Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A book about my hometown

This has been an amazing week. I just found out a novel has been written about my hometown. I guess that is not very surprising to most people, unless you were born in a town with a population at the time of possibly 100 or less.

Homestead, Iowa. A village in the Amana Colonies. East Central Iowa. The book is Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa by Melanie Dobson. This little add-on village to the Amana's has almost always been forgotten. Nothing special ever happened here. It was just a great place to live as a child. In the fall, spring and summer, we played outside with all the neighborhood kids (all here means ALL) until the street lights went on. Riding bikes, kick the can, baseball, kick ball. It was perfect and safe. In the winter, we'd walk to the Pine Pond for ice skating. We had to cross the railroad track to get there, so I suppose our parents got together to figure out something safer. For many years, an empty lot was flooded and we ice skated right by our homes.

We used to have a working railroad station. My grandfather was a traveling salesman and spent a lot of time on the rails going between Amana and Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. He sold woolen items made in the Amana Woolen Mills. It was always a great thrill welcoming him home, because he would bring all sorts of treats from the big city.

This new book, just released, takes place in the late 1800's. My grandparents were born during this time and I remember a lot of their stories about the time. I am hoping to recognize historical sites in our town in the book. As they say, "it is in the mail as we speak."

I see statistics now that the population is 425 which I tend to question. The most famous person ever to live in Homestead would have to be the actor, Ashton Kutcher. Of course, he is younger than my children, so I never knew him or his family. He lived outside of town on a farm.

Another famous person was Bill Zuber who, during his baseball career from 1936-1947, played for the Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Senators, New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

So, I have just added to my reading stack of books, but I have a feeling this book will be read quickly.

12 comments:

  1. How wonderful for you Susan, to have a book about your hometown. I grew up in a small town in Michigan and your rembemrances remind me of mine. Hope you love the book. What a beautiful Florida morning! The sliders are wide open.

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  2. Hi Susan!

    I bet that will be fun read and see what all you remember from the stories you have heard in your family.

    Susan

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  3. Wow, that is really neat! So I am assuming the author also grew up there? Did you know her/him?

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  4. How fun to find a book about your hometown. Oh the Amana Colonies, it has been so many years since we took our young children on a vacation to the Amana Colonies. I loved it there.

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  5. Grandma Tillie...what I find so amazing is that the author has spent very little time there. Therefore, I am ready to be very critical, if only for my own satisfaction.

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  6. That is so interesting. That was the good life when parents were not afraid for their chidren; the good old day; what happened! It shoud be an interesting read. Enjoy!
    Rita

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  7. That is really exciting. No doubt that the hometown book has been added to your reading list-probably will move to the top of your list. You will have to let us know your thoughts after you read it.

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  8. How exciting! I'd love to move to a town like this one! I'll have to look for the book. Boy, this authors name sound so familiar to me. Hmmm.

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  9. Susan, how exciting to find a book about your hometown. It's even better that it's in the 1800's. My great- grandparents married just after the Civil War and I would love to read more about that time.
    Sam

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  10. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Yes, Susan, I am certain that there are not 400+ people living in Homestead. I think that is probably the population of the zip code for Homestead, including the farming areas outside the village. It looked that way to me when I looked it up after reading your comment. It is interesting that there are two new books being published now about the late 1800s in the Amanas, both being fiction. rw

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  11. Susan, how wonderful! what a treat it will be to re-discover your hometown through anothers eyes and words.

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  12. How fun is that!?! A fun look into your towns past, hopefully it will be historically accurate.

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