If there is anything positive about the current pandemic, it could be the creativity that has been forged among those who stay at home.
Take, for example, John Patrick from South Beloit.
“When we got home from Florida in April, everything was shut down,” he said.
That didn’t stop him from thinking about all the stories he still wanted to share with people about his memories of life in South Beloit and the Stateline Area.
Others have also asked him when he would write another book, he said since the last one was published in 2012.
Those who know Patrick, or are familiar with his past memories, may remember: “The good old days; I grew up in my 40s and 50s. “” As I remember. . . Stateline Memories ”,“ Window to our previous postcards from the Beloit area ”,“ The house on the hill; History of the Bushnell Wheeler House ”and Stateline Snapshots; A Beloit Area Scrapbook “and” South Beloit 100 Years; South Beloit Centennial 1917-2017. “
His latest book is entitled “One More Look Back”. It is self-published with the help of his son Jim Patrick for the layout and cover design. The cover features a photo of John Patrick overlaid and looking back on a historic photo of a street in downtown Beloit. Some may remember the street where the Hotel Marvin and the Peet Insurance agency were.
The book is written from the author’s perspective and sense of humor.
In his introduction, Patrick explains: “When I turn 80, my mind flutters between the memory of childhood and the place where I left my car keys.”
Readers get an impression of what the culture was like for the author decades ago and part of the history of the region, even before his time.
When asked how he found his voice as a writer, he said it had to do with something he learned long ago in a college language course while working on his associate degree.
“The secret is to talk about something you know. I read a lot and I love the local history, ”he said.
His reading research tools include old city directories.
This led him to realize that there were 14 taverns in downtown Beloit in the early 1960s. He also writes a lot about food and has been with Beloit Corporation for more than three decades.
During lunch break when he was a co-op student at the company, he could go to the McDonalds on Madison Road, where he could get a burger, fries and a drink for 45 cents, he said.
He also talks about family and holiday gatherings, sports and hangouts from yesteryear, and much more.
“In this book, I travel the streets of Beloit of the past, describing the places and people I remember. I walk down State Street, Grand Avenue, Blackhawk Boulevard, Fourth Street, etc. and maybe funny stories come back to me.
“These are shared in the book along with other stories from the Beloit region and its people.”
As with his other publications, the proceeds from the book sale will benefit local historical societies. The 118-page volume is also loaded with photos and costs $ 15.
“One More Look Back” will be available on November 14th from 11am to 2pm at the Best of Beloit on Gardner St., South Beloit. at the Bushnell Wheeler House November 20-22 for Open House and at the Beloit Historical Society at Lincoln Center when it reopens to the public. It is also sold at Austin’s Barber Shop on State Street in Beloit or by calling 815-389-1514.