[ {"id":"8c165ea1-85fb-5e8a-9780-eefa4853d6a2","type":"article","starttime":"1495358100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-21T04:15:00-05:00","sections":[{"alma-gaul":"news/opinion/editorial/columnists/alma-gaul"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Who planted all these flowers?","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/alma-gaul/article_8c165ea1-85fb-5e8a-9780-eefa4853d6a2.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/alma-gaul/who-planted-all-these-flowers/article_8c165ea1-85fb-5e8a-9780-eefa4853d6a2.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/alma-gaul/who-planted-all-these-flowers/article_8c165ea1-85fb-5e8a-9780-eefa4853d6a2.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"If you happen to visit the Rock Island National Cemetery on Arsenal Island this Memorial Day weekend \u2014 or any time this summer \u2014\u00a0be sure to notice the flowers. While the grass is mowed by\u00a0staff of the cemetery office, a division of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the flowers are planted and tended by a small group of volunteers organized in 1998 as the Friends of the Rock Island National Cemetery.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["beekeeping","pollination","memorial day","sue jehlen","tim schiffer","ohio river","bechtel","the john deere classic","309-781-2789","mississippi","chad pregracke","irma rene koen","moline horticultural society","amanda hancock","times reporter","figge","chicago","mississippi river","barbershop chair","gold star","joe's barbershop","andrew wallace","davenport","scott sandeman","cemetery director","internet research","gary cameron","silvis garden club","manager of collections and exhibitions","rock island national cemetery","author","illinois river","department of veterans","graveside services","figge art museum","ohio","rock island","director","united states","jefferson pinder","art historian","president","jean shin","artist","food choices","cynthia wiedemann empen","gardening","fruit farming","exhibition","botany","national cemetery","flower","volunteer"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"a98be2ec-1176-59b3-9666-4f814ac5f84e","description":"Dr. Scott Sandeman, author of Paper Trained, our long-running pet column, found this\u00a0Polyphemus, or giant silk moth, in his yard.","byline":"Scott Sandeman photo","hireswidth":1211,"hiresheight":1709,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/98/a98be2ec-1176-59b3-9666-4f814ac5f84e/591ef885d4e86.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1211","height":"1709","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/98/a98be2ec-1176-59b3-9666-4f814ac5f84e/591ef885d3dbc.image.jpg?resize=1211%2C1709"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"141","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/98/a98be2ec-1176-59b3-9666-4f814ac5f84e/591ef885d3dbc.image.jpg?resize=100%2C141"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"423","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/98/a98be2ec-1176-59b3-9666-4f814ac5f84e/591ef885d3dbc.image.jpg?resize=300%2C423"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1445","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/98/a98be2ec-1176-59b3-9666-4f814ac5f84e/591ef885d3dbc.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1445"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"8c165ea1-85fb-5e8a-9780-eefa4853d6a2","body":"

If you happen to visit the Rock Island National Cemetery on Arsenal Island this Memorial Day weekend \u2014 or any time this summer \u2014\u00a0be sure to notice the flowers.

While the grass is mowed by\u00a0staff of the cemetery office, a division of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the flowers are planted and tended by a small group of volunteers organized in 1998 as the Friends of the Rock Island National Cemetery.

The group is\u00a0down to about eight members, and most are in\u00a0their 70s, but they are dedicated to their task.

Efforts are concentrated at the two shelters where graveside\u00a0services are held, at the columbarium (a storage place for\u00a0cremains), the memorial garden and the\u00a0Gold Star, Red Star and Purple Heart gardens, president Gary Cameron, said.

The Gold Star, planted with yellow marigolds, honors families whose loved one died, he explained. The Red Star, planted with red tulips, salvia and petunias, honors those\u00a0whose loved one is currently serving; and the Purple Heart, planted with purple petunias, is for those whose loved ones received the medal for an injury.

The group\u00a0relies entirely on donations, with receipts this year from the Silvis Garden Club and the Moline Horticultural Society. One chore the group doesn't have to\u00a0worry about is watering, as there are in-ground sprinklers in the beds.

Group members work in partnership with Sue Jehlen, cemetery director. \"We bounce ideas off each other. She tells us things that they'd like us to do,\" Cameron\u00a0said.

