Missouri, Part Two

Before delving into Missouri, let me introduce you to the state animal.  It is a mule.  And here is a picture of a mule and President Truman.  See the end of this for more mule business.

Every state has a motto. Missouri’s motto is “The Show Me State”.  And that made me very hopeful that when I visited the MidWest Genealogy Center, in Independence, MO, I would find what I was looking for…my ner-do-well Great Grandfather on my Mom’s side of the family.

Well, the state did not live up to its motto.  

We came and left with no further understand who the man was.  They did have one database that “Nobody else has this information”, the nice lady behind the desk explained. For just $35 for a 6 month subscription, you can access it at home.  If you want to return after 6 months, we can renew it for you”.  Well.  I passed.  

The people were very nice, but the I knew how to search the other databases so off we went to Branson, Missouri.

Branson reminded me of a cheap Disneyland.  There were no gates leading into the Gay Kingdom like Disneyland had when it first opened in the 1950s.  Or was it the 60s?  Branson was just a main drag with all sorts of venues that appeal to families.  A Titanic was cut in half near the middle of the “ship”, and the side of it had a fake iceberg attached to it.  Understand it is quite a good exhibit, but we declined to visit.  Miniature golf courses,  big theaters for singers/dancers/entertainment.  Stuff like that.  A water bumper car which is the only thing that stood a chance with me.  Oh, I guess I would have played miniature golf too.  But, we did not partake.  

Instead, we drove out of town to the a nature preserve, which was quite lovely, although, and I don’t need to sound as snobby as I am, once you have visited, say, Yosemite, or Sequoia, or a Wild Animal park such as Tanzania, it paled in comparison. We had a fun time being at the back of a trolley car attached to a truck, looking at small waterfalls, weirs, ponds, streams, sycamores, dogwoods, and wild elk and bison.

Here are some pictures:


Na.ncy and her stew

Bob and Rayman at the dive bar.

Art and nature.

Art at the restaurant.

Bear .and me with my OMG face

ffGrizzly bear stuffed just like us after our dinner.

Home, home on the range. Bison nibbling and bathing.  We were at a nature reserve.


Wow. These longhorns were in the same field as the bison.

Elk shading up.

Weir capitol of Missouri. Dogwood Canyon nature preserve. South of Branson.

Nancy and Bob enjoying their Cadillac margaritas. Muy bueno.

Great pic of Nancy and the bison.

Nancy’s flank steak with fresh tomato vinaigrette..Yummy!!

Geese get dinner.









And dare, I say, it was a nice diversion from editing my book, Tales of the Dresser Ranch, 1847-2007.  Nancy, is a fabulous editor-in-chief.  My book gained another full page after adding all the commas, semi-colons, and quotation marks which I left out!!  

Nancy read the book aloud, and we discussed my various errors with great enthusiasm.  She was so good.  When I go to press, it will be with huge confidence that not an error will appear…unless I goof when inserting all the changes which were made on paper, to the computer software program.  

Other things we did were to sit in their backyard which is unfenced and facing a golf fairway.  On these happy occasions, half the geese in the state, flew in and begged for food.  That is because Bob, Nancy’s significant other, feeds the geese saltine crackers, cornmeal of some sort and I forget what else.  He has the geese eating out of hand.  Quite a sight and interesting to boot.  By the time they fly away, there is goose poop on the patio which Nancy rinses off and this guarantees the most fertilized grass on the course!!  

Last night we drove to Top of the Rock to eat at the Osage Restaurant.  Quite expensive and quite beautiful.  A man by the name of Johnny Morris, who made his fortune selling fish bait owns most of this part of the state and this is one of his properties along with the nature preserve.  His fishing flies morphed into bass boats, and all other kinds of sportsman equipment.  He also owns golf courses which made us wish we had brought our clubs, but then we didn’t have time to golf.  Editing was first priority, followed by mosquito swatting, gossiping, telling lies, and drinking about two cases of wine.  I jest, you understand.  

It has been very hot here and we read this a.m. that it rained in Morro Bay yesterday.  Lordy, how fabulous is that event to the MB citizens.  Here, as I said, it has been hot, hot, hot.  Except in the house, where I wear a cotton sweater.  Nancy loves it cool, so it stays cool.  And other than venturing out in an air conditioned car, the only time out of house was to go to aqua aerobics this a.m.


It was an indoor pool filled with about 12 women.  Of a certain age.  All jumping to the tape in a machine that played a routine, “Jumping jacks, five, four, three, two, one.  Now do the ski move, five, four, three, two, one.  Now jog in place…”. I couldn’t  hear the music or the instruction, and there was no leader outside the water.  There was one women who made it her job to repeat the instructions for the rest of us which was very helpful.  She looked like a drill instructor, and she was very effective.  At one point, I was facing her, and she said, “Look at the wall”.  I obliged but told her that I liked looking at her!  She did not seem amused.  

Then the lawn mower started up and she needed to kick it up a notch with the instructions.  This went on for 1/2 hour.  The entire time was 1 hour, and after 5 minutes I was looking at the clock in desperation.  Again, I am so spoiled, missing my instructors, my music, my foam barbels, my styrofoam noodles.  Again, Missouri did not live up the motto, The Show Me State!!

Off tomorrow to venture back to Portland.  A few impressions.  The people were nice.  Didn’t see too many Trump signs.  Saw lots of gays and Black people in Kansas City,where we landed.  The streets have funny names.  A.  AA, HH etc.  Can’t explain it.  The KC airport is going to be replaced.  It was entering it’s advanced years.  The lady at Avis was very nice and friendly.  Our boutique hotel was owned by two gay guys and it was fabulous.  Plus they knew a restaurant that was still open at 9 p.m. at night.  The food was great, the wine list was in need of help, but the patrons were beyond interesting and quite delightful.

The Ozarks were beautiful.  I have always made fun of the Ozarks, and now I offer my formal apology.  There are  many, many, many churches, crosses, billboards offering Jesus plays.  

Heart of the Bible Belt, I guess.  

Nancy and Bob have a nice life here.  The weather is generally mild, there is a huge lake here, dammed.  The place is very hilly, with not much altitude.  It makes driving fun with the up and downs, and twists and turns.  

Oh, and the sales tax is 10%.  

Mule info: https://statesymbolsusa.org/symbol-official-item/missouri/state-horse/missouri-mule

Hope you found the mule info as interesting as I did!!



add comment

Leave Comment