Most every publication carries a small announcement somewhere asking readers to “Please Patronize Our Advertisers,” from the daily newspaper to the weekly parish bulletin.
At St. Mary Church in Hanover, Iowa, the “Pray Together” missal aid prints photographs of the church on the front cover and advertisements for area merchants on the back.
One ad says simply, “Quillin’s In Waukon Featuring Huba-Huba.” What could this be? A rare cousin of the tuba with two horns?
Being an enterprising journalist, I drove to Waukon to find out. (I was in Iowa as part of a reporting trip through the Midwest for a CNS series on rural America.)
Quillin’s is Quillin’s Food Ranch, a supermarket chain. I tracked down a manager to ask what Huba-Huba was. “It’s out back,” he said, “behind the supermarket.”
And there it was: a gas station with the words “Huba-Huba” on the sides of the roof erected over the pumps to keep customers from getting soaked when they fill up in the rain.
I saw other Quillin’s in my travels through Iowa and Minnesota, but never another Huba-Huba.
By the way, a member of the Quillin family became a priest who served in southwestern Minnesota.