Category Archives: Christianity

Jackson County Aux – Volume 2

Back in late January I made a trip out to Jackson County to harvest the balance of their town signs. Here is the second collection of the auxiliary images I took on that trip:


Jackson County - Saint Donatus
Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - Saint Donatus

Jackson County - La Motte
La Motte

Jackson County - La Motte

Jackson County - Zwingle
Zwingle

Jackson County - Zwingle

Linn  County - Cedar Rapids
Cedar Rapids

Most of the pictures were taken in Saint Donatus. I did not walk the Way of the Cross there to the chapel because it was closed. It is on my list of things to do in the future. I have quite the list of places I want to visit again after I complete THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT.

The next time we hit the open road to look at auxiliary images from THE TOWN SIGN PROJECT, we will visit Cherokee and O’Brien counties.

Fat Mum Slim – May 2022

On Tuesday I completed another month of the Fat Mum Slim Photo A Day Challenge. It was month of random prompts and I think for the most part, there is some good work mixed in with mediocre work. The kind of thing you get with a Photo A Day Challenge. This month I took pictures in 3 different states. Iowa, Florida, and Minnesota. I’m not sure how many different towns I took pictures in, but for sure it was Boone, Miami, Miami Beach, Des Moines, Ames, Nevada, Alta Vista, and Minneapolis. A few in rural areas as well.

Here are May’s pictures:


May 1
May 1 – This is Me

May 2
May 2 – Good Morning

May 3
May 3 – Free Choice

May 4
May 4 – Trees

May 5
May 5 – Mirrors

May 6
May 6 – Leaf

May 7
May 7 – View from Here

May 8
May 8 – Love

May 9
May 9 – A Seat

May 10
May 10 – Where I Stood

May 11
May 11 – Something Small

May 12
May 12 – In Nature – See the turtle?

May 13
May 13 – Green

May 14
May 14 – Sunshine

May 15
May 15 – Upside Down

May 16
May 16 – This Season

May 17
May 17 – A Shape

May 18
May 18 – A Door

May 19
May 19 – Creative

May 20
May 20 – I Read This…

May 21
May 21 – Waves

May 22
May 22 – Flying

May 23
May 23 – Stairs

May 24
May 24 – A Pair

May 25
May 25 – Something Warm

May 26
May 26 – Pink

May 27
May 27 – Lucky

May 28
May 28 – Horizon

May 29
May 29 – A Car

May 30
May 30 – Sky

May 31
May 31 – This is Also Me

The plant that is in the picture for May 6 is also the plant in the picture for May 17.

There is only one prompt for the month of June. That is Grateful. The instructions are simply take a photo each day of something you’re grateful for.

This could be a very difficult month or a very easy one. I have a ton of things in my life to be grateful for, so in theory it should be pretty easy. But on the other hand, it is actually coming in to contact with those things (or more directly people) to get the pictures that I want in my head. I’ll at least try to make it happen. Or maybe my Instagram feed will just be filled with 30 pictures of nonsense. It could break either way.

Remember, you can follow along with this project on the daily at the Instagram account I’ve created just for this project at @fmsbennett.

Here’s hoping June goes well and that you are grateful you get to see those pictures.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is FLOWER:


WEEK 351 - FLOWER
FLOWER

FLOWER! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a FLOWER picture? Simply put, a FLOWER picture is any picture where a FLOWER is a major compositional element of the picture. The FLOWER can be real. The FLOWER can be fake. The FLOWER can be a artistic rendering. There are so many options!

Happy photo harvesting!

Pottawattamie and Harrison County Aux – Vol. 2

Here is the rest of the collection of pictures from my trip harvesting the town signs of Pottawattamie County and Harrison County. All of these were taken in Harrison County.


Harrison County - Modale
Modale

Harrison County - Modale

Harrison County - Mondamin
Mondamin

Harrison County - Magnolia
Magnolia

Harrison County - Magnolia

Harrison County - Logan
Logan

Harrison County - Logan

Harrison County - Logan

Harrison County - Logan

Harrison County - Woodbine
Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine
There used to be a Dairy Sweet in Boone in my youth. I know they aren’t connected, but I like to pretend they are.

