Somewhere in the Middle
Over thirty years ago, I left Wisconsin for Boston to pursue a career in pharmaceutical research. Despite living on the East Coast, my connection to the Midwest was solid, no matter my many relocations. But as our nation began its trudge through the current political divide, I felt disconnected from the place I once cherished. I realized I had fallen out of touch with the current Midwest culture. Eventually, this identity dissonance gave way to intense curiosity about the central states' political and geographical landscapes. In 2018, I struck out for the Midwest for a 6-week road trip on a lark. History lessons long forgotten came back as back roads wound through towns that once drew fortune seekers, warriors, pioneers, and hustlers.
Equally moving were remnants of towns bearing scars of industrial decline and the lack of plausible, forthcoming economic solutions. No matter the view, utilizing landscapes and interiors of local community spots seemed the most neutral way to collect impressions. Over the last three years, my continuing travels have crisscrossed over 30,000 miles in the geographic middle of the USA. My work was ignited by personal curiosity, but now it progresses in the hope that my continued work could add to greater understanding to this time of national division.