RAGBRAI Visits Tiny Liberty Center

LIBERTY CENTER,Iowa- RAGBRAI riders stop in Iowa towns, some large and some very small. Liberty Center has around 29 residents. It has the Southeast Warren High School.

One attraction, was a building, long abandoned, with the roof caving in.

“I had to stop, I mean the brick and the age, the patina, it was just beautiful, and the trees inside, there’s a story to this building, I wish I knew it,” said Lori Klongtruatroke, of St. Paul MN. The building, later learned was closed during the Great Depression, and it never re-opened.

At another old building, the American Legion Hall, riders were served refreshments. The current Legion Hall, also doubles as the town’s Post Office, after the former post office was closed due to structural issues.

“We’re building a new Legion Hall, we are reaching out to the younger veterans so we tend to be growing,” said Michelle Spear, the American Legion Auxiliary President. “Our Legion Hall is old, and we need a new one, so we’re building a new one, we have about 35 Legion Members.”

Mike Borland, the WHO-HD Chief Photojournalist took the week off to ride.

I’m going to ride the whole week and so far it’s been interesting because it’s been such a variation Sunday was so wet and rainy but still kind of that sense of accomplishment when you’re done,” said Borland. “There’s always the kind of fun and quirky stuff and the different people you stop and talk to that are from different places and listening to their impressions of Iowa.”

On the ride you meet people from all over.

“You got to be an idiot to ride across Iowa 500 miles in the middle of summer,” said Peter Southgate, from Australia. “I’ve got it going and then I heard it was the shortest and flattest and here I am and enjoying it.”

Just down the road Lacona was celebrating not only RAGBRAI’s third visit to the town, but the town again has a restaurant. Winn and Sons reopened a former restaurant just weeks before the RAGBRAI event.

“We have the specialty steak and pizza are used to work for the steakhouse for 14 years before I went on my own,” said Sayasane Nguyen, who is the owner Winn and Sons in Lacona.

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