Category Archives: Willy

Pufferbilly Days Race

On the Saturday of Pufferbilly Days I went up to watch Willy and some of his friends run in the 5K and/or 10K. I also took some photos, since it has been a long time since I photographed Willy running. I also saw quite a few other people I knew up there running.

Here are some of the pictures:

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

Pufferbilly Days

I also took some pictures of the Pufferbilly Days Pet Show (spoiler: no cats) that I will share at some point.

Selfie Project – June 2021

On Wednesday night I completed another successful month of THE SELFIE PROJECT. I don’t know that is was a particularly exciting month, but I think there are some good pictures in the collection.

Here are some of my favorites from June:

Day 152 - June 1, 2021
June 1, 2021

Day 153 - June 2, 2021
June 2, 2021

Day 154 - June 3, 2021
June 3, 2021

Day 155 - June 4, 2021
June 4, 2021

Day 156 - June 5, 2021
June 5, 2021

Day 160 -  June 9, 2021
June 9, 2021

Day 161 - June 10, 2021
June 10, 2021

Day 162 - June 11, 2021
June 11, 2021

Day 163 - June 12, 2021
June 12, 2021

Day 165 - June 14, 2021
June 14, 2021

Day 166 - June 15, 2021
June 15, 2021

Day 168 - June 17, 2021
June 17, 2021

Day 169 - June 18, 2021
June 18, 2021

Day 170 - June 19, 2021
June 19, 2021

Day 171 - June 20, 2021
June 20, 2021

Day 172 - June 21, 2021
June 21, 2021

Day 173 - June 22, 2021
June 22, 2021

Day 175 - June 24, 2021
June 24, 2021

Day 177 - June 26, 2021
June 26, 2021

Day 178 - June 27, 2021
June 27, 2021

Day 179 - June 28, 2021
June 28, 2021

Day 180 - June 29, 2021
June 29, 2021

Day 181 - June 30
June 30, 2021

I hope there are some great pictures taken for this project in July.


This is your weekly reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ADVENTURE:


ADVENTURE! What a great theme for Year 8 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.

But what is an ADVENTURE image? An ADVENTURE image is simply any image that was taken while on an ADVENTURE or preparing for an ADVENTURE or going on an ADVENTURE. The theme reveal picture could qualify for all 3. The twist to this picture is that YOU have to figure out what you consider to be an ADVENTURE.


Happy photo harvesting!

My (Sad) Photo Contest History – 2

When we left off, I had just won 1st Place in Black and White and 3rd Place in Color at the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, but had been completely rejected by the Iowa State Fair for the 4th year in a row.

Whatever I was selling, the judges were not buying. I was despondent, but not discouraged because I knew I had entered some great photos, but they were not what the judges were looking for that year.

2011 comes around. I decided to retire from the Boone County Fair Photo Contest and to start a new way of picking pictures for the Pufferbilly Days. I also had what was probably the peak of my photo contest career at the Iowa State Fair. I got all 4 pictures exhibited. This is extremely hard to do. Thousands of people enter the contest every year. Only 5 of us got all 4 pictures exhibited. You can do the math. It is a big deal.

These are the pictures that were exhibited:

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - I Recommend Pleasant

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon
2nd Place Class 25

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Must Be Truth

2011 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Drenched in Loneliness
Honorable Mention Class 13

For the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest it was the second year of letting other people select my entrants. Dawn, Derrick, Jen, Scott, Russell, and Rebecca chose my entries. Dawn’s choice got 2nd Place in Black and White:

2011 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Radiant Beams
2nd Place – Black and White

I was pretty excited for 2012. I thought I had cracked the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Code, but there is no code. Some years the judge like you. Some years they don’t. In 2012, they like one of my pictures:

2012 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Truth Perception

That year, I decided to retire from the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

Then shortly after that, I decided to retire from Photo Contests altogether.

But in 2017, the itch came back. I decided to put on a Washington Wizards Jersey and come out of retirement. Hard. I decided to enter all 3 contests again. I got all Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

2017 Boone County Fair

I got one picture selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:

2017 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Little Apple

I had the following people select my entries for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest: Jim Robbins (yeah that is a long story), Micky, Michelle, Amber, Laura, and Dawn. However, none of the pictures earned a ribbon.

In 2018, my Boone County Fair entries were determined by popular vote:

2018 Boone County Fair

2018 Boone County Fair

2018 Boone County Fair

2018 Boone County Fair

2018 Boone County Fair

I had two pictures selected for display at the Iowa State Fair:

2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Peep

2018 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Christmas Eve Morn

My Pufferbilly Days entries were also selected by popular vote that year:

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - INRI
1st Place Photoshop

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Freedom Flight
1st Place Photojournalism

2018 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Abandoned (Mill Creek)
3rd Place Hidden Treasures of Boone County

2019 would also be a successful year. I moved to having individuals select my Boone County Fair entrants. Shannon, Michelle, and Logan selected my entries.

