Today we continue to explore the history of southern Illinois through the Listening Project. Ours story is that of Gene Alexander - a beloved elementary school teacher and principal of more than 30 years in Benton. Now, at age 81, he's known simply as "Mr. A" - the guy who paints maps of the United States on playgrounds across the region.
Gene Alexander's story was recorded as part of the 100th anniversary of the Benton Public Library.
WSIU's Listening Project chronicles the history of this place we call home by connecting people with place through their stories.
You can hear more stories from WSIU's Listening Project here.