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Thursday, May 16, 2024
Good morning to you!

I could have sworn giant magnets were planted in the ditches of the gravel roads in Kossuth County. Something had to be pulling my dad’s car off the road. At least that is what went through the imaginative mind of this 12-year-old boy when my father was teaching me how to drive.

I remember keeping both of my hands gripped tightly on the steering wheel, and Dad, from the passenger seat, often had one of his there, too. Someone had to keep the car on the road, and I wasn’t doing a very good job.

I was a little guy back then. About 5 foot tall and not even 90 pounds. The driver seat was pushed as far as it could go, and so was Dad’s patience. He couldn’t understand how I could keep steering the car toward the ditch. Me neither. But, after an hour or so, I got the hang of it. Dad probably needed a few aspirin — or a stiff drink. He was determined to teach me how to drive, and, eventually, he did.

Many of my rural friends learned how to drive on the farm in tractors and pickups. My friends in the city say they were first behind the wheel in large parking lots. Michael Gartner told me he taught his kids how to drive in cemeteries. “They can’t kill anybody there,” he quipped.

Many of today’s kids have never driven a car until they earn their learner’s permit at age 14, and they don’t seem to be in a big hurry then. By the law, that’s the right thing to do. By common sense, it is not. The last place I wanted to be was in the passenger seat when my daughters drove for the first time while meeting oncoming traffic. So we practiced in parking lots, too. And once we got on the road, to be fair, I don’t recall being nervous about hitting approaching vehicles. My daughters didn’t get anywhere near the center line. I do recall being nervous about hitting road signs and curbs, though, and we may have skimmed a few.

Prior to teaching my daughters how to drive, if you would have told me that I could completely straighten out my body like an ironing board while in the passenger seat of a car, I would have said you were crazy. Well, you are not crazy, as it happened to me frequently while driving with my kids. I suddenly realized how Dad must have felt with me on those gravel roads, and I tried to remember how patient he was. For what it’s worth, I still think the ditches have giant magnets.

How about you? What are your memories of learning how to drive a car? Shoot me a note and let me know.

Have a thoughtful Thursday, 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

A few spotty showers are possible this morning. Otherwise warm and dry conditions all the way through Sunday afternoon. Storm chances return Sunday night.

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

From the May issue of CITYVIEW

Summer Arts & Entertainment Guide

By Cyote Williams

The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming — and the cicadas are coming. But that won’t stop us, and it shouldn’t stop you, from enjoying the seemingly endless entertainment that graces central Iowa during its warmest months. Artwork from the world-renowned to the area’s brightest up and coming talents. From Broadway shows to community theaters. Symphonies to singers. Cracks of the bat to thoroughbreds and racecars rounding curves. CITYVIEW’s events section details the best community celebrations, farmers markets, skillet throws and conventions for most every interest. We have it here in one place to help you make summer 2024 unforgettable.


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


Best Local Place to Purchase a Musical Instrument

1. Rieman Music

2. Uptempo Music

3. Professional Music Center

Read all the results now!

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

$869,500                                                               1938 Park Ave., Des Moines, IA 50315

This single-family home, located near the northwest corner of Wakonda Country Club, provides exceptional golf course views and is surrounded by majestic oak trees. From the spacious back deck, you can enjoy watching play on holes 1-5, as well as 16 and 17. The home boasts more than 3,800 square feet of beautifully finished space, perfect for entertaining with its open and inviting flow.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale

Tallgrass Theatre Company. Broadway Karaoke. May 18. 

Iowa Stage Theatre Company - Scriptease. The Bad Seed. May 20. 

Polk County Heritage GalleryRick Miller Retrospective. Through June 21. 

Polk County Heritage GalleryIowa Exhibited. This annual juried show prepares as submissions go live Friday, May 17 through May 31. Ben Millett is juror. 

— John Busbee, The Culture Buzz

SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
SALE DATE: 2024-02-15
SALE PRICE: $1,400,000
ACRES: 1.765
From the May issue of Ankeny Living magazine

Competing for time
Residents share how relationships are the “win” in sporting together.

By Ashley Rullestad

Mary White has been passionate about health and fitness since her youngest child was 6 months old. Both her kids — Addison, 18, and Parker, 15 — have been attending the gym since they were in baby carriers. When White’s job moved the family to Missouri, the group fitness that she had been doing in Iowa wasn’t available, but CrossFit was huge there.

CrossFit is a fitness program that produces measurable outcomes through lifestyle changes, centered on training and nutrition. Workouts consist of constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movements.