2019 Boone County Fair

2019 Boone County Fair

2019 Boone County Fair

2019 Boone County Fair

2019 Boone County Fair

I had one picture selected for exhibition at the Iowa State Fair and it earned a ribbon:

2019 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Entry - Green Little Vaulter
Honorable Mention Class 18

My Pufferbilly Day entries were once again selected by popular vote:

2019 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Hocks
1st Place Nature

2019 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Drops
1st Place Photoshop

In 2020 the pandemic hit and all photo contests were cancelled. Which was sad and I think it was avoidable because in a digital age, I think they could have found a way. For example the Iowa State Fair still held its Fine Arts competition.

Which brings us to 2021. I’m currently working on my next embarrassing failure at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. However, I am not going to enter the Boone County Fair this year. There is a reason for this decision. A very good reason. However, I’m not going to share the reason until it becomes official or it falls through. Things seem to fall through quite often these days. No decision has been made on Pufferbilly Days yet, but Pufferbilly Days has been moved to early August this year. I’m not crazy about the decision, but I’ll give it a chance.

If you want to peruse all 153 Photo Contest entrants in this long weird journey, click on the link below:

Photo Contests

You can see them all from the out of focus to the award winners. The good, the bad, and the moldy jam equivalent.

My (Sad) Photo Contest History – 1

Recently I’ve been working on an organizational project as I prepare to get rid of a bunch of things in Boone’s annual Citywide Cleanup in a couple of weeks. Part of this has been organizing every (almost) picture that I have entered in a photo contest, both physically in a trunk and digitally in my website photo gallery.

Photo Contest Entries
150 or so Photo Entries

Almost every photo I’ve ever entered in in that trunk. Except for a few that I gave away. I thought I would share some of the highs and lows of my photo contest career. To start with, I have only entered 4 photo contests ever:

+ Iowa State Fair Photography Salon
+ Boone County Fair
+ Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest
+ Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest (this contest only existed one year – 2005)

I’ve entered 153 pictures in these 4 photo contests.

I’ve entered pictures of the following people in these photo contests:

+ Olivia
+ Jay
+ Willy
+ Humble Narrator
+ Derrick
+ Rebecca
+ Shannon
+ Alexis
+ Wedding Couple I don’t remember
+ Jill
+ Saydie
+ Kayelee
+ Jesse
+ Shorty
+ Mike Toot
+ Freedom Flight Participants

Plus I have entered pictures of both Karma and Naima.

My very first photo contest was the 2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. It was before they had standardized that pictures had to be matted on 11×14 foamboard. It was long enough ago that one of the pictures I entered was printed from a slide. I entered it because it was somewhat of a legacy contest. My Dad won a category in 1984.

At the time I didn’t realize what a tough contest it was and how hard it was to get even a single picture in. It was dumb luck (which in many ways all photo contests are luck because who knows what the judge likes) that I got one picture accepted for exhibition:

2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Odanata the Snake Doctor
Odanata the Snake Doctor

In some ways, this is maybe the most important photo contest entry I ever made. It is possible that 2002 me would have been so distraught that I might not have even entered another photo contest, ever.

This is the picture I entered that was printed from a slide:

2002 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Quietus

I still kinda dig this picture. My other 2 entries weren’t even really in focus.

Then I didn’t enter another contest until the 2004 Boone County Fair, where this picture of Karma got a blue ribbon:

2004 Boone County Fair - Karma
Happy Karma

I did enter the Iowa State Fair, but didn’t get any pictures exhibited. But in the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, I got two Honorable Mentions in the Black and White Division:

2004 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Light Train by J.C. Janson
Light Train by J.C. Janson

2004 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Shapes

Then 2005 came and I “cleaned up” at the Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest:

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Earth's Laughter
Honorable Mention Color (This picture is now the favicon for this website)

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Giotto's Bull
3rd Place Black and White

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Chestnut Street
2nd Place Color

2005 Ogden Fun Days Photo Contest - Happy Karma
Best in Show and 1st Place Black and White

But my triumph was very short lived. Immediately afterwards, I had my biggest failures ever. I entered two pictures in the Boone County Fair Photography Contest and got no ribbons. This is hard to do. EVERYTHING at the Boone County Fair gets a ribbon. Well everything except me and a jar of moldy jam. My photography was the culinary equivalent of moldy jam.

2005 Boone County Fair Photography Contest - Black, White, and Marigold
The equivalent of moldy jam.

2005 Boone County Fair Photography Contest - Eye of the Beast
The equivalent of moldy jam.

I did rebound to get one picture in at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon and that picture did get an Honorable Mention:

2005 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Colgate Smile
Honorable Mention

But that was bittersweet. It was my first ribbon at the Iowa State Fair, but it was a picture that I had already won a photo contest with, so that was the seeds of my rule of never entering a picture in more than one photo contest.

Also, this picture is still one of my all-time favorites and it has never gotten any love from a photo contest:

2005 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - My Giverny
My Giverny

I get why, but I don’t like it.

