Friday, November 18, 2011

Lunch time in Rural Iowa

Carharts and John Deere caps, these people obviously work for a living.  This scene was in the Lincoln Cafe in Belle Plaine, IA but it was repeated all over the state.  This is life in rural America.

These are real people living their lives.  I just sat in the corner and watched and listened.

There were the construction workers filling up on the "all-you-can eat" Walleye special.

"You want another plate of fish there, honey?"  "Nah.  I guess I've had enough.  I could come back about 2 for more though."  "Your welcome to darlin', but you know you'll have to pay for it again."

There is the man who joined his wife, young daughter and mother.  "I don't have much time", is his greeting.  "That's okay," replys his wife, "I've already ordered your lunch."  And as if on cue the waitress comes to the table with his burger and fries.  It only took a few minutes for his little daughter to find her way onto his lap to be greeted with a hug.  "You gonna go to the basketball game tonight and watch Sissy play?  Grandma can't go so you can cheer in her place."  "Yea, but you won't be as loud as Grandma", chimes in the mother.  "Hey",  Grandma rises to her defence, " I've gotten better.  But the game has changed from my day.  You couldn't push and shove when I played.  You couldn't even touch the other player."  "Yea, and you only went half court"  Sounds like Grandma played in the days of 6 player girls rules.  Three in the back court and three in the front court.  So here we have a table of three generations of girls basketball.

Girls basketball is very popular in Iowa and has been for generations.  In many schools I dare say it out draws the boy's game.  The Girl's State Basketball Tournament (and I capitalise it out of respect) is an annual event in this state.  Whole towns will shut down and make the caravan trip to Des Moines to see their team play.

On the other side of the room two couples of retired farmers are enjoying their lunch and talking of the weather and the corn prices (the two topics dearest to an Iowa farmers heart).  It's mild for mid-November and they don't mind too much.  It's easier on the bones.  But they really need some snow to protect the fields from the wind and to provide the moisture for next years crop.  It seems like farmers are never entirely happy about much of anything.  But maybe the price of corn.  This year's harvest may not have been a record but the prices were darn close.  In all it was a good year for most of them.

This is small town Iowa.  These people work hard.  They are not the one percent.