Yesterday morning I had a video shoot in Pella, Iowa which if you have never heard about is a taste of Europe right here in Iowa. Not only in terms of the Dutch-inspired buildings, but it’s known for its Dutch letter pastries.
The town was founded in 1847 by Dutch immigrants and the word Pella means “city of refuge.” It’s also known for its tulip festival, the Pella Opera House, as the home of Pella (windows) Corp, and where Wyatt Earp spent his childhood
Pella is also worth a mention by humor and travel writer Bill Bryson.
Bryson, a best-selling writer, was born and raised in Des Moines before going on to write A Walk in the Woods; Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and A Short History of Nearly Everything. Just to show you an example of how you can find the humor of just about any place.
“The best county town in Iowa is Pella, forty miles southeast of Des Moines. Pella was founded by Dutch immigrants and every May it still holds a big tulip festival for which they get somebody important like the mayor of The Hauge to fly in and praise their bulbs. I used to like Pella when I was little because many of the residents put little windmills in their front yards, which made it kind of interesting. I wouldn’t say it made it outstandingly interesting, but you learn from an early age to take what pleasures you could find on any trip across Iowa.”
The Lost Continent;
Travels in Small-Town America
I was told today in Pella that there used to be a sign in Burbank, California back in the 90s that read: Iowa, It’s time to come home.
Pella is ripe for a Groundhog Day-like movie to be shot there. Or maybe The Truman Show Part 2 or Wyatt Earp;The Eary Years. (If you write one of those scripts make sure to give me an associate producer credit.)
photo copyright 2009 Scott W. Smith