Monday, July 8, 2013

Ozzie on the Road Again - 3

   Things are cooking and jumping here in the Midwest. We rolled out of Chicago in a booming thunderstorm while listening to the radio news that 75 people were shot in the city during the four–day July 4 holiday period. Reports varied but it appears 12 people died of gunshot wounds in a variety of shooting incidents and more than 60 were wounded. Two of the critically wounded were little boys who were celebrating in city parks with their families and were hit in separate incidents of random gunfire.
   We breathed easier after rolling out of the storm and big city traffic and into the undulating cornfields of Iowa. Not exactly quiet here, either. Talk radio everywhere, including one show devoted to the highlights of nudity so far in 2013. Been a good year, I gather, with a nice selection of celebrity women having posed nude for the cameras. This is Iowa?
   We found the Midwest we expected when we pulled into a campground just southwest of Des Moines. Just down the road is the town of Winterset, birthplace of John Wayne. He was born there May 6, 1907 to Clyde and Mary Morrison who named him Marion Robert Morrison. His father was a pharmacist.
   This is America, so the birthplace is much celebrated. They are raising money to build a new museum that will teach new generations “the character quality of John Wayne.” It costs $7 for adults to get into the current museum. Here you can buy a Duke Talking Pocket Watch, a Duke Calendar, a John Wayne Bobblehead and a Green Berets mug.
   There’s another movie connection in this area. This is Madison County where the bridges were featured in the 1992 book and 1995 move The Bridges of Madison County.
   Back in Canada it takes a canoe, compass, and machete to find the disputed burial place of Tom Thomson, the now famous Canadian painter, and subject of one of the country’s most enduring mysteries. (click the Old Guy’s website for details about his Tom Thomson book).
   More cornfields tomorrow. Meanwhile, remember the Duke’s words:
“Courage is being scared to death . . . and saddling up anyway.”

John Wayne Birthplace/Museum

Proposed New Museum

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