I’ve been everywhere, man…

by chuckofish

“Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City,
Sioux City, Cedar City, Dodge City, what a pity.”

Okay, I confess I haven’t been to all those places, but I missed posting last Saturday because I was  in Kansas City for a conference. I stayed at the Westin Crown Center, whose main ‘feature’ was this lush and very noisy indoor waterfall garden located  right outside the conference rooms where it could help drown out the speakers. And it did.


it needed a parrot or two

it needs a parrot or two

My room was huge and had a nice view of downtown KC.

view from the 15th floor

view from the 15th floor

We had our opening reception at the WWI museum right next door to the hotel.

taken through the glass of a sky-bridge.

taken through the glass of a sky-bridge.

I think the architect patterned it after the ossuary at Verdun, which is similarly towering and, well, phallic.  I also went to Kansas City’s ‘best’ (says who?) antique mall. It was a huge disappointment.

four floors of 'vintage' junk

four floors of ‘vintage’ junk

It was all 60s plastic,  Woolworth dining sets, and awful kitch…and then I walked 2.5 miles back to the hotel in my conference attire. My feet may never recover.  Still, I had lots of fun with my tribe (as one colleague put it) and enjoyed a brief visit to Union Station, which is huge!


It has recently been re-purposed as an exhibition area with a fancy restaurant and a couple of uninteresting shops. It’s good to see a neat old building brought back to life. Unfortunately, I never made it to any of the places I really wanted to go: Old Westport, the historical society, and a good antique mall, but one is severely limited without a car. Dual Personality, this is one trip we should do together!

Since I came home, we’ve had a busy week. Son #3 arrived  for his second spring break and son #2, who has recovered the use of his arm, played with the SLU/community orchestra last night at the Russell Opera House. Russell is a little town about 20 minutes from here on the Grasse River. How they ended up with an opera house we cannot tell, but we imagine a Fitzcarraldo-like story, in which some desperate, opera-loving miner struggled to bring culture to the wild north country.

note the dirty snow in the corner -- it's officially mud season here

note the dirty snow in the corner — it’s officially mud season here

I can picture it, can’t you? The interior is really cool and, yes, in need of restoration. Fundraising is ongoing.


But the opera house is a popular venue for plays and concerts. This our first visit, we thoroughly enjoyed the concert. Since it was the Orchestra’s 10th anniversary concert, the program included a piece from each year they performed. We were  impressed with the quality of the playing and  had a great view of our favorite musician.

Note the hand pointing on the right: "I dig your tie!"

Note the pointing hand on the right: “I dig your tie!”

Quelle artiste! A fab time was had by all and we got home without hitting any nocturnal creatures or wrecking the car on one of the myriad frost heave bumps that make spring driving so exciting. Today is a grading day and then it’s back in the car with Tim to Vermont.

One  ‘heads-up’ to readers: during this coming week we celebrate the birthday of my dual personality’s #2 daughter, and NEXT SUNDAY is not only Easter, but my dual personality’s birthday! Oh, the excitement!

Have a great week!