The cemetery contains 53 acres in which people are buried, with 13.5 acres that remain open, Jehlen said. It is\u00a0one of 135 national cemeteries nationwide and employs 12 people.

If you are interested in Memorial Day services, they will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday with the placement of flags on graves. National cemetery ceremonies will be at 10:45 a.m. Monday, May 29, and Confederate Cemetery ceremonies will follow at noon.

And if you'd like to help out with the flowers, call Cameron at 309-781-2789. \"We're looking for new people, volunteers, groups or organizations,\" said.

BEAUTIFUL SIGHT: Dr. Scott Sandeman, author of\u00a0Paper Trained, our long-running pet column, sent in a photo of a beautiful winged creature he identified as a Polyphemus, or giant silk moth.

\"I found it resting on some newly spread mulch a couple weeks ago,\" he wrote. \"Nature is beautiful!\"

Internet research indicates that the moth lays eggs on a wide variety of host plants, including birch, willow, maple, hickory, beech, honey locust, walnut\u00a0and plum, peach, apricot and cherry trees.

When the eggs hatch, small yellow caterpillars emerge. As the caterpillars age, they molt five times. Each instar (caterpillar) is slightly different, but on their fifth and final instar, they become a bright green color with silver spots on their sides. They feed heavily on their host plant and can grow up to 3\u20134 inches long. They then spin cocoons of brown silk, usually wrapped in leaves of the host plant.

Two broods generally hatch each year throughout the United States, one in early spring and one in late summer.

FIGGE JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER: More and more, I find myself drawn to\u00a0exhibits at the Figge Art Museum.

In June, artist Jean Shin's installation MAiZE \u2014 thousands of repurposed green plastic bottles crafted into cornstalk sculptures by volunteers \u2014 will form an elaborate maze on the third floor.

It's supposed to make you think about plastic waste, food choices and environmental stewardship.

Later in the month we get to see Chad Pregracke's \"message in a bottle collection\" \u2014 40 bottles with messages inside that he has picked up during his cleanups on the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio rivers.

At the end of\u00a0September there will be\u00a0an exhibition of Irma Rene Koen, an internationally exhibited American Impressionist from Rock Island. Her legacy was largely forgotten until art historian Cynthia Wiedemann Empen, of Rock Island, recently rediscovered her.

And, as announced in the Figge's summer newsletter, there's a blockbuster opening in October 2018: French Moderns: Monet to Matisse, 1850 to 1950. You won't have to go to Brooklyn to see these \"even I have heard of them\" artists.

\"This exhibition will mark a milestone in the Figge's history, as it will bring works by some of the most beloved names in art history \u2014 Monet, Cezanne, Degas and many others \u2014 to the Quad-Cities,\" Figge director Tim Schiffer wrote in the newsletter.

Finally, you have two more weeks to see the\u00a0amazing\u00a0installation \"Ghost Light\" by Chicago artist Jefferson Pinder that explores\u00a0Quad-City\u00a0African-American experiences, a first of its kind for the Figge.

It includes\u00a0a stack of 16 TVs, a large-scale wooden sculpture, video projections, audio and, perhaps most striking, a replica of a barbershop chair and mirror, modeled after Joe's Barbershop on Harrison Street in Davenport.

It's up through\u00a0June 4.

As Andrew Wallace, manager of\u00a0collections and exhibitions, noted in an interview with\u00a0Times reporter Amanda Hancock,\u00a0viewing the piece may make you feel enriched, disturbed or more thoughtful.\u00a0

And, once again, admission to the Figge will be free this summer, beginning Saturday, May 27, and continuing\u00a0through Sunday, Sept. 3. This is thanks to support from the Bechtel Trusts and the John Deere Classic.

It's a great deal.

