Can you tell that we have an enormously over-stimulating Saturday? This is the fourth post of this one day, so if you missed the first three, start further down. From Buddy Holly to this pastoral Iowa farmland known for a three-handkerchief romance, we have (almost) seen it all.
But we indeed have now seen three of Madison County’s famous bridges, and lovely they are. What pretty country and what a lovely piece of history preserved.
So you might think we are done with this part of the world, which happens to be Winterset, Iowa. Not quite yet. We had to visit the birthplace of its most famous citizen – Marion Robert Morrison, perhaps better know as John Wayne.
Weighing in at over 13 pounds at birth, The Duke was saddled with a sissy name he always hated. So when a shopkeeper gave up getting him to admit what his name was, the man renamed Marion after his dog, Little Duke. “We’ll just call you Big Duke,” he announced. The handle stuck.
Ever since our visit to Monument Valley and being on the set of “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” we have come to see John Wayne for the very interesting character he was, and it was great fun to see first the inevitable gift shop next door and then his birthplace. Yes, a real American.
Exhausted from our day of sightseeing of the monumental kind, we then had a late lunch at an Iowa icon – The Machine Shed. It’s a bit of their version of a Cracker Barrel, and it’s heavy on pork products. Support your local farmers! Don dug in to what is called an Iowa pork chop – stuffed to the gills. (And green bean casserole with fried onions!) I was delighted to have a homemade potato soup and a salad with Maytag blue cheese, made in Newton, Iowa. It is considered one of the world’s great blues – at least by me – and I will always remember being introduced to it by my friend James. So wonderful to begin to see it on menus here.
So did we do enough today? You be the judge. But just imagine what kinds of dreams we will have tonight – from Buddy Holly to John Wayne, with a dollop of Maytag blue on the side…