Goodbye Friend Steve

steve-wHello and welcome to the blog!  Wednesday was a sad day.  My good friend, neighbor Steve, unexpectedly passed away in the middle of the night due to complications from our mutual affliction.  Just Tuesday evening we’d wrestled with changing a lawnmower blade, talking about all kinds of topics, one of which was diabetes.  We both encouraged each other to eat healthy and manage the blood sugars.

Steve and I often discussed the condition of our country and our beliefs about the “end times”, hoping that we’ll be in Glory before things get too bad.  The Lord took him a little sooner than expected but I know Heaven is an even better place today with my pal there.

Steve was a “cowboy poet”, entertaining folks – often church groups – with live readings of his whimsical southwestern prose.  While humerous, his words spoke a message of faith and morals.


Steve was also an accomplished artist, making what he called “tac art”.  His works were fashioned from things such as coils of antique barbed wire, old horseshoes, and tin that had been hammered – peened – using hand tools.  I’m lucky to have been given some of his pieces – items that will always be treasured.

Over the last couple of years I’ve showed dozens of fish to Steve.  He watched the remodel of the van and sat inside it.  Rather than looking at the “rustic” way it was built out, he often remarked how much he wished he could travel to other places and see the streams and trees and be free.  Steve liked hearing the stories about camping in the van. While I was camping, he occasionally took care of Jesse and Jennifer.  We spoke often about animals and though he lamented about the stray animals, I’d see him quietly feeding crackers to the rabbits who lived under his shed.  Steve was good to everyone!

Rest in peace, Steve!  You will be missed by your family and many friends.  You were an amazing pal!


Parked for a few hours at a local nature trail to catch some favorite TV shows on Saturday night.


That’s about it for now.  I’ve got Thursday off from work and am planning to do some camping and fishing.  The colorful leaves will be at peak beauty in Northern Iowa.  I might have some company.  Though Jesse’s health isn’t the greatest, he’s feeling better the last few days.  I might try and take him along.  He’s slowly fading but each day we spend together is precious.   Time spent with friends – two or four footed – is time well spent.

Take care and thanks for visiting today!  Safe and happy travels always!

Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

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