Monday, September 21
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect” - Mark Twain
Samuel Clemen’s (Mark Twain) birthplace wasn’t spectacular by any means. At least not at first sight. Ironically, Mark Twain state park is in Florida, Missouri and his boyhood home a few miles down the road in Hannibal. Both small towns off the beaten path. Unlike the Florida we just had left, Florida, Missouri was very much into fall weather. Each town, separate from the next but known for the same thing haven’t changed much since his birth. Both consisting of just a few small businesses on fewer streets. We toured Huck Finn, and Becky Thatcher’s home along with Mark Twain’s boyhood home. Samuel Clemen’s gained much from his boyhood home and so did America. Maybe we oughta refer back to his mastermind considering the current state of the country. We really did gain so much knowledge about his childhood, and slavery, and the how and why he became Mark Twain. We ate at the local diner and learned (but still questioning) what a maid-rite sandwich is. I guess it’s equivalent to a sloppy joe. Jai and I shared a huckleberry ice cream cone. Later that evening we found out about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Rest in Power RBG.
The next day, we took the girls on a hike around the park. Nala searched for her dolphin friends in the local river but came up short. The local grocery store was Hickmans, or Casey’s. We needed a few things and Hickman’s was closer (30 minutes). We ended up stopping at Casey’s the following day as we left for Kansas. Casey’s has the.best.pizza AND donuts. in town. After the grocery store run, we found a winery! The only winery within a 400 miles radius. MAYBE. There, also stood a stone monument where Samuel Clemen’s birth home once stood, also with a bunch a placards with history. A Saturday afternoon in Florida, Missouri at the local winery wasn’t too bad. I actually didn’t want to leave. The wine was tasty. The company was good. Jai wrote an entry “write drunk edit sober” on our afternoon at the winery so I’ll insert that here. Oh but before she does, I noticed a rock with 2ndLT Samuel Clemens on it. We had already done a two hour walking tour and nothing was mentioned of him ever being prior service. I googled of course and found out that he served for two weeks in the Confederate militia. He deserted. This led many to describe his loyalty to the Confederate cause as half-hearted. I’m intrigued of course so I will continue doing research.
On our way to Milford state park in Kansas, we stopped at the Brown v Board of Education historical site and mural in Topeka Kansas.
Write drunk edit sober. Mark Twain was not the author of that quote, but I am sure he would agree. We just got back from an exciting “date” WE FOUND FLORIDA! No, we are not back in the peninsula (aka the dick of the country which my wife did not know). We are on another peninsula in the middle of the United States where a small (caution) town is call Florida. Florida is where Mark Twain or Samuel Clemens was born. They (Missouri Department of Natural Resources) have a “here stood his house” marker where the house used to be. The house still stands, just in a small building called a “museum” in the Mark Twain state park. We happened to stumble upon the winery and Cleta’s patio when deciding to visit “downtown Florida” which consisted of 2 dirt roads and a stop sign. AND, I thought I hailed from a small town. We each had a glass of wine, which turned into 3. We may have intruded on a very fine young lady’s 65th…again birthday. A few in the party touting Trump hats, and making a mockery of having to wear masks. By now, we’ve been to 3 or so state parks since we left Florida and at some point we had some kind of interaction with someone. We haven’t had any in Missouri up until this point when a family of what seemed to be locals had come in with their young kids. The younger of the two was enamored with us as we played the ever so popular peek-a-boo. We sensed the older of the two was feeling left out and wanted our attention. We think the family may have hesitated at first, but soon enough they encouraged. All this time I feared. I feared the looks, I feared the “small town mind”, even if “don’t know no betta”. We are outsiders. But all was ok with this table, with this family. We are separate but created equal. As we were leaving, the family made a point to stop the children and told them to say goodbye to us. Ellis and Landry you are shining stars. Fight the good fight for future generations. (edited by EL- two days later…what would i do without her)