The most interesting people in this world are rarely the famous ones. Celebrities and politicians may grab more airtime and more headlines – and more of our money – but in my experience, the family next door normally holds the most unexpected, inspirational and interesting tales. Need a little convincing? Try “The Oxford Project.”
In 1984, Peter Feldstein photographed almost all of the 676 residents of Oxford, IA. Twenty years later, he came back to capture them on film again. But he wasn’t alone. Stephen G. Bloom, a journalism professor at the University of Iowa, was there this time to record the stories behind the faces. Bloom says too often, we don’t hear these stories because we in the media are too focused on the power players and the big names. "The idea was not to talk to the decision makers, but talk to the people whose lives are affected by the decision makers," he says. "My job in Oxford was to talk to the voiceless, to people who don't have any voice who are the backbone of America."
The candidates could all benefit from a trip to Oxford, Iowa – but it would have to be a true visit, not a stop on the campaign trail. There are residents just like the hundreds of folks in Oxford all across the country. Many feel forgotten. They are struggling and searching for answers. They are the hard-working Americans candidates so often invoke in their stump speeches, the same people who hear the words and are waiting for the results. Will they get any answers tonight?
I think nearly every teenager goes through a Salvation Army/thrift store phase. I did. I also enjoyed the French version, the “Kilo Shop,” where you would pay by the kilo…though somehow the cool leather jackets from the 70s we all coveted in high school were exempt from the weight bargain.
Bargain shopping is more in fashion than ever, but it’s not about being hip or edgy, it’s about being smart in a down economy.
With all this talk of the economy and our dwindling bank accounts, who couldn’t use a getaway? Preferably one on the cheap, of course. Sit back, relax and take in the beauty of fall from around the country, courtesy of our iReporters.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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