Happy Birthday to a fellow Iowan (not an Iowan fellow)...
For those who are geographically challenged, as most of us are at some point, here is some information about this great state that Mary lives in:
Mary lives in Davenport, Iowa. On the map, this is over on the east (right) side of the state. Despite the placement of the "dot," Davenport is located right on the Mighty Mississippi river.
If you head straight west (left - gotta keep it easy for some of you) is a "star" and the state capital of Des Moines (it is NOT pronounced Des Moine-es, but more like this: Da Moine, like Da Bulls and Da Bears). Just to the south of that is where Sir Quack lives. He's pretty cool too "cuz he's gots dem dare Axiom speakers" too. No, that isn't how he speaks, nor is it how anyone speaks who is natively from Iowa.
Now, if you look between Davenport and Des Moines, and head north (heading towards the upper part of the image), you will find Cedar Rapids. That is right next to where I live in Marion.
Here are some fun facts about the state of Iowa...
1. Ripley's Believe It or Not has dubbed Burlington's Snake Alley the most crooked street in the world.
2. Strawberry Point is the home of the world's largest strawberry.
3. The state's smallest city park is situated in the middle of the road in Hiteman.
4. Scranton is home to Iowa's oldest water tower still in service.
5. Dubuque is the state's oldest city.
6. Crystal Lake is home to a statue of the world's largest bullhead fish.
7. Rathbun Dam and Reservoir is the largest body of water in the state.
8. Spirit Lake is the largest glacier-made lake in the state.
9. West Okoboji is the deepest natural lake in the state. Its depth is 136 feet.
10. Imes Bridge is the oldest of Madison County's six bridges.
11. Iowa's longest and highest bridge crosses Lake Red Rock.
12. Elk Horn in the largest Danish settlement in the United States.
13. At 16 miles, East Okoboji is the longest natural lake in the state.
14. Kalona is the largest Amish community west of the Mississippi River.
15. The state's lowest elevation point (at 480 feet) is in Lee County.
16. The Holliwell Bridge is the longest bridge in Madison County.
17. Francis Drake was 66 years old at his inauguration and Iowa's oldest governor.
18. Iowa's oldest continually running theater is in Story City.
19. The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art houses the largest collection of Grant Wood artwork.
20. Fenlon Place Elevator in Dubuque is the world's steepest and shortest railway.
21. Wright County has the highest percentage of grade-A topsoil in the nation.
22. Quaker Oats, in Cedar Rapids, is the largest cereal company in the world.
23. The Saint Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville is the only basilica in the United States situated outside a major metropolitan area.
24. Clarion is the only county seat in the exact center of the county.
25. Dubuque is home to the only county courthouse with a gold dome.
26. Cornell College is the only school in the nation to have its entire campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
27. The Sergeant Floyd Monument in Sioux City honors the only man to die during the Lewis and Clark expedition.
28. Maynard Reece is the only artist to win the Federal Duck Stamp competition five times.
29. A bronze life-sized sculpture of a Norwegian immigrant family (circa 1860) is located on a six acre restored prairie site located at the east entry to Lake Mills on Highway 105.
30. Iowa's only operating antique carousel is located in the city of Story City.
31. Knoxville's National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum is the only museum in the country dedicated to preserving the history of sprint car racing.
32. Iowa's only fire tower is situated in Yellow River State Forest.
33. Sabula is Iowa's only town on an island.
34. Herbert Hoover, a West Branch native, was the 31st president of the United States and the first one born west of the Mississippi.
35. Mamie Doud Eisenhower's birthplace is located in Boone and includes a restored frame house, complete with summer kitchen and original furniture from the family.
36. Van Meter is the hometown of baseball's Bob Feller, an Iowa farm boy who went on to greatness with the Cleveland Indians during the Golden Age of baseball.
37. Born Donnabelle Mullenger in Denison, Oscar Award-winning actress, Donna Reed, started her career at the young age of 16.
38. Born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, John Wayne was the son of a pharmacist and grew up to become one of Hollywood's most popular movie stars.
39. Meredith Willson, who played with the famous John Philip Sousa and the New York Philharmonic before launching his career as a famous composer and lyricist, is a Mason City native.
40. Glenn Miller, noted trombonist and orchestra leader, was born in Clarinda located in Southwest Iowa.
41. The town of Fort Atkinson was the site of the only fort ever built by the U.S. government to protect one Indian tribe from another.
42. Campers and motor homes are manufactured in Winnebago County. They're called Winnebago's.
43. Iowa is the only state whose east and west borders are 100% formed by water.
Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
44. The highest double track railroad bridge in the world, the Kate Shelley Bridge, is located at Boone.
45. Iowa is the only state name that starts with two vowels.
46. The famous actor John Wayne was born in Winterset on May 26, 1907.
47. Iowa State University is the oldest land grant college in the U.S.A.
48. Decorah hosts Nordic Fest a three-day celebration of Decorah's Scandinavian heritage.
49. The National Balloon Museum in Indianola chronicles more than 200 years of ballooning history.
50. Sheldon High School Summer Theatre, the only high school repertory in Iowa and one of just a few in the nation presents a different play for each week in June and July.
Put at the top of the list, in position '.5' the piece of information that it is Mary's birthday today, and the list just quadruples in awesomeness!
Happy Birthday Mary!
I made you a cake... It isn't the prettiest, but here is a picture...
However, it was already eaten...
My this baby:
And this chimp:
Happy Birthday anyway!