My first full day in Iowa consisted of an hour and a half trip to
northeast Iowa.  My colleague, Phil, and I drove to a tiny town
called Tama (pronounced Tay-ma) to cover Senator Fred Thompson’s stop
to the King Tower Café.  The pink building was a stark contrast
to the white, snow covered Iowa landscape.  When we walked into
the Café, we were greeted by a packed dining room.  There was a
“No Smoking” sign posted on the wall, but there was a distinct burnt
cigarette and battered chicken strips aroma.  The setting was
extremely intimate and not what I had expected on my first day
out.  Phil and I had little room to move around and every so
often we ended up in the way of one of the waitresses.  I’m
pretty sure I almost knocked over several plates of mashed potatoes
and a few house salads.  Luckily, I grabbed a spot up front and
was able to get some great shots of Senator Thompson and his
Fred-Heads.  We spoke to several locals after the event where we
met Don Vonasdal, who drove 170 miles just to see Thompson.  Phil
spoke with two women who gave him the brief history of the Café and
its little town. Iowans are very hospitable and I felt like everyone
we talked to was fascinated with the fact that we were from
Boston.  It has definitely been an extremely eye-opening
experience reporting out here.  Ever since I started my program
at Emerson, our professors stressed the fact that we are student
journalists.  We are professionals.  Never have I felt more
“legitimate” than this week.  But, that’s not all.  After
the day ended, I learned that I shouldn’t wear heels.

-Chona Camomot