Monday, July 03, 2017

Iowa's Message Loud And Clear

    PHOTO/EDITS FROM A HAPPIER TIME AT THE CUSTER, MONTANA REST AREA 
    BY RUTH RADER


"...brand of people who ain't my kind."--from "Border Song", recorded by Elton John.
__________

On the Eve of Independence Day, I am sitting in a local coffee shop in rural Iowa. So far it
has been a weird experience. This is mostly due to the fact that I am in one of the most
conservative States in the Country and everything is so different here.

"What are you doing here?" were the first words spoken by the first cop that I met after I crossed
the border from Nebraska. "Oh so this is how it's going to be" I thought.

And so it has been.

Iowa will quickly take your money but don't ask for respect in return. No, don't even think of it.
Because in Iowa...it doesn't shake out that way.

In Iowa nobody ever invites you to church but they will drive by and glare at you like they'd
like to include you in a lynching. In Iowa, the cops refer to you as a "subject" and a "transient."
They very seldom address you by name. In Montana, someone will tuck a $50 bill into your
backpack. In Iowa, they will take your last dime and then kick you to the curb. In Iowa, a
woman will look at your stuff piled on a wheeler and turn up her nose. In another State, a
woman will smile at your humble possessions and then ask, "Where ya goin'?" In Oregon,
folks will help you get yourself and your wheeler into a building. In Iowa, people will just
stand there like lobotomized cattle and watch you struggle through a door. In another State,
children will smile shyly in a city park. In Iowa, they will frown and run away. In Iowa,
flags fly all over the place. But in that same State, no one will treat you like an accepted
American citizen. In Iowa, no one will ever share a bench, a meal, their vehicle or their home
with you. In another State, someone will drive you around and show off their town. But in
Iowa, they'll turn their backs, ignore you completely and hope that you will go away.

I have received Iowa's message loud and clear.

Excuse me.

Which way to the exit?


4 comments:

Eunice Hamilton said...

I hope that at least 1 iowan was able to change your mind..I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience in my state..makes me embarrassed for my state. =-(

Coltonlilleholm said...

What about my friend Dylan and I? We tried to help the best we could and got you a little ways.

Ruth Rader said...

The post was written during the horrendous stint that I encountered during my struggle to get through Iowa.
YOU three are among the handful of grand exceptions in an otherwise unreasonable experience. I will discuss this in my next blog post.

Anonymous said...

Have you travelled through Iowa before? If so, has it changed? I hope you are now in a better place.