Sunday, July 18, 2010

On the road 1 - Iowa1

On the Road
Through the Years
With Dr. Bill

A Memoir Excerpt
[This is the first of what I expect will be many notes, here and elsewhre - the start of a Memoir set]

On Thursday, July 15, 2010, Nancy and I were driving to a Bolger family gathering the following day, in central Iowa. Iowa is our home territory, of course. We were born and raised in Coon Rapids, Iowa, north of I-80. In the years since we moved away from Iowa, we have always returned from the south, it seems. This trip, we were returning from visiting Annette and Larry in Utah, so we were coming in on I-80, via Omaha, in to West Des Moines.

What made it notable was, with all the familiar town names we saw along that stretch of highway, we had rarely actually approached the last fifty to hundred miles directly east on I-80 into West Des Moines, where we had our motel reservation.

Familiar names along the way, and related thoughts:

Minden - knew Methodist Church kids from there, from camp and MYF
Shelby - ice cream cones at gas station there in middle years
Harlan - Brother Jim worked there for a few years
Walnut - Nancy has ancestors who lived there - antiques - we went there for her to look for genealogy records once.
Atlantic and US 71 - often path to Carroll when we lived in Emporia
Wiota - girls basketball power, in the 40s - do they still have a school?
Anita - State Highway 148 - commonly used when we were going to Coon Rapids from Emporia
Adair - Adair County, Arbor Hill - Had Kinnick ancestors there
Greenfield - Paul and Dorothy Kinnick married there (my maternal grandparents)
Menlo - another town where MYF friends lived, active group
Stuart - where Grandma Dorothy Sorenson (Kinnick) lived when they first came over from Denmark - her mother is buried there.
Earlham - friend during governor Ray years lived there; had a meat packing operation
Madison County line - where are the covered bridges?
Van Meter - home town of Bob Feller, baseball pitcher
Waukee - used to be out in the country; now part of metro Des Moines

That is enough for a start. It gets me going. More to follow.

Oh, the memories!  ;-)


  1. Bill: Keep these stories coming. I am enjoying everything Iowa you write about. It is interesting to read about your recent trip and the towns/cities you talk about.

    Keep up the good work Bill.


  2. I don't know how you do it. Traveling and writing. Great information.

  3. It is what I do. Thank you!

    Bill ;-)
    Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
    and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"