We played in Peoria!


July 7, 2021

This photo shows a few unmarked graves at the old Peoria State Hospital in Bartonville, Illinois. Lost records and new federal medical privacy rules mean that more than 2500 graves there will never be identified. About 4500 graves are in four plots around the site of the old hospital.

Alert readers may be familiar with the phrase "Will it play in Peoria?" The "will it play" expression dates to the 1920's-30's when vaudeville producers gauged the potential success of a new show by taking it to Peoria, Illinois. If a vaudeville production was received well in Peoria it was believed the touring show would be successful across the nation.

About a month ago my wife, Sherry, and I visited Peoria. We drove to Grand Forks, North Dakota, picked up our son and headed to Peoria (just under 1400 highway miles one way) to be a part of a reunion of Sherry's siblings. Her twin brother...

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