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Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Good Wednesday Morning to You!

The glowing tombstone. Most everyone who grew up in Kossuth County knows exactly what I am referencing. And most of you reading this likely have a similar spooky story about a graveyard structure in your hometown.

Our glowing tombstone was located in a cemetery in St. Joe, Iowa, just south of Algona on Highway 169 in the northern part of the state. As teenagers driving through the cemetery at night, one couldn’t help but notice a certain monument that would appear to glow in the dark. I don’t know whose tombstone it was, as none of us were willing to take a look, at least not at night. The closer we would drive to the tombstone, the more it would shine, until it would go black.

The skeptics said the “glow” came from a series of reflections of headlights that would shine on the marker. They were probably right, but that doesn’t make for a very scary story. And this was scary. The glowing tombstone was a popular place to take fellow teenagers and get a good laugh when hearing them scream, especially when another friend would hide behind the tombstone and jump out at just the right moment.

I was reminded of the glowing tombstone when I received a note from Mike Rowley, whom I have mentioned in this column previously. Mike and others are working on the 175th Anniversary of Woodland Cemetery in Des Moines, and he asked for some help on a popular monument commonly referred to as “Green Eyes” that was once there.

Mike shared two local newspaper articles with me that included information on a monument “that made passing motorists along the south side of the cemetery on Woodland avenue have gooseflesh.” 

An article from 1935 in The Des Moines Tribune said the monument consisted of “a large ball atop a shaft, that when you pass it two eyes seem to stare at you from the ball.” These eyeballs, it appears, were created from a side reflection of light. Sure.

An article from 1990 in The Des Moines Register also referenced this “spherical, granite tombstone that gave the illusion of two cat’s eyes following foolish trespassers’ movements.”

The monument is no longer in place due to past damage, vandalism or other unknown reasons, but Mike wonders if anyone has knowledge of the stone, has a photo, would recognize it, or knows whose grave it was on. If you do, shoot him a note at MJR1825@gmail.com.

And if you have a glowing tombstone or similar story of your own, pass it along to me to share.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305


CITYVIEW's  Best Of Des Moines

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Local Bar Food

1. Francie’s Bar & Grill

2. Wellman’s Pub & Rooftop

3. University Library Café


Read More

Papaya King has found a new home on New York's upper east side. The 91-year-old restaurant, specializing in all beef hot dogs with 14 toppings and eight tropical fruit drinks, had been in jeopardy as it was located in very expensive real estate. Its original location, and only current one, will be demolished for a new development, but the iconic red and yellow building will move nearby and reopen as soon as this weekend.

Japan and Malaysia announced a large algae project in Borneo. The farm, built adjacent to a coal-fired power plant, will reduce the carbon emissions of the coal to near nothing. It will be profitable by harvesting algae for food but predominantly for the cosmetics industry. The idea probably would not work in Iowa because of the cold winters.

Wednesday specials at East Side Eddie's (3523 E. 26th) are chicken and noodles, plus chili is soup of the day.


Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

It will be a cooler and a windy Wednesday. Temperatures gradually climb through the rest of the work week, bringing us into a beautiful Easter weekend. We have a rain chance ahead on Sunday afternoon and evening.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

2114 34th St., Des Moines, IA 50310

Beautifully maintained Beaverdale Brick Home with tons of character and updates including a new roof in 2021. This charming home features 2 beds/1 bath on the main floor with a bonus sun room, which is hard to find in this area.
See More Homes For Sale
On April 5 ...

1994: Grunge rock icon Kurt Cobain dies by suicide

1792:George Washington exercises first presidential veto. The bill introduced a new plan for dividing seats in the House of Representatives that would have increased the amount of seats for northern states.

1933: On April 5, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt establishes the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), an innovative federally funded organization that put tens of thousands of Americans to work during the Great Depression on projects with environmental benefits.

Read more at History.com.


FROM KCCI: Former Boone County deputy charged with killing police dog turns himself in

BOONE COUNTY, Iowa — Former Boone County Deputy Dallas Wingate is now charged with killing his own police dog. According to a search warrant, Wingate called the Boone County Sheriff the night of Sept. 2. Wingate said he put Bear, a Boone County K9 officer, in his department truck the night before and discovered the dog still there, dead, about 22 hours later. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Republicans pass new version of Governor’s book ban bill to address so-called “woke-ism” in schools

The amended bill still includes requirements for school districts to upload all curriculum on it’s website; includes a mechanism to remove books from libraries that contain graphic depictions of sexual acts; removes the requirement for education on vaccinations for HPV and HIV viruses; as well as restricting education on gender identity and sexual orientation in grades K-6; and other education bills are included. ...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Why are Polk County home values increasing in 2023?

POLK COUNTY, Iowa — Polk County Assessor Randy Ripperger said home values increased an average of 22% in the county in 2023. To understand why, he said we have to look a few years behind us, when the housing market was hot. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


Small-town feel with lots to offer

Morgans find home and neighborhood that ticks the boxes.

By Lindsey Giardino

Nikki Morgan has seen many changes in Altoona, especially since she’s lived in the community since 2007. She and her husband chose to settle down in Altoona because of its small-town feel and numerous amenities, as well as for the school district. The family briefly moved to Runnells, but country life wasn’t for them with their boys’ sports schedules, so they returned to the community they knew and loved.

Morgan’s husband’s requirement for moving back to town was to live near a body of water. A friend of theirs recommended they check out a house in her neighborhood that offered just that. The couple loved the location and knew some of the neighbors, making it the perfect fit.

“We have a great view of a large pond from our backyard,” Morgan says. “We love the access to the bike trails in our backyard.”

... Read more in the March issue of Altoona Living magazine.

Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday Greg Baker!

These celebrities were born on this date: Lily James, Hayley Atwell, Pharrell Williams, Krista Allen, Diamond Dallas Page

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What would it be like to eat a clock? TIME CONSUMING! - Mary Fowler, Butch Niebuhr, Gail Tomlinson.  The time flies would gather. - William Snyder. You wouldn't want to go back for seconds. - Deb Taylor. You might want an hourglass of wine with your meal! - Carolyn Rogers. It would be tocksic (toxic). - Judy Anderson. You can die within seconds. - Rex Post. It would be a waste of time. - Gary Shaw.

Today's Riddle

Which friends should you always take out to dinner?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

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