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Thursday, April 13, 2023
Good Thursday Morning to You!

Welcome to an early edition of the mailbag where you will find some of the comments, questions and ideas sent recently by subscribers of this newsletter or our publications. They are edited for space and clarity.

“I wanted to thank you for the article mentioning the 175th Anniversary of Woodland Cemetery and our search for ‘Green Eyes’ (Glowing tombstone, April 5, 2023). I have already heard from several people with their stories of seeing it in their younger days. The reach of your format continues to amaze me. The location of the original ‘Green Eyes’ monument appears to have been confirmed to be Block 19 Lots 4 & 5. 

The graves of Adah Hawkins Smouse,1868-1912, Albert Smouse, 1849-1933 and Harriet A. Trebilcock Smouse, 1851-1892. The base is still there while the top portion has not yet been found (if it still exists). We are also looking for any existing photo of the complete original structure.” - Mike Rowley

I am glad to help, Mike. Keep up the great work. - Shane

“I went to The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg a few decades ago (Glowing tombstone, April 5, 2023). There was a glowing tombstone in a country cemetery a few miles south of town. You could never find it because it was only visible from the highway. But it made for great dates.” - William

The question is, how did you find it to begin with? - Shane

“Hi, Shane. We live near a cemetery, so we often take our kids on walks or bike rides through the paved cemetery so we don’t have to worry about cars (Glowing tombstone, April 5, 2023). There is a tombstone in the shape of a chair that my husband always referred to as the ‘devil’s chair’ in high school. Of course, our 2-year-old was fascinated by this chair and always wanted to sit on it; we never let him. One day, Grandma was babysitting and sends me a picture of our 2-year-old sitting on the chair with a big smile on his face. Needless to say, we now stop by this ‘chair’ often. Makes me wonder if the person who picked out the headstone knew it would be a good conversation piece someday.”- Laura

As the saying goes, Mommy knows a lot, but Grandma knows everything. - Shane

“Shane, I grew up in Cedar Rapids and attended high school in the early 1980s. There was a cemetery (Campbell) just outside of Cedar Rapids in Bertram, Iowa (Glowing tombstone, April 5, 2023). Legend had it that if you drove out there at night, entered the cemetery and turned your headlights off, you would see the trunkless tree — a pine tree that looked like it was suspended in air without a trunk. It was creepy, and we would often drive out there with our dates (and a few beers) to show them this spooky sight. As it turns out, if you drove out during the daytime, you would see one pine tree, but, it

would look like two as the larger branches jutted out and had another pine tree growing up from the branch. I imagine the tree is gone by now, but it was fun to take friends out there and show them the trunkless tree in a dark, spooky cemetery. Here is an old image of the tree in daylight.” - Kevin

That is spooky, or is it you just showing off your Photoshop skills again? Either way, I am keeping my distance from Campbell Cemetery. - Shane

“The Devil's Chair in Guthrie Center is a cement-cast chair located in Union Cemetery, situated between two graves and unmarked as belonging to either (Glowing tombstone, April 5, 2023). Local legend claims that bad luck will follow anyone who sits in it. While the cemetery itself was established as a private burial ground in 1885, the legend of the chair is only documented for approximately 30 years.” - Lori 

Hmmm. Lori, I am going to assume that there are not two Devil’s Chairs and that you and Laura are referencing the same thing. At least I hope so. - Shane

“As you know, Shane, the real impact of the assessment increases is in the hands of the various government entities that determine tax levy rates (Property assessments, April 6, 2023). We should all be contacting those bodies to insist that levies be reduced and total government income is not increased as a result of assessment increases. Increases in spending should only occur after budget discussions in an open forum justifying the need for more funds. Those bodies can neutralize the impact by making those adjustments. If those levies remain the same or even increase, the impact will be horrific.” - Chuck

Clear as mud. Thanks, Chuck. - Shane

Have a thoughtful Thursday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

CITYVIEW's  Best Of Des Moines

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Local Restaurant Patio

1. Eatery A

2. Big Grove Brewery & Taproom

3. Destination Grille


Read More

Walmart began its success targeting small towns. This week, the company announced the closing next week of four Chicago stores. They joined 15 other Walmarts that have closed this year, none in small towns. Whole Foods announced the closing, after less than one year, of its Market Street store in San Francisco, citing employee safety concerns.

