Byline: Mike Michaelson
In an era of "bigger is better," when prefixes such as "mega" and "super" are considered vital to attracting large crowds and big business, it is refreshing to find a celebration of small-town America. It also is comforting to find that its simple values have remarkable drawing power.
Last week, the small town (population 7,633) of Perry, Iowa, managed to attract some extremely big names. They included Pat Sajak, host of TV's "Wheel of Fortune," best-selling author Jan Karon, Latin diva Jaci Velasquez, U.S. poet laureate Ted Kooser, opera star Jubilant Sykes and the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra.
They were among those who traveled to Perry, about 40 miles northwest of Des Moines, to soak up an authentic piece of Americana. The occasion was the gala grand opening of the town's restored Carnegie Library Museum and its parent, Hometown Perry, a one-of-a-kind museum campus with a poignant message. It tells the story of the contribution small …