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Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Good morning to you!

Do you know your neighbors? I mean, really know your neighbors? Not in a Facebook-group kind of way. And not just the ones with kids the same age as yours. Ask yourself, have you really reached out and gotten to know the folks who live around you in an Iowa Nice kind of way? Well, here is your opportunity to make them smile — and you, too.

Break out the cups. Pop some popcorn. Make some pipe cleaner handles. Buy a bag of individually wrapped candies. And get ready to “ring and run.” Today is the day for May Day baskets.

Not familiar with May Day baskets? You are missing out. This May 1 custom involves gathering flowers, candies and other goodies and putting them in May baskets that are hung on the doors of friends, neighbors and loved ones. In my childhood neighborhood, it was much simpler with candy and popcorn in a decorated cup. The trick, as I recall, was to hang the basket, ring the doorbell and then run so the recipient wouldn’t see you. Then the person would return the favor. At least that’s what Mom told us to do.

Our editor, Tammy Pearson, keeps this tradition alive, bringing our staff her version of May Day baskets each year. We all smile as we munch on popcorn, Snickers minis and Starburst candies.

Just a few years ago, some kids in our neighborhood delivered May Day baskets, hanging them on our front door and then scampering away. I wasn’t supposed to see them, but I couldn’t resist watching from the window. Of course, doorbell cameras take much of the surprise out of this tradition, but you can still play along.

Like most things in this world, the history of this spring tradition is a bit spotty, but one of the most popular beliefs is that May Day baskets stem from the European pagan festival of spring called Beltane. As part of the event, families that were separated by long cold winters would congregate together to celebrate the arrival of spring and being together. Though it has changed from baskets filled with foods to baskets filled with flowers and candies, the purpose in celebrating spring is much the same — and so are the smiles.

Do you have a May Day basket memory to share? Send me a note and let me know.

Have a magnificent May Day, and thanks for reading.

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

See Shane Goodman's previous columns here.


Clear Mortgage meteorology

More storm chances are ahead today and tomorrow. Rain chances drop off Friday, but pick up yet again on Saturday.

For help with pre-approvals or refinancing, get in touch with Originating Branch Manager Carrie Hansen at carrie.mortgage.

From the April issue of CITYVIEW

Val Air’s marvelous venue

By Jackie Wilson

Local music lovers and concertgoers enthusiastically embraced the newly remodeled Val Air Ballroom, which re-opened for its first concert on Feb. 29.

The Val Air, an 80-year-old iconic ballroom, located at 301 Ashworth in West Des Moines, recently completed a $15 million renovation.

As I had attended concerts at the old Val Air, I was eager to check out the refurbished venue. Turns out I wasn’t the only one, as concert numbers soared.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®
The results have been tallied and published in the February issue of CITYVIEW and online!


Best Local Bicycle Shop

1. Bike World

2. Kyle’s Bikes

3. Ichi Bike

Read all the results now!

Featured home for sale
Attention, Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

$589,900                                                          2404 Terrace Road, Des Moines, IA 50312

Endless charm and meticulously maintained in this hidden gem South of Grand! Spacious 1.5 story holds beautiful hardwood floors and natural sunlight from every room. The quality of the improvements made to this home are felt the moment you enter the front door. Main floor holds spacious living room with unique and timeless fireplace, views of the backyard from the two sunrooms, spacious dining and updated kitchen.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
SALE DATE: 2024-02-09
SALE PRICE: $451,000
ACRES: 0.166
From the April issue of Waukee Living magazine

A Dallas County centenarian
Pitsenbarger celebrates birthday with special guest Simon Estes.

By Rachel Harrington

Darlene Pitsenbarger experienced a milestone this April that few people attain — turning 100 years old. The centenarian says she didn’t do anything special to make it to 100. She just lived one day at a time.

Darlene grew up on a farm near Waukee.
“The Amazon place is on that land now,” she says. “When I was a small girl, I remember that highway as a gravel road. I remember because I fell out of our car onto it and got a bloody nose.”


