Took time off from family funeral business to drive up to Alton for an always-excellent dinner at Tony’s. During my 12 years with the Alton Telegraph, Tony’s became the restaurant of choice, especially their pizza and the pepperloin, a butterflied fillet with peppercorns and a garlic butter sauce.

Too often, revisiting a favorite restaurant after a long-absence disappoints. Tony’s doesn’t. The food, the service and the atmosphere were still what we remembered and the pepperloin first-rate. Alton has changed a lot since we left in 1981 and Tony’s has grown into a larger, more-bustling restaurant but the pepperloin tops any steak I’ve had anywhere in the world.

After dinner, we drove by our old house on Third Street in Alton. New owners have remodeled the circa-1835 townhouse extensively and it looks better than ever. It was our first home when we married and will always be a special place. But as we drove along the Mississppi River, Amy looked at the surroundings and said “I miss our home in Floyd. Let’s get back there as soon as possible.”

And we will.