AR & P Tour in Omaha

Brian Krans. Omaha. Photo: Wells.
Brian Krans. Omaha. Photo: Wells. (Click to enlarge)

Word by Bruce J. Bales
Photos by Tiffiany Wells

A book of matches sits on my typewriter. The back reads “books worth burning.” The front reads Rock Town Press. The book of matches is a reminder, a reminder like those I’ve seen in Brian Krans’ writing space. Krans is the type of writer who is constantly reminding himself. Notes, letters, souvenirs, and ideas line his walls. During his two-month AR & P tour he stopped in Omaha to remind us once again. Krans always teaches you something, even if you don’t want to learn. You are forced to listen to him. He grabs you by your eyelids and eardrums. Krans reminds you.

Krans has always been a champion of our cause. Seeing him reminded me that we are unified in our approach. We remain champions of each other’s causes, and we are more aware of it than ever before. We do what we do because we have to. It is the only way we know. Krans reminded me of that. We should do our best not to forget it.

Rock Town forever.

Buy “Assault Rifles and Pedophiles” here.
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Zach Gutweiler. Fishbrain stall. Johnston. Photo: Bales.
Zach Gutweiler. Fishbrain stall. Johnston. Photo: Bales. (Click to enlarge)

Photographs and words by Bruce J. Bales

You learn a lot about a person while sharing a 5×5 foot, un-airconditioned work space for several hours at a time. Working with Zach Gutweiler inside Hole in the Wall, his compact gourmet restaurant on 15th and Grand, has been an education. Aside from teaching me about local ingredients, how to compose flavorful and thoughtful dishes and providing me a proper kitchen environment, Zach has conveyed an unapologetic and thoughtful sensibility. Zach sees things his own way, and he is unwavering in his approach. He acts like he knows a lot about food because he does. Zach’s dishes justify his attitude.
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A day in the Quad Cities

Centennial bridge. Davenport. Photo: Bales.
Centennial bridge. Davenport. Photo: Bales. (Click to enlarge)

Words by Bruce J. Bales
Photos by Bruce J. Bales and Andrew Hall

There are actually five cities that make up the Quad Cities: Bettendorf and Davenport in Iowa and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. Confusing, I know. So why not the Quint Cities? The story goes that when Bettendorf, my hometown, surpassed East Moline in size the community just never embraced the title “Quint Cities.” News channels and members of the community tried to help it catch on, but it was too late. The community had already decided on the Quad Cities.

Quad Cities facts:
*Forbes Magazine named the Quad Cities “The Most Affordable Metro” in 2010.
*In 1848 John Deere moved his tractor business to Moline, helping spawn the growth of the region.
*Today the Quad Cities is the 90th largest CSA (combined statistical area) in the United States.
*In 1856 the first railroad bridge over the Mississippi was built connecting Davenport and Rock Island. Weeks later, a steamboat by the name of the Effie Afton crashed into the bridge. When Effie Afton owner, John Hurd, sued the Rock Island Railroad Company, the company selected Abraham Lincoln as their trial lawyer.

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Ledges State Park. Photo: Clark.
Ledges State Park. Photo: Clark. (Click to enlarge)

Words by Bruce J. Bales
Photos by Logan Clark, Bruce J. Bales, Caleb Smith and Josh Michalec

Every year around this time the urge to condense hits me. I started with my email account, where I found some photos sent to me by Josh Michalec. The photos reminded me of our roadtrip last year, so I started digging through my hard drives to see what I had. What I found amounted to this collection of ten photographs from one of the best weeks of 2013 when we lived like nomads, trekking through our state searching for something new.
Continue reading ‘Spring cleaning: 2013 roadtrip’