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

Harrison County - Woodbine

The art scene in Woodbine is greatly underrated. It is a town I would like to go back and photograph in greater depth at some point. Possibly Missouri Valley as well. They have a train ride I’d like to visit someday too.

+++++++

This is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is HISTORY:


WEEK 350 - HISTORY
HISTORY

WARNING: NEXT MONDAY IS MEMORIAL DAY. WHILE THE BANKS AND THE GOVERNMENT MIGHT BE TAKING THE DAY OFF, THERE ARE NO DAYS OFF FOR PHOTOGRAPHY 139. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! YOU MIGHT BE OUT DOING HOLIDAY TYPE THINGS. THINK ABOUT THIS WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR PLANS TO SEND ME YOUR SUBMISSION. I ALSO MIGHT NOT BE IN POSITION TO SEND OUT ANY REMINDERS. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!

HISTORY! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what is a HISTORY picture? A HISTORY picture is simply any picture that deals with a HISTORI(Y)cal artifact. Could be something found in a museum. It could be something found on the side of the road. It could be an old church or an old building. It could be living history. It doesn’t have to be anything as grand as the spot where a President of the United States spoke. It doesn’t have to be political HISTORY or military HISTORY or religious HISTORY. It could very easily be personal HISTORY or family HISTORY.

Happy photo harvesting!

Clinton County Auxiliary Images Vol. 3

Here is the final collection of auxiliary images I took on a trip to Clinton County and southern Jackson County. Most of these images are taken in Clinton County. A few in Jackson County. I think the last three are taken in Benton County. Possibly Linn or Tama as well. But I’m pretty sure it is Benton.


Clinton County - Goose Lake
Goose Lake

Clinton County - Felton
Felton

Clinton County - Felton

Clinton County - Felton

Clinton County - Felton

Clinton County - Delmar
Delmar

Clinton County - Delmar

Clinton County - Delmar

Clinton County - Delmar

Clinton County - Delmar

Clinton County - Delmar

Clinton County - Delmar

Clinton County - Delmar

Clinton County - Delmar

Jackson County - Buckhorn
Buckhorn

Clinton County - Monmouth
Monmouth

Clinton County - Monmouth

Clinton County - Monmouth

Clinton County - Monmouth

Clinton County - Monmouth

Clinton County

Clinton County

Clinton County

Clinton County

The next counties we will visit through auxiliary images are Pottawattamie and Harrison.

Clinton County Auxiliary Images Vol. 1

Several weeks back I cruised around Clinton County and the southern tip of Jackson County harvesting their town signs. Here is the first collection of auxiliary images from that trip:


Clinton County - DeWitt
DeWitt

Clinton County - DeWitt

Clinton County - Low Moor
Low Moor

Clinton County - Clinton
Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County - Clinton

Clinton County

Clinton County - Andover
Andover

Clinton County

Jackson County - Sabula
Sabula

Jackson County - Sabula

Sabula holds the distinction of being the only city in Iowa that is an island. There are still several more pictures from this trip still to come!

Monroe and Mahaska County Auxiliary Images Vol. 1

A long, long time ago when I revealed the towns signs of Monroe County I pointed out that the town of Melrose, Iowa had a memorial up in their town park to honor the 1936-37 Melrose Shamrocks boys basketball team. A team that the Des Moines Register honored as the best team in the first 100 years of Iowa boys basketball in 2012.

Kio took great offense to this and sent me the following email:

Some of what Melrose claims about their championship basketball team might be a bit of blarney. I have to stick up for the Boone High Boys State Basketball 1931 State Champions. Although I’m not completely impartial, my Dad was the captain of that team, it had a legitimate star at all positions. Also worth noting, there were no classes or divisions in high school basketball in those days. All the teams in the state were lumped together. So if you won the state championship, you were truly the best team in the state. I always add this footnote when talking on this topic. Although Boone hasn’t won a state basketball tournament championship since 1931, no one would have been prouder to see his team’s record beaten than my Dad.

