May 28, 2019

Just Saying…

Flood, Flooding, Flooded

By Q.C. Jones

No Quad-City newsflash is complete without coverage of The Great Flood of 2019. It was a doozy, a new world’s record, a disaster and a traffic jam all rolled into one. And, speaking of rolled, your humble correspondent QC Jones was there to witness the day the Mighty Mississippi rolled into Downtown Davenport. Surveying the damage, consoling victims and helping a few people plan for the future, I was there. I was eyewitness to an event most only see on TV.

Today, as I sit on my bluff-top perch overlooking the turbulent, muddy brown waters of our sometimes beautiful river, I can only shake my head and wonder. Allow me to wonder and wander out loud and for the whole world to hear.

I wonder about the angry, bitter, meanness of our culture. Reading the comments posted to an article on Davenport on the Washington Post immediately following the floodwall failure, I had to shake my head. Here is a trifecta of hateful examples:

“…I assume you and your fellow Iowans will just be plucky and pull up your bootstraps and not look for federal handouts like those lazy non-Aryans in New Orleans?”

“No sympathy for the jerks who voted for Trump. Drown, you miserable creatures.”

“Keep voting for climate change deniers, Iowa.”

Reading such vitriol, one might wonder if everything translates into politics for some folks. Wandering through my experiences on the East Coast (where most of these commenters were located), my guess is a good many of them confuse Iowa, Idaho and Utah. To prove this point, allow me to share a real-life experience.

My wife and I were traveling through Cleveland, Ohio. Because I lived there during the early days of my career, I decided to take my bride into the city on the oldest of Cleveland’s mass transit system – officially called the Shaker Rapid (even though it rarely hits speeds in excess of 30 mph). My lovely lady sat bright-eyed and totally into the cityscapes. Because, I’m just that kind of a guy, we struck up a conversation with a nice lady who lived near the end. Our pleasant conversation extended for 15 or so minutes. Midway through the chat, and after we told her we were from Iowa, she smiled brightly and said, my daughter lives in Iowa. We asked, “Where?” And, she replied, “A little town just outside Salt Lake City, Iowa. I love the mountains there.”

Iowa schools teach geography. East Coast schools must teach something else. But let’s get back to the flooding already in progress.

I wonder how many people rolled up their shirt sleeves and helped out in one way or another. I witnessed scores of caring souls find their way down to the flood zone and immediately step in to help in any way possible. A couple of kind folks brought a grocery bag full of sandwiches and snacks. The breweries passed out beers to thirsty workers. Tons of random people jumped in with the sandbagging activity.

Even after their own businesses were flooded out, the community pitched in helping those who were “treading water” as the levels continued to rise. For example, while their own Great River Brewer was waist deep in the Muddy Mississippi, brewery owners Paul Krutzfeldt and Scott Lehnert were in the basement of the River Music Experience fighting the floodwaters seeping in through the 120 year old foundation. That’s a River that runs mighty deep.

I wonder how many people will travel to the Quad-Cities to witness the flood damage this summer. The waters will be long gone, many of the great businesses located down along the water will be at least partially open for business and the spirit of our Quad Cities will come shining through in ways few will understand.

Looking at this spirit of cooperation, one need only look at the newly created Monday Night Takeover at the Armored Gardens Restaurant on Pershing Street. Each Monday night for the foreseeable future a portion of the sales and 100 percent of the tips go to help the workers and businesses hit by the flood. The first event netted over five grand and it was barely publicized.

Extending into the brother and sisterhood of our community, on May 11th there was an event to put together to help the community called Floodapalooza. It was a quickly thrown together and still drew a great crowd and lots of community involvement. And mark your calendar, Floodfest 2019 will be held at the River Center on Friday June 7th with food, bands and lots of other activities set to benefit those impacted by the flood. I suspect there will be more such events as the summer unfolds.

Wondering once more, I wonder what would happen if old QC Jones sponsored a flood relief wine and beer tasting? I am trying to put the plans together for something early summer. I like a little wine and beer and the music of a local music legend – namely me. What’s even better, I wonder what my wife will say when she reads this.

Just saying….

Filed Under: News