Town Sign Project: Jasper County

A few weeks back, I loaded up into the car with my Mom and we drove around the enormous county that is Jasper County harvesting the signs that I was missing. It was a good trip that include the traditional breakfast from Hardee’s. If the TOWN SIGN PROJECT has a sponsor it would be Hardee’s breakfast. I’m waiting Hardee’s. Just open up the checkbook!

Here are some facts about Jasper County:

+ As of the 2010 census, the population was 36,842.
+ The county seat is Newton.
+ The county was organized in 1846 and is named after Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero.

Here is a look at the Jasper County Photo Map:

Jasper County Photo Map
Boundaries are approximate at best.

Here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project - 12 Counties

12 counties completed. 12.1% of the Cyclone State conquered.

Here are the Jasper County Town Signs:

Newton, Iowa
Newton, Iowa
Population: 15,254

Mitchellville, Iowa
Mitchellville, Iowa (Mostly in Polk County)
Welcome to Mitchellville
Population: 2,093

Colfax, Iowa
Colfax, Iowa
Colfax – Est. 1866
Population: 2,093

Monroe, Iowa
Monroe, Iowa
Welcome to Monroe – Home of the PCM Mustangs
Population: 1,830

Prairie City, Iowa
Prairie City
Prairie City
Population: 1,680

Baxter, Iowa
Baxter, Iowa
Welcome to Baxter
Population: 1,101

Sully, Iowa
Sully, Iowa
Welcome to Sully – Est. 1882 – Home of the Jasper County Freedom Rock
Population: 821

Kellogg, Iowa
Kellogg, Iowa
Welcome to Kellogg – Founded 1865
Population: 591

Lynnville, Iowa
Lynnville, Iowa
Lynnville – A great place to live
Population: 379

Mingo, Iowa
Mingo, Iowa
Population: 302

Lambs Grove, Iowa
Lambs Grove, Iowa
Lambs Grove
Population: 172

Oakland Acres, Iowa
Oakland Acres, Iowa
Oakland Acres – West
Population: 156

Reasnor, Iowa
Reasnor, Iowa
Welcome to Reasnor – Founded 1877 – Population 190
Population: 152

Valeria, Iowa
Valeria, Iowa
Valeria – Town of a Railroad Romance
Population: 57

Ira, Iowa
Ira, Iowa
Ira – Est. 1883
Unincorporated Community

Jasper County covers a lot of space and has 14 communities and 1 unincorporated community that I stumbled across. Once again, I no longer pursue unincorporated communities. That being said, I think Ira is more of a town than Valeria. And Oakland Acres. I don’t think Oakland Acres is a town at all. I think it is a bunch of rich pricks that live around a golf course that probably founded a “town” to escape paying their fair share of taxes. I could be way off base on that one, but I mean, prove me wrong. There is no city hall even. They have their city council meetings in the maintenance shed of the golf course. I’m going to give Oakland Acres, dead last for the worst town sign in Jasper County.

Best in Show. Hmmmm… I really like the town sign for Lambs Grove. Although I’m not really sure Lambs Grove is an actual town or just a neighborhood in Newton that doesn’t want to admit it is part of Newton. Monroe has a really nice sign. For an expensive town sign, I actually like it. I also like Sully’s sign. I’m not sure what the word Sully is supposed to be on, but my guess it that the blob is supposed to represent the Freedom Rock. I’d give it more points if it actually looked like their Freedom Rock a little bit. Newton’s sign is okay. There is an alternate Newton sign that I would consider the best town sign in Jasper County, which would be the first ever win for the best town sign in a county to go to the biggest town in that county, but I’m not 100% sure it is a town sign. So I’m holding it back. Best in Show in Jasper County goes to…

Lynnville, Iowa
Jasper County Best in Show – Lynnville, Iowa

Although, I could probably be talked into giving this award to Ira.

There were a couple of alternate town signs in Jasper County:

Oakland Acres, Iowa
Oakland Acres – Alternate

Baxter, Iowa
Baxter – Alternate

Newton, Iowa
Newton – Alternate

Kellogg, Iowa
Kellogg Sign – Backside

Kellogg, Iowa
Kellogg – Alternate

However, there was one sign that bothered me. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It was Valeria:

Valeria, Iowa

What is this “railroad romance”? The railroad has long since left Valeria. There is a trail nearby where the railroad used to be. There aren’t any historic markers in Valeria. There is nothing to indicate what this is all about. My mad Google searches found the story on what appears to be a now defunct website called Iowa Backroads:

This modest metal sign welcomes visitors to the Jasper County community of Valeria, highlighting the railroad romance that led to its establishment. In the early 1860s, the William H. Johnson family left the South to escape the atmosphere and attitudes of the Civil War, and settled at the present-day site of Valeria. William’s son Nicholas and his sister Edna Valeria would play key roles in the birth of the village.

Edna fell in love with a young civil engineer named McBride, who worked for the Chicago and Great Western Railroad. She and her beau convinced her father to allow the tracks to cross the Johnson land. An agreement was reached based on the condition that the community’s depot would be known as Valeria. The couple ultimately married, though McBride left the railroad to become a dentist.

I’ll assume it is true because I could find no other information on the story.

Here is the current list of Best in Shows:

Moingona, Iowa
Best in Show – Boone County

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Best in Show – Carroll County

Ricketts, Iowa
Best in Show – Crawford County

Dexter, Iowa
Best in Show – Dallas County

Scranton, Iowa
Best in Show – Greene County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Lynnville, Iowa
Best in Show – Jasper County

Haverhill, Iowa
Best in Show – Marshall County

Bondurant, Iowa
Best in Show – Polk County

Collins, Iowa
Best in Show – Story County

Badger, Iowa
Best in Show – Webster County

Woolstock, Iowa
Best in Show – Wright County


Scranton, Iowa
#10. Scranton

Ricketts, Iowa
#9. Ricketts

Liscomb, Iowa
#8. Liscomb

Dexter, Iowa
#7. Dexter

Templeton, Iowa
#6. Templeton

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Farnhamville, Iowa #3 - East Side
#4. Farnhamville

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#3. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#2. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#1. Coon Rapids

I’m not sure what county I will visit next. The last couple of weekends the weather has been rough, so I haven’t done any sign harvesting. The hopper is clear. Hopefully I get out on the open road this weekend!

37 thoughts on “Town Sign Project: Jasper County”

  1. I enjoyed seeing the signs and your comments on the road trip. Tell your mom “Hi” from me.

  2. Thanks! I will tell her. We do miss you and all of our church family so much!

  3. I think it is fair that none of these crack the top 10, but there are some interesting ones. I agree with Lynnville. The Kellogg sign is impressive in how underwhelming it is. I’m glad you researched the Railroad Romance, because I was interested in the story – that sign design did not exactly connote romance, however, so I likely wouldn’t have looked it up.

  4. The Valeria sign is one of the most bizarre that I’ve ever encountered. Because it essentially a DOT sign, but it has a logo on that. I’ve never seen that before.

    I don’t think that there is anything in the town telling the story. And I’m pretty sure I drove down every road in the town looking for something.

    There are basically a few rundown houses and a church that looks like it is out of business in town. There is one of those boxes where they post town bulletins, but I didn’t look at it. Now I wish I would have. Where the railroad used to run by the town is now a bike trail.

    Maybe there is something on the bike trail. But my Google search, while wasn’t as extensive as some I’ve done, literally only revealed that one account.

    Their town website seems to be a Facebook page. Which I’ve found that to be the case for other towns. Others have town websites, but haven’t been updated in years.

    If the guy ultimately became a dentist, well then he was probably a bad person and maybe they have tried to cover the story up.

    It is kind of a collection of drab signs, but what do you think of the Newton alternate?

  5. I originally had found the juxtaposition of the DOT-looking sign and the “Railroad Romance” sort of humorous, which caused me to pause on it. But that’s bizarre that they just say that one thing and then presumably don’t mention it again. Unless it’s in the little bulletin board box, or on the bike trail. But if they didn’t spend any time/money on the sign, I doubt there’s a plaque or anything explaining it. One of those metal outdoor plaques costs about $400 or so usually (for a smaller one), from what I just learned this week, so that seems like they’d find it unnecessary expense? I’ve never heard of Valeria (or several of these towns – I never knew we had anything in Iowa with “Lamb” in the name, for sure), so their marketing certainly isn’t working up here.

