MONONA COUNTY, IOWA -- The thought of people living in Iowa for their entire lives was too much for
Steve "Colorado Guy" Garufi.
While driving throughout western Iowa, Steve had to pull over because he broke down in tears. His sadness for people who live there was overwhelming.
"Why would anyone want to live Iowa? I just don't understand," said Steve, as he cried uncontrollably.
Mark, a sugar beet farmer in Minnesota, helped Steve put his emotions in perspective.
"Have you ever heard the saying that Iowa stands for 'I Owe the
World an Apology.'" he said,
"Those poor people ... they can't help that they live there."
Jason Friesema, an addictions counselor in Colorado Springs, had
a unique perspective on the matter: "Iowa is a big bore, it really is. Many residents are
fourth and fifth generation, and it's
like their addicted to crack and they can't get away, even though it's destroying them."
Steve has driven through Iowa many times in his life, and recently he drove throughout western Iowa to see a friend and visit
Hawkeye Point, the state's highest point.
"I kept seeing plains everywhere with nothing around. Occasionally there would be some rolling hills but that was about it," explained Steve.
Left photo: Steve stands beside a barbed-wire fence and open field in Monowa County, Iowa.
Brandi D. in Tucson, Arizona encouraged Steve. "You look sad and desolate!
Your care for Iowans is an indication that you have compassion for people," she wrote. "But remember, you can only help people who want to help themselves.
If people choose to live in Iowa, it's their problem, not yours. Let them go."
"I do feel sad for Iowans and as a former Kansan, I feel their pain." explained Brandi,
"I have been in Iowa and it felt like a continuation of Kansas ... only
corn instead of wheat."
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