We saw New Year's Eve out watching the last several episodes of the wonderful John Adams HBO series and sipping Champagne. We wept like babies when Abigail died. Ernie said he was fine until I started sniffing and making little uh-uh-uh crying sounds. The star of that series was not just American history but their marriage. It made me miss my father too as he was a John Adams man. He loved him, and Thomas Paine. He was not so crazy about Jefferson. We actually stayed up until midnight which was a breakthrough. We made the boys come downstairs and kiss us. They seemed to find us a bit ridiculous but were kind despite that.
It was only fitting that we finished the year out with John Adams since we spent the previous day in Quincy, Illinois, in Adams County----both named after Adams' son John Quincy Adams. I'd enjoyed the quiet break but felt like I needed to get out of town for just a bit before my break was over. Many years back we had driven through Quincy briefly and I always remembered the incredible architecture....and I have a soft spot for river towns.
We took off on Wednesday. We drove over on 72 as we weren't sure about flooding. We came into town from the south, driving past the bluffs with their storage converted from mining. It was kind of eery. I meant to go back for a picture but that will have to wait for another time.
The town is stunning; the range of architecture amazing. As always, it was the unrestored, the sad, empty houses, that spoke to me the most. We saw gorgeous neighborhoods of restored and well kept homes, but it was that area, which I believe is the Quincy Northwest Historic District, that I fell in love with. Many of the homes are certainly well kept, but it is sprinkled with homes in need of love. Well....love and money if you will....
I asked Ernie why it is that the houses that haven't been restored always speak to me more loudly than the ones that have. He shook his head. Maybe it's because I think they need me? I rambled on about the issues in preservation, at one point saying, "it's the eternal whatever between gentrification and the economic forces that lead the building to need preservation...." and he started laughing saying, "did you just hear what you said? The 'eternal whatever'? I want that to be the name of my band!"
Eh, at least we amuse each other, huh?