The Story Behind the Photo

Hello, World!

With a population of around 250, Meservey truly qualifies as small town Iowa, and is 9 miles northeast of Belmond. There’s no grocery store, no gas station, and Donna’s Lounge is one of the few businesses still open in this fading former railroad town. It serves as a community gathering place as well as a restaurant and bar. The first time I went in, I knew immediately that I wanted to make a photograph there. The jukebox, hunting trophies, lighted bar signs and Formica tables were iconic of a Midwestern dive bar (a subject with which I am all too familiar!). I arranged to meet and photograph Donna herself, who has owned the place for 20 years. The lighting was dark so I chose to supplement it with my own lights. But I made sure to preserve the ambience by letting the bar signs illuminate Donna—that’s where the blue glow comes from.  I was happy that she was willing to participate in Uprooted, she and her lounge are the glue holding Meservey together.