Sherrie Hill was born in Southeastern Illinois, near Hickory Hill (The Old Slave House). Her grandmother and great-aunts instilled the importance of knowing the past. The teaching tools they used were storytelling and piling the children in the back of an old pickup truck and hitting the back roads, on what would usually be the hottest, driest, dustiest days of summer, to visit the old country settlements of their youth. (‘Visiting’ meant driving by, telling stories and stopping if there was still an old country store that sold ‘ice cold’ Coca Cola, then heading off to the next settlement.) Growing up in a time when children were to be ‘seen and not heard’ lends to a lot of listening.