Get your kicks on Route 66

The now legendary Route 66 was established in 1926 as the federal government began to establish a numbered road system. In reality, it was a collection of state roads bundled together, renamed, then over the course of the next 60 years, rerouted and upgraded and eventually rendered obsolete by interstates. It was the preferred route […]

Love is the mane thing

A sunbeam illuminates an elderly woman’s snow-white hair. Sound asleep in her wheelchair, her tiny frame lists to one side. A cheerful nurse in brightly colored scrubs leans over and whispers in her ear, “Guess who’s here?” The 107-year-old woman’s eyes fly open, bright with anticipation, and she sits up in her chair. The clip-clop of […]

Soldier and Camel

Born to Serve

Kim Leftwich is on a mission. He is a tall, silver haired man who has a no-nonsense but friendly demeanor. His leadership character is evident, and it is not surprising when you learn he spent 25 years in the military and retired an Air Force Lt. Colonel. He also worked for Illinois Power and is […]

Mission Possible

The excitement was thick as they gathered in the dark in anticipation of what was to come. An ever-strengthening roar went through the crowd as hands were thrown in the air in triumphant jubilation. The switch had been pulled, and suddenly light broke the darkness! After years of living in darkness, new possibilities were on […]

Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – […]

Doctor and Lady in Wheelchair

Is the doctor in?

Many of the ingredients of rural life that make country living so appealing — things like wide open spaces, sparse populations and simple living — often can work against us when it comes time to seek medical care. It’s a paradox of rural life. We like “being away from it all,” but unfortunately that also […]

Making holiday spirits bright

One of the great sub-plots in the classic holiday movie “Christmas Vacation” features leading character Clark Griswold’s tireless pursuit of the ultimate Christmas light display. Countless hours on the roof coupled with dozens of extension cords and thousands of bulbs all are part of his struggles to finish decorating his suburban Chicago home. He could […]

The Color Purple

“If you’re gonna step out of that tank and walk into that house where you know you might be blown up, you gotta be tough, you gotta be strong, you gotta be ready-top of your game. When you go from that to literally not being able to brush your own teeth the next day, that’s […]

A fiber runs through it

One hundred years ago the telephone and the light bulb were state-of-the-art. They were also virtually non-existent in rural America. Seventy-five years ago cooperatives finally provided a solution to that problem. Today, state-of-the-art means having a high-speed broadband connection. Smart is everywhere. Smart phones, smart cars, smart tractors, smart factories, smart office buildings, smart homes, […]

Growing A Business The American Way

As a child, there’s nothing quite like biting into a big slice of ice cold watermelon on a hot summer day and feeling that juice dribble down your chin. It’s sweet, juicy, satisfying and downright delightful! It’s a part of childhood. From the ripe old age of eight, Sarah Frey-Talley of Keenes helped her mother deliver watermelon […]