Early December in Birch, Iowa won’t give a whole lot of inspiration to an artist who prefers to take advantage of all the colors on the palette.
With the fields harvested and the temperature turned cold, Birch takes on the pulses with the same warmth of a charcoal drawing. It is a time of contemplation concerning the crop they just harvested and consideration for next year’s.
There are two major institutions outside of the agriculture industry which dictate the lives of Birch’s residents. It’s a mean coincidence that the two soda giants set up shop in this sleepy little town tucked in the corner of the state. So strange of a happenstance that it surely couldn’t have been an accident.
Pepsi and Coke. While the town descends into a dark gray for almost half the year, the bright shiny logos of red and blue illuminate the barren fields.
The local pastor thanks God every Friday evening, silently to himself of course, that Birch has but one football team to rally around. The two soda giants create enough of a divide that he doubts even God could heal it.
Birch doesn’t have a whole lot in terms of entertainment outside of extra-curricular school activities. The kids who aren’t on a team are generally working and the kids who do neither are generally frowned upon. Unless someone is without an outfit to a funeral or wedding, doing the three hour drive to the city is viewed as frivolous.
Why the two soda giants both set up shop in Birch has never really been answered. The economic health of the town sure wasn’t complaining. And by all means the townspeople shouldn’t either. But humans by nature take sides.