2022 #1 “Grandpa Ippen’s Barns © April 8, 2022

Grandpa and Me

When you walk into this barn, on the left hand side, is a shoot that corn falls down out of. I think it was the last day of them being on the farm. They were moving into town, Byron. Grandpa and I walked into this Barn and I asked him to open the shoot. Every time he opened it there would be a live mouse that fell out of it and he would stomp on it with his big ole boots. Grandpa said it’s been empty for a long time so there wouldn’t be anything in it. He humored me and opened it anyway. Lo and behold a live mouse fell out and he stomped on it. You can take away the barn but you can’t take away the memories.


Same barn with a 60 year difference. John Richard Ippen, Marie Bernice and Sharon Joan Ippen lived on this farm during the 50’s and 60’s.

2021 #6 “Neeske Beenders Brink” ©November 16, 2021

Rings (Ort?) den 17 August 1908

It pleased the Lord of life and death, our dear mother, grandmother and great-grandmother REESKE BRINK, born Beenders, to be consumed by death. She was born in Werdenum, Emden Ostfriesland on September 16, 1822, brought up in a Christian family and, on the confession of her faith in her Savior, was admitted to the Reformed Church in Willum on March 24, 1842. In spring 1846 she married Mr. Adolph Harms Brink, which marriage was blessed with 5 children, 4 daughters and a son. She came to this country with her family in 1883. On December 18, 1890, a daughter died after severe suffering and on April 2, 1891, her husband passed away. Since then she has lived with her children, whom they looked after with faithful care and filial love. The blissfully fallen asleep was sincere, loyal, hardworking and popular with everyone who knew her. She endeavored to faithfully fulfill the purpose of her life. In the last year she had to suffer a lot as a result of a decrease in vitality, which tribulation she endured with great patience. She fell asleep gently on August 11, 5 a.m. at the age of 85 years, 10 months and 25 days, leaving behind 3 daughters, 1 son, 19 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren who regret their passing. On the 14th of that month, your body was laid to rest next to your husband in the Lindenwood cemetery, with Pastor W.R. Mundhenke gave the funeral speech. Asking for silent condolences we bring this to the display Harm M. Brink Mrs. J. Ippen (born Brink) Mrs. M. Boomgärden (born Brink) Mrs. B. Alberts (born Brink) Rings (place?) August 17, 1908

2021 #5 “We Are Not Even Mentioned” © July 14, 2021


Ernest Leroy Rhodes

JULY 21, 1967 – JULY 11, 2021
Obituary of Ernest Leroy Rhodes

Heaven welcomed a remarkable human being when Dusty Rhodes peacefully passed away on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at home after a long battle with brain cancer. He was the son of Ernest “Ernie” LeRoy Rhodes Jr. and Patricia (Longsdorf) Rogers. He was born July 21, 1967 and grew up in Hinckley/Big Rock, Illinois. Dusty was united in marriage on December 31, 1992 to his wife Abby (Lindblom) Rhodes. They spent the next 28 years together living in the Kendall County Area. He had been employed in the painting/coating industry for many years at different companies. Dusty was also active at his church, Yorkville Congregational Church United Church of Christ, and sang in the choir. He enjoyed coaching his children’s athletic teams, and played many different sports throughout his life. Dusty enjoyed playing poker with his local gang, as well as playing poker and bags with his Okie-Vegas friends.

Dusty was preceded in death by his father, Ernest Rhodes Jr.

He is survived by his wife, Abby Rhodes; children, Lauren Rhodes, Megan Johnson and Brett Rhodes; his grandchildren, Liam Rhodes and Chris Johnson Jr. He is also survived by his mother, Patricia Rogers; his sister, Kim (Gary) Baie; niece, Stephanie (Brian) Long all of Hinckley; nephew, Chad (Lindsay) Baie of North Aurora, and many cousins.

A Celebration of Life will be held July 24, 2021 at Yorkville Congregational Church United Church of Christ. Located at 409 Center Parkway Yorkville, IL 60560. Visitation to be held 10am-Noon with a service and luncheon to follow.