Then in 2006, I tried my luck at the Boone County Fair and this time, I got 2 Blue Ribbons, take that moldy jam!

2006 Boone County Fair - Internal Struggle
Blue Ribbon

2006 Boone County Fair - Scene from a Ditch
Blue Ribbon

I would also get 2 pictures exhibited at the Iowa State Fair:

2006 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Kentucky Appetizer
Kentucky Appetizer

2006 Iowa State Fair Photography Salon - Portrait of Self Portrait
Portrait of Self-Portrait

I would also have a good run at Pufferbilly Days:

2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Building 429
3rd Place Black and White

2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Grizzly McAlpine
1st Place Black and White

2006 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Outburst of the Soul
Honorable Mention Color

2007 wasn’t a great year for me and Photo Contests. I got shutout at the Iowa State Fair. I didn’t enter the Boone County Fair. I did enter Pufferbilly Days and believe a picture of a train wheel got a ribbon, but I’m struggling to find the documentation for that

2007 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Wheel

2008 also wasn’t a great year. I did get a couple blue ribbons at the Boone County Fair:

2008 Boone County Fair Photo Contest

2008 Boone County Fair Photo Contest

But once again I got shut out at the Iowa State Fair. But I did rebound to get a ribbon at Pufferbilly Days:

2008 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - The Last Refuge
3rd Place Black and White

2009 was also not a stellar year. I did get 2 ribbons at the Boone County Fair:

2009 Boone County Fair Photo Contest
Blue Ribbon

2009 Boone County Fair Photo Contest
Purple Ribbon

But got no other love at any other photo contest.

2010, I once again got two Blue Ribbons at the Boone County Fair:

2010 Boone County Fair -The Best Place to Seek God
Blue Ribbon

2010 Boone County Fair - The Girl in the Blue Skirt Alternate
Blue Ribbon

But once again, I was shut out at the Iowa State Fair. If you are counting, that is four straight years. The Iowa State Fair really hated me.

However, Pufferbilly Days started to show some love:

2010 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Open Mic Night
3rd Place Color

2010 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest - Black and White
1st Place Black and White

Then 2011 happened. But we’ll get into that story in the conclusion of My (Sad) Photo Contest History.

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

It is time once again for the greatest sporting event of year. It is that time known as March Madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Once again, I will be sponsoring a pool. There is not cost to enter the pool, except for pride.

The winner gets a trophy. The dead last place person gets a trophy known as The Sara*.

By winning, you get your name etched on the list of immortals:


2019 – Becky Parmelee
2018 – Paul Golden
2017 – Paul Golden
2016 – Michelle Haupt
2015 – Derek Dohrman
2014 – Brandon Kahler
2013 – William McAlpine
2012 – Lowell Davis
2011 – Carrie Baier
2010 – Mark Wolfram
2009 – Mark Wolfram
2008 – Mark Wolfram
2007 – Tim Peterson
2006 – William McAlpine
2005 – William McAlpine

But I said that there are 2 trophies. The 2nd trophy, The Sara, goes to the adult that finishes dead last, while trying. A person can not tank on purpose and win The Sara. The reason The Sara winner has to be an adult is that I don’t want to mock children, to their face. Probably a better rule would be that to “win” The Sara, you have to be at least a teenager. I have no problem mocking teenagers to their face. I do it pretty much every Wednesday night at Youth Group.

Past “The Sara” Winners:

2019 – Russell Kennerly
2018 – Robert Henning
2017 – Shannon Bardole
2016 – Laura Priest
2015 – Derrick Gorshe
2014 – Sara Lockner

The Sara doesn’t have the long storied history of the championship trophy, but it will get there. I have no doubts.

Last year, the tournament was cancelled. This year, we will hopefully have a tournament as the world starts to look like it will “normalize” sometime this year. Here’s hoping anyways.

If you are a basketball fan, or are just interested in having fun, click on the link below to join my pool:

Roundball Oracles – Year 16

The rules are as follows:
Round 1 = 1 point + seed
Round 2 = 2 points + seed
Round 3 = 4 points + seed
Round 4 = 8 points + seed
Round 5 = 16 points + seed
Rounds 6 = 32 points + seed

The Play-in Games (AKA the First Four) don’t matter. You can wait for those games to complete before filling out your bracket. The deadline to fill out your bracket, is tip-off of the first game on Friday. Roughly 11 AM. Yes, there are no Thursday games this year.

Under special circumstances, I will allow you to turn in a paper bracket to me. So, don’t be afraid to ask.

Yes, your child can fill out a bracket. Your dog, no.

There were 42 competitors in 2019. Now, I doubt there will be as much excitement for the tournament this year, with no Iowa State. But Drake is sorta in the Tournament, so that is exciting!

*You have to be 18 years of age to win “The Sara”.

Wright County Auxiliary Images

Buckle up, this one could be a long post.