"}, {"id":"a4e8e933-374d-566a-a92c-fb8d58409fb7","type":"article","starttime":"1495241880","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-19T19:58:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1495476287","sections":[{"bill-wundram":"news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram"}],"application":"editorial","title":"WUNDRAM: Final curtain for Ringling Bros.","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/article_a4e8e933-374d-566a-a92c-fb8d58409fb7.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/wundram-final-curtain-for-ringling-bros/article_a4e8e933-374d-566a-a92c-fb8d58409fb7.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/wundram-final-curtain-for-ringling-bros/article_a4e8e933-374d-566a-a92c-fb8d58409fb7.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"\u00a0You have entertained us from generation to generation. You were part of the American way for families. Children of all ages were breathless when your big silver circus trains stopped and the elephants paraded down the street to the circus grounds. You were Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus\u00a0\u2014 the Greatest Show on Earth. Your grandpa told you that, and his great-grandpa said the same thing. Everyone believed it for 146 years.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["elephant","economics","show","bailey","circus"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"7726ca59-4a26-581c-a537-3a0cd0bd4665","description":"Wundram, clowning around\u00a0on the Ringling show.","byline":"","hireswidth":1728,"hiresheight":1152,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/72/7726ca59-4a26-581c-a537-3a0cd0bd4665/591f9bdeeda95.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1728","height":"1152","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/72/7726ca59-4a26-581c-a537-3a0cd0bd4665/591f9bdeed088.image.jpg?resize=1728%2C1152"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/72/7726ca59-4a26-581c-a537-3a0cd0bd4665/591f9bdeed088.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/72/7726ca59-4a26-581c-a537-3a0cd0bd4665/591f9bdeed088.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/72/7726ca59-4a26-581c-a537-3a0cd0bd4665/591f9bdeed088.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"a4e8e933-374d-566a-a92c-fb8d58409fb7","body":"

\u00a0You have entertained us from generation to generation. You were part of the American way for families. Children of all ages were breathless when your big silver circus trains stopped and the elephants paraded down the street to the circus grounds. You were Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus\u00a0\u2014 the Greatest Show on Earth. Your grandpa told you that, and his great-grandpa said the same thing. Everyone believed it for 146 years.

From one ring to another, you thrilled us. Always three rings on the sawdust that gave a sweet essence to the turf. Hawkers called out, \u201cHot roasted peanuts\u201d and \u201cBuy your kiddies a circus balloon.\u201d

Now you are done. Closing. It\u2019s over.

YOU DID what you did best. You ran a circus like no other. You were brilliant. You were a gateway for young and old to explore the world, to gawk at long-necked giraffes and hear lions roar. And there was always authentic joy when red-nosed clowns with big paddle shoes made\u00a0the audience\u00a0laugh. I know, I have clowned with your show.

At 7 p.m. tonight, after two performances earlier in the day, you will exit your space in the entertainment world. You will say goodbye to your performers, take down the trapeze and close your circus, the final performances in a coliseum in Uniondale, New York.

There are many\u00a0explanations why. Business was limping, lifestyles changed. You got rid of your elephants and attendance dropped. Circuses were old-fashioned. Nothing seemed to be right for Ringling, except reasonably profitable crowds and the chill of watching the man get shot out of the cannon.

So today, the question begs. Why has the magnificent Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey failed?

KENNETH FELD, owner of Ringling Bros. and Feld Entertainment, blames the\u00a0competition\u00a0of a changing world. People gravitate to bright lights of the computer screen and video games and monster truck shows.\u00a0

Once, the circus was a treat that brought the family together. Now, the world seems bent on keeping them apart, everyone staring at the blinking\u00a0device in their hands.\u00a0

Seeing the final curtain fall\u00a0should remind us that\u00a0as parents and grandparents, we must protect the\u00a0unity of our families.\u00a0

What is going to happen to the children who no longer will have the Greatest Show on Earth to thrill them?

(Thanks to Brad Deutscher whose comments were parts of this column. He previously worked for the Ringling show and is now with a consulting firm.)

.

