The Pure Missouri Post: 8/8/21

Vol. 1, Issue No. 8


It’s been seven weeks since the last issue, and yeah, I’ve had a few things distract me from The Pure Missouri Post. My father-in-law passed away, my wife and I bought a 123-year-old house, and I spent some unexpected time in the hospital. That’s simplifying things, but trust me, it’s been a hell of a summer.

Thus, I make no promises about the frequency (or future) of this free newsletter. I’ve been busy building a more ambitious, monetized newsletter (about a different topic—I’ll tell you more about it if and when it launches).

I also just co-produced a video for Kansas City Parks and Rec (see “Show Me Links” below) with my awesome video partner, Matt Hawley of Hawleywood Films. We’re currently in the middle of producing a second piece for the parks department.

And I’ll soon be designing this year’s illustrations for KC Parks’ “Walktober” event—four trails in KCMO highlighted in the month of October where, if you participate in one of the Sunday walks that month, you get a button featuring my illustration for that park. (Don’t worry if you plan to walk: They schedule around Chiefs games.)

So, enjoy today’s issue, stay safe, and keep good thoughts.

Tomorrow is the birthday of actress Jessica Capshaw, born in Columbia in 1976 to Kate Capshaw and her then-husband Robert Capshaw. Jessica’s parents both attended the University of Missouri, and both worked as educators before divorcing and moving on to other industries: Kate would become a well-known actress who would marry filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and Robert, a former high school principal, would move to the corporate world where he would become a founding partner in a firm serving the international trademark community.

Jessica would grow up to follow in her mother’s footsteps in Hollywood, best known for her roles in The Practice and Grey’s Anatomy.

Tuesday marks the 200th anniversary of Missouri’s statehood. To celebrate, the Missouri Bicentennial Commission has encouraged communities statewide to host ice cream socials in the afternoon or evening of August 10. You can learn more about scheduled ice cream social events in your county here. The Missouri Bientennial website can be found at

Thursday marks the birth date of country music legend Porter Wagoner, born in Howell County in 1927. He grew up in West Plains and performed in front of the store where he worked as a meat cutter. Some accounts claim that he and his first band broadcast from the store over the radio.

His career took a step forward when Si Siman, an influential music and television executive in Springfield, hired him for radio station KWTO, and later, for ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee, another Springfield entity.

In 1957, Wagoner moved to Nashville, and three years later he would launch The Porter Wagoner Show, which would air from 1960 to 1981. In 1967, Wagoner introduced a new face on his show who would become his musical partner for several years: Dolly Parton. Dolly would later write the No. 1-charting song, “I Will Always Love You”, about her professional break-up with Wagoner.

Wagoner, a member of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, died in 2007. Today, when you visit West Plains in south-central Missouri, you can drive along Porter Wagoner Boulevard.


“I am a border-ruffian from the State of Missouri. I am a Connecticut Yankee by adoption. In me, you have Missouri morals, Connecticut culture; this, gentlemen, is the combination which makes the perfect man.”

―Mark Twain, Plymouth Rock and the Pilgrims: And Other Speeches


Missouri State Fair, Sedalia

This issue, we’ll take a step back in time—and in media—with a painting by Lawrence Beall Smith from 1947. The oil-on-composition board artwork hung at Mizzou’s Jesse Hall for many years as part of the Scruggs-Vandervoort-Barney Collection of Missouri-themed paintings commissioned in the mid-1940s.


Ten Missouri athletes competed in the Olympics, which formally end today. USA Today has the breakdown of who made it to Tokyo and how they fared:

Missouri Olympians Link

If you wanted to see the 24- to 36-hour bloom of the Corpse Flower—named so because it supposedly smells like a rotting corpse—you missed your chance. But here’s the lowdown from The Riverfront Times about what was supposed to have happened last Thursday at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis:

Corpse Flower Link

A family in rural southwest Missouri, near Branson, has amassed more than 132,000 followers on TikTok by featuring videos of their menagerie of wild and domestic animals that all live together in harmony. Deer, dogs, ducklings, and cats—whether they’re on the couch, in the swimming pool, or out in the wild, they snuggle, groom, and play together. The Brown Hiking Trails are private (as in not open to the public), but you can watch all the shenanigans and warm fuzzies here:

Brown Hiking Trails Link

What’s the biggest fish that you’ve ever caught in Missouri? Well a Perryville man, with the help of a friend, landed a 125-pound, five ounce, bighead carp out of Lake Perry while bowfishing in July. The Missouri Department of Conservation tells more:

Giant Fish Link

As mentioned at the beginning of this issue, we just completed a video for Kansas City Parks and Rec. The topic? Kansas City’s unique and nostalgic Penguin Park, just 10 minutes north of downtown. Take a look at the video and, next time you’re in the area, check out the park.

(P.S.—Also check out my Penguin Park page for coloring books, links to T-shirts at Amazon, links to merchandise at Etsy, and more)

Penguin Park Video Link


We conclude today’s Post with a Missouri MOment from photographer Gary Marks at Welch Spring, part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The site is south of Rolla, north of Eminence, and best reached by canoe (although it is possible to get there by car). The man-made structures in the video are the ruins of an old hospital, built by a doctor from Illinois who tried to take advantage of the cave air and spring water for medicinal purposes. However, in the early 20th century, travel to this part of Missouri was very difficult and the hospital was never successful. After the doctor died in 1940, the hospital and resort were left to decay.

WARNING: If you visit by car, you will arrive across the water from the hospital. Do not wade in the spring: metal debris from the hospital period may injure you. Also, springs are biologically delicate, and wading or swimming can cause damage to the natural environment.

Thanks for reading and sharing this Pure Missouri Post, stay in touch, and we’ll see you next time!

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