b'In a letter to her sister Irene, Emilie writes: After a hellacious night spent in the tent during a lightning storm, Orland Ferris bought us breakfast. His grandfather invented the Ferris Wheel, and according to Orland, the first one was 253 feet tall with enclosed cars that held 40 people each. It debuted at the Chicago Exposition in 1893. Orland himself is over 80 years old but every Saturday he still takes his wife of 60 years, Dorothy, out on a date. We ate a lot that morning and sure enough, Orland picked up the check. His son owns the caf, but he still had to pay. As we leave the Onawa Caf, Orland wishes us well and gives us his card. It reads Orland Ferris with his address on one side and Christ is the Answer on the other. We promise to write him and Dorothy once we arrive safely in New York.* From Onawa we travel south on small roads hugging the Missouri River on the Iowa side of the border with Nebraska. After two and a half hours of gentle riding, we stop in Modale, (pop. 290) to get something cold to drink. Emilie writes: We stop at a farm co-op for pop and directions. What we got was an amazing tour of the grain elevator by the manager, Ronny Rife. Prices for soybean, corn, and wheat in Chicago are displayed on a computer terminal in the office. So, THIS is who all that haggling affects.After another four hours of riding, we set up camp on a wooded lakeside site at Lake Manawa State Park, just south of Council Bluffs, Iowa. BEGIN: Onawa, IAEND: Lake Manawa, IADISTANCE: 72.85 milesTRIP TOTAL: 2,222 miles*We do indeed write Orland once home in New York. In a sweet handwritten reply, enclosed with a postcard from Onawa, Orland writes: Hello, Dominic & Emilie: Thanks for telling us you arrived safely Monona is peaceful valley. Winnebago Indian Onawa is on the card. If you ever come this way again, come see us. The (Onawa) caf is beyond the second white top on right. We continue to stay in touch with Orland and his wife Dorothy for a number of years, exchanging holiday cards. According to his obituary, Orland Charles Ferris, of Onawa, Iowa, grandson of George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., the inventor of the Ferris Wheel, and loving husband of Dorothy Ferris, died on Tuesday, October 28, 1997, at his residence at the age of 88. Orlands beloved wife Dorothy lived another 17 years, and passed peacefully at the age of 103 in 2014. She and Orland married in 1929, and spent 68 years together in the town of Onawa. Emilie and I wonder how many Saturday night dates filled those 68 years. 38'