Tag Archives: small towns

A quiet time in Siouxland, Quimby

9 Jul

Living in Siouxland affords one an opportunity to visit small communities and their festivals or celebrations. Although as with anything else, timing is everything.

A downtown street is closed for Quimby’s Watermelon Days’ activities Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I visited Quimby, a small community of about 300 people, not too long ago when it was celebrating its Watermelon Days. A tasty treat on a hot day. Since Siouxland has been experiencing a lot of rain recently, I checked the forecast and it was possible there might be rain beginning early afternoon. So I visited in the morning. And before getting there had done some due diligence to see what kind of schedule of events there might be.

Residents play a bean bag game during the morning at Quimby’s Watermelon Days Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Beyond finding some folk tossing bean bags and relaxing, there wasn’t a lot going on mid-morning, and a couple of girls told me that the rides set up downtown probably wouldn’t start until the latter part of the afternoon. Timing is everything and the thought of grabbing some homemade pie from a local booth or a burger soon disappeared from my lunch plans.

Two girls walks through the downtown streets before the Quimby Watermelon Days’ activities start Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Downtown streets are quiet before the start of Quimby’s Watermelon Days’ activities Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So it was a quiet morning in a small Iowa town as people enjoyed their weekend and celebrating their community, just a bit later in the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Carnival rides are quiet before the start of Quimby’s Watermelon Days’ activities Saturday June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Seeing tonality in Siouxland, Cherokee

1 Jul

While out and about in Siouxland recently visiting a community festival I dropped by Cherokee. With recent rains there have been many reports of small and large rivers rising and flash flood warnings. I was curious to see if a small creek running through town had reached the tops of its banks. It hadn’t.

But I liked the quality of light I was seeing that day and saw areas that intrigued me and reminded me of the days working for newspapers and shooting only in B&W, film.

Fading wall art in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One had to be really conscious of tonality and contrast to make one’s image pop and help it jump off the page. Not all images taken did that, as some were more documentary in nature.

A path to adventure in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A shady creek in Cherokee, Iowa June 23, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©) 

But like shooting in color, the viewer still needs to find the path through a photograph that draws him/her into it and through it and makes the viewing a worthwhile effort.

In those days one could always shoot the film, tweak the film processing and finally adjust some of the printing to give an image more snap. Now it’s all done via software. Whether it’s successful or not is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating Tulips and Ancestry in Siouxland, Orange City’s Tulip Festival

1 Jun

I always my visits to the Tulip Festival in Siouxland located in Orange City each year. It’s a nice family event that also has families involved from the community as they work together to welcome visitors and share their love of their Dutch ancestry.

Participants wear a wide variety of costuming representing different areas and cultures of the Netherlands during the 78th annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday May 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Cellphones are out recording their favorite dancers during the 78th annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday May 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Before the street cleaning which takes place and a parade of regional dress specific to the Netherlands, a group of singers, The Fiesten Zangers or bicycle singers ride up and down the main downtown street stopping to share a few songs in Dutch and welcoming those attending the festival.

Some of the Fietsen Zangers, or bicycle singers, “rides” are deocrated as they perform a capella for visitors during the 78th annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday May 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Fietsen Zangers, or bicycle singers, wait to perform a capella for visitors during the 78th annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday May 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s a nice way to spend the day, especially if the weather is nice enjoying a community celebration and food and the spirit of a small town.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Young boys “empty” their buckets during the Street Scrubbing at the 78th annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday May 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Parade participants stroll the streets in costume until the start of the 78th annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday May 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors recrod and photograph the Fietsen Zangers, or bicycle singers, who perform a capella for visitors during the 78th annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday May 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Fietsen Zangers, or bicycle singers, ride down the street to perform a capella during the 78th annual Tulip Festival in Orange City, Iowa Thursday May 17, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Exploring a Siouxland Community, Hartington, NE

26 May

Driving about in Siouxland one comes across many small communities. If time permits and sometimes I schedule my day in a way to spend a little time exploring a place like Hartington, NE. The small community is the country seat of Cedar County and a courthouse plaque gives some background and history.

A plaque commemorating the history of Cedar County, NE on display in front of the Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was fun to see some still Christmas decorations on one of the courthouse trees. Either a reminder or a promise of what is to come again.

Christmas decorations still hang in a tree in front of the Cedar County Courthouse in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A well kept small town, there was some renovation as a former hotel that appears to be once again reinventing itself as a destination to stay during a visit.

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

All smaller communities in America share that quiet place except for special events which makes visiting them a chance to slow down, take a casual stroll about and enjoy a less hectic or frenzied moment while still enjoying the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Restoration of a former hotel is underway in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The main street in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The local countryside is seen from the top of a street in downtown Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Restored downtown buildings, including a former department store owned by the Globe family in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Taking a Peek in Siouxland, Coleridge, NE

8 May

A few weeks ago while driving in the Nebraska area of Siouxland, I stopped into the small Coleridge, NE to have a look. Many times while traveling to another location for work or pleasure I will make a mental note to revisit and area to check a place out a bit more. A community of not quite 500 people, it is reminiscent of many small farming communities. The downtown area was lively the morning I stopped by and found an interesting “farm store” downtown with some fare to sell. And a grain elevator anchors the downtown area as in most small, rural communities.  Summer is near and the possibility for more exploration in this land called “Siouxland”.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Residents visit downtown in Coleridge, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A downtown farm store has some equipment and spare parts waiting in an alley next door to the store in Coleridge, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A store window of what may have been a former antique shop in Coleridge, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A grain truck heads out of the downtown area of Coleridge, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Seeing the Unique in Siouxland, Hartington, NE

28 Apr

Each community has its own uniqueness, some which loom larger than others simply because of the size of the community. And it may not be a good or bad thing, or unique to all people. It’s just what catches my eye and which makes me smile.

An off the beaten patch home decor store, Reinvented Mercantile, in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I saw this mercantile store, maybe a second hand store, which I couldn’t determine if it was open or not. But the color caught my eye as did some of the wares on display outside the store, which was not open at the time. A small mystery that will not send any ripples through the universe. But which I still found intriguing.

Some interesting items for sale at an off the beaten path home decor store in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

China,some of which was made in Germany, on display in front of a mercantile store in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And this building facade, while not part of the mercantile store was delightful in its own way, drawing attention to itself and possibly encourage patrons and visitors alike to stop by and explore. Such a large universe and so little time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Shapes and patterns on a downtown building in Hartington, Nebraska Thursday, March 22, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

Stopping by in Siouxland, Modale

20 Apr

Another small community in the southern portion of Siouxland is Modale. With a little over 270 people it is a quiet town. Like so many the main employer seen is apparently a grain elevator.

A grain elevator in Modale, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But like so many other small communities, it seems Modale’s initial promise began in the 1870’s when the railroad passed through it on its journey west and was settled by pioneers emigrating west from the East. It is surrounded by a farming community and has a small downtown area which still thrives.

Downtown Modale, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A local church with a slightly used bell tower in Modale, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The local U.S. Post Office appears to have been connected to another building or business before removal in Modale, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am always happy to see life in smaller communities. As time marches forward the continual shift of young people to larger metropolitan areas is always going to happen.

A former school in Modale, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But the place for small communities is just as important. Some people just enjoy the peace and solitude that smaller communities give, and city folk are generally not inclined to enjoy the farming accoutrements that help them thrive.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A semi hauling hay bales through Modale, Iowa Monday March 12, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

%d bloggers like this: