Thursday, July 19, 2012


We spent the afternoon poking around the Lake Okoboji area, including a quick visit to Arnolds Amusement Park (oldest amusement park west of the Mississippi!) and the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—which was interesting.  We saw one of Buddy Holly’s childhood marbles—as certified by an official form signed by his widow—and got to play an old-time jukebox as we read newspaper articles about the plane crash that killed Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and Buddy Holly.  There were some bands from Iowa City inducted into the Hall of Fame, but alas, I wasn’t hanging out at the bars where they played, so they were unfamiliar to me.  Sorry I’m so lame.

I fulfilled my high school dream of acquiring a “University of Okoboji” T-shirt, which was considered just the coolest of the cool thing to wear way back when (because there’s not really such a university!)…and is still popular, according to the owner of the store where the concept was invented, The Three Sons.  I was assured that no matter where I was—“I don’t care if it’s the Panama Canal!”—that if I were wearing my University of Okoboji shirt, someone will notice say something.  Consider that gauntlet thrown!

A short rainstorm put some kinks in our plans, but since the whole state—and whole Midwest—is in a severe drought, we could hardly complain (unfortunately, probably not enough rain to help too much).  So we ended up at Goodie’s, a homemade candy store (thank you, GPS!) and bought some delicious caramel pinwheels and sour cream fudge.

After the business reception, we enjoyed some fabulous MEAT at Maxwell’s Beach CafĂ©: Iowa wagu filet for me, and juicy, succulent pork chops for Steve.  Today, it’s off to the airport for Steve and De Smet, SD, for me.  Laura Ingalls Wilder, here I come!!!


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.