These boots were made for wading. And that’s just what they’ve done … through three different Quad-City floods.
Bob Minard, 59, of Rock Island, is taking photos and video of the Flood of ’19 in fishing and wading boots that have navigated floodwaters three times.
The rubber boots originally belonged to Bob's father, the late Robert W. Minard. Bob’s uncle, Richard Bargmon, who lived in Moline in the 1960s, borrowed the boots from Bob's dad.
“He borrowed them to go flood-fighting,” Bob said. Bargmon wore the boots in Davenport and Rock Island while he helped fill sandbags during the Flood of ’65.
Bob himself wore the boots in floodwaters while he used a camcorder to record the Flood of ’93.
For the past few days, Bob has donned the boots to take pictures and video of Quad-City flooding.
He thinks the boots, which are least 54 years old, are size 12 but it’s difficult to make out the aging labels on them. They do have a couple of tears, but Bob, who disinfects them regularly after he uses them, has taped them up.
“If we have another flood event in the next few years, I’ll take them out in the water again,” he said.
Bob’s background is as extensive as the history of the boots – his voice is familiar to hundreds of Quad-City sports enthusiasts. A stagehand at the TaxSlayer Center, Moline, he also is public-address announcer for various sports, including Augustana College football and baseball games and the Quad-Cities River Bandits.