After today, I will remain diligent in promoting Mason City and Clear Lake as being our future Star of the North. In talking about myself as well as most of us, I usually expect to find something I’m in need of locally. Believe it or not, I’m far more of a proponent of keeping local businesses in the green than anyone would think. As I’ve said a hundred times, “If it were not for my core of loyal and faithful clients and customers over these 35+ years of selling homes in Mason City, I would have given up my profession and went back into accounting.” With that said, a large number of my “core of loyalty” either work for, or are employed by local companies. So it’s only natural that I give back whenever possible. With time running rapidly away from me I discovered over these past two days that there needed to be a respectable refrigerator installed in a housing unit I manage before the end of this month as there’s going to be a tenant moving in on the 1st of June. Oh Mercy! My racing around town and looking online for a refrigerator that will fit that unit’s opening came to numerous dead ends. “Why not order one locally.” You say. Good luck. Shipments don’t arrive sometimes until three weeks out. So as much as I despise shopping elsewhere, I forced myself to get up and get cracking on my journey to Des Moines.
Since I still have family here after the death of my mother, late yesterday I placed a begging call for someone to accompany me to the Capitol of our State. Thank goodness one agreed. Driving out of Mason City at 5:45 a.m. was not what was considered part of the plan, but after a while, things got better. Unbeknownst to my family member, I’d already decided the night before I hit the hay that I’d take a detour and visit the grave sites of my old relatives in Clarion and then later we’d later have breakfast. I was sure to take my camera along to take as many photos of the haunts I remembered near as clearly as if they were yesterday. I’m sure my family member was quietly shocked by my remembering the location of a grave or two that I’d not visited since very young. We drove to the church where I was baptized, we visited their old district while I pointed out where stores and business used to be, and then with stomachs growling, we stopped at Clarion’s Hardee’s.
What a mistake! The young girl at the counter could barely understand me and when I went to pay I thought, “That’s quite a lot for so little.” I sent it down as being their prices but then we found ourselves sitting there for 20 minutes for our small portions. When she finally arrived, I was shocked to find she’d given me this monster breakfast sandwich that I didn’t order. Since we were on a burn to get to Des Moines, we walked out and never looked back after I gave that young lady an earful for not listening to me. My sadness over this whole transitioning from family farming to corporate farming over this half century really hit me between the eyes when I’d decided to take Hwy. 69 South on our way to Des Moines. There were miles upon miles of pig and chicken farms that were littering the landscapes of what was once the prime Clarion Loam land which used to be owned by hard working farm families in Wright County. The homesites are gone, the trees are gone, the fence rows are gone, and the only things remaining are corporate streamlined fiefdoms of pig or chicken farm sites.
I couldn’t wait to leave Wright County simply because of what I know had happened. If those early hard working settler’s related to my mother’s side of the family knew now what has happened with all they worked for, they’d roll over in their graves. So terribly sad.
I’ll continue my narrative of today’s journey tomorrow.