Category Archives: Life

Town Sign Project: Guthrie County

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


May 17, 2016

June 25, 2019

Soup Supper Fundraiser

Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018

Boone County Fair - 2018

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

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Last weekend I got to get out and harvest more town signs. This time I hit up Guthrie County.

Here are some facts about Guthrie County:

+ Population: 10,954
+ Guthrie Center is the county seat.
+ Stuart is the largest town, but is partially in Adair County
+ he county was formed on January 15, 1851 and named after Captain Edwin B. Guthrie, who had died in the Mexican–American War.

Guthrie County has one of the ugliest courthouses I’ve ever seen. Right up there with Story County:


Guthrie County Courthouse
Guthrie County Courthouse

The Guthrie County Freedom Rock is located in Guthrie Center.


Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Guthrie County Freedom Rock

Here is the Guthrie County Photo Map:


Guthrie County Photo Map
Guthrie County Photo Map – Boundaries, not close, I’m sure.

With Guthrie County knocked out, here is the updated Photography 130 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 14 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

14 counties completed. 14.1% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the Guthrie County signs:


Stuart, Iowa
Stuart, Iowa (Partially in Adair County)
The City of Stuart Welcomes You
Population: 1,648

Guthrie Center, Iowa
Guthrie Center, Iowa
Welcome to Guthrie Center
Population: 1,569

Lake Panorama, Iowa
Lake Panorama – Census Designated Place
Lake Panorama
Population: 1,309

Coon Rapids, Iowa
Coon Rapids, Iowa (Mostly in Carroll County
Coon Rapids – In the Heart of Corn Country
Population: 1,305

Panora, Iowa
Panora, Iowa
Welcome to Panora and Lake Panorama
Population: 1,124

Adair, Iowa
Adair, Iowa (Mostly in Adair County)
Adair Iowa – Home of the Bombers – Welcome to Adair – It’ll make you smile!
Population: 781

Bayard, Iowa
Bayard, Iowa
Welcome to Bayard
Population: 471

Casey, Iowa
Casey, Iowa
Welcome to Casey Iowa – Since 1869

Menlo, Iowa
Menlo, Iowa
Welcome to Menlo – A Town of Few & Friend of All
Population: 353

Bagley, Iowa
Bagley, Iowa
Welcome to Bagley – 1882
Population: 303

Yale, Iowa
Yale, Iowa
Yale – Est. 1882 – Not the Biggest, But the Best – Annual July 4th Celebration

Jamaica, Iowa
Jamaica, Iowa
Welcome to Jamaica – Est. 1882
Population: 224

I think there is a chance that some people might consider my picks for Guthrie County to be controversial this week. It turns out my Hardin County picks weren’t controversial, but Guthrie is an entirely different county.

Adair and Coon Rapids are not eligible for Guthrie County awards as they are mostly in other counties.

Guthrie County has a pretty good collection of town signs. However, there are a couple stinkers out there. Stuart’s is awful. But Guthrie Center has one of the worst signs I’ve seen so far.

It was a little harder to pick the best sign. I enjoy the roughness of the Bayard sign. I enjoy the tropical feel of the Jamaica sign. I like the festive nature of Yale’s sign. I like the fun of Casey’s sign. However, it Menlo. Menlo clearly has the best sign in Guthrie County!


Menlo, Iowa
Menlo – Best in Show – Guthrie County

There are a couple of towns that had alternate signs:


Adair, Iowa
Adair Alternate

Menlo, Iowa
Menlo Alternate

The famous White Pole Road runs through Guthrie County. Many of the best signs are on that road.

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

Menlo, Iowa
Best in Show – Guthrie County

Stanhope, Iowa
Best in Show – Hamilton County

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin 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

Here is the updated BENNETT POWER RANKINGS:


Ricketts, Iowa
#10. Ricketts

Dexter, Iowa
#9. Dexter

Menlo, Iowa
#8. Menlo

Templeton, Iowa
#7. Templeton

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

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#4. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#3. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#2. Coon Rapids

Ackley, Iowa
#1. Ackley

The next county we will visit is Audubon County.

Postcard Recreation Project – More Downtown Boone

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


Pie In Your Face!

