Suitcase towns have always fascinated me. Excluding residents, these towns simply provide a place to get a cup of coffee or rest while pursuing a much greater destiny, yet these places become part of the journey, implanting memories of these brief escapades into the overall adventure. In search of hotels that had been glorified in postcards, I found myself off the beaten path to explore a portion of America that I doubt would have otherwise stumbled upon.
I saw a postcard from a suitcase town; ‘Welcome To Spencer, Iowa’ it read. I questioned how a town called Spencer could be interesting enough to draw attention to more than passersby to set their compass to this place. I decided to find out. Having nothing in common with these towns other than the name we share, I went to 12 cities named Spencer to see if there was some sort of binding similarity – plus I thought it would be funny to take selfies with signs that had my name on them. It’s this narcissism that lead me to these isolated pockets hidden within the vast wastelands of America.
These destinations were far from each other, torn away from cellular signal, with long bouts of isolation and plenty of time to think. On the road I encountered The Opal Capital of America and The Little Town That Would Not Die. A book about a haunted hospital. A world famous cat – all these cities trying to separate themselves from the rest by holding onto their glory days. Spencer is a legend in its own place and time. All my travels lead me to one conclusion – Spencer fucking sucks.