Home sweet home: Thirty years in Iowa City

Thirty years ago today — November 8, 1984 — my family arrived in Iowa City.

After an arduous and memorable move from western Colorado, which had started two days before on Election Day (my mom and dad did not even vote), my parents pulled up to my aunt and uncle’s house on the south side of Iowa City with a Ryder truck full of furniture, a 1974 Chevy Nova, a cat, a two-year old (me), and around $150.

We lived in my aunt and uncle’s basement for our first four months in IC, and to commemorate the anniversary of our arrival we took them out to eat.

As we got out of my parents’ van, my uncle said with a laugh, “Yeah. Right about now we were sliding that washing machine down the stairs.” (Or maybe he said “dropping.” I don’t remember. Something always went wrong when my family moved, so it would not surprise me if they did drop a washing machine down the stairs.)

We almost did not end up in Iowa City. We almost headed west. Tonight my dad joked that when they reached Interstate 70 in Grand Junction, my parents flipped a coin to see if they would head east or west. They had thought about moving to Southern California, where they lived before I was born. However, my parents wanted to return to the heartland, where they grew up, where there was family and a good education system. They obviously made the better choice.

(I did not look at it that way when I was a kid, though. I thought it would have been a lot cooler to grow up in Santa Monica. My dad always told me that I probably would have been a surfer. He also said I would have gone to Catholic school. Yuck. Had my parents returned to SoCal, and I surfed and went to Catholic school, I cannot even imagine the person I would be today.)

Needless to say, Iowa City has been, and continues to be, a great home.

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