Thursday, November 27, 2008

Part Travelogue, Part Musing

Made it both ways safe and sound. Thank you very much.

While a drive across Missouri, Kansas and eastern Colorado may sound incredibly boring in fact it was not. Let me tell you a bit about it.

With most pure intentions to leave early in the morning I slept late,and didn't leave Mayberry until after 11 am. Tuesday. My first stop was Kansas City. For those unfamiliar with the territory, KC has THE finest restaurant in the world, a humble little hole in the wall known far and wide as Arthur Bryants. I have been going to Bryants for at least 45 years and although the place has grown a bit since its early days the size and quality of the portions make this a paragon of value. If you doubt me, you may remember that Mrs. Blandings held a virtual shower there for one of her friends a year or so ago. Whatever greater recommendation can there be?

Leaving Missouri is visually jarring for Missourians. Missouri is known as "The Show Me State" because of its profound adoration of the highway billboard. No vista in the state is so scenic that it cannot be improved by vertical litter. No vista in the state has ever been given the opportunity to test if this is true. On the eighth day Missourians created billboards.
Neighboring Kansas has not yet invented billboards, so as you enter the state it takes 25 miles or so before one realizes what's wrong. No billboards.

Next stop was Topeka, Kansas to visit with #1 son.
Sadly it was a hi and bye with #1 as I had miles to go before I slept, but since I don't see him as much as I would like, any visit is a good one. Mrs. T and I will be returning to visit with #1 and family in a couple of weeks.

I left Topeka to watch the sun set over Kansas, and drove straight to the lovely community of Wakeenan, Kansas.

Sometimes you have to search for mirth, especially on a solitary drive and I found it in spades in Wakeenan. Finally around 8:30pm I stopped, and pulled into a next to the highway motel. As I drove through the lot I noticed a young couple making out on a sofa in the lobby. Seemed like a nice place. I got out, the young woman straightened herself out, and walked behind the official counter. I suggested that perhaps they needed a room more than I, but the young paramour said no, they were used to being disturbed. She then proceeded to ask a number of inpertinant questions. name, address, phone, length of stay, did I have a AAA card, etc.

I was tired and not on my game so I answered he queries without humor, and then she turned the tables on me and attempted to play stump the chump.

My dear friend Jim Bob's sainted father spent a great deal of time in our young adulthood attempting to teach us, how if we did not take advantage of fools when they unexpectedly arrived, the gods would presume we didn't want to play and wouldn't send us any more. That would lead to a sad and boring life. We have honored his lessons throughout our lives.

After getting me to initial and sign, and provide other assurances the hotel matron stares at me coldly and asks, "in case of emergency would I need assistance?" I rose to the bait, like trout to a fly.

What kind of emergency?

I don't know, we aren't expecting any.

Since one rarely expects emergencies, isn't an emergency by definition, unexpected?

Huh? Please sir, yes or no.

Maybe, I said. Depends.

I got the worst room in the place, and she and boyfriend were back at it, by the time I retrieved my bag.


Western Kansas is beautiful in its own austere way. I greatly admire the people who make their living there, and can only imagine at how satellite TV, cell phone and the Internet have changed farm life positively. The one thought I couldn't get out of my head though, was how fragile life in these small farm towns could be. For instance, suppose in a generation, a disproportionate number of children of one sex were born. Within the children's generation a community could be wiped out. Probably doesn't happen, but ...

Arrived in Denver and had a wonderful visit and Thanksgiving dinner with my daughter and son in law.

Thursday afternoon they delivered me to a virtually empty Denver airport and a very full flight home.

Its good to go, its far better to arrive home safely.


Mrs. Blandings said...

So glad you are back safely. The next time you are "in town" you must give me a heads up and we will meet at Bryant's. I love the barbecue, but cannot pass up those fries.

Toad said...

The woman behind me actually had the temerity to order a side of cole slaw. In 45 years I have never seen anyone order anything but fries. These are troubled times indeed.

Katy McIntyre said...

Glad you made it home safe and sound. We loved visiting with you. :-)

prashant said...

I love the barbecue, but cannot pass up those fries.

Work from home India

kanishk said...

you must give me a heads up and we will meet at Bryant's.

Wagyu Steaks