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Hello Hillsboro: Trip back home stirs nightmares
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When you have lived in Hillsboro for more than a quarter of a century, you tend to forget how different your hometown is in comparison, especially if it is Chicago!

Jane and I attempt to get back to the Windy City about once a year, if possible, to visit old friends and family, with an accent on the “old!”

There must be a Fountain of Youth hidden somewhere in Vernon County because folks don’t seem to age here as much as in Chicago. In fact, I seldom attend those depressing Class Reunions simply because I don’t recognize many of those old, and I mean old, classmates.

In fact, in addition to visiting the few Chicago relatives and friends that we retain, it seems like a trip to Mount Emblem Cemetery brings back more pleasant memories than anything. A yearly “visit” to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins sort of makes me feel like there still is something really good about Chicago …a childhood past, the people who shared it, and the special thoughts that remain.

The other side of that coin, however, are the things you don’t think much about until returning, such as thousands of amateur race car drivers who turn the streets into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every chance they get.

For some reason, we drove more at night than normal, and all the colored lights suddenly become distracting and annoying. Every corner seems to have about six streets meeting with a half dozen “left turn” lights. It makes me remember that Jane drives to work at Vernon Memorial Hospital in Viroqua every day and has to deal with only two stop signs, one that’s at the end of our street!

I’m telling you, places like Chicago are another world for drivers and something to be avoided any time its possible!

I haven’t even touched on other nightmares, but trust me, I have plenty of material for other columns.


We wish to offer deep condolences to the entire family of Mary Ellen Gardino, who died recently while on vacation in Hawaii.

Mary Ellen, who lived in and enjoyed the Hillsboro area, was a very popular teacher at Wonewoc-Center. Her husband, Lee, owned and operated a plumbing business in Hillsboro and was a very active member of the Hillsboro Lions Club.

Their children attended Hillsboro schools, played sports for the Tigers, and had many good friends in town.

If you would like to drop them a card or letter, here is their home address:

Lee Gardino, P.O. Box 67194, Chugak, AK 99567