Sunday, March 25, 2012

Josiah Bushnell Grinnell

Horace Greeley's famous words "Go West Young Man" were spoken to one Josiah Bushnell Grinnell in the 1840s.  Grinnell took the advice quite seriously and left New York City westwards until settling upon a piece of earth in the Iowa countryside.  To this day Grinnell attracts a motley group from the coasts to one of the most liberal and intelligent student bodies at Grinnell college.  In my humble opinion, Grinnell is one of the most unique towns around, a bit of Greenwich Village in the rural countryside.  A complex melange of Conservative and progressive.  I do think Josiah would be proud.  I know that I was proud to call Grinnell home for a short spell in 1997.  My own first stop after university, I labored in the local Hy-Vee for 4 months, hanging with both the Townies and Gownies in a rather crazy time of my life.  Ultimately I reversed JBG's course and headed East to Maine.  Then the wisdom of westward movement took hold with abandon and I flew past the field of Iowa and kept going until I reached the Pacific.  I had a blast in Grinnell, you should check it out.  As for ol' Josiah, I think I would have really enjoyed chatting with him.

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