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Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023
Good morning!

I was recently viewing a YouTube video about U.S. presidents and what they did for fun. While watching this entertaining and educational video that included various portraits or photos of the presidents, I couldn’t help but notice that, by image alone, I did not know who most of them were. If I am being honest, I could not even name all 45 U.S. presidents (or 46, if you count Grover Cleveland twice since he served two terms with Benjamin Harrison in between).

This made me wonder, what makes some U.S. presidents so memorable and others so forgettable?

I am convinced that much of this comes from our elementary school studies. Of course, we are more likely to recall those who presided during our lifetimes, or those whom we have seen in the TV era, but that’s not the entire answer. If you were asked to name the 10 most memorable U.S. presidents outside of your lifetime, you might rattle off George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt. Most all of us could recognize those U.S. presidents by a photo or image. In more recent years, some of you may throw in Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower or John Kennedy — and you would likely be able to pick them out in photos, too. My fellow Iowans might even mention Herbert Hoover. That’s a total of nine. Many Americans would struggle to name any more U.S. presidents, let alone recognize their images. OK, Richard Nixon makes 10.

All this also makes me wonder what our two most recent presidents, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, will be remembered for in a century? Or if they will be remembered at all. That’s difficult to contemplate with both of them at the top of the news most every day right now.

Time can be forgiving of mistakes, certainly, but time rarely makes a mostly unmemorable U.S president more memorable — unless the authors of the school textbooks and the teachers who use them choose to make that happen.

My friend Kevin used to make this point with a practical joke I would play along with. When he would meet someone for the first time, he would turn to me and say, “Doesn’t he look like a young Martin Van Buren?” And I would nod in total agreement. He would also use Warren Harding or Chester Arthur, or, his favorite, Millard Fillmore. I have yet to meet anyone who could pick out these U.S. presidents by one of their portraits or photos, let alone from images of their youth.

Will someone play the same joke in 100 years using Donald Trump or Joe Biden, or will one or both of them be carved on the side of a mountain? Time will tell.

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

View Shane Goodman's archived columns from past issues here.

CITYVIEW's Best Of Des Moines®

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines® readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best local trivia night

1. Iowa Distilling Company

2. Coa Cantina

3. The Hall


Read More

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Heat continues with dangerous heat indices the next couple of days before we see some relief Friday with cooler temps into the weekend.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Carrie at carrie.mortgage.

Featured home for sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
905 58th St.
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Sharp, well maintained ranch style home with 3-car garage in the Meadow Brook neighborhood. Main floor primary bedroom plus two additional spacious bedrooms. The lower level has 2 non-conforming bedrooms.
See More Homes For Sale

Macao has reclaimed the title of world's biggest gambling hub, as Vegas had replaced it during China's prolonged COVID shutdown.

A new partnership between Campbell's and Disney means you can expect Goldfish crackers soon in the shapes of Woody, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse. Also there will be a Disney Princess soup.

Tuesday means $10 burgers with a pint of beer at Angry Goldfish (2301 S.W. Ninth).

— Jim Duncan, jd91446@aol.com


Why do male cicadas make that awful noise? The sound we are hearing is chorusing, and it's produced when male cicadas vibrate their tymbals, a noise-producing organ on the side of their abdomen, in the hope of attracting females to mate. The hotter the day, the louder the chorusing. Considering the weather this week, it should be deafening. Photo/Paul Houston


FROM KCCI: 'Unacceptable!': Iowa State Patrol pilot clocks 6 drivers going over 100 mph

OELWEIN, Iowa — At least six drivers in northeast Iowa were clocked by an Iowa State Patrol pilot driving over 100 mph Monday morning. "Unacceptable!" the Iowa State Patrol posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, along with some of the highest speeds recorded by trooper-pilot Taylor Grim. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Driver charged with attempted murder after Friday chase

NDIANOLA, IOWA — A Des Moines man who led police on a chase from Indianola to the south side of Des Moines on Friday is now facing more than a dozen charges, including Attempted Murder. Benjamin James Royer, 38, was arrested on Friday afternoon after crashing into a parked car at an apartment complex near Fort Des Moines. ... READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Here's how many people attended the 2023 Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa — The 2023 Iowa State Fair has officially come and gone with more than 1 million visitors passing through the gates. 2023's total attendance number was 1,133,958. That's higher than 2022 (1,118,763) and 2021 (1,094,480) but not as high as 2019's all-time record of 1,170,375. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


Therapy is doggone fun

Davis enjoys programs with her canine.

By Rich Wicks

Cari Davis of Winterset has enjoyed dogs all her life, and she’s sharing that opportunity with others in some innovative ways.

“I started showing dogs in 4-H when I was a kid, and I’ve always had a dog. As I got older, my son showed dogs in 4-H,” she says. “I had a Golden Retriever named Kiowa, and he was just exceptional. That would have been 17 years ago that I got Kiowa as a puppy. I was a teacher at I-35 at the time.”

When Davis heard the Winterset Library wanted to start a “Read to Rover” program, in which a kids would spend time reading to a trained therapy dog, she thought Kiowa would be a good candidate.

She helped Kiowa get through all of the requirements.

Read more in the August issue of Winterset Living magazine 

Birthdays and notables!

Happy Birthday Stormy Miller!

These celebrities were born on this date: James Corden, Ty Burrell, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Annie Proulx, Ari Stidham, Beenie Man, Bo Koster, Bill Parcells, David Marks, Diana Nyad, Giada De Laurentiis, Howie Dorough, Paul Doucette, Steve Kroft

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
What do you call two people who have lost their psychic abilities? A PAIR-A-NORMALS! - John Zeitler. Also sending in guesses were Gail Tomlinson, William Snyder, Deb Taylor

Today's riddle

What do you call a wolf that can catch a deer with either paw?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


To advertise in this daily newsletter, contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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