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JANUARY 2014

Once upon a 4th of July in Coralville, Iowa, we were honored guests at the Herbert Hoover Library. Part of the festivities included a parade. Babs and I perch atop the back of a red mustang convertible. Fittin’ and proper. Henry and his missus are up front, and we’re following Boyd and Donna Magers’ convertible. Babs and I wave Old Glory on sticks. Boyd, hunkered high, tosses candy. Donna waves two of her vast collection of teddy bears, Li’l Evy and Li’l Mikey. Come join the Big Parade, old chum. Watch your back. Here come the trombones. Ooops! Mind how you march—Elephants! Isn’t this a lovely way to sightsee? Isn’t this a lovely day? Sun’s out—warm, not hot—jes’ right. Perfect day to sell a house. Everyone’s dressed in vivid red, white and blue. The Parade is long and leisurely, coursing mostly along shady neighborhood streets, lined by friendly folks, their smiles as broad as their well-manicured lawns, as bright as their beautiful homes. We whoop’n holler “Happy Birthday USA!” All the way, a real hoarse opera. We trade joshes with the crowd. We hoot at some camouflaged National Guards, “Yoo Hoo! We can see you!” “Get a horse!” They hoot back. Hawkeye humanity. Can’t beat it. Babs and I rate this parade five smiles. Sure wish we could’ve seen it. We rate Iowa right up there with Eden, Paradise, Shangri-la. But shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone. Word gets out, everyone will want to move in. Our parade reminded us of Meredith Willson’s affectionate slice of Iowa Americana, “The Music Man”. Willson was an Iowan. Ditto our ol’ pard Jocko Mahoney. Ditto Duke Wayne. Good time as any to hail our hosts: Mayor Jim “Vote early, vote often” Fausett, Marty Kelly, Tim Walch of the Hoobert Heever (er, Herbert Hoover) Library, and their wonderful army of assistants.

Will ("Sugarfoot") Hutchins receives a Golden Boot award in August 2002.Ahoy! Ol’ pard Ty Hardin. Ty and I were inmates at Col. Warner’s Honor Ranch. Bronco Layne sold thousands of TV sets when Ty debuted on the ABC network. I sold mine. Bronchitis. I josh Ty Har-deen, the Turkish Cowboy. He was born Orison Whipple Hungerford III. Too long a name, thought his Hollywood agent, so he became Orison Whipple Hungerford II—and the rest is history.

 

       Adios—