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Making Connections

blog-dinner It is that time of year when we connect and visit with our relatives to celebrate the holiday season: family dinners, gift giving, phone calls, holiday cards, and road trips.

John Wayne - The Spoiler Alert Post

Two months ago, I started this blog with a post about Iowa-born movie icon John Wayne. At the end of that post I mentioned that I would return to The Duke at a later time in full spoiler alert mode. Well, here we are, so if you don't like to know the outcome of movies that you haven't seen, you may not want to proceed past the first four paragraphs of this post.

Present Ideas from 1908.

Last week I said I was going to post Des Moines holiday ads from long ago, but I had to post these Christmas gift ideas from the 1908 Midwestern.  Lots of things to buy a wife, only one to buy a husband!  Surely there was something out there besides suspenders!

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The Unusual Success of Three Dog Night

On the way back from Kansas City recently, I heard “Joy to the World” playing on the radio. That is, the one that starts with the lyric “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine,” not the ever-popular Christmas song, which features no bullfrog by the name of Jeremiah, or otherwise. Three Dog Night made that song the biggest selling single of 1971, charting six weeks at number one, according to Billboard. “Joy to the World” was the most golden success in Three Dog Night’s run of. . . well, golden successes.

Bond 2 - The Maibaum Years

In June 1989, I was a struggling freelance writer living in Marion, Iowa, one year removed from receiving a masters degree in film studies from the University of Iowa. Early one Saturday morning, one of my professors, Charles F. “Rick” Altman, called to tell me that renowned James Bond screenwriter Richard Maibaum was in Iowa City for the weekend.

Daylight Saving Time in Iowa

Have you recovered from the change in time yet? Ever wonder why we have to reset our clocks twice a year? The merits of Daylight Saving Time (DST) have been argued ever since Benjamin Franklin took a trip to Paris in 1784 and “saw the light,” penning a proposal to economize the use of candles during the daytime.

Then and Now

Then, 2143 Grand Avenue in November 1907.
From The Midwestern, vol. 2,


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