Return to the Radio History Table of Contents


Also go to pages: 101  103





       The old Charleston Memorial Hospital would finally close. Louise put in nearly five years in the institution, and enjoyed it all. She had pretty well paid off all the Nowhere Teen Center bills. Her credit changed to excellent. A lot of this was due to the fact that Melvin had taken over paying the bills. She went to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center for a few days but hated the trip over and the working conditions. Charleston people really weren't wanted in the early years of the new hospital. It was more of a Mattoon facility (remember the green and gold awning at the front door-that was Mattoon High School colors)-Oh well, the awning's down now. She went to work for old family friends Vernon and Ginny Glass at Charleston Disposal (garbage haulers). She was book-keeper and other things. Lori Allen was a fellow office employee at the Disposal. Louise helped the guys working there to survive. They often had a lot of problems and would refer to "Mom" for advice. Even at the Nowhere, the kids often referred to her as "Mom". She would also work for other owners of the garbage house, including Mike Bickers and later some real characters (rough necks). With them she found a big gun in a file cabinet and quickly went home and never went back. This would be the final retirement of the former Coles County Reporter


       In 1984, Melvin finally retires from over thirty-seven years of service to the fire department. Louise and Melvin could now forget about all the past pressures and enjoy retirement. This would never really occur, Melvin didn't like retirement. He did fine when he could work outside. He got kind of frail and couldn't do as much before his death. The State of Illinois DOT warned him that the highway in front of the house (408 Madison) was going to be widened. They sent him exact plans of how wide. He got very upset over this. He wasn't angry, but very worried. He had me help him measure where the highway would go. Eight feet Were taken. Justin Taylor and I were with him April 13, 1990, the day of his death. Lacie, his granddaughter had sit on his lap that afternoon and read to him (she was finishing first grade).

       This was unusual for me to be with him that much on a Saturday. Usually Justin would be with him by himself. Again, fate works in funny ways. He had installed a phone line for Louise in the kitchen and was prepared to watch a circus show on TV that night, but didn't feel good and went to bed early. Melvin Taylor died at home about 9:15 P.M. Justin H. Taylor my son and Mel & Louise's only grandson was in the house with them when it happened. Melvin collapsed on the floor in the bathroom Firemen came and helped him but he was gone already. Mel and Louise have three grand-daughters: Christine and Charity who are Red's and live in Kansas City, Kansas, Lacie Louise, who is mine, lives at Herrick. Melvin Taylor's funeral was very large and involved three fire trucks, an ambulance, and Tom Watson's Chief car at the head of the procession. It was very elaborate and nice. Dick Lynch and Tom Watson worked hard to make it that way.

[Read "When the Gong Rings; A History of the Charleston Fire Department" (1995) for a detailed story of Melvin Taylor's life]


       Jim Edgar's campaign managers finagled Louise to be interviewed for a statewide Edgar for governor TV spot. She ended up being the lady who said "You'll Get What You See." In 1993, a new radio station, located in Mattoon in country-western format asked the former Coles County Reporter to consider doing news for them in 1993. She was pleased, but declined. She now lives at 408 Madison in the now RED house with the gravel front yard. She is very particular about political endorsements. No more TV spots will be allowed. During the summer of 1993, Louise went to the “Wayne Lanman" roast at the Catholic Church. She told stories of Wayne and their childhood. They were raised in the same neighborhood and supposedly used to play doctor together. Her stories entertained the audience very much. Red and I later had a giant rock & roll birthday party at the Moose. Over 150 people showed up. She's at home now enjoying her privacy and not wanting to go out for anything. She certainly had her full in her working years.



Return to the Radio History Home Page


Learning On-Line Home Page