First of all, let me state in no uncertain terms: I will go to my grave convinced Iowa is the best state in which to live your life. 

Single, married or whatever, the serenity and sincerity of Iowa – its core values, if you will -- make it a wonderful place to pursue your dreams and ambitions. Granted, it’s not perfect … what place is … but the quality of life found throughout Iowa is about as good as it gets.

Naturally, I’m prejudiced as hell, but as a Navy brat, I’ve lived in a few places during my 64 years, and although I was born in Illinois and spent my formative years there, I consider Iowa my true home and feel blessed to be a citizen of this wonderful state.

While Iowa may have a reputation of being a “hick” place where naïve, uneducated people with missing teeth dwell, nothing could be further from the truth. Not by a long shot.

The general populace of Iowa ranks among the most educated and likeable folks in the United States – if not the world. For the most part, they are friendly, hard-working and more than willing to help their neighbors in a time of need. Anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed or hasn’t been to Iowa.

I’ve spent nearly four and a half decades as a resident of the Hawkeye/Cyclone/Panther state and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the following from first-time Iowa visitors or newbies who just moved here:

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