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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Hometown

Like everyone we have heard about the severe drought in the Midwest and seen the pictures of the depleted corn fields and the ears of corn missing kernels.  Driving through North Dakota, Minnesota and most of Iowa our untrained eyes saw what appeared to be healthy fields of corn, reminiscent of the fields we saw on last year's journey through Nebraska and South Dakota.

As we drove south from Des Moines yesterday we slowly saw more and more yellow and less and less green in the fields until we began to see field after field after field of corn crops that looked like Thanksgiving decorations, yellow and dry.  With severe heat the last month or more and lack of rainfall this part of the corn belt is taking it hard and will take many years to recover financially from their losses on their current crops.

South of Des Moines on Interstate 35 is Kansas City.  To me Kansas City used to mean the Royals and the Chiefs, but today means three words Bar B Cue.  As we were taking a pit stop to fill up and let out north of the city I called the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

"Kansas City Chamber of Commerce."

"Hello, we are from California and driving south on I-35 and then will continue south on highway 71 towards Joplin.  Since we are passing through Kansas City we would like to have some barbecue for lunch.  Can you recommend a place near our route?"

"Well we have a rather iconic barbecue you may want to try..."

Before she said it I knew what she was going to say and I started to salivate..."Arthur Bryant's."

Yes! Arthur Bryants! On our route! This is like a baseball fan being told, "yes we do have seats for Yankee Stadium...and you will see a no hitter."  Or a Catholic being told, "yes we do have room for you in the Sistine Chapel...and the Pope will conduct the service."

Arthur Bryant is a legend in barbecue and his original restaurant is a mecca for barbecue lovers.  Like me.

Arthur Bryant's
Leslie and I had pulled pork and Blaire had the ribs (Jenna is confused as to whether she is a vegetarian or not since she does not like vegetables, she had bread, pickles and fries--healthy we know).  Everything is served as a "sandwich" which means your meats come with pieces of white Wonder bread.  Delicious is an improper adjective, I'm not sure the English language has a word to properly describe our lunch.

Blaire enjoying her last rib---Dad is so proud!
After KC Leslie took the helm for the drive through southern Missouri as I sat in the "office" and worked on files for clients.

Finally around 4:00 we hit the Missouri-Oklahoma border, I was back in my birth state.  I reminded my daughters of their heritage in the state with their dad, uncle, sister, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-grandmother we all born here.

We arrived in Tulsa around 5:00 and I drove past the house where I grew up, told the girls about the first time I rode my bike, and other childhood stories. We then proceeded to our digs for the next few days, the home of my Godmother Ann Lake Wilson and her husband Mickey and proceeded to chat for hours telling stories and letting the kids soak up their family history.

Today we see the sights of Tulsa and more history lessons for Blaire and Jenna.  It has cooled off some and the thermometer may just crease 100 according to one weather report.

It's feels good to be back home in Tulsa and enjoying the people and places.

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