    Ugh. Dentists. I had to go for a cleaning this week, and I was honestly anxious the whole day before it. I hate going, everything they do just sucks. I mean, I get the purpose and everything, thank you. But the Steve Martin portrayal in “Little Shop” may not be entirely off-base.

    I actually had meant to comment on the Newton alternate. The atmosphere leaves a little to be desired, and I think they could really flesh it out more. But it’s a good start, I like the idea and beginnings (although they are not my favorite murals). It’s certainly better than their main one (which is less corporate than I expected, but still lacks heart). Perhaps they can take a similar tactic on the speedway if they keep having nobody come. (NASCAR and whatever the other one aren’t coming this next year, right?)

  6. The fact that they basically had the DOT put up (two actually) signs makes it unique. There are also the standard DOT signs that mark the Valeria city limits too. So this had to be some kind of special order.

    I feel bad for towns that tied so much of their identity into being a railroad town and then the railroad left. I see a lot of that in these really small towns. Lots of them, the railroad left over 100 years ago at this point.

    But I get it, they wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for the railroad.

    It also makes me even angrier that Beaver is such a failure. You still have the railroad! Why do you suck so bad!

    But Valeria should have at least ponied up some money to have an artist paint a couple of lovers on the sign with a railroad in the background. I don’t imagine I’ll ever make it back to Valeria, but if I do, I’ll try one more shot at finding some kind of marker for it. Something that tells the tale.

    The thing is that Valeria really isn’t on the way to anything. You kind of have to be going there.

    Lambs Grove. I don’t know that I really even consider Lambs Grove to be a real town. I mean it is. Legally. Here is there website:

    But if you pull it up on a map, you’d be, like “your just part of Newton”.

    I got better pictures of all the murals (hopefully), you might warm up to them. But maybe not.

    Don’t ask me about NASCAR. I don’t understand it. I know they aren’t coming, but there are apparently several layers of NASCAR and none of them are coming, but apparently some level is going to Knoxville. It is rough for Newton though.

  7. It’s crazy – Ogden is getting smaller rapidly, from what I can tell, too. It’s also a total railroad town. Although, I don’t entirely understand what being a railroad town matters these days unless you have a station, but I’m not a real railroad expert. I get when there used to be a stop in every town! You would expect these towns to diversity and get a new identity at some point. Host Hobo Days, run a contest for pie eating. Get a “thing” that isn’t an industry that left you a century ago.

    I’m hoping that the murals don’t beacon the race track – that will not help me warm up to it. I’m mildly picky about my murals, in case you couldn’t tell – I don’t want them to be corporate at all. And also, just don’t be terrible. I think we’re going to do a mural competition either this coming summer or the one after as part of our 30 year anniversary, but we’re waiting for details to finalize. I hope the murals don’t suck!

    I don’t understand NASCAR or any form of racing. It’s just “not crashing.” That’s not a sport. That’s just commuting.

  8. I’m very intrigued by this mural contest. How many murals? Where are you getting all these walls for murals? Is there a special category for Donald Trump Cult murals?

    Boone’s Trump mural isn’t in the best shape. I know an artist that was approached by our local Trump about touching Trump up. He lied and told him that he doesn’t do political stuff. But he just hates Trump. Plus I think Local Trump is his landlord.

    None of the Newton murals have anything to do with the race track, as far as I remember. I don’t think they are the most professionally done, so you might not like them, but that endears them to me more. There is a picture of a Norwalk mural in today’s post that might interest you. At least I’m interested in your interpretation.

    As for railroad towns, I think the railroad still matters if you have a grain elevator or a place where farmers bring their crops to get loaded onto a train. But without trains being much a form of public transportation any longer, it definitely lessons the impact of being a railroad town.

    I do badly hope that we someday get high speed train travel at some point in this country. I would love to take a train trip across country, but from what I hear, it is not the romantic trip that I envision. It is actually truly awful. Although I do kind of enjoy those situations too, so I’d probably like that too.

    I don’t know much about racing. I get the appeal of watching things go fast, but at some point, I would want it to go somewhere and not last 4 hours. Drag racing is basically where I’m at with car racing. Not that I watch that either, but I would, if give the opportunity.

  9. We think ten murals? Plywood is hella expensive right now, so we have to narrow it. I don’t know that we’ve fleshed out if it’s going to be hand-picked mural artists, or a competition (we’re still in the formative stages of design). It sounds like the city will be able to build them for us (it’s really just a square with a plywood front) if we can foot the bill – and then we are hoping to place them in parks for the summer. Not 100% sure if that will end up being this summer or next, but I’ll keep you updated! I also am really hoping I can push the children’s memorial park that was approved by City Council forward, as well, but I may have to do that via other routes. I hope we can sneak in a rule on it not being political, with it being Ames and all… but hopes are not high. See email chain from today.

    Your local artist is my new hero – good for him! He was in a position where taking a political stand could have really hurt him, so I understand not pointing out that it’s almost literally painting a turd.

    I enjoy non-professional murals, for sure! I hate corporate ones – that is my big thing. I smile whenever I see a mural with an arm that isn’t quite the correct length, or when it doesn’t look like they bought the artist for a hundred thousand dollars. It’s amazing to me how awesome local artists can be – we have some art from the Black Arts and Music Festival at the Ames library a year ago that we purchased, and we just put them in City Hall this last week for display. They are INCREDIBLE, and they’re all local black artists. I’m working through email from oldest to newest, so I’ll respond to that post for sure!

    When we went from Rome to Venice (and back) on a high-speed train, I have to say – there wasn’t a lot of romance on that train. It was very efficient, so I think it would be a much more cost-effective, comfortable option, especially for families. But it was also cramped, stinky, and generally grimy. I still sort of enjoyed it, though – it was very novel. And it was interesting to watch the countryside – most of the high-speed happened in tunnels underneath the ground, however, which made it a bit of a bummer. It was still fast when above-ground, but not the highest speeds.

    I don’t know much about drag racing, either (by choice). My dad got into racing for a while, and I will admit I made fun of him for it (good-humored, not mean). It’s SO long, and it’s just the same. I get that there are crashes sometimes, but not enough to make that interesting. I don’t get it. I also don’t watch a lot of cross country meets of strangers I don’t know.

  10. Ahhhh… more like plywood murals. I was envisioning murals on the sides of buldings. Yeah, that would be incredibly cheap to do. I’ve seen more than one small town that during the Christmas season town businesses, churches, civic organizations, and just people do plywood murals. They they line the town square with them. Most recently, I saw that in Monroe. Wouldn’t surprise me if you could find somebody to donate the plywood. When I had the youth group paint murals for the side of a building the church used to own, somebody donated the plywood. I wish we still had a place to display those. We tore the building down and expanded our parking lot.

    Why would a children’s memorial park be political? Other than everything that is wrong with our current political climate.

    That local artist does some amazing things with sidewalk chalk. He also spray paints the side of a huge snow bank that gets piled in the front of his apartment. I drive by it sometimes, just to see if it changes.

    I’m sure all train travel is over romanticized. Something that dawned on me, is how much it would have sucked for train travel in the old days to have to stop in every single town along the way. If I’m taking the train from Boone to Carroll. I don’t want to stop in Ogden, Beaver, Grand Junction…

    Out of curiosity, I looked up an old train schedule for the train from Des Moines to Fort Dodge. The tracks that B&sVRR are currently on. It took 3 hours to make the trip. It made all these stops!

    Fort Dodge
    Shady Oak
    Palm Grove
    Des Moines

    You would leave Fort Dodge at 7 AM and get to Des Moines at 9:45 AM

    The train to go back left at 4 PM.

    But I guess it still beats going by stagecoach. Today, to drive to Des Moines to Fort Dodge takes 90 minutes according to the Google Maps.

    That is pretty cool about the art in the Ames City Hall. It makes me wonder if the art commission in Boone has accomplished anything yet. I’ll have to ask Lowell.

    My brother-in-law used to go drag racing at a track in Humboldt. Seems like it would be fun. You can take just anything up there. They have some kind of handicap system worked out. When he used to go up there a guy with a motorcycle used to just dust everybody. Even with the considerable handicap he was given.

    I’m not a racing fan and I don’t like the Boone Speedway, but I do not like when such things go out of business because people would rather just sit at home and watch television. I miss going out to the park and watching my grandpa play softball because every church in town had its own softball team. That league doesn’t even exist any more and a little bit of community dies with such things.

