In a new WMBD segment titled “What’s Your Story,” we take a dart, throw it at a map of Central Illinois, and find a special story in the town where it lands.
Our second stop was Goodfield, Illinois where we followed the story of a couple that turned their jobs into their treasures.
“We’ve been in love for 60 years. These are all wonderful memories that we share and our kids are the same way really.” said Bill and Lydia Hohulin.
Lydia and Bill have lived to share many tales together, and within those, are travels to 50 countries and all 50 states.
“India, China, Tibet, Israel…” said Bill.
As former teachers in Morton and Eureka, they were constantly looking to bring those experiences to life in their classrooms.
“Anything that is concrete is going to be much more meaningful to your class when you are teaching culture studies or geography or even American history.” said Lydia.
What started as a few artifacts and a somewhat minimalist life, led to something much bigger than even the Hohulin’s were expecting. They moved to Goodfield, built their home from the ground up, and those initial few artifacts, turned into what some might say- a thriving museum.
“All of the people of the world and all of the cultures in our mind have value, and we have stories to tell about what their life is like and that’s a great pleasure for us to be able to do that.” said Bill.
Within their home you can find pieces from all over the world. Some even dating back to the 1500’s, or some that were too big to bring into the classroom.. allowing their students to take field trips to their home.
“It makes them realize that there are people other than us that are throughout the world and it maybe opens their mind to that.” said Lydia.
From a Chippewa birch bark canoe dating back over 200 years, to an 1860 French provincial clock, and a civil war uniform… you can find it all… well, hopefully.
“We always make the joke to expect not to have anything missing when you leave but we’ve never had anything missing.” said Bill.
And we were dying to know how someone cleans a house such as theirs.
“I’ll tell you what.. I try to dust it as I can but it is a matter of each time I dust everything, pull it out and dust it, I think of the memories of it, and that’s the reason i want to do it.” said Lydia.
As WMBD got the grand tour and found there’s a place for everything, we could describe their home in one word: Crazy!
“It’s us. Yes it is us. That’s who we are, and if that’s crazy then crazy we are. We’ve enjoyed it.” said Bill.
And while they’ve traveled near and far, at the end of the day, Goodfield is, and always will be, their home.
“You have that sense of everything branches out from here.. you can go anywhere in the world from here and you can always come home to the setting of a really nice community and people that you love.”
We will be back next week with another amazing story in Goodfield since we received so many submissions in the town.