April 26, 2005

Moline grads inducted into "Hall of Honor"

Iowa Sen. Maggie Neir Tinsman and Moline philanthropist Hunt Harris will be two of six honorees inducted into the Moline High School Hall of Honor at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 15, in the school auditorium, 3600 Avenue of the Cities.

The public is invited to the ceremony and reception afterward.

The Hall of Honor recognizes Moline High School graduates who have achieved distinction in public, professional and community services and serve as a positive influence.

Honorees are:

-Sen. Tinsman, who graduated from Moline High School in 1954. She has served on the Iowa State Legislature for more than 15 years and was honored for her volunteer efforts for the American Lung Association and Iowa Council of Economic Education.

- Mr. Harris, an area philanthropist and entrepreneur, graduated in 1967. He has improved education and serves as a national volunteer for Junior Achievement and the United Way.

-Dr. Reinhardt Bodenbender, Class of 1950, was a doctor in Moline and a naval doctor. He now is a national leader for the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

-Benedict Zobrist, Class of 1939, directed the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Mo. He also arranged President Truman's funeral and had a major role in opening some of the president's significant documents.

- Honorees in memoriam are Judge Dan McNeal, a 1916 graduate, and Richard "Dick" Sargent, who graduated in 1929.

A leading attorney, Mr. McNeal compiled the Illinois 14th Judicial District under the new constitution which provided standards for the current judicial system. The honored jurist and military leader also was chief legal officer to establish the post-war German judicial system.

Mr. Sargent, an artist, created more than 40 covers for the Saturday Evening Post. While touring with the USO during the Korean War, he also sketched portraits of soldiers for families back home.

Does anyone recall about a year ago how John F. Baker, a Medal of Honor winner (and whiner) from Moline made a big fuss over how he was not in this "Hall of Honor" at Moline High School?

It seems Mr. Baker was incensed that they hadn't inducted him. There was a tiny problem however. Baker never graduated. But that didn't stop him from loudly whining about this honor he evidently felt was due him. It seems odd for a guy who won the Congressional Medal of Honor to be raising hell because it's so incredibly important to him to get into his High School's "Hall of Honor".

When Bush's going AWOL from the "Champagne Squadron" of the Texas Air National Guard story reappeared, Baker appeared as the top signatory to a list of medal of honor winners in total support of chickenhawk Bush and who derided John Kerry's heroic service in the military.

Both the city of Moline and Moline High School had honored Baker when he returned from Vietnam, and since he'd dropped out, the school awarded him an honorary degree. But this wasn't enough for Baker, and after complaining long and long, they finally gave him what he wanted and inducted the only non-graduate and only military figure into the hall last year.

2 Comments:

At 4/30/2005 8:58 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Money and influence can go a long way towards getting what you want. Look at the new and past lists of inductees as an example.

I am not so sure that Mr. Baker actually got into the hall of fame at MHS last year though. I was there and I believe they placated him with a "pysudo" type of honor with some stand alone plaque instead of putting him into the hall because they still could not get the Board to allow an execption to the "graduate of high school" requirement.

Dope, I think you can go and look in the display in the hall at MHS to see it for yourself. Baker will be up there but separate. Ha - Separate but equal perhaps? That always works ---ha ha.

I was there last year and that's what I remember. Mr. Baker stood with his medal of honor displayed on his chest and spoke about 3 sentances of thanks.

I also recall that the man in charge of the Moline Board of Ed at the time - Tallish I think-- was terrible in his handling of the whole set of press statements around the issue. He probably set up the possibility of his defeat at our recent Municipal elections by his terrible lack of leadership on this issue - and it may have given people a clue that the guy needed to go - and be replaced (and he blew it over the school aide issue in the press later on too). And Tallish is now gone.

 
At 11/25/2006 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a lot that was never published on the Baker fiasco-- there was an email war between myself and Barb Ickes, who had taken up a Jihad to personally get this hero into the hall of fame.

Y'see, John Baker Jr. was my stepfather for 8 1/2 ugly years. When I saw what he (and her) were trying to do, I started emailing Tallisch and the Mayor of Moline to put a stop to it.

Most of the things that Barb had placed in her columns were wrong (probably fed by Baker):

That he quit school to join up with his friends
*Wrong! He was forced by Sam Gnatovitch, who caught him stealing.

That he was appointed by Pres. Bush to manage memorials
*Wrong! George Bush didn't know who he was the last time they were together. I have a letter from the white house stating that John Baker was not appointed for anything by this administration.

Barb did not write about how he raped a Wells Fargo waitress when he was welcomed back as a hero

Went door to door wearing his medal, asking for donations for the 'MOH Widows and Orphans fund' - there isn't one.

Was Courts-martialed for dereliction of duty while stationed in Hawaii (congressman Railsback got him out of it)

During his divorce, committed breaking & entering/vehicle theft/assault & battery/conveying a threat to kill wife's family, threat to kill his wife's lawyer and threat to kill the Judge (all in writing - that's why he lost his house).

This guy has grown up on welfare (his mother couldn't work since she was worried that her son would molest/rape her daughters) and then lived under the umbrella of the army. Now that he's retired, he gets special compensation for the medal (for one day's luck in Vietnam) and he's just too greedy to pass up more laurels.

The fact that he didn't get into the hall of fame was a miracle. Mr. Tallisch and the forward-thinking folks at Moline High should be commended for not letting this prick into the hall of fame.

If it's all about saving lives, they should bring in firemen, rescue workers and doctors/nurses-- they've all saved more lives thatn this dick.

Just my two cents.

Mick Lang, former stepson and damned glad about the 'former' part.

 

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