  11. We would have LOVED to have done it on buildings – the problem with doing murals on buildings is that they actually require a ton of expensive prep before you paint them, if you don’t want the paint to cause damage to the outside (at least with brick) causing leaks. I think it’s maybe Bar La Tosca downtown where they didn’t before doing an old mural, and it seeped in and caused a bunch of damage. Since that wasn’t in our budget for all that prep, and finding enough buildings could be difficult, we went with the plywood. I think the Main Street project for that ugly Powerpoint mural cost something like $15,000 for the one mural due primarily to physical costs. We ended up giving something like $1000 to it, although they wanted us to foot the majority. That’s a REALLY good idea to see if we can get donations of the murals. Especially since I don’t think we’d need it pre-treated or anything, as it would just be getting painted over for short-term display. I’m going to try and run that up the flagpole to the city manager – THANK YOU!

    Ugh, you’d be surprised. As the park I’d originally suggested (probably five or six years ago, before I was on Arts) was intended to encompass both living children and ones lost during pregnancy. That’s how it got approved – but there’s been apparently some “what if they had an abortion, could they buy a memorial brick for that” crap. It disgusts me, as it’s so clearly pushing a crap agenda that shouldn’t matter to anyone. If someone had to have an abortion and is trying to memorialize the baby, I’d say that they are probably doing it for their own noble reasons, and step out of their business.

    I have a friend on Arts Commission who does sidewalk chalk stuff that is awesome to me – I love that this guy does it! And snow art sounds so brilliant – it’s a constantly changing canvas! That’s really clever. I love when people use what is at their disposal in creative ways.

    I think “Darjeeling Limited” and some of the other recent train movies definitely help romantacize – but I think you’re right, that sounds pretty brutal. Oh my gosh, can you imagine stopping in each of those places for probably 15 minutes? It’s wonderful that it was an option, more efficient than a stagecoach – but it would be dull. I remember I had to go to a place called Cold Lake, Alberta once for the Mine – I had to fly into Calgary and stay overnight, then flew on a little military-style air-bus that stopped at several different military bases before getting up to Cold Lake’s base/airport. The airplane was terrible and tiny in that “you might not make this trip” way, and took the entire morning. It reminds me a lot of a modern version of that!

    Lowell sent me an awesome text of some notes from his last meeting that he missed. It sounded… less-than-fun. I’d love to hear what he tells you! We have some people who are frustrating, and our role is pretty narrow as defined by the city, but it’s interesting!

    I do remember the track in Humboldt; I just never experienced it live. It would be interesting to trick out a Vespa or something and see how it works. I do agree – not everything is for me, but I love that it exists for people who want to go. I try to get the kids to new things – we went over to the Quidditch district tournaments when they were in Nevada and ran into Shannon selling brooms. I was going to take them to the blind baseball game when I saw it advertised a few summers ago, but we had a prior commitment. I just figure – why not go to the most interesting thing you can at that time, something that gives you a fun experience? You’ll remember that a lot more than what was on Matlock. It makes me sad that softball leagues are dying out so rapidly, especially in the older populations. My grandpa loved his down in Arizona.

  12. Yeah, I badly underestimated how much that would cost to do. To put a mural on a whole wall. But you have to admit, it would be pretty badass. I do love a great building mural. I love the Boone town one. It is a shame that the only other one really in town is the horrible Trump mural. But rapists and racists have their stans too.

    I still have to check out the “PowerPoint” mural at some point. I love the mural in Ames that is kind of near the library and YSS.

    The abortion issue is garbage. What does it matter if somebody wants to dedicate a brick for an abortion they had. Abortion is a tricky issue and one that I don’t really ever discuss. I don’t think I have many rights on the issue being a man, but I think that it is not as black & white as most people want you to believe. I think most people are very gray on the issue in lots of places.

    I think most people are pro-life in that they want people to choose to have the baby, BUT they want people to have the ability to make the decision for themselves based on a million variables that nobody writing any kind of law could ever fathom, that is specific to their position in life.

    AND I would add, that anybody that had an abortion and the regretted it. 10 minutes later. 10 days later. 10 years later. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t the “right” decision for them at that time. Even when we make tough, right decisions in our life, that doesn’t mean they don’t come with regrets. If they didn’t come with regrets, it wasn’t a tough decision.

    Don’t know if any of that made sense.

    It is kind of like the Freedom Rock thing in Boone I guess. Around the Freedom Rock in Boone, you can buy a brick to honor somebody that served in the military. My Mom bought a brick for her Dad, who was a WWII Vet (but some say he isn’t) and another one for my niece Elainie who was in the Navy for 5 years. I’ve heard some grouse that my niece doesn’t really deserve a brick because she was only ever stationed in the States and never during a war.

    So here’s the deal. People will split hairs even on things that I consider pretty black and white, like military service. I guess you just have to keep moving forward.

    About sidewalk chalk art. It is something I really love because I think it gives life to a place. One of the silver linings of the pandemic was that people (at least in my neighborhood) really got into putting messages on their sidewalks at the beginning. That was kinda cool. I never really did anything on my sidewalk, because I have terrible handwriting. The lefthander’s curse. Plus I can barely draw. My sidewalks are hardly mint, they don’t make for the best canvas. But maybe I’ll be inspired to do something this year.

    That trip to Alberta sounds amazing! I would have loved every second of that!

    I’d have to look at the schedule again, but I think most of those places were kind of like a bus stop. I think the only place that had a definite layover of any time was the Boone Depot. Maybe you had to pull a cable like a bus to get the trolley to stop?

    I’ll have to ask Lowell about it. I haven’t heard much about the commission at all and as far as I can tell, they have done nothing.

    One of the single weirdest experiences I’ve ever had, where I just said, “this probably isn’t for me, but what the heck” was going to the Dayton Rodeo. I’ve always called it the most “patriotic” thing I’ve ever done. Still holds, except for voting against Trump twice. Which is the actual most patriotic things I’ve ever done.

    I mean, there are still plenty of softball leagues out there. But there is just something about each church having a team. Something else I’m nostalgic for, but was way before my time, is when each small town would have its own baseball team and play each other. That had to be pretty cool. Especially when most people in town would go see it.

    I guess in a way, I’m just describing high school sports, which don’t interest me all that much. Weird.

  13. It’s insane how much murals cost. Now, I will say – I only know that figure for those super-old buildings downtown. I don’t know if maybe newer buildings are already sealed and/or prepped for murals? I would like to get some of our artistic efforts out of just Main Street, personally – while I 100% support main streets nationwide, I think that Ames uniquely demands a disproportionate for theirs, and ignores the needs of the bulk of the community. The people who own and shop in Main Street businesses in Ames have more money, so they’re in positions of power. Students make up about half of town, so it sure seems like we could reach out to some of the other areas where they live/work/study. (Not campus, as that is not in our purview.) That’s an unrelated rant, sorry – it’s just one of my pet peeves. I love building murals, however – the Boone one is really fun and unique. I like several of ours in Ames. Honestly, I just love art. We just put a bird statue in the island going down to the Mine (which is hard to see, but again that’s a digression) – I love putting it somewhere unexpected. Murals are almost always unexpected!

    I was going to mention the mural that’s by library/YSS! I also love that one, and it’s been around forever! I think it needs touched up, which sort of makes me love it more.

    I really, really hate the abortion argument, too. There’s no way that’s ever an EASY argument. Especially the late-term ones that people on the right keep railing against – if you are in that position, it’s most likely due to medical reasons for either the mom or the baby, or something similarly serious. That’s a terrible decision and does NOT need to be shamed. I say this as someone who had a stillbirth. I hate the idea of abortion, I hate that it is something that has to exist, but that is reality. We can’t modify reality to just meet someone’s idealization. That’s how socialism worked, right – and they hate that?

    That’s terrible that they tried to shame Elaine about that. Like it’s somehow her fault that there wasn’t a war, that she isn’t “real” unless she was on the battlefield in a foreign country holding a gun. By that measure – many generals don’t actually go physically on the battlefield, do they get a brick? It’s illogical and diminutive.

    Our kids did some sidewalk chalk this March and April! It was half to cheer people up, and half to keep them busy. Desperation to try and focus on work, and all that. Charlie’s also left-handed, so he struggles with chalk and whiteboards. I can’t draw in a way that looks good at all.

    One of the bad things about a government-based commission is that it greatly increases the red tape. Everything takes longer and the scope changes. It’s a pain. It feels like you talk things to death and nothing happens.

    Ugh, the Dayton Rodeo. We went a few times when I lived at home, and then I went once w/my parents as an adult. The amount of ‘Murica there was jarring. Can you imagine if someone walked through there with the LGBTQIA+ flag or BLM on their shirt? It would be awful. It’s very small town Iowa.

