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Monday, May 20, 2024
Good morning to you!

Etched stones. Manicured grass. Evergreen trees. Narrow paths.

Those words describe most cemeteries in Iowa and around the country, or at least what we can see from above the ground. I frequented cemeteries as a child. I still do, but for different reasons.

My grandmother and grandfather on my father’s side died before I was born. My grandmother and grandfather on my mother’s side died when I was 5 years old. As such, I have limited memories of them, mostly from photographs and tombstones. The latter may sound morbid, but it was my connection with my grandparents. I would ride my bicycle to the cemetery and talk with them, or, more correctly, I would talk to their tombstones. It provided me with a sense of solace that I needed. It still does.

Today, I make a habit of visiting cemeteries in the towns I frequent. I enjoy reading the family names and the inscriptions, and I often recognize many of them. I am fascinated by the groupings and scatterings of family member graves, wondering why they were sorted as such. More than likely, those were simply the plots that were for sale at the time. But, in some cases, a few family arguments about burial locations surely came about.

When living in Nebraska City, Nebraska, I would often visit Wyuka Cemetery where J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day, was buried. I was the publisher of a newspaper he was the editor of more than 125 years prior. His tombstone is in the shape of a massive tree trunk, and his grave site is lined with stones carved in the shape of tree logs. I would spend time there “talking” to him and asking if he approved of the job I was doing with his newspaper.

As my years continue to tally, I have been thinking more about where I want to be buried. Jolene and I have discussed this often, but we have not come to a decision, and that’s not fair to our children who will then someday be forced to make the decision for us. If I died tomorrow, I would hope that Jolene would meet someone new to spend the rest of her life with. As such, she would likely want to be buried next to that person. In that scenario, I would prefer to be buried back in my hometown in the same cemetery as my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. But if Jolene and I were fortunate enough to grow old together, I would want us to be buried next to each other. But where? We have moved frequently and have not planted roots enough in one community to make it our forever home.

So, we are continuing the discussion, exploring our options, driving the narrow paths lined with evergreen trees, walking in the manicured grass and reading the etched stones.

Have a memorable Monday, 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

Rounds of thunderstorms are ahead both early and late today and Tuesday, and strong storms are possible. Cooler with more rain chances by the end of the week.

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

Inappropriate Biblical adorations

By Jim Duncan

Andrea Saltini’s controversial painting of Christ’s corpse being sexually violated was vandalized on the eve of Good Friday by a masked intruder in a now deconsecrated church outside Modena. The artist was attacked and hospitalized when he intervened. The exhibition of the painting sparked a petition for its closure signed by more than 30,000 locals as of April 1.

Des Moines Metropolitan Opera’s (DMMO) performances of Richard Strauss’ “Salome” this summer continue that opera’s long strange trip from infamy to Indianola. When the Metropolitan Opera (New York) staged its first performance outside Germany, it was banned after five shows due to moral outrage, particularly that of J.P. Morgan’s daughter. (Salome is executed after she passionately kisses the severed head of John the Baptist.)


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


Best Local Phone Repair Shop

1. Mobile Spot

2. CPR Cell Phone Repair

3. uBreakiFix by Asurion

Read all the results now!

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

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This classic colonial home on one of Des Moines' most iconic streets feels like it was taken right out of Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Steeped in history yet meticulously updated for contemporary living, this home seamlessly blends timeless elegance with modern convenience. 

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See More Homes For Sale
SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
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SALE DATE: 2024-02-28
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From the May issue of Ankeny Living magazine

Meet Jen Wildman
Says third grade, for her, is the sweet spot of elementary school

By Ashley Rullestad

Jen Wildman teaches third graders at Crocker Elementary. The Naperville, Illinois, native has a background in elementary education and a reading endorsement. She taught in Illinois for five years before relocating to Iowa in 2010. Her husband, Adam, is an Ankeny High School alumnus, and the couple decided to relocate to Ankeny from Chicago and start a family.

She started her Ankeny teaching journey as a substitute teacher working part-time while balancing time at home with her two children, Reed and Watson. Wildman transitioned to full-time teaching at Crocker Elementary as a building sub in 2021.

“It was a rewarding experience that allowed me to dive back into the classroom environment and learn from every teaching opportunity,” she says.