"}, {"id":"ad8ea56c-3c9f-5e6b-b774-c09e5e831a84","type":"article","starttime":"1494878700","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-15T15:05:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1494970156","sections":[{"bill-wundram":"news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram"}],"application":"editorial","title":"WUNDRAM: Will Dad and I make it to 100?","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/article_ad8ea56c-3c9f-5e6b-b774-c09e5e831a84.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/wundram-will-dad-and-i-make-it-to/article_ad8ea56c-3c9f-5e6b-b774-c09e5e831a84.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/wundram-will-dad-and-i-make-it-to/article_ad8ea56c-3c9f-5e6b-b774-c09e5e831a84.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"No one is counting but my dad and me, and he really isn\u2019t keeping track of such things because he is long gone. He was proud that he worked 24 years at this sheet, and not long ago someone mentioned that I have toiled here\u00a073 years. Add the two together and it means that father and son have been 97 years at the Quad-City Times and its predecessors. If the editors can stand me a few more years, my dad (Bill, too) and I will have seen the same dark of print for a century, the same newsprint, the same essence of ink. I feel his hand tapping me on the shoulder every now and then.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["column","journalism","publishing","luke","anniversary","reader","foe","detractor","smith"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b844bf52-7a79-57e1-8b34-95e0489025a1","description":"Bill Wundram Sr.","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"697","height":"838","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b844bf52-7a79-57e1-8b34-95e0489025a1/5765ac41e6441.image.jpg?resize=697%2C838"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"120","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b844bf52-7a79-57e1-8b34-95e0489025a1/5765ac4213188.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"361","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b844bf52-7a79-57e1-8b34-95e0489025a1/5765ac41e6441.image.jpg?resize=300%2C361"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1231","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/84/b844bf52-7a79-57e1-8b34-95e0489025a1/5765ac41e6441.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":8,"commentID":"ad8ea56c-3c9f-5e6b-b774-c09e5e831a84","body":"

No one is counting but my dad and me, and he really isn\u2019t keeping track of such things because he is long gone. He was proud that he worked 24 years at this sheet, and not long ago someone mentioned that I have toiled here\u00a073 years. Add the two together and it means that father and son have been 97 years at the Quad-City Times and its predecessors. If the editors can stand me a few more years, my dad (Bill, too) and I will have seen the same dark of print for a century, the same newsprint, the same essence of ink. I feel his hand tapping me on the shoulder every now and then.

Such sentimental banter\u00a0prompts me to write an anniversary column. I do so every five years, more or less. But after this, I\u2019ll never write another anniversary column. There\u2019s no use overdoing a bad thing. Anniversary columns sound like epitaphs.

All of\u00a0this is not to say that I\u2019m going to throw in the towel, but I feel like a dinosaur in a newsroom of young j-school (as in journalism) grads. Once in a while,\u00a0the whippersnappers\u00a0peek into my office with the 10-foot pencil hanging from the ceiling. They must think of it as a tomb\u00a0with an old locker door and a giant bass drum for a coffee table. Maybe some day,\u00a0one of them\u00a0will take over my office. Most newcomers in this racket think that writing a column is as easy as tossing some\u00a0powder into cold milk and you instantly have chocolate pudding.

Strangers askwhat it takes to do a column and Red Smith, the late great sports writer for the New York Times, said: \u201cYou simply sit down at a typewriter, open a vein and bleed.\u201d

I like to quote Herb Caen , the Pulitzer-winning columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle: \u201cAll it takes to be a columnist is a desire not to do much\u00a0of anything else.\u201d

Whenever\u00a0 I go somewhere, I\u00a0have to get a column item out of it. Everything must remind me of something that can be carved into a paragraph or a column ... a bit of wisdom or laughs or simple drivel. If I go someplace and don\u2019t get a column out of it, it is a loss.

Going back about 175 years ago, I often repeat Horace Mann, the father of public education in America. When asked to write a monthly article, he replied to the publisher, \u201cI have not the time to prepare it for the press. Besides, writing 12 pieces a year would exhaust a man too rapidly.\u201d

Now, I\u2019m regularly locked in at two columns a week and writing other pieces of my choice. But dear friends and foes, I sign off here as my last anniversary col. \u201cI love all readers, and my detractors keep me humble. St, Luke said, \u201cWoe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you.\u201d

There\u2019s no chance of that, because I say never trust anyone who hasn\u2019t written for at least 73 years.

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When Chip Taylor spoke last year at the Q-C Pollinator Conference in Davenport, he delivered a sobering assessment\u00a0of the possibility of reversing\u00a0monarch butterfly decline\u00a0to the point that\u00a0migration continues.

The founder of Monarch Watch\u00a0and University of Kansas professor who has championed monarch butterflies since 1992 said that while\u00a0it is not likely that monarchs will go extinct, their numbers may fall to the point that they no longer migrate.

Taylor outlined the causes of the butterflies' reduced numbers, widely attributed to habitat destruction in the Corn Belt, with the Quad-Cities nearly in the center of their breeding grounds.

