Revving up for Summer in Siouxland, Le Mars

17 Jun

As a kid growing up in the Midwest and on a farm, I never got into the fast cars or muscle cars phenomenon that friends of mine did. And I do enjoy looking at someone else’s passion and know-how in creating some of these machines. And to keep them running all these years as so much now seems more computer chip powered as mechanically powered.

A variety of cars appear at a car show at Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa at the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Le Mars Ice Cream Days kicked off recently and people turned out for a car show at a local drive-inn eatery. The fun lasted for only a short time as a rain storm was pushing into the area and many people didn’t look prepared in getting wet.

A woman keeps her umbrella handy as rain begins to shower on a car show at Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa for the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Some vintage and other muscle cars populate a car show at Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa at the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I myself didn’t exactly dress for rain and so as the storm neared, I made a few photos and then retreated to my own vehicle to avoid melting in the soon to be downpour. I kind of wondered about one of the car owners who drove a roadster that had no top. It certainly was going to be a damp evening, but whether (weather) or not it dampened his enthusiasm I don’t know.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa is a popular spot for car shows, especially ones involving vintage and muscle cars for the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People walk a short stretch on a major thorough fare that has been blocked off for a car show at Bob’s Drive-Inn in Le Mars, Iowa at the start of the Ice Cream Days Wednesday June 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Just Enjoying a Day in Siouxland, Rural Monona County

15 Jun

Sometimes I can drive miles and not see anything that catches my eye or interest. And I try to stay observant while listening to some jazz cd’s traversing some back roads in Siouxland. When driving the gravel roads I am not in a hurry. Dust is flying and I generally keep my windows open, so going fast just creates more dust in the car.

But it’s the slow driving that allowed me to see something in the distance. And while I was not fast enough, I was able to catch a late morning deer having breakfast, or maybe brunch, in a field. Until he spotted me and decided it was time to leave.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A lone deer runs through a newly planted field beginning to grow in the Loess Hills region of rural Monona County in northwest Iowa, Monday June 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Color in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

13 Jun

Sometimes I feel a little stymied while out looking for images in Siouxland. I don’t always go looking with something definitive in mind, but as I walk about I come across subjects that sometimes  strike me (not physically) visually and later a clearer objective comes to mind. Walking about Vermillion, SD earlier this summer it was an overcast day. Color just seemed to come more alive. The color scheme of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, is red. And many items around the campus reflect that. And there are hard to miss.

A red bench after the school’s colors invites passers-by to lounge on campus at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Later I took a walk along the Vermillion River below the campus area that begins at a park and a paved trail lets one meander with the river course. Spring was still unfolding and snatches of color attended the observant visitor and made a more delightful walk.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Soft light and soft petals enhance a walking path in a park along the Vermillion River in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nature and Man in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

11 Jun

As I get about I am continually fascinated with man’s attempt to include nature into his world, even though we as a race have spent a great deal of time excluding it as well. And I find that all the more prevalent when looking at landscaping around public institutions. I am glad colleges and universities include nature in their design of space, I just find the juxtaposition always interesting. And it adds more texture and light and shade possibilities for me when photographing.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Depending on an angle of view it’s either nature or man at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Pieces of nature “decorates” the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Light and shade and framing at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota, Wednesday May 13, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visiting Siouxland’s “gated” communities, rural Monona County

9 Jun

During a drive in the southern portion of Siouxland recently I was enjoying the greening of the countryside, both the grazing pastures as well as the newly planted agricultural fields. With a long cold wet spring, it looked like area farmers finally are seeing results of getting crops into their fields.

A newly planted field begins to grow in the Loess Hills region of rural Monona County in northwest Iowa, Monday June 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As I was looking at some grazing pastures it dawned on me about city gated communities and rural ones. I have done some reportage on such communities when I lived in the southern California area for a newspaper there. The places were generally always exclusive wanting to keep nefarious types out of the area. But normally in the rural areas, the gates are meant to keep livestock in as well as keeping nefarious types out too. Maybe the two are not so far apart at that.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A gated field in rural Monona County, Iowa, Monday June 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A windy day in rural Monona County, Iowa, Monday June 4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Honoring Siouxland’s Veterans, Quimby

7 Jun

This past Memorial Day I visited a cemetery outside the small Siouxland community of Quimby, which has a population or around 300 people.

Members of the Quimby American Legion Post 398 stand at attention during the playing of Taps at a Memorial Day service at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa. Members include from left Ken Hasellhoff, Tim Preuss, Terry Sargent, Commander Ron Bush and Richard Ravnsborg Monday May 28, 2018. Bush said as members die, there are fewer remaining members in the Post to participate in various ceremonies. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Having worked for newspapers a number of years, I have attended many Memorial Day services.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a large service attended by hundreds or a small service, the impact is always the same, the reverence for those who serve.

What struck me though this Memorial Day is the number of veterans who form the Color Guard. In talking with the Quimby American Legion Post Commander Ron Bush, the number of local veterans available for such duty is dwindling. This year’s event members were performing “double duty” since there were only five of them.

Retiring the Colors after a Memorial Day service are Quimby American Legion Post 398 members from left, Ken Hasellhoff, Tim Preuss and Terry Sargent, at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa, Monday May 28, 2018. Post Commander Ron Bush said as older post members die, it becomes harder to find locals who served to fulfill the need of ceremonies like Memorial Day and burial details. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Quimby American Legion Post 398 fire a gun salute during the Memorial Day service at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa. Members include from left Ken Hasellhoff, Tim Preuss, Terry Sargent, Commander Ron Bush and Richard Ravnsborg Monday May 28, 2018. Bush said as members die, there are fewer remaining members in the Post to participate in various ceremonies. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As the current members get older and pass away, there seems to be fewer available veterans in small communities to fill their positions to honor their fellow service men and women and attend other activities such as high school football games where most times there is a presentation of the flag before the game starts and during the playing of the National Anthem.

No one I have talked with over the years about this particular situation seems to have an answer. Only concerns. And one wonders who will be present when their time comes and they are laid to rest, to honor them with a Color Guard and pay respect.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Quimby American Legion Post 398 members Terry Sargent left and Post Commander Ron Bush attach another flag dedicated to an area resident who served in the military during the Memorial Day service at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa, Monday May 28, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A quiet rural scene commemorates a Memorial Day service conducted by the Quimby American Legion Post 398 at Grandview Cemetery south of Quimby Iowa, Monday May 28, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Floating in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

5 Jun

I don’t often get to the Iowa Lakes Region in Siouxland that includes Arnolds Park, Okoboji and Spirit Lake, but I do enjoy my time there when I can make it. On a recent trip the day started out raining, harder as I got closer, but then after a little walking and ducking into places to avoid the rain, it dissipated and turned out to be a nicer day.

I like hanging out near the water. The sound of it lapping up against something is soothing and relaxing and can easily reflect various moods depending on how a person may feel.

A hazy day makes objects to somewhat float in the atmosphere in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes one can almost believe you are floating above the water and all, buoyed above all else. Water is so deceiving in a way, reflecting what is around it and “blending” into the scenery, although you know it’s there.

A pier under construction sits quiet and ready for summer action in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But water is enjoyed by many, no matter the species or current occupation employed, it just offers a short escape from the hectic world giving one a little time to relax, enjoy and dream.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A fisherman watches his yellow bobber while trying his luck in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

While people enjoy their lunch above at a restaurant near the water, so do two ducks enjoy a quiet day on a pier in Arnolds Park, Iowa, Wednesday May 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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