To Decorah, Iowa,  the first stop on my Reconnecting With The People bus tour of northeastern Iowa, western Illinois, and Upper Volta. A crowd of townsfolk gathers in front of a picturesque barn to greet me; after brief introductory remarks I open the floor for questions.

C. VAN CARTER: The lady in back.

Q Hello, my name is Gladys Cook. You say you are reconnecting with the people…

CVC: Yes.

Q But I thought you hated The People?

CVC: Yes, I do, of course. I also hate traveling by bus. Let’s not get sidetracked with technicalities.

The man down front, with the parrot. Not him, the other one. Not the green parrot, the red parrot. Go ahead.

Q Hello. I’m Leonard Faldet. Like many who live in small towns in the American heartland, I enjoy orange telephones. Could you do more of that?

CVC: My staff and I have been working on plan, an orange telephone plan. We’ll be rolling it out as soon as we can.

Over here, the man over here with the vaguely homosexualist moustache. Yes, you.

Q Hi. My name is Barry Timp. Whatever happened to Florentino Floro Jr.?

CVC: No more questions.


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