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View from the Cab: Back to Cassonville

By: Kent Casson

As my kids set up fences in the yard and constantly build things with old pallets and posts, I am reminded of my own childhood full of imagination on the farm.

Summers home from school were full of endless possibilities as I often created “Cassonville” on our farmstead which was a small city between Fairbury and Chenoa with a whopping population of four, which was my family. Buildings included a farmhouse, tool shed, crib, small wood shed and an old playhouse which I transformed into a state-of-the-art radio station.

I even had street signs made out of wood marking the intersection of our gravel driveway and longer lane. A welcome sign was done by writing with permanent marker on a big painted piece of plywood.

My “Cassonville Days” festival was quite the site in the summer – complete with a bicycle parade, lemonade stand and live radio broadcasts. Trying to pull off a one-man parade is not an easy feat. I’m just glad the spectators were patient with me as I had to go back to the start of the route each time I would switch entries and run the parade again.

I was the self-proclaimed mayor of Cassonville and there was even a Cassonville Times newspaper publication. Headline stories often focused on the activities in town and there were even a few Polaroid pictures taped to the paper. That was high-tech stuff for the time. As long as our printer had plenty of ink in it, I could print several copies of my newspaper.

Our kids haven’t established the “New Cassonville” just yet but they are well on their way. They have created what they refer to as a hideout in the trees complete with signs, a pathway and even rocks leading up to an imaginary wind turbine. Our big ball field in the front yard could be considered the town’s sports complex and we always have a summer fair going on with Kasen’s 4-H dairy calves out in the shed.

Cassonville may no longer just be a fond memory, it may be well on its way to a comeback. Now, I’m looking forward to summertime parades and lemonade stands except I’ll be the one sitting back enjoying everything while the kids organize the fun on the farm.

My parents had a unique vantage point for all of this and I am about to experience that myself. I guess life really does go full circle.


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