July 31, 2014

In and Out of the Quad-Cities: We were flooded (with cool stuff to do)

Contributed by Gail McPike and Toni Hall

Once more the Mighty Mississippi came rambling out of its banks and sweeping through the low lying areas of our fair city. We’re not sure what happened to the old term “500 year flood.” Maybe we’re imagining things, but this year’s little water event was higher than others, and nobody even called it a “100 year flood.” While we didn’t live here back in 1965, we’ve heard lots of stories about “The Great Flood” of 1965. Gail and Current Trophy (CTH) Husband Frank traveled out of their way to see the flood waters of 1993 running through downtown Davenport.

Each of these floods we knew and loved came with a tag line. Why didn’t we hear 2014 as the “100 year flood” or “the flood that devoured Cleveland” or something?

Each new Quad-City flooding event brings us concerned calls from friends and family from around the country. We sometimes snicker because for the most part, the floods have just become a part of QCA life. And, this year our July was more flooded with events than water. Step back and read the real flood report.

Garage Sale Season is in Full Swing

Theoretically, a person could have a garage sale pretty much any time of year, but for some strange reason July is the epicenter of full blown Garage Sale Action. If you’re anything like us, there is nothing that brings a smile to your face faster than grabbing up a rare and unexpected bargain. For Gail the “find of the century” came by way of a 1940s picnic basket. Toni’s love came via an owner of a fleur-de-lis deciding to do a catch and release. CTH Phil scours the books and Frank always asks about Ukuleles. Admit it: you probably have a weakness or two as well.

Toni got a taste of garage selling from the other side of the lawn chair. This year her mother held her own garage sale and Toni helped. Heaps of household items, gently used electronic gizmos and a picnic table joined mountains of other treasures in her garage. From firsthand experience, let us report. Garage sales are anticlimactic. A week of set up is followed by a day of selling. But we did meet some interesting people.

Festivals move Downtown

The flood forced the Mississippi Valley Blues Fest from LeClaire Park, down by the river, to Downtown Davenport, which was unexpectedly “down by the river,” too. To some, this might have been an issue. To us, Downtown Davenport is a great place to have a street fest. As a matter of fact, Downtown Davenport is getting cooler by the day.

We find it strange that many of our friends don’t frequent Downtown Davenport. Slowly and gradually, often without anyone noticing, Davenport’s downtown is transforming. Have you seen how the old brick warehouses are becoming modern condos? Have you noticed the new restaurants? Have you been to the Blackhawk Hotel? We love our downtowns.

Bastille Day in Rock Island?

What did you do for Bastille Day? Did you miss it again? Bastille Day is what we call the French National Holiday that commemorates the start of the French Revolution way back on July 14, 1789. The Quad-Cities had a celebration (and people say there’s nothing to do around here).

We could go on and on about Bastille Day, but instead let us give you the low down on the location of the celebration – Rozz Tox in Rock Island. The Rozz Tox recipe is: Add equal parts coffee shop, café, art gallery, reading room and performance venue. Put the ingredients into a historical and funky old building on the edge of downtown Rock Island. Hit blend and stand back.

Folks, this place is so hip and cool that we recommend you start off with a small sip and work your way up from there. We actually went to Rozz Tox twice in short order. First night: we attended the art opening of good friend and artist, Clea Felien. Second night: full on Bastille Day celebration. In case you are wondering, they open at 11 a.m. every day except Monday.

The Bix-7

The Bix-7 once again brought fun, festivities and a world class race to the QCA. It would be hard to live here without knowing something about the happenings. But this year’s race was special. Out there amongst the throng of runners, Elvis wantabees, Palmer students dressed as vertebrae and marching Marines, was your very own Gail.

As they say down in Oklahoma, this wasn’t Gail’s first rodeo or Bix-7 race for that matter. She did her first seven mile trek back in the 1990s, but things happen. She has missed a few races since then. She’s had a few birthdays since then. So this was a milestone, and we’d like to thank the thousands of cheering race watchers for their encouragement.
Flood your summer with fun

Summer is moving into the back stretch. We can see Labor Day just around the corner. But, there is still time left for a few picnics, a couple of outings and a trip to the state fair. Make your time count.

Filed Under: Humor, News