I’ve lived in Missouri for two weeks, and in that two weeks I’ve discovered so much about my new home, that I thought I would share some fun tidbits of information with you!
- The state of Missouri is tied with Tennessee as the most “neighborly” state, sharing its borders with EIGHT different states: Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Iowa. AND…I have to share that the people here are literally the most friendly people I have ever met in my entire life…even more friendly than those in the South (in my opinion)! It takes all kinds of kinds to make the world go around…and I think they are here in Springfield…and they are all friendly!! It is so very refreshing!!
- Springfield is the “Birthplace of Route 66”! Everyone knows about the Mother Road (from Chicago to L.A.), whether from traveling along the route or singing along with the song, but I bet some of you didn’t know that SGF is considered the birthplace! On April 30, 1926 SGF was designated the birthplace at Park Central Square and it is celebrated with a festival every year! I had the pleasure of attending the festival over the weekend and it was a lot of fun!! Two weekends ago we took a little road trip from SGF to Oklahoma along Historic Route 66…the history that still remains is a lot of fun!
- Another fun piece of information…we have ARMADILLOS!!! I always thought they lived in Texas, but apparently they live around here as well, based on that fact that they have become the most common type of roadkill we see when we travel. And let me just add…the most disgusting and often disturbing roadkill! I’ve had the pleasure of spotting one off in the distance, but I am looking forward to the day we see one up close!!
- I never would have guessed it, but Missouri is part of the Bible Belt. I always thought that was a Southern thing…but just take a drive around SGF and you are sure to pass a TON of churches! Some are small and some are ostentatious…but churches are everywhere you look (and predominantly Baptist). Swing by Lowe’s or Wal-Mart around noon on a Sunday and you are sure to be the only person NOT in their Sunday best! Maybe that’s why everyone is so friendly!
- Did you know that SGF was part of the Wild Wild West?!?! Apparently, Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt had the very first one-on-one quick draw duel right here in the town square…over a poker debt and pocket watch! Not to mention, Hickok was acquitted of manslaughter charges because he was considered to be justified in using a firearm to stop Tutt’s provocation by dangling the watch in public!! CRAZY!!
- The Wild West doesn’t begin and end with Hickok…the list of bad men and women from Missouri include: the infamous Jesse James and his brother Frank who were Confederate bushwhackers participating in the famed Centralia Massacre; friend of Hickok’s and daredevil Calamity Jane; American outlaw Belle Starr; and even some of the Dalton Gang hail from MO. This might be one of my favorite things about MO…the gun-slinging Wild West history!
- MO is right on the edge of Tornado Alley…and apparently the Show Me State has seen it’s fair share of twisters!! Most recently, in 2011 the city of Joplin (one hour west of us) suffered an EF5 storm. In March of 1925 a tornado touched down near Ellington, MO and traveled 219 miles through Missouri, Illinois and ended in Indiana. This is my least favorite tidbit of information about my new home state!!!
- Brad Pitt grew up here in the SGF and attended Kickapoo High and the University of Missouri!! Rumor has it he occasionally returns to the area!!!
- I’ve wondered how Missouri’s got it’s nickname of “The Show Me State” and apparently Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver used the phrase in 1899 when he said: “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, after all, actions speak louder than words!
I have a feeling that I’ve only just scratched the surface of what makes up this great state, and I am looking forward to the endless adventures and discoveries! Even though we’ve only been here for two weeks, the one thing I can say for sure…it feels like home!