Brian Town, the principal of Roland Middle School, told us about the traditional Christmas banquet offered by the school to all senior citizens of the Roland Story district - after being escorted to their tables over 200 enjoy a full dinner, served by students, and enjoyed an impressive musical program. Gary Thompson and host Paul Wierson reminisced about the Roland Rockets and their achievements in the 1950s when Gary played there with his outstanding team mates and life-long friends. They talked about Chuck Offenburger's biography Gary Thompson: All American, showing why families still move to small Iowa towns because they want their kids to grow up there.
Then we moved to Hamilton county where Mayor Greg Campbell of Ellsworth told us about his town of 500 and the impact of its new business on I-35, Love’s Truck Stop and Country Store. It had its ribbon cutting the week before Christmas. Our last stop was Pilot Mound (population 175) where we heard from Mayor Leda Burton and resident Jeff Lass about the attractions and challenges of a very small town, where residents can enjoy the sense of living in the country (see "reindeer" in picture with Santa) while enjoying the amenities of a well-run town, part of the "larger community" of Boone County. We closed with a report from Leanne Harter, Story County Outreach and Special Projects Manager.
Originally broadcast 12/21/2016
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