Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I always loved Kansas City

When I was growing up in north Missouri, I'd spend a week with my sister every summer; she lived in Kansas City, North, near Gladstone. You could stand in her back yard and see the KC skyline. I loved that skyline. When I was at Sister's house, we'd visit Fairyland Park and the Swope Park Zoo. We'd ride the bus to the Katz store in North Kansas City. What a magical place Kansas City was.

When I was twelve years old and in the sixth grade, my parents moved to Kansas City hoping to find a way to make a living. They'd been eking out an existence on a farm where Daddy was a "hired man", and times were hard.

I missed the country life, and actually cried myself to sleep several nights, after we'd moved to the big city.

But we were about four blocks from Municipal Airport, which was Kansas City's only airport at that time. I could walk down there any time I pleased and watch planes take off and land. Now that was exciting.

I got over my homesickness for the farm.

We were exactly one block from the Missouri River levee, and I could climb up and over those rocks and walk right to the river's edge, as you see my cousins and Daddy doing in the above picture.

We were almost under the A.S.B. bridge, and it had steps you could climb and a sidewalk where you could walk right across and end up downtown. Nobody told me we were living in what was practically a slum. I could lie on my parent's bed after dark and watch the light on top of the KCPL building change colors. I thought I was living a miracle.

Years later after I graduated, I rented my first apartment on Eleventh Street. I'd catch a bus to work in front of Genova's Chestnut Inn (seeing country music singers' names
on the marquee who later became legends), or I could walk north to the Independence Avenue bus stop.

I worked in North Kansas City, so I transferred buses Downtown in front of Emery, Bird, Thayer. Waiting for my next bus, I soaked in the amazing displays in Downtown's streets and windows during the Christmas season back then.

The Kansas City skyline still moves me. If you've driven through Dallas or even St. Louis, Kansas City pales by comparison; but I will always love it. Because I remember when Downtown Kansas City was the place to be.

And I want to thank all the Kansas City bloggers who help keep those memories alive for me (even the angry bloggers). The Kansas City spirit is still there, even if Downtown isn't what it used to be.

I will always love Kansas City.


MissKris said...

The company my Dear Hubby works for is in Overland Park, Kansas, near the 'other' Kansas City. He's been back there a few times on business and tells me it's beautiful. Outside of a short trip to Minneapolis when I was 19 I've never been to any other part of the midwest outside of stopovers at O'Hare and St. Louis airports. I am SO afraid I'd lose all sense of direction. What on earth do you use as a 'compass' there so you know what direction you're looking in? On a cloudy day, anyway, haha! Hey, Donna...Merry Christmas to you! It's Christmas Eve morning as I write this. And I'll postpone putting on a photo of me until you're ready. You just let me know when you have that 'mental image' registered in your head!

MissKris said...

I should say the corporate offices of the company he works for is there. That was a 2 am brain blip, ha! ;-P

Fernan said...

My comment out of place......
I've let Frieda read your man's gift list idears. I must say I like tools even if I haven't a need for that particulate one, but one never knows and it don't hurt to be prepared....
As for sporting events, I see all of them a waste of time as in the end, what was ever accomplished or what's left that's been useful. Personally, I'd rather do something with my hands, maybe some athletically push-ups and body presses with my life's partner willing. In this I feel so relieved and my partner's humming and wearing a smile. And, every body's happy.

Anonymous said...

I remember Katz drugs stores and all the times I would drive to the old municipal airport to either drop off or pick up my father. I spent my (1st) honeymoon in Kansas City and was scared to death to be there without my parents! (way too young!) Merry Christmas