between the East of my youth and the West of my future
On our way home last weekend, after drinking far too much coffee at the Frontier Café in Grinnell, I needed a rest stop. We came upon one west of Iowa City and I dashed in, paying attention only to the location of the restrooms. Afterward, no longer distracted, I recognized the literary theme of the design of the place. Each picnic shelter has a steel wall featuring a laser-cut quote by an author or poet. The ones above are my favorites. With the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in nearby Iowa City, Paul Engle’s words here are fitting. With the trees, cornfields and sky visible through the cut-out text, reading “maybe it’s up in the hills under the leaves” had a visual and visceral impact.
This rest area is in Tiffin, Iowa, I-80, mile marker 237.