Here we are, the last day of 2020. That means it is time for me to share the December image from the 2021 Photography 139 Calendar. Because of the pandemic, I got to deliver very few calendars in person this year. I think the only reactions that I got to see in person was from Alexis, Vest, and the Degeneffes (sans Melissa). Pretty much every other calendar delivery was done by leaving a calendar on a desk at work or a calendar in an envelope next to a front door or through the hard working folks of the United States Postal Service. While the response sometimes ranged from crickets to “I have a calendar on my phone, but thanks”, I did get a couple pictures sent to me of people’s reactions to getting the calendar that I want to share because they are amongst my favorite pictures I have received on my Pixel 5.

2021  Calendar Reaction
From Jen

2021  Calendar Reaction
From Sara Lockner

2021  Calendar Reaction
From Joe Duff

Those pictures really made my day(s)!

The December image of the 2021 Photography 139 Calendar is taken of the cross on top of the Boone First United Methodist Church with Rodan139. It was my Merry Christmas picture in 2019. That cross also appeared in the January 2018 Calendar image. It also appeared in the 2010 Calendar for December. Probably the item to be most included in the calendar. More than the High Bridge or the High Trestle Trail Bridge. That might require more research though. The picture was taken on December 23, 2019.

2021 Calendar - December

CAMERA: Hasselblad L1D-20c
LENS: 28.0mm f/2.8
FOCAL LENGTH: 10.3mm (28mm in 35mm equivalency)
ISO: 100
FIELD OF VIEW: 65.5 degrees
LATITUDE: 42.06296
LONGITUDE: -93.88240
ALTITUDE: 363 meters above sea level


Today’s THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT old-timey postcard I’m working on recreating is a postcard with a picture of 5 different churches. Of the 5 buildings. Only two are currently standing.

They are labelled like this on the postcard:

German Lutheran
Swedish Mission

The Catholic and Presbyterian churches are still standing. No problem finding those churches.

The Baptist church burned down in the 1940s, but it wasn’t hard to figure out what congregation used to be in that building. It was a little challenging to figure out where the Baptist Church used to be. Because they didn’t rebuild on the same location. Here are some pictures from the Baptist website of the fire:

Baptist Church Fire

Baptist Church Fire

Baptist Church Fire

I figured out where the old Baptist Church was located by consulting old Boone phonebooks. The address for the Baptist Church was 604 Greene Street. 3 out of 5 shooting locations located.

The next one I needed to figure out was the German Lutheran Church. A little research and I found out that the German Lutheran Church became Trinity Lutheran Church. But I didn’t know what happened to this original church building.

The German Lutheran church building also… wait for it…. burned down. But, the building wasn’t a total loss. They moved it to a different corner of the lot that they are still on and built a new building where the original church building was located. It was used as a school, until they finished building another school. Then I assume it was torn down. The trail grows cold there. Here is some info on the fire from Trinity Lutheran’s website:

Headlines and article from the
Boone Republic Newspaper, Daily
Edition, Thursday Evening Aug. 12,

About 12:20 o’clock Thursday noon a fire was discovered by Fred Erbe son of the Rev. Otto Erbe in the belfy of the German Lutheran church at 12th and Boone Streets. The fire company was called at once and when they arrived flames were shooting out of every side of the tower. The fire was a mystery as the windows were protected by wire netting to keep birds from building nests and it was said the electrical wires were in first class condition. The only explanation for the fire is that the insulation on some wire that was not noticed burned off and set the tower afire. It was very hard to get at the flames, and they gained considerable headway before the fire company was able to control it. For a time it looked like the steeple would topple over onto the parsonage just south of it, but this did not happen. Perhaps the greatest loss was the pipe organ which had just been installed at a big expense, and which was situated under the steeple. This was damaged by water and some of the pipes were affected by the fire. Luckily the fire did not spread to any other part of the building or the whole structure would have been gone as it is a wooden building. The entire loss is covered by insurance.

Here is a picture of the fire:

German Lutheran Fire

I now had the congregations and the location of four out of five churches from the postcard. That left just the Swedish Mission Church.

