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volume 4

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issue 10

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february 2014

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COVER PACKAGE: Area’s best-kept secrets

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Profile: Racing sisters

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History: Larry Wood

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Mind Your Business: Roller City

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Sub-Cover: PhotoSpiva Kids 2014

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Style: Romantic wear

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Profile: T-33 display

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Health: Dark chocolate & red wine

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Profile: McAuley High School Inkslinger

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Health: Senior awareness

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Living: February flowers

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TASTE: Undercliff Restaurant Bar & Grill

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Profile: Valentine’s stats

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Music to the Ears: Wakarusa Music Festival

The J Team EDITOR Kevin McClintock Phone: 417.627.7279 Fax: 417.623.8598 E-Mail: kmcclintock@joplinglobe.com Magazine Writer Ryan Richardson Contributing Writers Michael Coonrod Bobbie Pottorff David O’Neill Andra Byran Stefanoni

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Cover design/graphic design Publications Press, Inc.

6 THE SCENE 10 THE 10-Spot 65 THE J List 66 THE Parting Shot

The Joplin Globe Contributing Photographers B.W. Shepherd T. Rob Brown Curtis Almeter Laurie Sisk Ryan Richardson Roger Nomer Contributing Artists Regina Carnahan Michael Duntz Allison Ezell Lindsey Gregory Brian Huntley

President and Publisher Mike Beatty Phone: 417.627.7291 Fax: 417.623.8450 E-Mail: mbeatty@joplinglobe.com

Sales Manager Janette Cooper Phone: 417.627.7236 Fax: 417.623.8550 E-Mail: jcooper@joplinglobe.com

EDITOR Carol Stark Phone: 417.627.7278 Fax: 417.623.8598 E-Mail: cstark@joplinglobe.com

Circulation Director Jack Kaminsky Phone: 417.627.7341 Fax: 417.623.8450 E-Mail: jkaminsky@joplinglobe.com

Director of Advertising Brent Powers Phone: 417.627.7233 E-Mail: bpowers@joplinglobe.com

Director of Magazines Julie Damer Phone: 417.627.7323 Fax: 417.623.8450 E-Mail: jdamer@joplinglobe.com

Joplin Metro Magazine is a publication of Newspaper Holdings Inc. and is published monthly. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter. The publisher assumes no responsibilty for return of unsolicited materials.


from the editor

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ou’re in for a treat this month, J MAG readers, and no, it has nothing to do with Valentine’s. We actually have two cover packages inside our February issue, something we’ve really never done before, but it’s something we’d like to do see more of in the coming months. Our primary package, which ties in with the great picture on our front cover of local model Haley Valez, has to do with all the cool but relatively secret places that exist within a 20-minute drive from your Joplin home. From a museum filled with thousands of small electrical appliances to a transplanted town outside Carthage, these “best-kept secrets” will pique your interest. So much so that we hope you’ll spend a Saturday checking the places out. They certainly deserve the recognition.

Elsewhere in this magazine you can read about the benefits of dark chocolate and red wine, a T-33 jet display in Webb City, a profile on local history writer Larry Wood as well as the 10 most popular flowers — and their historical meanings — found in the winter. As always, you can reach us here at kmcclintock@joplinglobe.com, by mail at Joplin Metro Magazine, 117 E. Fourth St., Joplin, Mo., 64801, call us at 417.627.7279 or find us on Facebook.

Kevin McClintock Editor, Joplin Metro Magazine

Secrets!

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The other package is our preview coverage of the 2014 PhotoSpiva Kids contest. While we aren’t voting on the winners like we did last year, we are still profiling most of this year’s participants, along with one of their photos and a snapshot of their faces. Be sure to take the time to appreciate these young kids’ photography skills.

We’d also like to welcome a new writer to the J MAG stable — David O’Neill. You’ll be reading more of his stories in the months to come, primarily in our new and expanded “health” section; David loves writing about the latest health care technology and trends.

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the scene

C A R D I N A L C A R AV A N Photography by LAURIE SISK

Joe Kelly (center), a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, mock interviews fellow right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller during a recent visit to Joplin.

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Shelby Miller speaks about last year’s World Series appearance while Joe Kelly looks on. Miller, as a rookie last year, posted a 15-9 record with a 3.97 ERA. Kelly, who started the season in the bullpen but ended up with 15 starts, had 10 wins with a 2.69 ERA. Both are vying for positions in the 2014 rotation this year.

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Kaulden Hood, 7, of Carthage, is about to have his baseball bat autographed by Shelby Miller, one of his favorite Cardinal players.


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the scene

BIRD COUNT FOR KIDS Photography by Curtis Almeter

Ann Meador and her father, David Meador, spot a bird with Education Director Chris Pistole during a recent bird watch for kids at the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center.

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Rose Turylo, Grace Woodruff, Daniel Woodruff and, behind them, park volunteer Becky Wylie converge their sights on a single tree in the distance.

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Grace and Daniel Woodruff, both 11, are in search of a male red Cardinal in the trees surrounding south Joplin.


the scene

V O L U N T EE R D AY Photography by Roger Nomer

Nicky Jones, Joplin, applauds a speaker during the Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast at Missouri Southern State University in late January. The breakfast was well attended by community members and university staff and students.

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Monica White, left, and Mikayla Avery, both freshmen on the Missouri Southern volleyball team, help Children’s Haven with their move; they volunteered their time as part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s day of service.

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Jim Heaney, superintendent at the George Washington Carver Monument, looks over quilts on display at Missouri Southern’s Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast.

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10-SPOT

R O M A N T I C G E T AWA Y S BY Bobbie Pottorff

Local Romantic “Hot” Spots R

omance and love can be inspired by beautiful places that hold special memories. They can also be inspired by spontaneity and a loving gesture for that special someone in your life.

You can pamper your partner by staying at any one of the beautiful bed and breakfast spots listed below and leave all the cooking and cleaning to someone else. Or if your idea of romance is spending time outdoors by climbing rocks or hiking trails, there are a number of beautiful outdoor locations to visit, as well. If romance is what you want, we suggest any one of these 10 spots in the Joplin/Jasper County area.

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Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast, Carthage — With a unique twist on the bed and breakfast, Grand Avenue offers a type of dinner theater with a murder mystery event. A group of friends can participate in the murder mystery event or simply enjoy some romance away from home for the evening or weekend. Owner Jeanne Goolsby says, typically, it’s the men keeping it romantic at Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast. Each of the rooms include modern conveniences like Internet and cable television. You can find out more about the murder mystery events on their website or book your ideal romantic getaway.

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White Rose Bed, Breakfast and Winery, Carthage — You can wine and dine your true love and let all the cares of the day fade away. An afternoon of tasting their homemade and delicious wine can be followed up with dinner and a quiet night in one of their beautiful suites. Each room will give you a view of the courtyard and is decorated with detailed furnishings that will take you back in time. The White Rose Winery has a large selection of wines delighting even the most delicate of palates.

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Prosperity Bed and Breakfast, Prosperity (Joplin) — Another bed and breakfast in the area that gives inspiration to a romantic soul is this old schoolhouse that is also known to be allegedly haunted. Owner Richard Roberts says they have visitors from different places, but a lot of them are typically local residents. While there are no Valentine’s specials, they always have great rates and plenty of room for anyone who wants a romantic getaway with some peace and quiet.


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Phelps House, Carthage — Weddings, receptions and special events are what they do best at Phelps House in Carthage. The elegant nature of this historic landmark lends a hand in making your events memorable and romantic. You can book parties, receptions, bridal showers and intimate events at the Phelps House. This restored piece of history has grand staircases and was built with locally mined marble back in 1895. Restored to its full glory, Phelps House is the perfect romantic setting for creating lasting memories.

