Garden Road - August 30, 2016 First days of school stick with you beyond the grave. They wipe their eyes and light the stove for the coming winter, for the impending decades. Children lace up shoes they just learned to tie. Under green ash trees, a sapling oak and the Chinese elm, we smile with baby teeth, waiting for the bus to climb the hill and idle near the mailbox. The temperature gets stuck in time, too, dangling from a garage with peeling white paint. There are always belladonna lilies with pink stamens and blue edges suspended on stalks, and garden spiders strung across weeds waiting to catch grasshoppers and sunlight. Aug 29, 2016, 09:47
Two bricks near the Wayne County Freedom Rock, one for the late Hal Greenlee, who served veterans in southern Iowa faithfully for many years, and the other for James Wesley Selby. Photo by Jason Selby
On Aug. 16, Brant Schmell poured sand on the Wayne County Courthouse square in Corydon, leveling bricks around the Freedom Rock. Brody Eldridge assisted. They swept away the excess with a broom like in a Zen garden.
I got the call to go take the photograph, and when I pulled into the parking lot, the song playing on the radio was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Fortunate Son.’ Part of the inspiration for the tune was lead singer John Fogarty watching David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon get married and knowing the war in Vietnam would not touch them: “I ain’t no military son.” Aug 22, 2016, 09:21
Garden Road - August 16, 2016 Yesterday, it struck me 20 years had passed since my brother Grant and I took a summer vacation to South Dakota and Wyoming. I remembered because it was the Atlanta Olympics then, when we cut up through Sioux City past the Missouri River. We avoided Nebraska’s interstate in Grant’s 1993 Ford Probe. When we crossed the Missouri farther into South Dakota, the prairie was in bloom along its banks, and I still remember those few minutes passing quickly, how beautiful the land was framing the river. But I cannot picture it in my mind’s eye. I did not take a photograph—before the age of digital, you had to conserve your film. It is frustrating to remember something beautiful, yet not be able to picture the scene. Aug 15, 2016, 09:33
Garden Road - August 9, 2016 Growing up on a southern Iowa farm, the closest ‘big’ town was Corydon, which grew to its fullest around Old Settlers. With the Wayne County Fair and the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, this made up my family’s summer vacations. The school year loomed at this end. The hourglass always seemed half-empty to a preteen bored of afternoon television, outside of reruns of ‘Kung Fu.’ Aug 8, 2016, 09:40
Garden Road - August 2, 2016 In the summer of 1993, my father mowed a field of hay at the end of May, and then it did not stop raining for another month. The rows browned and rotted. I had just got back from American Legion Boys State at Camp Dodge, where I explored the inside of a military tank, and a police officer volunteered to show us photographs of local prostitutes, whose missing teeth and poor health were presumably meant to discourage us from solicitation. Aug 1, 2016, 09:20