It took me awhile to figure out if the Swedish Mission congregation still existed. This took some effort because as it turns out two different congregations in town split from one congregation. Evangelical Free and Augustana. Neither one is in the building in the picture. So trying to figure out which one was in that building and where that building used to be took some work.

Augustana used to have an address of 7th & Carroll address. But so did the Open Bible Church. While researching the Augustana history, it turns out that in the early 20th century, they traded churches with the Central Christian Church, because the trains were so loud that it was disrupting their activities. What I find funny about that, is that the Central Christian Church is on 8th and Greene (different building now) which is only ONE block from 7th and Carroll. Which I doubt makes a huge difference in the volume of passing trains.

I just think it is fascinating that congregations just traded church buildings.

In the end in turned out the Swedish Mission Church is now the Evangelical Free Church. It used to be located on 6th and Monona. Something I located looking at old Boone phonebooks. Which interestingly enough, this location, while it was a different building, housed the LDS Church, before they moved out on 22nd Street.

I don’t know what happened to the old Swedish Mission Church building. The Evangelical Church website has a video about their history on their website, but it doesn’t really say what happened to the old building when they moved.

But at one time, one block in Boone would have housed the Augustana Church, the Presbyterian Church, and the Baptist Church. Across the street to the south would have been the Open Bible Church. Across the street to the north is the Central Christian Church. Half a block to the east, is both the Grace Episcopal Church and the First United Methodist Church. Kind of like the God District in Boone. Cause not far across the railroad tracks was Trinity Lutheran and Sacred Heart Catholic.

That is probably enough backstory. Here are the results of all that research:

Some Boone Iowa Churches - Original
Some Boone Iowa Churches – Original

Some Boone Iowa Churches - Redux
Some Boone Iowa Churches – Redux

Some Boone Iowa Churches - Modern Interpretation
Some Boone Iowa Churches – Modern Interpretation

Some Boone Iowa Churches - Modern Interpretation Take 2
Some Boone Iowa Churches – Modern Interpretation, with Color

Next time we take a look at THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT, we will tackle a government building. In fact, the next two will involve government buildings.


  1. I really enjoy the idea that someone made a postcard called “Some Boone Iowa Churches” on it and just slapped a variety on there. That’s fantastic. I still find the number of fires really alarming (I assume it’s due to candles or such?). I remember when the United Methodist Church I’d gone to in Pilot Mound burned down probably twenty years ago – I think that was a heating issue, not candles or anything. But the best part of this is still just doing a “trade no backsies” with an entire building. Presumably each had been made for their particular uses, but they just didn’t want it anymore – that is fascinating.

    Out of these, Presbyterian is prettiest, and Sacred Heart Catholic is second prettiest, I think?

  2. The German Lutheran was electrical, they think. Maybe. It has really made me respect buildings that have lasted over 100 years more than before. Because fires took out a lot more buildings than I would have ever guessed. But I guess it makes sense, when your choice was candles or the earliest possible electricity for illumination.

    It is surprising how many times I look up, “What happened to this building” and the answer ends up being burned down.

    I agree with your evaluation on church prettiness. I think the Methodist is the prettiest in town. Presbyterian second. Catholic third and then there is a drop. Baptist maybe. Grace Episcopal. But after that Boone is pretty devoid of pretty churches. You could make a third tier for Augustana Lutheran and Evangelical Free. But after that, everything is a warehouse looking church.

    I thought about making a modern interpretation with what I considered the 5 prettiest churches in town, but I couldn’t come up with 5 in the end. Plus, I’m sure people are sick of seeing pictures of my church anyways.

    I’ll throw Marion Methodist in the second tier. It is mostly bland looking but it has that blue neon cross. Plus it is the oldest standing church in Boone.

    This is from the Augustan Lutheran Church website on the trade:

    “A new church was built in 1879 and a parsonage in 1885. Because passing trains often disturbed the services, in 1895 the property was traded, along with $3000 to the Christian Church for the property at 7th and Carroll Streets. In 1901, a new parsonage was built next to the church. In 1910, a basement was put under the church and extensive repairs were made.”

