This is all Steve’s fault.
Steve Good, Gina Adam and Rob Sand met at a program called Leadership Iowa. Each month for eight months beginning in September 2013, we traveled to a different town in Iowa to meet with experts and locals to talk about issues facing our state. We learned about agriculture, education, innovation and so much more. We visited Creston, Waterloo, Ottumwa and other unique towns throughout Iowa. And in each place, we would stumble upon something delightfully unexpected and completely awesome. That’s when Steve blog addiction reared its head and a blog about Iowa emerged. A Zombie Burger and a Tacopocalypse taco later, Rob and Gina were on board. (See? All Steve’s fault.)
Here’s what you’ll find Only in Iowa:
Only in Iowa is that little state park down the road with the funny name. That old Drive-In Theater that only your grandpa remembers. The giant art festival in the middle of a city. That one place where you can get a tenderloin the size of your face.
It’s businesses that you probably have no idea about and people who are unbelievable assets to Iowa. It’s the story behind that Iowa landmark and that sense of pride that Iowans feel. It’s racecars and tractors. It’s folklore and sports fans. And corn. Lots of corn.
It’s Iowa. And it’s ours!
This a picture of Steve three days after the birth of his youngest. It sums him up nicely. The bags under Steve’s eyes are the result of two toddlers, two ill-behaved mutts and his writing addiction. His wife Tillie has played no part in the development of these bags. Steve is Fort Dodge raised, Iowa State educated and lives in Ames. He works out of his house and in his sweatpants for the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity Headquarters and gets really annoyed when people ask him, “Is that a real job?” or “Are you drunk right now?”
Steve pretends to be a runner and his proud of his running blog, the charity athletics program that he helped create and his bottom 5 percentile finish at the 2010 Boston Marathon. Steve is obsessed with Iowa – its places, people, businesses, food and values. His Iowa claim to fame is that his great-great-grandparents lived in the American Gothic House when Grant Wood painted American Gothic. He wishes that he was related to the bald guy in the painting.
Gina grew up on a farm in north central Iowa. She rode in combines. She walked beans. And she visited Santa each December at his North Pole headquarters—conveniently located in the Woolstock Farmers’ Co-Op.
After graduating from Drake, Gina decided to move out of state to become a writer at a large ad agency. Before her departure, she began to experience Iowa. Riding on the Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad, touring the Capitol, tenting in Decorah—hey, wait a minute—Iowa is pretty awesome.
Determined to make Iowa her home, Gina became a founding member of the Des Moines Music Coalition and helped create the 80/35 music festival. Along with two partners, Gina also started Saturday Mfg., a creative ad shop in Des Moines. She married a farm-raised boy and they have a 4-year-old daughter. Together they love camping, kayaking and playing extremely competitive games of Candyland.
Rob Sand grew up in Decorah, Iowa, where his first job was catching chickens and his second was McDonald’s. He and his friends played with BB guns and tubed down the river in the summer. He loved it but wanted to try something new too, so he went East and elsewhere during college.
Rob couldn’t break free, though. For example, while he was in college, people paid him to come to New York, Paris, or Milan, put on expensive clothes, and let them take his picture. But he didn’t care about the work and missed Iowa- so he quit at his peak to come home and listen to Iowa farmers’ views on conservation issues. Then later, after college, he was offered a spot at Harvard Law School. He went to Iowa Law instead. “You can take the boy out of Iowa…” but not for long.
So, Rob moved to Des Moines, and met a nice girl at a backyard BBQ. They got married and now have a happy baby boy. He likes bow hunting, fishing, biking, and any other excuse to be outside. Rob is a criminal prosecutor in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office. He focuses on public corruption, white-collar crime and sexually violent predator commitment cases.