February 24, 2013

R. K. Vetter-Is This Heaven? Close. It’s Iowa!

The Iowa State Fair! Have you been to visit the famous butter cow? How about the Bridges of Madison County, the Field of Dreams, Effigy Mounds National Monument or the Amana Colonies?                     
I have the same birth state as Johnny Carson, Donna Reed, John Wayne, Bess Streeter Aldrich, Meredith Wilson, Glenn Miller, William Buffalo Bill Cody, Cloris Leachman, Andy Williams, our 31st President, Herbert Hoover, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.   
Iowa is also the birth state of Quaker Oats, Winnebago RV’s, Casey’s General Stores and the Iowa caucuses.  Each election year, there have been multiple treks made to Iowa by a number of highly heavy-duty politicians with the intent of kissing some babies, pressing some flesh and swaying some votes. That would include Pat Paulsen, of the classic Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, in 1968!

 My Iowa farmer dad, following his mother’s lead, served on local election and school boards, was always politically savvy and maintained an astounding currency with worldwide news. My Iowa school teachers believed in the power of knowledge, the written word and good citizenship.  I became an Iowa Girls’ Stater and later, a teacher, with a love of literature, writing and history, following the example of my mother and several aunts. I grew up loving the Iowa state flag because it had the same colors as our national flag. In the black and white photo, you can see an almost six-year-old me on a patriotic float with my grandmother behind me.
My current book, 5-Star Citizen: Raising the Civic-Minded ChildA Framework for the Public-Spirited Engagement of Tomorrow’s Leaders, is a reflection of my time spent with the good people of Iowa. My upcoming book, Story Time @ Home: How to Start a Story Time Club, will be the second title in the Proceed for Others Series, an ongoing series of self-help books which assist in raising funds for notable charities.

Ah, the rolling, black-soil “fields of opportunities” and the practically perfect porkers of Iowa! No, it’s not Heaven, but it is probably as close as you can get. 

Please visit my website, www.ProceedforOthers.com, and leave your contact information on my contact page. I will put your name in a drawing for one of three free copies of my book. 


  1. Great post. I Remember visiting the State Fair in Indiana. I loved it.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Another state I've never visited. Enjoyed reading about Iowa in your post today.

  3. Until I read this blog I knew nothing about Iowa, except that it was somewhere in the midwest. Thank you for a delightful Iowa history lesson.

  4. I have been to the Iowa State Fair and enjoyed seeing all of the animals. It was a long time ago and not so many attractions as there are now.
    I am so glad someone has written about this much needed issue. I feel a lot of the young people are not taught about what it is that makes for a good citizen and American.
    Kudos for doing that.


  5. I've never been to Iowa, but you've certainly given it a good plug. Thanks for informing us about your state and good luck with your writing.

  6. Enjoyed your blog! You have much history in Iowa and like many of the other western and midwestern states, considered a "fly-over" area, except for the all-important caucus! Best to you with your books.

  7. I've never been to Iowa, but your blog makes me want to visit. Sounds like a great state.

  8. I worked for 3 years for a company based on the Iowa side of the Quad Cities, so I drove out there every other Friday, for an 8am meeting. 3 hours each way...made for a long day. I also drove out to Davenport a couple of times, to exchange my company cars. Lots of flat lands, very similar to Illinois.

    But my second son drove out with some classmates when he was a high school senior, because they wanted to see a caucus in action. They said the Republican one was formal and boring, with no one talking to them. The Democrat one was friendly, with people engaging them in conversations, eager to talk to young people who were interested in the machinations of politics. They thoroughly enjoyed their visit to Iowa!

    And if I'd have done my masters in English, I'd have gone to the U. of Iowa. As it is, my sales job was necessary to repay my student loans.

    Thanks for such inspiring words about a Midwestern state.


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