Roald Tweet

Writer and Narrator of 'Rock Island Lines'

Since 1995, historian and folklorist Dr. Roald Tweet has spun his stories of the Mississippi Valley to a devoted audience on WVIK. Dr. Tweet has published three books as well as numerous literary articles and recored segments of "Rock Island Lines." His inspiration is a "kidney-shaped limestone island plunked down in the middle of the Mississippi River," a logical site for a storyteller like Dr. Tweet.

It is from Rock Island’s rich heritage that Dr. Tweet spins his histories, biographies and "stretchers." Among his favorite topics are railroads and riverboats, which he combines on a CD in celebration of the Grand Excursion 2004. "Rock Island Lines with Roald Tweet" has received awards from the Illinois Historical Society as well as the Towner Award from the Illinois Humanities Council.

Dr. Tweet is professor emeritus, retired from the Augustana College English department, where he was professor and Conrad Bergendoff Chair in the Humanities. A writer and radio personality, Dr. Tweet is also an accomplished woodcarver and whittler.

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

While the Sixties were ripping and rending the social fabric of America, on Rock Island it was still 1954. We forgot to wind our clocks.

Jimmy, The Lamp

Jun 4, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Few Rock Islanders can so clearly see the results of the good they do in this world as Jimmy, the Lamp.

Goodbye, Iowa

Jun 3, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

On any summer day, barring tornados and floods, men and women line the Davenport levee wall across from Rock Island, stoic sentinels of their fishing poles.

Norma Jean Elephant

Jun 2, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Whoever made that silk purse out of a sow's ear has nothing on the citizens of Oquawka, Illinois, just downstream from Rock Island. Several years back, they made a summer festival out of a dead elephant.

On Rock Island

May 29, 2020

This is Roald Tweet on Rock Island.

Rock Island is a three-mile-long limestone kidney plunked down in the Upper Mississippi River, midway between St. Paul, Minnesota, and St. Louis, Missouri, the only stone island in the whole river.  

Scribble: Poetry

May 16, 2020