G’day mates! As the newest member of the Layton clan (adopted of course) I was excited to get to meet my relatives in Effingham Illinois. We headed down the highway from Cerro Gordo about 100 clicks or so (that’s 60 miles to those of you who don’t speak Strine) and arrived at Ron and Julie’s house in short order. Ron is Jim’s brother, Julie is his wife, and they have 2 lovely daughters (Chelsea and Sheena) and 2 cute grandkids (Cade and Alex). One of the little anklebiters came out to visit me parked in their driveway, and she was a real cutie. I had a great place to rest, although the quarters were a bit of a tight fit, as you can see in the following photos.
Ron and Jim used to play in a band together back in the old days, and Ron still plays the area. So, whenever Jim’s around and Ron and the band have a gig, they let him play bass and have a good old time. This time the show was at an old Effingham watering hole called the Orchard Inn, where Jim and Friction (the band’s name) had played a couple of years ago (I learned that from reading cousin Ward’s blog). Now I heard Jim saying that he hadn’t touched his bass guitar in over a year, and that they wouldn’t have a practice session, so he’d be winging it. I hear he had a wonderful time and only completely ruined 2 or 3 songs (that was his side of the story) due to not knowing how they went. And also due to having a little too much grog before and during. But a good time was had by all, even Robin. She got up and sang harmony on a Ryan Adams song, which Jim couldn’t seem to remember having happened later in the evening. A good time indeed! Here are photos from that evening:
On Saturday Jim and Robin had lunch at Niemerg’s, a local favorite, and did a lot of visiting. They also stopped in at the local Walmart made famous in Ward’s blog as the The Effingham Illinois Walmart Liquor Store Incident, and sure enough the same woman was still working there in the liquor department. They knew what to do this time, though, and got out without being arrested. We stayed at Ron and Julie’s until Sunday when we returned to the homestead in Cerro Gordo.
Until next time, keep it between the ditches!
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