    That’s true, that is sort of a high school baseball team! But I think part of what makes high school teams somewhat unbearable is all of the “baseball dads” and “baseball moms.” You’re not going to get that with church or city leagues.

  14. One thing about Ames is, people there like to pretend it isn’t a college town. Like all of the things exist in Ames some how exist independent of the university. So they like these little enclaves where there aren’t many students. Where they can talk about how much they like it when the students aren’t there and then complain when the students are back. As if any of “this” would exist without the students.

    I’ll have to look for the bird statue next time I go to Ames. I don’t think I’ve been to Ames yet this year. Well… I guess I did swing through B-Bop’s on my way back from the Jasper County Town Sign Harvest. So I’ve been to Ames once this year.

    Republicans have lots of fantasies. Including about what happens with abortions. They believe in things that don’t really exist, like an organized group called Antifa. How much would the world be a better place if Republicans just lived in reality.

    Republicans only hate socialism for poor people, but they think it is awesome for rich people and corporations. Weird how that works.

    I just stumbled across my box of sidewalk chalk. As soon as the temperature hits -3, I’m out there drawing in my sidewalk. Or maybe I can wait until the ice and snow melts. Maybe it won’t happen this year.

    It has been over a decade since I went to the rodeo. It was before BLM, but I bet there is a strong “Blue Lives Matter” element to it now.

    When I went to the rodeo, my favorite part was when they explained why rodeo isn’t animal cruelty. The answer: “God”.

    I’m pretty sure there isn’t a youth activity in the world that can’t be ruined by parents. Not all parents, but there are always a few.

  15. The War on Christmas. This is the Republican fantasy that I was trying to think of earlier. That an “cancel culture”. These things don’t exist, except in the fever dreams of Republicans.

  16. I think for sure Ames non-student residents like to think that the town is a bigger deal than it is without the students. I don’t know if you were at the Mine yet when there was the Anti-Growth Defamation League placing calls from our desks – they didn’t want an outlet mall out on 35 that would draw in students. They wanted to keep the wealth downtown where it belonged, with the people who already own it. (It’s the only time I’ve ever considered licking my own headset.) I love supporting small town, but you also have to figure out how to pivot and embrace your residents in a realistic manner – including “those damn students.” Who do they think is delivering their Pizza Pit, mixing their drinks, delivering their groceries?

    The bird statue (“Flo”) should be easier to see right now with the foliage gone. I thought we should put her closer up to the intersection w/Duff, but it is where it was put, and it’s too expensive to move now. You could probably almost see it from the BeBop’s drive thru, if you were so inclined to make another burger run!

    I have had the “Antifa isn’t a thing – and if it is, who wants fascists anyway” conversation a double times on the internet, and then I always remember that it’s largely worthless to argue anything on the internet. And the war on Christmas is so moronic – it seems that both factions of the Democratic base and ALL of the right think that there are no Christian Democrats. Which is stupid, as it’s the much more Christian-ideals party.

    Tomorrow looks like an awesome sidewalk chalk day! If you’ve never been down to Bondurant when they do their competition each year, it’s pretty cool. I think maybe you have and we’ve discussed it.

    God likes people to stab horses in the belly until they buck grown men off, eh? That sounds about right. Oh, and He hates fags, I hear.

  17. I think people in Ames need to own the fact that they are nothing without Iowa State and Ames was Iowa State’s second choice. In fact, I think I’m going to get a shirt make that says “Ames, Iowa – Iowa State’s 2nd Choice”.

    In 1900, Nevada had more people than Ames. I wonder why one town has added 62,000 people and the other has added 4,000. It isn’t just because “Cubs” is an extremely stupid nickname for your high school sports team.

    (Incidentally, Boone was twice the size of Ames in 1900. How profoundly stupid it was for the leaders in Boone to turn down having Iowa State built in town.)

    That was definitely before my time. These people came in and just used the Mine’s phones after we were closed for the day. Yeah, I would have left my desk a mess. Maybe moved DiSalvo’s chair over to my desk.

    The weather is supposed to be better this weekend, so there is a chance I will actually hit the open road again this weekend. If it happens, I don’t know what direction it will take me though. Either north and east or south and west. Might flip a coin to decide. Thank God the days are starting to get longer again. I can probably take pictures at close to 7 AM now, instead of having to wait until after 8. But if I go north and east, there is a fair chance I will make a burger run and check out that statue.

    Yeah, it is sad how much fascism is winning in this country. My grandpa was one of the original members of antifa in WWII. Back then it was called the United States Army.

    When people ask me my political leanings, I like to answer, “I’m a socialist, like Jesus.” It isn’t quite true, but I like to see the reaction I get. But Democrats have allowed the Republicans to completely own both faith and patriotism. Which at a core level, that is their appeal to a huge swath of people.

    I recently watched the Jon Stewart movie IRRESISTIBLE. It isn’t great. But it does really illustrate the problems Democrats are having with rural areas. Especially the part where Steve Carrel takes Chris Cooper (a mayoral candidate in a small Wisconsin town) to a Park Avenue New York City dinner to raise money for his campaign.

    But there is one scene you will appreciate where a much younger woman shoots down Steve Carrel.

    Sidewalk Chalk Day? I didn’t even know that was a thing, but I definitely want to check it out. Get out my list of things to do after the pandemic is over.

    And… it isn’t that God likes people to stab horses in the belly. it is that God made horses to do that.

  18. As a former Bulldog, I can’t throw too many stones at stupid or generic mascots. But I do agree, it’s a moronic HS mascot name. I do admittedly have some confusion about the Toreador, however – I didn’t realize that Boone had a lot of Spanish roots. I also don’t understand why Ames’ “Little Cyclones” are orange and black, rather than a play on cardinal and gold. I mostly have a lot of questions on mascots overall.

    Man, Boone likely has a better layout for a college town – there’s already two main north/south roads down in the South Story area, which is far better than the lack of frontage that South Duff has. Mamie would be problematic with more congestion, but it would be easier to have put ISU out by the airport road in Boone and let that area grow around it and ease congestion. ISU being directly in the middle of town has a lot of positives, but Lincoln Way really struggles to support the traffic. They’re working on a better option at the south end of Grand, and they put in that little road that goes from there to Duff south of Chipotle, so they’re TRYING, but there is still just a whole lot of congestion. That was a digression. I’m glad we have ISU, but it’s honestly ridiculous how the town both brags about it and acts like the students are second class citizens.

    Man, DiSalvo’s chair would have been enough for them to go right back out the door. It was really annoying that they came in and used our spaces. Not that we owned them, obviously, but we had everything pretty specifically set up to make our actual jobs functional. We had to put everything away to make it… functional for not us. It was weird.

    I’m so glad to have some sunlight after 4:30 PM. Alice has ice skating at 5:30 some nights, and it’s actually still light when we go in. I hope that you can find some great photos! I think it’s maybe supposed to snow a bit on Sunday?

    I’ll look up Irresistable! I’ve been watching a few of David Letterman’s “My Next Guest” episodes that I hadn’t seen yet, so I’m ready for something new tonight while trying to wrestle Charlie to stay in bed long enough to sleep. I absolutely love Steve Carrel. I’ve been trying to get Jon to watch “The Big Short” for years, and he’s not interested. I also need to try out “Space Force” and see if it’s any good. I started his show on Apple TV with Jennifer Aniston that I don’t remember the name of… shoot. The Morning Show! It was interesting, but I got sidetracked after a few episodes. Need to pick that back up.

    Even better about Bondurant’s Sidewalk Chalk Day – it also has blues:

  19. I have no clue what the origins of Toreadors was, I just know that I love it. At least I love that it is original. Not a big fan of the animal cruelty angle. Although apparently there was some kind of recent town controversy I missed out on where on some of the jerseys they are just putting “Dors” and this made some of the old folks in Boone insanely angry. The orange and black thing in Ames is confusing. Although, Iowa State’s original color was black. But not orange. When I see Ames stuff, I often instinctually mistake it for Madrid.

    I have this fantasy where every school that has the same mascot is entered into a tournament and the winner gets to keep the mascot and the other schools have to come up with a completely original nickname.

    As far as town layouts, you are basing that on the town layout as they exist now. Who knows who had the better town layout in 1850s when they picked a location for the school. I’m guessing Boone did, since that is where the state wanted to put the school.

    Turning that down still has to be the dumbest thing that any town leadership has ever decided to do. I understand if they wanted to turn down UNI, but we’re talking about the premiere land grant university in the entire world. Just dumb.

