Tag Archives: sioux city iowa

Hometown Journalism in Siouxland, The Storm Lake Times, Sioux City

14 Oct
Storm Lake Times Editor Art Cullen speaks to the audience, attending the Heartland Forum which is focused on the family farmer and rural Iowa issues, prior to the introduction of a few Democratic candidates campaigning in Iowa for the office of President, at the Schaller Memorial Chapel on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa Saturday, March 30, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Recently attending the Sioux City International Film Festival in Siouxland where a variety of short films: animation, documentary, comedy, etc., are shown, the feature film was a documentary about small town journalism, and the place it occupies in a community and the real threat of what is loss when that voice disappears.

The Cullen family, Delores, left, Tom, center and Art, right, share a laugh while answering questions from the audience at a screening of the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A screen grab at a screening of the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Art Cullen answering questions from the audience along with his wife, Delores and son Tom, not seen, at a screening of the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Having worked for a number of small daily newspapers over the last couple of decades it was a story I am all too familiar with, and saddened, that these kinds of newspapers are struggling to just stay in existence, as are many of the locally owned “mom and pop” stores that support them. Some might say at times a love/hate kind of relationship, but something all mutually benefit from.

The “star” of the film is the writer/editor Art Cullen, who won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing that takes on the “more powerful, well heeled and moneyed folk than the common Joe.

A screen grab at a screening of the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A screen grab at a screening of the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Storm Lake Times is a family produced publication where most all report, write and produce the twice weekly paper. All play a role, large and small, because for small town publications it truly takes a village to survive and no job is too small that needs to be done. And the large ones are there for tackling and making a difference.

A screen grab of the trailer for the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A screen grab of the trailer for the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A screen grab of the trailer for the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A screen grab of the trailer for the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Ones hopes that this paper survives and the few remaining ones throughout the country, much like mom and pop stores, they serve a needed value to the local community. And in many cases today as yesterday, connecting neighbors and telling local stories that local folk are interested in that concerns their neighbors and other residents in surrounding communities. During the last “caucus season” when so many Democrats were running a number of them made it to the Heartland Forum in Storm Lake where they got to meet to Cullen and answer questions about rural life and agriculture, no small issues for many in Iowa. And maybe hoping rubbing elbows with a known local would help them down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Storm Lake Times editor Art Cullen listens as Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) ) speaks during the Heartland Forum which is focused on the family farmer and rural Iowa issues at the Schaller Memorial Chapel on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa Saturday, March 30, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Democratic candidate Sen. AMY KLOBUCHAR (MN) speaks to Storm Lake Times editor Art Cullen during the Heartland Forum which is focused on the family farmer and rural Iowa issues at the Schaller Memorial Chapel on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa Saturday, March 30, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Storm Lake Times editor Art Cullen listens to Democratic candidate and former secretary of HUD JULIAN CASTRO speaks during the Heartland Forum which is focused on the family farmer and rural Iowa issues at the Schaller Memorial Chapel on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa Saturday, March 30, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Storm Lake Times editor Art Cullen, on the right of the grouping, talks with audience members before a screening of the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Cullen family, Delores, left, Tom, center and Art, right, answering questions from the audience at a screening of the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A screen grab of the trailer for the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A screen grab of the trailer for the film Storm Lake – The Documentary primarily focused on Pulitzer Prize winner Art Cullen, writer and columnist for the Storm Lake Times owned and operated by his family, Thursday, 30 Sept., 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Hanging out on a Summer’s Evening in Siouxland, Latham Park, Sioux City

6 Oct
A common sparrow greets a visitor at an entrance to Latham Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, August 29, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A quiet little park area in Sioux City attracts all sorts who on a quiet Sunday evening in Siouxland like to hang out and enjoy some of summer’s last or waning days. Meeting some friends for a bit of a picnic lunch before fall really revs up I got there early to find some other locals enjoying the park as well and a quiet summer’s eve.