I need to start by wishing Dawn a happy birthday. Happy birthday Dawn!

9 Emotions Project - Dawn Krause

Photo of the Day 0089 - July 30, 2014

Bonne Finken

Josh Davis Band

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!


I also need to wish a happy birthday to Baier. Happy birthday Baier!

Baier Tenderloin Road Trip

Photo Journal - Page 56 Reject

Cardiff Giant - Fort Dodge

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2009

I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!


It is beyond time I share the photos from my trip around Wright County with my Mom and Teresa harvesting the town signs of… well Wright County. Although some of these pictures are also taken in Humboldt County, Hardin County, Franklin County, and Story County. But I want to start with a little history lesson about Woolstock. The birthplace of George Reeves.

For those of you don’t know, George Reeves was the first television Superman. He also appeared in GONE WITH THE WIND. But after playing Superman he was typecast and had difficulty getting other roles. He died tragically and mysteriously. It was ultimately ruled a suicide, but there are many that think he was murdered. His death was the focus of the 2006 movie HOLLYWOODLAND. He was portrayed by Ben Affleck.

Here is a little bit on George Reeves and Woolstock from the Superman Supersite:

On January 5th, 1914, George Keefer Brewer was born to Helen Lescher Brewer and Don Brewer of Woolstock. At the time of his birth his parents had been renting 2 front rooms in the home of the Fischers. So and so was the midwife that delivered little George in the Fischer home on that cold January day. Marie Claude was his babysitter (Her experiences with George will be coming soon).

Helen Lescher, George’s mother, came from Galesburg, Illinois, which is also where she met George’s father, Don Brewer, while he was at Pharmacy school. She was a child from a wealthy and prominent Galesburg family. Her move to Woolstock was made after she had become pregnant with George and came around the time of her marriage to Don Brewer in August of 1913. She disliked Woolstock because of its small town setting and her desire for more attention and fancy flare that she could not receive in it.

After the birth of George, Don soon acquired a small bungalow home on present day Cecilia Street. Their move there did not tame the flames already drawn by Helen, and Helen became disappointed that Don didn’t want to achieve more then what he already had with his pharmacist job in a small rural community. After a year or so, she would request separation and a divorce. There is talk that Helen ended up staying at the Woolstock Hotel on the west corner of Main Street (now it would have been located on the corner of Herman, Nellie, and Alice Streets across from the grain silos/elevator) during the separation. After the divorce, Helen eventually moved with George to Pasadena, California, near her sister, where she would meet her 2nd husband, Frank Bessalo. Frank eventually adopted George, and Helen made up fake documents about George’s past and told him that his real father committed suicide. Later George would meet his father unexpectedly during a show that George acted and toured with during the 1940s, after the success of Gone with the Wind (George played Stuart Tarleton). George was surprised that his father was alive, and was angry at Helen. He would never meet with his father after that because he thought too much time had gone by.

Don Brewer, himself, was born and grew up around the area of Woolstock in near by Webster City. He continued with business at the Reed and Brewer Drug Store, but would eventually move to Mason City, Iowa.

Well, his mom was a real piece of work.

Here are the pictures from the road trip:

Wright County
Woolstock, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Humboldt County
Thor, Iowa – I wonder is this sign works. Cause I have all sorts of doubts.

Wright County
Goldfield, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County
Clarion, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County
Belmond, Iowa

Franklin County
Alexander, Iowa

Wright County
Dows, Iowa

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Wright County

Hardin County
Alden, Iowa

Hardin County

Hardin County
Buckeye, Iowa

Hardin County

Bald Eagle
North of Zearing, Iowa a few miles. Bald Eagles, the turtles of the sky.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

I believe Jasper County is next up for the sharing of auxiliary images.


There is a very diverse collection of photos in the folder 2010-06-28. Most are from Shannon’s first attempt to skydive. That idea got shot down (not literally) because it was deemed to windy to do such a thing safely. There are also pictures of a reunion when Bill came to town to visit. Then of course, there are plenty of flower pictures in here. But, perhaps my favorite picture in the folder is picture of a couple barns lit by the light of a full moon. I’ve been saying this for a long time, but I need to get back to taking some full moon photographs. This is the reason why I put the dates of full moons and new moons on the 2021 Photography 139 Calendar.

Drenched in Loneliness

Unaffiliated Triad

Unaffiliated Triad

Unaffiliated Triad

Sorrow and Gladness - 2010

Nature's Amen - 2010

Nature's Amen - 2010

Nature's Amen - 2010

Nature's Amen - 2010

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2010

Shannon Skydive First Attempt

Shannon Skydive First Attempt

Shannon Skydive First Attempt

Shannon Skydive First Attempt

Shannon Skydive First Attempt

Shannon Skydive First Attempt

Shannon Skydive First Attempt

By adding these pictures to the Photography 139 Gallery, I was able to restore the following historic “An Artist’s Notebook” entries to their original glory:


Unaffiliated Triad

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will definitely involve flowers.

