Category Archives: Boone County Fair

Dogs with Papers

Today is the last day of 2019. Therefore, I will reveal the November and December images for the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar.

November Image:


2020 Calendar - November
November

The November image is a collection of dew drops that were trapped in a spiderweb. The spiderweb was located on a evergreen bush in my front yard. This picture was selected to be entered in the Boone County Fair Photography Contest by Michelle Haupt. It received a Blue Ribbon. This picture was taken July 14, 2018.


Details

Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 60mm
Aperture: f/2.2
Exposure: 1/100
ISO: 100

December Image:


2020 Calendar - December
December

The December image is of Old Highway 30 crossing through the Des Moines River Valley between Boone and Ogden. The image looks west towards Ogden as the sun begins to set. On the left is the Jay Carlson Wildlife Area. In the distance Seven Oaks can be seen. This picture was entered in the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, but was not selected for display. This picture was taken March 8, 2019.


Details

Camera: Hasselblad L1D-20C
Focal Length: 10.3mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/400
ISO: 100
Altitude: 343.7 meters above sea level

That concludes the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar images. I hope you enjoyed them and I hope if you got a calendar, you enjoyed it too.

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Before I left for the Mission Trip, I agreed to photograph the graduation of the Boone Area Humane Society’s Dog Obedience Class for Kio. Here are some of my favorite images from the experience:


Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Dog Obedience Class Graduation - 2019

Guess I’ll see you in 2020. Happy New Year’s Eve if you’re the type that celebrates. I believe I have successfully escaped being invited to a New Year’s Eve Party for like at least the 10th straight year!

July/August Reveal

Today we reveal the images that graced the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar for the months of July and August.

Here is the July image:


2020 Calendar - July
July

The July image was taken of the Pig Races held at the Boone County Fair in 2018. I took this image for THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT, Page 77. The theme for Page 77 was “Instill a powerful sense of narrative in your picture.” It was selected to be entered in the Boone County Fair Photo Contest by Shannon Bardole-Foley. It earned a Purple Ribbon. It was taken on July 22, 2018.


Details

Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 50mm
Aperture: f/5
Exposure: 1/2000
ISO: 250

The August image:


2020 Calendar - August
August

The August image is of a yellow lily that lives in the lily patch that surrounds the old clothesline pole in my backyard. I nominated this picture for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest in the Nature category, but it did not get enough votes to be entered. It was taken July 14, 2018.


Details

Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 60mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/200
ISO: 100

Tomorrow I will reveal the imagees from September and October.

2009-08-05

Today we reveal the images for May and June from the 2020 Photography 139 Calendar.

The May Image:


2020 Calendar - May
May

The May image is of the Dunning Spring waterfall in Decorah, Iowa. Jesse and I took a road trip to check them out and to photograph them as my birthday road trip. I entered this picture in the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon, but it was not selected for display. In fact, the picture that was selected for display is not in the 2020 calendar. It is the September image for the 2019 calendar. This picture was taken on May 17, 2019.


Details

Camera: Sony ILCA-77M2
Focal Length: 20mm
Aperture: f/18
Exposure: 1/2
ISO: 50

The June Image:


2020 Calendar - June
June

If you think it was weird that there was a picture from 2013 in the calendar, then this one will really mess with your head. This black and white image of a swan was taken at Lake Laverne on the beautiful campus of Iowa State University. I came across it when during our Saturday walks down memory lane as I restore old entries of “An Artist’s Notebook”. I liked it and I decided to throw it into the collection of nominees for the pictures I would enter in the Boone County Fair Photo Contest. I didn’t expect anybody to pick it, but Logan did. It won a Purple Ribbon. It was taken May 10, 2006.


Details

Camera: Konica Minolta Dynax 5D
Focal Lenght: 300mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure: 1/500
ISO: 200

Tomorrow we’ll reveal the images for July and August.

