Where I’m From

Where moms and dads were high school flames. Gave their children grandmothers maiden name. Yes it may not sound like much. But its where I’m from …

I’m from a small town in Southern Illinois, think south of Chicago. Now think further south. Okay, you are almost there. Yes, even further south than Springfield. Yes, there is life down there, between the rivers (Ohio & Mississippi), about 2.5 hours from St. Louis. It’s a good place to be from, I like to go back now and again because my entire family has always lived there. About 13 years ago my dad, stepmom and brother moved to one of the STL burbs, and about 6 months ago my mom & stepdad moved to the same town I live in now, but my hometown is still nestled down in between other smaller towns that used to thrive due to coal-mines, but are now all but dead communities.

My last entry was about the Apple Festival 5k, but it was only a very small part of the Apple Festival. HUGE parade – like 2.5 – 3 hours long, drawing every little band, pom-pom squad and fire engine from as far as 100 miles away. Over the course of the 5 day festival, my hometown of 9000 people will see as many as 45,000 people. It’s a big deal. Class reunions and family reunions are scheduled over the weekend to cooincide with the festival.

Well, missed my family reunion on Sunday because we had to drive back up here for a football game that was ultimately canceled due to rain. Grrr…..Anyway, ya’ll wanna see the stock I come from? Here’s a pic of my mom and her 3 sisters. My mom is the oldest, and her sisters are spaced just like my kids and they were all 3 years apart in school. My grandma died the year before I was born, so there are a lot of cousins with “Jayne” or “Jane” or “Layne” in their names. Mary Jane Layne was her maiden name, and if you listen to country music, there’s a song called “Where I’m From” by Jason Michael Carroll and one of the lines in it talks about children bearing grandmother’s maiden name. My own middle name is Nolen, which my mom gave me to honor my grandpa’s new wife, whom he married about a year after my grandma died. You may know that Dorothy’s middle name is Jayne, now you know where it came from….and Dorothy was my dad’s mom….

From left to right – Kelly, Robyn, Crey (my mom) and Leslie


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