Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wildflowers, Pie and a Presentation

As the weather warms, the prairie flowers at the American Gothic House Center are growing green—and some are even blooming! If you want to see more wildflowers, you can join in the guided evening flower hike at Garrison Rock tonight at 5:30. The hike through this historic wooded area is moderate to easy, and you’ll get to stop at Horse Thief Cave! Bring your camera or binoculars if you like, and meet in the Garrison Rock parking lot off of Cliffland Road. No reservations necessary!

This year, warmer weather also means pie! Author and baker Beth Howard makes mouthwatering pies inside her home, the American Gothic House. Beth’s Pitchfork Pie Stand officially opens for the season on Friday, May 20. On summer weekends, American Gothic House Center visitors can purchase a warm cup of coffee and pie by the slice or as a whole. If you’re planning a large group visit, please call ahead to schedule a tour of the Center and to order your pie from Beth. She can be contacted through her website,

Beth is currently working on a memoir to be published in April of 2012. My phone hasn’t stopped ringing since she was featured in last month’s issue of Midwest Living. The callers want to sample Beth’s baking and are intrigued by the novelty of combining two American icons—apple pie and the American Gothic House. You can read a bit about her mission to “cheer up the world, one pie at a time” online, but you’ll have to find a copy of Midwest Living to read the whole piece.

Learn more about Midwestern traditions and culture next Thursday, May 12 at a presentation given by UNI professor Barbara Lounsberry. Professor Lounsberry is particularly interested in Midwestern life and literature. Born and raised in Iowa, she believes Iowa culture, like its soil, is incredibly rich.

Yup…Nope…And Why Midwesterners Don’t Say Much

Thursday, May 12, 7 pm

Eldon Library Hall, 606 W. Elm St.

As one Midwesterner deadpanned on return from the East, “We think we are being polite; they think we are slow-witted.” Midwestern reserve is considered a virtue, and the strong, silent type is often honored and respected. This entertaining slide presentation explores the historical roots of Midwestern reserve along with contemporary illustrations. Funding for this presentation was provided by Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa offers many cultural and historical programs and grants to Iowa’s communities. My time as administrator of the American Gothic House Center is growing short, so I hope to see you at this event next Thursday! Refreshments will be provided.

One last thing I want to mention which has been in the news lately—Grant Wood will be recognized in a new rest area being built on interstate 380, south of Cedar Rapids! The new rest area, scheduled to open in about a year, will feature a freestanding Gothic window structure in honor of American Gothic.

Thanks for reading!

Molly Moser
American Gothic House Center

No comments:

Post a Comment