Friday, October 27, 2017

Hey Sherpa Pem, Can You Find My Pants?

Dear Uncle  George,

May 15, 1907:
Crooked River.  It is true to name.  Mr. Thompson carrying the instrument part of the time.  Mr. Ray McCollough is name of the boy, I talked to him about smoking.  Only seventeen years old and has an old pipe between his lips often.
Sent my instruments to Far West, with Mr. Ruben Sloan.  Passed some places with fat stock, sheep that had just been shorn, hogs, goats.

Val May 15, 2013:
Got to the Crooked River in Ray County.  Forgot my camera.

Had to go home, 75 miles out of my way, to get it.  Feel cranky.  May or may not have cussed.

If I had a Sherpa like you did, I bet he would have remembered to bring my camera to the PHOTO shoot.

I have met a Sherpa in real life.  His name is Pem.  He is so amazing that Glamour Magazine would say he is "bad ass."

He has climbed Mt. Everest.  Twice.  Without oxygen.

The second time he did it, his fiance and a friend climbed with him.  The friend performed their marriage ceremony at the summit.   You can read about them here:

It took 12 segments of directions to get to the Crooked River, including not one, but two dirt roads with mooing cows.  They were laying down so everyone knows that rain was on the way.  People don't always believe that old farmer's tale, but Gary Lezak from Channel 41 News says it is legit.  This is, however, the same guy that mixes solid stripes with plaid so clearly he can't be completely trusted.

There were so many unmarked roads that I am sure it was practically just as hard as climbing Mr. Everest.  That is why I needed Pem.

This is one of the first times I have traveled to the wilds of Missouri (aka no cell service).  I think it is the quietest place in the state.  It was so quiet that I got sort of scared.  Scared enough that I kept looking back at Mrs. Fun, the only link to civilization, and my bug spray I forgot in the car.

I am pretty sure I was trespassing on someone's land.
I mean, who the freak mows this?

Just keep walking, just keep walking

I bet you had long pants on when you were tromping around.  I, however, was not as smart.  I had on shorts because, my heck, it was 93*.  And as the 8th graders on the boy's soccer team voted...I have great legs so why cover them up.

This leads to the the spawns of the devil himself...ticks.  I think they originate out of Wyoming...which makes perfect sense.

As my dad likes to call some things, they truly are "little bald-headed bastards."  I doubt they have a lot of hair and they are little so the name surely applies.  I found 7 freeloaders, burrowing into my skin.  We can't forget the chigger bites.  Let's not even go there.

The Crooked River should really be named "Crooked Landfill."  I found a set of lounge chairs, broken umbrella, and a weird, brown, slimy something.

The river is so filthy that it reminds me of the Ganges in India.  That thing is filled with cremated dead bodies, so what exactly is the Crooked River filled with?

Maybe that is why there were lounge chairs there.  A guy needs a comfy place to rest after dragging a heavy mobster from the car through the weeds.

Another similarity to the Ganges is that there are steps on the bank leading down to the river, in the middle of no where.  These random steps support my idea that perhaps some dead bodies may or may not have been tossed in here.


Think about it.  Once you use the amount of cement needed to sink a body to the bottom of the river, I guess you have to do something with the leftover mix.  No one wants to carry all that heavy material back to the car.

I bet somebody somewhere thought "I've got it!  We will make steps so the next time we have need to come back here reasons, we can get to the river's edge safely."  Safety first as Tom Allison used to say.  I've seen the edited version of "The Godfather" so I know how former business partners can end up swimming with the fishes.

Despite one the dirt roads being named "Trout Road," I don't have much hope in the idea that there are actually trout swimming in this dump river.

 I think the guy is the forefront is happy because he wore his long pants.  

Don't let this lovely scene fool you.  This place is janky.

All this effort for one George shot.  I hope you enjoy it.

The good news is that I made it back to the car, safe and mostly sound.  
More good news is that I actually made my way out of the most isolated, silent location in Missouri.  And super good news is that I found a Sonic in Lawson that sold strawberry lemonade and had a local car wash.

The best news of all, however, is that I didn't see any mobsters out for a leisurely stroll.  However, if I had, I bet I could have borrowed some bug spray.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

No Rich Men In Richmond

Dear Uncle George,

George May 10, 1907:
I rose early and found directions to Edwin Whitmer, son of John C. Whitmer. Anxious to get through, so went to without breakfast.  Mr. Whitmer said he could not give me information I desired.  He did not believe things that were taught by the Whitmerite Church, so he had not taken an interest in them.  Met Mrs. Miller who was popping corn and preparing to entertain some children in the evening.

Val May 10, 2013:
Had some yummy Life cereal, with a side of fiber.  Fixed the vacuum.  Check on dead fish. Good lemonade, although not hard.  Lunch at a saloon.  Found some $1 store pregnancy tests (ekk!).  Graves made of cement tree trunks.  Matt broke up a fist fight at the Wendy's in Grandview.  Stopped at the jail site that is now a thrift store and bought cheap pearls for the Great Gatsby party.  This is the cemetery that Bob Ford is buried in, who shot Jesse James, otherwise known as the coward who shall not be named.

Despite the name, Richmond, Missouri is not full of rich monds. Or men.  And I didn't meet any men named Rich.  I looked around for some, but nope.  My hopes of finding an 82 year old sugar daddy...dashed.

As a matter of fact, it is unsettling close to the village of Orrick.  The next time I was by Richmond, I was photographing it.  Most of the community was spread all over the place.  Boards. Nails. Underwear.  And don't forget the recreational trailer that was flipped completely over, thus thwarting plans for the weekend at Lake of the Ozarks.

A tornado ripped through Orrick on May 9th, 2014, 
exactly 364 days after this blog post outing to Richmond.  Life is so strange.

I know these have nothing to do with the Mini Mission, 
but they are interesting to look at.  And it is my blog so...

This touched me.  I didn't know it was a song.  
Not by any old band either...Casting Crowns...
one of my favorites.  Which makes it even super cooler.

He wasn't praising.  One half wall left.  Can you believe that?

Richmond is not as exciting (thank goodness).  It basically is on the map because it is the eventual resting place of many of the members of the Whitmer family. Some stayed true to Mormonism.  Some did not.

Grave of David Whitmer, one of Three Witnesses

Oliver Cowdrey is buried in this cemetery as well, 
but his gravestone was torn away 
by a tornado (now there's a surprise) in June 1878.

Rich-men-less Richmond

I brought my lovelies Carol and Aubrey along for the ride.  Not that either of them needed $1 pregnancy tests from the Dollar Store, but you know, sometimes a missionary likes some companions.  Although they left me out of the teal color club.  

This is a monument site that was dedicated in 1911 
for the Book of Mormon, Three Witnesses and Joseph Smith. 
(George came back in 1911 and photographed the site)

Post note:  December 2016  
I was at the Jiffy Lube the other day, and this really old gentlemen came in and sat next to me.  I recognized him.  Since my seahorse is broken, I couldn't remember where from.   But it was Alvin Whitmer, out of Richmond, the second great grandson of Peter Whitmer.  They have not come back to the Church since, as he put it..."We got kicked out in 1840."  Pity he doesn't live there now.  He looks about 82.  :)