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The pictures in the folder 2009-08-05 are from the last Ames Jaycees event I ever attended. It was at that point just a formality. I had joined the Ames on the Half Shell Committee, therefore I was going to fulfill my duties. The moment that last not of the Ames on the Half Shell season faded from existence, I was Audi 5000.

Now that you have sat through several entries about my ill-fated time with the Ames Jaycees, I think you, loyal reader, deserve an explanation for why it came to an end.

I joined the Ames Jaycees for two reasons. First, a friend asked me to join. This person, we will refer to as “1”, was like 1000% into the Ames Jaycees. Her passion was somewhat contagious. I was also doing her a favor because recruiting a new member made her like a 33rd degree Mason. I don’t know, the inner workings and rankings of the organization were something I never cared about. Even when I was at my peak Jayceeness. Which I’m guessing was about January of 2009. my passion for the Jaycees was about a 5 on a scale of 1-10.

By March of 2009, I knew that that my time with the Jaycees was over, but I also knew, I would finish out the Ames on the Half Shell. I was a quitter, but I always finish out my commitments.

In January of 2009 I joined the Board as a Vice-President in some capacity. VP of Promotions or something like that. All it really meant was that I ran the website and had to go to an extra meeting a month. Which was okay, even though I am a person that to their very core, loathes meetings.

Which brings me to the other reason I joined the Jaycees. I needed an excuse to leave my house now and again. This provided that. I didn’t realize it would put so much undesired drama into my life.

The Board was split into basically two factions. There were 1’s friends, who were also all 1000% into the Jaycees. The other half of the boardroom was dominated by the President and his cronies. The President was apparently buggering one of the vice-presidents, which wasn’t cool because he was married, but not to the vice-president he was buggering. I can’t even recall how this even factored into the story, but it provided me with a chance to use the term buggering.

The President and the VP he was buggering didn’t like one of 1’s friends, we will call her 2. I think it was because 2 knew about the buggering, but I don’t know that to within a degree of certainy. What I do know is that what happened next is that the Buggered VP accused 2 of some creative accounting involving some kind of Halloween drinking outing that involved the Jaycees.

One reason why I was a 5 on the Jaycees at my peak Jayceeness was that they like to talk about drinking. I don’t mean they liked to drink. They liked talking about drinking. You know that thing that high school students and college students do when they drink, they can’t stop talking about it. “Look at me I’m drinking.” Yeah, nobody cares. Shut up and drink your Zima Chad.

This is all hypothetical at this point. I haven’t been around a high school student or college student that is drinking alcohol, since I left the service of the Evil Clown Empire, but I’m sure it hasn’t changed much. Other than, I assume that nobody drinks Zima now. White Claws?

But I digress…

The charges were at least 76% hokum that stemmed from some kind of personal grievance with 2. Plus, there might have been a bit of a power play in there. A chance to show dominance. A chance to show that the Buggered VP wasn’t the President, but she was still running this beach.

I think there was some kind of trial. Not really, it was really just one person’s word and then there was some kind of vote. 2 got sent to Jaycee prison. I think she wasn’t allowed to touch money for a year.

Almost as soon as the sentence was handed down, 1 and all of her friends resigned. Grabbed their Jaycee ball and went to Nevada and Des Moines. That left me alone. Like I said, I was a 5. In January. at this point, I was a 3. Even at a 3, I was willing to stick around and fight for the soul of the Ames Jaycees. When the people who were at a 1000% were like deuces and checked out, I was like make that 3 a -2.

The funny thing is that after everybody else left, 2 stuck around. I’m not sure if I respect that or not. Maybe I’ll have to talk to her about it someday.

I fulfilled my obligations and haven’t been to a Jaycee event since. I sometimes see them at the unofficial reunions and I chalk this up as a life lesson. I don’t leave my house now.

(This is how I remember everything going down, I’m sure some of my details aren’t 100% accurate, but if you are going to complain about that, you can bugger off.)


Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

Burnin' Sensations

If you want to look at the pictures from the 2009 Ames on the Half Shell season, you can click on the link below:

Ames on the Half Shell – 2009

Next Saturday’s walk down Memory Lane will involve things I grew in my backyard.

Selfie Project – July

Usually I don’t like to get this late into a month before I publish my favorite photos from the previous months SELFIE PROJECT, but I guess I’ve been busy and I’ve really been trying to be diligent with hitting up that 2018 backlog.

I don’t know that I did anything that was as interesting as what I did in June, but it wasn’t the worst month of the year for me.

Here are my favorites from July:


July 3, 2019
July 3

July 5, 2019
July 5

July 6, 2019
July 6

July 8, 2019
July 8

July 9, 2019
July 9

July 11, 2019
July 11

July 12, 2019
July 12

July 13, 2019
July 13

July 14, 2019
July 14

July 15, 2019
July 15

July 18, 2019
July 18

July 19, 2019
July 19

July 20 , 2019
July 20

July 21, 2019
July 21

July 24, 2019
July 24

July 26, 2019
July 26

July 27, 2019
July 27

July 28, 2019
July 28

July 31, 2019
July 31

I’d like to think that I’ve done some borderline interesting stuff in August so far, with a couple things left to go. A trip to Zeno’s. A trip to the Minnesota State Fair. The first Iowa State football game are all left to go!

A Photo Journal – Page 73

A week or so ago the largest steam engine in the world pulled into Boone and spent the night. I wasn’t able to get a lot of great pictures of it because of its location and my work schedule at the computer mine. However, I was able to get a picture for Page 73 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT.


Photo Journal - Page 73
Page 73 – Turn form into rhythm.

The idea of this photo page is to take a picture concentrating on the shapes that make up an object, rather than the object itself.

I can only physically adhere one picture into the physical THE PHOTO JOURNAL, but I did take a few other pictures:


Photo Journal - Page 73

Photo Journal - Page 73

Photo Journal - Page 73

Photo Journal - Page 73

Photo Journal - Page 73

Photo Journal - Page 73

Photo Journal - Page 73

Photo Journal - Page 73

Photo Journal - Page 73

These are the pages I still need to photograph:

Page 18 – Shoot the other half of this picture by Jason by Jason Evans. – This is a profoundly stupid page, but I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and do it at some point.
PAGE 27- Create drama around the edge of your frame.
Page 28 – Recreate a famous photograph without looking it up.
PAGE 31 – Tell a joke with two pictures.
Page 64 – Head out with a fellow photographer and play a game of photography dare.
PAGE 66-67 – Make a sequence of four pictures inspired by the rise and fall of Britney Spears (or another celebrity).
PAGE 101 – Find an object, close your eyes and compose your shot using touch rather than vision.
Page 106-107 – Email one of your pictures to your photography hero and ask them what they hate about it.
PAGE 116 – Shoot an advert where the image says it all without need for any additional copy.
Page 117 – Freeze the frame exactly 57 minutes and 32 seconds in to your favourite film. Take a picture inspired by what you see.
PAGE 121 – Show us that photography is a form of magic.
Page 123 – Don’t take any more photographs -none- until you see something that emotionally moves you. Only then pick up your camera.

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Here is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is BLACK & WHITE:


WEEK 202 - BLACK & WHITE
BLACK & WHTIE

A BLACK & WHITE picture can be of any subject, as long as it is a BLACK & WHITE picture.

Happy photo harvesting!

Baby Got Rack Takes the Boone County Fair

Last Saturday was the annual Boone County Fair barbecue contest. Baby Got Rack decided to take a different tact this time. Rather than entering the pizza, we decided to enter something new. Meatloaf Cupcakes. This was a big risk just based on the fact that the pizza was a surefire winner.

However, Scottie D. had become bored with winning with the same item over and over and over and over again.

The other risk we decided was to enter pork ribs. Pork is easily the most popular category and hardest to win.