August 30, 2019

2019  Computer Mine Holiday Card

Every once in awhile I will let people behind the curtain at Photography 139. Very few people and not very often. But Micky is the reason (more or less) for my using the term “harvest” so many times when referencing taking pictures.

You see, back in the day, the west bathrooms at the Computer Mine were loaded up with hunting magazines. Now Micky isn’t necessarily the person that brought them in and dumped them in the dumping station and while I’m definitely no hunter, when you are about your business, you read what is handy.

The writing in hunting magazines is amateurish at best. Plus they try to whitewash the fact that they are murderizing animals that never really did anything to them. So these articles about personal hunting experiences almost always include a sentence about how before or after the hunter murderized the animal they said a prayer thanking God for the opportunity to murderize the animal. But they never use the term murderize (and not because it is just a word I invented) or shoot or kill. They always whitewash it with the word harvest. Like they just picked an ear of corn or some tomatoes from their grandma’s garden.

I would frequently discuss these articles with Micky and I started to use the term “harvest” to mock hunting magazines. I’m not anti-hunting, it just isn’t for me. However, I am very strongly anti-bad writing.

All of that being said, Micky, I hope your birthday is amazing as you want it to be and you get to murderize all the animals you want. But only the ones that have it coming. Like the beavers that destroyed your dock*.

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This collection of pictures from THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT is another collection of postcards of downtown Boone intersections. I wish Boone still had that sign that hung over Story Street near 9th greeting people to Boone. I have wondered why they chose that location for it. I get that Story Street is the main street in Boone, but back in the day there would have been 2 depots that served railroad passengers. The Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern depot was a block north of the sign. The Chicago & Northwestern Depot was about a block to two blocks west. I guess they chose the location because it was about equidistant from both depots.

Here are the postcards. You can see the old sign in three of them:


Boone, IR 787 - Original
Boone, IR – 787 Original

Boone, IR 787 - Redux
Boone, IR 787 – Redux

Story St. from 10th St. North, Boone, IA - Original
Story Street from 10th Street – North – Original

Story St. from 10th St. North, Boone, IA - Redux
Story Street from 10th Street – North – Redux

Story Street lookin South, Boone, Ia - Original
Story Street Looking South – Original

Story Street lookin South, Boone, Ia - Redux
Story Street Looking South – Redux

The Main (Story)Street, Boone, Iowa - 2226 - Original
The Main (Story) Street – Original

The Main (Story)Street, Boone, Iowa - 2226 - Redux
The Main (Story) Street – Redux

The Story St. from 10th St. postcard put me on the right path for a future THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT post. However, the next THE POSTCARD RECREATION PROJECT post will feature a church.

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This is your reminder that THIS WEEK’S THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is LINES:


WEEK 285 - LINES
LINES

A LINES image is simply an image that heavily incorporates LINES into the composition of the image.LINES that appear in a photograph CAN BE framed and positioned by the photographer to draw the viewer’s eye towards a specific point of interest. LINES draw the viewer’s eye to a specific direction of an image.

You can use all sorts of lines in your composition. You can use horizontal LINES. You can use vertical LINES. You can use diagonal LINES. You can use converging LINES. There are just so many options!

Of course, the term LINES has more than one meaning.

Think about the following quote from Martin Luther while considering your LINES image:

God can draw a straight line with a crooked stick.

Meditate on these words and you will no doubt create a fascinating LINES image. No matter how crooked you think you are.

Happy photo murderizing… I mean happy photo harvesting!

*Truth is that I wish he would’ve live trapped the beavers and rehabilitated them.

Marshall County Auxiliary Images

This entry is a collection of images from when I cruised around Marshall County harvesting their town signs. I started in Melbourne and ended in Marshalltown. The weather was kind of cruddy on that day, but I still got to see and photograph some real interesting things.

Have a look:



Melbourne – That viaduct has sadly been torn down.


Haverhill


Ferguson


Laurel


Gilman


Dunbar


I find this rock thing fascinating. I don’t get it at all. Which makes me love it even more.


Montour – It says Colonial on the side of the bread.


Le Grand


Just really enjoyed the spelling here.


Liscomb


Albion


Marshalltown


I actually went to Marshall County before Carroll and Crawford, but I bungled the order of their release. I believe the Wright County auxiliary images are the next to be released.

