Kneeling in the soft, wet dirt in Dave Reisz's cornfield west of Denison, Bill Whitaker from the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist in Iowa City, sank a three-quarter-inch-diameter probe into the soil.
The core samples Whitaker took on Thursday are part of the work for a survey being conducted on the site for the proposed Crawford County Memorial Hospital replacement facility.
The 40.5 acres the hospital is buying includes land that is currently planted in corn and pasture land to the east of the corn field. The property is located near Highway 59/141.
Whitaker added that his survey has been made more difficult by the presence of old-time baseball players appearing mysteriously out of the corn. "Scared the bejeebus out of me the first couple of times," he said, "but I got used to it. That and the whispering voice."
Okay, I made that last part up.