Sunday, February 22, 2009

Item From the Past: Herbert and Lou Hoover

Over the years, I haven't been too many places in February. Just getting around close to home is enough trouble. On February 14, 1990, I was en route to Chicago on I-55 in central Illinois when I met an ice storm. I thought it wise to leave the road, and found a room at the Normal Motel 6 -- which was indeed normal in every way, besides being in the town of that name. The only memorable thing about that evening was watching an episode of Quantum Leap for the first time, a show that I still have a minor fondness for.

In early February 1997, Yuriko and I went to Springfield, Illinois, for a weekend. Springfield is about three hours from Chicago, and we were careful to pick a weekend without bad weather. We visited the usual places: Lincoln's tomb, Lincoln's old law office, Lincoln's house, the old state capitol where Lincoln cut his teeth, politically speaking. Every other brick in Springfield, it seemed, had his name on it.

We went to eastern Iowa in February 2001 (see BTST February 22, 2004), but I've forgotten just how we decided on that destination. It could have had something to do with Herbert Hoover, who reposes on a small, landscaped hill overlooking his library and museum, just off I-80 near West Branch, Iowa.

Late in the afternoon after visiting the museum, I went up the hill, which was snow covered, to see the grave site. Yuriko and Lilly (then 3) stayed in the car with the heat on. Lou Hoover is next to Herbert, under a similar marble slab.

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