New legislation that the Iowa Restaurant Association (IRA)  lobbied for:
1.) A new law requires music licensing representatives to make appointments during normal business hours, identify themselves and prohibits them from making threatening verbal or written communications, as well as implying that they are from a regulatory or law enforcement agency.
2.) Retail alcohol licensees may now purchase and resell wine offered from an individual collector’s private wine sale or auction.
3.) A work drive permit, which affords 14 ½ and 15 year olds the same privileges as a school drive permit. ("This is a tremendous win for the restaurant industry which gives one in three Iowans their first job.”)
4.) Affirmative defense training opportunities expanded to include in-person programs such as ServSafe Alcohol, in addition to ABD's iPact training.

Sometimes the best news is the non news. IRA worked with legislators to stop a proposed excise tax on consumable hemp products served in restaurants and bars (only). It also helped stop the expansion of DRAM definitions to include THC and stopped the creation of new “GRAM” liability requirements for restaurants and bars. 

The IRA released this warning Friday. "The Federal DOL is out in full force across the state. They are taking massive punitive action against Iowa restaurants who are following the new state youth employment hours instead of the federal hours. We are encouraging people to revert to federal work hours for teens under age 16 at this time. If there are no teen workers, they are digging in to tip pools looking for infractions. They are fining operators tens of thousands of dollars. We will keep you posted on further Association action on what appears to be a targeted enforcement strategy against our industry."

Deals today.  Red Lobster (3838 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines) has a Monday special meal of lobster and shrimp for $20... Tito’s Lounge (3916 Urbandale Drive, Urbandale), home to top notch cevapi, pljeskavica, smoked prosciutto and smoked kulen, offers all-you-can-eat wings Mondays... Trostel's Greenbriar (5810 Merle Hay Road, Johnston) offers half pound steak burgers with fries or salad and a beer for a Monday-only price of $14... The Continental (407 E. Fifth St., Des Moines) has an $8 smashed burger with really good frites on Monday... Centro (1003 Locust St., Des Moines) will pack them in tonight for half-priced pizza and Peronis, a Monday-only special.  

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


FROM KCCI: Warmer weather brings more bugs: How to prevent tick bites

DES MOINES, Iowa — Alise Besco and Jonann Noftsger went for a walk at Purple Martin Lake in West Des Moines. They also brought their dog Harper but returned home with some creepy company. "We came home with 25 ticks, little bitty ones," Noftsger said. "It was bad." ....READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Indianola flock cameras help Kansas City family reunite with family member

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Integrity, professionalism, and dedication are three principals the Indianola Police Department prides itself on. And on Saturday, one officer put those words into action. “We were all freaking out, my stomach was turning. It was scary for all of us,” said Lisa Occhipinto. Lisa and her father, Rocco, live in Kansas City, Missouri, and on Saturday Rocco went missing after he was supposed to pick up Lisa’s son.... READ MORE FROM WHO

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: DMPD: Woman found dead in River Bend neighborhood home, homicide investigation underway

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines police have launched a homicide investigation after finding a deceased woman in a home in the River Bend neighborhood Saturday morning.  Officers responded to a house on 4th street after receiving a report of a deceased person at around 11:37 a.m. Saturday.......READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


Wildlife photography requires persistence. If you wait for the right time, the right light, and luck, you will be rewarded. Photo / Paul Houston

Sports headlines
ESPN: Foden powers Man City to fourth straight Premier League title...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: Cubs' Dansby Swanson Wears Iconic Shirt to Support Wife Mallory, Red Stars.   ... READ MORE
YAHOO! Sports: Scott McLaughlin leads Penske front row sweep for Indianapolis 500; Kyle Larson to start 5th  ....READ MORE
1873: Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive patent for blue jeans  ... READ MORE
1927: Charles Lindbergh takes off across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis. ... READ MORE
2007: “The Simpsons” airs 400th episode ... READ MORE
Birthdays and notables

These celebrities were born on this date: Cher, Josh O'Connor, Busta Rhymes, Rachel Platten, Omar Apollo, Omar Apollo, Jon Pardi, Tony Goldwyn, Timothy Olyphant, Olivea Morton

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Why do frogs make good outfielders? THEY CATCH ALL THE FLY BALLS! - Mike Chiston, Celeste Tilton, Kris Laurson, Gail Tomlinson, Chuck Golliher, Carolyn Rogers. Or, they are good at leaping catches! - William Snyder

Today's riddle

Why do hamburgers fly south for the winter?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella or CITYVIEW, contact:  

Aaron Burns
Advertising Sales Manager
Office: 515-953-4822 ext. 330
Mobile: 712-310-3860

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