I was thinking when I posted this issue of the original Boomerang yesterday that I wanted to find out something famous about its first topic of discussion–the Iowa State Fair–and the comment the post received since then (click on “comment” below) gave me a clue! There was a 1945 film on the fair called State Fair, starring Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews with original music by Rogers and Hammerstein. As this site here explains, State Fair was the only Rogers and Hammerstein production written directly for film (as opposed to stage). You can read all about its (quite involved!) plot at that same site, but basically it’s a story about the two couples featured in the movie’s poster falling in love — at the Iowa State Fair! Which is a smashing event as you can get an inkling of by watching videos of some of the movie’s songs: there’s “It’s a Great Night for Singing” here, “All I Owe Ioway” here, and “That’s for Me” here. The Enos were going to the fair 20-some years earlier than when the film was produced … but it even back then, as the Boomerang man mentions, it had a “night show,” which Beth and Harold attended!
There’s lots of other news in this issue, but something that caught my eye was its mention of Camp Dodge. The camp was featured in the very first two issues of the Boomerang–the topic is expanded upon in this one here–and frequently thereafter, covering an era when it was crammed with soldiers getting ready to go off to France to fight in the “Great War.” It’s lovely to read in this issue, written three and a half years later, that Camp Dodge has become a ghost town: “the lonesomest place we know.”
Addendum, November 6, 1016
In his notes on this issue of the original Boomerang, Dick writes:
We (Cedar Rapids Rusts) went to the Iowa State Fair quite often in the late 30s, and probably not after 1941. A picnic at the fairgrounds was fried chicken, potato salad, hot dogs, maybe hamburgers too, ham, coleslaw, at least two kinds of pie, with ice cream made on the spot with the ice cream maker. Cranking the ice cream maker used up lots of exuberant energy from the younger set. The Fair was a wonderland of animal barns, very boring quilt displays, breathtaking sculptures of butter. There were horse races, both flat and harness, and stunting airplanes over the race track. (We didn’t get to see the races, but the airplanes could be seen from all over.)
Butter sculptures! Wow!