A fountain area at Latham Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, August 29, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Two common house sparrows looking for some water in the fountain at Latham Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, August 29, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There was plenty of bird song emanating from the surrounding bushes and trees that filled the air even as some of the little creatures had some problems finding a good spot from which to sing. But that happens to all of us at one time or another.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A house sparrow enjoys a quiet sunset at Latham Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, August 29, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Oops, some landings in the bush are more graceful than others and interrupts a quiet setting sun moment for another house sparrow at Latham Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, August 29, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Boys of Summer in Siouxland, Sioux City Explorers, Sioux City

29 Aug
A Cleburne, TX, Railroader gets tagged out on his way to second base in game action against the Sioux City, Iowa, Explorers at the Lewis and Clark Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Over the years when I worked at various newspapers I photographed my fair share of baseball games, high school, college and minor league. The Sioux City Explorers is an independent league here in Siouxland, and have called this area home base for over a decade. Nothing says summer like baseball, to most folk. To me covering a game as opposed to watching one are two different things. While personally not a fan, nor even having a favorite major leagues team, I enjoy watching moves and action that happens on the field. And locally, I enjoy late afternoon, early evening games as the sun sets behind the local stadium. The light play can sometimes be very nice.

Action, inaction during the Sioux City, Iowa, Explorers game against the Cleburne, TX, Railroaders at the Lewis and Clark Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Sioux City, Iowa, Explorer safely slides back to first base after an aborted second base steal in game action against the Cleburne, TX, Railroaders at the Lewis and Clark Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Watching the game sometimes certain actions while helpful on the field, become almost comical seen from the spectator stands. What might be obvious doesn’t always come to fruition for the players, especially when making note of what intentions are and then failing to follow through. Oops! But so goes the game of statistics. Columns upon columns of stats for each player, each team, etc., etc.

Sometimes game action is obvious as the Sioux City, Iowa, Explorers play the Cleburne, TX, Railroaders at the Lewis and Clark Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But watching those guys at bat I wonder how they even see the ball hurtling toward them, at speeds I can not even imagine. And once there on base, making certain the keep their spot so as not to become another error statistic for that evening’s game. Play Ball!

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Sioux City, Iowa, Explorer keeps his eye on the ball in game action against the Cleburne, TX, Railroaders at the Lewis and Clark Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Sioux City, Iowa, Explorer swings to connect with a pitched ball in game action against the Cleburne, TX, Railroaders at the Lewis and Clark Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Another aborted attempt for a steal to second base by a Sioux City, Iowa, Explorer in game action against the Cleburne, TX, Railroaders at the Lewis and Clark Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, Aug. 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Bird Greetings in Siouxland, Bacon Creek Park

24 Jul
A Redwing Blackbird sings early in the morning at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Walking early in Siouxland one gets the chance to encounter and hear “the little birdies” sing or scold, depending on their mood and where one might meet them. Sometimes it might be too close to their home, especially in spring or early summer when young might be around.

A bird peeks out of a hole in a dead tree at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Walking by trees, many trees, and looking up the last place I expect to see a bird is it popping it’s head out of a hole. More likely I expect to see a bird sitting on branches and hidden. Although some species easily give away location once you hear them singing.

A cardinal sits quietly watching passersby at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Males cardinals are easy to spot within the green foliage. Although they do tend to move about, making it difficult to even grab a fleeting photo. Just a flash of red and then one needs to continue looking.

Early morning light is a bit more directional, and during the summer months bright which creates a nice contrast with the background. Backlit subjects like trees easily stand out against the darker area behind it in shade.

Morning sunlight illuminates a tree at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The bright light almost makes it impossible to see small birds nestled in the branches, where one might mistake it for a tree limb knot and a branch silhouetted against the light. And sometimes some clever birds mimmic their surroundings, looking like a short, standing tree trunk across the water until upon closer inspection with a telephoto lens or binoculars one sees there is actually a bird there. Standing very, very still.

A Great Blue Herron stands still, almost striking a pose like a tree branch as it watches something across the small lake at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But that is the fun of early morning walks. Trying to school oneself in learning the habits of these feathered creatures and and spotting them to photograph. The exercise is not a bad idea either as one walks about Bacon Creek exercising the eyeballs and legs.

But once the sun starts climbing, it’s good to heed the advice of other woodland creatures, and head toward a shady glenn to spend the rest of the day until supper time calls. Just lounging about and avoiding the day’s heat, and then starting the process over the next day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A deer makes its way to a shaded glenn at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Reflecting on Nature in Siouxland, Bacon Creek Park, Sioux City

10 Jul
A fisherman looks like he’s casting into the trees as they reflect in the water at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s nice to take a walk at a local park without bundling up for a winter’s chill and see nature in its summer’s regalia. An early morning walk has night light play that occurs around the park, especially when it comes to reflections.

