Mon, Aug 13, 2012 | by TJ JuskiewiczShare
Here is some background on the mural and the artist:
John Parker, Sr. assisted Keep Indianola Beautiful with a second mural to enhance the downtown area. This year’s mural commemorates the arrival of the RAGBRAI riders in 2009. John’s association with RAGBRAI goes back to the late 70’s when Don Benson was the RAGBRAI’s “Wagonmaster”.
The Des Moines Register was one of the accounts at Parker Signs so they painted banners and signs for Don. After he rode in 1980, good natured Don convinced both John and his wife Paula to ride in the summer of 1981. To start the ride, we rode over to Missouri Valley in the Register van with Don, John Karras, Donald Kaul and others. What a fun time. As some may remember, 1981 may have been the worst weather ever experienced on RAGBRAI as they endured, (and finished!) “Soggy Monday” and the rest of the ride that year. We went on to ride a few more times and hope to ride again in the future.
When asked to help with the design and painting of the alley mural, the memory of the never ending stream of RAGRAI bicyclists came to mind. When riding, John especially enjoyed the wide open county roads where you can stretch out and just “cruise”. He wanted the mural to have the same feel and hopefully those viewing the mural will get a little of the feeling that makes RAGBRAI such a great experience.
Indianola was a great stop on RAGBRAI XXXVII!