By: Pat Casey
The weather didn’t want to cooperate as the group readied their plane for the 2 hour trip to Iowa to visit their first New Hartford of the journey. Rain pelted them as they prepared to leave their camp in the Courtyard. They decided to delay their departure and take in sustenance to build their strength for what could be dangerous travel. But Mother Nature smiled on them and opened a window for their flight across Lake Michigan.
Heading for Waterloo Iowa, the closest landing area to New Hartford, all was going well until they started seeing storm clouds building. Their innate lightning sensors started indicating strikes 30 to 60 miles out…. it did not look good for the adventurers. But again fortune smiled on them and they heard a little voice in their ear saying “head for Cedar Rapids, it will be clearer there, you will be safe.”. Wondering where the voice was coming from they decided to follow it, even a disappointed Pat who had wanted to visit Waterloo, the birthplace of the ABBA hit song.
Arriving safely at Cedar Rapids, ground transportation was secured from a local merchant. The drive to New Hartford was on…nothing would stop them now! After 2 hours of forging through heavy rain and lightning, they crested a hill and caught a glimpse of a water tower painted with “New Hartford”. they had arrived. Traveling into the center of town and dismounting their vehicle, which they parked literally in the middle of the road following the native custom, they were greeted by the owner of the local restaurant who said “you must be the guys from New Hartford”. Not only friendly but psychic too? She ushered them into her restaurant and prepared a meal of local delicacies.
Folks welcomed the travelers. sharing stories and asking about life in New Hartford CT. Shortly after, Bob Dickson, who David had met on his prior visit to New Hartford joined them. He briefed the group on what had been happening in New Hartford since the flood and tornado, the rebuilding efforts, FEMAs support and the growth plans for the community. Bob then took them out to the town cemetery which had been smack in the middle of the half mile wide tornado’s path. The community had rallied together to restore the cemetery and replace all of the markers. One of those markers belonged to Charles Ensign, one of the founders of New Hartford Iowa and a former resident of New Hartford CT.
After the visit to the Cemetery the friends exchanged gifts from their respective New Hartfords and took pictures promising to stay in touch and future visits. New Hartford Iowa has a population of about 600 and is a great small community. It was a great experience with wonderful friends.
To learn more about New Hartford, Iowa see the Wikipedia entry.