Town Sign Project: Hardin County

Last weekend the weather finally cooperated enough for me to get out on the open road and doing some good old fashioned town sign harvesting. On Saturday. The weather immediately went back to being terrible on Sunday. But on Saturday, it didn’t snow and the temperature was above -30 degrees wind chill. Some of the back roads were still a little rough and the ditches were definitely overflowing with snow, but it was good enough for me to get out there and harvest some signs!

Here are some facts about Hardin County:

+ Population: 17,534 (2010)
+ County Seat is Eldora.
+ Largest town is Iowa Falls.
+ Hardin County was formed in 1851. It was named after Colonel John J. Hardin, who died in the Mexican–American War.

I’ve recently decided to share a picture of the County Courthouse and the Freedom Rock for each county, if I find both. I decided to do that AFTER I returned home, so the pictures of both are not as good as they will be in the future:


Hardin County Courthouse
Hardin County Courthouse

Hardin County Freedom Rock
Hardin County Freedom Rock

I have shown the photo map of several counties, but not of the whole state of Iowa, so here is the Iowa Photo Map:


Iowa Photo Map - Post Hardin County
Iowa Photo Map as of February 24, 2021

Here is the Hardin County Photo Map:


Hardin County Photo Map
Hardin County Photo Map – Boundaries Probably not even close.

With Hardin County knocked out, here is the updated Photography 139 Conquest Map:


Town Sign Project - 13 Counties
PURPLE=COMPLETED

13 counties completed. 13.1% of the Cyclone State conquered!

Here are the Hardin County Signs:


Iowa Falls, Iowa
Iowa Falls, Iowa
Welcome to the Scenic City – Iowa Falls – Home of Ellsworth Community College
Population: 5,238

Eldora, Iowa
Eldora, Iowa
Iowa River Greenbelt Community – Eldora
Population: 2,732

Ackley, Iowa
Ackley, Iowa (Partially in Franklin County)
Ackley
Population: 1,589

Hubbard, Iowa
Hubbard, Iowa
Hubbard
Population: 845

Alden, Iowa
Alden, Iowa
Welcome to Alden – Best Town by a Dam Site
Population: 787

Radcliffe, Iowa
Radcliffe, Iowa
Welcome to Radcliffe – Farms, Families, & Friends
Population: 545

Union, Iowa
Union, Iowa
Welcome to Union – Est. 1872
Population: 347

Steamboat Rock, Iowa
Steamboat Rock, Iowa
Steamboat Rock – The Valley of Friendliness
Population: 310

New Providence, Iowa
New Providence, Iowa
Welcome to New Providence – Est. 1855
Population: 228

Whitten, Iowa
Whitten, Iowa
Welcome to Whitten Iowa – Since 1882
Population: 149

Buckeye, Iowa
Buckeye, Iowa
Welcome to Buckeye – The End of the Line on 359
Population: 108

Garden City, Iowa
Garden City, Iowa
Welcome to Rebel Country
Population: 89

Owasa, Iowa
Owasa, Iowa
Welcome to Owasa
Population: 43

Gifford, Iowa
Gifford, Iowa
Welcome to Gifford – Established in 1875
Unincorporated Community

I was recently told that my picks for best town signs was controversial. That this person was holding back, but they wouldn’t be holding back any longer. I also will not hold back on my opinions.

Hardin County has maybe the strongest collection of town signs to date. There aren’t any that I would consider bad. But the worst town sign in Hardin County is Eldora. While it isn’t a conventionally terrible sign, it isn’t even a real town sign. Union has almost an identical sign in front of their town hall. Owasa’s sign is a little weak. Garden City’s sign isn’t even a town sign. It is a sign for the school district. It shouldn’t even be on this list.

Who has Best in Show for Hardin County? Now normally, this might be a battle. There are some really good signs in there. Then Ackley shows up with a bull statue as part of their sign. Checkmate Hardin County!