Dallas County and Polk County Auxiliary Images

I need to start today’s post by wishing Bill a happy birthday. Happy birthday Bill!

Bill - Sympathy

March 12, 2019


I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!


I’m combining the auxiliary images from the town sign harvesting trips I made to Dallas County and Polk County to harvest their town signs for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT because there really weren’t that many for either town. I don’t know I went to any place in either county that I hadn’t been before, besides maybe Runnells. Some of these pictures are actually taken in Guthrie County and one is taken in Madison County.

Here is the collection:

Dallas County

Dallas County

Dallas County

Madison County

Dallas County

Dallas County

Guthrie County

Guthrie County

Guthrie County

Guthrie County
Who controls the British crown? Who keeps the metric system down? We do, we do!

Guthrie County
Who keeps Atlantis off the maps? Who keeps the Martians under wraps? We do, we do!

Polk County

Polk County

Polk County

Polk County

Polk County

Polk County

Polk County
Does this mural imply an integrated marriage in Iowa in 1856? I hope Iowa was that progressive in 1856… but I have my doubts.

It is amazing with all the terrible things I say about Masons (particularly in the “Comments” section of these posts) that they haven’t come after me yet. When, I know that one of the people that posts comments sometimes is a Mason. Perhaps I’m under the cloak of his protection. Do I owe my continuing existence to Joe Duff? Have I said too much?

One thing I haven’t said too much about is Dexter, Iowa and its page in the history books on American Criminal Justice.

Remember this picture:

Dallas County

It is really hard to read, but it is a historical mark set near the place where Bonnie and Clyde had a shootout with local law enforcement. While Bonnie and Clyde both escaped, they did manage to capture Clyde’s brother Buck and his wife. Buck ultimately died from injuries he sustained in the shootout.

Here is the story from the Dallas County website:

Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow, and the Barrow Gang arrived in Dallas County in July of 1933. They had established quite a reputation throughout the Midwest as thieves and murderers, and had killed several police officers. These fugitives from the law were always on the move, trying to keep one step ahead of the “laws,” as they called them. This was not their first trip to Iowa; several past bank robberies had been attributed to them. On this occasion, their travels took them to a rural area north of Dexter in Dallas County. They chose the remote location of old Dexfield Amusement Park and set up their camp on a wooded hilltop overlooking the park site.

They were on the run from a big shoot-out with police in Platte City, Missouri, a small town north of Kansas City. Gang members arriving in Dexter were Buck Barrow, Buck’s wife Blanche, and a teenager named W.D. Jones. Buck was the older brother of Clyde, and had been severely wounded in Platte City. They spent 4 to 5 days in the Dexfield park area, intending to hide out, rest and recuperate.

The Barrow Gang arrived in Dexter with one car. Due to Buck’s condition they decided they would need a second one and decided to go car “shopping” in Perry. They selected (stole) a 1932 Model “A” Ford belonging to Ed Stoner. Clyde was a great fan of Fords; in fact, he wrote a letter to Henry Ford telling him how much he liked his cars. The funny thing is, Ford used Clyde’s letter to sell more cars.

Clyde, according to several eyewitness accounts, made several trips into Dexter to buy food and medical supplies. The townspeople, not knowing who Clyde Barrow was, sold them the things they needed. During the Depression if someone came in with cash money to spend a merchant was going to do business with that person and not ask many questions. The local police officer, John Love, who worked in a clothing store, sold him shoes, shirts and socks.

A man named Henry Nye, out hunting wild blackberries on his property, came across the camp. He found a bloody map, a shirt with blood stains and used bandages. It seems that Mr. Nye was not the first to discover the camp of the Barrow gang. A troop of fourteen Girl Scouts led by Della Gowdey, camping at the old pavilion of the park, took an early morning hike and walked right into the Barrow Gang campsite. Maxine Schell “Hadley,” a member of this troop, said the campers acted quite surprised. She had no idea who they were. Della and the other girls said good morning; Maxine remembered the campers smiled and returned the welcome. Maxine said she thought nothing about it until the next day when she saw two people in Dexter whom she had seen at the campground. The man was eating an ice cream cone and the lady had none. She thought it was very discourteous of the man not to offer the lady some ice cream as well. These two people were probably Bonnie and Clyde.

Henry Nye contacted John Love and the two men returned to the park together. With binoculars, John could see two cars parked in the campground. He decided to contact Dallas County Sheriff Clint Knee and find out if any outlaws had been reported in the area. The Sheriff informed him of reports about the Barrow Gang being around. Not knowing if this was the Barrow Gang or not John Love told him to bring his “heavy artillery” and come to Dexter.

Sheriff Clint Knee quickly organized a posse that included Des Moines police officers and detectives; a Des Moines dentist, Dr. Hershel Keller, who brought his own submachine gun, and many locals, in total about 50 people. The posse converged on the campsite at 5:00 a.m. on July 24, 1933 in what quickly became the biggest shootout in Dallas County history.

