Giant Things of Iowa
When I was just a tadpole of a lad growing up in the quiet Midwestern town of Pella, Iowa, my dad worked in Des Moines, Iowa's capitol city. He was the press secretary for then-Governor Bob Ray and it was a big deal for my brother Andy and me to visit Des Moines to see Dad at work. As I recall, we'd make the hour-long trip several times a year, Mom driving, the kids wrestling around the back of the Ford station wagon--to shop for back-to-school clothes, to visit the fabulous Iowa State Fair in the summer, and to do other things we could not then do in Pella (like go to Iowa's only McDonald's!).
The road from Pella into Des Moines went right past the Andersen-Erickson Dairy plant, on the eastern edge of Des Moines, near the state fairgrounds. And the sight we looked most forward to seeing was the pair of giant milk cows standing near the A-E corporate headquarters. Someone would always tell the story about the Iowa farmer who was attending the fair, got drunk (somehow), and was found by the police trying to milk the AE cow statue. True story? I doubt it. The Iowa farmers I know prefer to drink Mountain Dew or really weak coffee.
During our recent Iowa trip I got a special rush of nostalgia when we passed the giant Andersen-Erickson milk cows. The last time I cast eyes upon them Spiro Agnew was our vice president. There they were, perhaps the first Giant Things I ever noticed. Only this time the comments of my fellow passengers had to do not with tipsy farmers, but with the fact that the baby bull milk cow was surely destined for a sad end (perhaps to end up in a Maid-Rite burger) and that somebody had better milk that big cow soon, because her milk bag looks pretty full.
I do loves me my Giant Things.