... Finding Tatonka in Winfield, Iowa

You are in Winfield, Iowa and everyone seems to be staring at you. Must be the dollar store shades, since the future is so bright (here in Hades ... let us not pray), and you are in that peculiar "you are not from around here look of yours. Especially with what may seem to the locals as an odd manner of bobbing and weaving in the bush, as well as the downright Martian vocabulary.

Winfield, in the southeastern corner of the state, is far less bombed-out, bumed-out looking than nearby Morning Sun, Iowa, but that's not saying much. The people of Winfield appear, at least on this sunny day brighter, happier, perhaps even prettier. But that's only on this day. A sunny day. A Big Little Wagon Grain machine goes by and the driver waves; because, well, he's getting stared at by you, marvelling at such a large and marvelous device, because you can't get over your "am I a real boy" Tonka Trucks wonder years.

There are several cars in the front of the favorite and only restaurant, Pork's, where the food is cheap, tasty as hell, and served with an easy going smile and sense of merriment. People stroll out of the place with leftovers in styrofoam containers, big Buddha bellies, and on the way to their cars, taking up all of the parking spaces on the road out front, each and every one have one last fine thing to say to each other.

That, after nearly breaking their necks to look at you. Since you are still in that "Am I real real boy, Tonka trucks" phasey haze.

It's mid-October and the leaves are just starting to turn. Funny thing is: It was supposed to rain today.

The local historical museum, with fine bright-eyed seniors working in there, fully prepared with their centuries of knowing, to assist you in your not-so-private investigation. One lady gives you are tour. She is spry. Quite wise. Eager for this attention. She tells you, for example, that in 1907 the whole town, except for the hat shop, burned down. Another year an entire brick-made church was completely dismantled after two of the church elders ha got into a fight fight after failing to come to an agreement over how to spend the money donations attained, one would suppose, after many Sundays of passing the plate. Stuff like that, she tells you, as you gave at the black and white photos of what this church once looked like, as well as the bombed-out, post World War II firebombing look of what the town looked like after the fire of 1907, of bleak and figures silhouetted, of dazed survivors looking around, trying to figure out, "now what," after the disaster.

Now what? Indeed.

But such worries on this sunny neo-Depression era day are replaced by oyour notices of the reddish Winfield Wolves "welcome" flags posted high on the utility line posts. The noon siren on top of one of these streetlight-included posts shouts to workers and residents that it's noon ... time to eat, or leave, or just hang out at Pork's ... and so on ... as a thresher rolls by, a big Jolly green giant of a monster UFO kind. The driver waves. A king of the new Martian technology that is what really amazes you about the people and technologies of the area. The leaves keep turning into reds, oranges ... fall is coming (going by?) way too fast.

Yeah, it's one fine sunny day in this place. A day to remember. With everyone nearly breaking their necks to get a look at you in your dollar store shades.

Why? Because, because, because ... because of the wonderful things you does? Hell, no!

You are just lost in the amazement of that fabled "Am I a real boy" Tonka Truck haze and you just can't even catch up to not being in Kansas anymore ...

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