OK, so Pella is Dutch; Decorah, Norwegian; and the Amanas, earthly expressions of the German Community of True Inspiration --- but it takes a little time for unaware visitors to figure these things out.
At Swedesburg, nothing is left to chance. A giant straw Julbock parked by the main entrance to town just off Highway 218 north of Mount Pleasant, as well as the name, leave nothing to doubt. This immaculate unincorporated village of about 90 souls gathered round a Lutheran church and a museum is --- Swedish.
Swedesburg's Swedish American Museum played host to a daylong meeting yesterday of the Iowa Museum Association's Small Museums Group --- which is why I happened to be standing beside a busy highway in southeast Iowa Monday afternoon interacting with a giant straw Christmas goat.
More about that later.
The difficulty this morning is that it seemed like a good idea two weeks ago to be complicit in scheduling a clean-up lap around Chariton's square for 6 a.m. today --- to help get ready for the big 4th of July celebration. Now, bleary-eyed and battered, I'm not so sure. I'll let you know how it goes.