1. What’s something non food-related you have to go to a nearby town to do because the town where you live doesn’t have it? - Wow ... it might be quicker to answer, "What don't we have to leave town to do?" I should clarify that. Our city isn't bad. There are lots of restaurants ... and a mall ... and a few things to do. But to see professional sports ... like baseball or football or hockey ... people drive down to St. Louis or up to Chicago. Same with concerts and theater performances. In fact, we just drove up to Peoria the other night to watch a Fathom event. Let's just say our choices around here are ... limited.
2. What’s something you go to a nearby town to do because your town’s version of it isn’t as good? - Wow ... everything? How about Christmas lights? My city does nothing impressive around the holidays ... but if you drive up to Peoria, they have a Christmas light festival drive-thru thing that is beautiful. As far fetched as it seems, last December was the first time I went. I'm hoping if I bat my eyes and ask nicely that Stoney will take me again this year. How about it, baby ... pretty please? (You can never start too early on these things, you know ..)
3. What’s something people in nearby towns come to your town to do? - Well, as odd as this answer may be ... I think it's medical care. I've spoken with lots of people who drove hours to get radiation treatments from Memorial's cancer center. Several years ago, we established a Medical District in town ... and for what it's worth, I hear we really do have a lot of top doctors at our disposal. So, basically ... if you come here, you won't be entertained ... but you might be healed. It's a coin toss ...
4. In what way are residents of a nearby town different from residents in your town? - I suppose we're more political than most surrounding towns. We're the state capitol ... not that it matters since Chicago is Mecca for anyone living in Illinois. But technically, the dome is right down the street .. and the lawmakers do come here to work ... and it's not uncommon to see Dick Durbin having lunch downtown. So if you're a political wonk, stop by Rathskellar's and have a horseshoe.
5. Many towns give themselves nicknames, like “______ Capital of America” or “America’s ___________est Town” or “Home of __________.” What would be a good nickname along these lines to give the town where you live? - We already have a nickname. We're known as "The Land of Lincoln" ... and let me assure you that everyone who lives here is sick to death of Lincoln. Nothing against the man ... it's just that Lincoln is on everything from car dealerships like "Railsplitter Lincoln Mercury" to "Lincoln Land Community College" to "Lincoln Memorial Gardens." Forget Elvis .. around these parts, Abe is everywhere.
Elvis is everything
Elvis is everybody
Elvis is still the king
Man oh man
What I want you to see
Is that the big E's
Inside of you and me
Mojo Nixon - Elvis is Everywhere