Treasures of Small Town Iowa

Thursday, October 10, 2013

When we make deliveries of the concrete pads we sell for propane tanks, we often like to take country roads which lead us through small towns. 

Every area of the country has its own secrets which only locals know.  In our neck of the woods most everyone knows that "Lonny's" is where all the farmers go to drink their coffee, swap stories, and eat peanuts; the thrift store behind Subway is the best place for bargain shopping; my dad's shop is where to have welding done; the blue pick-up truck belongs to so-and-so, etc.  But outsiders are clueless (and my dear readers would still be lost trying to discover these local secrets from the tips above without additional help from locals).  

While we certainly haven't cracked the enigmas of any of the small towns we drive through, we have skimmed the surface to discover a few of the small town treasures.

Rhodes, Iowa has a population of 305 and was founded in 1803.  Driving through the town, we wondered what treasures it held.  As we neared the center of the town we saw a tank!

The Vietnam era tank  (pictured above) was placed on display  in the early 1990s.  The treads of the tank reach to a height of about 5 feet.  During the Vietnam War, the tanks would plow through vegetation, leaving paths behind them which troops could follow without having to cut their way through the jungles.  At the park and veterans' memorial where the tank sits, we met Jerry, who as a member of the city council helped arrange for the tank to be moved to Rhodes.  He explained to us that the tank was now welded shut, but in the case of a national emergency the welds could be removed and the tank could be put back into service.  

I didn't get any good full-body shots of the tank, so here's one from
Another town we drove through is State Center, the Rose Capital of Iowa.  State Center is a slightly larger town with a population of 1,468.  Some of the flowers in the Rose Garden were starting to fade, but enough of the roses were vibrant enough for it to still be a photographer's heaven!

A park bench

And such is the beauty of small town and country life!