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Caldone’s, Joplin — One of Joplin’s finest dining spots has the perfect lighting and music to serenade those seeking romance and intimacy. Make reservations at Caldone’s and they can prepare your wine and your table and try to accommodate your every desire. They want to pamper you and make your dining experience as memorable as can be. The atmosphere at Caldone’s is unique and you can either bring the romance or let them create it for you with the music and ambiance.

Richardson’s Candy House, Joplin/Racine — Nothing says “I love you” more than the delicious candy from Richardson’s. You can buy hand-dipped, chocolate strawberries or choose from an assortment of specially packaged chocolates just for Valentine’s Day. With two locations and a terrific website, you will never miss out on a great way to tell that special someone how you feel. You can be the romantic all year long with Richardson’s in your neighborhood. The taste and smell alone will send a flutter through your heart!

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Route 66 Drive-In, Carthage — Who doesn’t remember kissing their boyfriend or girlfriend at the drive-in theater? This historic theatre is one of the last of its kind in the area and the nostalgia alone will give even the least romantic person a little spark. Route 66 Drive-In opens in April and typically closes in September. Don’t worry if you can’t take your loved one to the drivein during Valentines, you have all spring, summer and fall to romance their socks off under the stars!

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Grand Falls, Joplin — One of Joplin’s most beautiful natural treasures is Grand Falls. Anyone who comes to town, whether to visit or to live, will learn firsthand how beautiful and rewarding it can be to visit the Falls. If you want to take your special someone out for a night of star-gazing or for a day of exploring nature, Grand Falls is the place. You can walk or climb down to the water and see the special rocks known as chert. Water pools in the dips and grooves of the chert, and you can experience Mother Nature at her finest.

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Creative Cottage, Joplin — Fresh flowers, chilled champagne and comfortable furniture are all part of the experience at the Creative Cottage. Owner Ann Leach says she is able to provide a romantic and inspirational experience with the help of community partners Wild Flower, Macadoodle’s, and Slumberland. Initially, Creative Cottage was started as a place for women coping with loss and change. Nestled in the historic Murphysburg neighborhood, Creative Cottage has a two-bedroom private suite with a fully-functional kitchen. If you want a romantic night away from the stress of everyday life, you have an incentive during the week of Valentine’s Day. The Cottage is available for half the usual room rate on a nightly basis.

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Wildcat Glades, Joplin — Amazing natural beauty carved out among the edges of Shoal Creek on the south side of Joplin is home to some of the most beautiful landscape in the area. Romantics who love the outdoors will find inspiration among the wildlife as they stroll along the trails and explore all that nature has to offer. Migratory birds flock to the area while flowers and trees start to bloom in the late winter and early spring. Pick a flower for the one you love and enjoy the beauty of nature at its finest.

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cover story

best kept secrets

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by Kevin McClintock photography By Curtis Almeter and Kevin Mcclintock

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Shhhhhhhh!

Wanna hear a secret? Secrets are things we give to others to keep for us.

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Instead, what we wanted to focus on were the cool places or people that, perhaps, have for whatever reason escaped attention.

Or do they?

In the end, we hope to change that.

Here at J MAG, we wanted to shine some light on a dozen little known “secrets” scattered throughout our little corner of the world. What we didn’t want to spotlight are the places most people already know about: the Joplin Museum Complex, for example. Or beautiful Grand Falls along Shoal Creek. Or hulking Big Brutus in Southeast Kansas.

After reading these, they’ll no longer be secrets. But just in case, when telling others about the following bits of information, remember to do so with a whisper.

t’s hard to keep a secret. Between mobile phones and twitter and security cameras, few things escape the public’s eye.


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began my quest for the area’s best-kept secrets from the mouth of the popular J Cave located on the third floor of the Joplin Globe building. Luckily, my first destination wasn’t much of a journey. Crossing Main Street, I slipped inside the Joplin Public Library (300 S. Main St.). Tucked away in the back southwest corner of the building, making it easy to miss, is the Post Memorial Art Reference Library. Think of it as a “library within a library” — yet it’s so much more than that.

s ’ a e Ar t p e K t Bes s t e r Sec

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In the center of the room sits Leslie Simpson, the woman who has nurtured the Post Memorial Library, an independently endowed private foundation, from its inception in 1981 to help it become what it is today.

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A sign locating the spot of the Red Oak Cafe.

One would be hard pressed to find a library of its likeness anywhere outside a major metropolitan city, Simpson says. Surrounding her are works of art and books that are invaluable in the history that they contain. It is a labor of love, but one to which Simpson remains dedicated. The late Winfred and Elizabeth Post, philanthropists and patrons of the arts, were looking for a way to help promote the arts in their town. The library was their answer. Artist Dianne Cantrell has recreated the facade of the Post home as the entrance to the library, with the threshold flanked by a stone lion and dog.

Centered in the sitting room is the 17th century Elizabethan table. Shadowing it is a same-century English court cupboard. Also Charles found inside the room is an 18th century Getz was his English dresser, a Flemish cupboard with name, but he was better ivory inlay, and an English settee with known throughout Jasper French tapestry. On the walls are County as the “Ice King.” Inside his many fine paintings, sculptures and ice cellar located at 408 Amandar Ave. furnishings. Throughout the library in Joplin, Getz stored roughly 4,000 — mirroring as closely as possible tons of “good, clear ice” for sale. His the Post house — is a fireplace, oak was the only business that ever stored plank floors, Gothic-style arches and natural ice; he cut the ice from a large a vaulted ceiling ornamented with pond in the winter, storing it deep corbels formerly from the home, beneath the ground for the hot according to the library’s web site.

summer months, when it was in demand.


In 1907, the Joplin Fire Department was proclaimed to be the equal to the best departments found in the country when is fielded “The Goat,” the city’s first automobile fire wagon. It was built on a two-cylinder Buick chassis by Al Webb. The other three department vehicles, installed in 1908, included an Oldsmobile, a Thomas Flyer and a second Oldsmobile. In 1935, JFD obtained an “amphibian fire wagon” to serve as a rescue car on land and water. Fire Chief Tom Enright believed this vehicle “was the first of its kind in the The 19th Century English settee with French tapestry set up in the corner of the reading room United States.”

near another antique piece of furniture, the 17th Century English table. The details with this, and the 17th Century English court cupboard, are breathtaking to behold.

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Richard Larrison, owner of the “World’s Largest Small Electrical Appliance Museum” inside J.R.’s Western Wear store near Diamond, holds in his hands an antique electric toaster dating back to the early 1900s.

The entrance to the Post Memorial Art Reference Library, located in the back corner of the Joplin Public Library. Think of it as a “library within the library.”

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After spending an hour in the heart of downtown Joplin, I took a drive out to the city’s far reaches. Located between Joplin and Diamond (51 State Highway 59) sits the popular J.R.’s Western Wear store. Much like the Post library inside the JPL, this privately-owned store houses its own secret.

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As the name implies, there are also plenty of books found inside, mostly covering local history, art and art history. Though they are non-circulating, patrons are free to view them for research purposes.

This shows the size of the collection — 6,000 pieces in all — that comprises three large rooms. 15


During World War II, war bonds purchased by Joplin residents built a 10,500-ton Victory cargo ship named “Inland Joplin, Mo.” Money from war bonds also built two B-17 Flying Fortress bombers, each with a price tag of $600,000. The planes were named “Joplinmo” and “Ozark Nell.”

Many people have asked if his items are for sale. He has some duplicates. But for most, his answer is a friendly no.

One of Red Oak II’s largest structures, located on the banks of a stream that slices through the town.

