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Subj: Springfield, Missouri
Date: 1/22/2003 8:54:36 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: kbwalk@mymailstation.com

Howdy Everyone!
  Awhile back when I was staying in Lincoln, MO, a lady from the Methodist Church had recently moved there from Urbana, and she knew a lot of people who lived in and around Urbana.  So she made some phone calls in Cross Timber, Urbana, Buffalo, and Fair Grove and got some places set up for me to stay at.  So when I headed out of Warsaw and was on my way to Cross Timber, all I knew was that I was looking for the house that had the water tower in their back yard.  I was pushing my cart that day, and about 6 miles out of  town I rounded a bend and found a gas station/convenient store out in the middle of nowhere.  HOORAY for gas stations! I was getting my cart situated up by the door and was ready to go inside, when a man pumping gas came up to me and said "Ma'am, weren't you in Warsaw a little while ago?"   I said yes, and he said "pushing THAT?"  Again I said yes, and he then said he'd be happy to haul me and my cart to wherever I was going. I explained what I was doing, and then offered to pay him if he'd haul my cart and me to Cross Timber and then bring me back here so I could finish walking there.  He thought it was all hilarious but was happy to oblige.  So we loaded up my cart and headed to Cross Timber.  He especially got a bang out of the fact that we were searching for the water tower first, and then we'd find the house.  I knew both Hank & Liz were at work and wouldn't be at the house, and we did find the place without any problem (the water tower really IS in their back yard!)  So we unloaded my cart and headed back. The walk after that was really enjoyable, and while I was walking I saw a bunch of hay
bales arranged to look like a HUGE tractor.  It was pretty neat, and I took a couple pictures.   I got to Hank & Lizes house around 3:00, and I knew they wouldn't be
home till after 4.  So I decided to check out this big town of Cross Timber, population 185.  I found the downtown area, and the only building that had any life to it at all was the good ol' post office.  A couple doors down from it was the Community Building.  If you ever want to find anything out about a small town, I've learned that the best places to go to are -- in this  order -- the local cafe at noon, the town office, or the post office.  I also knew there was no way the post office would let me use their restroom (some government thing,) but thought maybe I could figure out a way to get into the Community Bldg.  So I headed into the post office, introduced myself and told him what I was doing.  I mentioned that I'd be spending the night at Hank & Lizes, and asked him if he knew when they'd get home.  He said "they both work at the school, and they'll be back a little after 4."  (See?)  I then mentioned that I knew he wouldn't let me use the restroom there,  but that he probably had the key to the Community Bldg and could I please use the restroom there?  He said "I guess so" and handed me the key.  I was  in a much better mood after that, and waiting on their front porch sitting  on their porch swing was fairly enjoyable.  It was kindof nippy out, but around 4 Liz arrived.  She already knew I was there, because she stopped
at the post office first and he informed her that I'd be on her front porch.  And I was!
   I really enjoyed meeting and staying with Hank & Liz.  She fixed a big pot of soup that evening, and had let the school know I was coming.  So the next day when I walked to Urbana, I stopped in at the school and found Liz.  I gave several talks that afternoon and really enjoyed that.  While I was walking to Urbana that day, I saw the funniest thing:  someone had hung a toilet upside down on one of the reflector signs along the side of the road!  Walking up to it, I couldn't tell what it was from the back side.  But when I got up to it and turned around, I was looking up into a toilet!!
When I got to the school, I begged Liz to drive me back so I could get a picture, but by the time we got there it had already been removed. 
