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Friday, May 31, 2024
Good morning to you!

Welcome to the Friday mailbag where you will find some of the comments, questions and ideas sent recently by subscribers of this newsletter or our publications. They are edited for space and clarity.

“After reading your column about Memorial Day in the Daily Umbrella, I'll share my early memories (The meaning of Memorial Day, May 27, 2024). I'm just old enough to remember when it was called Decoration Day. I grew up on a farm, and Decoration Day wasn't a Monday of a long weekend. It could be mid-week. It didn't matter which day of the week it was, after early chores were done, we all piled into the car and took flowers around to the graves to pay our respects. Since our family members were mostly buried in rural cemeteries, it was a two- or three-car parade driving along gravel roads ending with dinner at Grandma's house that was like a Sunday dinner. Keep in mind a farmer might not be finished planting crops at that time of year, but work stopped to go decorate the graves and remember those who came before us.” - Tamara

That sounds like a wonderful tradition that we all could benefit from by doing more of today. Of course, having family members living hundreds of miles apart doesn’t help. - Shane

“You wrote about campfire s’mores (S’mores, Tuesday, May 28, 2024) and short cuts (Short cuts, May 30, 2024) this week. Have you tried Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies instead of graham crackers and chocolate? Just smash a toasted marshmallow between two of them. You can also make them in the oven. Use some wax paper to line a cookie sheet. Place one cookie face down, then a marshmallow, and top it with another cookie face up. Put them in the oven on 300 for five minutes. Mmmm, mmmm.” - Jim

I like how you think, Jim. - Shane

“Good morning, Shane. The very nice trailer court off S.E. Oralabor has a plethora of speed bumps where avoiding them is not feasible (Speed bumps, May 29, 2024). I occasionally drive through the court for either a change of scenery (because it’s nicely kept) or to avoid a traffic problem. Mostly, however, I avoid them altogether by not passing through the court.” - John

Some people from states outside of Iowa enjoy the views of mountains or oceans. We appreciate the scenery of a well-kept trailer court. - Shane

“I read your column today, and I had to chuckle (Short cuts, May 30, 2024). Back when Iowa went to the 55 mph speed limit, Gov. Branstad came to Centerville for something. Upon his arrival — late — he addressed the crowd: “Sorry about being late; we got behind a truck.’ Someone in the back of the crowd yelled out, ‘If you got behind a truck, you would have been here 10 minutes ago!’ Being a trucker at the time, I appreciated the humor!” - Alan

I appreciate the humor, too, and I hope Gov. Branstad did as well. - Shane

Have a fantastic Friday, 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

Scattered storms are expected today. The weekend brings isolated storm chances both Saturday and Sunday. More storm chances next week as things get muggier.

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

Two characters and a dog in Woodland Cemetery

By Joe Weeg

The graves sprawl over the bright green and faded brown grass like grazing cattle over the stubble of an Iowa corn field. Narrow blacktop roads meander here and there across the 65 acres. Pools of sunshine dance on the white granite tombstones and the half-buried markers of grey river rock. While the many trees with small leafing buds stand quietly in respect.

Woodland Cemetery on the cusp of spring.

Mike Rowley tells a story.


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


Best Ingersoll Area Store

1. Tandem Brick Gallery

2. Renovation Jungle

3. Zzz Records

Read all the results now!


CAP (Class Act Productions) Theatre. "Disney Frozen Jr." Opens Friday and runs through June 9. 

Des Moines Community Playhouse. "The Play That Goes Wrong." Opens Friday and runs through June 16. 

Greek Food Fair Festival at St. George Greek Orthodox Church (1110 35th St., Des Moines) Friday, 5-9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free admission!

— John Busbee, The Culture Buzz


A lesson too late for the learning? Big restaurant chains are in the real estate business as much as the food business. That's why they love the growing edges of the suburbs where property values are likely rising. Well, that's the case with the smart chains. It's become fashionable to blame Red Lobster's "endless shrimp" promo for their recent bankruptcy. The real problem though was that they got out of the real estate business after former owner Golden Gate Capital acquired them for $2.1 billion in 2014 and sold their real estate to American Realty Capital for $1.5 billion in a sale-leaseback transaction. (Moneywise)

New stuff. La Quercia has released a new supply of acorn prosciutto - ham raised on a diet of acorns like the pre-WW II pigs of Parma. It starts at $14.99 per two ounce package… Keebler introduced their latest cookie - Shortbread Oatmeal Raisin Sandies... Trader Joe’s recalled Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings, due to the discovery of pieces of plastic… Chilli thrips, tiny yellow insects, are devastating strawberry crops in Florida and Texas. Thrips are also murder for roses. Orange County Rose Society recommends spraying Neem oil on the ground around your plants… Dairy Queen has new flavors of Blizzard: peanut butter cookie dough; Oreo cookie; and peach cobbler.