One last risk Baby Got Rack decided to take was to do little to no planning. Scottie D. thought that certain things would just take care of themselves. It turns out that Melissa does those things for Scottie D and she was in the horrible place known as Nebraska on Friday night. So things didn’t get taken care of.

Baby Got Rack stumbled out the starting blocks. We didn’t get our desired spot on the end. We didn’t have any of our stuff prepared. So Scottie D. dropped Hammer and I off at the fairgrounds to get everything setup and get the fire going. He went back home and worked on getting food prep done.

It all worked out because Baby Got Rack walked out of the Boone County Fair with 2 big victories. We won best Specialty AND more importantly Best Overall. Both for the Meatloaf Cupcakes.

This means that Baby Got Rack will be competing at the Iowa State Fair again. So if you go to the Fair on Tuesday, August 13 in the morning, look us up. We will be in the Grand Concourse.

Here are some pictures from what ended up being a humid, wet, and victorious day!


Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

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Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Baby Got Rack - 2019

Last year we won the specialty category at the Iowa State Fair. Here is hoping for a repeat!

WPC – WEEK 201 – ANGER

I thought for sure that this week would not be a double digit week, but it was! The 4th straight week! That makes me happy that so many of you found your ANGER, which I consider to be one of the hardest them of this set of 52.

A note, if you have an idea for a theme for the next set of 52, leave it in the Comments section of this here blog.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates, you came to see the participation!


WEEK 201 - ANGER - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 201 - ANGER - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 201 - ANGER - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 201 - ANGER -MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 201 - ANGER -KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 201 - ANGER -KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 201 - ANGER - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 201 - ANGER - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 201 - ANGER - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 201 - ANGER - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 201 - ANGER - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim

WEEK 201 - ANGER - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 202 - BLACK & WHITE
BLACK & WHITE

BLACK & WHITE! What a great theme! This is the closest you get to a wild card theme. You can literally take a picture of anything, and as long as that picture is in BLACK & WHITE, it qualifies for this theme.

You may have to do some editing after you take the picture, but a lot of digital cameras have a BLACK & WHITE setting.

This is my favorite theme, so I definitely look forward to your interpretations!

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HOUSEKEEPING


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 RULES DIVISION

The picture has to be taken the week of the theme. This isn’t a curate your pictures challenge. This is a get your butt off the couch (my personal experience) and put your camera in your hands challenge. Don’t send me a picture of you next to the Eiffel Tower, when I know you were in Iowa all week. I will point out that I have let that slide some in the past. I will not in the future. Since it is literally about the only rule.

Your submission needs to be emailed to bennett@photography139.com by 11 AM on the Monday of the challenge due date.

OR

I now allow people to text me their submissions. In the past, I had made exceptions for a couple people that aren’t real computer savvy, even though it was an inconvenience for me and required at least 3 extra steps for me. I am now lifting that embargo because I have a streamline way of uploading photos. I’m not giving out my phone number, but if you have it, you can text me.

It should be pointed out that this blog auto-publishes at 12:01 on Mondays. So it wouldn’t hurt to get your picture in earlier.

That is it, them’s the rules.


A MESSAGE FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHY 139 SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION DIVISION

Nobody showed class, taste, and sophistication this week by signing up for a Photography 139 email subscription. I’ll try and do better next week.

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That’s all I got for today, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will commune right here again next Monday. Hopefully it will be a very monochrome Monday!

Boone County Fair Photography Contest Results

Now that the Boone County Fair is winding down and my collection of Boone County Fair Photography Contest entries are bagged up and safely stowed in one of the now TWO trunks that archive my past photo contest entries, I can release the results to the general public that didn’t make it to the Boone County Fair this year. A fair that I can safely say if Family-Friendly Fun & Entertainment, Right here in Central Iowa! I would dare say that this year’s fair was “Picture Perfect”.