The Barrow Gang was up and eating breakfast when they noticed movement in the brush around their camp. The posse opened fire. The gang returned fire with Browning Automatic Rifles: military guns that had been stolen from National Guard armories. The posse retreated under heavy fire, giving the gang time to attempt an escape.

They all piled into one car; Clyde was hit in the shoulder and ran the car over a tree stump. Unable to free the car, they fled to their other car. It had been shot up by the posse and would not run, so Bonnie, Clyde, and W.D. Jones took off, leaving Blanche and Buck. Everyone in the gang had been wounded except Blanche. Bonnie, Clyde, and W.D went east and then north towards the South Raccoon River. Clyde tried to go back to the road through the old amusement park. He was met by two members of the posse: Deputy Evan Burger and the editor of the Dexter Sentinel, Everett Place. He exchanged gunfire with them and went back to Bonnie and W.D. Together they crossed the river and worked their way behind Spillers Cemetery. They were all wounded and losing blood.

Leaving Bonnie and W.D., Clyde approached the farmstead of Vallie Feller, intending to steal a car. Mr. Marvelle Feller later recalled this encounter. Vallie, Vallie’s son lvlarvelle, and hired man Walt Spillers were on their way to milk the cows when they saw a small bloodied man walk out of the cornfield. Clyde pointed a. 45 caliber revolver at them. As the Feller’s dog barked and bounded toward him, Clyde told them to pull off the dog or he would kill, it. He then told them he needed help. He whistled and WD came up the fence carrying Bonnie. As Marvelle and Vallie helped lift her over the fence, Vallie dropped her. Clyde was quite irritated by this and told them to hold on to her. He next told them he needed a car. The Fellers had 3 cars on the place but no money for fuel. The only car that was running was the Feller family car: a blue 1929 Plymouth. During this exchange, Marvelle’s mother and 9-year-old sister came out of the house to see if the men knew anything about all the shooting going on. She walked right into the rest of her family being held at gunpoint by Clyde, and became quite excited and very upset. Clyde told Vallie to settle her down. He said “the laws are shooting the hell out of us and all we need is the car to get out of here.” Bonnie and W.D. Jones got into the back seat of the car and Clyde got into the driver’s seat. The car started right up, but Clyde had never driven a Plymouth, and Marvelle had to show him how to shift the gears. Clyde thanked Marvelle for all their help and said he would pay them back someday. For a long time afterwards, the authorities censored the Feller mail but nothing ever arrived. It is interesting to note that after W.D. Jones was captured and confessed, he said Clyde was out of ammunition when he confronted the Feller family that day. Marvelle said he thought he could have taken them on but did not want to risk Clyde testing his .45 caliber revolver on him.

With the Feller car, Clyde drove to Polk City, about 38 miles northeast of Dexter. Here they wrecked the car, so they held up a gas station and stole another car. They doubled back 40 miles to Guthrie Center. There they were spotted and surrounded by 200 men in a posse. Incredibly, they managed to escape again, mostly through the driving skills of Clyde, and were last seen about 60 miles northeast of Sioux City. Buck and Blanche Barrow were captured by the Dexter posse. Buck had been severely wounded. He was taken to the Dexter Hospital where he was treated by Doctors Chapler and Osborn. He was eventually sent to King’s Daughter Hospital in Perry, where he died five days later. Blanche was eventually taken back to Missouri and tried for her part in the Platte City shoot out. She was convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison and served six years of that sentence before being released on good behavior. She led a crime free life after that. W.D. Jones eventually left the gang and went back to Texas. A co-worker there turned him in to the police, and he served time in prison for his role with the Barrow Gang. Bonnie and Clyde had escaped this time, but the shoot-out in Iowa was the beginning of the end for them. In less than a year, on May 23, 1934, they were ambushed and killed in Gibsland, Louisiana. Bonnie and Clyde may have died that day, but the “Legend of Bonnie and Clyde” continues to this day.

I hope it warms up soon and the backroads in Iowa get cleared up, so I can check out more of these historical Iowa treasures.

Town Sign Project: Wright County

I need to start the day by wising Anders a happy birthday. Happy birthday Anders!

9 Emotions Project - Anders Runestad



I hope your birthday is as amazing as you want it to be!


A few weeks back I loaded up into the car with my Mom and Teresa as they joined me as I went around and harvested the town signs in Wright County.

Here are some facts about Wright County:

+ Wright County is a county in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2010 census, the population was 13,229.
+ The county seat is Clarion.
+ The county organization became effective in January 1851, and is believed to be named either after Silas Wright, a governor of New York, or Joseph Albert Wright, a governor of Indiana.

Here is a look at the Wright County Photo Map:

Wright County Photo Map
Boundaries approximate at best.

And with Wright County completed, this is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:

Town Sign Project -11 Counties

11 counties completed. 11.1% of the state conquered.

