Wednesday, May 21, 2008

hair and there without a care

What are we doing with these cosmetologists in training?  

As much as we can, of course.  They're taking a break from studies at the Independence School of Cosmetology, which also serves as the headquarters of Leila's Hair Museum.   That's her on the right.  She's "beyond obsessed with hair" she told us.  Back in 1956 she bought her first hair wreath.  Now the walls are filled with examples of this obscure Victorian era practice of memorializing loved ones with hair art.  Using their actual hair, which some folks think is a bit creepy.  But not Leila.  

It's a one-of-a-kind history lesson, a tribute to the types of work that women were allowed to pursue in those days, and a way for Leila to spend a whole lotta money on e-bay.  She's got hair from the stars too--Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr, Ronald Reagan's on the way... as is (you heard it hear first) Mary, the Mother of Jesus!  Like Don told her, "you're gonna need a bigger parking lot."

From  Independence, we headed south, then east to follow up on a couple of viewer tips, the first one about some yard art near Holden.  And indeed, a few sizable sculptures are standing in what the sign calls the Holden Art Yard, which also claimed to be closed.  But since the work was outside and easy to see, we decided it was still open, for a few minutes anyway.

 Our other investigation took us to Sedalia.  We'd heard that a TV Repair Shop there had "a lot of bird houses out back."  We're not sure what constitutes a whole lot of purple martin houses, but we've been to Griggsville, Illinois, and this sir, is no Griggsville.  But that's OK, while in Sedalia we were able to verify that the Wheel Drive-In, forced out of its long-time  location for highway improvements, is now up and running a mile or so south. Peanut butter slathered on a burger...I called it "an acquired taste" 12 years ago.  I think that still fits.

Even with my belly full of guber, we made tracks for Tipton, to play catch in the shadow of the World's Largest 8 Ball, which once served as the water tower for the Fisher Pool Table Co.  
Sure it was a stretch, but I still think my mention of former Royal Tom Poquette was the best billiards/baseball link of the day.  Think about it...

As dark clouds gathered, we wondered if we might get rained out at Boathenge.  But the skies cleared nicely as we reached Cooper's Landing on the Missouri River.  It's a stop on the Katy Trail between Rocheport and Jeff City.  A fellow named Catfish who helped erect the Henge said it could be explained as "beer, backhoes and boats" coming together.  We admired its eloquent self, and the 3D painting of it made by 82 year old Columbia folk artist Rex Bandy. Rex wants more color in the world, and paints accordingly.  He also shared some useful tips on picking up women in grocery stores, laundromats and pool halls.  We took a turn on some borrowed bikes, then chased it all with Thai food from Chim's  at the Landing.  All true, I swear, but don't ask me about Sparky, the grumpy guy on the houseboat where some equally tasty music was being made.  I just might tell you.

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