Home stretch & ode to MJ

No, not that MJ. The other one. The one who lives at my house. The one who lives.

Lincoln, Omaha, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Iowa City, Davenport…then the long, long trek of nothin before getting to Joliet and putting my feet up.

Or maybe not “nothin” after all…

So I stopped at two cool places on this trip. First, Iowa 80: the Largest Truck Stop in the World — and they ain’t kidding. This place is a truck driver’s (and tourist’s) dream. I hope #1 Son can get out there on one of his runs to see it up close.

Not ostentatious er nothin.


The automotive section (one of them).


Yes darlings, that is a truck inside the store.


The mother of all trinket shops.


They also have a full-service laundry, a movie theater, a barber shop, and a dentist’s office. No really, a dentist’s office.

OK, the second cool place.

The Thriller was raised in the microscopic Illinois town of Buda (pronounced “byoo-duh,” as opposed to, you know, this). Yesterday, while I drove and talked on the phone with him, he made the comment that he probably wouldn’t even recognize the place anymore, having not been there in decades. He’s always talked about taking me there to see his boyhood home and school, assuring me that the entire tour would take roughly five minutes.

(I underlined Kewanee…he was hatched there. Another Illini, ‘sides me, Mavis & PK.)

Anyway, I decided to take a small detour off I-80 and surprise him with a few photos. My favorite was this one, of the high school from which he graduated in 1969:

Nice. When he received the pictures in his email, he was speechless! (And lemmetellya, that don’t happen often…he’ll agree with me there, too.)

All right, enough fun for one morning. I think I’ve timed it so I can hit the shower, get some coffee, and get on the road in time to miss the worst of the Chicago rush hour traffic. What am I saying…it’s always rush hour in Chicago traffic. Oh well. As the Thriller is wont to say: Buckle yer chin straps; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Fink over and out (of Joliet).

10 thoughts on “Home stretch & ode to MJ

  1. MJ

    That was a marvelous surprise Finkster. It was very nice of you to take the time to cruise through my hometown. The pics mean a great deal to me. Judging from what I saw though, I’d have to downgrade the time it would take to “see the whole place” from 5 minutes to about 3 minutes. Thanks again for the memories!

    1. Rat Fink Post author

      Kody…there you are. I thought of you a couple of days ago when I read an excerpt from My Booky Wook. Bizarre, but he (or his ghost) writes quite well.

      1. Kodye

        Ghost writer? Not with Russell Brand’s book! 100% autobiographical. Right now I guess he’s penning a sequel to My Booky Wook, as well as a screenplay based on the book. If you ever want to read the whole book let me know and I’d be more than happy to let you borrow it.

  2. BoomR

    Leave it to Iowa to be such a trend-setter, eh? Largest truckstop in the world!! The only thing it needs now to go along with the dentist office is an welcoming/inclusive non-denominational wedding chapel that can marry all the gay truckers :-)


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