Ever get the feeling that you've known someone before, even though you've just met?

 
 

 
 
 

Downtown Sigourney, Iowa. Sigourney (pronounced SIG-or-nee) is the county seat of Keokuk County and has an impressive courthouse building with a beautiful fountain that glows with colored lights.The Hardesty family lived on East Elm Street in the town. 
 
 

Exactly how it was with Mike Hardesty. Jo and I both instantly felt comfortable with him, like he was a long-lost friend. He told us about growing up in the small town of Sigourney, Iowa, only 50 miles from where our Dad was raised. He talked about his love of books and music, his fondness for the past, his delight in finding "coincidences" in life. He expressed an appreciation and knowledge about art, not knowing yet that my sister and I were artists.

Jo and I talked too and the longer the conversation went on, the more evident it was that there was an unusual affinity there, even though our original purpose for visiting Mike's Books & Records was to sell the man some old Eric Burdon LPs!

In fact that very day, the first of many unusual happenings took place. I mentioned the MacKinlay Kantor novel "Spirit Lake". Mike told us that just that morning he had bought that exact same book! When Jo and I got home three hours later and talked to Dad about Sigourney, he knew the town well, had relatives who had once lived there...

 

  Two year old Mike with his brother Tom. Thomas Jefferson Hardesty, a retired photographer and writer for the nearby Oskaloosa Herald, became fast friends with us in 1998. On a very sad note, Tom passed away suddenly on October 30, 2004.

He will be greatly missed.

 

Visit Tom's Website!

Another charming picture of "Little Mikey". He looks quite spiffy, don't you think? When I knew Mike, he liked to wear different outfits. One day he might resemble an Old West sheriff or a train engineer down to the Casey Jones cap and bib overalls. The next, he might look like he was ready to travel to Siberia, Russian hat and all!

 

Mike was a Mike was a Boy Scout and he worked on a friend's farm a couple of years too. He enjoyed camping, looking up at the satellite Sputnik on summer evenings and eating banana splits at the local Dairy Queen. This was life in Iowa during the 40's and 50's. Back then Sigourney had a railroad and he loved to watch and listen to the trains rumbling across the plains..
 

 
 

 

 
 
     

 

 

 
     
   

 "Lighthouse Cottage" Web Set From

"Small Town" by John Mellencamp