Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2017

Highway of Love follow-up

By Curt Swarm | Jul 24, 2012

You may remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about the Highway of Love. The Highway of Love is what I call the stretch of US 34 between Ottumwa and Mt. Pleasant. Somebody spray painted “Find Your Love” on an overpass at the Agency exit, and decorated the back of “Do Not Enter” signs with “(heart) U!” all the way to Mt. Pleasant. (Actually, all the way to Burlington, one of my readers pointed out.) The “Find Your Love” lasted about a week, then it was changed to “Sara Find Your Love?” My overly vivid imagination went into warp drive and came up with this scenario: A suitor from Ottumwa was trying to get the attention of a nurse, Sara, who was traveling between Ottumwa and Mt. Pleasant. When Sara apparently failed to get the message, the suitor went back and added “Sara” with a “?”. Sara got the message. However, she had another suitor, and was trying to make up her mind between the Ottumwa beau and her other fella. In my column, I requested that if anyone knew the real story, could they please contact me with details.

Well, someone did contact me. Bob was indeed trying to win the affections of Sara. Yes, Sara is a nurse and was traveling US 34 daily. When Sara failed to get the message, he did sneak back under the guise of darkness, and added “Sara” and the “?”. Wearing camouflage, because the sheriff was keeping an eye on the overpass, Bob had some friends drop him off a short distance from the bridge. He snuck through the timber, and then, hanging over the edge of the bridge, and using his cell phone for light, added the name “Sara” and the question mark. He had just competed his mission when he saw car lights approaching. He ran to the end of the bridge and jumped into the tall grass. Sure ‘nuff, it was a deputy sheriff’s car. Panicked, Bob ran back through the timber and called his friends on his cell phone to come pick him up. He made a vow: “No more graffiti.”

Bob did not put the “(heart) U!) on the backs of the “Do Not Enter” signs, and doesn’t know who did. He believes the “(heart) U!”s were there some time before he decorated the overpass with the message of love for Sara.

Several weeks after my column ran in the newspapers, Bob was sitting at home on a Friday night, pondering what to do with himself. His phone rang. It was Sara. Bob couldn’t believe his ears. Sara asked what he was doing. Pleased to hear her voice, he took a chance and replied, “Oh, nothing. Just getting ready to cruise the highway of love.” Sara burst out laughing.

Sara and Bob have been seeing each other off and on since then. She is still trying to make up her mind between her two beaus. Bob is a gentleman and respects her wishes. He is giving her plenty of time and space to make up her mind. It will be interesting to hear what develops on the highway of love.

Bob feels bad about the graffiti, and is willing to go back and remove the spray paint. The heart can make you do crazy things when you’re in love.

If anyone knows the story behind the “(heart) U!” on the backs of “Do Not Enter” signs, I'd be interested in hearing that one, too.


Have a good story? Call or text Cut Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at curtswarm@yahoo.com, or visit his website at www.empty-nest-words-photos-and-frames.com


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