Bound for a Chicago wedding, we’d been enticed to stop here by a photo of Glen and Linda Anderson evoking Grant Wood’s iconic painting, American Gothic. These modern-day farmers, however, posed with an airplane instead of pitchforks. I was examining the only other airplane on the ramp, a rare but derelict pressurized Mooney M22 Mustang, when the Andersons drove up.
“Welcome to Madison County!” said Linda. “The main covered bridge from the movie is just a few miles away. And John Wayne was born here in Winterset.” Following introductions, they helped install our airplane amid undergrowth in an aging doorless hangar. Then they introduced Red Bird, their crimson 1966 Cessna 172 purchased for just $27,000. I appreciate practical airplanes that everyday people can afford.
“Shall we dine in town? Or grill steaks from beef raised on our farm?” asked Linda, checking her watch. “Winterset has a really good Pizza Hut,” added Glen.
“Let’s eat at your farm,” said Jean, sidestepping Glen’s hint. “Nothing beats Iowa steaks!” I’d expected flat, open fields like those in Illinois where Jean and I grew up, but instead we traveled densely wooded hills to the Anderson farmhouse. Inside, stuffed animal heads peered down from the walls…
Continue reading “American Gothic,” Greg’s December Flying Carpet column, here. Please allow a moment for the article to load. (This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine, 12/11 issue.)
Photo: Linda and Glen Anderson with their 1966 Cessna 172, Red Bird. See more photos from this story here.
©2011 Gregory N. Brown