It was great fun to get together at the museum yesterday with my old friend, Sue Cochran, now of Canon City, Colorado, who is visiting Chariton for a couple of days this week with husband, Steve, after bringing granddaughter Morgan Cochran (center) home in time for band camp after a visit out there.
Sue's and Steve's son, Jeremy, is Iowa Department of Natural Resources District 7 forester, headquartered at the Stephens State Forest offices in Chariton.
Anyhow, Sue and I worked together quite a few years ago when we both were affiliated with the Iowa Genealogical society, headquartered in Des Moines. In a previous incarnation, I edited the society's quarterly journal, Hawkeye Heritage.
Sue and Steve moved from Mingo, Iowa, to Canon City during the mid-1990s and she has worked there since as an archivist for what now (after a major move and some reorganization) is known as the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center. Since Sue is a story-teller, too, she does broadcast work for the museum/history center on the side.
We got to talking about the current major draw for the Canon City operation --- up to 125 visitors a day shortly before Sue and Steve headed east of this trip: Dinosaurs. As it turns out, tourists are fascinated by dinosaurs, the Canon City region is rich in fossils and Canon City's Dinosaur Depot Museum closed recently, after which its principal displays were transferred at least for the time being to the Regional Museum and History Center.
That combination produced an interesting situation, including a fast-track introduction to paleontology and substantial increase in traffic, for the museum/history center staff.
So now I want a dinosaur --- at least a fossil or two. Unfortunately, although Lucas County is rich in human artifacts dating back thousands of years, fossils tend to be found in places where bedrock is closer to the surface and dinosaurs rarely turn up. So I guess we'll have to work with what we've got.
Later on, I went up town to tour with Jill the apartments now under construction upstairs in the Piper's building as part of the Main Street District's upper-level housing initiative (more about that another day).
And decided to take a photo of some of the art work on display downstairs in the store. The watercolor of a vintage vehicle parked alongside Piper's east wall is by my neighbor, Nash Cox. The smaller pieces of fabric art are creations of Meg Prange, who now lives on the farm where I grew up.
So I'm surrounded by people with artistic talent, which is a good thing since I have no talents whatsoever in that area myself.
Then I capped the day by committing to Aug. 22 as the date to have copy for the Hotel Charitone commemorative book ready for the printer. I've been procrastinating about this all summer. Now, by embedding a deadline in print --- I can't do that. No more, "oh, there's plenty of time." Because there isn't.