#89: Sheldon, IA 3/1/17

It was an exciting day in Northwest Iowa: the city of Sheldon was expecting!

No, not a newborn. Rather, a fully-grown library director.

“We are successful?” Mayor Katricia Meendering inquired with a coffee cup poised at her lips in case a spit take was necessary.

“Yes!” a city employee blurted out enthusiastically.

“Wonderful,” said the mayor, taking a relaxed sip of joe.

“It’s taken us a little bit but we’re happy with Nicole Morgan, who we found from Oskaloosa,” the employee explained, anxiously scanning the council members for a reaction.

There were nods of approval around the room.

“Family?” the mayor quizzed offhandedly. She quickly chuckled and added, “I’m just kidding, you don’t have to answer that.”

The woman was clearly caught off-guard, but didn’t want to say no to Sheldon’s head honcho. “Oh, um, she has family in the area. She’ll be commuting for a bit.”

Okay, folks, let’s not get TOO personal. She hasn’t even started–

“Maybe she could come introduce herself at some point?” city attorney Micah Schreurs inquired hopefully.

“Maybe you could find out what kind of flowers she likes?”

“Sure,” the staffer responded hesitantly. “We’ll…let her acclimate a little bit first.”

“Yep. Get her feet wet. Then…the first meeting in April!” Meendering barked. She immediately broke into another awkward laugh. “I’m just kidding.”

Perhaps. But if I were Nicole, I’d hold off on the unpacking until I made an appearance at city hall.

In a thrilling turn of events, the library wasn’t Sheldon’s only source of breaking news. The mayor coyly waited until the sleepy middle of the meeting to drop this bombshell on the other unsuspecting Cornhuskers: her exclusive tour of the Crossroads Pavilion.

“Wow,” she deadpanned. “If you have not had the opportunity to see the most recent updates they have done…wow. It’s absolutely breathtaking.”

This modern engineering marvel was so inspiring, there was apparently only one word to describe it.

“We were there at noon. Two, three guys [were] putting the floor down and…wow,” she murmured.

Interior of Crossroads Pavilion

But the praise had barely died down before Council Member Pete Hamill brought up a subject that was distinctly not-wow.

“For dog and pet owners, be responsible for your pets. Just heard of two incidents in the past ten days of one person being bit by a dog,” he frowned, propping his elbow on the dais. “And then another person walking their dog being attacked by two strays.”

“Oh, my,” exclaimed the startled mayor. “I thought you were going to talk about ‘doody business’ because I’ve been getting a lot of calls on that.”

Council members silently watched her fold her arms in annoyance.

“That’s serious. I think the doody is serious too, but…” she trailed off.

Not as serious as a dog-mauling was the implication. Let’s hope the new library director isn’t watching. She might just choose to stay in bite-free Oskaloosa.

Final thoughts: Clearly the V.I.P. (Very Important Pavilion) here was Crossroads. I give it 8 out of 10 stars for the “wow” factor.


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