Tag Archives: Iowa

Why Space-girls Come from Iowa


Yes, Iowa is a State with very little going on.  Not overly populated.  Not a center of arts and culture and the avant garde.  In fact, it is a State so literally boring that it is a perfect place for someone like me with cancer of the imagination to live.  I grew up in the town of Rowan, Iowa.  275 people if you count the squirrels (and believe me, some of the squirrels are premium corn-nuts).  I confess to peopling the place with the characters and creatures that welled up from the crazy, dark depths of my imagination.  Yes, they were real people, but the things I knew about their secret lives as international spies and alien invaders masquerading as humans were probably not provably accurate.

There was a time when alien potato people gave me an embryo to guard that would be raised as a human being.  When I showed it to my friends, they claimed it was a carved potato with spherical-headed pins for eyes.  Now how were they going to pass off a carved potato as a human being when they wanted him to take his place as a Russian cosmonaut to interfere with the space programs of two countries?  And how did they expect a twelve-year-old boy to make a carved potato grow up to look and act like a human being?  Alien potato people never adequately explain themselves.

And Iowa girls are something else that you have to see to believe.  Are they pretty?  Well, I went to Moo-U, Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.  Why did they always call it Moo U. or Cow College?  Well, more than one of my friends told me that it wasn’t because it was an agriculture and mechanics sort of college.  Oh, it was definitely that.  But they suggested all the girls at Moo U. were fat and desperate and at college to get an M.R.S. degree with a specialty in ball-and-chain.  I must admit to being chased by a couple of cow-shaped co-eds, but I always found Iowa girls to be absolutely fascinating.  I always imagined them in bikinis and nearly nude, even though, with Iowa weather, there is really only about fifteen minutes a year in August when you could really say we had bikini weather.

I was thirteen in 1969 when Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon.  My dreams were space fantasies.  My connections with alien invaders were nearly exposed by the potato-people’s embryo snafu, but most of my day-dreams took me to Mars alongside Alicia Stewart, the prettiest girl in my sixth-grade classroom.  She was always wearing a bikini when we explored Mars… usually underneath her space suit… her see-through glass-and-plastic space suit.

So, as I claimed in the the title, space-girls come from Iowa.  At least, in my mind they do.  In my feverish retro teen-aged imagination they do.  And if I can continue to successfully put fiction into print before I die, you will probably see a lot more of them.

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Filed under autobiography, humor, Paffooney

Valerie Clarke at the barn

Valerie Clarke at the barn

This is a picture of the main character of my not-yet-published novel, Snow Babies.

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August 1, 2013 · 3:51 pm