Last September, the Jackson sisters took a “Memory Lane” tour through the City of Troy.
During the tour of the city, memories, childhood and beyond, came rushing back for the three sisters.
Though they have all since married – and have different last names – their time in Troy left them all reminiscing.
The Jackson sisters took photos of themselves in front of their childhood home, which is now the office of Will Cheeseman, a local attorney. The sisters remember ice-skating on the pond of what is now Fairgrounds Park on South Lincoln Drive and ice fishing after putting a burning barrel on the pond.
“I stole a piece of gum from Hopkins’ General Store,” said Rosie Miller, 83. “My mother saw me chewing a piece a gum, and asked me if I had paid for it. I told her ‘yes,’ but she called Mr. Hopkins, and he told her I didn’t, but he said it was okay. It was only a penny, but she made me go back with a penny and pay for it.
“Now she had a switch, and she beat me with it the whole way to the store with it. My sister Jennie stole a piece of gum too, but she didn’t get beat until she got home. She got to wait until got she home, but I got beat all the way to the store.”
Jennie Bauer’s favorite memory involved a neighbor who lived two doors down from them.
“One of my favorite memories was playing with John Taylor. He was on the cover of Look Magazine, and he had the first collection of arrowheads he would find on the Cuivre River,” the 89-year-old said. “I always asked him where he would find them, and he told me he would go an old Indian burial ground he found.”
The youngest of the sisters, 75-year-old, Jackie Karlock, has a rather interesting memory from her younger years when a case of mistaken identity almost landed her in a mental hospital.
“One part of the old Troy Hospital was an insane asylum, and one of the inmates escaped,” Karlock said. “I had reddish hair back then – and they must have thought it was me.
“They must have finally caught her, because I don’t know what happened after that.”
From family dinners at the old Shamrock Café, a popular meeting place in the city, to egging Hawk Point police officers one Halloween to one sister putting another on the roof and leaving her there for hours until their parents finally came to get her down.
Miller said there many times the sisters drove their mother crazy when they were younger.
“I went swimming in the Cuivre River with my boyfriend, and we were down to our shorts. Something grabbed me while I was swimming,” she said. “When my mother found out I was in the river, she had a conniption fit, because I found out later a lot of people had drowned in the river.”
Karlock looked back on those years with happiness, yet with sadness at the same time, for today’s generation will never get to experience what she and her sisters got to see and do.
“It’s a wonder any of us survived our childhood. Everyone’s so padded now,” Karlock said. “Nobody knows what it’s like to ride down the hill with the wind blowing through your hair. Nobody knows what it’s like to ride on the back of a truck with your feet hanging out anymore.
“It’s safer now, but it saddens me.”
The sisters eventually got married, and left the house. Since Karlock was so much younger than her sisters, it took her much longer, but she eventually found her way all to the West Coast.
She became an entrepreneur in California, owning a catering business with her husband, even hosting the “Star Wars” wrap party after filming had concluded.
“George Lucas, Mark Hamill and the others were actually afraid the film was going to a huge flop,” she said.
After retiring and selling the business, the Karlocks returned to Missouri and settled in Hannibal, where they own several ventures. Many of them are related to Mark Twain and the history of the area and the state.
Karlock has some advice for young women who want to succeed in business, or anything else they want to do.
“Get out there and do it,” she said. “If it works out, great. If it doesn’t, get out – and do it again.”
The “Memory Tour” was over, but for the Jackson sisters, the memories remain – and hopefully – they always will.