Monday, July 24, 2017


After the visit to the Farmstead and a bit of lunch, the family decided to visit Cabela's in Kansas City, Kansas. It's a chain of huge outdoor equipment shops - fishing, camping, hunting, guns for all occasions. I was out of my element. Where I grew up, you wouldn't dare eat anything you caught in the local waterways. Where I grew up, only the cops and really bad guys had guns. City kid that I am, I never imagined that I would visit one of these. (As Gene Wilder said to Cleavon Little in Blazing Saddles, the funniest movie of all time, what's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?)

The place is mind-boggling. Not just the store itself but the amazing dioramas, for want of a better word, of wildlife from Africa to the Arctic. You know, things you can shoot. They reminded me of but far surpassed displays like this in the Museum of Natural History in NYC when I was a boy. You can take a virtual tour by clicking the link above.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

A Kansas Farm Birthday

My wife's youngest sister, Mary Lee, has cerebral palsy and is severely handicapped. She has not had an easy life. Still, her brothers and sisters watch out for her. She is precious and much loved. She turns 60 this month and it was time to do something special for her.

She lives in a group home in a small Kansas town, quite some distance west of KC. The family brought her to town this weekend for a celebration. The suburban town of Overland Park, Kansas, has a remarkable facility, the Deanna Rose Childrens' Farmstead. It distills the essence of Kansas' farming tradition for kids who now live with air conditioning, cars and video screens. Good venue for the occasion. Above, my wife, Carolyn, is in  turquoise. Clockwise from her, Dorothy Holst, Mary Lee, Mel Kruse and Ron Kruse. 

Each of the pix below has a short note after it. And, by the way, it hit 108 F / 42 C in St. Louis today, breaking a record for the date set in 1901. Time to pay more attention to Al Gore.             

Greetings, urbanites.

Your face here.

My new business.

Lay or bust? Sounds apocalyptic.

I thought that's what scotch is for.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

At The Nelson-Atkins

The temperature was one hundred degrees when we pulled into Kansas City yesterday afternoon. The wind itself was hot, not a bit refreshing. We were grateful that the Nelson-Atkins, KC's excellent art museum, had an underground garage.

We think it is one of America's best regional museums. Its photography section beats the heck out of what we have at home. Hallmark Cards, based here, had a spectacular collection of 6,500 images it donated to the museum a few years ago. The main current exhibition was about the photographers who worked for the government during the Depression. Most prominent were the images of Dorothea Lange, including one of the most famous and heart breaking pictures in the history of photography.     

Friday, July 21, 2017

Ghost Rider

I like this car for its clean lines and sense of forward motion. Parking it mostly under a tree highlights the aggressive nose. 

Road trip to Kansas City today for a family event tomorrow. It's supposed to be outdoors. 104 F / 40 C here today, 105 F / 40.5 C tomorrow. Only slightly better in KC. We can bake here or bake there. I wonder if the venue will have to be moved.   

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Eat This To Get That

The cuisine required to own and drive XtremeMuscleCarz. Just don't tell your personal trainer or your cardiologist.          

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Street Rods

I don't know if you could actually drive these on, say, nearby I 55. The license plate in the top photo does not look like it has been valid in the State of Illinois since 1923 and using a Jack Daniels box as a trunk might attract the attention of the police. The Shelby Cobra, below, might be okay if the muffler meets government regulations.

It's not Phoenix, of course, but most people here are hiding out this week. The forecast is for high temperatures of 100 - 102 F / 38 - 39 C for the next four days. We've seen hotter in STL (the highest I remember is 106 F / 41 C) but, as they say, better get used to it.       

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


The car. The fuel, and lots of it.

It's been a few years since I last shot the Catsup Festival. I remember more variety of attractions. Now it's mostly a big hot rod, custom and classic car show. I'm not sure of the year of this old Cadillac (help appreciated) but it has the look of a dreadnought. I can imagine sitting behind the wheel, windows open on a warm summer day, no seat belts, radio blaring Elvis Presley, cruising across St. Louis on Route 66....

Well, no, I can't. But it is impressive in a glitzy, heavy way.