\"This is the center,\" he said. \"You are the heartland for butterfly production. What you are doing here is going to have an impact.\"

But as he continued speaking, his enthusiasm for the ability of one person or small groups to make a difference seemed to diminish.

Since 1996, 173 million acres of habitat have been lost, about the equivalent of the state of Texas, he said. Losses continue in the range of one to two million acres annually.

To rebuild the monarch population to levels that will sustain migration, about 20 million acres of habitat would need to be replanted, he said.

In addition to backyard plantings, this could include railroad rights-of-way and the ditches along highways, particularly Interstate 35, which is a 1,400-mile migration corridor from Minnesota to Mexico, he said.

But such an \"all hands on deck\" initiative would take strong leadership everywhere \u2014 in government, in the private sector and among nonprofits \u2014 and it would take money. And don't forget seeds, which also aren't currently available in the quantity that's needed, he said.

\"We're not going to save migration unless we do everything we can.\"

Earlier in the day, Karen Oberhauser, a monarch butterfly researcher at the University of Minnesota, struck a more optimistic tone.

She issued a call to action \u2014 for everyone concerned about monarchs and other pollinators to do something \u2014 and she stressed that maintaining hope is essential.

\"We need to address everything we can,\" she said. This includes planting milkweed and nectar plants in one's backyard, asking your county or municipality not to spray or mow during the time of milkweed flowering, teaching others (especially children), advocating to lawmakers and giving money to conservation organizations.

\"Monarch migration is an unmatched biological phenomenon,\" she said. \"It would be a shame to lose it.\"

"}, {"id":"94b1239b-5184-5933-a8fb-ba3864665c2c","type":"article","starttime":"1494753300","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-14T04:15:00-05:00","sections":[{"alma-gaul":"news/opinion/editorial/columnists/alma-gaul"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Kids say the darndest things. Really.","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/alma-gaul/article_94b1239b-5184-5933-a8fb-ba3864665c2c.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/alma-gaul/kids-say-the-darndest-things-really/article_94b1239b-5184-5933-a8fb-ba3864665c2c.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/alma-gaul/kids-say-the-darndest-things-really/article_94b1239b-5184-5933-a8fb-ba3864665c2c.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"I was approaching the\u00a0Dairy Queen\u00a0with my husband and sister when a boy of elementary school age\u00a0suddenly came barreling through the parking lot on a scooter, screaming a string of choice profanities. Normally\u00a0I probably wouldn't say anything, but he was so young. He shouldn't be saying things like that.\u00a0So, \"Watch your mouth, kid,\" I said in\u00a0my best crabby (old) lady voice as he flew past.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["kids say the darndest things","jessica waytenick","the des moines register","midamerican energy","new local history book club","colonel","coloneldavenport1833@hotmail.com","dairy queen","renewable energy","highway","street sign","literature","linguistics","association","politics","broadway","neighborhood","street","queen","name"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b3012d25-7f82-5718-8339-e86503768846","description":"This new intersection sign in Rock Island's Broadway Historic District notes that\u00a022nd Street was once called Dock, and 7th Avenue was Spencer.\u00a0","byline":"","hireswidth":1662,"hiresheight":1246,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/30/b3012d25-7f82-5718-8339-e86503768846/5915baf7611e4.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/30/b3012d25-7f82-5718-8339-e86503768846/5915baf760504.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/30/b3012d25-7f82-5718-8339-e86503768846/5915baf760504.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/30/b3012d25-7f82-5718-8339-e86503768846/5915baf760504.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/30/b3012d25-7f82-5718-8339-e86503768846/5915baf760504.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"94b1239b-5184-5933-a8fb-ba3864665c2c","body":"

I was approaching the\u00a0Dairy Queen\u00a0with my husband and sister when a boy of elementary school age\u00a0suddenly came barreling through the parking lot on a scooter, screaming a string of choice profanities.

Normally\u00a0I probably wouldn't say anything, but he was so young. He shouldn't be saying things like that.\u00a0So, \"Watch your mouth, kid,\" I said in\u00a0my best crabby (old) lady voice as he flew past.

We\u00a0continued into the Dairy Queen, but as I approached the counter to order, I became aware that the boy had returned and was standing outside the door.

\"I'm sorry I said that,\" he said. \"But I was scared.\"

I was startled. This was quite unexpected. I walked outside and put my arm around him, asking if he was OK now. He said he was, and then he put his arm around me, too. We exchanged a little side-to-side hug. I thanked him for coming back, then\u00a0he was on his way.

