‘Jefferson City’ Category


A Monumental Walk

May 30, 2016 Linda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – The bunny is still there. Remember the bunny I mentioned, who held so still as I approached the Lewis & Clark Trailhead Plaza three years ago? Bunny was intent on clover today and paid me no mind. I was determined to get a good picture of Mr Lewis and Mr Clark and had brochure in hand to explain every detail. The monument is called the Corps of Discovery and the sculptor was Sabra Tull Meyer; the entire work consists of five figures – four men and a dog; the figures all together weigh 2000 pounds. There is so much interesting information in the brochure I won’t even attempt to paraphrase; I’ll give it to you straight. Four men and a dog!

30 Walk Lewis ClarkInformation provided by City of Jefferson Lewis & Clark Task Force. The four men constituted the “Captains’ Mess” during the up-river voyage in 1804. Pictured in order going left to right are York, Meriwether Lewis, Seaman, William Clark, George Drouillard. Are you familiar with York, and Drouillard? » read more


God Bless, America

30 JC BandMay 30, 2016 Linda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – From the Star Spangled Banner to the Stars and Stripes Forever; from the Star Spangled Banner again to God Bless America; my head is reeling with patriotic vibes as I exit the Missouri capitol and step out into the sun. I wish I had an interactive website so you could click an arrow and hear it all; I wish I had a recording so I could go straight to my room and listen to both concerts again. How can I describe? I was sitting in the First Christian Church at 1 PM, front row center, when Paul Hinman lifted his conductor’s baton and the Jefferson City Community Symphonic Band began to play. And I was sitting in the Capitol Rotunda at 3 PM, front row 30 JC Capitol 3right, when the Monticello Singers lifted their voices in song. It was definitely worth an 800-mile drive, I decided, so glad I had come. How many hours, I think, how many hours work went into the making of these concerts; how many inconveniences overcome? From the program listings I can count more than 50 in the Band; more than 20 in the Singers. Imagine the coordination required, the community support that has to come forth. God bless you everyone, as Tiny Tim would say. Good job! Let me tell you some of my favorites; things that overtopped the awesome chart. » read more


Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones

30 JC Cemetery VeteransLinda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – It was a solemn ceremony. Taps always makes me cry; the other music too – the National Anthem, This is My Country, When Johnny Comes Marching Home; quartets a capella, the droning of bagpipes, the two-bell toll as the names of the recent dead are called. It was meaningful too; the crowd rowed up under the shading trees; the veterans standing to the edge, Legion patches on their vests; the visitors with flowers in hand, looking for a special grave; the green, green grass and the pure white stones.

30 JC Cemetery Stone GrassBurial dates in the Jefferson City National Cemetery go back to 1861; it started out as a burial place for Civil War soldiers from the area. The site was surveyed for classification as a national cemetery, but its official designation didn’t happen until 1867, after about 350 internments. The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Place in 1998; it is closed to new internments now, except for veterans and eligible family members in an existing gravesite.

30 JC Cemetery UnknownI wandered among the markers; Site 580 marked the resting place of an Unknown; connect the dots; an unknown family somewhere, sometime, grieved. Over there a tiny pot of petunias blocked the spouse’s name of Elsie L, the wife, b 1894 d 1985, a 30 JC Cemetery Wifelong long life; a pure white stone. Not every grave had flowers, but every one, every single one, was graced with an American flag.

The Memorial Day program was sponsored by the Jefferson City Veteran’s Council; a luncheon for veterans and their families was held at American Legion Post 5 afterwards. Next for me was the concert at First Christian Church for more inspiring music; as I headed up the hill towards the gate, the plaintive sound of Taps followed me all the way.


Déjà vu All Over Again

29 JC Capitol up the hillMay 29, 2016 Linda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – “What are your plans for Memorial Day?” people start asking early in the month of May. April showers have come and gone and here in this heat the May flowers hit their high mark in April. By Memorial Day school is out and everyone is ready for summer’s change of pace. I don’t have one of those big barge boats for floating around DeGray Lake. My yard isn’t landscaped the way I want it yet, 25 flagsnor my screen porch built, for lazy hammock naps or evening cookouts and a crowd. “I had a great Memorial Day in 2013,” I told friend Janice. “I was in Jefferson City on the Journey then. Concerts all afternoon, morning ceremonies at the National Cemetery, barbecue at the end of the day; it was great! And Jefferson City is a true All-American town, with hanging flower baskets and benches, and that gorgeous capitol, and the Missouri River, so cozy and so historical.” I went on, extolling the virtues of such a charming place, and such friendly people, when the idea struck. I’m not THAT far from Jefferson City; Missouri is just the next state north, well heck, I can do that again! And so I did.