“I joined my first gym, and, after about six months, my husband, Tim, joined as well,” White says. “When my kids got older at different points, they also become interested.”



Walmart is rolling out Bettergoods, an entire new line of upscale products —cardamom rose raspberry jam anyone? Wall Street Journal characterized this as a move to compete with Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for more affluent bargain hunters. Walmart also is putting Sam’s Choice products to sleep. WSJ mentioned how successful Costco’s Kirkland line has been and how that might be what Walmart is chasing with Bettergoods.

Little engine that could update. The Netherlands (with just 16,000 sqare miles and 8 million people) is now the world’s second biggest exporter of agricultural products after the U.S. National Geographic calls it “the tiny nation that feeds the world.” (Times of India)

Thursday specials. Today is the opening of sockeye salmon season. Those red fleshed delights will be showing up soon at Waterfront and other outlets. Fresh Thyme has wild Alaskan sockeye on sale through Tuesday at $7.99/pound... Thursday means Tito’s (3916 Urbandale Drive, Urbandale) martinis and cosmos are just $6 and can be paired with half-priced firecracker shrimp, fried calamari, spread platters and fried pickles... Whatcha Smokin’? (403 Iowa Ave., Luther) offers pork belly burnt ends on Thursdays... Kids eat free at Scornovacca’s (1930 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines) on Thursdays... Mariscos El Pirata (6050 S.E. 14th St., Des Moines) offers $2 off all sushi on Thursdays.

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Youth center says staff acted 'as safely as possible' during assault that led to employee death

JOHNSTON, Iowa — KCCI is investigating what led up to an assault that happened at a Johnston youth center last week where an employee was killed. Police said a runaway teenager assaulted Kathleen Galloway-Menke outside the Ellipsis youth residential facility last week. A 15-year-old male resident of the youth center shoved Galloway-Menke to the ground, where she hit her head, on May 8. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Police believe a medical issue caused head-on crash in Altoona

ALTOONA, Iowa – Two people were sent to the hospital after a crash in Altoona early Wednesday morning. Emergency responders were dispatched to Adventureland Drive and NE Hubbell Avenue at 3:37 a.m. on the crash, according to Lt. Alyssa Wilson with the Altoona Police Department.  ... READ MORE FROM WHO

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Local school districts offering free summer meals to kids in central Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa — Summer break is right around the corner, which is leaving parents responsible for two additional meals to take care of. With the state's focus and funding turning to some specific summer options for those in need, central Iowa schools are making sure that hungry kids are still fed.......READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports headlines
ESPN: Caitlin Clark's Fever debut most-watched WNBA game since 2001 ...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: 2024 NFL Team-by-Team Schedules Including Dates and Times. ... READ MORE
YAHOO! Sports: MLS suspends Toronto FC coach, players after chaotic brawl breaks out in loss to NYCFC...READ MORE
1929: First Academy Awards ceremony.  ... READ MORE
1985: Discovery of Ozone Hole announced  ... READ MORE
1980: Basketball great Magic Johnson plays center as a rookie, wins championship ... READ MORE
Weekly fuel report

The price of regular unleaded gasoline fell 4 cents, averaging $3.24 across Iowa according to AAA. Prices are down 9 cents from a year ago. The national average on Wednesday was $3.61, down 3 cents from last week’s price.

Retail diesel prices in Iowa fell 3 cents this week with a statewide average of $3.66. One year ago, diesel prices averaged $3.78 in Iowa. The current Iowa diesel price is 28 cents lower than the national average of $3.94.

Wholesale ethanol held steady and is currently priced at $2.16.

Natural gas prices rose 18 cents at the Henry Hub reporting site and are currently priced at $2.39/MMbtu.

Birthdays and notables

Happy Birthday Ben Butzke!

These celebrities were born on this date: Dan Coats, Danny Trejo, Bill Smitrovich, Debra Winger, Olga Korbut, Megan Fox, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Janet Jackson, Pierce Brosnan, Gracie Kramer, Krist Novoselic, Tori Spelling

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

What did Miss Piggy say when asked on a date? Sorry, I'm already KERMIT-TED! (Or some such variation!) - Mike Chiston, Gail Tomlinson. Other answers: William Snyder, Rex Pos, Carolyn Rogers..

Today's riddle

What do you get if you cross a snake and a frog?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or Ankeny,  Altoona or Bondurant Living magazines, contact:  

Angela Ossian
Account Executive
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 307
Mobile: 515-979-5585

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