Talk about\u00a0renewed\u00a0faith in kids. And kids' parents. That\u00a0was\u00a0even better than the ice cream.

BROADWAY STREET SIGN TOPPERS: The Broadway Historic District neighborhood in Rock Island has some new street signs that give a nod to what the streets were named before the city numbering system was adopted in 1876.

Twenty-third Street was Broadway \u2014 that is how the area got its name. Others were Eagle/17th, Washington/18th, Jefferson/19th, Madison/20th, Adams/21st and Dock/22nd.

The majority of those\u00a0names refer to\u00a0U.S. presidents, but the avenues also had names and those spoke to local history. Highland was\u00a05th, Cable/6th, Spencer/7th, Guyer/8th and Indian Boundary Line/9th.

The neighborhood association fronted the cost of creating 50 signs that give both the old and current names plus announce the area's historic designation.

The city is installing them, but residents\u00a0can sponsor them for $150 for two or\u00a0$75 for one. Any money raised reimburses the association.

NEW LOCAL HISTORY BOOK CLUB:\u00a0The name Black Hawk is common in this region, but\u00a0do you ever wonder what the Sauk warrior was really like?

For insights into this\u00a0man who saw his entire world disappear in the course of his lifetime, there is\u00a0\"The Autobiography of Black Hawk,\" the next selection of a new local history book club.

The group will discuss the\u00a0book at\u00a07 p.m.\u00a0Tuesday, June 27,\u00a0at the Colonel Davenport House. A\u00a0guided tour of the house will be included.

For questions on how to get to the house, contact\u00a0Jessica Waytenick at 309-737-4280 or coloneldavenport1833@hotmail.com.

ASTONISHING NEWS: A couple of weeks ago the Times carried a story from The Des Moines Register\u00a0with the headline, \"Iowa's largest utility aims to produce only renewable energy.\"

Think of it!

The story reported that\u00a0MidAmerican Energy plans to build 1,000 more turbines over the next couple of years on top of the more than 2,000 it already has around the state. When they're completed, the utility's share of its energy that comes from renewable sources will jump from 55 percent to nearly 90 percent.

Security of supply is a challenge, but the utility is taking it on.

PASS-ALONG QUOTE: This comes from Mr. Rogers, via Robert Meyer of Grand Appliance and TV, Davenport: \"If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet ...\u00a0there is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.\"

\u00a0\u00a0

"}, {"id":"771b0bb3-0d9c-5a29-a66c-fdfae07520fe","type":"article","starttime":"1494705600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-05-13T15:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1494715808","sections":[{"bill-wundram":"news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram"}],"flags":{"featured":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"WUNDRAM: Mom was the best thing that ever happened to me","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/article_771b0bb3-0d9c-5a29-a66c-fdfae07520fe.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/wundram-mom-was-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-to/article_771b0bb3-0d9c-5a29-a66c-fdfae07520fe.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/columnists/bill-wundram/wundram-mom-was-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-to/article_771b0bb3-0d9c-5a29-a66c-fdfae07520fe.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"\u00a0\u00a0I thought of my mother Saturday morning when I was sitting on the top\u00a0step of\u00a0the staircase\u00a0in my living room, trying to pull on some stubborn socks. My mother always insisted that I wear long stockings, no matter if I was wearing knickers as a kid or long pants when I grew to a big boy. She said that long stockings would keep me from catching cold.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["sock","building industry","ethics","helen","warning","clothing","billy","mom","curse","back porch"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"105bb98c-0dd7-5b11-a947-62f89d3ec49f","description":"My mother, Edna Wundram, with her two daughters, Ruth and Helen, in the early 1920s.\u00a0","byline":"","hireswidth":1743,"hiresheight":1189,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/05/105bb98c-0dd7-5b11-a947-62f89d3ec49f/59167114af922.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1743","height":"1189","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/05/105bb98c-0dd7-5b11-a947-62f89d3ec49f/59167114ae8a5.image.jpg?resize=1743%2C1189"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"68","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/05/105bb98c-0dd7-5b11-a947-62f89d3ec49f/59167114ae8a5.image.jpg?resize=100%2C68"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"205","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/05/105bb98c-0dd7-5b11-a947-62f89d3ec49f/59167114ae8a5.image.jpg?resize=300%2C205"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"699","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/05/105bb98c-0dd7-5b11-a947-62f89d3ec49f/59167114ae8a5.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C699"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"771b0bb3-0d9c-5a29-a66c-fdfae07520fe","body":"

\u00a0\u00a0I thought of my mother Saturday morning when I was sitting on the top\u00a0step of\u00a0the staircase\u00a0in my living room, trying to pull on some stubborn socks.

