From the pages of

It's people that make Q-C No. 1

The quality of life in the Quad-Cities does not deserve its rock-bottom ranking, according to residents who live here say their home was misjudged.

The more than 50 readers who responded to the call for a Quad-Cities critique offered dozens of examples of why their home was shortchanged when Money Magazine ranked it last on a list of the 300 best places to live in the United States.

Most of the readers' response summarized the Quad-Cities as a community that has everything, without being too big. Besides, readers said, the cities on the river have all the amenities while affording a quick rural get-away.

If the landscape and cultural offerings don't sufficiently flatter the community, Quad-Citians said, its people do.

Recent floods on both the Rock and Mississippi rivers, for instance, showcased the generosity of neighbors and strangers in the Quad-Cities. Same with last year's ice storm.

``Have you noticed?,'' wrote Davenport reader Lois Hottenstein, ``We don't just look at one another -- we smile.''

Another reader, Mrs. Roy Braden, wrote to say Quad-Citians on both sides of the river helped pull her through one of life's most difficult struggles.

``After our 14-year-old son, Jim, died in 1970, I thought I would lose my sanity,'' Mrs. Braden wrote. ``Thanks to all the neighbors in all the cities who kept loving us and being helpful, caring people, I think I'm going to make it.''

All four winners, drawn at random, in The Dispatch and Rock Island Argus' ``I Love the Quad-Cities'' contest also said the people who live here are a large part of what makes the area great.

Contest winners were Phyllis M. Williams, East Moline; Esther Sylvester, Moline; Rick Schroeder, Orlando, Fla., formerly of the Quad-Cities; and Barbara Reichwein, Port Byron.

In addition to the people of the Quad-Cities, many readers said the area's changing seasons are an underrated draw.

Moline writer and retired teacher David Collins sent in his poetic appreciation of the Quad-Cities' climate:

``Spring showers bring flowers that fragrance the air. Summer's sun tans our skin wherever we're bare. Autumn leaves change colors and dance in the breeze. Winter snows crust the ground and temperatures freeze. I love the Quad-Cities -- these are the reasons|...|It's the wonderful ways God changes our seasons!''

Others said the Quad-Cities' historical attractions, from John Deere to Blackhawk, and its trade, from Boetje's Mustard to Whitey's Ice Cream, also lend an unmistakable identity to the area.

One reader, Amie Doran of Rock Island, said the big cities have nothing on Quad-Cities eateries.

``The Quad-Cities is a great place to live because of the many family-owned restaurants,'' Ms. Doran wrote. ``There are four I frequent: Benders, Jalapenos, Star Sandwich Shop and, my favorite, Clint's Pizza in Moline. It's the best.''

Other readers took a humorous view of their roles as Quad-Citians.

``Simply put, I love the Quad-Cities because I'm originally from New York,'' wrote Michele and Bill Tucker. ``The (bald) eagle even likes it here.''

Still, others took the Quad-Cities' last-place ranking to heart.

``How dare they!'' Gary L. Brakeman of Colona said of the Money Magazine writers. ``It's just a possibility that (Money) might have an inferiority complex.''

At least one reader, however, shared her optimistic view of the Quad-Cities' finish.

``I wonder why people say we are at the bottom of the list,'' wrote Deanne Pilcher of Rock Island. ``There are so many great places in this country that didn't make the list.

``We are in the TOP 300 places to live, and I think that says a lot,'' Ms. Pilcher said. ``That means we're still on our way up!''

-- By Barb Ickes (January 26, 1998)

Return to top

Copyright © 1997 Moline Dispatch Publishing Company, L.L.C.
All Rights Reserved

Return to Quad-Cities Online home page.