Here are my submissions, along with who selected them for entry and the result:


Boone County Fair Photo Contest Entry
Purple Ribbon – Logan Kahler

Boone County Fair Photo Contest Entry
Blue Ribbon – Michelle Haupt

Boone County Fair Photo Contest Entry
Red Ribbon – Monica Henning

Boone County Fair Photo Contest Entry
Blue Ribbon – Jesse Howard

Boone County Fair - 2019
Purple Ribbon – Shannon Bardole-Foley

A reminder that I do have one picture that will be displayed at the Iowa State Fair Photography Salon. I don’t know what it is, but I will find out at the Photographer Reception here in a couple weeks. I’ll release that photo at the conclusion of the Iowa State Fair on August 18.

There is still good seats available to join me at the Iowa State Fair on August 18. But they are filling up fast!

As for the last photo contest I enter this year, the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. I will again be selecting my entries by poll. I will be putting that poll together in the next couple of weeks. So stay tuned to this station. Information will be forthcoming!

A Photo Journal – Page 16

REMINDER that starting tomorrow, my 5 entries for the Boone County Fair should be on display. They usually put them out about noon. They will be displayed in the Community Building.

Thanks to:

Logan Kahler
Jesse Howard
Michelle Haupt
Shannon Bardole-Foley
Monica Henning

For selecting the 5 entries.

Special thanks to Stephanie Kim who volunteered to pick a photo, but I think took it too seriously and ran out of time.

Plus thanks to Jodie Cue who volunteered to be an alternate.

Soon I’ll begin the process of selecting photos for the Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest. Keep your eyes peeled to this website for details!

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Last Friday I took off work early to go down to Van Meter to the military cemetery to join the Howards for Larry Howard’s graveside service. It isn’t the type of event where I take a camera or ever think about taking pictures. I’m not altogether comfortable taking pictures at a funeral, but this is, strangely, the second time that I’ve done such a thing.

However, after I arrived I was asked to take some pictures, so I did. I don’t know that I’ll share those, but we’ll see. After the service was over I wandered around the cemetery looking around. It was there that I stumbled across the perfect subject for Page 16 of THE PHOTO JOURNAL PROJECT.


Photo Journal - Page 16
Page 16 – Photograph the last thing that made you laugh.

With Page 16 put to rest, here are the following pages that I still need to photograph:

Page 18 – Shoot the other half of this picture by Jason by Jason Evans. – This is profoundly stupid page, but I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and do it at some point.
PAGE 27- Create drama around the edge of your frame.
Page 28 – Recreate a famous photograph without looking it up.
PAGE 31 – Tell a joke with two pictures.
Page 64 – Head out with a fellow photographer and play a game of photography dare.
PAGE 66-67 – Make a sequence of four pictures inspired by the rise and fall of Britney Spears (or another celebrity).
Page 73 – Turn form into rhythm.
PAGE 101 – Find an object, close your eyes and compse your shot using touch rather than vision.
Page 106-107 – Email one of your pictures to your photography hero and ask them what they hate about it.
PAGE 116 – Shoot an advert where the image says it all without need for any additional copy.
Page 117 – Freeze the frame exactly 57 minutes and 32 seconds in to your favourite film. Take a picture inspired by what you see.
PAGE 121 – Show us that photography is a form of magic.
Page 123 – Don’t take any more photographs -none- until you see something that emotionally moves you. Only then pick up your camera.

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The Boone County Fair is going down right now, which means tomorrow is the annual barbecue/grill-out competition. Baby Got Rack will once again be there competing!


Baby Got Rack - Boone County Fair 2018
BABY GOT RACK!

If you are around the fair, go ahead and stop by and say hello. It is going to be a brutally hot one so you might want to check to see if we are still conscious.

We are taking a completely different set of recipes than we normally do, so we’ll see how it turns out. Baby Got Rack is nothing, but risk takers!

Hopefully it pays off and we qualify for the Iowa State Fair, but if it doesn’t, we will have no regrets!

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is ANGER.


WEEK 201 - ANGER

An ANGER photo is any photo of somebody thit is ANGERy or something that makes you ANGERy.

