Title:Twenty first century boy Writer:xiajin FLUFF/AU COLLEGE-UNI/GENDERFLUIDITY/ARTISTKOOK MUSICIANYOON xiajin is an amazing writer and this work has a really good message…also if you are against this kind of stuff you can fuck off my blog immediately
Title:Bergen,4:30am Writer:bellamees FLUFF/SMUTSMUTSMUT/TOPYOON BOTTOMKOOK bellamees writes the best smut holy fuck
It was a muggy, Saturday evening when I met local photographer Roger Feldhans outside of my hotel in Fort Dodge, Iowa. What was planned to be a short conversation and photo-shoot turned into an in-depth interview really fast.
Forgotten Iowa: What brought you to Iowa in the first place?
Roger: It would have been somewhere between 1972 and 1973. My father was in the Air Force and was set to retire, about to be stationed at an Air Force base in Nebraska. Him and my mom had been married here in Iowa, though, in Rockwell City, and we decided to return here instead.
Forgotten Iowa: How old were you when this happened?
Roger: I would have been in the 7th grade. So, 12? 13? Some time around then.
Forgotten Iowa: Where did you live before that?
Roger: Goose Bay, Labrador, up in Canada.
Forgotten Iowa: Wow, so you’ve been all around then. What’s kept you in Iowa since that time?
Roger: It’s home. It feels like home. It felt more like home than any other place that we’d been because we already had so many connections here; family and whatnot.
Forgotten Iowa: So can you tell me a little about yourself? What do you do for a living? What do you do for recreation?
Roger: Well, I have a 9-5 type job as a custodian at a college here in town. I’ve been there for about twenty years and absolutely love my job. Been doing it ever since high-school. My main passion in life, though, is art. Everything from sculpture and painting to photography, I love it all. Anything that I can get my hands on, you know? I just love to explore. That might be part of the reason why I love Iowa. It feeds that desire. There is just so much art here that you’d be surprised by if you looked. Right now, my passion is photography.
DASHBOARD JESUS, Photo by Roger Feldhans
Forgotten Iowa: Have you always lived in Iowa since that time or did you ever venture off to other states?
Roger: I have not lived anywhere outside of Iowa since coming here with my parents in the ‘70′s. I like it here because it’s just so open, both the fields and the people. You can pick and choose how you want to be here. If you want to be in the city, we have that. If you want to be a farmer, we definitely have that. If you can’t decide, we have places right in between. I’m not necessarily a member of Webster county, but I am definitely part of the art community here. They accept me as I am, just make me feel so welcomed. I spend a whole lot of time here in Fort Dodge.
I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to move to. Honestly, it doesn’t even enter my mind. I mean, think about it. I can get in my car, get on a gravel road and just drive. Get lost. And I see things all the time. The places I go, the people I meet, there’s just so many stories. Iowa is the only place where I don’t feel confined, feel like I’m in a box, usually when I’m out there just exploring. I love that you can look out and just see for miles. It’s nice for a photographer, as I’m sure you know, because you can see the very tip-top of an old building and zig-zag around the gravel until you get up close. And, you know, most of the time there are people there.
ROGER, photo by Cody Weber
Roger: It feels like I’ve driven down every gravel road in Iowa sometimes. I was putting a little over 3,000 miles per month on my car. Just on these gravel roads taking pictures, seeing what I could find. I would stop in a town to get gas and people would see my license plate and say, “You aren’t from around here, huh?” I’d explain what I was doing and these people would end up buying me food, filling up my gas tank, just overwhelming kindness all around. Where else are you going to experience that? You get the impression here that people really want you to keep going. And they help you, you know, because the barns and things are disappearing. They still are at an alarming rate. So part of my passion is going out there and getting them while they still exist.
Forgotten Iowa: That’s kind of my central purpose for this Forgotten Iowa project that we’re doing. At least a very similar mission statement. And you’re right. It’s always an adventure because you never know what exactly you’re going to come across.
Roger: I’ve found cemetery plots in the middle of a bean field! I was out wandering around one day and the farmer there saw me with my big 600mm telephoto lens. He stopped me in my tracks and just said, “You know, you can get closer.” I don’t trespass, so I was content just getting what I could, but there’s that Iowan kindness again. This guy gave me the whole story of that little graveyard in the bean field, at least since they’d been there. They’d fixed the headstones, put up a fence, and it was just so amazing to get up close like that. But, you know, I have a question for you.