    Traffic on Duff is definitely a nightmare most of the day. I wish there was space to put a frontage road on Duff, but businesses are just to close and then there is the Ioway Creek to deal with.

    Who set up the whole a political group comes in and use our phones? Seems like something Judy Brown would be behind.

    I don’t mind if we get a little bit of snow. They question for the weekend will be how clear roads are. Particularly small town back roads. I heard on the radio that there are roads in Jasper County where the drifts on both sides of some roads is 8 foot. That would be pretty cool to see.

    Having light earlier in the morning is key, cause then I can leave earlier in the morning. At this point, the closest counties to harvest are a minimum of an hour away from Boone.

    But having light after getting off work is great as well. The time of year when you drive to work in the dark and drive home from work in the dark is the worst.

    IRRESISTIBLE isn’t great. But it is worth the watch. I know it is on HBOMAX. I’m not sure if it anywhere else. I haven’t watched Season 3 of David Letterman’s show. Partially because I couldn’t make myself care about Kim Kardashian, but the rest of the guests look interesting.

    If it seems safe, I’ll definitely try to get to Bondurant for that festival this year!

  20. Wouldn’t “Dors” fit a lot better on the back of a jersey? You could read it from the stands (or wherever you watch a game from during a pandemic)? Man, people really get tied up in random identities. I actually mistake Ames for Madrid every time I see a t-shirt, too (since we used to play them so often). The fonts are even similar.

    I’d be totally fine with a mascot grudge match! Then perhaps each place could come up with a mascot more representative of their town.

    I wonder if, at the time, Boone didn’t think it would maybe become a big deal, and didn’t want the congestion in town? I will admit that it’s almost impossible to drive through the Campustown area of Lincoln Way during the school day, but that’s due to the poor layout of Ames. You can’t really lay it at the feet of the students that they have to occasionally cross the road. Yeah, I wish there were any way at all to make a frontage road, but you’d basically have to destroy everything and start over. I am curious at what point businesses will entirely line that road out to Thiessen’s and Menards.

    I’ll email you the answer on the Main Street thing.

    Did you/are you finding 8 foot drifts? I find the snow/nature treatment in different places fascinating. You know how Boone often puts theirs in the middle of the road (which I find absolutely fascinating)? Portland does the same thing with their leaves. Jon and I went a couple of Octobers ago, and walked through some residential areas – they had 12-foot-high leaf mountains in the middle of the roads. I only got one photo, but we talked to a nice gentleman there about it.

    Early light makes it so much less depressing to drive to work, and for sure makes it a lot easier to get photos. I haven’t gotten any photos of the kids this month, so I’m going to get out today and do some. That requires them to put on pants, so we’ll see how that shakes out.

    The Kim Kardashian episode is about what you expect. Dave is very cordial to her. (Same as with the Kanye episode.) I despite her and her whole family, and didn’t really enjoy that episode, but Chapelle and Lizzo were both good episodes. I also really like “Comedians in Cars” – I think Seinfeld is a pretty big jerk in real life, but he’s honest about it, and I really enjoy some of the interactions between him and other comedians.

  21. I didn’t know the whole “Dors” thing was going down. It is one of the things you “miss” by not being on Facebook. But apparently there were lots of people mad about it. I think I found out about it through a Twitter post by Lowell.

    There is a guy in Boone that is a local historian and has kind of a foklsy way about him. He was a local journalist for quite some time. You should check out his blog about it:

    My mascot grudge match tournament would be conducted about the same way as the Greek Council determined its president in REVENGE OF THE NERDS.

    I’ve never really seen the reasoning why Boone turned down Iowa State. I know Boone has always put all of its eggs in the railroad basket. It hasn’t always worked out.

    They probably just didn’t want college kids around. Kind of like Ames people. But Ames didn’t have much going for it, so they are like, let the Ames people of 150 years from now complain about college students.

    Boone puts their snow in the middle of the road because it is easier to remove that way. I think it is even weirder that the city of Portland comes and picks up your leaves. Unless… are they in bags? I don’t want them to be in bags.

    I don’t ever rake any ways. I don’t have any trees, so I’m morally opposed to raking. If your leaves managed to blow into my yard, they will blow themselves out of it.

    I haven’t seen any giant drifts in my travels, but at one time the drift in my backyard almost covered my fence.

    And now Kanye and Kim are getting a divorce. So sad…

  22. I remember Lowell’s tweet about it now! Man, I love that one of the first comments quoted in that blog is something like “this is cancel culture.” It isn’t like Boone is doing away with it, they’re just shortening it in a few places – U of I uses “Hawks” and “Hawkeyes” interchangeably. Several schools do that; it’s hardly novel. Nobody is trying to cancel the state bird. That guy’s writing style is interesting, however – I assume you’ve met him in real life? I bet he’s got a lot of old guy gumption? Those guys are always fascinating to talk to (unless they’re racist).

    Honestly, that’s the smart money these days, right? “Let people 150 years from now deal with it.” But this was a situation where that “screw future people” 100% worked out in the future’s favor… but they still apparently hold a grudge. They love to forget that several of their friends/family are employed in some manner by the university, that the workers in their stores are ISU students. Shoot, every time I have any type of educational night for the PTA, I mine the ISU Clubs webpage and contact anyone I think would be relevant.

    I’m positive it is easier to remove that way, and Boone largely has wide enough streets with relatively light enough traffic (due to several alternate routes out of town) that it works great. Ames has a terrible street structure, most are so narrow they wouldn’t fit cars if they did that. Yet another infrastructure issue.

    It IS odd that Portland removes leaves, isn’t it? I asked the guy that question, too, and explained we had to take ours out to yard waste days or donate them to people who mulch or whatever – I don’t remember his exact answer, but I think it boils down to Portland being a liberal haven, so they’re trying to help people out, especially since it’s harder to just take them out of town when it’s a larger city.

    Our previous house had probably a dozen big maple trees. Which we thought was great when we bought the place, until we had to rake the first time. We got seven HUGE yard waste bags full of leaves, and it sucked hard. Usually we’d hire it out because that sucked once Charlie was a newborn/toddler. One time the kids and I did it, and Alice accidentally hit Charlie in the head with a rake and he got a concussion. So it was cheaper to hire it out. My only yard request when we moved here was that I wanted absolutely minimal trees that shed. We have one small one on the curb, but it dumps into the street, so that largely seems like not our problem, right? ‘Merica!

    Poor Kim and Kanye. It’s almost like two narcissists marrying was bound to fail. But man did they get paid for it, and that’s Kim’s favorite kind of marriage, right?

  23. If these were the comments that people were sending to him, I can only imagine what the Boone Community Page was like. If you don’t know, Facebook is the worst place on earth. The Boone Community Page on Facebook is the worst place in the worst place on earth.

    But this is my favorite:

    “I’ve had so many people, through the years, hearing I was from Boone, just knowing we were the Toreadors. I also noticed the Toreador mascot was changed so it looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy. We had strong leaders “back in the day” and I can’t believe such a change would have lived for a second around them.”

    The Pillsbury Doughboy is my favorite. For as long as I can remember, Boone never even had a mascot. There was like one cheerleader that wore a different outfit than the other cheerleaders. That is what is supposed to be a mascot. About 4 years ago they got a mascot. See picture below:

    Boone vs. ADM - 2019

    His name is Victor. He doesn’t look like the Pillsbury Doughboy. Whatever he is or isn’t, he is an improvement over having a cheerleader wear a different costume.

    I think my class might have started the ‘Dors thing. Some corporation agreed to put televisions in every classroom in Boone when I was a senior. In exchange, at the end of the day everybody had to watch this news show. Channel One maybe. I don’t remember for sure.

    But sometimes, they showed student made content on the televisions. Like during “Spirit Week”. Some students made these parody videos (maybe an homage) to the Da Bears skit on Saturday Night Live, where they called them Da Dors. It kind of caught on in the student body. Now here we are almost 30 years later and it is the worst thing to ever happen in Boone. Including that unsolved murder in the train yard in 1898.

    The story about how Boone became the Toreadors is fascinating and I had no clue. It is eerily similar to how Iowa State became the Cyclones.

    I have met him, but it was a long time ago. He’s definitely a good guy though.

    The most fascinating thing to me is the variant of Ames person that is a Hawkeye fan. Not just a “I root for both teams, but the Hawkeyes are my favorite fan”. The I hate the Cyclones – Hawkeye fan.