While Kio is clearly prejudiced, I think it is fair to reveal why the Melrose Shamrocks are considered the best boys basketball team in the first 100 years of Iowa boys basketball.

Here are some facts about them:
+ Melrose was the smallest school to ever win a single-class state basketball title in Iowa. Enrollment was 66. They beat Marshalltown in the championship game. A school with an enrollment of 1,077.
+ Melrose was the first team to go undefeated in state history. Going 33-0. They defeated undefeated Rolfe (29-0) in the semifinal game. They beat them 29-13.
+ Their 35-17 win over Marshalltown was the largest margin of victory in the championship game up until that point.
+ Played their home games in an opera house because they didn’t have a gym. The court measured 30 feet by 40 to 45 feet. Why 40 to 45 feet? One of corners of the playing floor featured a wood stove that heated the building and was blocked off so players didn’t run into it. A standard basketball court is 50 feet by 94 feet.
+ “Many of the players on the Melrose basketball team wanted to fit in with the “big city” crowd of Des Moines. In the fashion of the day, they slicked back their hair with Rose Hair Oil. Rose Hair Oil was inexpensive (“about 15 cents per gallon,” according to Walt O’Connor), so they apparently used lots of it. The oil also had a nice smell to it.

While this was fine before the tournament started, it gave the team trouble in their first game against Geneseo. During the game, the hair oil went from their hair to their hands to the ball. As Walt O’Connor recalled, “We started perspiring and wiping our heads to get the hair out of our eyes, and the first thing you knew, the referee couldn’t hold the ball.” After having trouble handling the ball in the first half, the players washed out their hair at half time. Better ball handling in the second half helped them to win the game, 35 – 34. After almost letting the first game of the tournament slip their grasp, Melrose stopped using the hair oil in the later games.”

Some of this information is taken from the Melrose website article on the team:

1937 Melrose Shamrocks

All of that being said, the Ames High team featuring Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott would have beaten this team by at least 20 points. They did win 53 games in a row.

Here is the first collection of the auxiliary images from a road trip I took to Monroe and Mahaska County with Teresa.


Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Melrose

Monroe County - Georgetown
Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown

Monroe County - Georgetown
Albia

Monroe County - Albia

Monroe County - Albia

There are still two more collections of images to share from this road trip.

Cedar County Auxiliary Images Vol. 2

Here is the second collection of auxiliary images I took while harvesting the town signs of Cedar County. A few of these are taken in Muscatine County. A few are taken in Benton County. The majority of them are taken in West Branch at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.

Herbert Hoover was the first president born west of the Mississippi River. He is also the only president born in Iowa. I always thought it was embarrassing that the worst president in history was born in Iowa. But then I looked it up. Herbert Hoover was not the worst president. Just one of the worst. John Tyler. Worse. Millard Fillmore. Worse. William Henry Harrison. Worse. Franklin Pierce. Worse. Warren G. Harding. Worse. Donald Trump. Worse. James Buchanan. Worse. And according to presidential scholars, historians, and political scientists. Andrew Johnson. The worst.

If you are wondering, the three presidents that are currently considered the best are:

3. Abraham Lincoln
2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
1. George Washington

And while one of the worst presidents was the only president born in Iowa, think of sad states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Florida, West Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama… to name a few… that haven’t even had a sad sack like Benjamin Harrison (the president ranked just ahead of Herbert Hoover) born there. He was born in Ohio. Just like William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

Enough presidential birthplace history. Here are the rest of the pictures from my Cedar County road trip:


Muscatine County - Wilton
Wilton

Muscatine County - Wilton

Cedar County - West Branch
West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Cedar County - West Branch

