Station(download)

Abe Lincoln was sitting there enjoying the mid day warmth. Being he had called and invited us to stop by, I sat down and we had a wonderful chat. I should have thought and dressed a little more formally, but he did not take exception to my traveling attire.

NR & Abe

He was very humble and this showed in our conversation. Too, he absolutely refused to talk about the current national leadership from Illinois. And only quoted a Bible verse, "And this too, shall pass;" and I do think I caught a twinkle in his eye.

This was his office, where he last practiced law prior to departing to Washington DC. Martha was always certain that he was dressed properly. Being a tall man at 6' 4," she had to reach pretty high to straighten his collar.

Law Office Linclon Family(download) Lincoln Law Office)......................................................... (download) Lincon Family

The Lincoln Family in Washington at the White House and Guests.

Lincol Famly & NR DL

Lincon Horeback(download)

Lincoln had only been President 39 days, when the Civil War began at Fort Stumper. He was then Commander in Chief.


The United States of America when the Civil War began.

US Map(download)

Lincoln with his Cabinet Members when he announced the Emancipation Proclamation thereby freeing all those in slavery. Just like today working with any group of Politicians, this Proclamation was not readily accepted in his Cabinet. He didn't alter his course, only the timing.


The President and Mary at the Lincoln Theater on April 15, 1865.

Opera Deat Acconuncment

This display of a replica of the Log Cabin where Lincoln grew up,

Dl Linclon cabin

There is an area of approximately 3 city blocks square where the homes surrounding the Lincoln Home has been preserved. The streets are gravel, the boarded sidewalks representing as closely as possible the living conditions in Springfield in the 1830 ~ 1870's. One must applaud the Historical Society of Illinois and whom ever was responsible for the preservation of this area. The wide tree lined streets placed you back in time, as you walked the walk that he too walked.

His neighbor across the street was Mrs. Cook.

S Cook

Cook Home

Abraham and Mary Lincoln's Springfield home.

Lincoln Home(download)

Our thanks to the State of Illinois and the City of Springfield on a magnificent contribution to the History of the United States and to President Lincoln.

The Capital of Illinois

We did not do the Capital Building tour, as we spent too much time at the Lincoln plaza. It was rather congested here, but I found a parking place and standing in the middle of the street took this picture. A State Patrol car pulled up behind me and blocked traffic for me. He knew I had just been chatting with Abe, and he just smiled and accorded me an honorary photographers status.

CApital IL

Our drive from St Louis to Springfield and on to Madison, WI was through spectacular farming country. Beautiful fields of corn one after another and all in their tassels. We remembered driving through Central and Midwest Illinois and Indiana in 2012 when the crops stood in drought. Mile after mile of stunted crops which yielded nothing. But in our minds what we were observing this year would be an abundant harvest. What a difference rain makes. BUT DOES IT?

In Springfield we were remarking to a neighbor in the RV Park, who was a farmer. He related to us how his crops had drowned out. The tremendous rains they experienced has drowned the roots. He lost his wheat crop and the corn harvest. He is expecting to harvest less that a 30% yield. We thought we were in the midst of abundance, only to learn that all that is green does not necessarily mean abundance. Just like our experiences in life. Eye candy is not necessary that sweet.

But one has to admit that it is a beautiful sight, even if not a financially successful one. Thank You Illinois, we enjoyed the beauty of traveling through your country side and complement you on your spectacular preservation of the Lincoln area in Springfield.

Wisconsin is beaconing us north, and so it will be good bye Illinois and Hello Wisconsin. Stay with us as we head to the Woods of northern Wisconsin and to Door County and Green Bay.

Come on Willie sing us another verse, and we’ll move on down the road. 

Norm & Dottie