Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ice cream, weather & words

Bob Ulrich, Fred Steinbach and Sherry Steinbach (from left) serve ice cream to museum guests during last summer's Lucas County Historical Society ice cream social.

We're getting ready at the museum for an ice cream social Thursday evening --- hoping to dodge the weather bullets although rain is in the forecast.

In cases like this, you always make two plans. If it's fair, seating will be on the patio; if it isn't, we'll all be inside the adjacent barn.

Live music will be provided by Arlan Risbeck on steel guitar with friends Ed and Pat Sparks of Liberty Center providing bass, rhythm and vocals. Serving will begin at 6:30 p.m.; the music, at 7 p.m.

Risbeck is a Lucas County native whose primary home is in Colorado now, but he and his wife return every summer to a home they own in Chariton in large part so that he can play in the music jams and other events scheduled across the south of Iowa during the summer.

"My wife keeps asking me when I'm going to get over this," Risbeck said late last week when he stopped by to decide where to set up Thursday in the barn. We're glad he hasn't.

It's all free --- music, ice cream, cookies and ice water. So come if you can.


It looks like there was quite a bit of moderate damage from the storms that swept through parts of Wayne and southeast Lucas counties Saturday evenings --- in addition to the Dry Flat damage noted yesterday.

Meg, who lives on my home place in that neighborhood, mentioned when we were visiting Monday morning that high winds took down a big pin oak on the hillside north of the farmstead and that she spent some time in the basement as black clouds moved in, the wind began roaring in a circular pattern and the air pressure changing abruptly with ear-popping results. A machine shed on what I call the Kelso place also was damaged, Meg said, as well as other trees, a barn door and some metal roofing at her place.

I took to the Internet to see if I could find more information, but couldn't. That's not surprising, since much of southern Iowa outside the limits of cities where newspapers still operate is a black hole, so far as news is concerned.

Expecting reports on anything other than major disasters from the dailies large and small that kind of serve us these days --- Des Moines, Ottumwa and Centerville --- will lead to disappointment. Maybe there will be more in the Corydon Times-Republican, which should be in the mail box today. We had about three inches of rain and a little hail in Chariton, but that was about it.


Looking for news, I did happen on this headline in the Centerville Iowegian --- "Missing person found dead in SW Davis County, no foul play expected." The headline writer, I expect, was reaching for the word "suspected," but fell short. If not, it's nice to know that foul play isn't among those things Davis Countyans need expect.

Headline writing used to be considered something of an art --- one was expected to be literate and accurate, even witty without being offensive sometimes. Those days are past, I'm afraid.

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