Man, I (mostly) love all things Iowa. I’m still (mostly) proud to be an Iowan.
It’s a gorgeous place and I feel really lucky to be a life long product of the state.
I grew up in a tiny ass town in southwestern Iowa, about one hour north of the Missouri border.
This weekend, the municipality is having a Sesquicentennial celebration. What the fuck is a Sesquicentennial party you ask (because I had to)?
“Relating to the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of a significant event. As the town’s sesquicentennial celebrations get under way”.
Um, why do we have to have a fancy word? Why can’t it just be “Happy 150th Birthday!” but I digress. There’s going to be a weekend long par-tay and I can’t help but reflect on the town of 1,200 peeps that helped fabricate the me I turned out to be (I’m also slightly pissed I wasn’t asked to be the Grand Marshal of the parade but I *might* get over it if I’m honored with the position for the Bicentennial (200th birthday) celebration. And yes, I fully expect to be alive and kickin’).
I mean, if anyone can be a parade Grand Marshal, it’s moi. I mean, look how I rocked the town’s many year round parades.
There was the annual Lenox Rodeo parade every summer we NEVER missed out being participants in thanks to Mama CBXB.
We also never missed the rodeo and as always, gussied up for the event.
Then there was the homecoming parade every fall. The first time I participated as an attendant, I was pretty fucking sure I was gonna marry my escort.
Then there was always a Halloween parade (back when we could still call it Halloween without fun haters insisting it be referred to as “Fall Festivals” at school). The entire town never failed to bring their lawn chairs and line them all the way up and down the five block Main Street.
Lenox is not only my hometown but the birthplace where my love of all things pussies began.
Being raised in a small town, I had independence from an early age. For example, at five years of age, Mama CBXB would let me ride my bike three whopping blocks to the community pool with instructions to come home for lunch when the town’s noon siren blared (does this still happen daily?).
I never missed a meal. Be right back after my beloved ketchup sandwich.
Growing up in a small community gifted me the “zero fucks to give” attitude that is still one of my most precious assets. Wanna play baseball in your backyard sporting a swimsuit? DO IT.
Think plaid might be for you but then realize you aren’t made for straight, confining lines? DO IT.
Wanna forever capture your love of busy patterns, colors and accessories? GO FOR IT.
Feel like proudly hanging out in a stellar swimsuit with a perm while contemplating slipping into the most heinous sweatshirt on the planet? WHY NOT?
Wanna rock a scrunchie while Sister CBXB nonchalantly sports a mullet? FUCK YES.
My young informative years solidified my allergies to situations I still don’t love.
Like camping at Lake of Three Fires.
Or the time I discovered my fingernails were “jewels, not tools” after assisting Dada CBXB with gardening for one day.
My softball career was long enough lived for me to get a card made. I was the catcher because I could the ball throw to second base at 10. I have a few of these left if you want an autographed copy.
Growing up in a small town means getting to see your dad rock turquoise shorts on a flatbed truck during a lip sync contest. In front of all of your friends. And he was a PE teacher for the entire school system and football coach.
Dada CBXB was also able to embrace small town culture by taking a baby and toddler on motorcycle sidewalk rides. No biggie.
My love of football started in the stands of Friday games.
You can get anywhere in under three minutes, so participation in every available activity is achievable.
Dance we did.
I was the number one peanut seller for Brownies TWO YEARS IN A ROW. Receiving my $5.00 prize in the Methodist church basement was obvies a real treat. Mama CBXB was never worn out from being our Troop leader, costume maker or party planner.
Speaking of party planning, boy, did Mama CBXB and this town create a party-for-lifer. Oh, and the more the fucking merrier.
My love of mascots started at a young age. I mean, I couldn’t wait to get my paws on the Easter Bunny.
However, I am shocked that this piss poor rendition of Santa didn’t ruin Christmas for me forever.
We moved after I finished seventh grade and I don’t get back very often. When I do, it is fun to do a drive-by memory lane. Like the house we lived in since my sister was born.
Before that, it was this abode.
I never miss a chance to go to my fave place for fried cheeseballs – The Tiger Den. And now they have gluten-free buns. I die.
The Lenox park is where a fuck ton of memories were created. School picnics, the swimming pool, Sister CBXB accidentally entering a tractor pedal pull and won first place, and where we played hours on the equipment. Last time I was in Lenox, I broke my body trying to recreate memories.
I threw my back out jumping off of the goddamn merry-go-round. Aren’t those death traps now?
Take my advice from above and just reminisce about the equipment instead of playing on it. Because I tweaked my ankle jumping out of the archaic (but in stellar condition) swing set. But how could I resist when my ample derriere fit in the swing?!?
I love that I was able to spend my childhood in a town where I was granted independence practically at birth, conditioned to play by myself when needed, taught the importance of being empathetic and to show up for your family, friends and neighbors. It’s a treat not many peeps get these days.
Mama CBXB came across this ribbon from the Centennial (fucking 100th birthday) and I display it in my kitchen hutch.
Happy Sesquish birthday, Lenox!
I’m crossing my claws in hopes to be the Grand Marshal for the Bicentennial.
Love ya, mean it.