Ragged Place mats from Alton, Illinois
A Day Trip Memory:

This picture would not earn a second glance for anyone but me.

To me, it screams out loud without making a sound.

It unearths a day of memories almost three decades old. Even when I tell you about it, you will probably scratch your head and not get it.

My wife, Rebecca, and I would infrequently take days trips to local places after one of my out of town teaching assignments.

This one was on a weekday.  We took our pup with us, which we typically did not do.  Rebecca wanted to go over to see the Eagles that were reported just across the Mississippi River, in Illinois.

After not sighting the eagles, we stopped for breakfast in Alton, Illinois, and picked up some travel brochures to glance over while we ate.  One was about the World's tallest man, Robert Pershing Wadlow.  He was born the 22nd of February 1918 right there in Alton.  He was last measured at almost nine feet tall,  just a month or so before I was born.

So we drove over for a look-see.  We visited his statue and some of the Cuero shops on the town square. The placemats were an impromptu purchase.  Most of the time, I would go along with whatever she wanted since decor was not my strong suit. For whatever reason, probably the bright red and blue material, we both really like them.

They were easy to keep since you could toss them in with any regular washing load. They adorned our kitchen table for years before she ended her life.  I have continued to use them because they reminded me of the pleasant day now over two decades ago.

As you can see from the above picture, they are tattered and torn, but I hope I can keep them as long as I live.  Looking across the table, I can see both the mat and the empty chair.  They both bring back fond memories all these years later.

Yes, I have been told to throw them in the rags more than one, but I could never do that.  Little things mean a LOT to me.

Few, if any, of you will share this warm memory.  And that is okay.

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