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At the very back of the building, through a single door, sits the “World’s Largest Small Electrical Appliance Museum.” Owned by J.R.’s owner Richard Larrison, it serves as one of the area’s most unique, and least visited, museums.

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“It’s a labor of love,” Larrison said of his three-room museum, which houses within neat glass shelving approximately 6,000 small electric appliances ranging from toasters and irons to coffee pots and waffle irons. The earliest toaster he owns was the first ever made, a General Electric D-12 toaster. Many of his toasters were produced in the early 1900s. In all, there are “pinchers” and “perchers,” “droppers” and “floppers,” “tippers” and “flippers,” not to mention the “swingers,” “walk-throughs,” “flatbeds” and, of course, the ever-popular “pop-ups.” One of the most expensive toasters he owns — twin machines set on a single base — is worth nearly $2,000.

But toasters are only a small portion of the collection. It’s arguably the most diverse grouping of 20th century American electric appliances anywhere in the nation. There are coffee pots, waffle irons, hot plates, blenders, mixers, razors, hair dryers, popcorn poppers, hot dog cookers and fans. Oh, and stuffed cat toys, but those are his wife Janice’s collection, he says with a chuckle. Larrison has been collecting for 30 years; all of them he purchased from stores throughout the country or online via eBay. “My brother had polio since he was about 20 years old,” Larrison says, “and the only thing he could do was to repair small electrical appliances. In fact, my first (appliance) was the one I got from him. So the collection has quite a special meaning to me.”

“Try to find another,” he says. “They are rare. I want to preserve history. “You know,” Larrison continues. “Sometimes I stand here and I can’t believe I went out and did all this. (But) I think this is a beautiful museum. It’s so colorful, and there’s so much to see.” Heading north on 59 and ducking through Carthage, I stopped at the spot where a tiny village was never meant to be. This town — Red Oak II — is the area’s third best-kept secret on our list. Artist Lowell Davis — referred to as the “Norman Rockwell of Rural Art” — grew up during the 1930s in the small town of Red Oak, Mo. The city had become a ghost town by the 1970s, when Davis moved back to Southwest Missouri. Moving back to his Fox Fire Farm outside Carthage, Davis did something unprecedented: he purchased and moved the homes and businesses of his beloved childhood town to his property, a distance of nearly 25 miles. There, he refurbished the buildings to their original 1930s grandeur. Thus, Red Oak II was born.


Several pictures of jewelry left behind inside the Joplin garage apartment by the infamous Bonnie Elizabeth Parker after a shootout back in 1933. The necklace can be seen inside the Joplin Museum Complex.

An old Phillips 66 service station, just up the road from the entrance into this unique village.

During the early 1920s, Joplin had a “first-rate” zoo located in Schifferdecker Park. The first recorded occupant was an infant alligator, measuring six feet from nose to tail. Later additions included an albino possum, a parrot, five elk, two black bears transported to Joplin from Yellowstone National Park, and a female cinnamon bear.

Today, this “ghost town” includes a Phillips 66 station, an old schoolhouse, a feed store, a diner, a town hall, a jail as well as several homes. Two buildings that were important in Davis’ life are the blacksmith shop, where his greatgrandfather once practiced his trade, and the General Store that was run by Lowell’s father and where he learned to sculpt and paint.

Information pertaining to Bonnie and Clyde — including fingerprints of Bonnie and Clyde Chestnut Barrow — on display at the Joplin Police Department’s south station on 34th Street.

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“I don’t believe that an artist should be restricted to use only paint or clay. It can be anything including junk, wood, even an old building,” Davis was quoted saying. “To me, Red Oak II is a combination of a painting and a sculpture, and it is just made from things that someone else threw away.”

2311 S. Jackson Joplin, MO 64804

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But we’re not talking about the apartment just off South Main Street on 34th Street in Joplin, where the gang eventually fought and killed two lawmen — Det. Harry McGinnis and Constable J.W. Harryman — in a firefight on April 13, 1933. The apartment is one of Joplin’s top tourist

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Motoring south on 59 before jotting west on I-44, I took the Main Street exit back into Joplin for a quick stop — stop No. 4 on our list. And it had to do with a killing duo, the infamous Bonnie and Clyde.

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In 1915, Joplin sported one of the most technologically-advanced and modernly-equipped bakeries in the nation. The Junge Baking Company possessed a baking room (kept at 80 degrees year-round) housing four ovens that, when combined, pumped out 2,000 loaves of bread per hour.

Here is Starbird’s car, “Lil Coffin,” a heavily modified 1932 Ford sedan.

A scattering of Darryl Starbird’s homemade, award-winning cars on display inside his self-named museum on Monkey Island, just outside Grove, Okla.

attractions. No, what we’re focusing on are the Bonnie and Clyde “souvenirs” left behind by the duo following their abruptly-ended 13-day stay in Joplin.

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Bits and pieces of Bonnie’s jewelry is currently on display inside the Joplin Museum Complex, discovered by police following the April 13 shootout inside and outside the garage apartment.

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And inside the lobby of the Joplin Police Department’s south station, located at 115 E. 34th street, there is a framed collage that houses the duo’s fingerprints, their physical descriptions and a bullet from a 1918 Browning Automatic Rife stolen by Clyde and found inside the Joplin apartment. Also included is a certificate of authenticity concerning the BAR bullet. The BAR itself is now on display at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Safety Education Center in Jefferson City. Back on I-44, I motored my way further west before taking a jaunt south to Monkey Island near Grove. There (Highway 85A), set off the road, sits Darryl Starbird National Rod and

A glimpse at the largest exhibit found inside the Miami, Okla.-based 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum — a tribute to the world’s greatest daredevil.

Custom Hall of Fame Museum. Starbird is known as the “custom car creator extraordinaire” and one of the most prolific custom car builders of all time, featured in hundreds of magazines. Inside his museum are 50 cars (and vans) no longer seen on the road today. Half of the cars were hand built by icons of the custom car world; the remaining 25 were built by Starbird himself.

The same couldn’t be said of Starbird’s vehicles. He’s built hundreds of cars over the years, opening his first garage in 1954 in Wichita, Kan.

“Cars (today) don’t have much character,” says Starbird. At least, “they don’t have the type of personalities that the 1950s and 1960s cars had. It’s just that so many cars look alike, they’ve lost that personality or uniqueness or whatever you want to call it.”

His trademark for many of his handbuilt cars include sleek, aerodynamic shapes and lines on the frames as well as antique bubble tops. In fact, he’s been affectionately called the “Bubble Top King” by his admirers.

Many of his custom car creations have been featured in national automotive magazines, and millions more have been reproduced as Monogram model kits and Hot Wheels toy cars.


In 1916, Joplin annually manufactured more cigars than any city of its size in the country. Several Joplin-based factories turned out a half-million stogies each month. The Leon S. Boucher Cigar Company, in 1924, was the largest cigar manufacturer found anywhere in Missouri.