First I emailed Bill Stine, who performed with the Monticello Singers on Memorial Day 2013. He assured me the group was performing at 3 PM in the Capitol, just as before, and warmly invited me to please come again. Not long after I received an email from Paul Hinman, Conductor of the Jefferson City Community Symphonic Band; he’d heard I might be coming and invited me to their concert at First Christian Church at 1 PM. Online I found information about the special ceremony at the Jefferson City National Cemetery at 10:30 AM. It all fit; déjà vu was taking shape, everything lining up, smooth as silk. » read more


Superlative, In A Word

30 capitol carLinda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – I parked squarely in front of the building. No parking meter, no driving round and round the block. Good. Thomas Jefferson’s statue overlooked the scene from the top of the massive steps. Distinctive. I couldn’t manage that many steps but never fear, just to the right a wide ramp took me behind the steps; it once was the carriage entrance. Super. Inside the automatic door and straight ahead to the Visitor Desk, where tours are offered seven days a week. Fantastic. Jim was ready to begin the 11 o’clock tour; a couple entered just after me and off we went into the rotunda, first stop, the state seal, gleaming golden in the shiny marble floor. “No, we don’t have grizzly bears roaming around Missouri,” Jim laughed, as he pointed to the two large bears on either side of the seal. “But they do represent strength.” A smaller bear and an eagle bearing arrows and olive branches in its claws filled the center, along with a crescent, representing potential for growth. The words “United we stand, divided we fall” surround the seal; a banner below carries the state motto “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto,” a Latin phrase 30 sealmeaning “Let the welfare of the people be the supreme law.” Powerful. Thirty-four stars across the top represent Missouri becoming the 34th state in 1821; Jim pointed to what might be considered an error at the bottom – “That date is 1820, which is when our constitution was written, although Missouri was not admitted to the Union until the next year.” Jim went on to explain that this building, completed in 1917, is the third built in Jefferson City, and the sixth that has served the state. “Let’s head upstairs” he said. “I’ll show you something there.” » read more


Glory, Glory, Hallelujah

27 julia howeLinda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – “…as I lay waiting for the dawn, the long lines of the desired poem began to twine themselves in my mind….I said to myself, ‘I must…write these verses down, lest I fall asleep again and forget them.’ So, with a sudden effort, I sprang out of bed, and…scrawled the verses almost without looking at the paper.” These are the words of Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet, describing the November morning she wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic. The year was 1861 and the poem was published in The Atlantic Monthly in February of the next year. Julia’s lyrics were intended to link the “judgment of the wicked at the end of time” with the American Civil War; since then it has become one of the most familiar and well-loved American patriotic songs. On this Memorial Day in Middle America, it was performed for likely the million-umpteenth time as the swelling finale for the Jefferson City Community Symphonic Band concert at the First Christian Church. Glory, glory, hallelujah; soaring up to the rafters, what a fitting end to a beautiful concert. 27 church insideThe band was really good, a collection of non-professional musicians from the area; since Paul Hinman and Steve Eubanks organized them back in 2010 they’ve put on several concerts a year. Today’s was, fittingly, a tribute to all our military forces, past, present, and future; with a variety of patriotic songs, from Civil War medleys to Star Wars, but The Battle Hymn was the icing on the cake. Glory, glory, hallelujah rang in my head as I made my way to the door of the church, and then turned back. Outside, lightning, thunder, and bucket-rain were putting on another show. » read more