Viet Thai Taste has two popular stores in Newton and Pella. They will open their third location, in Grimes, on April 24.

Thursday is $13 steak dinner night at Sully's Irish Pub (560 First St., West Des Moines).

— Jim Duncan

Your Clear Mortgage forecast from Jason Parkin

Warm and breezy weather will stick with us into Friday. Needed rain comes our way Friday night, and rain chances stick with us into Saturday evening. We'll see a brief cool down into Monday, then temperatures start to warm again. We could see scattered showers next Wednesday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Jason at parkin.mortgage

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.

2723 45th St., Des Moines, IA 50310

Wonderful Beaverdale Brick! The main level features hardwood floors throughout with vinyl in the kitchen, a nice size living area with a fireplace, 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath, kitchen with appliances that stay, and nice sized dining area.

See More Homes For Sale
On April 13 ...

1997: Tiger Woods became the first African American to win a major, and the youngest to wear the green jacket when he aced his first Masters Golf Tournament on April 13th.

1360: On so-called “Black Monday” in 1360, a hail storm kills an estimated 1,000 English soldiers in Chartres, France. The storm and the devastation it caused also played a part in the Hundred Years’ War between England and France.

2017 On April 13, 2017, American forces in Afghanistan drop one of the largest non-nuclear weapons ever used by the U.S. military. The “Mother of All Bombs” hits an Islamic State tunnel complex with power equal to 11 tons of explosives. More than 90 Islamic State militants died in the bombing.

Read more at History.com.


FROM KCCI: 18-year-old injured after rolling car during police chase

BREMER COUNTY, Iowa — An 18-year-old was hospitalized after crashing his car during a police chase Monday in Waverly. According to the Iowa State Patrol, Wyatt Allan Mitchell, of Allison, was driving away from police east on Highway 3 in a 2008 Volkswagen Beetle. Next, he abruptly drove into the north ditch where the car vaulted and rolled, troopers reported. ..READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Iowa House advances bill prohibiting gun-free zones at schools, universities

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa House Republicans passed a bill out of the chamber that they claim expands gun rights for Iowans,The bill, passed by a vote of 62 to 27, would prohibit public or private school districts, universities, colleges and businesses from enforcing a gun-free zone on its campus. The bill says that firearms can be kept in vehicles on school grounds by students and staff. ...READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Proposed bill could change Iowa caucus procedures | Here's what legislators are saying

The legislation eliminates in-person caucus voting and requires that participants register with their chosen party at least 70 days before the caucus. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


Meet Cari Munn

From eight years in Bolivia to Johnston

By T.K. West

Growing up, Cari Munn lived on a golf course owned by her family. After high school, she studied elementary education, early childhood education, and Spanish at the University of Northern Iowa. Because Munn had no idea where she wanted to set down roots, she relocated to Tampa, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; and Des Moines before teaching for eight years in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.

Munn first learned about opportunities in Santa Cruz after attending a UNI Overseas Teaching Fair where 250 countries were represented. She chose Bolivia because she wanted to put her Spanish skills to use. While there, she not only taught elementary grades but also met her husband and started a family.

... Read more in the April issue of Johnston  Living magazine.

Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday Cindy Krage!

These celebrities were born on this date: Allison Williams, Ron Perlman, Kelli Giddish, Glenn Howerton, DeVon Franklin, Hunter Pence, Baron Davis, Carmen Carrera

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
Why was the sedimentary rock extra cheap? IT WAS ON SHALE! - Rich Hoidahl, Gail Tomlinson, Carolyn Rogers. Other answers from Deb Taylor. And I missed answers yesterday from Sharon Sorensen, Gail Tomlinson, Kris Laurson.

Today's Riddle

Who is the poor owl’s hero?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

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If you would like to advertise in this daily newsletter, please contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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