It is hard to forget people like Elise Allen, who you’ve admired and looked up to for decades. Back in the mid-eighties, when I was a student at Bradley University, Mrs. Allen gave me an opportunity to write for the Traveler Newspaper. I was scared and a little apprehensive about approaching her even though I had been reading the newspaper for a while. I took advantage of the opportunity when it was announced that the late national NAACP President Dr. Benjamin Hooks was coming to Peoria back in 1988. I was not only excited to hear from Dr. Hooks in person but thought what a great chance to make the front page of the Traveler newspaper. I have never forgotten that initial conversation with Mrs. Allen. I was nervous and remembered asking her a bunch of questions about writing the article. She had more confidence in my ability than I did! Mrs. Allen was not only beautiful on the outside but internally exuded kindness, compassion and warmth.