Happy photo harvesting!

Rapid City Mission Trip – Day 4

We are approaching the Boone County Fair, which means that I need to select pictures for the Boone County Fair Photo Contest. I am picking those pictures in the same way that I did last year. I’m letting other people pick them for me.

The first five people that text me that they are interested in picking one of my entries will get to pick my five entries for the Boone County Fair. Once you have been selected as a selector, I will send you instructions on how to make your selection.

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For some reason, on Thursday of the mission trip they let everybody sleep in an extra hour. This is something that has never happened on any of our other mission trips. To be honest, I wasn’t that big of a fan of it.

There are parts of being on a mission trip that are like FIGHT CLUB.

JACK (V.O.)
A guy came to fight club (mission trip) for the
first time, his ass was a wad of
cookie dough. After a few weeks (days), he
was carved out of wood.

By Thursday you don’t even miss sleep. By Thursday you don’t miss hot water in the showers. Thursday was the worst day to sleep in. If you could move the schedule on any day on any direction, I would move it an hour earlier on Friday. Wake up at 6:30, nah, 5:30.

The normal walk time with Andy was 6 AM. It didn’t get moved to 7 AM just because wake up time was 8 AM. We were carved out of wood by now.

However, there was a change with the 6 AM walk. This time we were loading up into vans and heading to Dinosaur Park. Dinosaur Park is a sculpture garden built on top of a hill in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. There are many socialists that produce brilliant and prophetic art, like George Orwell, but not going to lie, Dinosaur Park is does not have a masterwork in its collection. This is coming from a guy that is a big fan of dinosaur related art.

But this isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy every second of Dinosaur Park. In fact, I loved every second of Dinosaur Park.

After Dinosaur Park we went to a coffee ship called Alternative Fuel Coffee House. I got a smoothie so I could load up on the protein for the morning. Then we headed back to the church for breakfast.

Because of the weird late start to the day, we only had 5 hours at Black Hills Works. It was a day of mixed emotions. There is the sense of accomplishment as you finish off work week, but there is the sadness when you realize that you are probably never going to see any of the people you worked with all week. It has been only 4 days, but the bonds with some of the clients feel really deep.

I was going to miss Shad and Chuckie and John and Cammy and both Mikes and Daniel and Amy and Joe and the twins and Bronco. I was going to miss some of the staff that we connected with like Chris and Abby and Andy and Joey.

In fact, on Thursday I had a long conversation with Joey about beards and beard products. He insisted that I take some of his beard products home. He opened up his work locker and he had a ton of beard products there. I took home some beard butter, beard oil, and beard balm.

We were supposed to leave for our mountain stream shower, but we hung out there until almost 3:30 before heading out.

When we had our orientation on Monday the lady giving us our orientation told us flat out, “Some of the staff don’t like having kids here. They think they just get in the way.”

While that might be the case, I think we really only experienced that with one staff member. Possibly two. The staff really loved our kids and they even told us that we had the best kids that have ever volunteered there. Most kids show up and let the situation overwhelm them. They shutdown and don’t interact with the clients. Our kids interacted with everybody and engaged the clients without waiting for them to engage with them.

I know what you are thinking, you cynic. They tell that to every group. I might be inclined to agree with you only this is the 8th mission trip I’ve been on with the youth group from our church. It has happened every single time. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

For example, in Milwaukee my group was working at a nursing home. They sent us up to a room and wanted us to organize it and clear it out. 3 hours later we came down and asked what they wanted us to do next. Their jaw dropped open and they said, “That was supposed to take you all week.”

They later explained that the previous week that they had not one but two youth groups work on that room and they had barely made a dent. I assured them that those youth groups probably weren’t from Iowa. Built a little different here.

This was a different style of mission than we usually go on. This wasn’t painting or drywall or staining or cooking. This was just being in the moment with people that often get kicked to our society’s curb. I wasn’t sure if our group would excel in it like they did with manual labor.

