Welcome to the

Random words, pictures and thoughts of one who always wishes to be on the mind's road to discovery!

About Me

My photo
Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sunshine Came Softly

Oh, what a beautiful morning and yes, what a beautiful day. Sunshine surely came softly to our window today and we bid farewell to Rolla. Before leaving the story of the name should be told--as is often the case in the Midwest its history is intimately tied to the railroad and Westward expansion. Although the first settlers arrived in the area around 1818 and the first house was built within the present city limits in 1844, the town was not officially surveyed,laid out and named until 1858. The founder of the town wanted to call it Phelps Center since his house sat in the middle of the new Phelps county ( his name was Bishop--go figure!) Another guy thought Hardscrabble would be appropriate--if that says anything about conditions here a century and a half ago--give or take. But the guy who won out wanted it named after his hometown of Raleigh, NC. The others went along with him as long as they didn't use that " silly spelling"! Hmmm, so Rolla was born and we now know how Raleigh is to be pronounced! Once more the adult stores and Christian belief system baffled me. We took I44 and saw the Adult Mall we'd seen on old 66 last year and this time a store and church cheek by jowl--one stop shopping, I guess.Continued along I 44 to Springfield--home of Brad Pitt!--where we went to the Wal-Mart we'd patronized last year. Picked up laundry stuff, room deodorizing spray in fresh linen scent, and healthy twigs, sticks etc--nuts, meat sticks( marginal) and dried fruit, oatmeal bars and water. We then continued through town to old Rte 66. Last year we'd followed it from St Louis into Oklahoma but, having done that and wanting to make up time, we stayed on the Interstate. This stretch isn't terribly slow either since it actually follows State Route 96. Nonetheless, there are many of the old stone buildings in various states along it. Have no idea why I was so taken by the Angus except it was so great to see animals out in the open and no snow! Actually, a balmy breeze out of the Southwest raised the temperature into the 50's and sunshine warmed us more. Heaven! Soon, we came through Albatross, Sleeper, Avila , Halltown across an old truss bridge to what is left of Spencer--a Phillips 66 station with unbelieveable gas prices ( not open anymore! Shucks!) --and into Carthage with its magnificent City Hall. Last year they had scaffolding and workmen on the roof--all done now. It was much warmer this year walking around the lovely square with its buildings dating back into the 1800's. Most of the storefronts are occupied, though certainly not by the original businesses. But the tiled entries are intact and one store has a showcase with tiled walkways on both sides going to the doors and a tiled walkway behind it between it and the main window. This forms a great semicircular pathway to and from the sidewalk--a great roller skating loop. Oh, I used to love Sundays when you could go from the rough sidewalks with their bumps between pavers into a smooth tiled or marble alcove of a skyscraper entry way. Wonder if kids do that still? Probably skateboards now! Went into old Kresge's with its marvelous bowed windows and chatted with our friend, the weaver who studied in Sheffield England and now teaches fabric arts with private students and runs this basically used junk shop--bought a Patsy Cline LP for Bill and the Barbra Striesand --Barry Gibb LP that I never got when they made it. LOL Have always loved Babs--we're the same age and were growing up in the City at the same time--of course, she was busy getting famous and marrying Eliot Gould and I was thinking I'd be a doctor. She and Christopher Walken still sound like city and she has always kept her Nephrititi nose---LOVE THEM! The we stopped by MacMorrow's to see if the Sentimental Redneck was there this year--nope but the dark,dingy hole in the wall did not disappoint--an older guy who once was stationed in Plattsburg with the Army but never crossed the lake to Vt. He HAS been to Ct, though! When Bill needed to use the loo, he opened the door and this guy was on the throne--come on in, he said. So in Bill went to use the urinal. Guy said "recycling!" and Bill allowed as how they were, indeed, " Green". Later someone played a song on the jukebox that was almost symphonic though the singing was rock or whatever they are calling it now--all in all, though I haven't a clue who or what it was, it was really quite nice. Out of nowhere he declared--" that's pretty long hair!" A younger guy came in after being at the tax preparer and he asked how it went--young guy " they bent me over". Haven't heard that expression in forever. The man next to me grew up in Muskogee and identified himself as an OKIE from Muskogee, laughingly saying I must have heard that one before. We chatted about the Cherokee Nation and he told me how to pronounce Tahleghada ( I know that isn't spelled correctly but the map is in the car)--anyway, ignore the "le" totally. He said his name is in the Cowboy museum in Oklahoma City and I asked why. When he was in school and the FFA they were building the museum. If the kid donated a buck toward its construction his name would be carved into the donor wall--he did but he's never gone to the museum. I said,oh, you have to go, it is a wonderful place. He said "I've never been back to Muskogee"--I didn't ask why--"and THAT is 150 miles from here!" It is funny--when you get farther West 150 miles is like driving around the corner. Well, after a few Guinnesses we bid our fond farewells to the locals and the barmaid, an Osage Indian from Washington State and continued to Joplin. After a terrible meal at Applebee's--very unusual--we retired to our room at the Comfort Inn. I took a nap and woke in time to see us take the Gold in men's free skate. Then watched the news and the weather forecast of rain? a wintery mix? light snow? Who knows--it is like Spring at home--every so often winter tries to make a comeback but you KNOW he hasn't got a chance. It is surely overcast but it is supposed to be in the 40's. It is a laid back day--almost 10 and impending " Tiger Speaks" broadcast and we haven't begun to pack or dress. Not going too far today anyway and just need to decompress a bit. Until tonight--hugs to you all--K and B

No comments:

Post a Comment