Happy Mother’s Day to mom

Those who knew Ethel McPeak Thompson Bolt recognized she had a varied, interesting and often exciting life.

Born in Meadows of Dan in 1923, she graduated from Willis High School. She and her best friend Gaynor traveled the country to areas that both had read about in school. Ironically, one of the places they visited was a Mississippi River town in Illinois — Alton, just up the river from St. Louis — where she and Gaynor spent the night at the Mineral Springs Hotel, a resort built over healing mineral springs.

Many years later, by quirky coincidence, I became a reporter for the newspaper in Alton, after five years at The Roanoke Times. The Mineral Springs had closed but later reopened, during my 12 years in Alton, as an antique mall.