Friday, August 10, 2007

At the Intersection of Past, Present, and Almost Unbelievable

Grant Wood "Stone City" 1930
Stone City is not far from my home and still greatly resembles this famous painting.

You know you live in the Midwest when:
True story I saw all three of these yesterday around Cedar Rapids:
(pop. close to 200,000 metro area I might add)

1.) I pulled up behind a red Corvette and a UPS truck at the intersection of 1st Ave. and 5th St. Right in the heart of downtown, while I waited for the light to turn green, the driver of the Corvette casually climbed out of his vehicle, WITH PACKAGE IN HAND, and sauntered over to the driver side of the UPS truck. I was so stunned I sat there stuttering to my mother, riding next to me. Like all good Midwesterners no one honked nor cursed as the line, behind me began to grow. Our mothers raised us right I guess, we simply mutter under our breath where no one can hear us. Hello, it’s called manners!

2.) Later in the day, while I drove on the far west side of town, I did a double take as the Peppy’s Ice Cream truck casually pulled out in front of me with its catchy Ragtime jingle that weaves its way into homes enticing children of all ages into the street for a tasty summer snack. I would have expected to see a bored, multi-pierced college student sitting at the wheel, frowning at the glare of sunshine. Instead, Mrs. Clause herself could have been steering that magical musical machine, such was the adorable, white-haired women who sat at the helm. Perhaps I’m too jaded and that’s why I was shocked to see a cute little lady, doing the sweetest job on earth.

3.) Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area have an admittedly split personality. Day to day, one never knows if you’ll encounter a metropolitan hub or a quaint little village? Yesterday, as the sun sank behind the bustling cityscape. I pulled into a busy intersection between Cedar Rapids and the growing bedroom community of Marion just in time to see something I never would have believed if I had been there. I even rubbed my eyes. On one side of the four corners that mark the bridge between the two towns is a little hobby farm that faithfully raises cows right-up by the road every summer for as far back as I can remember. Backache Acres, is the name of the little plot of land surrounded by city, and though it may seem odd to most of you it’s one of those contradictions that make Iowa. . .well perfect.

I would never have given any more thought to this little piece of Iowa, except when I noticed a car stop in the intersection, and roll down its window, while the driver hollered something in the direction of the lazy field. Odd as it was, it didn’t stun me until I saw a cow respond! With my own eyes I saw a big, dusty, friendly, brown cow running towards the fence! (Cows never run, especially not towards people!) She lumbered, right up to the fence looking expectantly at the driver waiting for the green light.
Personally, I have no idea what the conversation between cow and driver entailed. Even though I claim Iowa as my home, it boggles my mind what one would say to a cow? Lest of all to make a cow come running, even a cow born and bred in the city

1 comment:

Julie said...

I tried to look at your professional site, is it down?


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