We Live Here, Too

A podcast about the people and spaces of rural America

About the Podcast

A podcast about the people and spaces of rural America, hosted by Ruby Bodeker and Søren Peterson. We talk people, places, politics, and more, and we interview people from rural spaces in Iowa and around the country to find out what matters to them. From time to time, we’re joined by our friend and “not-a-pundit,” Darvin Graham. The people of rural America matter. We matter, because we live here, too. #WeLiveHereToo

Where to Listen

Listen to We Live Here, Too here on our website or subscribe in your favorite podcast app:

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Latest Episodes

Episode 2 – What a Local Bar/Restaurant Means to the Community

In this episode, we talk with Tiffany Mast, owner of Decker’s Hitchin Post in Garrison, Iowa, about what her business means to her rural community and the challenges she has faced in the midst of a pandemic. Our not-a-pundit Darvin joins us to discuss Iowa’s obsession with its first-in-the-nation caucuses and why that needs to change. Let us know your thoughts about the discussion, or suggest possible guests or topics for future episodes.

Episode 2 cheat sheet for part 1, our conversation with Tiffany Mast, owner of Decker's Hitchin Post in Garrison, Iowa:
2:47 History of Hitchin Post—chicken hatchery, carwash.
8:05 Surviving 2020, losing her grandpa.
9:30 History of Garrison including volunteer fire department.
12:15 "The way everything is going in rural America...we're eroding away."
12:30 How do we bring people to rural, small town Iowa? >>outdoor rec!
13:27 One bar owner's opinion on #RaiseTheWage.
14:20 "I think I've lived on $4.35 an hour for the last 20 years of my life."
18:30 "I've wiped out my savings, I've cashed in everything."
19:40 Jeopardizing small business owners' lives by not masking up.
22:15 "If Tiffany would have been governor, damn, a lot of things would have been different."
24:40 Rural food deserts: "I've had girls calls, 'hey, do you have any Doritos, cause I'm making walking tacos'...yeah, come on down."
30:30 Famous back bar from Prohibition-era speakeasy.
32:30 Out of touch politicians in Iowa. #WorkingPeople
Details on what to expect in the first part of this episode. Ruby says she has never enjoyed a chat so much; Søren agrees it was a good one.
Cheat sheet for part 2, our conversation with our not-a-pundit Darvin:
32:53 Caucus talk—what will happen if it goes away?
39:50 Running on scorched earth.
40:20 What the hell is the Iowa brand in terms of Democratic politics?
40:50 Why can't we be a party for local Democrats before the national candidates?
42:30 Jane Kleeb and her book Harvest the Vote; funding state parties.
44:30 Truman Fund operating out of an "old Hardee's"?
45:10 "We don't even define ourselves; we're a rural state that ceded our rural lands and its people."
45:50 What is an Iowa Democrat?; Farm crisis everlasting impact on our communities.
47:40 We forgot about the little guy; "we should have been there with those people."
49:00 Lutherans and Democratic county parties.
52:00 "The caucus carcass."
54:00 Your space, your life, it all matters—plus you happen to be a Democrat.
We also continued our conversation with our not-a-pundit, Darvin Graham. We always appreciate his insights from rural America on Iowa politics.

Episode 1 – Breaking Down the Race for Iowa House District 75 and What Iowa Democrats Need in a New Chair

In this inaugural episode, we break down Ruby’s bid for Iowa House District 75 and compare the results to past elections and other 2020 House races in Iowa. Our not-a-pundit Darvin joins us to discuss what the Iowa Democratic Party needs in a new chair and how rural Democrats can move forward after a disappointing election. Let us know your thoughts about the discussion, or suggest possible guests or topics for future episodes.

Cheat sheet for this episode:
16:00 A look at Iowa County data; "rural-rural" precincts to rural.
17:20 Pronunciation of Honey Creek and aunt.
19:00 Compare our race to rest of the ticket in Iowa County.
24:00 "Heather and Jackie" effect plus desperate need for year-round organizing.
28:00 VAN/voter database mess discussion.
30:00 Trying to build party infrastructure while running for office.
32:00 Benton County data dive.
33:30 Shout out to Belle Plaine where we performed the best!
35:00 Garrison data.
36:00 Trouble spots.
42:00 We compare cover crop implementation to political organizing.
45:00 Rural strategy drama plus Jimmy Carter
46:00 Not-a-pundit segment with Darvin Graham
Details of what to expect in this episode.

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