Can you tell I'm not from around here?
My friend (and neighbor) Marcia, former city alderman, has lived here for ages (not that she's old, mind you). She was my cooperative copilot/photographer/human GPS.
She knows all the "good" spots (by good, I mean those locations that would be an embarrassment to The Chamber of Commerce).
Do we even have a Chamber of Commerce?
Enjoy your visit!
Our little town is celebrating its Centennial this year! Woohoo! One hundred years - I swear, it doesn't look a day over eighty!
The Centennial Chili Cook-off and Bonfire are this Saturday night - wanna come?
Here's a picture of the perfect place to grab some sun. Festive, don't you think?
The bench is in front of the Post Office. Hey,
And this barber shop was the original bank in town, way back when.
Trust me on this, I did my research (even Marcia didn't know this factoid).
I wonder if they still have a vault in there? Do you think that's where they keep the current issues of magazines? I know I've never been in a barber shop where the magazines weren't at least five years old...I bet THOSE SHOPS didn't have a vault!
And the sheets on the windows upstairs? They're all the rage here! Don't be envious, that fashion trend will eventually come to YOUR town, too!
We don't have the population numbers to justify building a multi-plex theater.
We don't need no stinkin' theater!
This IS the Show-Me State, after all.
Look at this next pic (enlarged for your viewing pleasure):
See all the TVs? They're ON! 24/7 viewing! Does it matter that the homeowner only has two cable receiver boxes, so only TWO CHANNELS CAN BE VIEWED?
Bonus if you can read lips.
It's our version of the Drive-In - and you can vacuum your car while you're watching TV...sweet.
Doesn't that just scream CRAZY SUMBITCH?
We have striking views - you can see for miles from up here. Of course, other than deforestation and power lines, there's nothing much to look at.
Our city has industrial jobs. We have a chemical plant, a plant that makes plastic containers, and this lovely, a lead smelting plant.
Purdy, ain't it?
The smelter is closing soon. The environmental damage (land and ground water) and illness lawsuits will continue for years and years.
Our drinking water tastes like it's coming out of a rubber hose - and if you boil it, it leaves a white powder in the pan.
Kinda makes ya thirsty, don't it?
The smelting plant is right next to the mighty Mississippi River. See my feet? They're in Missouri.
Here's Marcia, doing her Lewis and Clark impersonation (but she wouldn't say if she was Lewis OR Clark).
No trip around our city would be complete without a look at our local school district. Education is important here - second only to high school sports.
In an effort to modernize our educational facilities, the district is continuing a multi-year plan to renovate all three of our schools (elementary, middle and high school). They've finished the middle school already.
Here's a pic of work being done at the
That, my friends, is the school gymnasium. Looks like a warehouse to me. There is a door and just a few windows, way up high, on the opposite side.
At first, I really did think it was some sort of detention facility.
Oh wait, isn't that what school is?
Here's a pic of the high school where The Boy is not getting an education:
Most of the school is gone. The adminstration and school board thought it would be great fun to tear down most of the school - two weeks before the school year started.
Here's the building where The Boy spends most of his time:
I bet it was peachy keen in the 50s! Now? Not so much.
When he comes home each afternoon, his first stop is the bathroom, to wash his hands. I don't know what kind of plumbing they have there, but his hands smell metallic - he hates that.
While I'm on the subject of education, I think the city planner (like planning was involved here) and the traffic enforcement folks want to test the intelligence of area drivers.
There are two stop signs in front of the elementary school - one for each lane of traffic:
This sign assumes that drivers can:
- Read (statistics show that 20% of American adults are functionally illiterate)
- Tell time (a conundrum if you have no clock in your car, and are not wearing a watch)
If that lucky person forgets to turn the sign away from the street, then confusion and chaos run rampant. I've watched adults slow down, stop, inch forward, check their watch, and then continue down the street.
It appears to stir up some moral dilemma for some folks - they know that it's, say, 5:31 pm...but the sign is facing the street.
Do I stop?
Sweet Jesus, what do I do?
And the smartypants, immoral types behind that driver immediately begin honking the horn when they notice the slightest hesitancy from the driver in front of them.
Contrary to rumors, they do NOT roll up the sidewalks at night here.
Here's where the unemployed hang out. He's saving my place. My shift begins Thursday, at noon.
While perusing the city's ordinances, I came across this gem:
SECTION 210.680: FORTUNETELLING -- PROHIBITED
The practice of fortunetelling by palmistry, astrology, phrenology, clairvoyance or other methods is hereby prohibited. (Ord. No. 93 §33, 5-23-70)
Another career aspiration shot down!
You'd think I live in some little podunk...wait, I do.
But don't fret - we're situated in Tornado Alley.
And we live in a trailer.
We're just one FEMA disaster away from relocation.