Letter to the Editor: As I remember ...

To the Editor:

After reading a letter to the editor in a previous edition of The Standard newspaper, where the writer needled the county about being coerced into taking over the city airport, I thought, you know, that might not be a bad idea. After all, the county actually did take over the Poor Farm, or as it was sometimes called the County Farm, and has been quite successful in realizing a respectable income from same.

Imagine, with 80 or 100 acres (I am guessing on acreage) of super prime Allamakee County farm land next to the fair grounds, what do you suppose they could do?  With solar lights and all, crops could expect to nearly double all yields. Or as someone once said, “sell the airport, fix the streets and build some houses”.

In the absence of an airport, a constructed heliport on the roof of the J.C.Penney store (when it is reroofed) could offer real convenience to business travelers to this fair city. The old steel stairs could be reconstructed to easily access city streets, a convenience not even seen at O’Hare in Chicago. This used to be the place where Ben Kellison, the city cop, used to relax during his rounds. That was before the time of the Interceptors.

The stairs could hide the dumpsters next to the dining tables on the plaza, where Pete’s Place used to be. Pete’s Paint and Paper Place used to be across the street, next to the Coast to Coast Store. Pete’s Popcorn Wagon was on Hale’s Corner, or Grahams or Happy Joe’s or Tierney’s or Evanson’s, or whatever you remember it as, as I may have made a mistake there. (There was a time I just knew I made a mistake and later found out I was wrong.) It was on this same corner, but on Main Street, that Bob Collins had his Pigloo, with sow and piglets in the number-one parking spot.

Did I mention that once that business person had reached the street, the sloping sidewalk would dictate their direction of travel, depending on either a high heel or a short leg?

Not every idea is a good idea, and not every idea is a bad idea. But if an idea jogs a mind, a new idea is born. As I remember, New Idea, as a brand name, had one of the earliest mechanical corn pickers. As I remember, a local farmer had a corn combine before John Deere. Were it not for Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, where would we be now? If I have not jogged a memory or inspired a new idea, then I have failed, and that is where I am now.

Herb Larkin

P.S. I still urge everyone to take up paper and pen and express their ideas publicly. No accusations, no lies, no politics. If you see something, say something!