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C - Next Stop - Visiting Friends in Iowa

C - Next Stop - Visiting Friends in Iowa

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After the HD adventure, the couple headed toward a visit with friends in Iowa. John had mentioned before they started the trip that a former neighbor had moved back to Iowa in October and borrowed his show trailer for the move. Now that the snow had melted, John figured it was time to get it back, and that visit would provide an interesting stop on their itinerary.

John wrote, “As we drove across Wisconsin we saw farm after beautiful farm - some of the barns were truly magnificent! We stopped for the night in Dubuque, arriving around 10:30 PM. While sight seeing this afternoon, the black clouds began to gather again and sure-enough, tornados began to form. Fortunately, so far at least we have been safe. Hopefully we will remain that way.”

Along the way they visited another memorable landmark. “We stopped at the museum at Mason City, Iowa. I'm sure John Hammerle and other musicians in our midst will snap on the significance of that location. Birthplace of Meredith Wilson ("The Music Man"). The movie was filmed there and they have several photos from the filming and a display with one of the band uniforms, in addition to regular rural small town historical items. It was a very large and nice museum, the folks were very friendly, and when they found out where we were from, they really went out of their way to insure we enjoyed their history. All the while, rainstorms were raging outside and the antique auto show was cancelled due to the weather.”

John and Linn also enjoyed a tour of the Winnebago Factory along the way. But one of the highlights was the crash site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper near Clear Lake. He commented, “I think some of our classmates were fans of those guys, back in the day.”

When John sent this photo, he made this observation, “When you open the photo of the monument in front of the Surf Ballroom, note the ‘orb of light’ over J.P. Richardson’s (The Big Bopper) side of the stone. It took about 8-9 attempts to transfer the picture. Guess the Big Bopper didn't want to go along for the ride. The Surf Ballroom is the last place Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper performed. As you may recall they all died in a plane crash shortly after the performance. The actual crash site is 5.2 miles from the Surf Ballroom, located in the middle of a farmer's cornfield. What with all the rain, the field was a muddy mess, too much so for a walk to the actual crash site.”