This is our second issue of The Pure Missouri Post, and we’re beginning to see subscribers from all over, including one reader who grew up on a Missouri Century Farm, staff members at several Missouri-based organizations, friends who used to live in Missouri but have relocated—and you! (thank you)
One thing I’ve learned in this past week is that there are myriad fascinating about Missouri, and it’s difficult to whittle down the possibilities to share with you. I’ve also learned that I have to be patient, because I often stumble across crazy or wonderful things that I want to immediately share with you—but I’ve somehow mustered the discipline to save them for the Sunday newsletter.
So, let’s jump right in!
Not sure how this fits into an 1880s theme park, but I don’t care: The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters will once again spend their summer at Silver Dollar City in Branson. The 30-minute “Harlem Globetrotters Skills Showcase” will run throughout the summer season, offering the showmanship, laughs, and love of the game that have made the Globetrotters famous. I’m hoping they will somehow incorporate glass-blowing and candle-making into their hoops act.
Need a new, well-lit head shot for your LinkedIn profile, or maybe a studio-quality photo of family and friends? Head to the Hotel Vandivort in Springfield, where the unisex bathrooms have become well-known for their magical selfie capabilities since the hotel opened in 2015. No one is sure who first discovered the exceptional lighting that provides such excellent photographic results, but as of this writing, the hashtag #HotelVandivortBathroomSelfie is attached to more than 3,200 posts on Instagram.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION HERE, OR AT THE PRIVATE “PURE MISSOURI POST SUBSCRIBERS” FACEBOOK PAGE: Are there other places in Missouri that have “magical qualities” like the bathroom mirrors and lighting at the Hotel Vandivort?
A fisherman at Smithville Lake recently caught a set of keys on his fishing line, and came up with a plan to find who lost them: He used the drive-thru at Mid-Continent’s Woodneath Library Center to ask the library staff if they could help identify the owner, because the key ring had Mid-Continent Public Library cards attached to it. The library was, indeed, able to reunite the owner with the previously submerged keys, but no report on how fishing was that day.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION HERE, OR AT THE PRIVATE “PURE MISSOURI POST SUBSCRIBERS” FACEBOOK PAGE: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve pulled out of the water while fishing?
This Wednesday is the birthday in 1925 of Lorenzo Pietro Berra, later known as Lawrence “Lawdie” Peter Berra—but better known to baseball fans as Yogi Berra. He was born in St. Louis to immigrant parents and grew up in the Italian neighborhood known as The Hill. His best friend Joe Garagiola Sr., who also would grow up to be a major leaguer, lived across the street on the 5400 block of Elizabeth Avenue. (Sportscasting legend Jack Buck also lived on the same block in his early days as a Cardinals broadcaster.)
Berra made his major league debut with the Yankees in 1946, began a string of 15 consecutive All-Star seasons in 1948, won 10 of the 14 World Series he played in, and was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1972. His number 8 jersey is retired by the Yankees. His “Yogi-isms” were often a result of his shyness and the mixing up of words or intended meanings. He once claimed, in quintessential fashion: “I really didn’t say everything I said.”
“I’ve got a special place in my heart for Missouri, so I had to kind of sneak in on that one and listen.”
—Kansas City Chiefs head coach—and former Mizzou offensive line coach—Andy Reid about being on the call with MU linebacker Nick Bolton when the Chiefs told the dynamic defensive player that he would be KC’s first pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
11:00 A.M. Monday May 9th, 1910. Newsies at Skeeter's Branch, Jefferson near Franklin. They were all smoking. Location: St. Louis, Missouri.
On this date 121 years ago, photographer Lewis Wickes Hine—hired by the National Child Labor Committee to document exploited youth—captured this photo of several truant, smoking St. Louis newsboys. In other photos, Hine’s lens captured boys as young as five hustling to sell newspapers on this Monday morning in 1910. The children, presumably all with the St. Louis Times in their hands, would work long hours, often at great risk of being mugged or physically harmed (including being beaten for not selling enough papers). Many were homeless, orphaned or helping their poverty-stricken families.
Among the few youths identified in Hine’s series of St. Louis newsboy photos is Ray Klose: He’s pictured second from left, holding a cigarette to his mouth.
