Friday, June 20, 2008

iowa city & cedar rapids have been on my mind lately, all my friends up there, many of whom dispersed or lost-touch-with, but in my thoughts nevertheless. told a story the other day about the two towns and i wanted to make sure i got it down, just for posterity. it really demonstrates something about the area, as well as being generally amusing.

was coming through o'hare airport in chicago, but i didn't fly much in those days, so i was kind of wide-eyed as i did it. a hare krishna must have seen me as a mark- they were common back then in the late 70's/80's, and they would give you a beautiful book, free, full of hare krishna, colored saffron gods & elephants, and then start hocking you for money. we went back & forth, me with the book in my hand, him not letting me go, until we were both exasperated with each other's stubbornness. in the end i was very aggravated, as i believed anyone who offered to give you something, free, ought to settle for a couple of bucks, which i gave him, whether the book was worth more or not. and he, similarly, was angry, knowing full well he'd lost money on the deal, only getting a couple of bucks for a pretty book with lots of pictures.

so i kind of steamed on the plane until it landed in our small airport of cedar rapids. the airport is closer to cedar rapids but serves both towns, and, it's very small, personal, a local kind of place. i have to say here that the two towns are very different- iowa city a college town, people walked on the don't walk; c-r, on the other hand, they'd give you a look if you walked on the don't walk. a much more conservative town, and a little bigger than iowa city.

so i'm sure i stood out as a clear iowa citian, when i landed in the airport. a policeman came up to me, and asked me if i was from iowa city; i said i was. i was a little nervous at his abruptness- what did he want? but, as it turned out, he pulled out another book just like the one i was carrying, and said, someone left this in the airport. i figured you had one, you'd know somebody down there who'd appreciate another one. and he gave it to me, straight and simple, and walked away.

now the nice part about it was, he was the airport policeman. i'd no more expect good karma and the blessings from heaven, from a guy like that, as anyone. but that's what happened, i swear to god. says something about religion, i think.

god bless you all, up there in iowa.


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