    Do you realize, whether you like sports or not, you are rooting against your OWN economic interest by rooting against Iowa State? It is a simple fact that when the Iowa State sports teams do better, the university does better (i.e. enrollment goes up), and therefore the economy does better and everybody does better. All boats rise.

    If you work in Ames, that job exists because of Iowa State. Period.

    But I guess it is like being poor and voting Republican cause of some FoxNews culture war stuff that appeals to you.

    Then the worst of the worst are the Hawkeye fans that are employed by the university. I mean.. really?

    I know sports shouldn’t matter that much but in a small college town economy like Ames, they matter a WHOLE lot.

    What I think is fascinating about Boone putting the snow in the middle of the street and picking it up later is, where do they put it?

    I wonder if you are allowed to burn leaves in Portland. That is what happens with what little leaves I have that don’t blow through my yard. The ones that get stuck in the flowerbeds. I use them for kindling in the fire tub. This is the year I need to build a firepit. Hopefully the local masons (real masons) are still giving away free bricks this year.

    I hope they do something useful with the leaves in Portland, like mulch them. I actually mulch a lot of leaves too. It is easier than raking and it is good for your grass.

    One of the things I loved about my neighborhood when I moved in was that there were lots of trees. Therefore lots of shade. I only have the two cherry trees and while they lose their leaves, it is like they magically disappear. I never do anything with them, they are just gone. I’m suddenly spooked by that.

    But over the year many of the trees have disappeared and now I have little shade. Makes me sad.

    But I get it raking does suck. Unless you get to burn them at the end. Fire makes everything better. I mean, I know you have the family history with fire, but for the rest of us, fire makes everything better.

    The monthly Boone newsletter had a big section on how it is a fine to dump leaves, snow, or grass onto the streets. But I guess if a tree is doing it, it is okay.

    I’m sure Kim will have a new show about being divorced and hopefully Kanye just disappears. I mean they can both disappear, I’m okay with that too.

  24. I had hoped that the horrible nature of the “Ames People” group was isolated, but apparently not. How on earth does the ‘Dor in that picture resemble the Pillsbury Dough Boy even a little? I think the largest facial quality that I would describe of that mascot is a “strong jaw,” which is one of the last descriptors anyone could use for the Dough Boy. And “Victor” is a pretty clever name for a mascot, and I bet they don’t make any mention of that. I know you won’t be getting back on Klanbook anytime soon, but it would almost be worth it to go back on and point out the affiliation with a 30-year-old sketch. I would say that has as much actual root in the history of the high school as the name of the mascot. And nobody is cancelling anything.

    D-rock in SS at the Mine is a perfect example of the Ames Hawk – in particular, the kind that never went to U of Iowa. Just doing it to be contrary and avant-garde. Although I hear he’s become less of a turd these days, which is good.

    I do not think people realize at all that Ames is the size it is (and ergo, has the businesses it does) due to ISU. I don’t think they think of things as related at all, they just look at the minor inconveniences. I mean – is it easier to get around town in summer? Yep. Does that inconvenience make it worth it to lose 10,000 university jobs, 30,000 student residents (and however many faculty only live here due to ISU and would move), state grants, etc.? Only if you’re an incredibly selfish moron.

    I always wondered if Boone had a big parking lot or something, or if they took the snow outside of town? I also wondered about it, because man I bet that place takes a while to all melt. I mean, I know they likely aren’t piling it into a mountain or anything, but that has to be actual tons of snow.

    Portland is wet enough that I would assume you can burn leaves? But it can hurt the air quality, so maybe not? I would honestly bet that they mulch or reuse them somehow, just because they’re so (comparatively) green overall. I really enjoy Portland – it’s “hipster,” I guess, but in all of the good ways.

    I do love wooded neighborhoods, I just don’t want the leaves in my particular purview! I am assuming the derecho took out a lot of older trees in your neighborhood? I took Charlie to private swim lessons over there this summer at one of the kindergarten teachers’ house in her little pool, and the devastation there was just as awful as it was here. I’m assuming you guys lost a TON of established, wonderful shade.

    Fire would sure help with all of those things! I didn’t realize there was a fine for dumping anything in the street – I guess I just assumed it would not be desirable. I did clean the few that caught in the gutter and didn’t blow away out this fall, but it’s a lot easier to do that when it fills a grocery sack. I’m glad that your cherry tree leaves don’t litter your yard – I wonder if they are light enough to float further? But fire for sure is WAY better.

    I am honestly fine with them both just going far, far away. Someone said today that the Kardashian show is ending, and I legitimately didn’t know it was still on.

  25. QBook is perfect! I can say that I’ve never been in the Boone Community Page, but I have heard of its reputation from Jesse and Lowell and my sisters. Even when I was on QBook I never went in there. But Vest has told me that the Madrid Community Page is a cesspool, so I’m guessing it is pretty universal.

    I have absolutely no clue how you get the Pillsbury Doughboy out of Victor. My guess is that they’ve never actually seen the Pillsbury Doughboy. I know it was a student contest to name Victor. I live near the middle school and frequently walk my dog around there and when Victor was being created, there was a sign up about submitting your idea for Victor’s name. I’m pretty sure the name stems from in the middle of the Boone High Fight song, the band stops and chants:

    Boone High! Boone High Fight! V-I-C-T-O-R-Y!

    Looks like this is the one where you called in Klanbook. I always used to take the month of November off from Klanbook. Completely off. So during the November 2016 election, I was already on my Klanbook vacation. And that slowly extended to December, January, February, and before I knew it, it became fairly permanent.

    Now I do go on there occasionally if I have to post something for church. But I bought a new phone recently, and didn’t put the app on it. There was a time during the 2002 campaign where I thought I would come back on there in January. Give it another shot. But it just hasn’t happened.

    That being said, the thought has crossed my mind to come back. Nothing is impossible.

    I actually think Boone piles all the snow by the grain elevator. Although at one time, I think they dumped it all in the river. Can’t guarantee that though.

    The derecho only took out two trees in my neighborhood. But over the years the city has taken out a couple other trees. Then a couple of neighbors have had trees taken down of their own volition. Sometimes I think of planting a tree in honor of all the fallen trees in my neighborhood.

    There were definitely neighborhoods that the derecho hit much harder. South Boone Street area comes to mind.

    I think the fines in Boone are going after people that rake all their leaves into the street. Cause there are people that do that. There is one about 5 blocks from me. They rake all their leaves into the gutter.

    What is hipster in the good ways? I have a strange thing where I don’t hate hipsters, but don’t ever want to be compared to one. Even though I have been compared to one a few times.

  26. I wonder if it’s just an Iowa thing that the crappy community groups are so terrible, a red state thing, or if it’s everywhere? I can’t let the Ames People crap show up in my feed, because it’s honestly just terrible. Every once in a while it will alert me that my mom posted something in there, and I get fearful for what happened.

    I think my buddy Bryce from CDS was the mascot for a year or two when he was in Boone, since I don’t think any of the cheerleaders wanted to do it those years. He was tall and skinny, and fit the outfit. I’d think this would be a far more preferable mascot than just a cheerleader or someone dressed differently.

    I honestly usually just check Klanbook for the following reasons, maybe once or twice a day for a few minutes:

    – post something of the kids for California relatives
    – post something snarky
    – check the “memories” feature for old photos I haven’t seen in a while

    I find that I just don’t have any patience for morons, of which I am sure to be one about many things. I don’t want to witness people I formerly liked being morons, and I don’t want to demonstrably be one. So it’s just easiest to stay away overall. I don’t think you’re missing much.

    That’s really surprising that the derecho only took out two around you! I wonder if that Boone St neighborhood just has old enough trees and had enough of an open area with the cemetery that it got hit extra hard? I drove underneath the train overpass by HyVee, and that area sort of heading up near the fairgrounds was pretty bad, too.

    That’s pretty crappy to just rake into the gutter. You’d think that they could hire a middle school kid to deal with them for cheaper than the fine. There are companies who will come and grab them for mulch for free, so long as you have them in bags. None of the logic of that makes sense to me.

    Honestly, I think the bulk of being “hipster” is just enjoying old things that may not be entirely practical – i.e. there are easier/more accessible updated ways to do them now, but enjoying the act of doing them in old-fashioned ways. Using actual cameras. Listening to music on vinyl. Watching old black and white movies. Riding 50s-style bicycles. Naming your children classic names rather than something that ends in “-aydon.” Sometimes it also involves doing things ironically (like wearing a porkpie hat). So, I’m sort of okay being hipster in those ways, and think it’s dumb that celebrating the past gets this negative moniker. Portland is one of the few places where I’ve ever had a record player and a whole library of albums in my hotel, and where I saw multiple people outdoors with DSLRs. Also porkpies.

