Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

Welcome Tom Sacco

Like a bad penny – I’m back.

Since this is my first blog entry here at, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Tom Sacco, born and raised in Des Moines. Educated in Des Moines. Homeowner in Des Moines. So why do I continually leave to seek my fame and fortune? Good question. Sorry I don’t have a good answer. But I have learned that Des Moines is a place I love to hate and hate to love.


My latest sojourn away from home took me to West Lafayette, Indiana and a copywriter job at Purdue University, cradle of astronauts. I was always referring to something going on back in Des Moines. I had one co-worker convinced everything she liked – from Ronald Reagan to Traditional Home magazine to one of the founders of Pinterest – originated in Des Moines.

I had decided to return home before this next exchange with another co-worker at Purdue, although I hadn’t told him yet that I was leaving. I’ll call him Rex (cuz that’s his name!). I was trying to explain to Rex what the Crusoe Umbrella was. Then I remembered EVERYTHING can be Googled. Rex thought it was pretty neat. Next I tried to explain to him who I.M. Pei was, how he’d designed one of the wings of the Des Moines Art Center. Google, boom!

Next – how do I explain the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park? Once again – Google, boom!

A picture really is worth a thousand words, and Rex was beginning to get a new, clearer picture of this place he’d flown over on his way from California to Indiana when he took his job at Purdue.

About this point Rex said Des Moines seemed like a pretty cool place; so why did I leave and come to Purdue? Rex, it can be revealed now, but I was wondering that very same thing at the time. I nearly bit through my tongue not spilling the beans that I was leaving Purdue.

I recently finished the job of moving my stuff back. The nice thing about moving back into a place you’ve previously lived? You know where everything goes! In fact, this is the second time I’ve moved back into my almost-Beaverdale bungalow. The previous time was after a short tour of duty with an ad agency in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Note to self: Maybe you’re not cut out to live in a Big Ten town, Tom.)

So I’m back in my home town. Back to being a freelance writer, which unfortunately at this time is more of the “free” and less of the “lance.” But I have to say it’s good to be home.

Pete Jones has been good enough to give me this platform. I promise to be nice, Pete. That’s not to say future blogs won’t have a bit of my quirky, pessimistic view of the world and of my view of this town I hate to love and love to hate.

Stay tuned.

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