Sunday, June 30, 2013

KC Royals Baseball Game

It was only a 20 minute drive from our campground into Kansas City to Kaufman Stadium which is the home of the Kansas City Royals.  They were playing the Atlanta Braves so we decided to go see the game.

It was a perfect and warm summer evening.  We arrived a little early to the game and we could smell the barbecue among the tailgaters.
 We entered at the far corner near right field and strolled around the displays.  George Brett had a long and brilliant career here.
 They have a small but excellent baseball museum over near left field so we took a look there.
Kansas City has three Hall of Famer's including George Brett.
I liked the stadium.  It is another great one.  The grass and field were immaculate.
 The huge scoreboard in center field was well done too.  Not so huge it was gaudy or out of place.  During the game they had it organized with a lot of information which made it easy to track the players and their position in the line up.
 Our view was a good one, between home and the third base dugout.
 They started at 7:10 PM and we left before the game was over.  It went extra innings with the Braves pulling it out.
Fun night and a new MLB stadium.  We are glad we went!

Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles today.  And thanks for the comments!
Until next time...

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Harry S. Truman Museum and Library

Really?  Another museum?

Yes - even though we are about 'museumed out' for a while, we have a couple more to see while we are here in Independence, Missouri.

Reminds me of playing golf during my summers in high school.  After about 8 or 9 days in a row, I was ready for a break.  For a day or two.  Same here.  We are going to take advantage of seeing these places while we can.

So off we went to Independence MO.  We stayed at the Blue Springs Campground which was good.  It is run by the county and in good shape.  Sites and area around them are spacious.  Lots of grass and has a good feel to it.
We are only about 5 miles to the Truman Library and it was easy to find.
Inside, we found it to be very well laid out and full of interesting displays and artifacts.
A replica of the Oval Office:
I looked and looked for the "Buck Stops Here" sign but I could not find it on the desk or the table behind.  Hmmm, curious …..
It had a display all by itself in the hall.

Truman handled his time in the Army like he did with everything in his life:  He gave it everything he had.  Despite his less than imposing figure, he proved his metal and gain the respect of his men.
After WWI he worked on his farm, tried his hand in business and then entered local politics, becoming a county official and judge for 20 years.  Then, with the backing of Kansas City notorious political boss of Tom Pendergast, he won election to the Senate in 1934.  Then during Franklin Delano Roosevelt's for a 4th term, he was an unlikely pick for Vice President.

When FDR died, just weeks after his election, Truman was thrown into an overwhelming situation.  It was either sink or swim.  There was no transition.  He dug in and learned what he needed to in order to survive and make important decisions.  There were many during his two terms as president.
His policies, like any president, often were met with challenge and an opposing view.
Among his first duties was to attend the a summit with Churchill and Stalin in Potsdam, Germany in July 1945 discuss the post-war realities.  He developed his own view of the Soviet Union which was more distrustful than Roosevelt's.  The war in Europe was nearing its end and the war in the Pacific came to a close after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.

With the beginning of the Cold War and the growth of what Churchill later called, the 'Iron Curtain', Truman was in the crucible.  He grew into his role and made decisions even controversial ones like firing General MacArther.
During his reelection campaign, he undertook a series of rail car trips all over the United States.
I did not realize how extensive his "Whistlestop Campaign" was until I saw this display.
It was a close call, and some newspapers made an early call which proved to be wrong.
At home, the nation was confronted with the growing fear in the spread of communism, the rise of Communist China and its invasion of Korea, all which came with a U. S. reaction.
Times were changing and Truman's popularity continued to slide.
He declined to run for another term and returned to his home in Independence, Missouri.  There he spent the rest of his days.  He was actively involved in building the library and museum.  He had a lot of notable achievements:

  • Orchestrated the Berlin Airlift, saving the city
  • Responsible for the Marshall Plan, an economic 'get well' plan for Germany and Europe
  • Integrated the Army which led to acceptance and national integration
  • Advocated for national health insurance
  • Recognized Israel which led to its statehood
  • Supported the creation of NATO to stand against the Warsaw Pact
  • Made substantial renovations to the White House
  • Realigned the armed forces, creating the Air Force as a separate service 
I appreciated being able to see the Truman Museum and Library.  I came away from it feeling like I knew more about that period in our country's history and our 33rd president.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Thank you again for all your comments.
Until next time...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fantastic Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in OKC

On Saturday we went over to the Cowboy Museum.  I think we have been to Oklahoma City or through it at least half a dozen times and have never taken the time to see this museum.  Turn out -- it is one of our all time favorites!