Not an alpine lake but a body of water at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Water reflections give a French impressionistic look to a scene at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Nature plays tricks wth what one sees. And a narrow point of view a person could have difficulty of telling up from down which can be fun. Mother Nature knows when to enjoy herself and let those who see it in on her optical allusions.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A man casts his line into the water as steam and the reflection of the opposite bank appear at at Bacon Creek Park in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, June 13, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing new Visitors in Siouxland, Sioux City

13 May
A House Wren visits a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, May 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s kind of fun to see visitors in Siouxland, checking things out, even the fine-feathered ones. A friend who is quite the birder told me such a creature I spotted in a backyard recently was probably a Ruby Crowned Kinglet migrating through the area and heading to its natural habitat for the summer months. He said they prefer wooded areas and such, but any port in a storm.

A Ruby Crowned Kinglet visits a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, May 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A Ruby Crowned Kinglet visits a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, May 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
A house wren visits a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, May 9, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But sometimes seeing new visitors gives me a little trepidation depending on their intentions, especially when it comes to my cats sunning themselves in the backyard. Any temptation is just that, especially to the young and those learning to survive in the “wild”.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A small raptor hanging out in a backyard in Sioux City, Iowa Monday, May 10, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

NAIA 2021 Women’s Division 2 National Basketball Championship Tournament, Sioux City

22 Mar
A University of St. Francis player sports a floral cross on her arm and waits to toss the ball from out of bounds after a foul was called in game action as Campbellsville plays Lewis-Clark State in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, March 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sioux City is hosting the NAIA National Women’s Collegiate Division II basketball tournament for 2021 at a local events arena here in Siouxland. An honor the community and area folk have held for a number of years, working hard for visiting schools, athletes and fans, and family to feel welcomed and enjoy a bit of Midwestern hospitality as teams compete for the top honors. The division is made up of the smaller liberal arts and faith-based colleges and universities, but the athleticism and drive to excel and win is none the less present as these young women play to be crowned this year’s winner.

Thomas More plays Dakota State in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sterling plays Dakota State in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 18, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Concordia plays Morningside College in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When I previously worked for newspapers I shot a lot of sports, ranging from pee wee stick ball, little league, high school and some college. And on occasion I also photographed some professional football games. When you work as a photographer for a newspaper, you shoot some everything. Sports is not my forte. I always felt more at ease covering spot news and shooting features and portraits. Assisting a friend in covering these games I felt a little trepidation as I had not covered for a number of years, only sporadically photographing various events as was necessitated by freelance work.

Capturing fast-paced action in a tight environment, say under the basket where one might find 4-5 bodies vying for a loose ball, or players stopping someone from driving to the basket or shooting a three pointer to score, has always been a challenge. Stopping the action and framing it well is one thing. Then add in tack sharp focus on moving subjects is another. These hell bent for leather young women are not going to stop and pose for a picture, as they have an agenda to win. And they all play hard.

Campbellsville plays Indiana Wesleyan in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Westmont plays Clarke in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
MidAmerica Nazarene plays Clarke in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, March 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The first two rounds of action are completed and four teams out of 16 (this year paired down from a 32-field possibility due to COVID-19) are still in play the next couple of days, with the championship game being played this week. It’s been fun being able to photograph such a high level of sports action again and regaining some “sea legs” after so many years of not shooting sports.

All the teams are deserving of being the champion, but that determination is playing out on the court as the teams have good and not so good performances. And then as most fans know if slightly disappointed, there is always next years.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa


Westmont plays Clarke in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Westmont plays Lyon in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 18, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Campbellsville plays Indiana Wesleyan in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Concordia plays Morningside College in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Campbellsville plays Lewis-Clark State in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, March 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Sterling plays Dakota State in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 18, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Thomas More plays Dakota State in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Westmont plays Clarke in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Campbellsville plays Indiana Wesleyan in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Westmont plays Clarke in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
MidAmerica Nazarene plays Clarke in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, March 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Thomas More of Kentucky plays Mount Vernon Nazarene of Ohio in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 18, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Southeastern plays Indiana Wesleyan in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Friday, March 19, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Sterling plays Dakota State in first round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, March 18, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Campbellsville plays Indiana Wesleyan in the quarterfinals round NAIA Div. 2 women’s basketball tournament at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, March 20, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Winter in Siouxland, Sioux City