Ackley, Iowa
Ackley – Best in Show – Hardin County

There were a couple towns with alternate town signs:


Ackley, Iowa
Ackley – Alternate

Alden, Iowa
Alden – Alternate

New Providence, Iowa
New Providence – Alternate

The Union town sign is the sign I think about the most. I don’t understand the picture of the tar heel on their sign. My research as only found that Union holds a Tar Heel Days town festival, but I don’t know why. If somebody knows, let me know and then I’ll let the people know.

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

Ackley, Iowa
Best in Show – Hardin 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

Here is the updated BENNET TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:


Scranton, Iowa
#10. Scranton

Ricketts, Iowa
#9. Ricketts

Dexter, Iowa
#8. Dexter

Templeton, Iowa
#7. Templeton

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

Haverhill, Iowa
#5. Haverhill

Pilot Mound, Iowa
#4. Pilot Mound

Moingona, Iowa
#3. Moingona

Coon Rapids, Iowa
#2. Coon Rapids

Ackley, Iowa
#1. Ackley

That’s right! A new number 1! I now stand and wait for the opinions on my rankings to be brought!

I think Alden’s sign is close to breaking into the rankings. Steamboat Rock and Buckeye also have great signs!

I’m not sure what county I will visit next, but I’m hoping to get out on the road again this weekend!

Tenderloin Appreciation Society – Working at Home

Would you believe that I haven’t posted a tenderloining post since February 5… of 2020? I mean, that just flat out sucks people. I know there are much worse things that have happened due to the horribly mismanaged pandemic, but throw that log on the dumpster fire too.

It isn’t that I haven’t had any tenderloins in the last year. I’ve been to Cole’s for their tenderloin. Sat outside in a Slater park, re-acquainting myself with greatness. And… that is it. I’ve had a few home tenderloins, but I think that this is the only tenderloin I’ve had from a restaurant.

Now make it a second tenderloin I’ve had since the beginning of the pandemic. Usually on Friday, my Mom picks up lunch from a local restaurant and brings it to me, to eat in the moments when I put down my pick. Usually that means garlic chicken from New China or the Friday rib special from Jimmy’s.

We’ve been trying to branch out in the last few weeks. A couple Fridays ago she brought me the tenderloin from Toby K’s Hideaway. Now this is a tenderloin that I’ve had and enjoyed before, but have never officially reviewed.

It isn’t quite fair to review it under these circumstances, for reasons I will get into, but I think a fair overview of the tenderloin is that it is a good, but not great tenderloin. I’d definitely knock a few of these down, but it doesn’t belong in the Tenderloin Pantheon. So few do.

Here are some cruddy cell phone pictures:


Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway
The problem with properly reviewing this tenderloin is pretty obvious in this picture.

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway
Yes, that is clearly my bathroom in the background. Yes I considered cropping that out. Yes I chose not to crop it out.

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Whenever I review a tenderloin, I order it with what they put on it. There is a proper way to dress a tenderloin and it is the following:

+ Mustard
+ Ketchup
+ Onions
+ Pickles

Look at this picture again:


Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

Now you’ll notice that they have dressed the tenderloin with the following:

+ Mayo
+ Onions
+ Pickles
+ Tomato
+ Lettuce

As you can see…


Tenderloining at Toby K's Hideaway

I went ahead and added the mustard and ketchup. I didn’t hold the lack of mustard and ketchup against them because most restaurants serve the tenderloin without mustard and ketchup. Since they are on the table and you can dress the tenderloin with whatever amounts of mustard and ketchup you want.

I personally don’t believe that lettuce or tomato belong on a tenderloin. A burger. Fine. A tenderloin. Nope.

I don’t hold it against a restaurant that does it though. Well, don’t hold it against them much. Some restaurants will have a menu item called the “Tenderloin Deluxe”. All it is, is a tenderloin that they’ve added lettuce and tomato to the mix. Nice try restaurant. You aren’t getting an extra 75 cents out of me.

Usually when I get a tenderloin with lettuce and tomato, to effectively review it, I will eat the first half of it with the lettuce and tomato and then remove them and enjoy the rest of the tenderloin the way God and the pig intended it.

Here is where it gets problematic. The tenderloin I was presented with included mayo. That would normally be a major strike against it. Maybe you like mayo on your tenderloin. That is between you, the pig, and your maker. But it goes 100% against the standards set by the Tenderloin Appreciation Society at The Council of Nicea.