Jeff City

23 jeff city skylineLinda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – The City of Jefferson. That’s the official name of Jefferson City, although locals affectionately call it Jeff City, or just home. Somebody wanted to name it Missouriopolis, way back in its beginnings, but it wound up being named for Thomas Jefferson; I’m sure schoolchildren learning to spell are glad of that. If you’re wondering why such a small city in such an out-of-the-way place is the designated state capital, the answer is found in the 1820 constitution of the soon-to-be-state of Missouri. Under Article X, Of the Permanent Seat of Government, the General Assembly was directed to name five commissioners to select a site for a capital city, with the stipulation “that no place shall be selected which is not situated on the bank of the Missouri River, and within forty miles of the mouth of the river Osage.” Rivers were the highways of the frontier, you see, “forever free to the citizens of this state and of the 25 flagsUnited States;” waterways carried the freight and passengers pushing west. The spot chosen is actually 18 miles from the mouth of the Osage; and although a few overrides of that dictum have been tried over the years; here it remains. Jeff City is what you have in mind when you think of the ideal small town; American flags fly permanently from every street post; flower pots grace the sidewalks where outdoor tables invite you to sit and eat. On weekends, traffic lights are set to blinking red, making them four-way stops; no hurry; no wasted time. It has a 60’s look, in fact, that’s the idea. I’ve heard that a purring cat in your lap lowers blood pressure by ten points; I say so does a sidewalked town, with trees, and benches, and petunias. » read more


A Real Deal

23 signing statueLinda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – It’s time to talk about the Louisiana Purchase. The LP is one of those American History standards we are taught early in school; that memorable moment when the United States doubled in size in just a day under the wise leadership of President Jefferson, who soon after hired Lewis and Clark to explore the new land. Now that I’m here, in the city named for that president, by the river that served as the pathway for exploration by the Discovery Corps, I am inspired to dig deeper into the details. Inspired, and intrigued; I came across a monument when I walked behind the capitol today; an imposing sculpture just beyond a lovely fountain, high on the bluff above the Missouri River. It’s a theater-like setting, three men on a stage, a recreation in bronze of an event that happened long ago. I moved closer to read the 23 signing statue and bridgeinscription; Monroe. Livingston. Marbois. 1803. That’s all it said, although Signing of the Treaty was engraved below. Back in my room, I began to accumulate more facts. The date represented was April 30, 1803; the location was Paris, France; the men were James Monroe, Robert Livingston, and Francois Barbé-Marbois. Marbois (1745-1837) was France’s Minister of the Treasury under Napoleon Bonaparte; Livingston (1746-1813) was the US Ambassador to France. Monroe (1758-1831), who would become fifth president of the United States in 1817, was sent by Jefferson to join Livingston in France; as designated minister plenipotentiary, he had full authority to transact business on the President’s behalf. Jefferson didn’t send Monroe to buy the Louisiana Territory however; his mission was to buy the port of New Orleans. What happened was a surprise that Thomas Jefferson didn’t hear about until July 3. » read more


The Road Less Traveled

21 dark fields grassesLinda Burton posting from Jefferson City, Missouri – “I took the road less traveled by,” is a line from one of my favorite Frost poems; it came to mind today as I made my way to my next stop. I was on the freeway from Springfield to the Missouri state line, but I-72 qualifies as a road less traveled; traffic was light as I headed west through Illinois farmland; flat land, rich and dark and ready for the spring planting; or maybe that has already happened and the seeds are in there, waiting to pop up. Side-of-the-road grasses were already thick and bugs were already waiting; the wipers couldn’t stay ahead of the windshield splats. I watched the sky; sometimes blue, sometimes gray; 21 tree flattenedhopefully the line of storms predicted to come through in late afternoon would stay to the south. All over the country minds were reeling from the events in Oklahoma last night; an F-5 tornado cut a mile-wide swath through the town of Moore, wiping out two schools and killing children; destruction was incomprehensible. Moore is just south of Oklahoma City where cousin Jayne lives; I remembered seeing signs from the freeway when I was there. My plan today was to get from Springfield to Jefferson City during the lull between storms, with a quick 21 mark twainstop in Hannibal. I began to notice something amiss as I approached the Mississippi River, giant oaks with trunks twisted and flung to the ground; patches of trees with limbs ripped away. Something wicked this way has come, I thought, as I crossed the long bridge that took me into Missouri. The road curved up between limestone cliffs; on the hillside to my left the face of Mark Twain welcomed me to Hannibal. » read more