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Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022
Good Thursday Morning to You!

It was a late-1960s era Volkswagen Beetle, but this car was not owned by any hippie. Quite the contrary. This “Bug,” and several others like it, was owned by a farming family in Kossuth County where I was born and raised.

Its orange paint was faded by the Iowa sun, but the usefulness of this VW held strong. A large iron hitch was welded to the front of this car, and it was used to hook it up to farm machinery as a way to pull the vehicle to the farm fields. This allowed the tractors and combines to stay in the fields overnight and provided the farmers a vehicle to drive home. The VWs were light, easy to pull and inexpensive to replace. As such, they were a common sight on the farms of Cecil Bjustrom and his sons in rural Algona.

As a teenager, I was employed on one of these family farms, mostly working with livestock. In the north-central part of this state, that meant hogs — and a lot of them. And when you work with hogs, you smell like hogs, despite your best efforts not to do so. Some of the farmers claimed that if you washed your hands with toothpaste, the smell would go away. It didn’t. Instead, my hands smelled like minty hog manure. I didn’t mind, as I was happy to have a job.

Back to the orange Bug. The farmer I worked for, Chuck Bjustrom, was kind enough to allow me to drive that VW to and from my house in town. That saved my personal car from the aroma of hog manure, which those who rode with me certainly appreciated. The Bug wasn’t so lucky. The scent stuck with it, so much so that my mother wouldn’t allow me to park it in the driveway. So I parked it in the street, unlocked. Nobody dared to get close enough to break into it.

This Bug had some issues. Windshield wipers didn’t work. Gas gauge was broken. Speedometer was stuck. The brakes were iffy. There were holes in the floorboards, and a 2x4 propped up the driver’s seat. The list went on, but you get the idea. Even so, that car provided me with the necessary transportation to get back and forth to the farm, and I was grateful.

Orange Beetles weren’t too popular in rural Iowa, so most people would recognize me coming down the road from blocks away. The large iron hitch was the giveaway.

I sometimes wonder where that car ended up. Rusting away in some junkyard. Restored by a VW enthusiast. Or maybe still collecting dust in the machine shed I first pulled it out of. You might not be able to see it from a distance, but I am guessing you could still smell it.

Have a thoughtful Thursday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media


Iowa Cubs Sept. 7: Iowa Cubs 3 Jacksonville 1

MLB Sept. 7: Yankees 5 Twins 4, Yankees 7 Twins 1, Reds 7 Cubs 1,  Cardinals 6 Nationals 5, Royals 2 Guardians 1, Rockies 8 Brewers 4, White Sox 9 Mariners 6  ... READ MORE


Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

We’ve got a couple of hot days ahead before rain chances move in by Saturday afternoon. A slow-moving system will then keep us in cool temperatures and rain chances through Monday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Nominate Now


Good people are doing good things every day in your community. They truly are people who are making a difference, and we will recognize 22 business leaders in Des Moines and the surrounding area for their efforts and accomplishments in an upcoming issue of CITYVIEW’s Business Journal.

Nominate your boss, your co-worker, your vendor or yourself — anyone who you feel has made a positive impact on the business community in 2022.

Featured Job Posting
Hair designer
Must be professional, work well with customers and staff. Willing to learn new trends. Excited about your career and willing to work. ... SEE MORE ON THIS LISTING!
View more job listings and post free job listings here!
Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact pat@dmcityview.com for details.
4107 Forest Ave.
DesMoines, IA 50311
Updated and darling Cape Cod style Beaverdale home is move in ready with lots of space and many updates. 3 Bedroom (2 on main level) with possible 4th in lower level. Primary bedroom has 3/4 bath and a semi-finished attic which could be used for additional storage. ...
See More Homes For Sale

FROM KCCI: Adair police chief on leave after FBI raid at gun store

ADAIR, Iowa — The Adair police chief is on a paid leave of absence after the FBI and ATF raided his city hall office and at least one gun store he owns. The mayor of Adair confirms Chief Brad Wendt is off the job for now. The Adair city attorney confirms he is under investigation. ...READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: One injured in southside Des Moines shooting

DES MOINES, Iowa — A shooting on the southside of Des Moines left one person injured Wednesday night. The Des Moines Police Department responded to a report of shots fired around 8 p.m. in the 900 block of Kenyon Ave. When officers arrived to the scene, they found a 25-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the arm. ...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: 17-year-old who killed her alleged rapist in 2020 awaits sentence

The now 17-year-old pleaded guilty for involuntary manslaughter and willful injury against her alleged rapist, 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, in June 2020. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5

Best Of Des Moines 2022

CITYVIEW announced its 2022 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Feb.1. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Local Motorcycle Shop
1. Big Barn Harley-Davidson
2. Baumer’s Cycle
3. Struthers Brothers



Meet Peyton Williams

Celebrating students’ growth and success

By T.K. West

Originally from Marshalltown, Peyton Williams graduated from the University of Northern Iowa before joining the Southeast Polk Community School District. Prior to joining the district, he he was a student teacher for fifth grade at Delaware Elementary School in the fall of 2020. He said he enjoyed his time with both the school and the district and has since returned as a science and eastern civilization educator at the junior high.

“I enjoy having the opportunity to teach two different content areas by having  three classes of both science and social studies. It takes a little extra planning and learning the curriculum of two contents, but I enjoy the variety in my daily schedule,” Williams says.

... Read More In the August issue of Altoona Living.

Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday Kerry Jordan!

Happy Birthday to these celebrities: Wiz Khalif, Pink, David Arquett, Martin Freeman, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Heather Thomas, Ruby Bridges

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to:tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle
The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What is the best state for buying a football shirt?
NEW JERSEY! Judy Anderson, Gail Tomlinson, Rich Hoidahl, Barry Laws, Lori Bluml. Thanks Rex Post and William Snyder for also sending answers.
Today's Riddle

What kind of construction work are dogs good at?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com 

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