My mother always insisted that I wear long stockings, no matter if I was wearing knickers as a kid or long pants when I grew to a big boy. She said that long stockings would keep me from catching cold.

Those long stocking days are generations past, but when I have trouble with any kind of socks, I think of my mom. On this Mother\u2019s Day, I shall try and find some knee-high socks to wear.

HAVING A MOTHER like I had was the best thing that ever happened to me\u00a0\u2014 outside of marrying Helen. My mom\u2019s name was Edna, a wrinkly-handed bundle of kindness, a quiet girl from the west end of Davenport who never went beyond eighth grade. Out of school, she was hustled off to work at Independent Baking Co., across the street from where she lived on Rockingham Road. Her irksome chore, along with a few other young girls, was to carefully pack soda crackers\u00a0\u2014 red hot right out of the ovens \u2014 into retail-sales boxes, about 8 inches long.

Packaging hot crackers\u00a0for a few years wrinkled her tender young fingers. The wrinkles never left her hands, but\u00a0that never bothered her. She loved to hold the hands of her three kids, Ruth, Helen and\u00a0Billy, who were fascinated by how she deftly sewed flowers onto linens. We still use the pillowcases that she carefully embroidered with morning glories and poppies. Her embroidered dish towels are carefully folded in a kitchen drawer.

MY MOTHER lived a quiet, uncomplaining, gentle life in a big frame house with a clothes line and a back porch for kids to jump off of. She loved to sit on the porch, watching the kids play but warning, \u201cNo too loud; don\u2019t disturb the neighbors.\u201d

I can\u2019t say she was a strict do-good moralist. She just simply told me, her only son, to \u201cAlways be a good boy\u201d and \"Don\u2019t go near roughnecks.\"

I never heard her complain, even when she wanted to drive my dad\u2019s first car, a boxy Essex. He told her that women were too nervous to drive a motor car, so she never drove. She sat in the back seat during our weekly Sunday afternoon rides. She didn\u2019t believe in trips and the longest she ever nervously traveled was by train to the World\u2019s Fair in Chicago in 1933.

Yet today, I can hear her admonitions to me \u2026 to always be polite, to open doors for elders, always eat your vegetables and never curse or say naughty words. At 92, I still never go beyond a \u201chell.\u201d

My mother was all things, especially kind. She always called me Billy. Once in a while someone will call me that. When they do, I\u00a0think of my mother. As our kids grew, they began calling her \u201cGram.\u201d She rather liked that nickname.

She lived to be 95.

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One sunny Saturday afternoon\u00a0several summers ago, the Quad-Cities River Bandits gave away Wundram bobbleheads to the first 1,000 in line at the gate to buy a ticket. The line stretched halfway to River Drive. My bobblehead was no Michelangelo, but it was a suitable likeness with notebook and pencil.

I couldn't begin to imagine where all those bobbleheads went. But\u00a0I certainly never expected one to end up in a trash heap!

This past winter, Beth Van Zandt headed out with a bunch of do-gooders from the Muscatine Center for Social Action to get a count of how many homeless people were living in Muscatine \u201cOne of the last places we went was to the bridge on 5th Street,\u201d says Beth, who found a lot of empty bottles, bags, food containers. She even found a little plastic\u00a0head.

