Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 8 President's Memo


Date: October 8, 2008

To: Board of Directors
Lincoln Highway Association

From: Bob Dieterich

Subject: August & September Activities

My last memo was a half month late, and this one is another half month late. Therefore I have two months to cover here. I still think it is important that we all know what activities have taken place and that our business is conducted in the open. My last memo was dated August 20, 2008, and that was also the date of our last teleconference, so I’ll start there.

August 20, 2008, Teleconference Sue Jacobson emailed minutes of that teleconference on August 31. Some items that deserve further comment here are as follow:

• It was mentioned that Brian Butko’s new book, Lincoln Highway Companion, will be published this next spring. His publisher had contacted me offering to sell us 1000 copies at a 60% discount. We could then sell them at any price we choose. In return they would include LHA membership information at the back of the book. I discussed this with several members of the Executive Committee, and there was general agreement that we didn’t have the money to take advantage of this offer, and that the gamble we might be left with a sizeable inventory was too great. I informed Brian and his publisher of this decision. Jim Cassler is still interested in purchasing some and selling them as he has previously done with other books.

• We discussed the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition’s request to use our logo. We agreed that we didn’t want to give a blanket approval, but that we would not object to its use on the highway as long as it doesn’t mislead the public on the location of the highway and we received some recognition. Russell Rein volunteered to become the contact point so we can review their use of the logo. The Coalition keeps expressing their desire for cooperation between our two organizations, and in that spirit, I have asked to see their revised 2007 Master Plan. Even though prepared with taxpayer money, Bonnie Heimbach said she would have to obtain her board’s approval to let us see that report. They have had a board meeting, but we have heard nothing.

Nominations Committee Jeff LaFollette has volunteered to chair this committee. This is an important responsibility and we should have a request for nominations ready for the winter issue of the FORUM. Thank you, Jeff.

Lincoln Highway Song We briefly discussed the idea of a Lincoln Highway song during our last teleconference. Since then, music has been coming out of the woodwork. It turns out that a Shadric Smith of Fort Dodge, Iowa, wrote a song, “Rollin’ Down the Lincoln Highway,” for the Nevada, Iowa, Lincoln Highway Days in 1996. We have a recording of that and Paul Gilger, our in-house musician, has worked with Shadric to make some improvements. As soon as we get a handshake agreement on our use of the song (Shadric owns the copyright.), I’ll get the MP3 file out to the board and see if we can’t agree that it become our official theme song. It is a catchy tune, and I’m sure everyone will love it.

Historic Road Conference I attended the Historic Road Preservation Conference in Albuquerque. I met many people and gained some insight into the processes involved with attaining Scenic and Historic Byway and American Road status. We are unique in that we have a national organization to pull our state efforts together. There is no national Route 66 association. If you are interested, I’ll give a rundown during our next teleconference.

Complimentary Memberships Jan Shupert-Arick asked Jess Peterson, who passed the request on to me, to provide complimentary memberships to 26 sponsors of the Indiana Conference. These were for financial sponsors as well as other supporters. It didn’t seem right for the national association to foot the bill for something that should come out of the conference budget. This is especially true since a membership gives voting privileges to the sponsor and financial support back to the chapter. This has never been done before and the Conference Guidelines prohibit anything being given in return for a sponsorship. In the past, a half dozen copies of the FORUM which promote the conference, and the same number that summarize the conference, have been given to the conference chair to hand out as he or she wants.

Minutes Several of you have asked about the availability of minutes from the Evanston board meeting. Joyce Chambers filled in as secretary at the Evanston board meeting and general membership meeting. As soon as she provides the minutes to Sue Jacobson, they will be distributed to all board members.

Mini-Grants The “Mini-Grant” program is still in effect. This is the program which provides matching funds from our anonymous gift to state chapters for their projects. All directors are encouraged to have their state chapter make an application for this contest. Applications are due by March 1 every year and the guidelines are posted on our web site.

Indiana Kiosk The Indiana chapter’s request for support in erecting informational kiosks on the Lincoln Highway in Indiana was the first to win a $5000 grant from the above program. Their first kiosk has been placed in New Carlisle and will be dedicated this weekend, October 11. This is an excellent example of how this program works. Congratulations!

Preservation Mindy Crawford’s excellent "Preservation Opportunities On the Lincoln Highway" program is ready for nominations. The nomination form should be available on our web site by the time you read this. It is a Word document that you can fill in. We need to maintain an inventory of these sites.

Ohio’s Brick Roads The story of Baywood and Cindell Streets is a superb example of what the Lincoln Highway Association is all about. Our primary mission is the preservation of remaining sections of the highway. The brick paving on Baywood and Cindell Streets is an outstanding reminder of what travel was like on the highway. There have been many “saves” in our past, but this one stands out because of the effort and cooperation by all involved. The Eastern Ohio Chapter’s efforts to convince the trustees from Paris and Osnaburg Townships to keep these sections of the highway intact, are to be commended. Our congratulations go out to the trustees and all members of the Eastern Ohio Chapter. In particular, a great big “thank you” and “congratulations” to Jim Cassler and Mike Buettner for a job well done!

Iowa Chapter Grant Just today I received a copy of the Iowa Chapter’s newsletter, “Along the Lincoln Highway.” The lead story tells us that the State Historical Society of Iowa has awarded the Iowa Lincoln Highway Association a grant of $37,130 for interpretive panels east of Grand Junction. Another job well done. Congratulations!

A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway Rick Sebak’s PBS show, “A Ride Along the Lincoln Highway” will air on PBS stations Wednesday, October 29, from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. You won’t want to miss this! Our California chapter is planning a “watch party” at a local pizza parlor with big screen TV.

Next Teleconference The next board teleconference is scheduled for Wednesday, November 19, 2008. Details will come by email as we get closer to that date.

Bob Dieterich