    The whole thing is kind of interesting, if you want to read it:

  3. I know knob and tube buildings STILL burn down a lot, so that makes sense there were so many fires even with electricity.

    I agree that the Methodist church is by far the prettiest. It’s really a very, very pretty church. I don’t personally get sick of your church, but I understand why you may be sort of over the idea? I know some people also have attitudes about flowers!

    That’s honestly really interesting about Augustana Lutheran. I’m not 100% certain I ever remember driving by it, even when I’ve been in the cemetery. So I guess it didn’t make a ton of an impression? That’s a really fascinating history – I love that the church provided that!

  4. Augustana is definitely a victim of 60s-70s architecture. But as time goes on, it looks maybe more unique. Rather than ugly to me. It might still be kind of ugly, but at least it doesn’t look like a Costco. (Confession, I’ve never seen a Costco.)

    I definitely wish more churches had a history section on their website. I’ve noticed a couple churches in town don’t even have websites. They just link straight to the church’s national website.

    When I was looking at houses, I was surprised by how many houses still had that kind of wiring. My house didn’t have the best electricity in it and I immediately dropped $3000 on electrical when I moved in, but if it would have had knob and tube, it would have cost even more. Good thing I got that $8000 in socialism money for buy a house.

    Yeah, I definitely have a few friends that are vocal about not liking flower pictures. Dudes of course. Maybe they are more bros. Hard to tell. I’ll have to think on that.

  5. My dad just somehow sold their old house in Ogden which still had knob-and-tube. That is so freaking dangerous, I can’t believe we lived there for all that time. We got super-lucky, especially with all of the leaks we had in the ceilings. I’m glad that you spent that socialist bonus on such a good purpose. Fires freak me out (for several good reasons, but still).

  6. The sad part is, I’m not even sure what I spent the rest of it on. Probably hookers and blow.

    Cause I bought all the paint and light fixtures before I even moved in.

    I replaced every light switch cover and electric outlet cover in the house so that they matched. What a colossal waste of money. You never seen the electric outlet cover. That was stupid.

    I still really need to replace the ceiling fan in my living room again. I had a couple friends (one named Jesse) try to wire it after the professional electrician had already did it. Sparks were involved. A scorch mark was left on my ceiling. While the fan works, it has never spun as fast as it should. But I need to redo my bathroom before anything else.

    I’ve only ever almost burned down my house twice. So I consider that a good run. Although I have set several purpose fires in my basement. For photography purposes.

  7. It is amazing how fast money just disappears when you’re moving. You need a shelf or a small table, you have to get a bunch of wood to replace planks or never-ending numbers of wall-safe picture hangers. It’s crazy how it all disappears. I never want to move again (at least right now).

    I think the reasoning for replacing all of the covers was noble! Consistency is great. But you’re right, the outlet covers aren’t noticed by a lot of people other than you. At least YOU know they match?

    Oof. We had a light/fan in our living room at our previous house that a friend tried to help us wire, screwed up royally, and we had to pay an expert more. But first we just didn’t use it for three years, because that was the practical response. Much like yours just going slow since then. Bathrooms are such a hard thing to update because you need them – but man is it life-changing when you do.

    That’s good show! Knock on wood, I don’t think I’ve ever burned down anything (or come close). My biological dad obviously was pretty involved in a fire, and Jon’s apartment he had when we first started dating was in a fire – his only suffered smoke damage, so some stuff I had over there got damaged, but that was as close as I ever want to come. We got there and walked into the smoke, called the fire department, they had to bash in the door of the other apartment (where the fire was) with the door banger thing, etc. It was all very dramatic and I never want to experience it again.

  8. Nope, those electric covers aren’t noticeable to anybody since they are almost all behind furniture. Some of them are kind of expensive too.

    The time I came closest to burning down my house was when I either left my burner on or didn’t let it cool and I threw a towel on my stove. I ran down to my Mom’s real quick to get something. When I came back the towel was definitely on fire.

