Terpstra: Northern Exposure

 By Kelly Terpstra, kterpstra@charlescitypress.com

I am fascinated by location.

It could be a rocket defying gravity, propelling itself amongst the stars or a fishing boat hopelessly marooned on a tiny island with no chance for a distress call.

Or sports fans lounging in lawn chairs, soaking in summer baseball games with not a single care in the world — except as to whether their team wins or loses.

Kelly Terpstra
Kelly Terpstra

Location, location, location.

Does it matter where you’re at? It depends on the individual, I guess.

But to me, in the end, it’s all about that location and your experience.

I’m excited for my new one.

I’ve taken a new job — up north, a decent distance from my usual stomping grounds.

That job is for the Charles City Press, a paper I assume you’re reading right now as you meander your way through my first column for this fine newspaper.

As a newly hired news reporter for the Press, I am more than excited to get started in this, my first week here in Charles City.

Here’s some quick tidbits about who I am and where I am from — just in case you were wondering.

I have made the trek up north to Floyd County from southeast Iowa, where I lived in Ottumwa for 15 years. Geographically speaking, my rough estimate is that Ottumwa is about the same distance from the Missouri border as Charles City is to the Minnesota state line. That’s an eyeball assumption because I’m not trusting mapquest.com again.

I enjoyed my time down south, covering sports and news for two different publications. The majority of that time was spent at the Ottumwa Courier as a sports writer for 10 years under the direction of James Grob — who now, coincidentally, writes for the Press. Good friends and colleagues who work well together often times do not stray far from each other.

As I am new to this area, I am reminded how beautiful different areas of this great state are. Charles City is such a town and I have to say so is Ottumwa, if you ever get the chance to get down that way. Each community is situated on a river and where there is water, there is usually plenty of natural wonder to explore.

But, I am also reminded that even if one changes their latitude a tad, how little has changed when it comes to the people that populate all of Iowa’s remarkable 99 counties.

I firmly believe that for the most part, people in this world are good — they care and they respect others. It’s what makes this state great in my opinion. I’ve seen plenty of those attributes already in the few days I have lived up here in Charles City.

So no matter what sector of the state one resides in, you don’t have to stray far to find people who make you proud to be an Iowa citizen.

That’s what fascinates me more than location — the people that make up those locations. Getting to know people is what makes my job fun and I can’t wait to meet many in the area and hear their stories.

It doesn’t matter the location.