Somehow I have several Texas associations. My wife being one of them. My three kids, who were all born in Austin. But, many years before I met any of them I had a friend, “Tex”, that has been one of my best friends for over 20 years. We call him Tex in Iowa, but in his hometown of Wichita Falls, TX he’s known as…………Jeff. I’ve always been fond of that little story too. Let’s get to seeing Iowa from 15,000 feet.
The sky was overcast in rural Brooklyn due to a storm moving in. However, it was just far enough off the radar to get jumping in… or is it out? Or up? Maybe down. Who the hell knows. Time to get prepped for the Poweshiek plunge.
I had no idea that I could work up such an unholy appetite knowing that my friend was about to roll out of plane in about 45 minutes. Once again, Iowa’s Route 6 came up with another great restaurant for us. A literal Brooklyn classic.
The Classic Deli and Ice Cream Shoppe has a great menu of sandwiches, handmade deli salads, desserts, and old fashion soda drinks. Not to forget Hot Panini’s, Philly’s, the finest breaded pork tenderloins around and the sandwich that brought us in and made us turn around the next weekend for another…..The Brisket! It was highly recommended by the staff of Skydive Iowa. And I think they’re some pretty trustworthy folks.
We could still hear the engine of the small aircraft that flew our friends to where eagles dare. I have always wanted an excuse to write that last line. Necks crooked and sunglasses fixed, we put our hands on our forehead and waited to see a couple specks drop from the sky. Then we saw the plane over the small Brooklyn airstrip. Next we hear the engines go silent. A few seconds later, out came our friends as we watched them free fall. And then…..POOF! Two shoots opened up and we cheered and watched the Texas brothers glide through the sky and make a perfect landing on the Iowa soil. A few minutes later, Charlie was giving Tex a high-five while all the jumpers collected themselves. They were all grins and walked a little funny as they made their way to the hanger. Maybe it was the tight straps around their midsection. Let’s go with that.
I don’t know about you, but watching someone risk it all by jumping from a plane at 10,000+ feet makes me want to explore some local history. As we said goodbye to our friend and his little brother, and wondered what they actually told their mother what they were up to that afternoon, we drove back in to the town of Brooklyn and started on Iowa’s unofficial John Wayne Trail.
Brooklyn calls itself “The Community of Flags”. And the Goodvin kids took pride in showing off their skills. Up and down main street and in a park at the summit of a steep hill is Brooklyn’s proud flags. Thanks to their love of the World Cup and Winter Olympics, Charlie, Leah and Gigi did a great job of guessing the worlds colors on display. I got the Cayman Islands one, though! Little amateurs thought it was Australia. (There’s little plaques on each poll that tell you what country it’s from) There happened to be a parade that day too. The few times I get to tell the kids that its okay to eat the candy that you find on the ground. 5 second rule turns to the ten second rule and then increments of 5 after that.
The summer is young and we have found another reason why we love our trips down historic Iowa Route 6. The countryside is at its greenest and it won’t be too long before the crops will have the look of waves as the wind and reflections of the clouds roll through them. The classic Iowa road trip produces some of America’s best gems and memorable people with proud towns like Brooklyn. Come for the brisket, have a beer with the fellas at the legion, find your favorite flag, pay homage to The Duke, and scoot your silly butt out of a plane from high altitude for once in your life. Thank you, Brooklyn!
Read about our other discoveries on Historic Iowa Route 6 in the towns of Grinnell and Ladora…..