Andalusia Friendly

Andalusia, Illinois
September 3, 2019

Dear Family & Friends:

If you live in America, I hope you had a great Labor Day.

After paddling through Lock & Dam No.’s  14 & 15 and traveling 25 miles, I arrived in Andalusia, Illinois. Don Brock greeted me at the marina. He was sitting in his golf cart, overlooking the marina, drinking a beer. Don is the former owner of “The Little Store,” the only general store in Andalusia. He retired several years ago. He drove me to the only bar in town where I had a beer and “sloppy joe” sandwich, while thoroughly enjoying my conversation with the local residents.

Steve and Darcy Crafton invited me to spend the night in the spare bedroom of their home  in Andalusia. I gladly accepted their offer. They transported me to my canoe where I loaded my gear in their car. Then, they took me to their home in a very clean and quiet neighborhood in Andalusia. Steve barbecued steak for the family, which included Austin, and his girlfriend, Leah. It was nice to be inside when the rain and lightning arrived in the early morning hours.

Steve is a Marine and is the Superintendent of Crafton Railroad Company, Inc., which builds model railroads all over the country. Crafton lays the tracks for the railroads. We have a very popular model railroad operation in Fairview Park, Costa Mesa. It is called Goat Hill Junction. Steve also manages a family farm near Andalusia.

Darcy is the Clinic Manager at Quad City Pediatrics in Davenport, Iowa. On September 3, I visited her clinic and met Dr. Majdi Omar, the practicing pediatrics doctor at the Clinic. Darcy also has a fantastic garden at their home, and I left with a good supply of vegetables, including tomatoes and cucumbers.

Thanks Steve and Darcy, and a special thanks to Steve for his service to our country.

I left Andalusia at noon on September 3.


Don & Bill
Farmer Darcy

Bill with Steve & Darcy
Bill with Austin & Leah
Dr. Omar & Darcy


6 thoughts on “Andalusia Friendly

  1. Another nice report, Bill. The folks in the rural Midwest are the salt of the earth. Having grown up in Missouri and Illinois, I have, like you, been the recipient of warm hospitality and kind generosity in America’s heartland. More than the river itself, I’m sure your interactions with people, along the way, will long linger in your mind/heart.
    BTW, Bill, is there a way for you/your daughter to upload larger resolution images? We enjoy your photos and would all the more if they came through larger!
    BTW, as a scuba diver who has dived off the same vessel, Conception, numerous times, I’m saddened by the fiery tragedy which took 34 lives. May they rest in peace. Let’s continue appreciating and enjoying the adventure of life, as you are, Bill.

    1. Hi Kevin- I will look into this! I do see in past years I had higher resolution and have asked our guru at Bixa Media for help. I am a novice at this! Hopefully you will see better resolution in the future.

  2. Bill, reading each of your reports, it is a reminder of Charles Kurault’ s ON THE ROAD series– only he traveled in a motorhome across America!! He would have loved meeting you and reading about your Mississippi adventures.

    Continued blessings, and I’ll post a picture to you from our Mt. Blanc hike. Leaving today.


  3. Andalusia is a great town. I will say my Dad is awesome! I am glad Steve and Darcy did help you out. I went to High School with Steve and is a very good Friend. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Good people out there to assist in your adventures.

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