Here are the Wright County Signs:

Eagle Grove, Iowa
Eagle Grove, Iowa
Eagle Grove – Chamber of Commerce – Summerfest – June 18-20
Population: 3,583

Clarion, Iowa
Clarion, Iowa
Clarion Welcomes you
Population – 2,850

Belmond, Iowa
Belmond, Iowa
Belmond Welcomes You!
Population: 2,376

Goldfield, Iowa
Goldfield, Iowa
Welcome to Goldfield
Population: 635

Dows, Iowa
Dows, Iowa
Welcome to Dows – A Friendly Community
Population: 538

Woolstock, Iowa
Woolstock, Iowa
Woolstock – “The Friendly Town” – Birthplace of George Reeves – Humanitarian, Veteran, Actor
Population: 168

Rowan, Iowa
Rowan, Iowa
Population: 158

Galt, Iowa
Galt, Iowa
Welcome to Galt – The Little Town That Won’t Give Up!

Holmes, Iowa
Holmes, Iowa
Unincorporated Community

Wright County only has 8 communities, but it has a solid set of signs top to bottom. There isn’t any that I think are terrible, with maybe the exception of Eagle Grove. Their sign is more of an advertisement for the town festival. Which is fine, but the sign doesn’t even welcome you to town.

Dows and Woolstock must have a healthy rivalry. A friendly rivalry though. Cause one is a “Friendly Community” and the other is a “Friendly Town”. I also really like Galt’s sign. It is a little surprising that a town of 32 has such a nice sign. There must be some money in that town. There probably is, because they murderize a lot of chickens in that town. No joke, 15 million chickens in that town. Also lots of salmonella in that town. But you probably don’t want to talk about having to recall 380 million eggs due to salmonella on your town sign. However, their can only be one Best in Show and it goes to:

Woolstock, Iowa
Wright County Best in Show – Woolstock, Iowa

We will discuss George Reeves when I publish the auxiliary images from this road trip. I can say though, thanks to Jodie Cue for the tip on Woolstock.

There are also a couple towns with alternate town signs:

Belmond, Iowa
Belmond – Alternate

Belmond, Iowa
Belmond – Alternate

Dows, Iowa
Dows – Alternate

Dows, Iowa
Dows – Alternate

Galt, Iowa
Galt – Back of Sign

Also, on the way back home to Boone, I discovered that Roland had updated their Gary Thompson sign:

Roland, Iowa
The Roland Rocket

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

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

The next county we will visit is Jasper County.

Post #4,000

August 9, 2006. That was the date where I first took keyboard in hand and began typing out the blog that I entitled “An Artist’s Notebook”. I entitled that first post “First Journal Entry”. The categories for that first post were “Blogging”, “Contests”, “Jay”, and “Sara”.

This is the first paragraph I posted:

So here is the first journal entry. I felt like having as pretentious sounding name as possible for my journal. I have a few goals about this journal. My main goal is just to actually write in it. My second goal is to be as truthful as possible towards my true thoughts and feelings. I have another journal on another website, but it is really just a collection of sarcastic statements and cheap jabs at open faced sandwiches. This journal is meant to be about what my achievements and failures are in the world of art. What projects I am working on and what I have accomplished and what I have failed to accomplish. What I am photographing and what I am thinking about entering in photo contests. What I am thinking about. It might not always make sense. It might just be things I need to write down because they strike me as poignant or inspirational. This is in a small way an online “idea box”.

Then it goes on to talk about how I attended the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon Reception with Sara to see what two pictures had been accepted for display that year. Then I would go on to talk about how Jay had talked me into entering the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

The last line of the entry was simply:

I don’t want to mail it in.

While I was actually referencing the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest, it is my hope that I also didn’t choose to “mail it in” as it pertains to “An Artist’s Notebook”.

It has been 5,276 days since that first post. 5,276 days to reach this day and the 4,000th post in this blog, or “online journal” like I sometimes call it when I don’t like calling it a blog. It is hard to believe I have made it this far, for this long.

It hasn’t been necessarily smooth sailing the whole time. My website has been through a couple different servers. I have been through a couple different hosts for the blog part of the website. I have been through 4 (I think) different image hosting options in those 5,275 days. That jumping around for image hosting solutions did cause the problem that images from my posts from the first few years of this website’s existence have had to be “restored” slowly over time. So far I have semi-successfully restored all the entries though June of 2010. Which means, I still have a full year’s worth of entries left to restore. Somewhere in 2011, was when I fully made the move to my current SmugMug image hosting solution. I have unfortunately lost a few images, probably forever, mostly old phone pictures, but those old posts are as complete as they will ever be.