\u201cIt was a Wundram head, a hunk of his bobble, and then a short pace away, was his muddy figure,\" Beth, a photographer for the Muscatine Journal, said. \"The face was all dirty. I took it all back to\u00a0my office. In the kitchen, I cleaned it up, gave it a good bath and attached the head. I cleaned the mud out of the teeth and glasses, using a toothpick. It looks like new.\u00a0Co-workers John Blunk and Carol Peterson got a kick out of it. I proudly display it.\u201d

Personally, I feel a modicum of pride. I have been\u00a0saved from the dump

The art of being a Quad-Citizen

In an April 23 column, I gave advice on how to be a Quad-Citizen. Here are a few\u00a0responses that followed. One included a photo of different kinds of shoes to be worn\u00a0during a typical day of our unpredictable inclement weather.\u00a0

\u201cI HAVE BEEN here 47 years out of 70, so I am not a nat\u00efve. But the natives here whether walking, jogging, running or pushing baby carriages do so with their backs to the traffic,\u201d says Terry Sullivan of Davenport. \u201cWhere I come from we learned to do so facing traffic for safety first.\"

\u201cEVERY TIME I read the Quad-City Times, my buttons burst with pride,\u201d says Ann Held of Davenport. \u201cWe\u2019ve been in this community since 1975, and man, the community has improved in those 42 years. The Quad-Cities has everything to be proud of.\u201d

\u201cIF YOU are a Quad-Citizen, and pedestrian, you need three eyes in your head. The Quad-City pedestrian must have luck to try and cross a street without being struck by a vehicle,\u201d says Marsha Marietta of Davenport.

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If you've been buying plants this spring, you've likely\u00a0noticed that every nursery, big box store, even grocery stores, are carrying succulents, those dry-loving little plants that look so good in dishes.

The market has \"blown up,\" says\u00a0Kate Terrell, of Wallace's Garden Centers and Greenhouses in Bettendorf and Davenport.

I first wrote about the increasing\u00a0popularity of succulents \u2014 particularly sempervivums, or \"hens and chicks\" \u2014\u00a0in 2014 when\u00a0horticulturist Martha Smith gave a talk about them at the\u00a0\"Nursery School\" sponsored by the Rock Island County Master Gardeners of University of Illinois Extension.

At the time, I called around to various garden centers, but didn't have much luck in locating many. Maybe it was the wrong time of year. In any case, you can certainly find them now.

They can be used in terrariums, fairy gardens and living wreaths and tucked into outdoor\u00a0container gardens.

The eye-pleasing arrangements I see in stores take full advantage of the plants' incredible variety, mixing different shades of green (some positively brilliant),\u00a0different sizes and textures.

Terrell assures me the succulent trend is not going away any time soon.

I wish good luck to anyone growing these plants. I have killed all but one succulent plant in my houseplant collection because I overwater.

Apparently these plants do best if you just forget about them (within reason).

\"The key,\" Terrell says, \"is lots of sun, a very well-draining mix (I use espoma cactus mix). Many people try to plant them in containers without drainage holes, and this is the kiss of death. (People who) are interested should start with easier plants such as sedums and sempervivums.\"

MONARCH EGGS HAVE HATCHED: The monarch butterfly eggs we wrote about in last\u00a0week's Home & Garden have hatched into caterpillars.

Sara Bartholomew of Davenport's historic Gold Coast neighborhood\u00a0had provided\u00a0photos of her milkweeds and\u00a0the eggs that\u00a0had been laid on them, which seemed like an early-in-the-season occurrence.

She\u00a0worried that the\u00a0\"cold and miserable weather\" we've been having would be detrimental to them. But,\u00a0\"there are hatchlings all over out there,\" she reported on Friday.

\"Most of the caterpillars have survived so far. They seem to have an instinct to move up into the center of the crown of the plant, where the young leaves form a tighter cluster. This probably provides shelter from both the weather and any predatory bugs that might be looking for a snack.\"

MUSSER HOME MAKES NATIONAL REGISTER: The Laura Musser McColm mansion in\u00a0Muscatine, now the Muscatine Art Center, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 1908\u00a0home at\u00a01314 Mulberry Ave., its\u00a0carriage house dating to the 1920s, and the\u00a0Japanese Garden installed in 1929 are contributing features listed within the nomination. Its significance includes its association with people important to\u00a0Muscatine\u00a0history.

Congratulations to all involved in the nomination.

At 2 p.m. today, the center will host a\u00a0free presentation on the\u00a0history of Huttig manufacturing, sponsored by\u00a0the Friends of Muscatine Historic Preservation and the Musser Public Library.

Huttig was a national sash and door manufacturing company founded by German immigrant William Huttig and his brother, Frederick. The Huttigs were among several men who\u00a0developed the city's lumber industry.

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