Ronald received an invitation from one of my writer buddies, Jane Charles, to come and visit her in Illinois. When I envisioned him visiting Jane, I imagined him going to the theater, maybe with some wine involved. I should have KNOWN Jane Charles would take him to a strip club. Anyway, here’s the note I got from her summing up their travels:
Ronald happened to arrive during a very busy weekend and I hoped the entertainment we had planned was something he would enjoy. Our first visit was to a local community for their annual Pumpkin Festival. Libby’s has a plant sale in Morton and every year at harvest time they have this fun festival with all kinds of pumpkin food — from pumpkin donuts to pumpkin pie and pumpkin pancakes. Ronald’s favorite was the pumpkin ice cream. He wanted the recipe because he thought it would be a good edition at Gunter’s, but they weren’t giving it up. And, I didn’t have the heart to tell him that Gunter’s no longer existed in our world. He did not particularly care for the carnival atmosphere however. There were too many kids and too many people. A few of the rides were of interest to him, but he wanted to leave as soon as he was refused because he didn’t reach the height requirement.
Besides the festival, Morton also had the Wall of Healing, which we visited prior to going to the festival. The Wall of Healing is a replica of the Vietnam Memorial. He was patient and somber while we walked the line and I pointed out my cousin’s name.
Later that evening my husband took Ronald out to a club for gentlemen. Ronald seemed rather excited and dropped names like Whites, Boodles and such. He anticipated a quiet evening in a gentleman’s club sipping brandy. However, he was rather shocked at our version of a gentleman’s club. He turned several shades of red when he caught sight of the young ladies dancing upon the stage with barely a stitch of clothing on. I believe he sputtered several times when he informed me of what type of establishment my husband had just frequented. I can’t remember the last time my husband went to Big Al’s but he was willing to step through the doors to show Ronald a good time. It is a fairly well-known establishment, beyond the boundaries of Illinois. Though Ronald did not appreciate being taken to such a place, he muttered the names of a few gentlemen who would have enjoyed the display however.
On Sunday Ronald was hopeful of some classier entertainment when I mentioned we would be going to the theatre. I took him to see the musical 9 to 5. It wasn’t what he was expecting. It was nothing like the shows he was accustomed to and barely clapped when the show was over.
Because I couldn’t seem to find anything to do that Ronald would enjoy, I took him by Caterpillar World Headquarters the following day. The picture was taken from a parking deck across the street because we could get the sign and Ronald in the same shot except from further away. We couldn’t tour a plant, but on second thought, I doubt he would have enjoyed that. We drove by the new museum being built. He wanted to go there, but it won’t open until the end of the month.
All in all, I am afraid Ronald found Central Illinois a bit of a disappointment.
Note from Tammy — I highly doubt Ronald found Big Al’s a disappointment.
Many thanks to Jane for taking him sight seeing in Illinois. And to her hubby for taking one for the team and seeing that he found his way into Big Al’s.
By the way, have you read Jane’s books? If not, I highly recommend them!
Ronald is still looking for places to visit between books. If you’d like to host an adventure with Ronald, please let me know.