Category Archives: Ruins

WPC – WEEK 251 – BLACK AND WHITE

Would you believe it? 40 straight weeks of double digit submissions. I didn’t even need to send out any reminders this morning! WooHoo!

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates. You came to see the submissions:


WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - AARON BARNETT
Aaron Barnett

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - JOSEPH LYNCH
Joseph Lynch

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - MONICA HENNING
Monica Henning

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 251 - BLACK AND WHITE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

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 252 - FACELESS PORTRAIT
FACELESS PORTRAIT

FACELESS PORTRAIT! What a great theme! But what is a FACELESS PORTRAIT image? A FACELESS PORTRAIT image is a picture of somebody, but there face isn’t in the picture. It can be cropped out of the image. It can be from an angle where you don’t see the face. It can be a picture where something is in front of the face. Hundreds of ways to take a FACELESS PORTRAIT.

For example, Aaron’s submission for this week is an example of a FACELESS PORTRAIT. Logan’s is as well. As is Cathie’s.

I look forward to seeing your submissions!

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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.

+++++++

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 faceless Monday!

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Happy Friday the 13th everybody! Considered to be a very unlucky day, but considering how bad of a shape our country is in right now, I don’t want to invite any more bad luck. So I am going to celebrate by watching a Friday the 13th movie tonight. Not sure which one yet, but maybe the 3-D one or maybe the one with Corey Feldman or maybe my favorite one, which involves a soundtrack littered with one “great” Alice Cooper song after another.

I’ve always believed that Friday the 13th was an unlucky day because those camp counselors decided to sneak off and “get it on” instead of watching that little special needs boy. I hope it was good for them, because he drowned and now we all have to suffer on this day… forever.

Turns out, that isn’t why Friday the 13th is considered unlucky. Turns out, maybe we don’t even know why it is considered unlucky. There are just theories on it, but nobody really knows.

One theory is that there were 13 guests at the Last Supper. Jesus and his 12 apostles. Judas betrayed him and on the next day, a Friday, Jesus was crucified.

This created a longstanding superstition that I’ve never heard of that having 13 guests at a table is a bad omen. This is why the Methodist Men always seat tables for 8 people. Not really, but it would be cool if we did.

But do bad things happen on Friday the 13th, besides the bad things that happen to camp counselors?

In 1964, the infamous Kitty Geovese murder.
In 1970, 300,000 people were killed in Bagladesh by a cyclone.
In 1996, Tupac was murdered.

Seems like a pretty terrible track record to me. So let me just celebrate this Friday the 13th with some of my favorite Tupac lyrics:

With all this extra stressing
The question I wonder is after death, after my last breath
When will I finally get to rest through this suppression?
They punish the people that’s asking questions
And those that possess, steal from the ones without possessions
The message I stress: to make it stop study your lessons
Don’t settle for less – even the genius asks his questions
Be grateful for blessings
Don’t ever change, keep your essence
The power is in the people and politics we address
Always do your best, don’t let the pressure make you panic
And when you get stranded, and things don’t go the way you planned it
Dreaming of riches, in a position of making a difference
Politicians and hypocrites, they don’t wanna listen
If I’m insane, it’s the fame made a brother change
It wasn’t nothing like the game
It’s just me against the world

Happy Friday the 13th. I hope you enjoy your favorite Friday the 13th movie tonight!

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Last Saturday morning I spent some time at McHose Park photographing the junk pile that is on the backside of the park for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme JUNK. Why there is a small junkyard on the backside of probably the most beautiful city park in the Cyclone State is a bit of a mystery. This is what I believe happened:

A long, long time ago, I can still remember how, the city dump used to be on South Division Street. Eventually Boone decided that maybe the dump shouldn’t be in town and built a landfill outside of town a few miles. They needed to do something with the junk that was in the city dump and rather than move it or recycle it, they just shoved it all down the ravine on the backside of McHose Park. Problem solved. Given a choice between doing something smart and something lazy, people will usually take the lazy option. Over the years, rain and snow and wind and mud has slowly moved all that junk deeper and deeper into McHose Park. The beautiful part of it is that there is a lot of water run off that goes through those rusted out fridges, washing machines, barrels, tires, and cars through an abandoned old train bridge and right into the water of Honey Creek.

