Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Presidential election season brings candidates to 42N's Cedar Rapids (CID) area quite often. This morning the President of the United States (POTUS) came to Iowa City to address a closed session for roughly 5,000 University of Iowa students, faculty and media. After the ground entourage left the airport bound for Iowa City, the daily air traffic resumed. It was also an opportunity to see Air Force One and the support plane for aviation buffs.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
In the spring of 1912, Walter and wife Mahala (and their maid) were in Europe purchasing furnishings for their new home in Minneapolis. They booked passage back to America on the Titanic’s maiden voyage. At some point during the sinking of the Titanic, Mahala and the maid boarded a lifeboat and later rescued by the Carpathia’s crew.
Walter’s fate was unknown for several days until his body was found in the ocean buoyed by a life preserver. A description of his body included his fine clothing with the embroidered initials of W.D.D on the shirt. His body was brought to his home in Minneapolis, then later traveled to Cedar Rapids in special Pullman rail cars. The train arrived at Union Station near 4 PM Sunday, May 5th – nearly three weeks after the sinking. Walter’s casket and procession was observed by thousands of people from downtown to Oak Hill Cemetery. A service was conducted a half hour later at the Douglas family vault (where Walter’s parents are interred too.) The local paper reports that the service was conducted inside the vault for the immediate family. Many flowers adorned the inside and outside of the Douglas vault.
Today, the Douglas vault at Oak Hill Cemetery shows signs of deterioration of the stone and metal works but overall looks to be surviving time. A few floral arrangements have recently been added to the vault’s entrance from unknown sources – I checked. Currently the story of this event is told at the nearby Brucemore mansion, once owned by Walter’s brother George. In the blockbuster movie, Titanic, the character of the elderly Rose Dawson is living in Cedar Rapids before she is summoned to return to the ship. Whether mentioned in the movie or recounted from real history the connection between Cedar Rapids and the Titanic's sinking at sea is forever forged. Know that.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Working life on the Mississippi River is often characterized by towboats and their cargo. Commerce on the river also includes excursions, fishing, channel maintenance and the like, plus hundreds of support industries positioned for the manufacture and delivery of goods and services.
Upon close examination it appears that these 15 tied barges are empty as they ride high on the waterway. After passing the bridge the Cooperative Venture quickly changed orientation as to align with the next passage, an aerial lift bridge just a short distance away. Once again the river provides endless entertainment through its natural vistas and working commerce. And all of that just a few hours or less from the mighty 42N observation station. Know that.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Love or hate them, the Works Progress Administration kicked out some enduring projects during the Great Depression years. Several masonry projects located in the 42N area include the construction of city and state park structures like stone paths, stairs, shelters and scenic lookouts. Many of these stone works have survived into the 21st century with all the intended natural charm of quality design and construction. This example of a WPA project is located in Clinton, Iowa's Eagle Point city park. It is simply known as the castle.
Just add a few knights, a secret passage or chamber and Templar treasure and you have all the makings for a blockbuster book or movie. Know that.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
HH 55151 made its way to Cedar Rapids this afternoon. The C-17A Globemaster is part of the United States Air Force Air National Guard (HIANG) based at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. HH 55151 belongs to the 15th AW, 154th WG and 535th Squadron Airlift Support.
Designed for short runways, the C-17A's powerful jets can lift 585,000 lbs and can be refueled in flight. This evening the massive plane parked away from the main terminal and some 4,500 miles from its home base. For more information about the Globemasters watch this video here. Know that.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Union Calvary rides on a granite monument located on the Henry County, Illinois courthouse property in Cambridge. Like so many veteran-themed statues North or South found throughout the land, the sculptures are often singular, usually a sole Civil War era soldier or sailor standing at rest. This relief featuring a horse is rare in these parts. Because it is made of granite and because it faces east, the relief remains in remarkable condition for being a hundred years old. Seek these monuments out. They are excellent photo targets and you might even learn something of the town and its people. Know that.