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The Good of Iowa


Tamara and I spent the afternoon sandbagging. I didn't have my camera with me because it's in South Carolina with my step-son, Tyler, as he skateboards madly with his buddies before they all go to college. But it was interesting to be reminded how hardship brings people together. This is where I believe Iowa to be a magical place. We're a trusting, helpful people. Neighbors were getting reintroduced to one another and learning that they have a common goal where they live. There was no selfishness. It was a team effort.

Not every resident of Des Moines came to help. And that's okay, and as it should be. Charity is best right when it's delivered willingly. Ashley, Scott, Sue, and David (a few of our fellow 300 sandbaggers who were nearest us) were there with smiles on their faces and believing in what they were doing.

After about 5 or 6 hours of working, Tamara and I went home. The Des Moines Register took Tamara's picture and interviewed her briefly at one location. The local Fox News affiliate did the same later, with video. (I've also seen her in a movie last fall, where she gave an impassioned and impromptu speech about the definition of a hero, and those in the audience watching the film gave her a standing ovation.)

Today, in her talk to the Fox News reporter, she talked of the good of Iowa. She, a Georgia native, calls this state home. It feels right to her. I suspect that if you were to have to go through trouble, Iowa is about as good a place as any to endure it.


by Brett Rogers, 6/12/2008 11:35:00 PM


I think you and Tamara are outstanding people. Casey made me promise not to sandbag because of my hip, but I'm going to contact the Red Cross tonight and see if there is something non-physical I can do. If not, I'm consoling myself with the job of taking care of things while my soldier is away helping Ottumwa's flood victims. But I still feel really guilty.



Posted by Annette (, 6/14/2008 11:30:58 AM

Taking care of your soldier is always a commendable task, so hats off to you (and Casey). You rest - you're better when you're better. So no guilt!



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 6/14/2008 3:02:31 PM

FEMA who?

Watching the reaction of the citizen's of Iowa I sit here smiling and proud. This is what this country was built on. Although the media here is making comparison's to Katrina, I see no Iowan's sitting around waiting for FEMA to solve their problems. I see people taking action and from what I can see, I wonder if the federal government has any role at all there? I'm sure it will sound corny but it kinda makes me proud to be an American.

Although I've lived in several states the last 15 years, I've never been to Iowa. I sure as hell don't want to stay in NY any longer than my job current requires. I'm wondering if Iowa is one of the places to add to my list of places I'd like to end up. Right now, Colorado is the only other place on the list. Iowa may make it 2.



Posted by Pale Rider, 6/15/2008 5:58:03 PM

PR, we'd welcome you in a heartbeat. I promise that Des Moines will offer you a 15-minute commute and people as friendly as you can find them.



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 6/15/2008 6:33:19 PM

Yeah, PR, better stick to DSM. You'd might have a stroke in Iowa City...they're kind of liberal there. That's why I went to the UI. (Okay, not really. I went because I wanted to write, but the politics were a plus) :-)

I, too, was proud of my fellow Iowans. I didn't get to's generally frowned upon when your abdominal area has been operated on a few times :-), but I did go slap together sandwiches for a shelter and what impressed me was the victims-- I can't believe how many times I heard, "It's just stuff." People took care of each other. In my job there are days when I come home thinking, "People suck!" but this re-boosted my faith for a good few months, at least.

It also warmed my heart a little to see all the folks in Iowa City moving the special collections to higher ground at the UI library. People and knowledge must be saved.

My cynical side is a bit fearful that everybody out there will forget the victims in a couple of weeks after the media dies down. I really hope not. There's still so much work to do.



Posted by Bella, 6/16/2008 11:38:17 AM

I'd like the 15 minute commute. You'd never find me living in a place like DC, NYC, or LA. The friendly people are an even bigger plus as some of the people around here make me look reasonable. :)

Bella, I bet Iowa City has nothing on most cities in NY. This is the land of Mario Cuomo, Hillary Clinton, Chucky Schumer, and the notorious ****ing steamroller, Client #9. Then again, Iowa did get the Barry train rolling! LOL.



Posted by Pale Rider, 6/17/2008 1:37:19 PM

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