Saturday, April 14, 2007

Remembrances: Tornado/Vonnegut

It was more than a little ironic that the one year anniversary of the Iowa City tornado fell on Friday the 13th. Here's a link to my photos from last year: Tornado Tales.

I participated in the community remembrance yesterday in my role as president of Friends of Historic Preservation. I thanked the community members that have worked to restore over 60 properties that were damaged in three local historic districts and a conservation area. FHP lobbied get over $250K in funds made available so that homeowners could make the repairs required by their homes being listed in a local historic district. Many insurance policies did not cover the more stringent repairs as set forth in the Secrectary of the Interior's guidelines. I'm sure it's just conincidence that heavily Democratic Johnson County, with a governor who was running as a candidate for President, DID NOT receive Federal disaster designation! Here is a link to coverage of the event. I am quoted in the article, and in the print version of the paper I managed to be in the background of a shot of the mayor receiving a tornado statue.

Also in the print version of the paper today is a picture of an impromptu memorial set up at the "Vonnegut House" commemorating the author's death. Iowa Citians consider Vonnegut one of their own. He taught at the UI Writer's Workshop from 1966-68 and finished Slaughterhouse 5 while he lived here. He also allegedly started an annual "May Day" celebration at the house he lived in, that continued a full 20 years after he moved out. I know, as I attended more than a few. Here is a link to the house, it's for rent right now: Vonnegut House The rent is a little steep for the local market!

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