Iowa Trip (Day 4)…

Day 4 was my final day in Iowa if I don’t count the following day that only included driving home. But the night before after everyone left, I noticed a large electrical device on the counter in the kitchen and asked Ig what it was… it was an electric rechargeable corkscrew, just what everyone needs. After I got done kidding Ig about how he might save some money on his kickboxing workout class if he’d go ahead and open his wine with a manual corkscrew he said, ah, the damn thing’s got a piece of cork stuck up inside it. After all the wine we had, this seemed like the perfect project as Ig tidied up the kitchen. My first attempts were merely jamming things down inside and trying to pierce the cork piece with metal objects. I was nonplussed at the difficulty and then I noticed six screws holding it together. After fishing around for a wee screwdriver, the screws were unscrewed. We were drinking more wine, talking and seconds before the last screw came out I said… hope there’s no springs in here, followed quickly by… why would this thing have springs? And of course there were and after removing the cork and trying to re-situate the damn thing’s innards, I could only get it almost closed. I inserted 2 of the screws thinking that the screws would get it to close the rest of the way and this was correct except that as it seated it shorted something inside and would only work in one direction (it toggled back and forth between uncork and cork). I disassembled it again and tried to find the bare or unattached wire but to no avail. Here’s how it looked when I left…


Ig had a meeting in the morning and I made my morning drink (not alcoholic though it sounded that way when I reread it) and decided to see if I had gotten any email. The dsl was acting snarky and whilst futzing with it I knocked my full drink over completely inundating the keyboard on his computer. The panicky cleanup of that prevented me from getting an action shot so no pics. Sorry Ig, what a klutzy houseguest… talk about a bull in the china shop. Ig got home about noon and we were off to A-Dong again to get some 14C. I guess I need to say what 14C is because apparently I inadvertently created a mystery and I’m afraid those that have been curious will be let down. 14C is merely a vegetable soup with rice noodles much like Pho but without any meat in it. The broth is very good and I took a shine to it years ago when I was trying to make it myself at home. I made it last night in fact but mine doesn’t taste like theirs. Post lunch we returned home to hang this painting that I had seen sticking out from behind the door of Ig’s studio…


This painting is by Jules Kirschenbaum who, before he passed away, was the head of the painting department at Drake where Ig now teaches painting and is the chair. The painting is owned by Tom, who also teaches at Drake (Art History I think) and was one of the dinner attendees from the night before. This painting is unfinished and is really something to see. From talking to Ig and seeing several of Jules’ paintings, I’ve come to believe that he is way under-appreciated as an American painter although he has a painting in the Hirschorn Museum in Washington D.C. and that he is a painter’s painter. The paintings I’ve seen in person are sublime and I’ve been assured and believe that Jules was one of very few people that knew color, light and how to see to the extent needed to execute said paintings. So Tom’s going to Venice to live for part of the year I believe and said to Ig… instead of storing it in the basement, maybe you’d like to hang it at your home. First, we unwrap, then measure and then it’s hung…




Here’s three detail shots moving left to right…




After hanging the painting, our friend Sarah came over and they made fun of the other people in their kick boxing class for lack of enthusiasm which was funny. Then we went to a photoshoot. Ig has 5 friends (2 of the 5 make a couple) and they meet periodically to swap soup. Every week (I think), they all make a big batch of soup and decant it into 4 one quart containers and meet at a bar for a drink. There, each person brings 4 identical quarts of soup and leaves with 4 different quarts. This has come to be known amongst the group as their “sou-wap”. After mentioning this to someone that works at the magazine that covers all things Des Moines (like our very own Louisville magazine), they were asked if they’d be up for an article and because one of the group, Edwina, was moving back to California to be near her Mom, the photo shoot for the magazine was moved up and that’s where we went. Here’s the group posing for the shot for the magazine. The funny thing was that the art director for the shoot mentioned that usually when they try to take shots like this and the group is supposed to act as though they’re talking at a party and it’s time to shoot, the group kinda freezes up because they are unaccustomed to pretending to talk but that this group wouldn’t stop yakking even after the shots were all taken. Sorry about the quality as I was trying to take the pic surreptitiously so as to not bother the real photographer that was there but I liked this one the best of the ones I took because it looks like Frank is saying to Steve, the host, … how’d you like a knuckle sandwich?


Anyway it was fun and the wine flowed again. Later we went to a brew pub and had dinner. In the morning I hit the road… end of trip.


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7 Responses to “Iowa Trip (Day 4)…”

  1. Patricia Griffin Says:

    What a great time. Love the soup-swapping. Your friends are so intriguing. Too bad you won’t be invited back since you wrecked lg’s corkscrew thingie AND his computer keyboard! Ha! (Just kidding.)

  2. gary Says:

    Man, who knew Des Moines was the center of the universe???????????

  3. judy Shreve Says:

    What a great trip — I would love to see AKAR in person — wow to fondle all those pots I drool over online would be heaven! And what quirky friends you have — I never knew such interesting folks lived in Iowa – who’d a thought??

  4. meredith Says:

    and i think he is saying- ” do I something stuck in my teeth?”
    I love the painting- how wonderful and interesting- it would go with the book I am reading.
    About that corck screw- you sure are screwed on that one.
    Great trip- thanks for sharing and if you go again could you bring me a take out of 14c?

  5. ang Says:

    ha.. what fun.. love it…

  6. Yana Says:

    Not sure that sublime is the word I would use for the painting, surreal maybe, but then I’m not a painter, yet I like it anyway.

  7. zygote Says:

    Great post… LOVE the painting!

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