    The other time was when there was a good sized grease fire on the bottom of my grill. That wasn’t very close to catching my house on fire, but it was a pretty good fire.

    None of the fires I’ve set in my basement have ever been in any danger. Mostly just setting flowers and what not on fire. Set off a few fireworks down there to blow some stuff up.

    When I update my bathroom, it won’t be such a big deal, because my makeover isn’t too ambitious. Plus, I have a full basement in the bathroom. But ideally, it would take only a weekend to do. Do want to do it when the weather is nicer, because it does get pretty cold in that basement bathroom during the winter.

    I’ve never been as close to a fire as you have, but don’t want to go through it. That being said, I’m still going to set fires in my basement.

  9. I bet the grill fire was bigger – but the towel fire would have scared me way more. It’s inside the house, and if you hadn’t come right home, who knows what would have happened? Fire freaks me out overall. Thank goodness I don’t smoke and haven’t ever. My bio-trash father had a talent for falling asleep with a burning cigarette over the years, and would leave burn marks on couches, but I don’t think it ever got bigger than that. Ugh, it’s all horrifying.

  10. The grill fire was bigger and really should have taught me to keep my grill cleaner, but it really hasn’t. Not at all.

    Yeah, I have to admit, when I make my list of reasons why I hate smoking, fire is pretty low on th elist. #1 is how terrible cigarettes make everything smell. Just awful.

    But I actually forget that smoking even exists because I don’t see anybody any more and even when I did, next to none of my friends smoke any more.

  11. It truly is the worst smell. Mom used to smoke in the house, and it was terrible. She’d smoke while folding laundry, so we always smelled like smoke.

    I will occasionally see someone smoking in their car, but that’s about it!

  12. I have, I think 2 friends that smoke. One is from work and he became hardcore into vaping. About a year ago he got double pneumonia. But at least he doesn’t smell when he comes into the building.

    Although some people are better at covering it, until you get into their car or their house. Then it is a race to get home, so you can throw those clothes into the washing machine and take a shower.

    Before the pandemic, there was still a decent group of smokers at the Computer Mine. Although quite a few had switched to vaping.

    The one thing about vaping, besides the occasional pneumonia, is that people who vape like to talk about vaping constantly. It is almost worse than the smell of smokers.

  13. The data on vaping does not look awesome. Jon’s brother had been a heavy, heavy smoker, and turned to vaping to try and help him quit. I’m hoping he’s also stopped that by now, because it seems like a terrible long-term solution. Yeah, people are really into knowing all the best vapes and the places to get vape supplies and blah blah blah. It has been sort of glorified.

    I hope the Mine doesn’t let anyone vape at their desk.

  14. Truth is that every person I know that switched to vaping to quit smoking, actually just do both and now their nicotine consumption is through the roof.

    My Workspace Buddy Joe is like the Godfather of Vaping at the Mine. Everybody that is looking to get into vaping comes to him for advice, so I have to heal the whole spiel all the time. Or at least I did before the pandemic. Voltage and coils and whatnot.

    The Mine’s official position is that people are not allowed to vape at their desk, but people definitely do it.

  15. I drink a lot of caffeine, more than I should – but I know that I can only handle so much, and have to cut it off by noon or I know I’ll never sleep. I cannot imagine the jitters that double nicotine would give.

    I cannot fathom how boring that would be. I’d avidly encourage him to just share out a Google Doc with all of that information so that he doesn’t have to go through it all each time. One time Jon and I were in KC for a music festival, about two or three years ago. We were at a restaurant, and there was a vape shop next door, so we went in as an adventure to see what it was like. Not my scene, is what it was like. Really intense.

    I’m not at all surprised that people would vape at their desk. That’s swell. I assume secondhand vape smoke is also detrimental.

