Sunday, April 12, 2009

Guest Blogger: Pacer from BunSpace

Greetings! My name is Pacer and I am the traveling BunSpace rabbit. This week I am visiting my good friend Jackson Harering in Muscatine, Iowa.

As you can see from the previous post, Jackson Harering (or JH as I like to call him) and I had an awesome Easter. Thank you Easter Bunny!

JH wanted me to see his hometown so he sent me out and about with his parents Kristin and Eugene. JH kindly kept an eye on my Easter basket while I was away.

Muscatine is located in southeast Iowa along the Mississippi River. It didn't take me long to see the what the big attraction is in Muscatine. It's the river, of course!

Below you can see behind me a boat called the "Pearl Button" that was docked along the river.

Here you can see me with the Norbert F. Becky Bridge behind me. The bridge connects Muscatine to the State of Illinois.

And if you look really carefully past the bridge, you can see Lock and Dam 16. This is one of the many Lock and Dams along the Mississippi River that help big boats, including barges, move up and down the river. There were a few barges near the Lock and Dam when I visited the riverfront.

Muscatine has a really nice park along the river. One of the first things I saw (besides the river) was this HUGE statue.

The statue is called "Mississippi Harvest." It is made of bronze and Kristin told me it was made just for Muscatine based on a historic photograph. Kristin should know. She was one of the people who helped to push the idea forward and raise money for the statue.

Here I am by the name plate of the statue.

And just so you can get a feel for how BIG the statue is, here is a picture of me with the statue.

Can you even see me? I am just a small speck compared to the big bronze guy! In fact, the mussels (which look like clam shells but Kristin swears they are mussels) in the boat of the statue are bigger than I am!

The statue was named "Mississippi Harvest" because more than 100 years ago people in Muscatine started digging up the mussels in the river. Kristin says the shells were made into pearl buttons and Muscatine became known as the "Pearl Button Capital of the World." Pearl buttons are no longer made in Muscatine but you can still find pieces of pearly shells around town. We found these broken shell pieces on our walk along the riverfront.

Once I was finished examining the big statue, we walked to a place called the "Millennium Plaza."

The plaza has many plaques that tell important stories about Muscatine. I found this one most interesting. The famous author Mark Twain (real name Samuel Clemens) once lived and worked in Muscatine.

Clemens worked at the Muscatine Journal and later wrote about the sunsets in Muscatine in his book, Life on the Mississippi. "And I remember Muscatine—still more pleasantly—for its summer sunsets. I have never seen any, on either side of the ocean, that equaled them. "

Kristin says Muscatine is so proud of the Twain quote that a symbol of a sunset is one of the city's logos. You can see me here by the sunset logo in "Millennium Plaza."

Kristin and Eugene told me that many residents raised money to help build the plaza by buying special bricks that make up a portion of the floor of the plaza. Kristin and Eugene bought a special brick in memory of their first rabbit, appropriately named Buttons.

Not far from the plaza is a HUGE rock. The rock marks a spot called "Casey's Landing." Before Muscatine was known as a city it was known as Casey's Landing.

After my visit to the riverfront, Kristin took me to the Muscatine Art Center. Kristin is the president of the Friends of the Muscatine Art Center. Jackson Harering tells me his Mom spends lots of time at the Art Center.

JH's bunsitter, "Aunt Lynn", works at the Art Center and I got to meet her. She is VERY nice.

"Aunt Lynn" showed me the latest art work in the big museum gallery. It is called the Mosaic Project. It is really neat and colorful. Students in Muscatine painted or colored 6x6 canvases and then the art center staff put them together so it looks like one big painting. Very cool!

I hope you enjoyed the little tour of Muscatine as much as I did. I really have had a great time visiting with Jackson Harering and his parents. I will miss them but I have many more bunny houses to see. You can follow my progress on BunSpace.