Some of his best-known cars include the Predicta, the Electra, the Cosma Ray, the Big T, and the Lil Coffin. Another notable car in the museum is the Reactor Mach II, which appeared on multiple television programs. Director George Lucas included a tip of the hat to Starbird in his 1973 film, “American Graffiti,” in which a character named Toad comments about his friend’s 1958 Chevrolet Impala, “This may even be better than Darryl Starbird’s super fleck moon bird!” Heading north, but still in Oklahoma, I made a quick stop in the heart of neighboring Miami. Best-kept secret No. 5 can be found inside the Route 66 Vintage Iron Motorcycle Museum (128 S. Main Street). It houses more than 25 vintage motorcycles as well as an exhibit focusing on the great Evel Knievel, the man synonymous with “danger” and “daredevil.” The centerpiece is the Snake River Canyon Supervan. There is also Knievel’s famed red-white-blue jumpsuits and one of the

Paul and his band, the Raiders, stopped at a house in Joplin in 1967. The photo they took on the front porch became the cover for their seventh album, “Revolution!”

four still-existing motorcycle helmets. Knievel made death-defying jumps over cars and canyons for more than 20 years but often paid a terrible price for it. One of the most interesting exhibit items is a set of Evel’s X-rays. He holds the Guinness World Record for the most broken bones — 35. He broke both ankles, wrists and arms, every single one of his ribs, both clavicles, the sternum, he shattered his pelvis three times and his left femur five times. His worst break, a skull fracture, left him unconscious for 29 days. Motoring through Oklahoma and Kansas back into Joplin, I executed a brief pitstop at the Joplin Museum Complex, wanting to know what the oldest item found inside the building is. Museum Director Brad Belk was kind enough to oblige, showing me something that looked like an axe head. In fact, it was a mammoth tooth. The tooth was discovered by Byron Ash of Carthage. The

Here is the oldest item found inside the Joplin Museum Complex — a mammoth tooth dating back to at least 10,000 years ago.

tooth and additional bones on display were remains discovered by miners while sinking a shaft looking for zinc ore. During the Ice Age (one million to 10,000 years ago), two groups of Proboscideans (mammoths and mastodons) lived in parts of Missouri and in western Kansas. Mammoths are closely related to Asian elephants. The mammoth had high crowned teeth composed of transverse plates which were well suited for grazing on vegetation. As I’m traveling east on 15th Street, I can’t help but think of another car that traveled on this same stretch of road 47 years ago. According to Leslie Simpson, at


An old picture of Joplin residents down inside the deep Crystal Cave, which could be accessed by stairway.

one time, Paul Revere and the Raiders was America’s pop rock band answer to The Beatles in the late 1960s. Traveling on 15th Street through Joplin, the band members spied a home at the corner of East 15th Street and Mississippi Avenue and instantly fell in love with the look of it. So much so that they stopped the car and decided to take a group picture on the home’s front porch. Unfortunately, the owners weren’t home, though that didn’t deter the band members from setting up an impromptu photo shoot right then and there. That picture, taken on a

sunny afternoon in Joplin in 1967, would later become the album cover for the band’s seventh studio album, “Revolution!” Our journey sadly came to an end just a few blocks west of where it began, on busy Fourth Street. At the four-way stop at the intersection of Fourth and Gray, near SMC Electric Supply, is the spot where the former entrance to Joplin’s final best-kept secret is. Today, there’s only a small section of pipe jutting from the ground to serve as a reminder of one of Joplin’s hidden jewels — the Crystal Cave. Miners discovered the cave in 1893, after breaking through the ceiling of what is one of the world’s largest geodes. Located underground at Fourth and Grey, it is made up of chambers lined with calcite crystals. “There are three caverns below the surface, all at different intervals,” says Brad Belk.

Information courtesy “Angling in the Archives, News of Half-Century Ago... and beyond,” by Charles E. Gibbons.

“The big daddy down there is about a football field in length.” The main chamber is 225 feet in length, with a ceiling height of 10 to 15 feet. Two smaller chambers are located above it. Water was pumped out of the cave and in 1908, it was opened to the public. During the years it was open, clubs would make use of the cave and there was even a dance floor waiting for visitors at the bottom of the eight-story climb. It’s important to remember the cave’s existence. Belk often passes on information about it to people new to the community. “We wouldn’t be here without our mining heritage. Our geological past is why we’re here today,” he says. “Crystal Cave fits into that.”

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Today, the entrance to the Crystal Cave would have been located at the four-way stop intersection at Fourth and Gray streets.

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history

STORY TELLER By kevin mcclintock

Larry Wood:

“I’ve been writing almost all of my adult life (more than 35 years). I sold my first article in 1974, and I’ve been writing regularly since then.”

Wood stuck to stories and articles until his retirement from Joplin Junior High. He then began tackling novel-sized works.

Wood has sold fiction stories and non-fiction articles to a variety of magazines, including “Ozark Mountaineer,” “Gateway Heritage,” “Missouri Historical Review,” “Wild West Magazine” and “True West.”

He’s written two novels. The first, “Call Me Charlie: A Novel of a Quantrill Raider,” (2008) follows a fictional, reluctant member of William Quantrill’s Raiders during the Civil War. His second, 2009’s “Showdown at Baxter Springs,” is based on the Kansas town’s early cowtown history.

One of his most famed non-fiction pieces was an article published

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“I didn’t dislike (teaching), but I did it for the free time,” he said. “Most teachers don’t want to admit that, but I mainly did it because I had a lot of free time to write.

“That was one of my big successes,” Wood said. He told the story of Al Summers, entombed beneath the rubble for three days. He interviewed the man and his entire family, as well as those associated with his recovery or those who physically witnessed the collapse at Fourth and Main Streets.

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in Reader’s Digest in the wake of the unexpected collapse of the nine-story, 160-room Connor Hotel on Nov. 12, 1978.

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L

arry Wood spent 27 years teaching English and developmental reading in Joplin. And he was good at it, too. But he admits one of the advantages of teaching is having summers off. The free time allowed him to pursue one of his passions.

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Author Larry Wood

An Authority on Ozark History

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But a vast majority of his published works have neatly settled into the non-fiction field. His works are steeped in local legend. “My interest in history evolved over time,” he said. “It started with my interest in family history and genealogy. When I got into that, I started getting into local history and it expanded (greatly) from there. I’m pretty regional; I enjoy researching the Ozarks and the surrounding area.

“I don’t like world history,” he continued, chuckling. “Anyone can find out anything they want about world history. But local history is different — there’s not a lot of (information) out there. But if you have a tie to that locality, it’s interesting; even if you don’t live there now, if you have family there, than it makes it more interesting.” Just a few of his titles include the following: “Murder and Mayhem in Missouri” (2013); “Desperadoes of the Ozarks,” (2011); “Wicked Joplin,” (2011); and “Ozarks Gunfights and Other Notorious Accidents,” (2010). His first non-fiction novel, “The Civil War on the lower Kansas-Missouri Border,” was published in 2000. An entire list of his bibliography can be found on his Amazon page. He also writes a blog at www.ozarks-history.blogspot.com.

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“My specialties are local history having to do with the Civil War or the Old West era or gangster era — the notorious stuff.”

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Several of his books have been self-published. Most view self-publishing as self-defeating, and he says that’s mostly the case with fiction; non-fiction, though, is another story. “I wouldn’t recommend self-publishing for fiction,” Wood said. “For someone to do that with fiction, they’re saying, ‘Hey, look what a good writer I am.’ With non-fiction, you’re just saying, ‘I have some information here that you might find interesting.’”


Most of his books take about nine months to complete, with Wood working three to four hours a day. His next book will be a concise encyclopedia of the Ozarks. “It’s everything you’d want to know about the Ozarks but in one book, instead of five to eight volumes,” he said. “I see it as an introduction to anything you’d want to know about the Ozarks, its history or geography.” He’s also prepping to write a book about the battle of Lexington, Mo., which is often referred to as the “Battle of the Hemp Bales,” in late 1861. It was a Confederate victory.

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“The human interest of it.”

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“I don’t think it’s because I want to be (notorious Confederate guerilla leader) William Bloody Bill Anderson. Some writers like the Civil War because they want to study troop movements or the types of weapons used — that doesn’t interest me at all,” Wood said. “What I’m interested in is the effect (the war) had on people; the civilians and how they got displaced and how their lives were completely disrupted.

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Why does Wood write about local history in Joplin?