OUCH. We were not even mentioned. Dusty was adopted in a prearranged adoption. The name on his birth certificate should read, “Michael Patrick Larson” but his adopitive parents chose not to tell him. The story was that he was given up by a young college student. Which is totally a crock. Sharon Joan Ippen Gibbons was his birth mother. The last name Larson came from his Great Grandmother. I am is blood 1/2 sister, Vicki Marie Gibbons. He has 2 other 1/2 brothers Mark Richard Gibbons and Christopher Thomas Gibbons. I found Dusty not even a month after our mother died. (Also found his birthfather ~rip~ William Alfred “Mick” Finnan and more 1/2 siblings) This story is not over.

I have so much to say but it will be in another blog


2021 #4 “I got A Sign” © July 14, 2021

I GOT A SIGN. (Not from my mom or pop…)

I’m making peanut butter cookies. I polished off a jar of peanut butter and put the lid on tight. The trashcan is across the kitchen. I decided to toss it in from where I was standing. I toss it. It hits the back rim then bounces to the back wall. It then hits the front rim and falls to the floor. It starts rolling and rolls slowly up to my feet and stops right before touching me. REMEMBER, the trashcan is across the whole kitchen.

I lost my sports loving brother Dusty on Sunday July 11, 2021. I know this was him.


Dusty’s birth name was/is, MICHAEL PATRICK LARSON.

2021 #3 “The Castle Park Chronicles” #1 © April 21, 2021

Early 80’s….maybe 1981, Michael Anthony came to the Castle Park in Riverside, California. I was working the snack bar. I calmly asked this handsome man, “Aren’t you the drummer for Van Halen?” He just looks at me kind of puzzled and says, “I’m the bass player.” I felt so dumb at that moment. I knew that… but I was star struck. I sure blew that moment.


2021 #2 “Mundelein, Illinois” © February 16, 2021

I have always wanted to go fishing. When I was in the 5th grade we lived in Mundelein, Illinois. I walked to this lake with my bamboo pole in hand and a safety pin for my hook. Hoping for the best. I sat there all day. Nothing.

Here it is 50+ years later and I’m still want to go fishing. It’s never going to happen.


2021 #1 “TACO HOUR” © January 11, 2021

1978-79? I worked at a place called TACO HOUR in Downey or Norwalk, California next to a Kmart. It had a clock on the face of a giant donut. We had the best food! We experimented making things. I had so much fun there. When I first applied for the job, the owner hired me on the spot because I filled out my application faster than anyone else. It had big steam tables that to turn on or off you had to stick your arm under it where the flames were. Only burnt my arm one time… that’s all it took! Beano’s were 50¢. Two little corn tortillas with beans and whatever else you wanted. It was like a little Mexican sandwich. Ohhhh so good. The owner also taught me how to cut onions! (This is not the correct photograph, but close) I also worked at that Kmart for a short time.

-vicki marie gibbons-

2020 #12 ” Mundelein” © December 14, 2020

5th grade in Mundelein Illinois,  I don’t remember the reason but my mom spent a lot of time making little finger sandwiches in the shapes of these cookie cutters…heart, diamond, spade, and club for a party in my the classroom. I do remember they were a big hit among all the kids in the class. Maybe 1968? My mom was wonderful,♡ Sharon Joan Ippen ♡ STILLMAN STRONG


2020 #11 “Capri Motel” © October 28, 2020

2010 was a really bad year. The Capri Motel in Butte, Montana put the boys and I up for free. We were homeless and trying to head back to Arizona. The year my mother died. It was late fall because there was snow on the ground. Salvation Army paid for a couple nights and Capri gave us one more night because of the bad weather. I have a Matchbook cover that I just bought on eBay to add to my memories. My wonderful niece Bridget Heather Gibbons brought us a pizza dinner to the room our last night there.



2020 #10 “Zeno’s Motel” © August 27, 2020

We stopped here many years ago. We were staying at The Drury Inn just east of Zeno’s Motel. Picked up matchbooks or whatever I could find for my friend Xeno, Randall Hogan. This motel is now closed/gone. I just bought a postcard on eBay for my personal memories of traveling back and forth to and from Illinois/California/Arizona, we always passed the billboard advertising this Motel. Rolla, Missouri ROUTE 66. I remember it long before this trip. So thankful that I stopped this one time and went inside ♡ Max and Harry must have been babies. I am almost positive that my niece Holly was also with on this trip. I do remember it was raining.~vicki~

Music…Need I say more?