Friday, May 22, 2009

Dear Missouri

Just right. That’s how I would sum up my time here.

Let me give you a little background. March of 2008 I got to talking with my friend Andrew, fellow editor at The Sentinel, about maybe it was time for something new. We were both on our second year at a two-year school with no graduation in the near future. Many stay and finish, then go on to a university but not us. Kind of a dumb choice but we went for it. Nils, the advisor for the newspaper at North Idaho College, hooked us up with some contacts here in Missouri. There has been a long line of transfers between the schools and we would soon be part of that trend. We were both offered full tuition scholarships to come to MSSU (Missouri Southern State University) to work on the newspaper. I would come in as Director of Photography and Andrew would be the News Editor.

In April we came to check it out. You know, get a feel for it. Peep the stats as some would say. We flew into Tulsa. FLATTEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. It was kind of a shock for a kid that grew up in North Idaho. It wasn’t love at first sight but I figured that I could live here for a few years. It was worth it due to the deal on school.

So come July I would pack it all up. I put my life in a wagon and headed east. We had a real great bbq the night before we left. I don’t know if that made it harder or put myself at ease about it all. I don’t know how many people showed up but there were the best of the best there. It felt like everyone from over the years stopped in. If you are reading this and you live in North Idaho and you didn’t come… I shall remember that. Just kidding… kind of.

One of the first struggles that I had was the feeling of community. I had just come from living in a town that was centered on the local downtown scene. Most days I didn’t even need my phone to plan a hang out with friends. I knew where they were and they knew where I was going to be. The longer I was here the better this got. Once school started I met Colby Williams. Was it one of the best things to happen to me out there? For sure. The guy was genuine and there for you. Colby also was friends with everyone in town and put me right in the middle of one of the best groups of people. I cant name everyone but you know who you are. A big thank you to everyone that leaned my name. I think that if we were on a name-to-name level then you made a big impact.

Nothing against people back home or any place else I have been but the Midwest crowd are the nicest people I have ever come across. I wouldn’t call it “southern hospitality” but it has somewhat of that feel. They will just take you under their wing and show you the time of your life. I felt like I have done it all out here.

Rundown: (not the kind Charles wanted from Jim) The Office joke

Southern rock

Turned 21

Made this town home

Kansas City

St. Louis


Clover coffee


1000's of friends

Broke down on a highway





Weather and I mean weather

Good talks with bright people

Grew facial hair


Tony Bennett


Good grades

Good and bad roommate times

Football games


Freelanced for the city paper here


Most of all, I learned more about Glenn Landberg. I don’t think that I’m a different person now but I found out what is most important to me. I was pushed. New place, no friends, no family and I made it. I love knowing that I can pack up and move anywhere I want and make it. I can start a new life in a new place. I’m sure I left plenty of stuff of that list but you get the point and you read the blog, so you have a pretty good idea of my world out here.

Well Missouri… we had our ups and downs. I wouldn’t take this back for anything and yet I think its time to turn the page. It’s on to the next chapter in the book. I wont forget you or anyone in this state or the times we had. I’m sad that I am about to leave. Real sad. I think its safe to say, “I LOVE MISSOURI.”

I’ll miss you.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

One step closer.

About a month ago I was on craigslist just looking around and came across a listing for summer interns at The Inlander. Its a paper for the inland northwest area and is a free paper. They cover lots of outdoorsy events, food, music and festivals. My favorite local publication by far. I went ahead and sent in my cover letter and resume along with a link to my portfolio. Guess what... I got an email back saying that I didn't get the position because it has already been filled. I was bummed but nothing I could do. Wrong. Sometimes sitting around pays off. A few weeks had gone by and then I got a call from a random 509 number. They had called to see if I was still interested and when I could come by to get my first trial assignment. I'm real pumped about this and it should be good real world experience in the journalism world.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hang it up.

Selling a print in a gallery was something that was on my list of things to do in 2009.(HERE)

At the time I knew no one that owned a gallery or anything about them. I just figured that my photos were destined for newsprint, then died. A few of my favorites might make it to the blog but for the most part the sit on these hard drives in front of me. But I shoot so that I can stay up all night and look at 1000's of photos from all over the place with a cluster of people. That might be one of my favorite things to do. Just to get lost in summers past.

Lets start you out with this.

It was an act of God but there I was, just sitting at home one Sunday night about three or four weeks ago when something in me said "Go to Starbuck." so I got in the car and went. I sat down with my coffee and in walks Jeff Youngblood. This is a guy I met once or twice but didn't really know him. He walked up to me and said, "Your a photographer, right?"

So we got to talking and he was starting a gallery in downtown Joplin and wanted to have me be one of the artists in the opening show. Remembering back to my list, I said yes.

It is a show of four photographers. The whole process has been real fun, trying to figure out what photos to pick, getting them printed and now they are at the frame shop. I would like to show you the pictures that made the cut but I don't want to spoil the show for the locals. I will take lots of photos of the opening for those of you that cant make it. It will be a stop on the "art walk" here in Joplin and is expected to have well over 400 people roll through opening night.

I would love to see you all out there. I'm real happy about this and it feels like I'm moving in the right direction. Keep things clicking in life. Take the blinders off and who knows there you will end up.


Friday, May 8, 2009


I wish I could call it a tornado but I don't think I can. At 7:15 or so I woke up with some crazy wind whippin at the house. Everyone here talks about green skies when there is a tornado and it was plenty green this morning. I ran downstairs and andrew woke up also. So we just sat in the living room watching outside. At about 8:30 we lost power and by 9 the tornado sirens started sounding. We figured that our house may not be the best shape for a "nado" so we headed to the neighbors. Knock knock..... knock knock.... nothing so run to the other neighbors. Same story there. So we just sat in our place, keeping fingers crossed. Wind got up over 85 mph and with wind and hail, tons of windows broke. Not in our place but all over town.

Link to the local newspaper. (HERE) They have done a good job with covering it.

All of these photos were taken within 2 blocks of my house.