After settling into our motel room in Shenadoah, home of the Everly Brothers in Southwest Iowa, we enjoyed a carryout pizza from the local Pizza Hut and cold glasses of ice tea.
After a couple slices of pizza, I soon found comfort in the motel room recliner for an early evening nap. I wasn’t asleep too long when I woke up with a desire for a bag of popcorn. With no microwave in the room, I figured I could get a bag out of the vending machine and cook it in the breakfast nook. The only problem was there was no popcorn in the vending machine.
I asked the night clerk if there was any popcorn. She shuffled through several drawers behind the counter with no luck before apologizing to me.
“I told the manager we should have popcorn,” she said.
I was tempted to walk down the street to the local movie theater for a bucket of buttery popcorn before coming to my senses and realizing that would probably cost almost as much as a half of tank of gas.
We were in Southwest Iowa to sell our books at the Clarinda Craft Carnival on Oct. 15. The motels there were all booked, so we made the 20 mile trek to Shenadoah for the evening.
This was our second year to have a booth at the annual event, this being the 63rd year. We had good success last year and decided to return.
The Clarinda Craft Carnival is one of best run events of its kind that we have had a booth and sold our books. Lots of people come from Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and even Kansas to attend as crafters are stationed in five different buildings across town. Craft show organizers bus folks from building to building. Our booth was in the Clarinda High School gym.
We’ve been selling our books at craft fairs for at least a dozen years and have had varied success along the way. We have done well at some and not so well at others.
The goal is to not only pick up a few extra dollars, but also get our books and my photography in front of others.
We met a lot of nice people at this year’s Clarinda show, including a couple from Creston, who just happened to be neighbors with the parents of a roommate of Debbie’s at Central College a few years back. They bought Debbie’s novels and said they would share them with the neighbors. We even met the lady who founded the Clarinda Craft Carnival in 1959.
“We started in one building in the Page County Fairgrounds,” she said.
That is quite amazing when you think that the craft carnival started the year I was born and is still going strong.
This year we opted to take the southwesterly route through New Sharon, Pella, Knoxville, Chariton, Osceola, Creston and then south on Highway 71 through Villisca, home of the famous 1912 Ax Murders, before arriving in Clarinda. I hope someday to tour the Ax Murder House. Being there when the house is open has not worked out, but I am sure it will next year.
We’ve been all over Iowa this year from near Decorah in northeast Iowa to Mount Pleasant, Fort Dodge and even south through Bloomfield into the State of Missouri a few weeks ago on my birthday.
Iowa is a beautiful state and the colors at this time of the year are gorgeous. Seeing all the combines rolling across the fields adds to the beauty.
There are many famous people from that part of the state, including the Everly Brothers and James Blackwood, a founding member of the Southern gospel quartet, The Blackwood Brothers. One of the most famous who was born near Shenadoah was Celestai Josephine “Jessie” Field Shambaugh, an American educator and activist known as the “Mother of 4-H Clubs.” Shenadoah is also the home base of the Earl May Garden Centers, which was founded in 1919, and today has stores in Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.
Clarinda is home to some famous people as well. Dick Carson, the younger brother of Johnny Carson, was born in Clarinda. He went on to become a television director of such shows as Wheel of Fortune (1983), The Merv Griffin Show (1962) and Get Smart (1965). Another famous Clarinda resident was Meredith Wilson, a composer who wrote the script, lyrics and music of the famous musical, “The Music Man.”
I hope before the snow flies, you get a chance to see the beautiful fall colors and tour Iowa, the state we all call home. And while you are at it, dream and look for opportunities to share your God-given talents.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.