   In Urbana I stayed with Keith and Mary Glor, and they live fairly close  to Prairie Chapel United Methodist Church.  That evening the youth group was getting together, and they asked me to give a talk.  It was a large group of over 40 youth kids, so first of all I gave my talk about epilepsy, then talked about walking across America.  I was there for well over an hour, and they asked many questions.  That night it snowed around 6", so I spent an extra day at Keith and Mary's house.    After that when I got to Fair Grove, I stayed with Charlie & Lucy Schmidt.  Their son married Hank & Lizes daughter.  That evening there was special going on at Wonders Of Wildlife, where the admission is normally $12 but that day was for $5.00, so they took me to that.  The museum is right next door to Bass Pro in Springfield.  I really enjoyed seeing the museum, and was looking forward to getting to Springfield and spending some time at Bass Pro.   I made a few calls to some churches in Springfield to see if I could spend the night there, and High Street Baptist Church said yes.  The church is enormously HUGE and has around 1,500 members.  The parking lot is so big, that they have letters on the lightposts so you can remember where you parked!  They showed me around and then took me to the "Bridal Room,"
where I'd be staying.  It's a fairly small room, with plush, hunter-green carpeting, and a huge, floor-to-ceiling 3-way mirror with elegant, ruffley curtains cascading down to the floor.  It has a counter (and another huge mirror) with dainty little chairs to sit in.  It also has 2 elegant chairs to sit in,  a sink and countertop, an elegant arbor decorated with flowers and lights, with 2 rod-iron chairs and a small table sitting under it, plus wine glasses, a candelabra, and did I mention mirrors?  There are mirrors EVERYWHERE in this room.  Me and my cart are feeling a little bit out of place in here, but hey, it works.  Plus it has it's own heating and air conditioner, and
a bathroom right next door. And not only does this church have numerous bathrooms, but it also has a huge locker room/shower room like you'd see in a
school.  Waaaaayyyy down the hall one way is the office, where I can use their computer, and waaaaaayyyy down the hall the other way is the kitchen, where I can get ice and use the microwave.  This church is ENORMOUS.
   Yesterday after I got here, Bob and Mary, members of this church, showed me around town.  They took me to several places, including Bass Pro, Springfield National Cemetery, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, and then we  went out to eat at Lambert's Cafe, in Ozark, Mo.  Lambert's is famous for it's throwed rolls.  As soon as the hot rolls are out of the oven, they bring them out and literally throw them to anyone who wants one!  The food was great, too.  When you place your order and get your meal, they'll still come around and plop more food on your plate while you're eating!  It was a great evening, and they were so nice!  They let me eat for free, plus gave me a t-shirt and a large mug from there.    I especially enjoyed touring Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. It was a bitter fight between the Union and the Confederates for control of Missouri in the first year of the Civil War.  Missouri was truly split down the middle as far as serving on the Union or for the Confederates.  Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, who commanded the Federal forces, was an 1841 graduate of the US Military Academy and a war vetran.  He had around 6,000 soldiers and was encamped at Springfield.  But 75 miles southwest of Springfield, Maj.Gen. Sterling Price had Confederate force exceeding 12,000 men.  Even though they were outnumbered, Lyon decided to attack the Confederates.  Ironically, the Confederates had also planned a surprise attack, but decided to cancel their plans due to rain.  On the morning of Aug 10, 1861, Lyon's attack caught the southerners off guard.  The area they fought at is now called "Bloody Hill."  The war raged on for
6 hrs, with the tide changing with each charge and countercharge.  General  Lyon, who had been wounded twice already, was killed on Bloody Hill while leading a countercharge.  Maj. Samuel Sturgis took over command of the Federal forces, and by 11am, with ammunition nearly exhausted, ordered awithdrawal to Springfield.  The
battle of Wilson's Creek was over, with 1,317 losses for the Union and 1,222  for the Confederates.  The southerners, though victorious on the field,  were not able to pursue the Northerners.  Lyon lost the battle and his life, but Missouri still remained under Union control. 
   Driving along the route and seeing all the signs and markers, and looking out over the fields and trying to imagine a bloody, raging war was so interesting.  And then seeing the Springfield National Cemetery, which was established because of the need for a burial place for those who fell at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, was also impressive.  There are both, Union soldiers and Confederates, buried in this cemetery.
   I also enjoyed spending some time at Bass Pro, a HUGE outdoor/hunting/camping store.  And like I usually do, I asked them for a free pair of shoes.  The manager, who was all for giving me a pair of shoes, contacted his boss, who then contacted the corporate office, and they said no.  They couldn't of cared less about what I was doing, and they weren't going to give me a pair of shoes.  I was kindof surprised.  I'm embarassed to say I simply assumed they'd give me a pair, since other companies such as LL Bean, New Balance, and Lands End have given me shoes in the past.  But Bass Pro wouldn't budge.
   I also found out yesterday that the Grand Country Square in Branson is going to let me stay there for 3 nights for free.  Now THAT'S pretty exciting!  I've called them several times over the last couple weeks, and they said to call back on Monday for an answer.  I forgot to call back on monday, but was on Channel 10 News that evening.  When I called them back on tuesday they said sure, that I could stay there for 3 nights for free and also go to their show.  So I'm really looking forward to that!  I'll be staying there sat/sun/mon night, and here's the ph# if you'd like to give me a
call.  I'll be staying at the Grand Country Square Motel, and I'll be there this coming sat/sun/mon nights.  Call em at:  417-335-3535.  Take care and have a great day!  KB

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