Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Odebolt, Iowa

We called ourselves the popcorn capitol of the world. Perhaps that was a slight exaggeration, but Cracker Jacks, I'm told, were born in and around Odebolt. For a time, and maybe still, our welcome to Odebolt sign called us "the star in the crown of Iowa." Nice try, but hard to justify. This is my home town, the place where I grew up, received my early education and was instilled with the values I carry with me today.

As a child, I was convinced that small town living was the best of all possible worlds. I benefited from the innocence, relative safety and opportunities available in my little Iowa home town. We had an excellent school system with sports opportunities. I played basketball before other states offered it for girls. We had a fine music program with a band that consistently placed first in state contests. There were music teachers to encourage me to sing and play an instrument. My singing continues to this day, but the musical instrument feel by the wayside when I left for college. I also had a pony.

I could ride all over the countryside. We didn't worry about protective helmets, riding boots or safety measures, so when I met with some obstacle, like a tree, I did get hurt. I had no fear riding or being around horses and am told that I scared the dickens out of my parents when I did foolish things like hanging on the tail of our buckskin mare, Babe.

Sometime into my high school years, I began to yearn to be "unknown", so I could try out behaviors that would be frowned upon in our small town. Mother warned me, though, that "you'll never be able to get by with anything because people remember you." Damned if she wasn't mostly right. Knowing that didn't prevent my trying some bad things, some of them with consequences. As I reflect on those times in my now more conventional years, I am sometimes a little embarrassed. I'm not sorry I had the adventures, but you can be sure I'll not be sharing them with you on this blog.

I remember my home town with pride. Take a look at it with the link on my site. It's a great website, among the best in the country, I'm betting. You could even check out the History section, search for Thelma Dresselhuis (my mother) and see what she had to say about her life in Odebolt.

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