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Norma’s Kitchen

SpecialS available at all locationS 21 Main, Webb city: 673-2020 neosho: 417-455-0414

thank you for noMinating uS for “beSt chicken fried Steak”

1220 E. 15th Street Joplin (417) 781-5959 www.bigrsbbq.com

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JET DISPLAY Written and Photographed by Kevin McClintock

We're leaving on a Jet Plane... Only jet display found in Jasper County

N

o, that’s not a downed aircraft near the Joplin Regional Airport. The sleek jet plane parked on the grass in front of Planeview Auto Sales in Webb City is Jason Gaskill’s latest purchase. “I’ve always wanted to own a plane. So I went and bought a plane,” Gaskill said with a chuckle. “Some people might think it crash landed or something.”

A generation of F-4 Phantom pilots, who saw much bloodletting in the skies above North and South Vietnam, honed their skills on the T-33.

He purchased it on Aug. 18 — his wife’s birthday.

After Gaskill purchased the plane for an undisclosed amount of money, he had a driver take off the wings and vertical stabilizer and use a crane to pick up and place the pieces on a truck bed. The plane was then shipped 1,600 miles to Webb City, where it was pieced back together in front of Gaskill’s car lot, located across Missouri Highway 171 from the Joplin Regional Airport property.

As the “T” implies, the T-33 is a two-seat military trainer used by the United States Air Force to help green pilots learn the needed skills to fight and win a dogfight with an enemy plane.

The T-33 is a P-80 Shooting Star frame stretched almost 39 inches to accommodate a second seat. Both planes were designed by famed engineer Kelly Johnson.

But when he was priced out of bidding for the plane during a recent aviation auction, he zeroed his gun sights on a Lockheed T-33, one of about 40 planes owned by Merle Mann, whose name is stenciled near the pilot’s cockpit seat.

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The McAuley High School graduate originally had his eye on a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk — a single-engine attack plane which saw extensive combat in Vietnam and was, for a while, the preferred ride for the famed Blue Angels flying aerobatic team.

e a second to accommodat m an was stretched fro e, g m in fra fly ar of s St the basic Shooting sed on a P-80 pilot in training could learn The plane, ba a structor. e cockpit, so experienced in pilot inside th

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Lifetime Nutrition 420 N. Rangeline Suite 3 Joplin, MO 620-717-1967

When asked if he’s planning to add to his collection, he shook his head. “One is enough.” He’s also willing to sell if, if the price is right.

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cang Star had four e P-80 Shootin ith twin cannons Th e. an pl e th w of d also be armed at the bottom riveted panels e of the nose. The T-33 coul e on test targets. Note the two fir sid to ch d ea ke as , two on ts were nons altogether e bottom oval), when pilo (th

Purses • Shoes • Jewelry • Furniture

“I’ve already had curious buyers. I’d sell it for the right one. But that may take 20 years.” He’s happy with the plane being a conversation piece and a head-turner as cars and trucks stop at the busy light at the intersection of Missouri Highway 171 and Prairie Flower Road.

This T-3 3

jet train er is th Neosho e only jet aircra and Mo nett also ft currently on d isp display m ilitary a lay in Jasper C ounty. irplanes.

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“I hope nobody has a wreck looking at it,” he says.

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Did You Know? J

ason Gaskill’s T-33 is the only fighter jet on display in Jasper County. Neosho offers a borrowed Cessna T-37A jet aircraft trainer at the city’s Hugh Robinson Memorial Airport. The city is also home to a North American T-28B piston-engine plane. Probably the area’s most visible static plane is the F-4E Phantom II, located at the 75-acre Monett South Park. There is also a McDonnell GF-101B Voodoo jet fighter on display at the entrance to the Rogers, Ark. Municipal Airport. A North American F-100 Super Sabre is displayed in Independence, Kan. And in Joplin, there was once a decommissioned bomber on display at Schifferdecker Park. What made this plane special is that children were allowed to play inside the cockpit or crawl on its wings. It was a unique experience for many Joplin generations.

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K

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T-33

nown as the “T-Bird,” the T-33 still remains in service today with some third-world countries, despite its first flight taking place in the late 1940s. The plane also saw some combat. The Cuban Air Force used them during the Bay of Pigs Invasion, scoring several kills.

➢ Crew: Two ➢ Length: 37 feet, 9 inches ➢ Wingspan: 38 feet ➢ Height: 11 feet, 8 inches ➢ Weight: 8,300 pounds ➢ Power plant: Allison J33 centrifugal compressor turbojet ➢ Top speed: 600 mph ➢ Range: 1,275 miles ➢ Service ceiling: 48,000 feet ➢ Armament: 2 12.7 mm Browning M3 machine guns


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the inkslinger

By michael coonrod photography by laurie sisk

ger d Inkslin cher an r the day. a te sh l Engli ectations fo h Schoo exp uley Hig riod class on A c M r, e e p d a th r en ch Kaari S briefs her sev advisor,

’ n i g Slin InAukley High School agazine m y r Mc a r e t i l w e n s e c u d intro

ect and n conn e a c e w h ore way ant to t st one m ver y import ju g each ’s n t i i so tand k it’s s r n i e h d t n dance, I u rselves. nd just g is a hare ou l experience a s n i d a e r hoo pe from adults, high sc an esca en and , r t ld n i e der, are ter.” h c m e y in rienc her bet h Schra lot of t e a o p n or man rm of enterta x n e a s fo ts them nior Su . “I do have a favorite fe. Reading le , like ju s t n tion to be a e d . li u t es y publica finitely want n e a Some s h ever yda and other tim t re de ce. “I’v ing mo ive rlds ri’s nie l areer. I u g o a s c r a ll w g i u K t n w p i n s t , i e i differ ationa agazine in a wr h, who y be in N usanna interest terar y m a chance to tr S o li t s eat y g w a e n s i n t look gr pe er, a o get alist,” hool s g c ld n , n r S u h li u o s s h li jo w g k i g o t The In t McAuley H ved En though rther what I h lways lo nor Society I sa u a t f n e . lp g d e n u st Ho writi and h English applications and at paper, s w areer.” e their h e n g l e alism c coll choo n s n a r es e o n u h t m jo , a of stori imes nd alu le lly is T a p a y r u u t e o le c n h u c e t ev cA s and a lish tea he’s no The M by Eng column spaper. But s d o e w v t i v s e e was r ah writ ool new r. chrade Susann sue of the sch ing style. was no e r e h t Kaari S a is l, t rit e gave i or each rself to one w h schoo f g w i d h n o a t , , ot er e,” says he lly miting time I g arted the pap ys. “We actua free tim e li e y h t m y n i t a “B I res at I do c for th een a ,” she s paper. n is wh ething specifi at I write w start e had b o e r i t e n c school h a t fi d w h m ’t kno me, an “Mostly hings t rote so o be new na tarted it, didn h. “I w of the t a e n hance t n c m a o a s s s u e e e v S s w a u h a n thing ety bec t to whe te some or Soci id wan aper.” gazine, o n d r p a o I s w m t u I H u o i o h s prev sonal, b e magazine. S er goals ething al Engli are per h ut som t Nation had even high b a , n i e t h d m g e to uley.” nt ou l, ortant represe st Apri who br th McA p i la w m l i g o ll o n i i Kaari, t r ch ss ble sha to the s that wa mforta o c chapter dents. m a r te from no stu that I lish Ho y good articipa he g p n for her o E t e n r a of desi ent of t as reall as had rader h 40 perc our no lack he thern h t h n u ’s c f a e o S o r h S . e t t s i h n r e f r M T u de “Misso nts. Mo tted entries in ile, and n Price, presi s, e s h d w la u c t a s r r i e u fo ga th bit in o dy subm ays Me Society of us dent bo gories. hem,” s bout it a little t t u t h s lo t i a w ties oke a t cate sm, and , ever y “She sp differen nthusia e e ome in m c NEHS. o s s a d h e t t i ign boy tha says Kaari. kind of terest.” ad one h s s e e r s in,” ’v n i I p “ x d nts e e come . e h e showe d t y i u r a t s d w r w single er fello y read o joy lot of h literature the n a e s y le a p s o gh the Megan ome pe s throu s and s e t r lv e o s p s m the enjoy people “Some

