DMRegister03182014p1

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DMRegister03182014p1 - ‘LITTLE IRELAND’ P ATRON SAINT M ELROSE, Ia. —...
‘LITTLE IRELAND’ P ATRON SAINT M ELROSE, Ia. — When the Godfather o f Melrose purchases a new parade c ar, it’s a big deal here in this south- e rn Iowa hamlet known as “Iowa’s l ittle Ireland.” R esidents pour out onto Sham- r ock Street to inspect his new set of wheels. T he Godfather in question, 84-year-old Leo Ward o f Des Moines, made his maiden voyage last week i n his 1967 Plymouth Fury II station wagon. He d rove to his hometown where the appropriately n amed streets (Kerry, Kells, Cork) just south of U .S. Highway 34 and west of Albia tumble downhill i nto the Cedar Creek valley. M elrose isn’t a stranger to exotic vehicle traffic. H oney Creek Resort and Lake Rathbun just 13 m iles south ensure a steady stream of flashy boats a nd hulking RVs throughout the summer. B ut this was a St. Patrick’s Day warmup for a m an who has become one of Iowa’s most recogniz- a ble Irish patriarchs. M elrose’s current fire chief, Pat Rush, sauntered u p to Ward’s window as the Godfather parked his c ar in front of the fire station with friend Barb M elcher in the passenger seat. “ Pretty slick, dude,” Rush smiled. W ard and his son-in-law discovered this wagon LEO ‘THE LEPRECHAUN’ W ARD CHERISHES HIS IRISH H ERITAGE AND HIS HOMETOWN OF MELROSE KYLE MUNSON’S IOWA kmunson@dmreg.com VIDEO AND MORE P HOTOS ONLINE Visit “Iowa’s little Ireland” w ith the Godfather of M elrose, Leo Ward, in a video and 19 photos at D esMoinesRegister.com . S eeMUNSON,Page4I

Clipped from
  1. The Des Moines Register,
  2. 16 Mar 2014, Sun,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page I1

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  • DMRegister03182014p1

    nobusshi – 06 Mar 2017

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