John Hale

We used to be proud to be Iowans—The sequel

John and Terri Hale own The Hale Group, an Ankeny-based advocacy firm focused on making Iowa a better place for all. Contact

Two months ago, Bleeding Heartland published a column recounting our first-time escape to Arizona for a brief respite from Iowa cold and snow, and our encounter with someone who surprised us when he said “I used to be proud to be an Iowan.”

The column outlined the reasons he, and we, were frustrated about the Iowa that we now see vs. the Iowa that used to exist. They included:

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We used to be proud to be Iowans

John and Terri Hale’s conversation with Iowa snowbirds took an unexpected turn when one volunteered, “I used to be proud to be an Iowan.”

We dipped our toes in snowbird water in January, escaping the cold of Iowa for the warmth and splendor of Arizona. One of the first lessons learned – you can escape Iowa but you can’t escape Iowans.

Iowans are everywhere in Arizona – grocery stores, restaurants, hiking trails, pickle ball courts, golf courses, etc. And here’s no shocker – they are enjoying the heck out of life.

Yet they remain interested in the latest news from their home state.

An example – on a beautiful 71-degree Arizona day, we met a couple from central Iowa and began a conversation.

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A trip to Walmart will never be the same

John Hale is an independent Iowan — thinker, writer, speaker, advocate, consultant. -promoted by Laura Belin

I was inexplicably drawn to a central Iowa Walmart Monday night. I didn’t need to buy anything, but I needed for some reason to be there – maybe to pay homage to those caught in the carnage in El Paso, and maybe to reflect a bit on what this nation has become.

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