Day 2: June 9, 2014
A Couple of Surprises

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I probably should have known that I would be passing the World's Largest Truck Stop but I didn't. It's hard to miss Iowa 80, though. The place has a movie theater, dentist, barber, chiropractor, and a bunch of other stuff including a variety of restaurants. An average of 55 miles of toilet paper are used here monthly which is nearly enough to reach to my next stop and back.

I also hadn't realized that I would be passing the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum but was actually a little excited when I saw the first sign. I've always admired Mr. Hoover and knew that blaming him for the Great Depression was just wrong. He had actually voiced warnings, before his election, about the rampant stock market speculation but was unable to do much about those practices before they led to the big crash less than a year into his presidency. I also knew that he had accomplished wonders in getting aid to Europeans after both world wars and that he did much of that without pay. When JFK donated his presidential salary to charity, he was following in Hoover's footsteps. I must have known of but forgot his humble beginnings. He had not inherited the wealth that allowed him to be so generous with time and money but had accumulated it himself.

The first picture is inside the free visitors center where a short film on Hoover can be viewed. The second is of the two room cottage in which he was born. The third and fourth are of the museum which does charge a fee. I'm sure that some visitors are really surprised to learn that Hoover did an awful lot more than watch the economy tank. The last two pictures are at the grave site of Herbert and his wife, Lou.

A few years ago, in a book about Harry Truman, I learned of a Hoover act of kindness that involved taking money. In 1958, when a presidential pension was established, largely to help a struggling Truman, Hoover reluctantly accepted his so as not to embarrass the other man.

The first picture is of my dinner spot taken from my sleeping spot and the second is the other way around. That's the Lincoln Highway between them. Cronk's Cafe opened in 1929 so was ready and waiting when the Park Motel was built in 1940. My salmon at Cronk's was delicious and my room in the Park Motel's original building was just about perfect. Definitely a winning pair.

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