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d. n in han

ink pe ory, red edits a st r e d ra h h Sc Susanna y junior McAule

and duction h the pro lication. it w d o o b n Allg rary pu ior Loga ool’s lite ssists sen slinger, the sch a r e d ra k ch Kaari S aspects of the In design

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ave you n yet? H io is c e d some the re?’ So, s made e y h t u g in u o y be got “‘Have out it. I it gonna b s a I ? y d r e o it t c s been ex read my ve really a h m e of th sions.” f submis ool plenty o each sch e u s is e n e ming th ublish o l is to p s perfor t a o n g e d e u h t T he s r, with t semeste rk. f the wo o y it r jo says ma ossible,” p s a le t ged the as lit lind jud g to do b s in t o n g e ud f it. It’s “I’m g that st ing all o o in t d o n m e i, ut, th Kaar comes o “I want . it s n n e io h s w have submis ility and say, ‘I may not ib s n o p s to their re be able oing to g this.’ e ’r id y d e I th but , is h t ll a ers and written y teenag t s g n a t difficult bou t can be s hear a I y “ a . h lw a a n an t way to “You says Sus ally grea ou get e ,” r g a in is h t ever y writing azine, y you ink that our mag only do and I th rself and with t o n o s n , you there’s a mit to it express elf, but you sub s r if u it o y d e s s extra-cr around.” to expre will stay chance e it h e t p e o v ha it. I h e to do incentiv

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de ey inclu pplee. inger. Th er and Kate Su yen, ls k In e v u o g f th h o N m s ff u e a a st m B e rader, Ja , Ashley prise th nts com Logan Allgood visor Kaari Sch e d u st r English , Jon Pekarek, h Schrader, ad ien Le. k a y’s Hono McAule t): Abby Pekare Patrick, Susann urchwell and Th righ y Ch ven e to te d S n ft y r, le e C , y r, w e (front ro ): Frank Ostm Nathan Teete w (Back ro


er The Hik ck your ba n o n u s The e your fac n i d n i . w song The s like a i y r t e o ure P peat it. e of nat e c r n n e . s a t e c i r f You ed o The p u get tir t, o y l i t , n l i U fee to race ow you y relate adow to h s r u You ma cribe exactly h eone. o Y in es m mounta e It may d u feel about so h t n yo . n dow Or how f hate and love ou’ve ru Y so s ed Feeling ave cha h g u o n i y h et eam Or som Your dr enge ur chall o , y k o d o e b h d s ompli m. w worl s like a u’ve acc Poetry i ter a whole ne etimes unrealis o Y en m ed. You can , beauty and so s and spells. have fac u o y r a sy rse ur fe Of fanta lude magic, cu e hopeless. And yo ylor c h t n pher Ta for o t e s p i r o It may i h h —C ion and ry. us. o r Inspirat o u t t s n e ’s d adv ll one It can te melancholy, an l, Beautifu ing. eth Or som re. e a pictu of words, k s. i l s i y r ns emotion o f i Poet l o l i s n m o i ean mill It may m f feelings, and so Million e a painting. nb d work. r a h f Or it ca o t eir is a frui strives. o h Which wants th w o r e h t w n i r a o p From a poet or an auth a Just like be remarkable. work to ething. be. Or som ant it to w I r e v hate me is w , depressing, o t y r t e s Po , it joyou o much more. e k a e world m h t s w d o n I can h a s that I’d g, crazy Inspirin re to make one we cant, But if I it signifi to ones heart e k a m I’d ick e Paje t will st a h t e n miniqu . o O m D e h t — ange And ch …

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Is Poetry

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living

f e b rua ry f l ow e r s

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By kevin mcclintock

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“Flowers...are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out-values all the utilities of the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

F

lowers have been a long-standing pleasure for Valentine’s Day – not only as a gift, but as centerpeices for dining room tables or mantles over the winter fire. The following are some of the most popular and romantic flowers gracing homes during the month of February, along with their traditional romantic meanings.


The

Earth L aughs with

Flowers

February’s Most Popular Flowers

o Rose o

Simply put, the rose is a year-round favorite. It

is probably the best-loved flower in the world. The red rose is one of the most enduring symbols of love and the most popular flower given on Valentine’s Day.

l

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I LOVE YOU

carnations can last up to three weeks after being cut.

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Used often in proms and weddings,

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FASCINATION

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o Carnation o

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o Sunflower o The magnificent sunflower is one of the fastest

growing plants in North America. Native Americans used it for food as well as for oil. It is still a favorite flower of Valentine’s Day because of its beauty.

o Iris o

L

LOYALTY

l

There are three classifications of this flower: the Bearded Irises, Arid Irises and Beardless Irises.

FAITH & WISDOM

l

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o ORCHID o

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Orchids are the largest family of the

plant kingdom with more than 25,000 naturally-occurring species in the world.

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LOVE, BEAUTY, SEDUCTION & REFINEMENT

l


o TULIP o In the Victorian language of flowers, red tulips

are a declaration of love, making them ideal Valentine’s Day gifts. Tulips will continue to grow in the water after they are cut and will curve toward light.

o DAISY o

L

PERFECT LOVE

l

The upturned flower head of the daisy looks like

a single flower, but it actually consists of a number of small, tightly-packed individual flowers or “florets”. The daisy was described by Chaucer in his writings as the “day’s eye”.

l

2014

INNOCENCE, LOYALTY, LOVE & PURITY

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There are more than 5,000 species of

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wildflowers. They have been given on Valentine’s Day as far back as time can reveal.

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ADORATION

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o Wildflower o

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o LILAC o Lilacs were first cultivated in the

middle of the last century in Europe, and most of the varieties developed are those still sold today. They are available in white, mauve, violet or pink.

o Lily o

L

DO YOU STILL LOVE ME?

Lilies have been cultivated for more

than 3,000 years. In Greek poetry, the lily symbolized tenderness and was referred to as the voice of muses.

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BEAUTY

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Va l e n t i n e ’ s D a y S t a t s

Valentine’s Day Statistics Average annual Valentine’s Day spending = $13.19 billion Number of Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually = 180 million Average number of roses produced for Valentine’s Day = 196 million Percent of Valentine’s Day cards bought by women = 85 percent Percent of flowers bought by men = 73 percent Percent of women who send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day = 14 percent Amount the average consumer spends on Valentine’s Day = $116.21 Percent of consumers who celebrate Valentine’s Day = 61.8 percent Percent of women who would end their relationship if they didn’t get

• Candy

47.5 percent

• Flowers

34.3 percent

• Cards

52.1 percent

• Jewelry

17.3 percent

• Dining

34.6 percent

Statistics from www.statisticbrain.com

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Gifts most often given on Valentine’s Day:

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Average number of children conceived on Valentine’s day = 11,000

2014

something for Valentines day = 53 percent

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M o - K a n R a c i n g S i s t e rs Written By Andra Bryan Stefanoni Photography by Roger Nomer

3 2

Street (racing) Sisterhood

Pittsburg State University students Rachel, 18 (left) and Megan Meyer (20) prepare for their races earlier this year at the Smokin’ Mo-Kan Dragway, a fourth-mile long located north of Joplin. The two women are daughters of National Hot Rod Association world champion Randy Meyer of Spring Hill, Kan.