When I hit these milestones, I like to publish a lot of fairly meaningless stats. This one will be no different. So, here are the “An Artist’s Notebook” categories that I have used the most often:

Top 10 An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Jesse – 495 Entries

#5. Portrait – 472 Entries

#6. Shannon – 421 Entries

#7. Carla – 391 Entries

#8. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#9. Teresa – 364 Entries

#10. Mom – 363 Entries

Top Ten An Artist’s Notebook People Categories

#1. Jesse – 495 Entries

#2. Shannon – 421 Entries

#3. Carla – 391 Entries

#4. Teresa – 364 Entries

#5. Mom – 363 Entries

#6. Jay – 320 Entries

#7. Derrick – 295 Entries

#8. Willy – 268 Entries

#9. Vest – 258 Entries

#10. Jen – 254 Entries

Top Ten Non-People An Artist’s Notebook Categories

#1. Black & White – 698 Entries

#2. Flowers – 693 Entries

#3. Animals – 620 Entries

#4. Portrait – 472 Entries

#5. WPC – Submissions – 381 Entries

#6. Nature – 349 Entries

#7. Macro – 332 Entries

#8. Photoshop – 327 Entries

#9. Road Trip – 326 Entries

#10. Art – 314 Entries

People often ask what is the best way to improve their Photography 139 Category Score. The easiest way is to submit pictures to THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. But posing for and assisting me with photo project or photo adventures is also a very good way.

What people have a shot at cracking the Top Ten by the time we hit Post #5,000? Kim, Sara, Logan, and Micky all have a shot. But 1,000 posts is a long ways away. So anybody has a shot!

But what are the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries in Photography 139 history? Unfortunately, I can’t answer that question. I can only process stats up to 365 days ago. However, I can tell you the Ten Most Popular Photo Galleries of the last 365 Days are.

Click on the image to peruse that gallery.

Top Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Galleries (by view) of the Last 365 Days


Be True
#2. Christopher D. Bennett – 41080 Views

9 Emotions Project - Johnathan
#3. 9 Emotions Project – 36972 Views

Taylan Howard
#4. Taylan Howard – 2020 – 34075 Views

Girl in the Blue Skirt - 2016
#5. Daisies – 26800 Views

Morning in America
#6. Drone – 24659 Views

#7. Weekly Photo Challenge – HOF – 24603 Views

Be Aggressive!
#8. Family Happenings – 18,231 Views

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#9. Alexis Pregnancy Photo Shoot – 2020 – 17057 Views

Black Lives Matter - Boone
#10. Black Lives Matter – Boone – 2020 – 16160 Views

The Ten Most Popular Photography 139 Images of the Last 365 Days (by Views)

Alexis Pregnant with Anela
#1. 7254 Views

Taylan Howard
#2. 3153 Views

2020 Birthday Party Invites
#3. 2460 Views (Photo by Logan Kahler)

Cousin Amy and Sam - 2009
#4. 2228 Views

Garrett Larson
#5. 2127 Views

Baier Family Photo Shoot - 2009
#6. 2111 Views

Camping World Bowl Road Trip - Day 3
#7. 1971 Views

2019  Computer Mine Holiday Card
#8. 1916 Views

The Most Tolerable Third Party
#9. 1891 Views

The Hero of Africa
#10. 1830 Views

Now the secret to the popularity of some of these images is that they are cover photos for albums, but shhhh… don’t tell anybody!

Another category of meaningless statistics, I’d like to share is what have been the most popular posts since the inception of “An Artist’s Notebook”. Although it might not be the most accurate way to judge such things, the only statistic I can use to judge this is “Comments” left on each post. That doesn’t mean emails or text messages or comments I received in person. These are comments that were left in the Comments section of each post.

Most Popular An Artist’s Notebook Entries (by Comments)

#1. The People’s Choice Round Two – 24 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 9 – Food – 22 Comments

#2. Weekly Photo Challenge – Week 43 – Sunrise/Sunset – 22 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Hamilton County – 21 Comments

#4. Town Sign Project: Dallas County – 21 Comments

#6. Postcard Recreation Project: Some Churches – 20 Comments

#6. Rodan139: Swede Valley Lutheran Church – 20 Comments

#8. Will History Blame Me… – 19 Comments

#9. Yo, Ya Just Get in that, You Get in that Head Space, Ya Know – 15 Comments

#9. You Can Call it a Comeback – 15 Comments

#9. Wild Goose Chase – 15 Comments

#9. Sorry Not Sorry – 15 Comments

One thing to note is that each “An Artist’s Notebook” entry has its Comments section close 30 days after being posted. Some of those still have a chance to grow, but most have been locked into place forever.

The last statistic I want to share before closing out Post #4,000 is kind of a loyalty score. To even be considered for this list, you first have to have a Photography 139 Email Subscription. The following is a statistic based on “loyalty” for lack of a better term to that service.

Top Five Most Loyal Photography 139 Subscribers

1. Michelle Haupt – 99%
2. Joe Duff – 97%
3. Shannon Bardole-Foley – 94%
4. Sara Lockner – 90%
5. Corey Faust – 89%

Thanks to everybody that has supported this adventure for 14 years, 5 months, and now 10 days!