Wow, did I get an education in Krokism in Coeur d’ Alene! This community in Northern Idaho tends to idolize her. There is a center there, one of 26 founded by McDonald money, that some women tried to get me to check out. They recommended that I attend a performance in its theater before leaving. While in Coeur d’ Alene, I was reminded of a TV series that Ruth and I got into this past year called Loot. There is a parallel.
Joan was the 3rd wife of billionaire Ray Krok who was instrumental in turning hamburger-making McDonalds into a worldwide phenomenon. Ray is said to have left Joan 3 billion dollars when he died. I like Maya Rudolph a lot. She is the star of Loot. In this series that has been renewed she plays a woman who is left 87 billion dollars in a divorce settlement. These are, after all, inflationary times. It, of course, changes her life. Since returning home, Ruth and I have also watched a movie called The Founder. Starring Michael Keaton as Ray Krok and Laura Dern as his first wife. I found it disappointing. I was not taken by The Founder, a film I had avoided seeing until I learned more about Joan and Ray. The movie does not deal with either his alcoholism and cruelty or her gambling. I was disappointed that the movie does not tell more about their personal lives. It’s mainly about him. His 2nd wife is never mentioned, and Laura Dern is shown to be a supportive wife.
The center Joan established in Coeur d’ Alene is a huge one for sports, faith, and the arts. It’s considered a huge community asset. The programs it offers and the building it’s in are designed to stimulate the mind, body, and spirit. It is meant to give hope. It offers a sports training program and is a community recreation center with a gym, a climbing wall, a jogging track, a rock climbing wall, and a theater that the visitor center lady in Coeur d’ Alene tried to get me into on West Golf Course Road. I did not go there but was impressed with her effort and the local spirit that keeps it going. It’s a 70 million dollar investment on 12 acres.
Joan has a nickname and is often described as a philanthropist. Her nickname is St. Joan of the Arches. Ray has no nickname. She was devoted to liberal causes. He was a conservative whose fortune at the time of his death was estimated to be 500 million dollars. He left a fortune to her and was apparently devoted to her after divorcing twice. Conservative columnist Cal Thomas calls Joan “McNut”. I still haven’t decided if this is fair or foul.
More to come, Hank