Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Where The Tall Corn Grows

January 4, 2012 - It’s a little known fact, but I was born in Iowa along with my twin sister, in a town called Bedford,a stone's throw from Clarinda, where Glenn Miller, the famous band leader, and Johnny Carson, the famous comedian, were born.

My father and mother were born in Iowa. So were all of their immediate relatives. So was my brother. So were Buffalo Bill, Herbert Hoover, John Wayne, and Michelle Bachmann. Where I fit into this galaxy of American heroes is a problem to ponder for the nation’s historians.

I bring these facts to your attention in the wake of results of the Iowa cauci, the plural for caucuses, which rhymes respectively with Hawkeye, the state bird, and ruckuses, the unofficial name for the state’s first political primary ‘s noisy squabbles.

Iowa ,by the way, is a nightmare for poets, because the only word that rhymes with Iowa, is Kiawha, the name of an island in South Carolina. But South Carolina will have its own primary soon, which will give poets among us some hope for reason to rhyme.

Speaking of corn, not the political corn in the Iowa caucuses or the corny humor derived from that corn, but real corn, which grows tall in Iowa.

Did you know the Iowa corn industry has a website called ethanol.com, that Iowa corn produces 30% of nation’s ethanol, creates 50,000 Iowa jobs, and reduces oil imports by 128,000 barrels a day?

Did you know that Mark Twain said, “You tell me where a man gets his corn pone, and I’ll tell you where his opinions are.”

This leads me to other lesser known facts. Iowa is the only state whose name starts with two vowels. The word Iowa comes from the Ioway people , a tribe of American Indians.

Iowa is a geographically a square state. This may be why elites consider its hardworking, small town people with small town values square, and, heaven forbid, as evangelical, as first person domesticated rural rather than plural person sophisticated urban.

In actual fact, Iowa derives more than twice its income from manufacturing rather than agriculture. Iowans have among the highest number of high school graduates and the highest SAT scores in the nation. Iowans may be square, but they are not dumb, no matter what their media lessers say.

Yes, Iowa has its eccentricities. Iowa has a law against throwing stones, a law repeatedly violated in the recent campaign by all the candidates, except Newt Gingrich even though he had more than enough stones in his pockets and his knapsack to throw.

Here is another strange fact. My distant relative, Maynard Reece, is the only artist to win the Federal Duck Stamp competition five times, which proves all Reeces are not quacks.

But enough about Iowa. You’ve heard enough bout Iowa to last you another four years.

Until then, Go Hawkeyes! Go!

Tweet: Iowa, a small square state of 3 million citizens, is full of corn, little known facts, and intelligent citizens with minds of their own.

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