This fall has held some wonderful experiences for me. Last in line was my daughter Sara's wedding, which took place Sunday at the Presbyterian Camp on West Lake Okoboji. As I listened to comments from out- of -state guests about how pretty the setting was, I realized that it has been awhile since I took time to really appreciate the beauty of northwest Iowa.
I also found myself fielding a lot of questions about the area and its history. Fortunately I had read Jame Michener's 'Spirit Lake' a long time ago so I could talk about Inkpaduta and Abbie Gardner, as well as tell stories of Arnold's Park with its wooden roller coaster and Roof Garden. Sara's father- in -law, who hails from the Green Bay area and is used to a much bigger lake, was particularly interested in the hows and whys Okoboji is so important to Iowans and what makes it unique.
That's when I realized I should spend some time reading books from the Cherokee Public Library's Iowa collection. A lot of people probably don't even realize we have an Iowa collection. It is located on the lowest level of the building between the large print books and the Archives room. The shelves that hold it are the only ones remaining from the original building as they were made to fit the inside curve of the bow string wall. And if you don't know what that is, you really need to come see it.
The collection includes books about the birds and plant life of the state, stories of companies and organizations, biographies of famous Iowans, tales of pioneer settlers and some very old histories of the state itself. There are also some fiction selections, primarily from Ruth Suckow and Marjorie Holmes, two of Iowa's most well- known authors. Old issues of 'The Iowan' and other state -centered magazines are on the bottom shelves.
We have made an effort to keep the Iowa section updated with more current books although there are a limited number available. If anyone knows of something we don't have that would make a good addition, please let me know. The collection is unique and we need to keep it refreshed.
This is the best (in my opinion) season to live in Iowa. Between the heat of summer and the snow of winter, we are lucky to have colorful trees and crisp breezy days. So even if I don't get to take my usual fall trips to the Black Hills and Wisconsin this year, I will enjoy what Iowa has to offer. I think that needs to include a quiet day at Okoboji.
The library is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am -- 8pm, Tuesday and Friday from 10am -- 5pm and Saturday 10am -- 2pm. Come check out the Iowa section!