April 12, 2015

Iowa is Crops-But There’s So Much More. Ask Tricia Anderson

When you think of Iowa, do you think of waving fields of corn?  Farms dotting the landscape?  A scene that looks eerily similar to the American Gothic?  For the most part you would be right.  Ninety-two percent of Iowa is farmland and hogs outnumber the people.  But what is that other eight percent?  That would be where I live.
Iowa boasts several metropolitan areas, the largest being the State Capital of Des Moines.  The second largest city in Iowa located on the east central section of the state is Cedar Rapids.  It was founded in 1838 by Osgood Shepherd, a man believed to be a horse thief and the owner of an inn of ill repute.  It is now home of 128,000 people, several industries, three colleges, and many things to do.

Cedar Rapids is home of the world’s largest cereal mill operated by Quaker Oats.  Aeronautics manufacturer Rockwell Collins is also headquartered here.  It also boasts the National Czech and Slovak Museum and the Brucemore Mansion.  Looking for higher education?  You can find it at Coe College, Mount Mercy University, Kirkwood Community College or the University of Iowa which is only twenty miles from Cedar Rapids.

And remember me mentioning the American Gothic?  The artist, Grant Wood, lived in Cedar Rapids and painted that very painting in his studio at Five Turner Alley.  The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art owns the largest collection of Grant Wood paintings.
So the next time you think of Iowa, think of its waving fields of corn and the barns full of hogs.  But don’t forget the cities that keep Iowa running. 

Tricia Anderson is giving away the e-book set of her  Black Irish series --Black Irish, Heartland, The Troubles and Trial by Fire!  Leave a comment here about what you learned new on Iowa and Tricia Anderson for your chance to win this great set of novels.  Don't forget your contact info so we can notify you when you win.   
Tricia Andersen lives in Iowa with her husband, Brian and her three children – her sons, Jake and Jon, and her daughter, Alex.  She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Kirkwood Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in Communications Media/Public Relations.  Along with writing (which she loves to do), Tricia practices mixed martial arts, coaches and participates in track and field, reads, sews and is involved in many of her children's activities.

Use these links to Tricia Anderson’s work :
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  1. In a game of association every state in the Union calls something to mind. In Iowa it's "waves of grain," in West Virginia where I live it's "mountains' majesty." One must read articles like yours that expands that association, presenting to readers what makes Iowa a great state to visit.

  2. During the year I spent at the University of Iowa—Iowa City just down the road from Cedar Rapids, I learned a unique life-lesson. It was during a trip to Pella, a lovely town that celebrates tulips along with the eponymous windows and at the time boasted the only junior high school marching band in the U.S. that marched in real wooden shoes. Looking for a place to eat, we asked and were told, "The roller rink."

    We questioned the man, who explained quite simply. "If you're in a small town, always eat at the roller rink or the bowling alley. That's where the mothers let their kids eat. so you know their watching like a hawk. It'll be clean and it'll be decent food. Maybe it won't be fancy, but you can trust it."

    So next time you're traveling our ribbons of highway and figure you can't take another McBurgWay, pull of into a small town and find yourself that local bowling alley or skating rink. Heck, maybe even take a bit of time to get some exercise.

  3. Most of what you posted is new to me. I have been to Iowa, but only the most western side of the state. I worked in Omaha for 6 weeks. I found those states a refreshing change from PA.

  4. Thank you very much for the trip through Iowa. I've never been there and didn't know much about it. I was surprised that Quaker Oats is based in Cedar Rapids.


  5. I worked for a few years for a brokerage out of the Quad Cities, so I used to drive 3 hours west to be in Bettendorf by 8 am every other Friday morning. Once I had to exchange my company car, so I drove to the Quads, got there by 8, sat in meetings for hours, then followed an Iowan out to Des Moines, dropped off our old cars, got new ones, then drove back to the Quads, where he lived. Then I still had a 3 hour drive home. It was a VERY long day, and what I saw of Iowa reminded me very much of downstate Illinois and Indiana: mile after mile of farms and flat land. So little was visually exciting that it was hard to stay awake.

    One of my sons drove with friends as seniors in high school, to observe the Iowa Caucues during President Obama's first run for office. He was truly impressed at how participatory it was, as opposed to the primaries here in Illinois.


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