  27. I have to imagine it is an every town thing, but I better it is way more prevalent in rural states. Which I guess are red states. But maybe there are towns that are small enough, where people actually know each other in real life and then they feel like they don’t have to treat each other like garbage on the internet. Or complain about the most asinine things.

    What happens when your mom mixes it up in Ames people? I think there are lots of Boone people in there too.

    One of the problems I have on getting on Klanbook is if I saw something that needed corrected, I would feel the need to try and correct it. I only have so much time I can dedicate to such things and Klanbook people dedicate their entire waking hours and much of their dreams to Klanbook. I see it all the time. People with their nose buried in their phones. All the time. I just don’t have the time to knock down their factual errors, conspiracy theories, and logical fallacies. They will win just surely out of attrition.

    Which all sounds like an excuse, but it is where I landed a few years ago. Maybe if I was independently wealthy all of a sudden, I could hire a social media team to go on Klanbook and constantly fact check my Trumper friends and relatives. I’m sure my social media team would eventually get blocked.

    When I sometimes get accused of hipster tendencies, it is because I like pictures of old signs. Maybe the beard and beanies now and again.

    I’m not necessarily a fan of hipsters. I experienced the hipster mothership in the East Village once. No the real East Village. In New York City. But there are people that really, really hate hipsters.

    I think Rebecca is half a hipster, at least, and she HATES hipsters. Or at least used to.

    I can take them in moderation. My main objection is the skinny jeans.

  28. I love my mom, as she is my mom. But she’s not exactly what we would call skewering in her retorts, and quite often doesn’t see the sarcastic meaning behind comments. Sort of a Boomer, if you will. So she’ll ask something pointed on Ames People like, “Does anyone else’s next door neighbor’s dog bark until 10 pm?” Or “who else’s next door neighbor mows until 9 pm?” Which, I’m pretty sure her neighbor is on there, but I don’t know. Anyway, these are obviously not universal subjects, if she has a neighbor who does either – so when people disagree with her, she gets pretty affronted, and I want to help her out because she gave birth to me, but white-knighting her does not teach her to just stay away.

    I find myself typing up a response to things that are dumb, considering the blowback, and then usually deleting it because I don’t have the energy to get into an argument. I sometimes hit “post” because it bothers me enough (like with the Twila stuff), and then just regret it because people suck. Short version – people suck, and Klanbook is an amplification of that. Social media managers would definitely be able to take all of that suck out of it for you – you could just see what you want, they could hand-deliver it to you.

    I also agree on people being tethered to their phones. I happened to be married to someone who is, and it drives me nuts. I will say – I do read on the Kindle app on my phone and/or iPad, though. I love the feel of a physical book, but it’s so much easier to carry one with me wherever I go if it’s on my phone. I can pull out my phone and read a chapter while waiting for my allergy shot, or when waiting for Alice to come out of ice skating, etc. However, I try to let the kids know that I am reading rather than doing something like playing a game or sitting on social media – I think it’s important that they know we read, so they form good habits.

    I don’t think I really feel anything strong about hipsters, except for the really douchey ones. Jon’s sister married one of those, and he’s sort of a lot to take sometimes – but I do have a lot of interests in common with him. I am NOT at all a hipster, I don’t own any skinny jeans at all, but I think I do have several interests that have been taken on as hipster somehow. I’m okay with that – I mean, even Hitler was vegetarian.

  29. Your Mom’s complaints seem so small town. I would think there would be bigger things going on in the Ames page. You aren’t allowed to mow until 9 in Ames. In Boone, as long as there is sunlight, you are allowed to mow. Your Mom and I wouldn’t be great neighbors. Which is weird, because every neighbor I have ever had has loved me.

    Alcohol and Klanbook, the two great amplifiers. At least when you are with somebody that is drunk, they don’t share 100 IDENTICAL pictures of their kids or their vacation. And I hate hanging out with drunk people.

    I don’t know how you can read a book on a phone. On a kindle or tablet I can see, but I can’t read a book on a phone. My eyes are still good enough that I can physically do it, but I just don’t like it at all. I don’t own a tablet, so all my book reading is still done on books, but I think I could read on a tablet. But a phone is a no go for me.

    I’m always surprised by people that always have their nose buried in their phone. Frequently it isn’t the people I would expect.

    Hitler was a vegetarian. A fun fact that is frequently brought up by people trying to smear vegetarians. He also loved dogs. I wonder how he felt about skinny jeans. It is amazing how much evil in the world would have been avoided if he was just a slightly better painter or if his paintings had found an audience.

    Have you ever seen a Hitler? I have one time. It was on display at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. I assume it is still up.

  30. Her complaints are VERY small town. And passive-aggressive. I don’t care if people make noise so long as I can turn on a white noise loud enough for my kids to get to sleep. But I live within two miles of a major NCAA stadium, so the practical answer is that I should be prepared for whatever noises happen. They ALSO live within two miles of said stadium… so again, it seems natural that they should expect some noise. Also, it’s a college town. Also, so what.

    Drunk idiots with loud voices. One of the myriad of reasons I do not drink almost ever. I don’t want to be a turd any more than comes naturally.

    Yeah, I have bifocals and everything now, so it’s extra weird that I read on my phone. I do prefer on my iPad if I’m near it – the phone is mostly if I’m out and about or unmotivated to stand up. I have to jack up the font size to the appropriate reading size, and then I prefer a black background with white text. It’s easier for me to read than black on white.

    I have only seen Hitler’s work online, never in person! He wasn’t bad at technique – it just had no soul. Sort of like – you know those Thomas Kincaide paintings? I think I’m spelling that wrong. Kinkaid? Kincaid? I don’t know. Anyway, there’s just nothing behind them, but at least those have brighter colors. I can’t believe you saw it in person! I bet Hitler would have been fine with skinny jeans, so long as they are worn by white non-Jews. I am surprised an “ironic Hitler mustache” hasn’t been attempted by any hipsters.

  31. I think the thing I hate the most that Ames people complain about is when they complain about Jack Trice Stadium being too loud. At the most… the MOST that is 7 Saturdays out of 52 in a year. And those 7 Saturdays have the greatest economic impact of any Saturdays for the entire year of Ames. For example, back when I worked for the Evil Clown Empire, it wasn’t uncommon to have more sales on one game day Saturday than many of the entire weeks for the rest of the year.

    In the same way, you can claim that makes me hypocritical for complaining about the Speedway in Boone. I honestly don’t think the Speedway in Boone has that great of an economic impact on Boone. Some, but not that much. When I worked at the Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire, Saturday nights were DEAD during racing season. In general, but during race season as well. Friday nights were crazy. Particularly when there was a home football game. Particularly when that home football game was against Harlan. Man, people in Harlan have nothing better to do than follow their high school football team all over the state.

    I’ve been trying to confirm that I did see that Hitler painting at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. If they do display one, they certainly don’t advertise it. Although it could possibly have been a weird traveling exhibit. But I’m still certain I saw one when we went there when I was in high school.

    He wasn’t all that great at technique either though. Particularly his architectural stuff had all sorts of problems with perspective.

    Amazon apparently tried a Hitler moustache for their app, didn’t go over too well. Imagine being so universally hated that you ruined a certain moustache work. Hopefully someday people feel the same way about orange spray tans.

    Also, his use of colors sucked.

    You know who’s choice of colors didn’t suck? Van Gogh. Just watched LUST FOR LIFE for like the 20th time. Never gets old. Always love the scenes where he lives with Gauguin.

  32. Yeah, the Jack Trice noise is the sound of money. It’s not hard. And while it’s inconvenient to drive around to get somewhere on a game day – there are plenty of ways to avoid JTS, so I’ll do it happily for the good it brings. Restaurants, hotels – I am sure that the main reason they come to Ames is for game weekends. I can’t imagine hotels make a ton of money outside of:

    – Game days
    – Graduation
    – Iowa Games
    – Special Olympics

    That accounts for something like two weeks of the year, maybe three. Suck it up.

    I’m not sure how to say this about the Boone Speedway without sounding crappy, but here goes. It’s not like game days bring a largely racist and prejudiced group of people to town like races do. (Sorry, I came in hot there, but it is the truth.) So, in addition with not actually increasing the profits of the town (other than MAYBE hotel stays?), they’re actively bringing in an undesirable element. Not a net gain when you combine the noise.

