Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Corn Palace

There is plenty of room in South Dakota for miles of billboards announcing roadside attractions. I am of course leery of the promised joys, "Souvenirs! T-Rex! Gourmet coffee! Reptile Zoo!" Yet we pulled over for the "World's Only Corn Palace!" in Mitchell, South Dakota.

We loved it.
Somehow downtown Mitchell has stayed alive and their exposition center, the Corn Palace is right downtown. It is used for all sorts of things like flu shots, volleyball and the upcoming Pheasant Banquet. Every year at harvest time a committee determines a theme for murals made of corn all around the outside of the building. They are wonderful in a that natural  Rose Parade way. We were greeted by friendly volunteers who explained that corn grows in 12 different colors. All they asked is that we sign the guest book.

George McGovern was born in and returned to Mitchell. I heard him speak when he ran for President in 1972. The local papers are reporting that he is in the last days of his life.  I'm happy the he was able to look forward to these murals every autumn as he approached ninety.
When I showed up in my yellow Corn Palace sweatshirt last night I learned from my nephew that Stephen Colbert did an eight minute piece on it on October 18. It's at 4:48. Tongue in cheek, but a tribute never the less. It has a some nice old photos.

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