I am pleased to report that they knocked it out of the park, yet again.

We rushed back to the church after the showers. Our cultural activity that night is the same for every YouthWorks group in the country. Thursday they hold a community cookout. Rapid City hosts the largest YouthWorks cookout west of the Mississippi. To be honest, this is part of the reason that I picked Rapid City. Last year our cookout in Vidor, Texas drew 2 people. One of them was an ice cream truck that I flagged down, just so we would have something to do.

A few adults grill burgers and dogs. The youth serve the food and interact with the community. The size of the cookout did not disappoint. I’m guessing we served over 300 people.

I met and talked with several people. One was a Navy veteran. I told him about how my niece’s fiance was about to be stationed and he cut me off and said, “It better not be to Iran by that mother(beep)(beep)(beep)(beep)piece of (beep)(beep)(beep) Trump.” Then he apologized and I assured him that if I were not a leader at a youth function, I could add several expletives to his description of the worthless draft dodging coward that is Cadet Bone Spurs.

I also had a long conversation with a guy that had just moved to Rapid City to take care of his mother who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I talked to another guy that was there with his children. He had recently got out of prison and was glad to be back with them.

Rapid City has a large population of homeless. The majority of the homeless are Lakota. The demographics of the cookout backed that up.

One of the interesting things about the Lakota is they reveal their elders. So when an elderly person would show up, they would be allowed to go to the head of the line.

The cookout finished up about 8 PM. I actually had to pull some of our youth away from the community members that they were talking to. I regret having to do that, but we needed to get ready for our Thursday worship service.

Thursday night at YouthWorks is always a powerful night. It is the last night of the mission trip and the emotions of the experience start crashing down on you. The worship service ends with a foot washing service. Now I’m not going to go all Baptist on you, but the foot washing experience is definitely a powerful experience.

It is derived from this story in THE BIBLE:

John 13:1-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Lord’s Supper
13 Now before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that His hour had come [and it was time] for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. Having [greatly] loved His own who were in the world, He loved them [and continuously loves them with His perfect love] to the end (eternally). 2 It was during supper, when the devil had already put [the thought of] betraying Jesus into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, 3 that Jesus, knowing that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, 4 got up from supper, took off His [outer] robe, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He tied it around His waist.

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
5 Then He poured water into the basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which was tied around His waist. 6 When He came to Simon Peter, he said to Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied to him, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will [fully] understand it later.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me [we can have nothing to do with each other].” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, [in that case, wash] not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, and is completely clean. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; for that reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 So when He had washed their feet and put on His [outer] robe and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is who I am. 14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well. 15 For I gave you [this as] an example, so that you should do [in turn] as I did to you. 16 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed [happy and favored by God] if you put them into practice [and faithfully do them].

After the worship service we had our final church time. It was also an emotional experience as it was the last mission trip with Anna and Megan. Our two seniors. If you have daughters, these are the type of you women you want them to grow up to be.

I hope this is not their last mission trip with our church. I can’t even speak confidently on the future of the mission trip. We have a new Pastor and it is hard to tell what direction he will want any of this to go. Plus, Megan and Anna will be leaving for college and it is hard to tell what direction their lives will even pull them in.

I hope that one or both of them are leaders on this mission trip at some point in the future. Megan has already inquired about being a leader next year. I know there are some hoops that will have to be jumped through, but we will get there.

Autumn lead us in a couple of worship songs. After some stuff that I will keep to myself was shared, we ended in a group hug, as has become strangely traditional.

The next morning we packed up and heading back to Boone. Everybody strangely changed.

Here are some pictures:


Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

Rapid City Mission Trip - 2019

The 5 posts on my mission trip are from my perspective of the Mission Trip. It was hardly comprehensive. For example, it didn’t include the story about the homeless people I prayed with on a Hardee’s picnic table. Or when Andy stole my phone… on accident?

There were 24 other souls on this mission trip and every single one of them experienced it in a completely different way than I did.