Thursday, February 10, 2011

“Into Missouri”

After a day in Iowa, at the start of our 2001 vacation, my husband and I checked into the Super 8 motel in St. Joseph, Missouri. Following an uneventful evening, we rose early the next morning, a Sunday, and thought we would take in the sites of St. Joseph. I especially wanted to see the Pony Express Museum, the Pony Express having been yet another romantic time in our country’s history.

Alas, it was not to be. I will admit perhaps it was my poor planning, but it wasn’t until one pm that anything much opened on a Sunday in the city of St. Joseph, Missouri. We sucked it up and just drove on down the road to Kearney.

Kearney boasts the birthplace of Jesse James, so naturally his home and birthplace are open for tours and includes an adjacent museum which shows off all sorts of artifacts from his boots to the lid of his original coffin. Of course, the general feeling throughout the grounds was that he really hadn’t been such a bad guy and that he got a bum rap. I didn’t buy it, but the log cabin he was born in and the addition purchased by his mother from the Sears catalog in 1893 were still cool to go through.

Next stop was Independence and the Truman Museum and Library, followed by a tour of the Harry S. Truman Home. Very neat. Mr. Truman had been my father-in-law’s favorite president, so my husband was pretty psyched by the whole thing. And that’s what matters most sometimes – when your spouse is psyched about something.

Trivia question for you. That night we stayed in a small town which seemed to have fallen right out of a Frank Capra movie. This city was the hometown of Robert Heinlein. What is the name of the town? And, please, without looking this one up, do you even know who Robert Heinlein was (my husband said at the time that he had never heard of him)?

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