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Do I Know You?

September 29, 2008 - Wes Burns
It takes a lot of different types to be a home town hero. Most of us are familiar with the classic examples: cat rescuing firemen, barbecue/chili champions and actors that grew up in Marshalltown only to go on to great achievements in the entertainment community. I'm looking at you Toby Huss.

A brief word on Toby. People in Marshalltown know that Toby Huss is an actor but there seems to be no public acknowledgment of his contributions to the entertainment world. Where is the statue dedicated to Artie, The Strongest Man in the World? Make sure that the statue is wearing Artie's patented 40% cotton/60% titanium shirt and you're good to go.

Its a strange case to be named a "home town hero". What exactly is the criteria? More than heroic deeds or national noteriety the ultimate validation of "hero" status is when someone you don't know approaches you and says that you are a home town hero.

And that's exactly what happened to me Friday night.

I was at the local public house enjoying a game of billiards with some friends and embracing the start of the weekend. By "enjoying a game of billiards" I mean watching my friend Jacob thoroughly route my friend Ben and myself to the point where my team's involvement in the game had been reduced from "competitive" to "symbolic".

Jacob's clearly underhanded win behind us we all retired to the outside porch. This outside area, with its hastily built fence and massive, unused propane grill is really quite nice in the fall. It was a busy night and we found a table in the back and sat down.

The conversation bounced around or normal topics: the election, the season premiere of The Office (fantastic) and the puzzling, continued existence of that grill. Why would you have a HUGE grill only to let it collect dust and condensation rings? Feeling that our previous loss at pool needed to be vindicated we were about to head inside when I was waylaid by a young woman who greeted me in the following fashion:

"You write for the TR! I know you! You're a home town hero!"

I was surprised. I was flattered. I was insufferable for the rest of the night.

This woman, Jenny, explained to me that she loved the column, that we had some mutual friends and then offered to buy my table a round. This was far and away the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

The world is different when viewed through the eyes of a home town hero. No longer do I look at Marshalltown as the kind of place where you can't see a movie past 9pm for some reason. Now I look at M-Town as a place where I shouldn't have to pay the late fees on my video rentals. You really think I'm going to pay $12 because I kept disc 2 of Dexter for a couple extra days? I'm a home town hero!

Also, from one home town hero to another. Toby-I've got an idea for a script I think you would like. Just let me know.


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