Saturday, May 29


I walked a little late this morning. It is a holiday weekend (Memorial Day) and I just didn't get started when I wanted to. Not that a holiday means much to those of us who are retired, but this day I thought about the past as I walked. We had visited cemeteries yesterday and always a person has memories after they leave. When I returned home, my husband asked if I wanted to ride to MOONSHINE for lunch and of course, I agreed. It was a beautiful day for a motorcycle ride. So Come Ride with Us. I wish I could describe Moon shine Illinois to you. We rode south on country roads for almost an hour-not true country because all of them were black top roads--true country roads around here are gravel and dirt and we still have some, but they are not meant for motorcycles. We rode about 45 mph because my husband is a retired farmer and it is an absolute that he must check each field as we progress toward our destination. MoonShine ( and I don't know if it is two words or one) is located on the corner intersection of two country black top roads and there is absolutely nothing there, but a grove of trees and an old run down country store building. As we entered the intersection we could see cars parked on both sides of the east/west road and in the field on the south corner were approximately 80 motorcycles, two buses for transporting older people, and one small tour bus. The line for food was out the door and spilled down into the yard. Perhaps ten wooden picnic tables were already filled with people and others had spread their food on picnic style blankets under the trees at the back of the yard. We got in line and as the line moved slowly toward the door, we began to smell the hamburgers, cheeseburgers and chips. Honestly, this is all they serve! Huge handmade hamburger patties fried on the grill with cheese and bacon extra. Cold drinks are swimming in the ice in the galvanized horse tank next to the cashier who is seated under a huge oak tree by the road. Here is the procedure. Stand in line, when you reach the meat counter at the far end of the country store, you place your order, leave your name and stand back in the crowded corner of the store or find a seat on one of the pew-like wooden benches placed along each side in front of the old glass roll top display counters. After approximately fifteen to twenty minutes your name is called and you push your way through the sweaty, murmuring crowd to pick up your paper plate filled with two huge cheeseburgers. (I had bacon on mine) Now you make your way slowly back to the door, pick up a bag of chips, shove your way to the line for the cashier at the table outside. Pay your $14.80 for two sandwiches, two large diet cokes and on bag of cheesies, find a seat for two at one of the numerous picnic tables. If you are lucky you can sometimes find friends or a casual acquaintance who will share their spot with you. Today we were fortunate that way. Sit and just enjoy the greasy, wonderful bacon cheeseburger. We have never been able to understand why this is such a novelty for people, but there are people here from all over the country and tour buses often stop here for lunch. No souvenirs except a shirt or a hat that says MOONSHINE. As I understand the record for one day's crowd is over 1400 people. They open at 11:00 a.m. and shut down the grill at 12:30 p.m. sharp on normal days. I do think holidays may be different, but I have known people to go there about 12:45 and not receive service(even if the proprietor is there.) So I HAVE BEEN TO MOONSHINE AGAIN. We love it and it is such a fun place for a short motorcycle trip. Now you know. Hope you can see it and smell the hamburge..never been frozen,never been made into a patty with filler-just good ground beef. My point in all of this? Isn't it interesting how we flock to times past for our entertainment. How this little old country store could attract such a gathering for lunch is always amazing to me, and yet, we keep going. Nostalgia and a time of contentment never goes away. Hope you enoyed your ride with us. Clella