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f sisters Megan and Rachel Meyer ever were late getting to class at Pittsburg State University, they could drive their favorite cars and get there in record-setting speed — about 175 mph, more or less.

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But they’d have trouble finding parking spaces; their cars are 22 feet long. Daughters of National Hot Rod Association world champion Randy Meyer of Spring Hill, Kan., the girls grew up fully immersed in the world of drag racing from coast to coast. Now, they’re making their own mark with their own sets of wheels and a regular race schedule that includes Mo-Kan Dragway between Asbury, Mo., and Opolis, Kan.

“I like going fast,” said Rachel, 18. “I like the speed. I like all the friends I meet here at the track. They’re like a second family. “There’s nothing else like it,” she said Friday afternoon at the track, as she pushed her super comp dragster out of the trailer. She and Megan, 20, had just finished a week of classes and were ready to suit up and buckle in for timed races on the last weekend of the season, which runs from spring break to about Halloween.

STARTING LINE Megan, a junior graphic design major, got her start in a junior dragster at age 10. Rachel, a freshman mechanical engineering major, was 8


league and began piloting her own super comp dragster full-time, competing in divisional races alongside her father. Rachel soon would follow in her own super comp dragster.

Megan Meyer airs up tires before a race.

In them — Megan’s painted in pink with a skull and crossbones, and Rachel’s painted in green with a laughing Joker — they reach speeds of 170 to 175 mph.

understand how dedicated we are to it.”

FINISH LINE Rachel said she still is trying to decide between driving and working on the mechanical side after she graduates. “I’d love to be a crew chief for a racing team, but you can’t really do that and be

when she first got behind the wheel. During the past decade, they’ve trained, practiced and earned their way onto their father’s team, Randy Meyer Racing, on tracks nationwide. The elder Meyer has had a successful career spanning more than 30 years of racing as driver, team owner, and crew chief from American Hot Rod Association pro comp to International Hot Rod Association top fuel and NHRA top alcohol dragster.

By 2011, the year she enrolled at PSU, she had graduated from the junior dragster

the driver,” Rachel said. “So, we’ll see what happens.”

The most important skills they must employ at the starting line, both said, are concentration and reaction time.

“I am also using my graphic design skills to help on the marketing side of our race team, and I have had other teams come to me,” she said. “We definitely are going to keep doing this. I guess it’s in our blood.”

While they tend to have “more guy friends than girl friends,” Megan said that “even sometimes the guys don’t

Pull-out: The Meyer sisters have raced against each other only one time. Megan won, but Rachel attributes that to her having had more years of experience. “It won’t always be like that,” Rachel said.

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“Dad has trained us that when we get to that starting line, there’s no thinking about assignments or boys or whatever,” Megan said. “One thing the team always stresses is that once we’re belted in, no one can talk to us. We have to get in the zone — just block it all out and focus.”

Megan also plans to continue racing after graduation, and is training to do so in her dad’s car, which reaches speeds of 220 mph.

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It was only a few years later that Megan would gain her first points championship, followed by a second one a year later.

“My fastest time in the quarter-mile is 7.52 seconds, and Rachel’s is 7.75,” Megan said. “It’s definitely competitive between the two of us, on and off the track. But we’re also teammates, so it has made us close.”

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His most successful years of racing came after a break from racing to help take care of his daughters and grow his company. In 2001, he re-entered the top alcohol dragster class of NHRA and won his first divisional race. In 2004, 2005 and 2006 he wheeled his way to three consecutive Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division Five Championships, along with the title of NHRA Driver of the Year.

Rachel Meyer cleans up a portion of her dragster hours before a summer 2013 race.

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He started his racing career in 1979 with a front engine dragster that he bracket raced in the Midwest until 1983, when he built his own blown alcohol rear engine dragster to compete in the AHRA and NHRA championships. After winning the World Championships in 1983, Meyer made the move to the IHRA and NHRA top fuel class.

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minding your business roller cit y

Written by Kevin McclintocK Photography by B.W. Shepherd

Kit Prater helps his 7-year-old daughter Lillien around the skating rink beneath glowing black lights during a recent Saturday afternoon.

“Meet Me Outside the Skating Rink” Popular Joplin skating rink opens to new generations

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he blue concrete floor is covered up again, and the wall-mounted movie scene murals of the gondola, the chariot, the carriage and log cabin are gone.

But spinning still from the ceiling is that famed disco ball, and following more than two years of neglect, a skating rink is once again functioning in Joplin.

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“We’ve received a very warm reception,” said Renee Carson, co-owner of Roller City, which is the new name for the skating rink formerly known as Keeley’s Silver Wheels.

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Renee and husband Rick closed the deal on the the 20,000-square-foot-plus building back on March 29, 2013, with Keller Williams of Joplin. They were hoping to open the rink up by the summer, but that didn’t quite happen.

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For years the premier Joplin skating rink was Keeley’s Silver Wheels. Today, the building has been rebuilt and given a new name — Roller City.

“We kept bumping back the opening,” Renee said. “From June to July, and from July to August. We kept telling people, “It’s soon. It’s soon.’”


That grand opening the Carson’s so wanted to occur this past summer was prolonged by renovations to the building brought about by the Joplin tornado. The 2011 twister gouged chunks from the roof and completely tore out the building’s back end. What was left of the facility was merely a shell. Because the interior was exposed to the elements, water turned the wooden skating floor into brownish bubble wrap. “The damage was extensive,” Rick said. Added Renee, “I don’t think people realized just how much damage had been done. We went through the tornado ourselves; we lost a home in Tulsa in the early 1990s. So we knew very well what a tornado can do.” Renee called the the extensive repairs a “labor of love” for the married couple, who have owned and operated a number of skating rinks in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma for 30 years. Between April and September, the Carson’s rebuilt the back 90 feet of the skating floor — brand new wood, Renee said, top to bottom, left to right — and reconstructed the backend of the building. There’s a new sound system, mostly new lighting, lasers and LED lights, and black lighting areas for birthday parties. This is a homecoming of sorts for Rick, who managed Keeley’s Silver Wheels many years ago. Keeley’s was founded in 1973.

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Rick and Renee Carson, owners of Roller City, find a quiet moment during a busy Saturday evening.

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“The last property we sold was to our very first employees (Robert and Tammy), who worked with us (in Owasso),” Renee said. “They married each other, had three kids, and all three of their kids have worked with us over the years.”

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The couple purchased their first skating facility in Owasso, Okla., a suburb of Tulsa. They operated that one for 10 years, Renee said. They bought other Oklahoma facilities in Pryor and Bartlesville, a fourth in Springdale, Ark., and a fifth one, the largest in terms of square footage, in Springfield.

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And speaking of kids, there will be an indoor playground for the tiny tykes too, which is expected to be opened at the back of the skating rink in 2014.

Items still original from the 1970s building include the colored lockers, a strip of wood flooring and benches for people to sit and watch the skaters out on the floor.

But roller skating isn’t all about the kids, Renee said.

There are crane games for the tykes, and the always-popular air hockey for the teens and adults, but the one thing you won’t find inside the renovated building are video games.

“Families are looking for entertainment. This is something (families) can do together. We’re definitely getting good feedback.” Plus, “it keeps you younger, this job,” added Rick with a chuckle. “Working this job,” Renee added, “you find areas that you really enjoy. Rick does well with the teens, and I like working with the little guys. Kids see things for the first time, and I love seeing that.” The price to skate has gone up a bit from the 1970s, of course. But consider the cost of a family of four seeing a movie. With snacks and drinks, the cost falls within the $50 to $60 range. For a family of four skating at Roller City, the cost is $20. “It’s still the cheapest night out in Joplin,” Rick said.