Here are some pictures of some beautiful old JUNK that didn’t make the cut for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE on Monday:


Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

Hurting My Head from Things that I Said

What looks like was an old milk crate is something that I could see my sister Carla using in decorating somehow. I thought about grabbing it for her, but I’m not sure what the legality is of just taking junk from a city park is. But I did put it in a place where I can find it if I decide to push the limits.

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This is your reminder that this week’s WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE theme is WATER:


WEEK 235 - WATER
WATER

A WATER image is any image where WATER is an important part of the composition of the picture.

Happy photo harvesting!

WPC – WEEK 234 – JUNK

23 weeks! 23 straight weeks of double digit submission! Now JUNK wasn’t a super popular theme. I think it is mostly a Bennett thing to like to hang out surrounded by JUNK. Not garbage but JUNK. I went and wandered around my favorite local JUNK pile, even though I thought about just taking a picture of my 401(k) this morning. Just watching that thing circle the drain.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about the fact that I’ll never be able to retire. You came to see the submissions (include a first time submission from Aaron Barnett.. woohoo!):


WEEK 234 - JUNK - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 234 - JUNK - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause

WEEK 234 - JUNK - AARON BARNETT
Aaron Barnett

WEEK 234 - JUNK - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 234 - JUNK - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 234 - JUNK - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 234 - JUNK - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 234 - JUNK - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 234 - JUNK - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 234 - JUNK - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 234 - JUNK - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland

WEEK 234 - JUNK - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 234 - JUNK - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin

WEEK 234 - JUNK - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

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 235 - WATER
WATER

WATER! What a great theme! But what is a WATER picture? A WATER picture is simply any image that involves WATER. A picture of a lake, a pond, a stream, a river. All qualifies. But people also drink water. At least they should drink lots of water. People are also baptized in water. They clean with water. They give water to pets and to plants. Sometimes, water even falls from the sky. So many water options, I can’t wait to see 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.

+++++++

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 watery Monday!

Ogden, Iowa – Food Desert

Back in November, the grocery store in Ogden burned down, making Ogden the latest small town to become a food desert.

What is a food desert?

As defined by the United States Department of Agriculture, a food desert is an area in which at least a third of the population lives more than mile from a supermarket or grocery store, or ten miles for rural communities. Now the closest grocery store to Ogden is Fareway in Boone. Hy-Vee is you take Old 30.

The closest Ogden has to a grocery store is a Dollar General. Which is unfortunate because dollar stores are increasingly becoming the only thing close to grocery stores that many rural and urban communities have. This is bad because while dollar stores sell food, they very rarely sell fresh food or even healthy food. Instead, they concentrate on selling unhealthy foods like candy, chips, and pop. Few than 3 percent of Dollar General stores offer any healthy options at all.

Unfortunately the recent dominance of dollar stores in urban and rural areas isn’t gong to be reversed because of the increased concentration of food distribution, it is more difficult for independent grocery stores to survive. It becomes a never ending cycle because having a dollar store in your town can actually make it poorer. The average rural grocery store supports 14 employees, while the dollar store has only 9 employees. Those 9 employees make 30% less in wages.

Essentially, dollar stores move to poor areas and then lock in the poverty in the area to keep their customer base. Lower wage employees force taxpayers to subsidize the health care of these employees.

For more information on what you can do to keep dollar stores out of your town, click on the link below:

Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Here are some pictures from the remains of the Ogden grocery store:


Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

Ogden Grocery Store

I wish I would have got some pictures of the grocery store burning down, but that night I was at a Boone High School production of “Into the Woods” where Autumn and Akela from the youth group gave amazing performances. As did Nick who hasn’t joined us for youth group this year. Hector and Leah did some solid work with the tech crew. As did Anders’ son.

It was a busy night in Boone County. A train derailment closed down the Hy-Vee and another garage in Boone caught fire. I didn’t get any pictures of those.

