I'm blogging at you tonight from Owatonna, Minnesota--and let me tell you, folks, this is small-town America at its finest. Friendly people? Yah, you betcha. And they have an FM radio station here called KOWZ ("Cows"). It plays horrid 60's music, but the announcers' accents tickle me, and the commercials for the local businesses are oddly engaging.
If you're an art or architecture buff, you may already know that little Owatonna boasts a world-famous example of Prairie School architecture. One hundred years ago, an Owatonna businessman bent on making a statement hired some top-shelf talent to design the National Farmers' Bank: The building pictured here and affectionately known as "The Jewel Box" is the work of renowned architect Louis H. Sullivan. (Yep, the "form follows function" guy.)
The building is even more remarkable on the inside, where 200 colors are used in stained glass (the two half-circle windows, a skylight, and several smaller windows), murals, and other details to create what Louis Sullivan called "a color-tone poem." I had some more pictures to show you, but Blogger's being stupid and won't let me upload them. I'll try to get them up later, but in the meantime, you might want to check out this page for some gorgeous photos of the bank's interior.
At the park this afternoon, I spotted a Canada goose standing amid this flock of mallard ducks. I couldn't help thinking of the game the kindergarten set loves so much: Duck Duck Goose.
We're having fun, but I'm also taking photographs and scribbling notes like mad because this is, after all, a research trip for me. So if you have e-mailed me or left a comment here on the blog, I'll catch up with you later. Thanks for reading.
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