Friday, April 23, 2021

Something About Cairo

No pyramid schemes here.

The label on the ushabti Johnny Dixon finds says it is a souvenir of Cairo, Illinois. Is it really? That's another story.

Today's story is about Cairo itself, the southernmost city in Illinois located where the Ohio and Mississippi rivers meet. The city is in southern Illinois in an area known as Little Egypt because its proximity to rivers and flood plains are like the fertile Nile valley.

I am curious what did the city look like in the early 1950s, at the time The Curse of the Blue Figurine (1983) was set. What’s left of downtown appears to have been a far busier place in decades past. There is one bit of trivia about the city and it involves one of Bellairs’s favorite authors, Charles Dickens. Dickens visited Cairo in 1842 and was so unimpressed with what he saw he used it for the model for the town of Eden in his 1844 novel, Martin Chuzzlewit.  There's more to its history and culture, however, and I’ll let you take a trip through town through these video road trips and see what you think.


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