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Good ol' Iowan hospitality

Posted Tuesday, December 21, 2010, at 3:08 PM

Two weekends ago, a crazy snowstorm ravaged much of Iowa. With travelers stranded, Iowans showcased one of the many characteristics that makes this state great: hospitality.

I heard of a family that was stranded at Jay's Restaurant in Sanborn. As the restaurant was closing, they had no place to go because the roads were not fit for travel. An announcement was put on the radio on their behalf, asking any willing party to put them up for the night. I never heard how the story ended, but I am guessing that someone stepped up to the plate.

Almost 100 miles away from Spencer, weather was causing issues for my family. My parents, against the advice of my brother, had traveled from their rural Clare acreage to Lake City for a family Christmas celebration. Even before they got there, they realized the condition of the roads deteriorating and determined to socialize and eat quickly in an attempt to get back home safely. Other relatives from the Fort Dodge area had the same idea. Needless to say, no one made it home that day, but they were all kept safe.

Check out my Junior Moments column Thursday if you would like to hear about the extreme hospitality my family experienced, when extreme weather got the better of them.

In the meantime, do you have stories about either bad weather or hospitality you have experienced here in Iowa? If you know what happened to the family in Sanborn or have any other weather or hospitality stories, I would love to hear about them.

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Last year, December 23, we left town as soon as we could to beat the weather so we could be with my in-laws Christmas Eve. Just outside Hospers, we went into the ditch to avoid colliding with two cars, one in each lane, trying to turn off Highway 60.

We were all okay and we got out of the car to climb up out of the ditch. Helping each other and holding on to branches.

When we were about half way up, a truck had stopped, took us all back to the Hospers service station so he could send other trucks out to help other ditched vehicles, then gave us and our bags of gifts a ride to Orange City to my brother in law's house. He also called later to see if we wanted him to tow our car.

Grateful we were all safe and didn't have to wait for help or a ride, or send our relatives out in the storm in their non-four-wheel-drive vehicles.

-- Posted by AmyPeterson on Wed, Dec 22, 2010, at 7:04 AM

Dear Gabe, I can vouch for the hospitality in Spencer, Iowa. In December of 1961, a group of Spencer kids came to my small town - Cleveland, Mississippi. Then in January of 1962, a group of us visited Spencer. This exchange trip was quite successful for both groups, and when any of us (CHS graduates) get together, we always talk about the fun we had in your wonderful city. I would love to get in touch with some of the people in the exchange group. I can be reached at bethjacks@hotmail.com. Many thanks!

-- Posted by BethBoswellJacks on Fri, Dec 31, 2010, at 5:40 PM

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