Category Archives: Jen

The Future of Boone

When Sara and I went to Ottumwa I think we might of had a glimpse into Boone’s future if it becomes the proud home of a Juice Bar.

I should start out by pointing out that on our way to Ottumwa Sara got pulled over and issued a speeding ticket by the nicest State Patrolman. He even started out with a joke:

“What are you doing today, besides fast?”

Sara and I ended up in downtown Ottumwa. I snapped a couple of pictures of Boone’s Future. We actually went downtown so I could get a picture of the Adult Theater because Derrick did not believe me that it existed, but I found a couple other sweet things. For some reason Sara would not get out of the car and join me.


Ottumwa House
Right across the street from the Adult Theater – Strip Club!

Ottumwa House
The Salty Frog is located right next to the strip club. A couple of women came wandering out of The Salty Frog while I was nearby. They looked like the type of women that would come out of a bar called The Salty Frog.

Ottumwa House
So it goes… Adult Theater, Chinese Restaurant, Abandoned Store Front, Christian Community Outreach Center. Well played Ottumwa. Well played.

Ottumwa House
Jen described this picture as “The Buddy Jesus”.

Ottumwa House
Cinema X. They lose points for the name. They might as well call it Cinema Generic.

Ottumwa House
Sara’s View

Ottumwa House
Apparently such a landmark that they built a parking ramp around it.

Ottumwa House
A better look at the parking ramp.

Ottumwa House
I might as well end with an Arty Picture.

I’m sure I will be returning to Ottumwa again in the next few weeks. Hopefully, I will get to take in even more of its majesty.

Incidentally, I will be asking some of you to come to Ottumwa with me to help Jen work on her Uncle’s house. You have been forewarned. Unless I already asked you. Then you already know about this project.

If you need more than just an altruistic motivation to get you to help out, Ottumwa has a Breadeaux Pizza. Mmmm… Breadeaux Pizza.

Jen’s Uncle

Jen’s Uncle Jon passed away last Tuesday. He was laid to rest on Saturday.

Below are the words that Jen wrote to be read at his funeral. They are painfully beautiful.

To the world, Jon was introverted, shy, reserved, quiet –to me he was just “Jon”. Maybe if prompted to describe him in a few words I would say, “Jon’s not the kind of guy you can get to know just by meeting him.”

So as far as uncles go, Jon was the best. He was the uncle who was never too tired to drag the sled up the hill for another ride; who could spend all day at the swimming pool; who never tired of constructing forts in the basement. He knew the rules to every game (from chess to tennis) – and was always joyfully defeated by his seven and five-year old opponents. Days spent with Jon were full of fun and adventure…and if the night skies were clear, he would pull out his telescope and tell us the name of every star and crater in the moon.

Jon knew everything about everything. He knew the name of each flower, of every tree. He could tell you the variety of grass of every house along the street, as well as the seasonal pros and cons of each hybrid. He always knew the answers that “stuck” me on crossword puzzles (even at hospice on a morphine drip…and he could spell it!). Those of us who got to know him, knew he was funny, at times plain silly. Sometimes we just sat and laughed about nothing in particular. That’s the Jon I feel privileged to have known.

Jon loved classical music and Gilbert & Sullivan operas. When he wasn’t applying the subplots from HMS Pintafore to contemporary times, he was talking science. He could talk ad nauseam about thermodynamics, physics, and differential equations. In a recent discussion regarding my rowing team, I had told him that our goal time for a 3 mile race was 24 minutes…without hesitation he replied, “That’s an 8 minute mile or a little more than 11 ft per second.” Dumbfounded, I asked “why would you know that?” He just shrugged. I checked the math – he was right.

Jon has given me more than an thirst for knowledge or an appreciation of parabolic curves– he’s given me priceless (although sometimes painful) lessons in perseverance, strength, patience, hope, and faith, as well as countless other gifts that will only be clear with hindsight. It is for those bits of wisdom, gained by Jon allowing me to share in his journey, that I will always be grateful.

Ottumwa

I spent most of Monday with Sara.

We started the day by lunching at Fresh Cafe and Market. It is an interesting little restaurant in West Des Moines that is only open about 20 hours a week. They specialize in serving an organic menu.

We started the meal with a double shot of wheat grass. I’m not big into wheat grass, but Sara has made me curious about it. This was the fourth different type of wheat grass that I have tried with her. This was also the best. It was a healthy boost that was most likely negated by our supper.

Sara ordered the Hummus & Veggie Wrap.

I ordered the Mediteranian Wrap. I assume that there is a reason why they spell it that way. I chose the spinach tortilla. The wrap consisted of organic greens, fresh veggies, black and green seasoned olives, tomatoes, feta, lemon and olive oil. It was quite excellent.

At the conclusion of the meal we hopped in her car to travel to Ottumwa to visit Jen.


Ottumwa House
Sara likes driving to Ottumwa because there are no turns.

Ottumwa House
We stopped at a gas station in Oskaloosa to get candy. Sara was very high on Big League Chew.

Ottumwa House
Sara was very high on this sucker that reminded her of the Ogden swimming pool.

Ottumwa House
Bailey

Ottumwa House
Bailey

Ottumwa House
Bailey and a neighborhood dog

Ottumwa House
Derrick,Sara and Jen

Ottumwa House
Jackson and a neighborhood dog

Ottumwa House

Ottumwa House
Derrick’s Chainsaw Sculpture

Ottumwa House
This mullet wig would be part of a Halloween costume, if I were to dress up.

