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Cairo, IL

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Published by:
Todd Bertolaet
Digest / 8.25" x 5.25"
114 pages Perfect-bound

My first visit to Cairo was in June 2003 when two of my daughters and I stopped while on a trip from Florida to Chicago. When I was in elementary school in Chicago, we studied Cairo in Illinois history. It was a strategic location for the military and commerce during the civil war, which had always interested me. The fact that runaway slaves from Missouri could float south on the Mississippi and end up free on the other side of the river near Cairo in a northern state fascinated me. And while we were freezing our rear ends off on the school playground in Chicago, kids in Cairo often enjoyed mild weather. My first trip to Cairo on a cold and rainy June afternoon was nothing like I imagined it would be. Instead of seeing a village with well-kept sites celebrating its heritage and history, my daughters and I witnessed a town barely making it on life support. Cairo was the fictional town that I imagined in the south when I was growing up in the north during the 1960s and it was here in Illinois, a northern state.

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