I went to Iowa for about six hours yesterday. It took longer to drive there and back than I actually spent in the damn state.
I went because I promised Mark I’d take him to Independence, Iowa. He’s working on this project for a Writing Nonfiction Books class about concepts of patriotism and how they’ve changed in small towns named after American values.
Or something like that.
So we left at 6am after getting about three nanoseconds of sleep apiece (him due to late-night Twister, me due to the fact that I couldn’t sleep because my feet were blocks of ice), and drove to Iowa. We passed such fantastic towns as Rockford, IL, home of the Peaches of A League Of Their Own fame; Dubuque, IA, of…no fame whatsoever; and Dyersville, IA, where the Field Of Dreams is located.
We finally got to Independence at about 11 in the morning, where we proceeded to a bake sale that the First United Methodist Church had posted about on its website. We had been intending to stay the night so he could talk to people for his project, but we ran into several problems.
1. It was Saturday, so large numbers of people were not around.
2. People in small towns don’t like to talk to people from big towns.
3. It was raining and disgusting, and the place just became that much more depressing.
4. It’s spring quarter of his senior year, and I’m graduating one quarter later, so we were both suffering from bad cases of senioritis, and hence didn’t feel like dealing with it all.
You could really tell how bad the kids working as soda jerks at the local A&W wanted to get out of town. It basically was how much I wanted out of DC times how much Mark wanted out of Salt Lake. Or at least to get rid of the politicians and Mormons, respectively.
To sum up: Our motto at 6am was “Iowa or Bust!” Our motto by 3pm was “Fuck Iowa, Let’s Get The Hell Out Of Here.”