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My parents moved to Fairfield, subject of the front page diary on Ron Paul's top zipcodes to the left, from Mason City Iowa when they retired in 1998.  I grew up mainly in Mason City, born in Dubuque.  

My parents aren't "meditators" (known to townies in FF as gurus or just roos) but it fit the bill they were looking for best- they could still be in a quiet unstressful midwestern small town not far from family, but be around more progressive peacenik people than Mason City or most other places have.  They like it there, and everything is in walking distance.  (Also a little warmer than northern iowa, so to them it's kind of like Vancouver is for Toronto retirees, but I digress).  

It's a really neat town with lots of educated people, and a charming old town square full of art galleries, ethnic and vegetarian restaurants, and New Agey type trinket and health product shops that seem much more at home in Portland or San Fran.   Internet enterpreneurs and telecommuters (the kind that usually wind up in Vermont or Aspen if they go rural) living amidst the cornfields and hang out at the organic buffet near the railroad next to the grain elevators.  Old Victorians and cruddy old shacks intersperse neighborhoods that also newer homes with very symmetrical, Indian-inspired architecture proscribed by the Maharishi's philosophy.   It's been called one of the most vegetarian towns in the country and it's in the middle of hog country.  A cool and unique place.  

The meditators are an unusual group.  Their lifestyle is stereotypical urban west coast Volvo/aromatherapy/hippie bead/Thai food, but their focus on kind of a New Age positive-thinking-your-own-bootstraps enterpreneur life combined with their very pro-peace Imagine-all-the-people philosophy makes them unusual politically.

I.e. I think a lot of them were Naderites in 00, they split between Kucinich and  Dean in 04, now they seem monolithically for Paul.  This was one of like 3 counties Dean won in 04.

Originally posted to DemDachshund on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 01:54 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  In 2002 and 2004 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slksfca, luckylizard

    I did the Fairfield Trial Run (50K) in Jefferson County Park.  It was lovely.

    What I noticed is that they had some surprisingly good restaurants there; the Mexican one was especially good.

    Unfortunately, the race (or series of races) is now defunct.

    If I remember correctly, there were some special high quality organically grown produce there.

    When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

    by onanyes on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 02:00:49 PM PST

  •  interesting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slksfca

    So how do the roos make their money?  Working for the Maharishi's foundation?

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

    by nailbender on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 02:03:10 PM PST

    •  Quite a few have their own companies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nailbender, willb48

      Which do computer or internet related things or just any regular thing, just that the people who run them happen to be "roos".

      Then there is the university itself.  Books Are Fun has a big establishment there.  Random stuff I guess.  

      The only place where Republicans are anywhere close to responsible is in the dictionary.

      by DemDachshund on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 02:35:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have posted this (4+ / 0-)

    before..I am a native Iowan now in chicago.
    This summer I saw a C-Span telecast of a small gathering for Dennis K. in Fairfield.
    He was clearly very much a favorite in this gathering. It was some good viewing when this one very intense woman got right close to his face and spoke calmly to him...I think it was about peace in the world.. but when dennis broke it off he had a look on his face that said..''wow..these folks are even more intense than me''

    It just struck me as funny..he kind of had a look of ''get me outta here'' and left quickly.
    No offense to those folks...just some of the campaign flavor. What a long strange trip it has been.

    •  sounds kinda like... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      luckylizard

      ...my ex-wife's uncle, who would lecture (and lecture, and lecture, ...) the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons and such who came to the door with his favorite Bible passages and interpretations.

      They'd trip over themselves trying to get out the door.

      The way to win is not to move to the right wing; the way to win is to move to the right policy. -- Nameless Soldier

      by N in Seattle on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 03:29:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The "roos" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, onanyes, luckylizard

    are generally regarded as having a lot of money.

    They are enterpreneurs and, as a result, Fairfield has a number of very successful companies that at first look have no business being in rural Iowa.

    I love Fairfield.

  •  i want one of those telecommuter jobs... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    where do you sign up for those?

  •  Nobody wants to call this guy a Paulbot? (0+ / 0-)

    I am not calling him a Paulbot,
    I think paul is that last progressive choice

  •  One point... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    ...very symmetrical, Indian-inspired architecture proscribed by the Maharishi's philosophy...

    The word you want is prescribed, not proscribed.

    OK, back to lurking.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 02:32:14 PM PST

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    they could still be in a quiet unstressful midwestern small town not far from family, but be around more progressive peacenik people than Mason City or most other places have.

    I hear ya!  I was living in Fort Dodge, IA at the time of the first Gulf War.  Although I moved there from a small town in Illinois, that small town had three universities within 35 miles, which had an effect on the public's politics that I'd never fully appreciated until I left.  I've always compared the experience of being in Fort Dodge at that time as being a bit like living in a VFW post.

    Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization. -- George Bernard Shaw

    by dsteffen on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 04:04:16 PM PST

    •  Iowan here... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dsteffen

      You made me giggle with the VFW  post thing.  I find it amazing that there are so many odd contrasts and combinations of things in Iowa, especially in some of the small towns.  The impression I got before the caucuses was that most people in the country seem to think we are essentially unconscious except for a few months every four years.  We aren't overtly cosmopolitan but we have lots more ethnic, cultural and political diversity than anyone would imagine.  We just aren't very loud about it.  Of course, there are the Fort Dodge's of the state but that, too, is part of the diversity....

      -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

      by luckylizard on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 05:36:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My wife is from Fairfield, IA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    and we live in Chicago now. Her parents caucused for Obama, and told me that Clinton didn't make the 15% viability level in their group.

    Here's another interested fact; a new theater in Fairfield, the Sondheim Theater, is the only building in the US that Stephen Sondheim has allowed his name to be attached to. Richard Kind is currently performing Sondheim's "Funny Thing Happened... Forum" there.

  •  my mom lives in Fairfield (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    luckylizard

    ...a meditator and English professor.  It's a terrific place to live, I agree, and I have a lot of respect for what the community has built there.  

    I'm in Northern California and prevailed on my mom over many phone calls last year to support Obama.  Then she saw him at his big summer speech downtown, and was hooked.  She went to her first-ever caucus on Jan. 3, and told me a solid majority went for Obama there.  She said she felt uplifted by the whole process.  Obama's message of hope and civic participation has brought people together everywhere, including Fairfield.

  •  I remember when Parsons College closed (0+ / 0-)

    and the Maharishi folks decided to locate there.  There was a lot of controversy but Fairfield has thrived because enough people supported it.  If they had not allowed it, that town would have suffered the fate of so many small, rural towns in the country.  My dream is to win the lottery and buy up and revitalize a small (dead or dying) town.  Well, no point in dreaming if I don't dream big :-)

    -7.62, -7.28 "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 05:42:59 PM PST

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