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Doc's 36 hours in our frozen tundra

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Old 02-24-2008, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Rock Island, Illinois mile 480 UMR
Posts: 3,865
Default Doc's 36 hours in our frozen tundra

Doc Hawley arrived here 11:30 PM Thursday and departed Saturday at 11 AM. During that time, he had a whirlwind tour of brunches and lunches and meeting and greeting. As has been previously posted, Doc came up here to be the speaker at the annual Henry Farnam dinner, an event sponsored by several local nonprofits which commemorates the original dinner with Mr. Farnam when the first railroad bridge over the Mississippi was built(he designed it). The previous dinners have had fairly local speakers but Michael Blaser convinced the committee to invite Doc this year, and I'm sure the committee is very grateful for that suggestion. 313 attended the dinner, most of them being local citizens involved in historic preservation or other historical endeavors. We did have several .orgers/buffs from out of town in attendance: Pete Sisak from the headwaters of the Rock River, David Tschiggfrie from Dubuque, John Kuster from Dixon, Vi and Bill Foley from Andalusia, Chuck and Anne Pietscher from Keokuk, Mark Decker from Burlington, Tom Dunn from St. Louis, and the winner of a Big River subscription for traveling the farthest: Pat Traynor of Marco Island Fl. Unfortunately an ice storm kept several other St. Louisans from attending.
After brunching with the Blasers, lunching with the Farnam committee, and going down memory lane here at the MUMR, Doc gave his usual entertaining talk - there were two stories I had never heard before, and I believe David heard some new ones too. After breakfast Saturday morning, we whisked him to the MLI International Airport so Doc could thaw out in NOLA that afternoon.
During the cocktail hour David and Pat were able to gather several dozen signatures on a DQ petition, and 10 blank petitions were taken home to be fillied out. Since we had the mayor of Rock Island sitting at our table, we had planned to talk to him about the city doing a resolution. However, his introductory remarks prior to his toast stopped that, and caused our mouths to drop open: that afternoon about 10 blocks from the hotel he and a local committee working to get Amtrak service back here, and funding for a new I-74 bridge, had just met with... Rep. James Oberstar! Obviously they are not going to do anything to upset him and knock us out of the funding battle.
Other than that little bombshell, it was a great evening and weekend. Kudos to Curt and Libby Roseman, the dinner chairmen; and to Michael Blaser for organizing all the "Doc" details.
Of course here are some pictures from the occasion:
1) Although I cancelled the open house, Doc and Dave dropped by for a while and Pat was my houseguest. Between Doc and Dave is part of a DQ bucketboard broken off in the Rock Island Rapids. That bookcase houses my postcard collection.
2) Doc is looking at the "Captains' Wall", in particular the pix of Capt. Wagner, which I took on the DQ in Dubuque in 1978 on his last trip.
3) David Tschiggfrie and Pat Traynor manning the DQ petition table. Dave gave a DVD to each person who took a petition to fill out.
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