  16. I have managed to eliminate most of the caffeine from my life. I only drink pop once a week. I do drink tea on occasion, although I’ve mostly phased that out for the winter. I guess I don’t know if Bai has caffeine, but that is mostly what I drink. But I can tell you that I don’t sleep well now when I have caffeine late in the day. That is probably a sign of being aged. I’ve never once tried a cigarette, so I can only image the effects of nicotine on the body. But I imagine that it isn’t good. I do know from observation, it does take away people’s ability to handle stress.

    A Good Doc? Let’s say that thing that you love most in the world is your kids. People are always asking about your kids. Do you tell them, I made a Google Doc for that, just look at that?

    And the flavors! My God, you can’t discuss the multitude of flavors over a Google Doc!

    Surprisingly, my WB, hates competitive vapers. Which I find funny, for some reason.

    The people that vape at their desk are pretty coy about it. They know they aren’t supposed to be doing it, so they definitely just take a quick hit and put it away real quick. Kind of like me with my cocaine.

    I don’t know if there has been a study on second hand vape, but I assume it is way better for you than second hand smoke. But, I just don’t know.

  17. I’m really impressed at you cutting out almost all caffeine. I had it all gone with Alice’s pregnancy/infancy, and almost all gone with Charlie’s. Then I found out that having a baby at age 35 leaves you hella tired, so I picked back up my Diet Coke habit and haven’t been able to stop. But I’m like you – I’m old, and if I have any caffeine after about 1 or 2 pm, I don’t sleep. I remember taking a couple of puffs on Jen’s cigarettes in high school to try, but that was it. Just no desire to do it due to the smell, especially after both my bio parents did. I mostly just avoid things to which it’s easy to get addicted as a rule.

    I do see people have to smoke to cope, for sure. So I guess I’m not surprised at people doing a line of vape at their desk.

  18. This reminds me, I haven’t had my Pepsi for the week. I drink pop with one meal a week. That is about it. I keep a mini-fridge stocked with pop in the theater room. That way, if I’m going to drink pop, I have to go all the way down to the basement to get it. I haven’t bought pop since before the pandemic started. Although I’m getting low, so next time Pepsi is on sale, it will probably be time to stockup.

    I’m not sure I’m going on a sign harvesting road trip this weekend cause of the weather, but if I do, it will be tomorrow and there is a change I’ll have that pop on the road. But I think there is a fair chance, I’ll just bank those pops for next week.

    I noticed the smoke, can’t handle stress thing real fast at the Evil Clown Empire. Any time something stressful happened, when it was over, the smokers needed to go outside and have a cigarette. Which is fine, all the nonsmokers will just stay inside and cover for your lazy ass.

    I’m over it now though. Obviously.

  19. I definitely have more Diet Cokes in a day (maybe two) than you have in a typical month. It’s not a great solution. I think it’s smart to have Pepsi in the vicinity of the theater room, though – there’s something that just works about eating popcorn, drinking a soda, and watching a movie. But if that happens after 2 pm, I’m screwed.

    I distinctly remember that exact same situation at the Computer Mine, similar to the Evil Clown Empire. We’d be getting just hammered on calls, and four smokers would get up and go outside to just have their break while the rest of us just kept working. They didn’t have to deduct it from their break or lunch time or anything. But I remember having to count every single second I pumped while I worked there to feed my child. But that’s fine.

  20. My favorite was when smokers told me that it was okay that they took so many smoke breaks because smokers were harder workers, so that made it okay.

    While I’ll grant you that I have known some smokers that were good workers, for the most part, that is one of those lies that people tell themselves… well really for no reason at all.

    I will say though that I did once work with a guy that did crank. When that dude was on crank, that dude could work. Wish all my workers were on crank.

    Now he was also selling it out of the party room, which isn’t so great, but nobody is perfect.

  21. Hmm. So, I will say – for any other things you can say about him, Big P was our hardest worker in support. He was a firehose when the queue was going crazy. I don’t think he ever smoked a single cigarette ever. So yeah, that lie definitely has obvious empirical contradictions against it. At the very place people were spreading the lie.

    I bet that crank dude was really great at cleaning bathrooms, if that one commercial in the 90s tells me anything. Then picking off his skin, but at least the bathroom was clean.

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