The problem is, I can’t hold that against the restaurant. Putting mayo on the tenderloin was not their idea. My Mom asked them to add mayo. I don’t know why. She must take me for a godless heathen.

So here is my review, but because of the mayo issue, it is for entertainment purposes only. As opposed to the seriousness you give my normal tenderloin reviews.

THE GOOD

+ Toasted bun.
+ Right kind of bun.
+ Good bun to tenderloin ratio.
+ Good breading.
+ Good cut of meat. Could have been thicker though.
+ Onion rings were delicious.

THE BAD

+ Standard tenderloin is served with lettuce and tomato. Lettuce and tomato don’t belong on a tenderloin.
+ A tad greasy. Yeah, it is a tenderloin, but greasy enough that this should’ve been drained longer.
+ Prefer a thicker cut of meat.
+ Red onions.

THE UGLY

+ Mayo. Not their fault, but mayo!

I hope to have another tenderloin to review in the near future. Even if that means going through the Dairy Queen drive-thru and having a pork fritter. Just kidding! A pork fritter is NOT a pork tenderloin. But, I could get desperate.

Carroll County and Crawford County Auxiliary Images

When I went out to harvest the town signs of Carroll County and Crawford County, I did both counties in one swoop. I didn’t actually need many signs from either county, so I was about to pick up most of them going south through both counties along 141 and then get the last couple missing towns coming north back home.

Here are some of the non town-sign pictures I took on this road trip:


Carroll County
The person that lives here has to be fascinating.

Carroll County
I miss the days this didn’t apply to the Men’s Basketball Team.

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County
If you can’t read the plaque in the background this is in memory of an Army Veteran that was killed in Afghanistan.

Carroll County

Carroll County
Sculpture Garden in Coon Rapids

Carroll County
If you’re sculpture garden doesn’t include a dinosaur made out of old farm elements, this guy is out!

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County
I don’t wanna brag, but I’m pretty sure I could break out of here.

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County
Carroll County Freedom Rock

Carroll County

Carroll County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County
Crawford County Freedom Rock

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County

Crawford County
A terrifying baby Jesus.

Carroll County

Carroll County

Carroll County

Greene County

Greene County
Because St. Patrick’s is on the National Registry of Historic Places, so is this outhouse.

I can’t wait until this weather is better and I can hit the open road again. It looks like this weekend is a real possibility. As I type this, the current temperature -21 degrees. The wind chill is -38. There are rolling blackouts all across the country because southern power grids aren’t designed to handle running this many furnaces at once. But it might get into the +30s this weekend. You know it has been cold when you have to differentiate temperatures with a + sign.

Alexis Prego Dos

I need to start out by wishing a Happy Valentine’s Day to everybody that celebrates today.


Happy Valentine's Day - 2021
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Now, I know that there are a ton of people out there that are violently opposed to Saint Valentine’s Day. They call it a holiday invented by candy companies and the florist industry designed to make a large portion of the population feel lonely. I mean a holiday celebrated by eating candy and having flowers to photograph? Sounds like an amazing holiday to me! But, Valentine didn’t get beat to death with clubs and then have his head cut off, just for candy. He did that for love!

And loneliness? Almost a year into a pandemic, loneliness sounds underrated.

Since Photography 139 is if nothing else, a romantic website, on this day that celebrates love, I thought I would share the text from one of the most famous love letters in history. A love letter that was written by Beethoven and discovered by one of Beethoven’s friends shortly after his death. It was hidden in a secret drawer in his wardrobe. There is still debate to this day, about who the letter was written to. While there are actually 3 unsent letters, I’m going to share just the last one:

Even in bed my ideas yearn towards you, my Immortal Beloved, here and there joyfully, then again sadly, awaiting from Fate, whether it will listen to us. I can only live, either altogether with you or not at all. Yes, I have determined to wander about for so long far away, until I can fly into your arms and call myself quite at home with you, can send my soul enveloped by yours into the realm of spirits — yes, I regret, it must be. You will get over it all the more as you know my faithfulness to you; never another one can own my heart, never — never! O God, why must one go away from what one loves so, and yet my life in W. as it is now is a miserable life. Your love made me the happiest and unhappiest at the same time. At my actual age I should need some continuity, sameness of life — can that exist under our circumstances? Angel, I just hear that the post goes out every day — and must close therefore, so that you get the L. at once. Be calm — love me — today — yesterday.

