The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Lovin' Lomax!

by Karen Brownlee, Burlington, Iowa

Hello Quill Readers!

I am so honored to be a guest writer - for your wonderful, unique newspaper! Although my husband, Dan, and I live in Burlington, we really enjoy our neighbors in Henderson County... and travel through quite often, playing musical shows as "Joyful Sounds" in area assisted living or care centers, or for community events! Last week, we were performing for Oak Woods Assisted Living in Stronghurst and stopped into "The Quill" office, just to say "THANKS!" for this wonderful, down-home, newspaper!

We've been heart-connected to Lomax since we were invited to play music for Heritage Trail Days back in 2009! Then, recently, we were invited by our friends, Tom and Sue Whitson (Grama Sue's Rainbow Farm in Niota) to visit them in Lomax, and have had our heart once again touched by this little town full friendly folks, just 10 miles from Burlington! I asked Shirley if she'd be interested in some pictures and a story of our recent adventures... and here it is!

Last week, we trekked the 10 miles from Burlington to Lomax to visit Sue and Tom at the Farmer's Market, held every Wednesday at "Painted Corners." You can't miss the building, painted with orange, yellow, and green trim, and located on the most colorful corner in town, right across from "The Pink!" (well-known restaurant and tavern).

The big garage doors were open wide, and there were racks of produce from local farms. Especially inviting were the huge, juicy red and yellow tomatoes! (I wondered if these were descendants of the famous tomatoes grown and processed right in Lomax by the former Cannery.) We also tried the tiny but tasty currant tomatoes! Dan said they had surprising flavor! And there were also peppers, sweet corn, squash, egg plants, onions, potatoes, cantaloupes, and watermelons.

Tressa (whose food is popular at many Henderson County events) was there making her terrific Tacos, which we HAD to try. Oh My! Huge and meaty, with lots of those fresh tomatoes on top! Then, we tasted owner Dave's delicious homemade ice cream! His wife, Scotty, served us some rich, smooth Raspberry Cream. We've also tried the dark Chocolate and Peaches n Cream (better than any "premium" ice cream we've ever tasted!)

The Farmer's Market was full of friendly folks: Bob from Lomax, with his hand-made wooden toys. We especially loved the little "toaster." When you press the button, the wooden toast pops up! And, Kay from Ft. Madison, who brought her uniquely decorated fruit and pumpkins pies, and fresh cinnamon rolls - which we HAD to try cause she sold them for just $1! Words cannot describe them,

We loved the Farmer's Market so much, we arranged to come back this Wednesday and bring some live Joyful Sounds pre-Heritage Trail Days fun with some foot-stompin- fiddle and harvest time favorites. We look forward to seein' y'all at Painted Corners, beginning at 4 p.m..

And, there's even MORE "family" fun on Wednesdays! The Lomax Saddle Club (about 1 mile east on Hwy 96, on the right) has their "make-up" Horse Shows on the next several Wednesday evenings, beginning about 6:30 p.m.. (We were back in Lomax last weekend, and watched some young riders and

their horses giving their all in the arena!) A great way to get in the spirit of "Heritage Trail Days!"

AND, you can also find fun, laced with rich heritage, at Rogers Pumpkin Farm (1.5 miles east on Hwy 96). Last weekend, we were warmly welcomed by Kathy and a bunch of her kids and grandkids on this family-owned farm, which has grown from a little "stand" by the road, to a great fall get-away destination! We watched the kids jumpin' in the bounce house, ridin' on the haywagon, and chasin' "Zeke" their little mascot puppy.

Dan checked out some interesting antiques like the old metal wine press, and a "pig greaser!" And, of course, PUMPKINS, as well as fresh mum plants! The Corn Maze looks like a fun challenge. You can pretend you're marking out the old "Heritage Trail!"

And, just a little preview... we are returning to Lomax on Saturday, October 5, with a Joyful Sounds Kids Show for Family Day at Rogers Pumpkin Farm. We'll have props, costumes, and live music from Noon-2 p.m., in the shade of their HUGE double cottonwood tree, taking turns with the excitement of the Pumpkin Chucker, shooting pumpkins high into the air!