July 11, 2006

I read the news today, oh boy

Seemed like an awful lot of sad news today. While we were all busily doing our thing, as usual there was no shortage of personal tragedy, shock, and loss all around.


A very cool old mansion once owned by the Deere family which perched on one of the choicest bluff-top lots with a commanding view of Moline, the river and the Deere factories which once lined its bank suffered a devastating fire.

The home had survived being turned into apartments, decades of decay and neglect and defied attempts by the city and others to restore it (Deere & Co. wouldn't contribute a dime). Somehow, someone had managed to find the money needed to rehab it and it was now occupied when a woman grilling on her deck set the place on fire.

What a real loss. The home was a one of a kind victorian mansion. A friend had an apartment there in the 70s and I recall the incredibly ornate parquet flooring throughout the first floor and the exquisite woodwork that still existed despite the shabby state of the building. It wasn't hard to imagine the formal and opulent life of it's original residents. There were remnants of extensive landscaping, terraces and gardens as well. I also recall that the home had a very unique early version of air-conditioning.

A shaft had been bored deep into the bluff, and over this, an open space continued up through the house. A large fan at the top would exhaust hot air, thus drawing up the cooler air from the shaft into the home to cool it.

The article sounds as if the damage is very extensive. It's not known if the home will be rebuilt

More here and here.


A 22 year old woman downed while tubing in the Des Moine river. She apparently got caught in a current near a dam.

In searching for this story, I found another about 15 year old Iowa boy drowning in a freak accident while tubing in Wisconsin back on July 4th.


A 55 year old woman died from injuries sustained when the motorcycle she and her husband were riding struck a deer about a half mile north of Alcoa on State Street in Bettendorf. Her husband was treated and released.


A woman apparently decided to pull over her car on I-80 near Walcott at around 3:15 a.m. Sunday and then walk out in front of a semi tractor-trailer going about 65 mph in a suspected suicide.

Personel are still trying to determine the woman's identity from fingerprint and dental records and authorities say they believe from items found in her car that she is from East Moline.

What could have possibly caused someone to actually do such a thing?

And try to imagine what this is like for the driver of the truck.


And in the topper from Missouri, we learn of 5 children, 4 of them siblings, who drowned during a church outing when one of them got stuck in the undercurrent and the others attempted to rescue him.

Life is a game of chance.

And some people chose to spend it on such important matters as making a big issue over whether a few of their political opponent's yard signs had a union bug on them or not.

Kind of puts things in perspective.


At 7/11/2006 12:34 PM, Blogger CaringDem2 said...

I was excited for my tubing trip in 2 weeks... now I'm a little scared!

At 7/11/2006 12:50 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I know, I'd never imagine that tubing could be deadly. I mean, I thought the biggest risk was a bad sunburn and a hangover.

People usually tube in rivers and streams which are shallow enough to stand in.

And since tubing is practically synonymous with heavy drinking, I didn't imagine it was that dangerous or there'd be people drowning left and right. (Maybe there are?)

I think your solution is to bungee cord yourself to the tube, wear a PFD, and stay away from dams.

Or maybe lash yourself to the cooler. It will float and you'll be sure to get the last beer.

At 7/12/2006 12:09 AM, Blogger Kankakee Voice said...

Pass me a prozac, please.

At 7/13/2006 1:05 AM, Blogger CaringDem2 said...

Thanks for the advice... i think i have a few bungee cords in my car. I'll let you know how it goes.


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