I availed myself of the golden opportunity to travel to Eldorado to finish my commitment to taking photos in my second hometown… of places that might be fun to determine where they were located in the town. The 62 degrees was springlike and I knew that the opportunity for such warm weather in January in Little Egypt would be fleeting. Although it has been almost 50 years since I lived in the City of Gold…I feel perfectly at home each time that I am there. I have lost track of the number of times I have traveled to my Town but I think it is nearing 20 visits since the winter of 2022. The Christmas decorations were down…and I missed them. I am a Christmas All Year Round sort of guy.
I discovered the beautiful mural painted by Zettie Shults of ‘The coal mining industry of former years.’ Her son Steve told me of his mother being the mural painter. Eldorado has several murals throughout the town but none has moved me more than Ms. Shult’s work of art.
Coal mining is interwoven into the fabric of Eldorado. I wanted to get a job in the Coal Mines as a lad and endeavored to do so once I graduated high school. A Personnel Manager at Sahara Coal Mines discouraged me from doing so when he showed me a stack of applications about four feet tall.
As I walked the Eldorado streets and byways I was transported back to my youth. I remembered what I was thinking as a boy in the city. My aspirations and goals and dreams took me a few miles away to Carbondale and a career at Southern Illinois University. It gives me great joy when some of my former classmates enjoy the photos that I post on Facebook. When I am in Eldorado I am where it all began for us.
Eldorado and Southern Illinois has so much to offer to tourists and guests that are hungry for the nearly lost beauty of small-town life. We are all seeking a more peaceful and calmer and holistic existence. Reflection and time to think and ponder the great questions of our existence…are provided in Eldorado.
Success and fame and fortune have their own pitfalls. Accession is what we desire. More money and responsibility and people who know us and see us and listen to our musings. Indeed all of those gifts have their place…but they are not the crux of our happiness. Happiness can be found in the streets of Eldorado and the memories that are seamless in the life of a 65-year-old…