GNABRT Day 34 – Out of the frying pan

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frying panMy last full day in the benevolent town of Independence, IA.

It was a busy day, as my hosts took excellent care of me with both vittles, information and entertainment.

The first part of the day was spent touring around the area and learning about some of the town and surrounding area’s economic history, a history dominated by the John Deere company.  After a nice breakfast, we set off for two relatively local sights.

First was the world’s largest frying pan in Brandon.  Next was a trip to the  baseball field from the movie “Field of Dreams”.  That was very cool and I got to do the requisite “coming out of the corn fields”.FoDjd

Later, I was fed grilled strip steak and a sweet potato before heading off to the local traveling baseball team,

The city:  Independence, Iowa. The city was founded on June 15, 1847 and got its name by the simple fact that the country’s anniversary was just a couple of weeks away.

In its distant past, the town was known as the “Lexington of the North”, due to its success as a horse racing center and producing two world-record trotters.

Adopting the slogan, “America’s Fame is in our Name”, the city retains a number of its century and a half old buildings, many of which have reached historical and/or museum status.

The game: Waterloo Bucks vs. Rochester Honkers (hey, I don’t name them).  The second half of a cross-state doubleheader, the Bucks got smashed by the Honkers (hey, I don’t name them) in the early game, 8-4.

Seeking revenge, the team scored 3 runs in the first and 7 in the second to take a commanding 10-0 lead behind a stellar starting pitcher.  He had a three-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts when they removed him in the seventh inning.  That’s when the wheels came off.

After scoring 4 in the seventh and 4 in the eighth, the Honkers (hey, I don’t name them) loaded the bases in the top of the ninth before a game-ending double play for the Bucks salvaged the win, 10-8.

Miscellany of Day 34:

– My current hosts repeated the same efforts that previous and future hosts believe necessary – scheduling all sorts of activities to keep me entertained.

It’s surprising to me that no one realizes how interesting and new everything is to me.  For example, I have never seen all the structures that lie upon a farm (silos and other unknown items).  Nor do I have knowledge of their city and local history.

Also, my whole trip has been alone.  On game days, it’s just being a single person in a crowd and when not at a game, there’s no one to talk to or share the sights with.

So, it should come as no shock when I say I’m just as happy sitting around talking to all the people I visit as I am wandering around t own.  If the people are old friends, there are years to catch up on.  If they are  first-timers (like now), then I enjoy getting to know them.  Keep that in mind if you are one of my upcoming visits.

 

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