Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Three Iowa Oddities

Location: Iowa City, IA

  • This is ONE pork tenderloin sandwich from Joensy's in Solon, IA. It's even on a largish sized hamburger bun.

  • In Cedar Rapids, IA, not only are your telephone needs taken care of, but a similar kiosk can take care of your spiritual needs, too (if you are the type to have those sorts of needs):


    If you can't make out the instructions in the above image, they say:

    Prayer Booth Instructions:

    To Operate:

    Lower the kneeler, rest arms at the base of the enclosure, and knees on the kneeler.
    At the completion of your prayer, please return the kneeler to it's (sic) upright position.


    This device exists to facilitate and control prayer in a public space. Improper use may result in a penalty or fine.

    Please avoid the booth if you are sensitive to or feel threatened by actions that are religious in nature.

    For complaints, info, requests, questions, contact

    O.K., it IS street art, but I still wonder how many folks have earnestly knelt there in the hopes of finding a Divine Operator to God!

  • On to Riverside, Iowa, the future birthplace of James T. Kirk... err, what? You see, Gene Roddenberry wasn't all that concerned about James T. Kirk's earthly birthplace, only stating it was a small town in Iowa. The town of Riverside got to thinking... "hey, WE'RE a small town in Iowa...!" So they self-nominated their town as the Captain's birthplace, and ran with it.

    Until the end of June when the annual Trekfest hits Riverside, it's a forgotten corner of the world that can count the number of its downtown blocks on one hand and thinks sushi and hummus are exotic beyond belief. But the end of June is nearing, and the symbols of Trekkie obsession are now slowly moving, if not into the mainstream, at least into convenient parking lots.

    At a little roadside fan museum The Voyage Home Resource History Center, the parking lot contains both the town's proud mock-up of the Enterprise (ball-hitched and ready to be towed somewhere like Vulcan or Romulus or maybe the Enterprise launch facility on Risa), and its shuttle which is conveniently parked out front and ready to deliver its riders to the earth-like planet of their choice:


    Although the center was officially closed, we met the museum's Vice President on the sidewalk and he offered to open the door and let us look around. A one-room display area that shared space with its gift shop greeted us, and we got a special pre-Trekfest opportunity to see Star Trek cast pictures, Star Trek Action Figures, and even a Star Trek poster from the latest movie! The highlight came as John stuck a pin in the large U.S. map on the wall to indicate the museum had just received its first visitors from Livingston Texas, and the Veep and John posed for a photo with a life-size cutout of the Captain himself. Yippee!!!

    And then, assuming we were Trekkie Insiders, he let us in on the secret location of the memorial to Kirk's birth! Following his directions, we backtracked to town and found a small opening between the antique store and the beauty salon. Could this little alley really be the portal to the secrets of Riverside? Let's go through it and see!

    Yes, there it is! The town's memorial commemorating James T. Kirk's birth!

    And in case you need more proof that this humble back yard is really the site of the memorial to the anticipatory birth, here is the view from the back:

    Happy Birthday, James Tiberius Kirk! We'll watch for The Big Day in 2228.

1 comment:

Wandrin said...

Thanks for that priceless exploring -- in the future.