I love the history and intrigue of the 1870's and 1880's.  I think part of it is due to growing up and seeing the Western TV shows.  We loved them all.  And we saw reference to them in our tour at the museum.
It was a GREAT way to spend $10 and a couple of hours!
Kirk is in front of the large statue, "The End of the Plains".  This area was the beginning of some art galleries with sculptures and paintings.  I really liked how they have it all set up for display and contemplation.
 Some of the galleries was a 'No Photographs' area but there were plenty of places that weren't.
This by far is the best 'western/cowboy' museum we have seen anywhere.  I loved every minute of it.  I found it captivating from start.

Then my favorite area of the whole museum:
Displays of Barbara Stanwick, James Arness, Dale Robertson
Richard Drury, Doc, Festus, an early Roy Rogers
Gunsmoke, and a young Burt Reynolds
Dales Evans, Gene Autry, Sam Elliott
Tom Selleck, Walter Brennan
And a few film clips of actual footage

There were lots of other galleries
We could have wandered around for hours and hours
 But it was a bit overwhelming. Pam's museum meter was pegged for the day and we were getting hungry for lunch.
So we concluded our tour for the day and vowed to come back again and see more.

Thanks for joining us to day on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  And thanks for all the comments!  We really appreciate it.

Until next time...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Oklahoma State Capitol

We always enjoy getting together with Kirk and Susan and decided a long time ago we were going to see them next time we were close to Oklahoma City.  We got to see them last when they stayed with us a few days in Key West over the Christmas / New Years holidays two years ago.

After leaving Brad and Sue in Fort Worth, we headed out early for OKC.   We made it in about four hours.  Along the way we called Twin Fountains RV Resort.  They said they were full a few days ago but we thought we'd try again.  Earlier in the week we called around to campgrounds within 30 miles and most were full.  We really didn't want to be 30-35 miles away from them.  Turned out we got into Twin Fountains.   It is a nice park that we would give a "9".

We met at their place for dinner and had a nice evening.  Kirk took Friday off and we played golf at Quail Creek Country Club.  It is a NICE place.  It is one of my favorite courses anywhere.  We had a competitive round and he edged me out with an 83 to my 85.
But I had my closest shot at a hole-in-one  ever with a 7 iron that was 8 inches from the cup.

In the afternoon we went over to the State Capitol and toured the building.  We hope to see them all one day and have only recently decided to do that.    In the last six months we have seen Florida and Texas and now Oklahoma.
Two things caught our attention:  first the statute on top - the Guardian.  And the fact the capitol dome was only completed in 2002.  The Guardian is over 22 high and weighs almost 6,000 pounds.
This is a 9 foot replica inside the building.  The guardian represents all of the state's 39 Indian tribes and is a symbol for one who guards, protects and preserves.

The original capitol build was finished in 1917.  But funding for the dome was diverted to the war effort.  The project was revitalized in 2001 and the dome was completed at a privately funded cost of $21 million.

Oklahoma was acquired as part of the Louisiana and the result of the Mexican-American War.  It opened for settlers in 1890 and those that established claims before that were known as "Sooners".  It became a state in 1907.
Oil was discovered in the 1850's but it wasn't until the 1920's that it stabilized and the state began to rise in wealth.  Until there were so many oil companies that there was an oil glut before the Great Depression hit.  Then the mid-1930's saw the Dust Bowl era in the midst of record high temperatures and draught during the Great Depression.

Oklahoma was making its way back when the whole country got caught up in supporting World War II.

But the history of Oklahoma and its people is heavily centered on the Indians in the state and their culture throughout that last 300 years.  We saw numerous galleries and paintings and statues representing that side of things.
 Hallways of displays:  Mickey Mantle, Indian Blanket Quilt
 The State emblem on the floor with the inside of the dome directly overhead
 The planner and architect of the dome construction:  Solomon Layton
 More art galleries down hallways and an early version of the state flag
 Important events and Oklahomans:  Will Rogers, Jim Thorpe and Speaker of the House Carl Albert
 The House of Representatives
 Murals in the ceilings and arches
 The Senate Chambers
Details in history are highlighted in the ceilings and oil paintings as well as the corridors and hallways on every floor.

We spent about and hour and a half in the Capitol and walked away with a new understanding of the state, its history and its people.

It was a fun day.

Thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!  Until next time...