Celebrating 20 Years!

Celebrating 20 Years!


The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Bradley University (OLLI) is a group of more than 1,000 individuals, age 50 and over, who learn together through three distinct programs: OLLI Classes, OLLI Learning Trips, and OLLI Study Groups.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Presidential Museums Trip Day One -- September 8, 2009




Today we made our first stop of the eight-day Presidential Museums Tour at Grant's Farm in St. Louis. As we rode down the highway, Bernie Drake gave us some background on Grant's life, and our park rangers told some wonderful stories as we toured the property.

Originally owned by Frederick Dent's family and built in 1820 as a summer home, the St. Louis farm home was known as "White Haven."

Ulysses S. Grant often visited a West Point schoolmate, a son of Frederick Dent, after graduation and met Julia Dent, who became the love of his life. After a secret proposal on the front porch, Ulysses went off to war. Upon his return, Ulysses and Julia married and had four children. With the intention of retiring at White Haven, the Grants purchased the farm from Julia's father and siblings in the 1860's but moved to the White House in 1869 when Grant became president. They never returned to White Haven, choosing, instead, to call New York home.

After a two-hour drive to Sikeston, Missouri, we enjoyed lunch at Lambert's, "the only home of throwed rolls." We started with fried okra served on paper towels and then we heard someone yell, "Hot rolls!!" We stuck our hands high in the air, and the servers expertly tossed the hot yeast rolls to us. Some caught the flying food and others fumbled, but we all had fun. We also had the opportunity to try turnip greens, hog jowls, fried potatoes and onions, macaroni and tomatoes, and other Southern fare. No one left hungry because the portions were huge.

We settled into our hotel right on schedule at 5:00 p.m. and decided we needed to rest up for tomorrow's adventure to Bill Clinton's Presidential Museum in Little Rock and his boyhood home in Hope, Arkansas.

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