The Great Midwest and Hoover’s Legacy

I’m spending a weekend in the great midwest, while my wife has a reunion with her high school friends in Chicago.

Whenever I travel I am amazed at all our country has to offer and proud of the role airports play in that. I spent a night in Moline, Illinois at a very nice Hampton Inn right at the Quad City Airport. As I like to do on these trips, I went to a local minor league baseball game. The team is the Quad City River Bandits and they play in Davenport, Iowa. If you EVER get a chance to see a game there you should do it. They play in a place called Modern Woodmen Park, a great old ballpark right on the Mississippi. After the game they treated us to a great fireworks display. Quite something.

At the game I saw Bruce Carter who runs the Quad Cities airport in Moline. Bruce is a leader in our industry, just like his predecessor Kent George who now runs Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Kent is the only living person to have chaired both ACI-NA and AAAE. Bruce was on our board the last three years and is in line to chair AAAE in two years.  The Quad Cities are fortunate to have had such leadership.

The birthplace of President Herbert Hoover in West Branch, Iowa

I am writing this on Saturday while having lunch at a local spot in West Branch, Iowa. In my continuing quest to visit all the presidential gravesites I have come here to pay my respects to Herbert Hoover. Hoover did not respond well to the test of presidential leadership during the Depression, but he was a great man nonetheless. His work to feed millions in Europe after World War I is well documented; there are tens of millions of their children and grandchildren who literally owe their existence to Hoover. President Truman called on the former President to assist with a similar project after World War II. Hoover was an active Secretary of Commerce in the 20’s and many of his initiatives bear fruit today, such as his push for standardization (that you can plug your cell phone charger into the wall of any home or hotel is but one manifestation of the importance of standards).

The memorial grave for President Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry

Hoover had a view of public service, and the place of ego, that is unfortunately seen as old-fashioned. After JFK was assassinated, the 88-year-old former president offered his help to LBJ in any capacity needed, including “office boy.” We could use a bit more of that attitude today.

The Hoover Museum compares quite well with that dedicated to Harry Truman. I strongly recommend a visit if you are in the area.
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