16 Feb
Birds, possibly starlings, fluff out their feathers to fight off the cold on a chilly winter’s day in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, February 2, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The little rodent, affectionately known as Punxsutawney Phil, has decided it’s seen its shadow, allowing another 6 weeks of winter to linger around the Siouxland area and other places as well. Boogers. It has been a pleasant weather so far as winters go, but the next couple of weeks temps are predicted to stay below freezing and below zero with wind chill taking them down into double digits. Not something I am looking forward too. Bird activity has been mixed with the backyard neighbors scarce some days and around the next.

A red-bellied woodpecker feasts on some bird food in a backyard on a chilly winter’s day in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, February 2, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Long winters can be okay until the temperature dips below zero and then heads into minus double digits because of wind chill, which there seems to be a lot of that in Iowa. One could only imagine settlers on these plains in the 19th century with mud houses on an open plain with the wind howling and dipping temperatures into lows that impossibly frigid.

So spring is on my mind with temperatures in the 30’s. I even like 40’s. Thinking of greening grass and the warm rays of the sun. It will arrive, but at this point seems like somewhere in a distant future.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Backyard birds, possibly starlings, sit on a neighbor’s chimney on a chilly winter’s day in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, February 2, 2021. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Snack on a Cold Day, Sioux City

9 Jan
A squirrel checks a fence line as another squirrel looks interested in a backyard snack time Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As I watch neighborhood squirrels throughout the year it’s fun to watch their antics and for the most part play with one another in backyards. But when it comes to snack time, they are a wary bunch and chowing as fast as they can before any interruption affects their meal time. Be it friend or foe.

A squirrel digs in while eating at a backyard feeder Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With fresh snow on the ground the furry visitors drop by a bit more often, sometimes sitting on the fence chattering, which I interpret as “Can’t you put out a little more for us, please, sir, another serving?” to co-opt a famous line from a favorite seasonal story.

A squirrel spends time eating at a backyard feeder Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the forecast predicts some warmer days ahead, and possibly more snow. So backyard neighbors will probably be about again looking for any snack on a cold day, which I certainly don’t fault them for. And, what are neighbors for?

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A squirrel waits its turn to eat at a backyard feeder Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Performance Art Mezmerises in Siouxland, Sioux City

3 Oct

Performance artist Kelsey Karnival works with a couple of hoops as a young girl watches intensely during the Alley Art Festival in downtown Sioux City, Iowa, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes in life an occurrence happens in a person’s life that may have a profound influence and unbeknownst to them guides them on a path later in life. During a festival in Siouxland recently a young girl stood transfixed as she watches a performance artist dance with a couple of hoola hoops. The young lass stared intensely hardly ever moving her eyes until seeing the dancer so a particular move then looked at her mother to see if she saw.

Performance artist Kelsey Karnival works with a couple of hoops as a young girl looks back at her mother during the Alley Art Festival in downtown Sioux City, Iowa, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Performance artist Kelsey Karnival works with a couple of hoops as a young girl watches intensely during the Alley Art Festival in downtown Sioux City, Iowa, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I remember as a young child looking at a particular Sunday edition of a Chicago newspaper, transfixed by a page or two of feature images that appeared every week. I can remember sitting in a room in my parent’s house just looking over the images. I can’t remember why I was fascinated or how that fascination came about. But sometimes these unexplained occurrences manifests the results later in life, a necessary spark to start one down a particular road.

I have spent a lifetime photographing events and people for a variety of newspapers I previously worked for, and continue while finding images for this blog. The intensity of sole purpose of the young girl standing so still, watching the street performer makes me speculate that somewhere and sometime in the future seeing this person perform gracefully and appearing to enjoy her work might influence this young lass to pursue her dreams and find a way to fulfill a desire to create, no matter the art form or platform through which she gives voice to a future talent.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Performance artist Kelsey Karnival works with a couple of hoops as a young girl watches intensely during the Alley Art Festival in downtown Sioux City, Iowa, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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