September 9, 2004
Woke up this morning in the heartland. "It smells like the first day of school," I said to Mike Melrose as we landed at Des Moines yesterday. And it does. The thick, black earth, the incredible green hues everywhere, a slight coolness in the air. Even though it was a half century ago, I felt that tingle of excitement of walking to the Swea City school house. New ruler, new notebook, new PF Flyers, cute farm girls.
On the drive up to Charles City we listened to local radio. Got a hunting show, "Outdoors With Outdoors Dan", or something like that. Just a total hoot. Much talk about Iowa being a "big antler state," and getting your doe to your local locker. The host was full of helpful hunting tips, "Plan your hunt, hunt your plan." Tom Arnold came on and did a commercial for a local bar-b-que joint. Then they did a fishing report and told us the wall-eyes were "fair" at Okiboji. Just great stuff. Fast disappearing from American life. Local radio. I love it.
Got to Charles City, Mike's hometown, at about six last night. Got the official tour ("And that's where I got my first hickey!"), landed at Andy and Diane Melrose's beautiful home right on the river bank. Sat in the back yard and talked. Met Mike's brother Mark, who walked over with his kids. I got real cold (must have been in the low sixties!) and Diane got me a jacket. Brrrrr.
We're off for Minnesota this morning. Mike is asking his parents for the best way to get to Osage. More later.
"Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other." -M. Richards
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