    I admittedly did a really brief search to renew myself on Hitler’s works and only viewed the thumbnails in Google Image. I’m not certain I’d actively advertise a Hitler piece, if I were a presidential library? But I’d sure display it?

    Jon and I were talking about that – I mean, the Hitler ‘stache was dumb anyway, but do you think it will EVER come back? I can’t think so. I really do hope it does the same for spray-on hair and orange spray tans.

    I have Lust for Life written down as one I NEED to watch. I was just reading an article today about how Van Gogh was sort of a jerk, and you know what I think would be justified? If Van Gogh was sort of a jerk.

  33. I would argue that it being difficult to drive around Ames on game days is your punishment for not being at the game. Or at the very least for not being in the tailgating lots. I mean, I never have problem getting around Ames on a game day.

    I think the Ames hotels also get a pretty good boost of business from the Speedway. Particularly during IMCA Super Nationals. I think the businesses that really benefit from the Speedway are hotels, Wal-Mart (which doesn’t help the Boone economy much), and there are a few businesses that are pretty specific to racing. For example, my cousin’s husband owns a painting business with some kind of heat baked painting. You can painting almost anything with it, but his main clientele is definitely race cars.

    But for the most part, when people are flocking to the Speedway, they aren’t bring their best. I would never paint the whole group with that large of a brush, but at there is definitely a seedy element in there.

    Pufferbilly Days has always been the first weekend after Labor Day. In 2021, they are moving it to August. Part of that is to have it on a different weeks as Super Nationals. It is an interesting decision and I don’t know that I like it, but I will see how it plays out before I make my decision on it.

    As for the artistic works of Hitler. It seems like whenever somebody tries to display one or sell one it ends up being controversial. I don’t have any problem with a museum displaying one or two. As long as it is put in context and it isn’t put up as something to be lauded.

    It is what the people who get mad when they take down confederate statues are missing. It isn’t erasing history. You have to choose what people you want laud. Putting a statue of those people up in a way where they are being lauded is wrong. Also, most of those statues were put up to to intimidate black people to try to prevent them from voting.

    Van Gogh was probably sort of a jerk, but I think it came from the fact that he was just profoundly lonely and off the charts obsessive. It would have been interesting to know what his life would have been like if he would have been allowed to remain in ministry. Of course, we probably would have never heard of him, of course. But it would still be interesting to know.

  34. We do want to get season tickets – mostly we’ve been waiting until both of the kids are old enough to sit through a full game without needing to pee 1000x or complain to go home. I’m usually more of a basketball girl, but the atmosphere is awesome at a football game.

    I agree that a fair number of Ames hotels clean up during Super Nationals. There is such a dearth of hotels in Boone because, other than that time of year, there really isn’t any need to employ people in fifteen different hotels. Ames probably would have far too many, if you were to remove ISU and Super Nationals.

    I’m not sure what I think of splitting it up from Pufferbilly Days. It seems like some of the visitors for Super Nationals go to Pufferbilly Days, so I’m curious if that negatively affects attendance. I have a great photo of my grandma Impecoven and I taking Alice on a ride at Pufferbilly Days that makes me really happy to look at now.

    That’s a good way to put it. No, you don’t need to keep ANY Confederate statues in front of courthouses, in places of reverence of any sort. But if you put one in a Civil War museum, that’s much more logical. Much like how are people upset about the removal of some racist Dr. Seuss books. You don’t need to burn all of them, you can put them in classes to show how awful it is – but you don’t put new ones in libraries for children of color to have to come across and encounter crappy stereotypes of themselves, just so white kids can learn about it. It’s not that hard.

    I am going to guess he would have been as obsessive about the ministry as he was about art?

  35. Aren’t they your kids? Won’t they need to pee 1000x their entire life?

    You should get Women’s Basketball season tickets. You can get General Admission for like $100 so you don’t feel bad about missing part of the game. Or missing many games. They are shorter games. They can move around a little more and it would be a cheap introduction. Plus the Women are a ton of fun to watch and they are good and will continue to be good. Probably the best player in school history is just a junior and all 4 of their freshman are studs. In particular, Donarski and Ryan are going to be all-time greats. Plus, they’ve had a pretty great season without the services of Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw who missed pretty much the entire season with an injury. She is an incredible shooter. Next season, there are big questions to fill in the middle. Kristin Scott is definitely their best post player and a legit stretch 5. Her only backup Morgan Kane is definitely more of a role player. But I suppose could make a big jump. Much of the incoming freshman class are post players, but they are freshman. There is a Canadian player that joined the team during the spring semester. She definitely isn’t ready to play now, but I assume she might be the answer next season. She’s definitely got some size to her, which is something Iowa State hasn’t had in the post for years. Our post players are usually very slim. Lots of hopes for Iowa State Women going forward.

    Now if we could only get the Men’s team back on track.

    I’m shocked by all the new hotels in Ames. I think like 15 years ago there were maybe 6 hotels in Ames. Now there are that many out by Dayton alone. It is crazy.

    I don’t know what to think about the Pufferbilly Days movie either. It could cause there to be less people because the Super Nationals crowd isn’t there. But maybe it will cause more people to come that don’t want to deal with that basket of deplorables. Another factor is that it was almost always the same weekend as the Iowa State-Iowa football game. Which personally caused me to go to Pufferbilly Days less. Also, it frequently coincided with a Boone High football game and that definitely has caused numbers to go down on Friday night. Particularly if Boone is home, it is not quite a ghost town up there on Friday nights, but there isn’t much of a crowd. I think Boone has only won one game the last two years combined. But I don’t know that the record affects attendance. It is just the thing to do for many people in a small town on a fall Friday night.

    I was having a senior moment by using the word laud. It is applies, but the word I was really looking for was venerate. We need to be careful who we venerate.


    Tim Ryan ripping Republicans about culture war stuff the other way was awesome. But unfortunately culture war works for Republicans. Wish people were smarter than that.

    They sent Van Gogh to a mining community that nobody wanted to go to. He started working the mines with the people to be with them and understand how to minister to them. He got rid of pretty much everything and gave it to the people of the town. He was basically fired for this.

  36. Alice seems to have inherited Jon’s bladder of steel, while Charlie goes every five minutes like I do. He also can’t sit still, so games with him are sort of a lot of work. He enjoyed the wrestling meet we went to last year before COVID struck a lot, but there was fire. So fire won his attention.

    I’ve thought about women’s BB tickets! Alice really enjoys those games, and we can get down close. Charlie’s been to a couple – he currently is sort of a miniature misogynist and says he likes “when the boys play,” but it would be a great way to fix that. I’ve been reading up on the women’s team this year, and I hope they continue their success.

    I honestly don’t know how Ames supports that many hotels. We DID try to get into one a few days in on the derecho when we were desperate for air conditioning, and they were filled up other than one room that we were about to pull the trigger on right when our power came back. So clearly they CAN be filled, I just assume the set of circumstances are incredibly specific. Football games, primarily. And land hurricanes.

    I didn’t ever put the math together about it being Iowa/ISU football game. I do know that we haven’t gone for that reason before, but our attendance is sort of hit-or-miss depending on what’s going on (admittedly). I didn’t realize that the Boone games had such an impact (when they’re good), but it’s logical. It will be an interesting experiment – and the good news is they can always change it back.

    Alice and I were just talking about Van Gogh this weekend – I might see if she wants to watch it with me! I didn’t know all that.

  37. Yeah, there are a lot of dudes that seem to be even threatened by the notion that women are even playing sports. I know lots of people who won’t even give women’s basketball a chance because what I will boil down to, they don’t dunk. Not saying that is the road he is on. just saying it isn’t uncommon.

    I in fact send frequent texts about Iowa State’s Women’s basketball to a couple of these friends to annoy them. One of the tragedies of Kobe Bryant (who I never liked) was that he was going to raise women’s basketball’s exposure. Now that is lost.

    I was trying to figure out when was the last time I even stayed in a hotel. I’m going to guess it was 2017 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. My house never got that hot after the derecho, plus my Mom got power back a full two days before I did, so I never had to consider a hotel.

    I meant to say that it doesn’t matter if Boone is any good at football. That place is packed for any home game. At least while the weather is good. But right now Boone is as bad as they have every been. In fact, Boone is pretty bad at just about every sport right now. As near as I can tell.

    I highly recommend LUST FOR LIFE. Kirk Douglas is pretty great as Van Gogh.

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