Friday, July 21, 2006

Why Des Moines?

Sixteen years have passed since I last listed my residence as Des Moines, Iowa. I can't even remember the address of my old dorm - Stalnaker - at Drake University, let alone my phone number. (This was really bugging me, so I looked it up. Thank you Internet! 1319 30th Street, Des Moines, 50311)

For most of my time in Des Moines, I didn't have a car or much spending money, so excursions off campus were extremely limited. I think Merle Hay Mall and Valley West Mall were the usual destinations. We knew one restaurant with decent Chicago-style pizza - can't remember the name of it. (Again, thank you Internet! Felix & Oscar's) I think I visited the capitol building once, and went to the Spaghetti Works downtown a few times. My last semester, I covered the Des Moines police beat for the student paper, the Times-Delphic, so I went to the police station once or twice a week.

And how could I forget the weather beacon? Every time we drove into Des Moines we'd look at that weather beacon and try to remember the poem that helped translate it. What does weather beacon white mean? How about flashing? No matter what color it was, we always seemed to think it meant a storm was coming.

But I never got to the Iowa State Fair, or an Iowa Cubs game, or the Blank Park Zoo. Even though I spent seven semesters there (three-and-a-half years), I never really knew Des Moines.

Why am I bringing this up now? I was just reading an article in the Chicago Tribune titled Des Moines: Another Cubs city comes alive on the weekends and it just got me to thinking about all the things we never did, plus all the things I've forgotten. Some day, I'd like to spend a weekend there. Reacquaint myself. It just seems sad to have devoted a chunk of my life to living there and not know the place.

1 comment:

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