Pick A State


Jean Owens

While looking for Nebraska I enjoyed mostly sunny skies and the vast differences between West and East. In western Nebraska there are 3 counties with only one town which made “looking…” more difficult. In the east there are more trees, towns and industry – more signs. I drove though the openness of the sand hills and by ranches; walked through “Car Henge” surprised at the other sculptures there; and stopped at a windmill museum in awe of the many types displayed. While I was photographing at a rodeo grounds, a friendly farmer tooted his tractor horn then waved at me at me to say hello. In one field, I retreated when I saw a sign that said “Look out for Snakes”. Throughout the state I found the food delicious at the many cafes and restaurants; the motels clean and the Nebraskans very nice people.

Photographing Nebraska and Iowa has been a great and rewarding experience. I have three sisters and they have all participated in these projects. I asked them to do the writing for me, and as well as keep a lookout for the State’s name. They were great company, and kept me going longer hours than I planned. My sister, Gwen, accompanied me to every county in Nebraska and several in Iowa. My other sisters, Joan and Jan, have both been involved with parts of Nebraska and Iowa. It was a wonderful experience and I’m grateful for all their “spotting’s”.

Fortunately, we did a lot in November when the days were shorter and I wasn’t photographing from dawn until 8 or 9 PM. I did Nebraska in May and November and in May, I got pushed into working longer hours and had shorter meals. In November we were caught in a snow storm and took two days off while we waited for the snowplows to clear the streets and highways. There was a sign on the highway going south out of McCook “ALL ROADS CLOSED TO KANSAS”. After two nights of waiting, we drove east along the Nebraska-Kansas border until we reached open highways into Kansas, the State I currently call home.

I’d like to thank Rick VanderPool, State Art Texas, for coming up with this idea of covering each state and giving 20 other Photographers this opportunity to do something that was fun and “family” oriented.