The farm that I lived on in Iowa was like a 500-acre pig farm and they lived very nicely. They had more food that you could shake a stick at and with working on a farm there were like four meals a day. The activity there was pretty much that you helped out with the […]

Iowa was, and I know that Gaudino thought it was too, middle class. But I thought so much of it different than my experience. First of all, this was true throughout. I’m Jewish. I grew up in a Jewish home. Not a particularly observant Jewish home but real Jewish identity. From the time I left […]

I had a difficult stay in Iowa. He came to the family where there was tension between myself and the family. He came to basically do some conflict resolution and the first thing he did was, which he told us all, he said, “Go to the kitchen. We’re going to sit in the kitchen. Don’t […]

We’ve discussed as a group, “How much do we remember about our different courses 30 years later?” But we can remember very specific experiences like for me in Iowa it was just eye-awakening, I guess, this experience of getting up in the morning, working until the sun goes down and I remember talking with the […]

After Southern Georgia and Appalachia were really rough and I was totally drained, I was prepared that Iowa was going to be easy, like middle class prosperous farmers, which it was by and large. But my opening night in Iowa, when we got there, J.O. Neikirk drops me off at the farm and it’s probably […]

I disagree that Iowa was much like our existence, except that it was middle class. But in virtually every other respect it was nothing like what I grew up in. Even just the geography. Nobody in Iowa says, “Take a left at the light.” It was, “Go south, go west, you’ll find the gas on […]

One thing about Iowa, again, contrary to what you might expect, was that when I thought of farming or farmers, I didn’t think of somebody who was looking at the paper in the same way that a stockbroker would look at the paper, looking at the prices of soybeans.

I lived in a town called Clarion and she was from there and her family had been farmers. He, the husband Ray, was actually a city boy and he worked for a rubber company or a tire company in like Toledo and he hated it. He said. “We need to go back to Iowa.” Well, […]