Forgotten Iowa: What’s that?
Roger: Have you ever went and photographed something and returned to find it gone?
Forgotten Iowa: Oh yeah, it’s happened several times actually. It’s always sad when that happens, to see that part of history just wiped off the map. You know, one thing I remember specifically. There was a music store called The Green Tambourine in the town of Keokuk. My dad used to take me there all the time as a kid. We’d go to pick up guitar strings, drum sticks, browse the endless wall of expensive guitars and amplifiers. Head upstairs to look at the drums that always seemed to be covered in a thick haze of dust. I really enjoyed that place and enjoyed my memories of it even well after their point of closing.
Anyway, one day I was driving to work and it looked like the building was moving side to side, almost like it was the only building on the block being affected by some slow-moving earthquake. I didn’t get four blocks away before I heard a rumbling and when I looked behind me, the building was reduced to rubble. Just gone, wiped off the map. I mention this because I get that same hollow feeling in my gut when this happens as I did the first time I drove back by and didn’t see that building there. I imagine that’s why most of these structures stay up until nature reclaims it. We’re just too attached to them.
TRUCK, photo by Roger Feldhans
Roger: That kind of thing is exactly why I enjoy doing this kind of stuff so much. I went through a little spell here recently where people saw me and said, “Hey! I’ve been waiting for you! Let me show you this over here!” There was one lady somewhere up in northwest Iowa, 92 years old; she got in my car and rode along with me. She showed me where stuff was, where she grew up, the skeletons of buildings and stuff like that. Oh, and the stories about when she was little! She could just go on and on and I truly enjoyed every minute of that. It’s that Iowa friendly, that Iowa nice, and she must have loved that day just as much as I did. Her daughter sent me a note thanking me for taking her around like that, just letting her talk about that stuff to somebody that hadn’t already heard the story a thousand times. I was really glad that I took the time to do that. It meant a lot to me, too. I think the most important thing I asked her to show me that day was the stuff that wasn’t there anymore. Show me what you remember! Her face lit up and she showed me all these places that used to exist. That’s so important. It’s so important to hear these stories and capture what still remains.
Forgotten Iowa: Where would you take the readers of this interview if you could? What advice would you give them?
Roger: I would tell them to get off the interstate. Take the county roads. Take the two-lane highways. There is such a diverse range of things here from border-to-border, but the interstate is going to take you right through that. By design, too. The interstates might be the smoothest transition through a place, but you miss so much on them. People are always in such a rush to get somewhere. You want to know something? It takes me four of five hours just to get to Des Moines! People don’t want to ride with me anymore. I tend to wander. I’m a wanderer. But what can I say? There’s a whole lot out there to see.
I don’t know how it happens or when it hits but once you fall in love there is something inside of you that just knows.
I knew I loved you when my heart raced so fast the first time I kissed you.
I knew I loved you when we slow danced in the kitchen late at night.
I knew I loved you when we broke into that pool and the water was freezing and the only way you would get in was if I kissed you.
I knew I loved you when I first saw you put your napkin on your lap before a meal. (You’re so cute when you do that)
I knew I loved you when we experienced one of the most beautiful places and I had such a hard time looking at the scenery because all I wanted to look at was you.
I knew I loved you when we built a fort in our hotel room and still got caught making out.
I knew I loved you when I looked at you the night in the shower and the water was running down us and the lighting was perfect to show how beautiful you truly are.
I knew I loved you when we went to the movies and they made bets on if we were dating or not even though we made out through most of it.
I knew I loved you when we both cried to one another because neither of us can stand the idea of ever losing one another.
I knew I loved you when we sat under stars all night next to the bonfire and just talked.
I knew I loved you so many times even before you first told me the night we were cuddling paying attention to each other more than the movie playing. I knew before we looked each other in the eyes and you whispered you loved me. I don’t know how to explain it or when the exact moment was that my love for you hit me but I know now that I want to spend the rest of my life falling for you over and over again, every day and every night.
I love you so much.