Blue Hat and Iowa Corn (Part I)


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Almost dusk after RAGBRAI bicyclers had passed through Rolfe, Iowa, on July 23, 2007.  (Click photo to enlarge.)

The view from Highway 15, looking east into Rolfe, Iowa, at almost dusk after RAGBRAI cyclists had passed through on July 23, 2007. (Click photo to enlarge.)

~ Submitted by Clara Gunderson Hoover

When RAGBRAI went through Rolfe on July 23, 2007, most of our family spent the day in town and enjoyed the many bicyclers and onlookers who talked with our father and visited his Cy sculpture on Garfield Street.  In fact, my husband Hal and I had just concluded our Okoboji vacation in time to be in Rolfe for RAGBRAI.

The tent next to the metal Cy sculpture welded by my father, Deane Gunderson (next to Cy in the light blue shirt).  (Click photo to enlarge.)

The tent next to the metal Cy sculpture welded by my father, Deane Gunderson (next to Cy in the light blue shirt). (Click photo to enlarge.)

My father with Cy and three of his daughters.  L to R:  Peg, Clara, our father, and Louise.

My father with three daughters and Cy. L to R: Peg, our father, me (in blue hat), and Louise. (Click photo to enlarge.)

While I was visiting with people near my father’s tent, a woman approached me and said, “You walk through our neighborhood everyday.”  I did not know who she was or what she meant, especially since I lived in Omaha and didn’t recall seeing her there.  She immediately explained she lived in the Maywood area of West Okoboji and recognized me from my daily walks through that neighborhood where our family has a cottage.  What she really recognized was the wide-brimmed, blue hat I wear when I’m walking in bright sunshine.

Betty and Bob Lee live in a small cluster of very nice, new homes at the north end of Maywood.  I’d noticed their license plates, BNBLEE, but had not yet met Betty and Bob.  We visited for a while, and they introduced me to another couple, Bill and Judy Carmichael, who live next door to Betty and Bob.  Bill grew up in Pocahontas where his father, Bert Carmichael, had been an attorney.  Bill said he and Judy had one of Mother’s paintings that had originally belonged to Bert and Madora Carmichael.  Bill and Judy said I could see the painting when I was at Okoboji the next summer.  In the fall they sent me a photograph of it.

(Click here to go to Part II.)

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)


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One Response to “Blue Hat and Iowa Corn (Part I)”

  1. Peg Says:

    Immediately loved the intro photo! And then the following ones, too! 🙂 How great to have Clara as a guest writer. It’s fun to relive those RAGBRAI memories . . . and to look forward to reading more. The suspense builds! 🙂

    Just one thought on improving: I didn’t realize till I got to “my husband Hal” that Clara was the writer. I didn’t notice the “By cghoover” at the top–kind of small, plus I was eager to get to the rest. And I assumed the “Submitted by Clara Gunderson Hoover” was referring to the photo. So, maybe some way to make it more noticeable and clear?

    Btw, wasn’t sure at first what the “blue hat” would be. Fun to “get it” and to see the photo of Clara in her blue hat and have it woven into the tale/post. Looking forward to Part II! 🙂

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