What longing in tears for you — You — my Life — my All — farewell. Oh, go on loving me — never doubt the faithfullest heart

Of your beloved

L

Ever thine.
Ever mine.
Ever ours

I hope that puts a little love in your heart, thinking about good old Ludwig Van! I know it does mine!

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Back before Anela was born, I went to McFarland Park with Alexis, Kupono, and Kanoa to do some pregnancy pictures of Alexis. Here are some of my favorites from the second collection of the photo shoot:


Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

Alexis Pregnant with Anela

There are still at least one more collection of photos from this photo shoot. Most likely two!

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

Bill

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

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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.

Webster County Auxiliary Images

Today feels like a good day to share the images I took while I was prowling around Webster County harvesting their town signs with Mom and Teresa several weeks ago.


Webster County

Webster County
I truly love this sign so much!

Webster County
I do love small town water towers.

Webster County
Stumpy’s Finished Top 5 Tenderloins in the State of Iowa in 2016 – What, you don’t think I have that list memorized?

Webster County
Business Opportunity!

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County
Stop… You had me at Charlie Brown. You had me at Charlie Brown.

Webster County
Badger, Iowa in case you were wondering.

Webster County
Whenever I hear people say God Bless America, I think of Rob Bell’s “Rich”.

Webster County
Also “Noon Specials”.

Webster County

Webster County
Insect sculptures? Yes please!

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County

Webster County
Don’t you even think of invading Clare, Iowa!

Webster County
Best Wishes T & Morga!

Webster County

Webster County
Tell me there is a better mailbox in the world and I will call you a liar, straight to your face!

Webster County
The church where T & Morga tied the knot appears to be out of business.

Webster County

Webster County
Now this is what I call outreach! Too bad coffee sucks!

Teresa’s co-worker Eduardo gave us a couple tip on places to see in Webster County. Apparently Vincent and Badger are his old stomping grounds. It was his tip to visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial Park near Badger that lead to the discovery of those sweet, sweet insect sculptures.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is USE OF SPACE:


WEEK 282 - USE OF SPACE
USE OF SPACE

USE OF SPACE is an important theme historically for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE. It was the very first theme ever for THE WEEKY PHOTO CHALLLENGE. All the way back when Vest and I invented THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE in the build area of the Computer Mine. Back then it was called THE RANDOM WEEKLY PHOTO EXPERIMENT and the theme was determined each week by a program that Vest wrote. Back then we both received submissions and he also published submissions on his website.
Much has changed back then, and not just the name. While that little bit of history is fascinating, it doesn’t answer the question, what is a USE OF SPACE picture?

It is possibly a confusing theme on the surface, but couldn’t be simpler in reality. All you have to understand is that in an image, there are two types of “space”. Positive space and negative space.

Positive space is the area in the photo that attracts the viewer’s eye. It’s the main subject that commands attention in the composition.

Negative space is the space in the composition that is typically the background. It usually doesn’t attract very much attention. It is used to define or contour the positive space.

In the example, my hand is the positive space. The brick wall is the negative space. In a USE OF SPACE (or negative space) photo, the photographer uses the space that is usually not the primary focus and uses it to fill in most of the composition. The negative space commands more attention than the positive space and creates a unique perspective. It also adds definition and can create strong emotions.

The challenge of this week is to make an image that is mostly negative space.

It is a counterintuitive way to compose an image. The natural instinct is to fill most of the frame with positive space. But you can really ratchet up the emotional impact by putting more negative space in an image than you normally would.

Of course, there are other ways to define USE OF SPACE. You can meditate on this quote by Bob Dylan, while you think about how to compose your USE OF SPACE picture:

Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.

Meditate on these words while you thinking about how you are going to create your USE OF SPACE photo.

Happy photo harvesting!

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
PUPRLE=COMPLETED

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

Here are the Jasper County Town Signs:


Newton, Iowa
Newton, Iowa
Newton
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
Mingo
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

No change to the BENNETT TOWN SIGN POWER RANKINGS:


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!