Purtineer a homecoming for Hoss


Look out, RAGBRAI, a Dimmitt Hall reunion is in the works

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Pretty high on the list of reasons why I’m even more excited than normal about RAGBRAI is getting an opportunity to meet Zoe and Miles.

Their mom is Amy Anderson, a friend and classmate from my Morningside College days. She and her husband, Matt, have agreed to host Team MCSA for the night when RAGBRAI rolls into Sioux City on July 18. I sent Amy a message via Facebook within minutes of the route announcement for RAGBRAI XLIII last weekend in Des Moines to see if they would be willing to let us camp in their yard.


To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen Amy, who I knew as Amy Gerking, or “Pickle,” because of her maiden name’s similarity to Gherkins. But for the purposes of full disclosure, Amy and most of the rest of our circle of friends from that time at Dimmitt Hall called me “Hoss” because of what they saw as my similarity to this guy.

The nickname also fit because I was still pretty much a blue jeans and cowboy boots kind of guy in my early college years. And — after having grown up in Lucas County, Iowa — I had not yet curbed what my college friends from northwest Iowa, southwest Minnesota, southeast South Dakota and northeast Nebraska viewed as my “southern accent.”

It was so pronounced that Amy, who teaches art in the LeMars school district, used the silk screening equipment in Morningside’s Eppley Fine Arts Building back in the day to print T-shirts that I reckon were meant to have some fun at my expense. At least that’s purtineer how I remember it. I can’t remember if the shirts were for a party, if Amy gave one to everyone in our group or if it just seemed that way. I just remember there being references to “going to the gayrage to get a sodie pop” and the like even though I don’t remember ever actually using those phrases.

Maybe Amy or someone with a better memory than mine will read this and flesh out the story in the comments. If not, it could be something to discuss on the night we’re at the Andersons. I’ve already heard from at least one other college friend who says she plans to be in Sioux City that weekend. It should be a great time.

But I really am excited about meeting Zoe and Miles after seeing dozens of photos of them on their mom’s Facebook page. I’m also a little excited to get my hands on one of those schooners Amy and Julie Swalve are hoisting in the picture, which was taken at Miles Inn. (Say, how do you suppose Amy chose her son’s name? Maybe that’s a story for another day.)

All of it will happen in 170 days. I can’t wait.


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