This was my first time ever in Ottumwa. It is a town that seems to be fading out of existence, but there are a few nice touches.

In downtown Ottumwa there is an “Adult” Theater. Two storefronts down is a Christian outreach ministry.

We had supper at the Sirloin Stockade. The Sirloin Stockade is kind of a low rent Golden Corral or Bonanza, but it is also considered the best restaurant in Ottumwa.

Before we got out of the car Derrick made a dramatic announcement.

“At some point during the meal they are going ask you if you want a baked potato. The answer to this question is ‘yes’.”

“Why is that? Is the baked potato the best part of the meal?”

“No. But they won’t stop harassing you about the potato until you take it.”

I took the advice to heart.

Our waitress asked us if we wanted a potato.

“Yes, I want that potato.”

Then Derrick, Jen and Sara all turned down the potato.

“What the heck? You told me to take the potato and then you turn it down.”

Derrick answered, “I didn’t want the potato.”

It was the closest to a Willy moment that I’ve ever had with Derrick.

For the record, they never asked the rest of my party if they wanted a potato again AND the potato was the best part of the meal.

Happy Birthday Sara!

Today is Sara’s birthday.



Rather than post a bunch of pictures of Sara for Sara’s birthday, I’m going to take a slightly different tact.

Yesterday I wrote about Sara auditioning to become a Photography 139 Photo Assistant. She got high marks for having a big purse. One of her few problems was that she doesn’t know the difference between a film camera and a digital camera.

I left her with 1 digital camera and 1 film camera while I moved up the river looking for a better spot to photograph Jen’s team. I told her that she could take pictures with the digital camera if she wanted.

About 10 minutes elapsed and I returned to her position and asked for the film camera.

She looked at Derrick awkwardly. He looked back equally awkwardly.

The she said, “There is a little problem with that camera. I didn’t know it was film, so I used up all the film.”

So as a tribute to Sara, I’m going to post all the pictures from that roll of film. The first few are from before I handed her the camera.



More convertible


More convertible


More convertible


Dock


Derrick and Jay


Derrick


Jay and Derrick


The River

It was at this point that I left my camera in Sara’s hand.



All in all, I think she did some pretty solid work. But I was still counting on having that film for later in the day!

So one final Happy Birthday Sara! I look forward to the party on Saturday.

My Saturday (Volume 2)

More pictures from Saturday. Some of these pictures were taken by Sara as she was auditioning to become a Photography 139 Photo Assistant.


Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Relaxing

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
On dry land

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Done

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Done

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Oar duty

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Guns

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Oar Duty

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Me

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Celebration

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Celebrating with some juice.

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Jen and Derrick

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Sara

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Banner

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
The Past

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Back in the convertible

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Shiny

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Sara after winning a scholarship.

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Classic Frozen Custard

Des Moines Regatta - 2008
Classic Frozen Custard

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

All in all, it was a pretty good day.

My Saturday (Volume 1)

My big plan for Saturday was to journey down to Des Moines to watch Jen compete in the Des Moines Regatta. I have never been to such an event, so it was going to be a new experience.

I started my day by going to Ames to drop off a roll of real black and white film at Walden Photo. It seems to be more and more difficult to find a place to get real black and white film developed. I think it is down to Walden Photo and Pyle in Ames. I took this roll of film to Walden Photo. We’ll see how that turns out.

While I was downtown I stopped at the Downtown Farmer’s Market briefly to talk to Shannon. She was making soap there. While I was there I picked up a jar of jalapeno jelly. I already have about 6 or 7 jars of jelly that I don’t eat because I don’t eat breakfast, but I have high hopes that I will use this jelly on crackers.

I met Jay back in Boone and we headed down to Des Moines to meet Sara and Derrick for lunch. We ate at the Hessen Haus. It was somewhat of a disappointment. Fortunately, due to the poorness of the Hessen Haus, a plan was hatched for a future FNSC. That is exciting!

After watching Iowa lose to Northwestern, we hopped into the Mustang convertible that was being used as our form of conveyance and went to Prospect Park to watch the Des Moines Regatta.


Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Once we got to the park, we had a brief wait on some rocks for Jen’s team to come up the river.


Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

It didn’t take long for us to see Jen’s boat come around the bend.


Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

Des Moines Regatta - 2008

I’m not going to try to using rowing lingo, but one of the members of the team missed the regatta because before they were supposed to get into the water, their knee was run over by a van. They had a member from the ISU rowing crew sit in with them.

The Wedding of the Year (Prelude)

Not only did I get the honor of being a triple threat at The Wedding of the Year, I also received one of the greatest present I have ever received in my life. That means a lot coming from me. I’m not prone to superlatives.

Jen made a sweet stained glass flower. Rumor has it that Derrick even helped out.






They made 1 for each member of the wedding party. I don’t want to brag, but I came home with the orange flower or as I like to call it, “Derrick’s Favorite”.

The Wedding of the Year (Part 3)

As Shawn and I were called to perform our secondary duty of ushering, I handed my camera to Kelly. She took the following pictures before the battery on the camera gave out.


Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

I was so completely drained from this wonderful day that I didn’t wake up until 1:30 on Sunday afternoon. It was probably a good thing that I limited my dancing at the reception. It is possible that I could still be sleeping.

The Wedding of the Year (Part 1)

I didn’t take many pictures from The Wedding of the Year because I was quite busy being a triple threat: Groomsman, Usher and Reader Guy. However, I did manage to snap off a few photos here and there.


Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

Gorshe Wedding

I take many a memory away from an absolutely incredible day, but I’m going to keep those memories, joys, and highs for myself.