Letter to Boise


The GUARDIAN editor is on the road making pictures during the last days of summer. Here are some random observations which may or may not be of interest.

–You don’t know HUMID until you hit the midwest on these “90/90 days” of 90% humidity and 90 degrees.

–The Capitol building and grounds in Des Moines, Iowa is spacious and appealing. The spiral staircase in the law library is magnificent.

–Same is true for Missouri’s main state government building in Jefferson City. It overlooks the Missouri River and the tree shaded grounds are great.

–Indianapolis has built up with office towers around the Capitol building, depriving it of any sense of grandeur at all—like what has happened in Boise and it is a pity!

–Worst traffic and road engineering is in Boise without a doubt.

–The Iowa State Fair is truly a state fair and there are enough pigs, horses, cows and sheep so each group has its own huge pavilion made of brick–no stick buildings covered with metal here.

–In Missouri the legislature passed a law last year giving students excused absences if they were showing livestock at the State Fair. As one radio announcer said, “They will learn a lot more at the fair than in school anyway.

–There is a replica of the “Fall of Saigon” on a cement block well house along I-80 near North Platte Nebraska, complete with an actual HUEY Helicopter (the red beacon caught my eye) and silhouettes of people climbing aboard. No signs to identify it.

–Small towns across the country are getting cash from somewhere. Old courthouses and classic MAIN STREET USA scenes are undergoing refurbishing. Winterset, Iowa s a good example. The downtown is town up and the courthouse is being fixed as well. The town is famous as the center of the BRIDGES of MADISON OUNTY. It is also the birthplace of a guy named MARION…JOHN WAYNE to you pilgrim.

–Cheapest gas is in Cheyenne, Wyoming at about $2.31 and the highest so far is around Danville, Illinois at $2.75. Some of the old small town pumps are set for $1.32 for HALF A GALLON because the analog pumps won’t go above $1.99.

–Home town pride is fun to observe. Some favorites include, “Home of Mrs. Illinois 2004” and “1991 dual track meet champs.”

–There is enough corn in Nebraska and Iowa to feed the world forever! It took a week to cross Nebraska one day.

–Farmers have a good scam going selling GASAHOL as a “renewal resource” and they get huge subsidies for it. Problem is, too much fossil fuel is used to produce the fertilizer, power the tractors to plant and harvest, and produce the ethanol. It sounds good, but it simply is not economical.

–A guy in Peoria is converting a diesel VW to run on vegetable oil–the veggie oil is cheaper in bulk than diesel!!

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