Weekend deals. Greek Food Fair is Friday, 5 p.m., through Sunday, 2 p.m.,  at St. George Orthodox Church (1110 35th St., Des Moines). Free admission, great food, dizzy dancing... The Iowa Brewers Guild holds its Craft Beer Festival Saturday, June 1, noon to 4 p.m. at Lauridsen Amphitheater. This year brings some newcomers: Paha Cider Co. of Waverly, Field Day Brewing Co. of North Liberty, Late Harvest Brewery of Sioux Center, and The Busted Cup Brewhouse in Burlington. Tickets start at $45 for general admission and $65 for early admission; VIP tickets also available. … Sunday is chicken fried steak day at Winn’s Pizza and Steakhouse (122 W. Ashland Ave., Indianola)… Whatcha Smokin’? (403 Iowa Ave., Luther) serves smoked prime rib on Fridays and Dino beef ribs from 4 p.m. on Saturdays, till they are sold out… Angry Goldfish Pub & Eatery (2301 S.W. Ninth St., Des Moines) has a Friday special lasagna or chicken Parmesan dinners with mashed potatoes, gravy and garlic bread $15.

 — Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com

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

$314,990                                                             2507 Brook View Drive, Des Moines, IA 50317

D.R. Horton, Americas Builder, presents a spectacular twinhome plan with the Jack. This home presents 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a 2-car garage.The main living area offers an open floor plan, with a spacious living room that offers solid surface flooring throughout. The kitchen has a convenient corner pantry for all your cooking storage, quartz countertops, and a lovely kitchen island, perfect for entertaining.

See the listing here.

See More Homes For Sale
SOLD: Featured commercial real estate transaction
SALE DATE: 2024-02-23
SALE PRICE: $804,861
ACRES: 1.803
From the May issue of Waukee Living magazine

Meet Ann Swenson
Introducing students to different types of music, instruments and experiences

By T.K. West

After a student teaching placement at the Waukee Middle School, Ann Swenson knew she wanted to teach in the Waukee Community School District. Swenson grew up in New Hampton before receiving a bachelor’s degree from Simpson College and a master’s degree from Viterbo University.

Now she is in her 14th year teaching with the district and 20th year teaching overall. She currently teaches first- through fifth-grade general music and fifth-grade choir at Brookview Elementary School.

“I love working with such a diverse population. I am also thankful for forward-thinking district leaders and a team of music educators and colleagues who are willing to learn and grow,” Swenson says.



FROM KCCI: Des Moines schools to provide free summer meals to all children 18 and under

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines Public Schools is participating in the USDA Summer Food Service Program. During the 2024 summer break, 27 locations will provide free meals to children 18 and under. Locations include select apartment complexes, elementary and middle schools.  ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Trial for man accused of killing Algona police officer moved out of Kossuth County

ALGONA, Iowa — The first degree murder trial for the man accused of shooting and killing an Algona police officer in 2023 has been moved. In September 2023 Officer Kevin Cram was attempting to serve an arrest warrant in connection to a harassment case when Kyle Ricke allegedly shot him. Officer Cram died from his injuries.  ... READ MORE FROM WHO

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: How the Nishnabotna fertilizer spill is impacting multiple states

The spill killed almost 750,000 fish in Iowa, but the impact doesn’t stop there.......READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Sports headlines
ESPN: Bears, top pick Caleb Williams set for HBO's 'Hard Knocks'  ...READ MORE 
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED:  SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey Again Suggests NCAA Tournament Expansion ... READ MORE
YAHOO! Sports: Mets reliever Jorge López says his 'worst team' line was a misquote after getting DFA'd   ...READ MORE
1921: Tulsa Race Massacre begins: Beginning on the night of May 31, 1921, thousands of white citizens in Tulsa, Oklahoma descended on the city’s predominantly Black Greenwood District, burning homes and businesses to the ground and killing hundreds of people. Long mischaracterized as a race riot, rather than mass murder, the Tulsa Race Massacre stands as one of the worst incidents of racial violence in the nation’s history.  .... READ MORE
1962: Architect of the Holocaust hanged in Israel: Near Tel Aviv, Israel, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi SS officer who organized Adolf Hitler’s “final solution of the Jewish question,” was executed for his crimes against humanity... READ MORE
1988: Three U.S. presidents close chapters on the Cold War. ... READ MORE
Birthdays and notables

Happy Birthday Eddie Andrews and David Collison.

These celebrities were born on this date: Brooke Shields, Clint Eastwood, Farrah Abraham, Michelle Chen, Marco Reus, Colin Farrell, Andy Hurley, Iga Świątek, Nate Robinson, Lea Thompson, Shekinah Jones

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

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:

Why did the computer sing "Hello" every time somebody walked by? BECAUSE IT WAS A DELL (ADELE)! - Gail Tomlinson, Rex Post.

Today's riddle

What is the name of the final roadside stop for eggy desserts?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in the Daily Umbrella, Guthrie Center Times, Panora Times, Lake Panorama Times and Guthrie County Times Vedette, contact:

Account Executive
Office: 641-755-2115
Mobile: 515-619-2788

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