Sunday, August 8, 2010

Driving Through Kansas

Why was Bill Cody called Buffalo Bill? Because he was the rootinest, shootinest buffalo hunter in the West. This link has the full story of the battle of the Bills. I got right in the middle of it. I had to protect the poor Buffalo!

We stayed that night at Salina, KS,near the Eisenhower Library and Museum, which we toured the next morning. We started out watching a introductory film which increased our curiosity about this 34th president of our Union. Abilene, KS was his childhood home. On the museum grounds was the exact house in which he grew up with his Mom, Dad, Grandad and 5 brothers. It had all the stuff in it that he had grown up with because it was given to and maintained by the Eisenhower Foundation right after his Mom passed away. The docent told us all about the family. Apparently one of the brothers, Milton Eisenhower, was the director of the Applied Physics Lab. Steve says that APL has a building and a department named after him in fact. Also, we learned that President Eisenhower's parents weren't really pleased that he went into the military; they had Quaker tendencies, but they also believed that their boys should choose their own lives. They were fairly progressive parents for time in which they were parenting. The Museum houses exhibits about Eisenhower's military career, presidency and family. The way he progressed from a mediocre student at West Point to the Supreme NATO commander was fascinating. I also loved the exhibit about Mamie Eisenhower. She seemed like a real feisty but likable and amenable lady. I especially loved looking at outfits that she had worn and the discussion of "Mamie Style." The Library itself was gorgeous with the walls lined in marble and a huge chandelier. The most touching building on site was the Place of Meditation. President and Mrs. Eisenhower were both buried there along with their first son who died of scarlet fever at age 4. These quotes line the walls of the Place of Meditation.

"The real fire within the builders of America was faith -- faith in a Provident God whose hand supported and guided them: faith in themselves as the children of God ... faith in their country and its principles that proclaimed man's right to freedom and justice."
Abilene Homecoming, Abilene, Kansas, June 4, 1952

"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in blood of his followers and sacrifices of his friends."
Guildhall Address, London, England, June 12, 1945

"Every gun made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed....This is not a way of life at all...Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
Chance For Peace Address, Washington, DC, April 16, 1953

We figured the Eisenhower Library, etc. would take us about an hour to look through. Three hours later we exited and filled our hungry tummies at a nearby Sonic.

We kept driving through Kansas. I don't think it is as flat as people say it is, but then I slept through most of Kansas. On our way through, we stopped at Wamego. What's in Wamego? The Oz Museum! Tons of memorabilia like lunchboxes, crystal encrusted ruby slippers, games, pictures, books and life-sized vignettes from the movie. There is even an opportunity to see the movie.

We got to Kansas City, the Missouri side. We drove to the Best Western in Independence, MO, right outside of K.C. After stowing our stuff, we followed the GPS to a Smokin' Guns BBQ. Unfortunately, they had already closed, so we took advice from AAA and headed to Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbeque. This place was by far the best bbq we've ever had, ever! The baby back ribs were all meat and tender and flavorful. Steve describes it as supremely awesome. The sides of hickory beans and extremely decadent cheesy corn bake rocked. The worst thing about the place is that its nowhere near us. Amazingly, they have mail order! Hmmmmm!

So we made it through Kansas. I really don't understand all the flat hype. It's flatter heading to Ocean City. Of course, I slept through a lot of Kansas, so maybe I'm not the best judge. :0)

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