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VOA Connect (04/06/2018) On the Plains

((Banner: On The Plains))

((Reporter/Camera: Deepak Dobhal))
((Adapted by: Philip Alexiou))
((Map: United States / Illinois / Mount Carroll))

((Roger Brashaw, Retired factory worker))
A lot of elderly people now are around and you don't see many young kids. They are just, they are all gone. There’s just not much here for them to do.

Back in the 60s and late 70s, there were shoe stores. There were Coast to Coast stores. There were hardware stores. There were barber shops. There were restaurants.

((Banner: Mount Carroll was buoyed by factories, a nearby army depot, a local high school and college))
The store here, I used to come in here when I was a young boy. My parents used to bring me here to get my haircut. And when you’d walk in the door, there would be 10 to 13 people sitting in the chair, all talking about businesses that happened during the day and waiting in line to get a haircut.

((Banner: Mount Carroll lost a quarter of its population since 1970))
Today, the store is closed and the people are gone.
I feel real sad, yeah, real sad that all the shops are gone and buildings are empty. You just don’t, it just feels like it’s a ghost town now.
I still like it, yeah. I like the small towns. Yeah, I’ll be here until I’m gone.