May 9, 1910 was his thirteenth birthday.
PURE MISSOURIAN: PAT BARNETT
Pat Barnett lives in California and keeps ties to her home state through family and friends. When she first moved to Los Angeles, she was fortunate to meet another Missourian-done-good in Hollywood: producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason of Poplar Bluff.
Bloodworth-Thomason gave Pat an opportunity to edit television, and Pat made the most of it: She is an Emmy award winner for her work on the remake of Norman Lear’s “One Day at a Time” and was nominated multiple times for her work on “Everybody Loves Raymond” during the nine years that she served as the show’s editor.
Her colorful Instagram page, @mymatchbookmemories, documents “a past obsession with matchbooks and the memories attached to each one” and features many Missouri locales—past and present—among the numerous places she has visited across the United States.
What’s your Missouri background?
My family moved around a lot until I was in the fourth grade, at which point we were settled in Garden City. I attended the local consolidated high school and then spent two years at Southwest Missouri State [now Missouri State] in Springfield. Married and moved to KC in 1977, where I eventually went to work for Hallmark Cards and re-entered college at UMKC. Graduated from there in 1988. I left Hallmark in 1989 and headed out to LA to pursue my dream of making movies.
What are you doing now, and where?
I have been in LA since then, actually in Studio City, but ended up in TV, not film. I'm what's known as a picture editor and mostly work on comedies.
Do you still have any ties to the Show Me State?
Much of my family still lives in and around Missouri. And I have many friends in the KC area. Before Covid, I was traveling to and from there at least three times a year.
What do you miss about Missouri?
I must admit I miss the spring and fall seasons (do they still exist??) And I miss the wide-open spaces at times.
What makes you proud to be from Missouri?
I think being raised in Missouri is what makes me feel grounded.
What makes your “perfect day” in Missouri?
One of my favorite memories of living there was going to the American Royal barbecue festival on a crisp, fall day and drinking beer in the sunshine with a whole bunch of fun people.
I visited St. Louis eight or nine years ago and really enjoyed it and would love to go back sometime. And I now I have friends and relatives in Columbia, so I hope to visit there sooner or later.
SHOW ME LINKS
One of the craziest, most awesome houses you will ever see (recently taken off the market after going viral on Zillow), is in St. Louis’s historic Lafayette Square. You can even see the Arch from the rooftop! The Riverfront Times has the story:
And speaking of crazy houses: A 25,000 square-foot, blufftop mansion on 350 acres at Table Rock Lake near Branson is for sale at $80 million. There’s been speculation by a few commenters online that the building was actually a hybrid corporate office/residence built by the late billionaire and philanthropist Robert Plaster, but nonetheless it is unique. The Kansas City Star reports that proceeds will fund college scholarships:
In a related story, the $80 million mansion is listed by Evergreen Investments (the company owned by the late resident of the mansion). But wait! They have more Ozarks real estate for sale, including a 4.3-acre, private island at Mile Marker 26 at the Lake of the Ozarks. It is one of only three undeveloped, private islands on the lake. From the company’s website:
At the 289-acre Tower Grove Park in St. Louis, a stream that was buried for more than a hundred years will be unearthed, and cultural connections to the Osage Nation will provide interpretation and perspective about the Native Americans who inhabited the land thousands of years before the Victorian walking park was created. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the story:
PURE MISSOURI MOment
We close this week’s edition in Columbia, where the campus at the University of Missouri serves not only as a center for academics, culture and student life—but also as an expansive 735-acre botanical garden, certified as a Bee Campus USA affiliate and a Tree Campus USA affiliate.
This video MOment is from Tuesday, May 5: A cool, windy and sometimes rainy morning at the oldest state university west of the Mississippi River. Turn up the volume to enjoy the natural sounds of the day (and try to ignore the occasional wind gusts and man-made interruptions).
More information about the Mizzou Botanic Garden is available at https://garden.missouri.edu and https://sustainability.missouri.edu/campus-resources/mizzou-botanic-garden.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION HERE, OR AT THE PRIVATE “PURE MISSOURI POST SUBSCRIBERS” FACEBOOK PAGE: Where in Missouri do you go to see your favorite flowers, plants and trees?
TILL NEXT WEEK
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