We took a short trip to Cedar Rapids this past weekend. I'll skip over the first part of our trip and just summarize the rest.
Saturday around noon, we spent a bit of time with Joseph and went and got some BBQ (it was pretty good, Nicki's BBQ, Joesph's favorite in CR). Saturday night we spent time with the Mattas, Clif, Scott, Dan and Marisa, and Dan's parents. It was nice to see everyone and spend time with Taylor and Cali (the Matta's Girls). Got home late Sunday afternoon. Just a short trip, to get out of the house.
Before we went over to spend some time with Joseph (rest of the family was at a family reunion in Wyoming), we headed to downtown Cedar Rapids to see what was still going on down there. We've seen a lot of things on TV and on websites, but it really didn't hit to the same place of the heart. It was kind of removed. It was shocking to see some of the things that I remember from my childhood, more or less, mostly destroyed. The sewing/cloth place where Shannon and I got parts of her and the flower girl's wedding dress, was basically gone...the building was boarded up...and...well...doesn't look like it was coming back. We saw lots of trash, crumbling power infrastructure (one power sub station looks like it was about to collapse in on itself), broken wires and loads of cleaning trucks, fans, large scale portable generators.
Looking down the edge of the riverbank and you can see how much the water had to come up to trash, not only the parking meters, but the first floor of the library, beyond. I know that Clif, who was working in Florida when the floods were happening, said that most people just didn't get how big of a deal it was...
I remember when they moved from the old library (which is now an art museum, I think), to the new one, and I spent huge amounts of time. I watched movies, reading books (hundreds of books). I remember taking the bus from my parents, and spending a good chunk of the day down there, and sometimes I would take the bus home with my dad (or get a ride when mom picked dad up). It was my way to get away from the crowded house...it was quite, well air conditioned and had nice comfy places to read. It broke my hear to peer into the windows and see what remains of the first floor of the library. Seeing the land and possible structural damage to the building... Just heart breaking.
The Paramount Theater also go hit hard...and I went to several of the Cedar Rapids Symphony performances when I was young (My dad's company donated money to them, I think, and always had tickets...which apparently almost nobody but my parents wanted). The CR Symphony can be credited with my early love of music (almost all kinds).
We took a few pictures, and headed over to my parents to see Joseph.