After my own dealing with Neal Rauhauser, I’ve come to the conclusion that many of us in the blogging community have focused on his last decade or so of history. No one has actually gone back to his beginnings in Graettinger, IA, along a little Rural Route where his parents brought a farmhouse in Palo Alto County, Iowa. The house still stands to this day, almost 93 years after it was built.
The story of Neal Rauhauser begins like so many others do, in a small American town in a rural area of a small state like Iowa. His parents brought him to that old brick farmhouse in the Seventies when Neal was just a boy, and he would go on play basketball at Graettinger Community High School, graduating in 1985. There were few indications that Neal would go on to infamy as a cyberbully and troll, let alone a career as a Democratic Party operative.
And, like so many lives do, Neal’s life led him back to that farmhouse, where, in a post on the Daily Kos dated Monday August 03, 2009 AT 09:04 PM PDT, he posted a picture of that farmhouse as he explained how he lived in an area famed for its high winds. Neal had returned to Graettinger with big plans for a wind-powered ammonia plant, to be built on the outskirts of town. Neal’s life hadn’t turned out the way he’d wanted it to turn out. He’d been married and divorced, with two children back in Omaha and an ex-wife who’d taken him for over $1,300 a month, a fact that he lamented in his capacity as a commenter named Iowa Boy on The Daily Kos.
Neal’s multiple profiles on Daily Kos would eventually cross him up, providing others with the confirmation that he was not only Stranded Wind, but also Iowa Boy, as the graphic to the left will illustrate.
And it would also get him in trouble, as Neal’s capacity for blustering bravado would lead him to post the following comment about Dick Cheney as Iowa Boy, a comment which would prove to be great fodder for the conservative bloggers and tweeters he antagonized almost daily online.
Please do go and read the whole sordid story.
It would be interesting if someone were to interview folks in his hometown who knew him as a child growing up to see if it were possible to see where he came off the rails.
What’s wrong with being from a small town? Maybe some people just can’t stand the pressure and get all excitable…who knows.