Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ronald Reagan Trail: Chillicothe

You know the story: a small town boy playing high school football in northwestern Illinois dreams of becoming an actor. He succeeds. His name is Josh Taylor, who grew up in Chillicothe, our next stop on the Ronald Reagan Trail.

Wait...did you think I was talking about Ronald Reagan? No, Josh Taylor, a longtime staple--playing two roles--on the soap opera Days of Our Lives. He also played the patriarch on the 1980s TV sitcom The Hogan Family. This actor is the son of George Taylor, a fraternity brother and Eureka College football teammate of Dutch who was a longtime baseball, track, and football coach at Chillicothe High School. Taylor is a member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame and the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Downtown Chillicothe,
Town Theatre, center

Reagan, his brother Neil, and Taylor played football under Mac McKinzie at Eureka--the football field is named for him. After his retirement from coaching, Chillicothe High School, now called Illinois Valley, honored Taylor in the same manner.

Chillicothe's downtown is blessed with an old style movie theatre, The Town, which--get this--still shows movies. A couple of blocks from main street is the Illinois River.

Illinois River
Although my car's air conditioning failed early in this trip, luck was with me in Chillicothe that day, automotively speaking. I stopped to take a picture of the "Welcome to" sign pictured above. Had I not, I very well could have been the fourth car in a multiple vehicle accident that occurred while I was snapping away. No one seemed hurt--but one of the cars clearly wasn't drivable.

My good fortune allowed me to motor on to Henry, another Reagan Trail town on Illinois Route 29 and the subject of my next post.

And of course I will end with the Reagan Trail YouTube video for Chillicothe.

Earlier posts:

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