Published: July 13th 2006July 12th 2006
Yo Ho Ho
Lisa between the feet of the Jolly Green Giant
Wed 7/12 - There weren’t any “MUST SEE “ spots on our agenda for Iowa and AAA point of interest listings were weak. Lisa wanted to get into Minnesota so she could buy something for the guy in charge of the Jones Gulch Camp Program (Tim is from Minnesota), so with that as a priority, we took 90 into Minnesota.
Based on a need for gas two hours or so later, we exited at Blue Earth. The ONLY post card in the little gas station store there had a picture of the Jolly Green Giant on it. It turns out this town has a major Green Giant corn and bean cannery, and it is the HOME OF THE JOLLY GREEN GIANT. Yes, the one on the postcard was in Blue Earth only a few blocks away! We immediately headed there. I was very excited about this find, which was likely to be a major highlight of Iowa. Lisa was less so - she didn’t even understand why I kept singing “Yo Ho Ho “ (“What does Santa Claus have to do with the Jolly Green Giant?”). I gave her the full education and she ended up sending Tim a JGG
Main Street, River City
We're "right here in River City."
postcard and Minnesota magnet. Success!
The second and last stop in Iowa was a surprise in that it turned out to be more fun than expected. We went to Mason City, which is the boyhood home of Meredith Wilson and his inspiration for “The Music Man”, one of our favorite musicals. Music Man Square had not only his home, but a recreation of the River City town square and Main Street free to enjoy. We strolled it, had some ice cream in the parlor, checked out the billiard hall (“rhymes with pool”) and chatted a while with the "policeman". We picked a little, talked a little. Some young kids were rehearsing the play in the conservatory, a large room with 76 trombones on the ceiling, the result of a past fund raising event. Lisa bought a coke in a glass bottle out of one of those original vertical vending machines with the door on the left. Yanking the bottle out was just as tricky as it was when this was the only type machine around.
We bought the CD, listened to it, and sang along all the way back onto the freeway and down through massive central Iowa
Lisa and Meredith
Lisa and Meredith - the big finale
cornfields. While listening, we almost thought the navigation system was telling us to go to Gary, Indiana.
We had planned to go as far as Davenport on the Mississippi but decided Moline, Illinois across the river sounded better. We made it to the east!