I have this photo of downtown Oglesby, Illinois as my cover photo on my Facebook page. Every time I look at this photo I see Jimmy, Billy, or Johnny–three of the main characters in my novella Ice Cream Headache walking down the street.
Sometimes I just look at the photo to go home.
I also see myself as a young walking down this same street on my way home from Washington Grade School. On the right, is Balconie’s where many kids stopped on their way home. Across the street is where the Oglesby Public Library used to be located. Downstairs was City Hall and the police station.
I can make out the Supreme Dairy on the right just down from the laundromat. I can also see Arkin’s Rexall Drugstore, Clydesdale’s (a furniture store), even the Citgo Gas Station across the street from Venturelli’s Furniture Store where my mother, younger brother, and I lived for six months.
From 1966-1976, this was the center of my universe.
This was one story that I never thought about writing. It was one that just happened.
It’s a story that I was proud to write.