Wayne County’s own Adrienne Thomas with President Barack Obama.
AT COLLEGE PARK IN WASHINGTON, D.C., HONOR BESTOWED UPON CORYDON NATIVE AFTER HER RETIREMENT IN 2011
Adrienne Thomas graduated from Cambria-Corydon High School in 1963. She recalls voting for the ‘Falcons’ in a student election to determine the mascot of the newly consolidated school district in 1960. As a cheerleader in junior high, she found it cumbersome to shout ‘Go Hornets!’ That cemented her decision.
“I wasn’t too sorry to see that go,” Thomas said. “Although my mother was, because it had been ‘Hornets’ for decades.”
Her parents were Arthur and Margaret Thomas. She first traveled to Washington, D.C. on a family trip to the East Coast. Aug 24, 2015, 09:15
1993 Wayne graduate Amy Runyon-Harms, right, teaches the villagers of Mogitu about the science of soil.
FORMER PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER COMBINES LESSONS FROM FARM WITH DUSTY TANZANIA TO TRANSFORM HER ENVIRONMENT
Despite the level of poverty, life in Tanzania is simple, and the people are content, according to former Peace Corps volunteer Amy Runyon-Harms. She lived and served in Africa near the Serengeti for over two years. Fifteen years ago, she returned to the more complicated life of the Western world. She continues to pass on the lessons learned since childhood—from an Iowa farm to the grasslands of Africa—to people crowded into the metropolis of Denver, Colo.
“People are generally very happy,” Runyon-Harms said of her little village, Mogitu, which is not far from Mount Kilimanjaro. “Kids were having fun, they didn’t know they didn’t have access to state-of-the-art playgrounds or video games, they were content with their sticks and the little cars they made out of old oil cans.
“They were very welcoming to me. I miss the simplicity of life there.” Aug 17, 2015, 09:09
Veteran fair organizers Pat and Leroy Perkins attend the 100th annual Wayne County Fair in Corydon. Photo courtesy of 'The Seymour Herald'
CAMBRIA-CORYDON GRADUATES PACK THEIR BAGS IN TIME FOR LEROY TO SERVE AS CHAPLAIN OF IOWA STATE FAIR
Pat and Leroy Perkins are finished with one fair. Soon, they will pack their bags and move on to the next. For them, it is a yearly ritual.
“Fairs are educational,” Leroy said. “Years ago, we didn’t have all of the college education we have now. Fairs were the instructional things for the people. They still are, but not as much because of college and higher education.
“It’s a chance for everyone to work together. You’ve got kids from Seymour that wouldn’t talk to kids from Corydon normally. They’re in competition in baseball, football, basketball and everything else. Get them to the fair, and you can’t tell which one’s which. Because they all have fun together. That’s why we enjoy it.” Aug 10, 2015, 08:50
Georgia and Gary Runyon on their family farm. Photo by Jason Selby
OVER THE DECADES, SURVIVE CHANGES IN AGRICULTURE, MISS U.S. EMBASSY BOMBING BY ONE DAY, BUT STILL APPRECIATE LIFE IN SOUTHERN IOWA AND BELIEVE IN ITS FUTURE
Georgia and Dr. Gary Runyon moved to Wayne County on June 5, 1967. This August, the Runyons will be honored as 2015 Old Settlers of the Year.
“We loaded all our stuff in our dad’s grain truck and came to southern Iowa,” Gary said. “I wanted to go where there were cattle. When I came here, it was 75 percent hay and pasture.
“In the early 1970s, we had 40,000 beef cows in Wayne County. I knew every one personally, I think. Now, there are 15,000 cows in the county, and it’s all corn and beans and soil erosion.” Aug 3, 2015, 13:26