Ty on Raygun

*record scratch* Yup, that's me. You're probably wondering how I got here.

“Look who I found on the Raygun website!”

That was the text of the tweet that let me know I had accidentally become a face mask model for RAYGUN, the Des Moines-based company known for clothing items and accessories that poke fun at the Midwest and especially Iowa.

RAYGUN also drops shirts and items with a strong message and one that caught my eye was the AMERICA NEEDS JOURNALISTS mask. Lee Enterprises reporter Erin Murphy tweeted out a picture of himself rocking that particular mask in July and I knew I had to have it!

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new mask who dis pic.twitter.com/PEMV4OqdCF

I debuted my new mask on my way to cover the Aug. 5 Sheldon City Council meeting and I tweeted a selfie of me sporting my new facial covering on Twitter. It got lots of love including some from RAYGUN.

I thought nothing more of it, but on Sept. 11, one of my Twitter peeps — @gopanthers95 — alerted me that my mug was on the bottom of the RAYGUN site as part of the package highlighting the America Needs Journalist items.

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Look who I found on the Raygun website! @Rushthewriter pic.twitter.com/4NGGJbcnc8

What?

I bought my first RAYGUN shirt in 2013 when I still lived in Newton after my friend and former co-worker Nicole Wiegand introduced me to the brand. So it’s been pretty cool seeing it grow and when it added a Kansas City, MO, store, I got to brag about it being in Iowa first to my friends and family back home.

Them: “Yo, we have this new dope T-shirt store you should check out!”

Me: *pushes invisible glasses back on my face* "Well, actually . . .”

After I got over the shock of being a face mask model, my next reaction was that RAYGUN had to make me a Sheldon City Council T-shirt. This was something Sinclair Broadcasting reporter Caroline Cummings and I have pushed for.

She visited our Sheldon office in July to interview me for a piece and when promoting it on Twitter, Caroline wrote “If @Rushthewriter isn’t enough of a hook already, he told me he prefers a covering a Sheldon City Council meeting over Congress on C-SPAN, which is the biiiig local Iowa journalism energy we all need.”

My response to that was “@RAYGUNshirts can we get this on a shirt lol????”

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If @Rushthewriter isn't enough of a hook already, he told me he prefers a covering a Sheldon City Council meeting over Congress on C-SPAN, which is the biiiig local Iowa journalism energy we all need

So once I became a face mask model for RAYGUN, we got to work in the DMs to make my Sheldon City Council shirt dreams come true.

Also, I truly mean what I say about covering the council.

If you don’t believe me check my Twitter timeline every other Wednesday evening when I live-tweet the meetings. The Sheldon council meetings have a following of their own and one tweet from the Oct. 7 meeting garnered nearly 5,200 impressions, which is about the same as Sheldon’s population.

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Angie Juarez, 14, of Sheldon is using the public forum to get permission to keep her current small flock of chickens and ducks.Says she's had them for a few months but didn't realize she needed prior permission. pic.twitter.com/qXFYgvaool

Council impressions

I get lots of Twitter lurkers on nights I cover Sheldon City Council which is why the impressions are always way higher than the direct engagement on those tweets.

So as I prepare to cover the council meeting today (Wednesday, Oct. 21), this is what I’m wearing:

The Sheldon Council RAYGUN shirt

I had to get this shirt in Orab colors. It doesn't hurt that I already had shoes that match.

In case you need a better view:

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Prove me wrong!Thanks for the new shirt @RAYGUNshirts pic.twitter.com/X689Z2VYhE