Ottawa Illinois, Proud Of Its "Association", Published 6 September 1956My trip from Chicago to Des Moines and then on to Perry, in Iowa, was like the course of love. It did not run smoothly. But it did run delightfully. Footsore and parboiled, rumpled and restless, I left Chicago for one (1) good night's sleep before I hit the fancy train for San Francisco and so I headed for Des Moines. There I planned to sleep in my wife's old home.
I chose for my first train of the day, the Jet Rocket a fancy new speedster with ground hugging coaches, a yellow caterpillar of a train. The jet runs to Peoria but I went as far as Bureau. This train has wheels where you do not expect them. It has no wheels where it should have wheels. The Rock Island's new futuristic streamliner is in strange segments -like a comparative caterpillar, and where you think there are three cars, actually there Is only one. Yet when you go round a curve, the same one car reveals itself as a coach with two joints so there are three cars after all. Don't try to figure this out.
The club car is thrown open to the day coach passengers, so a fellow can have a pretty good time for comparatively low priced ticket.
At Bureau I was met by Ray Beffel, veteran columnist for the Ottawa Republican-Times and the both of us did Ottawa, Illinois. A city of 20,000 people, Ottawa, Illinois is proud of its association with Ottawa, Canada. Most lamous thing that ever happened here was the Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858. Also W. D. Boyce, who Introduced Boy Scouting in America, is buried hore. A pretty place at the confluence of the Illinois and Fox rivers, and enjoying local fame due to its proximity to Starved Rock Park, I was sorry to leave our namesake town. Rock Island passenger agent, Garret J. Kerkstra, put me aboard the Colorado Rocket, and I was soon swinging my way west, toward the Mississippi.