Youngville Cafe
Benton County – Junction of Lincoln Highway and Red Ball Highway

Youngville Cafe

Youngville Cafe

Youngville Cafe

Youngville Cafe

Youngville Cafe

Youngville Cafe

Youngville Cafe

Here is some information about the Youngville Cafe from the Wikipedia:

Youngville Cafe, also known as Youngville Station, is a historic building located northwest of Watkins, Iowa, United States. It was a one-stop roadside business that included a café, a Skelly gas station, and three cabins for travelers to stay in. The cabins have subsequently been removed. The building calls attention to increasing business opportunities for women. The Tudor Revival building was built in 1931 by Joe Young on his pasture land for his widowed daughter Lizzie Wheeler to support her and her children. The main building also contained residential space where the family lived. It is located on U.S. Route 30, which at this point had been the Lincoln Highway. The café/station also served as a bus depot for the Greyhound and Jefferson bus lines.

When Wheeler retired to Cedar Rapids, she rented out the business to others to run. She returned to the café/station in 1967 after the lease ended, but it closed that year because it didn’t have enough parking and vehicles could no longer park along the highway. The building was used as a residence into the 1980s, when it was abandoned. The Benton County Sesquicentennial Commission acquired it as a restoration project to celebrate Iowa’s 150th anniversary of statehood in 1996. It is now owned by the Youngville Highway History Association and open as a café on a limited basis. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

The cafe has been closed since 2020 because of the pandemic and because of damage it sustained from the derecho. However, according to a Facebook post on the Youngville Highway History Association Facebook page, it will be opening up and serving lunch Tuesdays from 11 AM to 2 PM starting on June 7th. You can bet dollars to donuts or burgers or tenderloins or whatever they serve, that I will be taking a day off from computer mining to go experience it.

If the menu that is lying on the ground is still accurate, I’ll definitely be knocking down a raspberry pie and probably a rhubarb pie as well.

Cedar County Auxiliary Images Vol. 1

Several weeks back I travelled to Cedar County to harvest their town signs. On this trip I also harvested some town signs in Clinton County and Muscatine County. I also stopped and took some pictures in Benton County.

Here is the first collection of images from this road trip:


Cedar County - Mechanicsville
Mechanicsville – Back when I worked at the Campus Outpost of the Evil Clown Empire, one of our regular customers was a guy we called Snake cause he had a snake tattoo. Yeah, we were original. He used to come in daily and would put the moves so to speak on Jean, the Breakfast Assistant. She was not in to Snake. I like to think that Snake moved to Mechanicsville and opened a carwash. It is a small dream of mine.

Cedar County - Mechanicsville

Cedar County - Stanwood
Stanwood – I’ve never had the desire to get a tattoo in my life. Mostly because I’m terrified of hepatitis. That being said, seems like a reputable place.

Cedar County - Stanwood

Cedar County - Stanwood
My favorite kind of thirst trap.

Cedar County - Clarence
Clarence – Metaphysical Geodes?

Cedar County - Clarence

Cedar County - Clarence

Cedar County - Clarence

Cedar County - Clarence

Cedar County - Clarence

Cedar County - Clarence

Clinton County - Wheatland
Wheatland

Clinton County - Calamus
Calamus

Clinton County - Calamus

Clinton County - Lost Nation
Lost Nation

Clinton County - Lost Nation

Clinton County - Lost Nation
I have questions…

Clinton County - Toronto
Toronto

Cedar County - Bennett
Bennett

Cedar County - Bennett
I’m not a military expert, but I wouldn’t paint my military aircrafts red. Would seem to make it easier to shoot them down.

Cedar County - Tipton
Tipton

Cedar County - Tipton

Cedar County - Tipton

Cedar County - Tipton

Cedar County - Tipton

Cedar County - Tipton
The concept of this mural is one of my favorites I have seen.

Muscatine County - Wilton
Wilton – This place is literally NEVER open!

Muscatine County - Wilton
I think this is the LSD training rolling into Wilton.

Muscatine County - Wilton

There is one more collection of images from this road trip still left to share.