Last August I wrote about a cattle conference my husband attended. If you didn’t get to read about that monstrosity of a hotel stay, here’s the link so you’ll understand my aversion to this particular hotel:
Thankfully, there was not a problem this time, and I’m guessing it’s because they changed the conference to wintertime when it isn’t as busy and the hotel management can dole out the best rooms with locking doors. Today’s blog is a summary of our drive because it was interesting.
I’ll apologize now to anyone who lives in Springfield, Missouri, or near it. This probably won’t be your cup of tea, since it’s just my observations.
If you haven’t taken this drive to Springfield on Highway 65, you aren’t missing much. You may enjoy it if you are a movie lover because it is a rare slice out of Deliverance. If anyone suggests driving farther south passed Springfield, I’ll have to decline. I don’t think I want to see the rest because it was getting progressively worse as the miles slowly dragged on. After Sedalia, the prospects of finding civilization were getting slim. Well, my husband, as always, was super impressed with Lucas Cattle, a producer who manages to have red metal fences on the highway as well as in the pasture. I was also a little jealous of this amount of secure fencing. No gates on the driveway, no electric fences to dodge on long walks, no reason to hustle on those walks when a cow gives me that look, like it’s estimating how short the electric fence actually is and how much it would like to run me down. That family is living the dream!
Passed that highly maintained farm, there were many little towns along the way that had obviously been hopping when Highway 65 was probably a busy road. It reminded me of the movie Cars, but the crowd wasn’t as friendly, and the only places left open were gas stations, Avon consultants run out of homes, and taxidermists. It was like Cars, but Lightning McQueen never showed up. The police were there though because the sight of highway patrol over every hill kept me at my usual five miles per hour over the speed limit.
The little towns had remnants of old businesses that had been converted into homes or were falling in. After a couple of these towns that seemed like they were holding on, we witnessed some towns that were not holding it together at all. There were cock-eyed trailers sporatically positioned throughout what used to be a small highway town. Let me be clear - there is absolutely nothing wrong with a trailer; we used to live in one and as we work on our construction zone of a home, we miss it A LOT. These trailers were different though. It’s never a good sign when multiple trailers are parked right on top of each other with multiple cars and trash piled up around it, like a barricade. Maybe the highway patrol cars weren’t really there for traffic stops.
Then we saw some homemade political signs, not for any politician, but basically against all politicians. I won’t repeat any of the comments because they were just plain mean, but you can probably imagine. They were comments some of us might say about a politician to our spouse or best friend. Those people that we trust enough to say crude things to as a joke, but we’d never say in public. But these signs also had an extra threatening tone added. The FBI should probably check this place out.
Traveling farther south we entered home decor heaven as the trailers upgraded from no curtains to confederate flag curtains. An old truck even drove by with the confederate flag hanging off the back. These were some proud people, but as I looked around, I was unsure what for. On an odd note, we also saw some camels. Then we reached the city limits of Springfield, and I felt somewhat better about the local population. The only disturbing things I witnessed in town were four homeless people in a screaming match over what seemed to be a turf war and the general Saturday afternoon population of Bass Pro, which brings out some serious competition for all those Wal-Mart customer memes.
My husband put me in my judgmental place though, as I pretended to play the banjo as we drove from tiny, rundown town to the next.
“What do you think people say when they drive through Armstrong?” (our little town)
Silence. I was picturing it in my head.
I prefer “In Constant Sorrow” for our town theme. We’re sad, but still upbeat.