Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Oasis Amplified

Bicycling in Iowa in the 1970s and early 1980s was a joy. I was in my twenties and riding somewhat aimlessly until exhausted. This was the counterpoint to working in Lasansky’s printmaking studios and my later forays into art history. By 1977 I was riding my first “serious” bicycle, a bright orange Centurion Super Le Mans, which had (and still has) elegant touring geometry, a beautifully lugged frame, and bar-end shifters. I found one of my photographs of the Oasis Cemetary mentioned in yesterday’s post. This sent me to Wikipedia, where I learned that:

"Oasis is a small village located in Johnson County, Iowa. It lies within section 26 of Graham Township, and was once known as Graham, Iowa. It part of the Iowa City, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2005, the town has a total population of approximately 20. It contains several homes, a cemetery, and a functioning grain elevator. It was once a stop on The C RI & P Railroad, whose bed has now become the Hoover Nature Trail which runs from Oasis to West Branch. West of town is the Oasis Cemetery. Oasis once featured a sign that greeted visitors but it tragically disappeared one night."

I was sorry to read about the fate of that sign, which I remember vividly, and here it is as it appeared when I photographed it around 1979. I remember straddling my Centurion and taking this photograph to the great interest of one child and one dog. More Iowa bicycling recollections and photographs to come.

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