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06/21/2006 - 9:19 p.m.

ON THE ROAD TO IOWA

I should have known something was up when FogieKnight suddenly decided that we should ditch his meeting. We had been speaking, separately, at a conference of criminal defense attorneys and he is on the board. He had made it through his presentation on his knowledge and dry wit and I made it through mine on the experience of years of teaching, a bit of knowledge, and being the most relaxed speaker in the room.

I knew we were heading for Iowa that night. FogieKnight's cousin was giving a big bash for her husband's 60th birthday and we had decided to put in an appearance. It was to be the first time we were back to FogieKnight's hometown since his dad retired to Missouri (apparently a hot-spot for Iowa retirees) approximately five or six years ago. The original plan called for us to drive until we became tired and then stop somewhere in Iowa overnight.

But, after looking at a map and judging the demands of his stamp exhibiting, FogieKnight had a better idea. We could drive to Anamosa. (Don't bother to find it. Just accept that it is a little town in eastern Iowa.) If we got that far, he could haunt antique shops for "paper" such as old postcards and items that relate history and really beef up his Jones County postal history exhibit. He might even find the perfect items to help him move from a postal history exhibit to a display class exhibit. (Much as I hate knowing such things, I know that the difference is that display class exhibits contain non-philatelic items. In other words, from my perspective, they are often more interesting.

So we drove to Anamosa and stayed at THE Super 8. Lovely place actually. Best hotel bed I've slept on in a while because, according to the desk clerk, they replace the mattresses frequently. We then stopped into the tourism office to hear about the moving of some bridge from nowhere to nowhere (although we wished we could have seen the helicopters moving it. It must have been quite a sight.) Eventually, she pointed us in the direction of a particular antique shop where they had plenty of paper. On the theory that "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em," I started looking for items, trying to narrow FogieKnight's focus. I didn't figure that it would matter on the how-many-items end or from the how-much-money perspective because I was betting that he would go until he spent approximately $125 and stop. I was close. Very close. He spent just a tad less than that.

Having exhausted the wonders of Anamosa, we went on to Cedar Rapids. We had been in Cedar Rapids years ago and I had enjoyed the National Czech & Slovak Museum. I love the textiles, the needlework, and the kroj. Kroj are traditional costumes.) I had been there with children earlier and they had only been willing to spend a little time there. FogieKnight, to his credit, was a good sport and did not hurry me out of the textiles area even though I am sure he would have preferred the history gallery (although even that area had kroj.)

Then it was on to Coon Rapids.

To be continued…(and I'm sure you can't wait!)

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