Time and Memory

I read a quote recently from Thomas Wolfe who that is reminiscent of a recent event of some note that happened in Boone, Iowa. An event that, while it escaped the pages of the “Boone News Repbulican”, will no doubt echo through the pages of time. The quote went something like this:

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”

The event was that the boyhood home of Christopher D. Bennett was demolished. It was going to be the future site of the Christopher D. Bennett Museum, but now I suppose future generations will have to find a new location to venerate me.

I had two boyhood homes. One on West 15th Street where I lived until the 2nd Grade. It was torn down a long time ago. The only thing that remains of it is a garage that once held the Bennett Antique Store.

Between 1st Grade and 2nd Grade we moved to 415 Greene Street. This was important because it was after this move, I would meet most of the people that would matter in the shape (what there is of it) and direction (which there is even less of) of my life.

Life is far from linear, but in the story that is Christopher D. Bennett, moving to that house sent a million different things into motion. I wouldn’t be sitting where I am right now, typing what I am right now, if it wasn’t for that move.

Whether that is good or bad, you can debate behind my back ad nauseam.

I can remember having a sinking suspicion when my Mom moved out of that house that it would fall into a further state of disrepair. The house was not in bad shape, but it certainly was in need of a little love and elbow grease here and there.

I was worried that the house would fall into the possession of some notorious area slum lords, but it didn’t. It ended up being worse than that. The people who bought that were hoarders and they took a house that needed a few touches and ran it straight into the ground.

In less than a score of years, the house was condemned. Beyond reclamation. Slated for history’s ash heap.

Last Tuesday, the house was euthanized. Put out of its final misery. It was no longer a home. No longer a place of hopes and dreams. It was just a house. A collection of brick, beams, wood, pipes. It was time for it to go.

I got stuck at the computer mine a little late last Monday. I was a little behind schedule on my way home when Carla called me with the news.

I wasn’t sad to hear the news. It was actually relief. I have avoided driving down that street for years because it filled me with anger to see the state the old girl was in. After years, that rage had turned into sadness. Now it was over. I can drive down that street again.

Here are a few pictures of the house when it was a home to be remembered:



Here are pictures from the destruction of the house on 415 Greene Street:


The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

The Ruins of 415 Greene Street

I honestly thinking the house being torn down hurt my friends more than it hurt me or my sisters and Mom. It shows what it meant to so many people.

WPC – WEEK 211 – RUINS

After STREET PHOTOGRAPHY killed our double digit submissions buzz last week, RUINS brought us all the way back to the glory of double digit submissions! Woot! Woot!

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


WEEK 211 - RUINS - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

WEEK 211 - RUINS - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

WEEK 211 - RUINS - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp

WEEK 211 - RUINS - CATHIE RALEY
Cathie Raley

WEEK 211 - RUINS - JODIE CUE
Jodie Cue

WEEK 211 - RUINS - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest

WEEK 211 - RUINS - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett

WEEK 211 - RUINS - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 211 - RUINS - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson

WEEK 211 - RUINS - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard

WEEK 211 - RUINS - Becky Parmelee
Becky Parmelee

WEEK 211 - RUINS - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker

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 212 - FRAMED
FRAMED

FRAMED! What a great theme! But what is a FRAMED photo? A FRAMED photo is where the subject matter is framed by objects that aren’t the main subject of the photo. This can be done by putting your subject in a doorway or a window or through any thing that can be used as negative space. They don’t have to be FRAMED on a 4 sides. Of course, there is more than one definition of the term FRAMED.

I look forward to seeing your interpretations!

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.

+++++++

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 framed Monday!

2009-02-18 – Arizona Day 4

The pictures in the folder called 2009-02-18/Arizona Day 4 are from my work/vacation to Arizona.

Jesse and I spent the night at his brother’s house. We got up in the morning and ate at a local eatery. Then we visited a National Park called the Casa Grande Ruins. I think later that day we actually had to show up for work and the vacation became work.

Here are some pictures from that day:


Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

Arizona Day 4

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

Arizona Day 4

Next Saturday’s walk down memory lane will involve even more from my trip to Arizona.

Birthday Road Trip

Last year on my birthday I took a short road trip. I cruised down to Winterset to have try an award winning tenderloin. Along the way I stopped at several towns to take pictures for THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT. However, I also took other pictures here and there. I reached into the backlog to publish those today:


Birthday Road Trip
I want to try this restaurant sometime soon.

