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Monday, July 27, 2015

Where's Peara? Boyhood Home of a President

Where's Peara now?

For those of you new to Peara's adventures, let me introduce you.

Peara is a stuffed, plush, yellow pear with googly eyes. We received her from my sister-in-law years ago, even before we had children, I believe. See, she was going through her kids' toys and Peara was about to take a visit to Goodwill. Before this happened, my sister-in-law asked if we would by any chance be interested in finding a home for Peara. And, the rest is history.

Well, almost history...

As we began traveling with our children, we sort of adopted this plump yellow pear as our travel with kids mascot.  And, thus began our journey of "Where's Peara?"

Here is a huge hint, though if you see this painted on the side of some plant alongside the highway, you may wrongly think that we will be visiting Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home. Nope, in fact, this president's boyhood home is farther north in Illinois, and this particular president wasn't even born yet when Lincoln had the honor of running the country.

We kept driving, and driving, and driving.

We saw windmills which always fascinate me. Imagine getting all of the power we need to live and conduct business, directly from the earth itself using wind power.  Whenever we drive by these huge blades, I find myself amazed at the massive size of these windmills and baffled at exactly what they do to convert wind into electricity.

If you want to discover along with me, check out this instructional windmill site.

We found our way through small country highways and onto the site of where President Ronald Reagan lived as a boy.

In the garage sat a Model T. The tour guide informed us, however, that the Reagans didn't ever own a Model T, because they were never rich enough in those days. We were assured, though, that Mr. Reagan, Ronald's dad, did in fact work on Model T's.

This particular Model T was later donated to the museum and home site.

Ronald Reagan was a lifeguard in his teen/early adult years, and he was credited for saving several lives.

We arrived inside the home where the president once lived. Do you see that tile in the picture that has been removed? Underneath, young Ron used to hide his pennies. It cost a few cents (I don't recall the exact amount, seems like the tour guide said 2 cents) to go to the movies. So, Ron would hide his pennies underneath this loose tile so his brother wouldn't find his stash when it came time to go to the movies.

Another fascinating fact that the guide shared is that back in those days, the young president was not allowed to set foot inside this front parlor room. So, he would lie on the ground with his feet in the hallway and hide his pennies just around the corner, within reach.....  Tricky - See, he had obeyed technically - Since, his feet had not set foot inside the room. They were still dangling in the hallway.

Upstairs to the right was a small bedroom where Ron and his brother shared not only a room, but a bed as well.

This picture shows Ronald, Nancy and Ron's brother sitting on the bed reminiscing about their childhood when he visited the renovated home in the 80's.

This small bathroom contains a footed bathtub, and a sink the size of one you might find on a train. The tub, we were told, is the very one Ronald Reagan would have taken a bath in as the house did have running water at the time, and this tub was placed here in the 1920's, long before he would have occupied the house.

This bed, with beautiful quilt, was the bed of Ronald's mom and dad. The quilt was a gift to the mom.

The picture of the White House is obviously not original, but was done in the style of what a wall picture would have looked like at the time.

This is our tour guide. He is holding the very plate that Ronald Reagan ate off of when he, Nancy, and his brother were served lunch in the dining room of the house upon their visit to the grand opening of the renovated house. We were told that a towns woman had baked a cake for Ronald's birthday that day as well, but the secret service would not let the cake be eaten without being first scrutinized. But, they did set the cake on the table for press photos.

We were told that when the president got up to leave, there was a piece missing. So, the woman who baked the cake probably was thrilled to discover the president actually ate her cake. Though, the happy news was also followed up with a stern warning that she should be grateful no harm had come to the president because of it.

Outside the home is a statue of President Ronald Reagan. Look who is perched in his hands.

We left the house and made our way back through Dixon to get back onto the highway.

Look! Peara had a couple of friends photo bomb.


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