Slam in Northeast Iowa

Hello and welcome again to what has been a reflective weekend. As I mentioned 1 June, I am writing a post each day on my play SLAM. SLAM is a mash-up for one Samantha Lamb, a young woman who’s close to the Tea Party in political affiliation, although all politicians just piss her off. She’s in her mid-thirties and lives on what’s left of her father’s land in Mason, Iowa. The time I’m still a little nebulous on; I think it’s 2003, well into the war in Iraq and pretty much at the tipping point regarding cell phone use in the States. Slam is attempting to beef up her petsitting business, mostly by boarding dogs. After she had her dad committed, she was free to get the kennels built. Her dad thought such a business beyond ridiculous, with no financial payback worth the time and sacrifice. (And by the way, Slam committed her dad because his drinking basically pickled his brain. Although said father will be back.)
Darn. This isn’t what I wanted to write about. You know what’s been on my mind this weekend? Eagle Point Park. Mason, Iowa is made up, but its location is somewhere near Dubuque, which is a town right on the Mississippi River and chockablock with immigrant and river-running history. The area is also gorgeous, and Eagle Point Park is a gem. I have been absorbing all the online pics I can (I live in NYC), and a memory popped in my Iowa childhood brain: I have been to that park! I remember the castle and a few steep climbs. I remember trees and growth, not what I was used to from a childhood in Iowa City. I remember this park was so inviting, just waiting for my imagination to enter and craft excellent new worlds.
And? 30 years or so later? Slam shows up, and shows up pissed. Northeast Iowa will not be the same. I need to get back there.

From the Iowa Tourism Bureau, if I”m not mistaken. Eagle Point Park.


  1. Melissa Clarke

    SLAM sounds intriguing. I went to Eagle Point Park during college. A good friend was from the Clinton area. I spent the weekend on her farm with 3 others and, of course, drinking in Clinton.
    I have good stories about the weekend and my friends.
    A word of caution from the only Clarke branch still in Iowa and in Northeast Iowa–this area is fairly liberal. Some Tea Party crazies here, but they aren’t the majority.
    I look forward to hearing more about the play. Your Iowa aunt

    • sheelakangal

      I didn’t know you’d been to Eagle Point – very cool. Great place to barbecue, drink, and muse. I must go back again. There’s so much I can recall, just from viewing a few internet pics.

      And yes, I do know there’s a outside disconnect regarding liberals and conservatives in Iowa. I think that’s why Slam is so interesting: she’s over the top and, frankly, out of her depth. Makes for good theatre, no? : – )

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