License plates

It was notm a dull subject for conversation. License plates. ''Iowa - a State of Mindsm ''was the proposed motto. An invitation to the world to see us as brainy people, ready for computers,


the new informational technology. But there was rebellion. The rank and file doubted that the plural would be noted by travelers, craning their necks, looking back as they passed at fifty-five miles per hour; and Iowa as a state of mindm might suggest that we are mystical,

even that we do not exist! %? We were embarrassed. Questions might be asked

as to what kinds of minds we possessed

to accept such a slogan!

And the questions might elicit

smart aleck answers! We had no desire to appear either boastful

or apologetic. We think of ourselves as practical, generally honest, industrious, a bit defensive of our priorities, smart enough to see through the promotional plans even of our own developers and find them vulnerable, likely to be misunderstood. Exercising our constitutional rights we wrote letters, we protested to the decision makers and the motto was withdrawn. If we are really in a state of transition about to be translated into the techniques and strategies of automation, that's as may be. Let the future determine. We are in no rush to get to it. Even the urban citizens

retain a certain confidence

in pigs, cattle, soybeans, and alfalfa. Believing so much in the land

and its produce, honoring it,

knowing where we come from. You see, Iowa really is a state of mindm.

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