Wobegone Wednesday. A 1938 copy of Action Comics No. 1 was sold to an anonymous buyer in April for $6 million, the most expensive comic to ever sell at auction. It cost ten cents in 1938 and introduced Superman and Lois Lane. (Fox Business)

Parma Calcio 1913 can clinch promotion to Serie A today. That's worth at least $30 million dollars to the Italian soccer club which is owned by Des Moines Menace owner and former Kum & Go CEO Kyle Krause. Last year, Gianluigi Buffon came out of retirement at age 45 to help his favorite team win this promotion. Arguably the GOAT of world goalkeepers, he fell to his knees and wept when they failed in a playoff final. Parma is so much like Des Moines in all good manners. Both are centers of incredible agricultural bounty and are situated on major continental crossroads. Both celebrate the oak tree. Both make legendary charcuterie, in fact, Norwalk's La Quercia was inspired by Herb and Kathy Eckhouse's time in Parma. So today is potentially a huge day at the magnificent, Italian-designed Krause Gateway Center, and for all Parma loving Iowans such as I.

Mattel and Heinz UK have teamed to create a special 60th birthday present for Barbie - Heinz Barbiecue Sauce. And yes, it’s pink. Heinz also teases us with an Instagram photo where that sauce is paired with a bottle of Heinz Tomato Kenchup. But, is that just a pink card marriage? (WSJ)

Deals of the day. I-Cub Wednesday games feature the "Windy City Bundle" that includes a reserved grandstand ticket, a Chicago Dog and an "Over the Ivy" beer or soda at steep discounts... Tacos Marianna's (1305 University Ave., Des Moines) has taco specials Wednesdays and Thursdays instead of Tuesdays. They also have really good tacos... Barntown (9500 SE University Ave., West Des Moines) offers a Wednesday night deal of a full pound of chicken tenders, fries and two dipping sauces for $11.99. Also on Tuesdays - $13 core pitchers of beer.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


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FROM KCCI: What is ‘gorilla hail’ that’s pelting parts of Iowa, Midwest this spring?

DES MOINES, Iowa — The term "gorilla hail" has been thrown around this spring as storms criss-crossed the Midwest, but it's not exactly scientific. “Gorilla hail” is a term coined by Reed Timmer, a storm chaser who calls himself an extreme meteorologist, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. Some have started using the description for large hail, 2 inches in diameter or bigger. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Police identify man whose body was found in the Des Moines River

DES MOINES, Iowa — Police have released the name of a man whose body was found in the Des Moines River last week. Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said the deceased person has been identified as 40-year-old Chaiya Cavan, of Des Moines. .... READ MORE FROM WHO

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: 2024 Iowa State Fair: Here is the full lineup of free entertainment

Check out who is coming to the Susan Knapp Ampitheater, Bill and Anne Riley Stage and MidAmerican Energy Stage......READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports headlines
ESPN: Angels star Mike Trout needs knee surgery for torn meniscus...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: LeBron James Makes Declarative Statement on His Future Amid Varying Reports.. READ MORE
YAHOO! Sports: 'Extremely concerned’ Olympians will not let the Chinese doping allegations die ...READ MORE
1931: Empire State Building dedicated.. READ MORE
1926: Ford factory workers get 40-hour week .. READ MORE
1960: American U-2 spy plane shot down over Soviet Union:  An American U-2 spy plane is shot down while conducting espionage over the Soviet Union. The incident derailed an important summit meeting between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev that was scheduled for later that month. The U-2 spy plane was the brainchild of the Central Intelligence Agency, and it was a sophisticated technological marvel. Traveling at altitudes of up to 70,000 feet, the aircraft was equipped with state-of-the-art photography equipment that could, the CIA boasted, take high-resolution pictures of headlines in Russian newspapers as it flew overhead.... READ MORE
Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Camilla Araujo, Lizzy Greene, Victoria Monet, Tim McGraw, Jamie Dornan, James Murray, Katya Petrovna Zamolodchikova, William Nylander

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What is a donkey's favorite garden tool? WHEEL BURRO! - Gail Tomlinson. Or a HEE HOE! - Lori Bluml, Carolyn Rogers

Today's riddle

What do you call Batman when he skips church?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or CITYVIEW, contact:

Mary Fowler
Account Executive
515-953-4822 x311
c: 641-485-0555

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