1958-1979 Stockton, IL - Hometown in NW IL just south of WI. Lived there through HS and then 2 years of commuting to community college for Associates degree. Picturesque early 20th century midwest small town with downtown buildings built 1890-1910. Huge HS football tradition dating back to before the NFL existed (at least 1913).
1979-1981 Normal, IL - Illinois State University for Bachelors degree. Smaller twin city of Bloomington. Population 30K, 20K of that was ISU. Town was college employees and/or burb for people woho worked in Bloomington.
1981-1984 Rockford, IL - First jobs out of college just in time for early 80s recession (ugh). Industrial city with nice neigthborhoods, low housing cost, good family atmosphere. City blossomed in 40s and 50s with companies that supported Aerospace and Automotive industries. Later that decade to get hit with decline of the US auto industry and the breakup of the big Chicago housing projects that would scatter gang kuckleheads all over Chicago, some of the burbs and as far away as Rockford.
1984-1987 Freeport, IL - Changed jobs (actualy commuted to Monroe, WI). Met my wife and got married. Smaller city with a nice mix of manufacturing and insurance companies for a prosperous friendly midwestern small city. Has not fared well in the 2000s due to substantial loss of manufacturing jobs and almost total loss of the insurance companies. Some would say just a shell of its former self.
1987-present Rockford, IL - After marriage took a job for a promotion and moved back bought a home. Raised 2 kids through HS and 1 through college (as an athlete). Wife became disabled 10 years ago, then cancer a few years later and passed away about 1.5 years ago. KIds have moved on (Milwaukee & Chicago), just me and my son's left behind pitbull now. City's older neighborhoods struggled with influx of gang/drug idiocy from Chitown. Caused decline in those areas and the downtown and generated enough per capita crime stats to land it on just about every worst 10 cities list you read. Except about 2/3 of the city stll as it was decades earlier. Recently big redevolpement projects are restoring downtown to a nice entertainment/shopping area. Some of the lost blue-collar jobs are returning and anti-blight and housing initiatives underway in older areas.