Birthday Road Trip

Birthday Road Trip

Birthday Road Trip
I always get a kick out of the weird civic pride that small towns in Iowa take from the accomplishments of high school students. It is the strangest sort of immortality.

Birthday Road Trip
I’ve never heard of this Nile Kinnick fellow, but Bob Feller was a baller.

Birthday Road Trip

Birthday Road Trip

Birthday Road Trip
The more I learn about John Wayne, the more I think that he thought that he actually was the guy he played in the movies. Remember that while many leading men in Hollywood chose to serve in WWII, like Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart, Paul Newman, Kirk Douglas, Clark Gable… John Wayne got a temporary 3-A deferrment since he was a father of four, that he somehow managed to turn into a permanent deferment, even though he started having an extramarital affair with Marlene Dietrich. John Ford, the director that made John Wayne a star by casting him in STAGECOACH berated Wayne by telling him that he was growing rich as other men died. John Wayne would go on to be a right wing tool for the House Un-American Activities Committee. One of the absolute blackest of black eyes in our history. Even though Wayne was a draft dodger, he was vicious on his attacks of Vietnam Protesters. John Wayne easily slid into that world of fake patriotism. Like notorious draft dodgers Dick Cheney and Cadet Bone Spurs. They could play a patriot on television (i.e. masturbating to the flag at political rallies), but ducked out when their number was called (i.e. raising taxes on Gold Star Families). It is a strange choice for a Freedom Rock. That being said, he made some great movies.

Birthday Road Trip
“Suck it towns that don’t love their children.” – Van Meter, Iowa

Birthday Road Trip

Birthday Road Trip

Birthday Road Trip

Birthday Road Trip

My birthday this year is on a Saturday. I won’t take a birthday road trip on my birthday though. So far I have been invited to two Graduation Open Houses on that day. However, I took the Friday before my birthday off and believe I’ll probably hitting the open road that day. Not sure yet, but maybe heading up to the Decorah area.

I might be filming for my first ever (and probably last ever) vlog on that day. If you want to go, I can save you a seat in the Sir Pixalotmobile.

Who’s Afraid of Thomas Wolfe?

My Mom moved out of my boyhood home 20 years ago. I loved that house and to some degree it will always be home to me.

While one can debate whether or not the 20 years that have passed have been kind to me, there is no doubt that it has not been kind to that boyhood home. If that house were an animal, the owners would be prosecuted for neglect.

There was a time when I would even avoid driving down the street where that house sits. Just the look of it falling deeper and deeper into a decrepit state would cause waves of anger to come crashing to the surface.

Then a couple years back, I heard through the grapevine that the house had been condemned. Anger turned to sadness. While I still avoid that street, it is a different emotion that cause the boycott.

The grapevine wasn’t 100% accurate though. While the house feels like it is a good blast of wind away from falling over, it isn’t exactly condemned. It isn’t fit for living, but it isn’t condemned either. In fact, it recently was put back on the market with an asking price of $15,000.

I recently toured the house with my Aunt Linda and took a few pictures of what it has become:


Boyhood Home
The upstairs bathroom.

Boyhood Home
My old bedroom.

Boyhood Home
I would still gladly take this tub off their hands.

Boyhood Home
Carla’s old bedroom.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
The den.

Boyhood Home
The living room.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
The old darkroom.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Basement shower.

Boyhood Home
My model railroad track used to sit there.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Living room.

Boyhood Home
I believe Grandpa Bennett put up that thermometer.

Boyhood Home

Boyhood Home
Garage is cleaner than the inside of the house.

Boyhood Home
No window though.

Boyhood Home
That poor owl thermometer.

Boyhood Home
I wish I could say that my old hoop was about to fall over because of my numerous thundering dunks.

Boyhood Home

Carla, Teresa, and Mom had all toured the old stomping grounds at some point, but this was my first time in the place. I was shocked to see that all the carpet and paint was the same as when Mom moved out. Okay, shocked might be overstating it.

I’m glad that the old place isn’t being torn down, but at the same time, I won’t be driving down that street anytime soon.