ILLINOIS: By the River

Oh, how I wish't I was in Peoria, Peoria tonight,

Oh, how I miss the "goils" in Peoria, Peoria tonight. . . .

Like the rubber billiard cue and the collapsible bicycle, the word Peoria has always been good for a laugh in vaudeville. Generations of hoofers and comedians used it to epitomize U.S. hick towns. But though Peoria, Ill. lies in the corn belt, it is a pretty big town (pop. 105,087). It is also a river town, and it grew up around a whiskey keg, not a cracker barrel. Last week,...

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