June 20: Looking back my home town St. Charles (No.2)

As my husband needs time to translate my original Japanese into English, I went out to look through downtown St. Charles by alone. There are many antique shops with spacious display shelves. I can hardly resist the allure of shopping spree because there are so many things to stop my legs. On lunch time , I waited him to take an simple lunch at a restaurant on the bank of Fox river. This is what we have ordered. In front of me is a dish of pancake containing apple pie (the apple came from Washington DC.) My husband's dish are hot beef sandwich and a cup of clam chowder.

Whenever we eat at a restaurant, we are always satisfied with the service of the waiters. They pay attention to customers' atmosphere and ask "Everything is OK?" without fail. This time, however, we are busy to struggle with excess amount of food. You can see a T-shirt of COARA.

Well, we must digest this high calorie food anyway. We took a walk along the promenade of the river. What do you think this building is? The police station. It is so smart that makes me feel to get in to take a rest, escaping from the outside heat. We looked for something to ask officials.
An Indian statue stands along the promenade looking afar west from the river bank. Under the relief is an impressive inscription of the chief of an Indian tribe that reads:

Listen, for I speak but once.....

As I gaze across the waters of the shimmering Fox River, I see the smoke of thousands of teepees where I once saw only gentle prairies and lush forests abundant with game.

Many moons ago my people were among the first voices to be heard in this land. We came to live in peace with nature. We hunted and fished. We married, bore children and died at our appointed time. The borns of my people mingling here with the earth. We loved this valley.

It was with greatest sadness that we had to leave our home. We were few, and settlers were many. The spirit of my ancestors have never left this great Valley, and occasionally, you may glimpse our shadows or feel our pressure as we tread silently along the shores of our beloved Fox River.

Our final prayer as we left our land was that you would love this Valley as we loved it. We were one with the earth, sky and water. We were the Neshnaback, the "People" of the Valley.

Passing down the railroad bridge, we come to a riverside park. Geese and ducks welcomed us. They are so tame that they don't run away when I come close to them. I am very impressed that those wild animals are living closely with people. There are lot of lovely squirrels and birds here and there. When my husband was asked by Mrs. Judy, landlady of the inn, he answered sadly "In Japan, we can see squirrels only in a zoo." The answer looked like a surprise to her. There are many corps of small animals like squirrels that run over by car. Dogs are good friends with people, but we seldom see cats. This is probably they are in house, I suppose. The green forest is not the other side of the river, but an island called Boy scout island. many people were playing on the island by crossing the river by boat.
In a park, a open field party of a company was held in a big scale. People enjoyed barbecue, amateur baseball, chatting under trees, and boating. It is hot, anyway. But in the shade of tree, it is rather cool.
Now, it's time to return. A school, constructed in 1927, close to the inn. It has a good old days look.
The house also looks like old, but the atmosphere is really good to live comfortably today. I see American people love good old things and make efforts to maintain them in good condition. In this meaning, people work hard. For example, Mr. Bill the owner of this inn, is working hard in the morning heat to clean and repair the old inn. Yesterday, we dropped in a large hard ware shop in the suburb and found they sold everything needed for home repair, such as toiletries, kitchen wares, tools, even lumber. I learned anew that America is a country of "Do it yourself."

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