If everyone wakes up from their Christmas food-induced stupor, rumor has it we’re gonna drive to Indianola and see “Lincoln” — the movie that may never come to Muscatine.
Borrowed from Facebook friend Tom Brehmer of Muscatine: Instead of a bad intercom at the drive-through, how about a touch screen so we can just punch in our order?
Gov. Terry Branstad today said he will participate in a trade mission to China from May 29 through June 5.
Branstad’s trip results from an invitation the governor accepted from Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping.
A group of Iowans, fondly referred to as “Old Friends” by Chinese VP Xi Jinping, will join the governor in visiting China as they participate in a whirlwind tour from May 29-June 5. The group is also traveling to China at the invitation of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries on behalf of VP Xi Jinping. They will visit various sites, including the Great Wall of China. During their stay, they will participate in a reunion banquet with VP Xi Jinping.
At various stops apart from the “Old Friends” tour, Branstad will join Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham in meetings to promote Iowa’s global partnership and pursue further economic opportunities in Iowa.
The visit is a continuation of the long-standing relationship Iowa has with China, a vital trading partner with the state.
In 1985, Iowa Sister States hosted VP Xi Jinping and four other agricultural experts from Iowa’s sister state of Hebei Province as part of an agricultural exchange. He returned to Iowa in February of this year to revisit several of his “old friends,” expressed his appreciation of the experience he had in Iowa, and to facilitate new joint efforts.
Iowa and Hebei Province, PRC have had a sister state agreement since 1983. During those years, and even before, Chinese from Hebei Province have been visiting Iowa and participating in exchanges and programs. Included in the visit will be an overnight stay in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province.
For the most part, mine is a Ford family. At least when it comes to trucks.
But the most-recent chapters in my history with Fords could have been written by a Chevy lover. It has been a rocky relationship of late.
The news today, though, is good. After it sat in the driveway for almost a year, we spent several hundred dollars this week and are back on the road in our old Ford Bronco. The old rig now has four new tires, along with a bunch of other new parts. But the work still isn’t done. Tonight I noticed it needs a new exhaust pipe to fix what really can’t be called just a leak.
The roaring exhaust contributes to the feeling that the Bronco is charitably what could be regarded as an Iowa boy’s hoopty
But it’s not entirely accurate to think of it as an Iowa-boy hoopty because I didn’t buy it. Nancy bought it in 2008 around the time we closed on the sale of our house in Idaho and she moved to Muscatine. I had been in Muscatine for several months when she called to say she was thinking of trading her old car, a 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE wagon, for a 1988 Bronco.
I was against the idea.
Now I’ll admit the Benz needed to have some work done to it, but I didn’t want to trade it for the Bronco. That Benz was a tank. It would have run forever.
As for a 20-year-old Ford? I figured it would be broken down most of the time. And I am not a mechanic.
But, in spite of all of that, when the Bronco is running, I really like driving it. I can’t help it. For years, I drove a Ford Ranger pickup of about the same vintage. And the Bronco is painted the same awful turquoise that Ford has used my entire life. It was the color of the 1965 Ford ton truck in which I learned to drive — the truck my dad disliked so much that I don’t think he ever washed it in the 20 years he owned it.
Having just written the preceding sentence, and
taking taken a few minutes to think about it, maybe I come by my love-hate relationship with the Bronco honestly. Maybe it’s how my dad felt about that old farm truck. After all, when he finally retired it, he bought another Ford — a really nice red one.
And if you want to know the truth, I never really drove that Benz. It was a great car, but it didn’t really fit my personality. I am a Steinbach, after all, and I am a Ford truck guy.