Sorting skates, one of the many daily tasks undertaken by Renee Carson. Rick and Renee have owned a number of skating rinks since the 1970s.

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A long shot of the new wooden skating floor. Most of the building has been rebuilt after the 2011 tornado. However, the benches the parents are sitting on were originally built when Keely’s was first built back in 1973.

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“They play video games at home,” Rick said. “Here, we want them to be active.”


Kylie Anderson, 10, of Joplin, recently celebrated her birthday at the new Roller City back in October. Untold birthday parties have been held in this building since the early 1970s.

www.carloansjoplin.com

DOESN’T MATTER. YOU ARE APPROVED. GUARANTEED.

1-888-713- 8943

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GOOD CREDIT • BAD CREDIT NO CREDIT

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Romantic Wear

style

Photography by Curtis Almeter Clothing and jewelry available at Blue Moon Market in Joplin

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BECCA MASLIKOWSKI Red sweater by Urban Mango: $49 Pearl necklace: $18 Gold chain necklace: $22


style

Romantic Wear 2014 FEBRUARY

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CARLY CECIL Scarf: $24 Crochet/lace vest: $24 Long lace tank dress: $38

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health

Reasons to Savor

DA R K C H O C O L AT E & R E D W I N E

go hand-in-hand

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By David O’Neill

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circulating in the body, causing oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are responsible for aging and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant-rich foods like red wine and dark chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.” For its part, red wine contains resveratrol, a polyphenol considered by some to lower rates of heart disease, says McGrew. Dark chocolate’s main super-food ingredients, says McGrew, are types of antioxidants called flavonoids. Dark chocolate contains raw, unprocessed cacao and, therefore, higher levels of flavonoid compounds than milk or white chocolate. “Research indicates that processing removes flavonoids from chocolate,” says McGrew, “and dark chocolate has the greatest amount of cacao solids — up to 75 percent.”

Says Freeman Health System’s clinical nutrition manager Andrea McGrew, “Antioxidants reduce the amount of free radicals

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“Sometimes we think of certain foods in general as being bad for you,” says Jessica Houdyshell, a dietician and diabetes educator for Barton County Memorial Hospital and the Joplin YMCA, “but that’s no longer the case with dark chocolate and red wine.” Research on both has shown that they’re rich in antioxidants, which fight against free radicals, substances that contribute to the breakdown of body cells over time.

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Formerly nutritional taboos, both red wine and dark chocolate have come to be known as “super foods” that, in moderation, can help protect against heart and lung disease and high blood pressure, among other perils.

True to its name, says McGrew, milk chocolate has been combined with milk and only contains up to 20 percent cacao solids. “Therefore, dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate because it is less processed and contains more flavonoids,” McGrew says. Cacao content aside, as Houdyshell points out, “milk chocolate also contains more sugar and more saturated fat.” Red wine, meanwhile, doesn’t appear to have as much of a lead over its white or sparkling counterparts. But of all the types of

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hile untold numbers of romances take flight with the exchange of dark chocolates during courtship, it’s the subsequent bonding done over a glass of red wine that often seals the deal. Rites of romance such as these are good for the heart, metaphorically speaking. And for a while now, science itself has swooned over the health benefits of both.

Joplin resident Eric Johnson began eating dark chocolate around five years ago at the suggestion of his mother. “She’s a big believer in it,” he says. “She had read that it was better for you. So I started, and I really enjoy it.”

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wine, says McGrew, red wine provides the most health benefits because the grape skins are included in the wine-making process.

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“The skins of grapes contain high levels of antioxidants but are removed when white wine is processed, thus decreasing its medical benefits,” McGrew says.

Area Hearing & Speech Clinic 2311 S. Jackson Joplin, MO 64804

Johnson, who keeps Stone Hill Winery’s Concord variety on hand, began enjoying red wine at family gatherings in his mid20s. Not surprisingly, he was elated to learn that tipping back a glass or two of the red stuff was good for his heart. “The red has a sweeter taste, and it has more flavor,” he says. Not to mention the fact that it pairs handsomely with Italian, his favorite cuisine. “If it’s healthy, you shouldn’t be afraid to have a glass or two after a long day at work.” Incidentally, one or two glasses is a good

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limit for red wine. General recommendations are no more than one drink — or four to five ounces — per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men, says Houdyshell. As for dark chocolate, says McGrew, “Around 6.7 grams per day will give you the best health benefits. To be more practical, less than half a bar of dark chocolate per week may be a healthy habit.” Says Houdyshell, “Use it to replace less healthy sweet choices and account for those additional calories.” In other words, it’s a smart substitute for that Snickers bar. She also suggests keeping in mind that both of these foods are high in calories, “another reason they should be consumed in small amounts.” Houdyshell is also quick to point out that those who don’t already indulge in dark chocolate or red wine shouldn’t start doing so for the sole purpose of reaping their health benefits. “Antioxidants are also found in fruits and vegetables, so for someone who doesn’t already drink red wine, this isn’t a reason to start drinking,” Houdyshell says. “You can get antioxidants from other foods like olive oil, coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables, and the latter provide fiber and fewer calories than chocolate or alcohol.”

1220 E. 15th Street Joplin (417) 781-5959 www.bigrsbbq.com

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Even so, romantic occasions call for romantic fare. “These are certainly nice indulgences to have as you get closer to Valentine’s Day,” says Houdyshell.

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health

AGING GRACEFULLY

S E N I O R AWA R E N E S S By Ryan Richardson

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hile it may be a tough conversation to broach with family, finding the right assisted care for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease can help prolong and enhance the quality of life for elderly family members.

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According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.2 million Americans are stricken with the form of dementia that affects memory, critical thinking and behavior. Due to the progressive nature of the disease, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. While the disease primarily strikes people above the age of 65, symptoms can show up in people who are even in their 40s. Many families will turn to assisted living — both in home and in-care facilities — to help family members who have been tasked with the care of a person with the disease. Nate Stokes is the owner of Visiting Angels Living Assistance Services in Joplin, which is a national home care agency that focuses on bringing quality healthcare to senior citizens. Stokes, whose family used a home care agency to keep his grandparents in their home, established Joplin’s agency in 2008 to help other families in need of care in the area. Stokes

says the biggest concern should always be the health of the person involved, regardless of the symptoms of dementia. “Keeping a person healthy should always be the primary thing to consider,” he said. “It is a matter of safety, especially when dealing with a disease that can affect memory so greatly.” That safety concern can stem from situations such as the afflicted individual forgetting medication or not being able


to accomplish tasks such as remembering to turn off the stove after cooking a meal. “Short-term memory loss is a big deal especially in the reminders of everyday tasks,” Stokes said. “Because the symptoms are so different, the care has to change based on the person. When we are in a home, we help establish a routine with them so that those tasks are handled and that their care continues to be a priority. Their meals are cooked nutritiously; their medication is taken on schedule. Effectively, we are here to give a hand with their judgment, which can be impaired.”

“Sometimes the social aspects of living with other elderly people can definitely be a boon to their health, but other times there is that familiarity of a patient’s home that can help them focus. That is why it is so important to talk with the person and to figure out what the best path of health care is needed.”

“What kind of care someone should seek out completely depends on the person and their symptoms,” Stokes said.

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While it may be a difficult choice deciding between in-home care or looking into an assisted living center, Stokes said that it is a decision that needs to be shared with family members and the individual.

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“It is important for families that have elderly members to educate themselves on the signs of the diseases like memory loss and the loss in interest in things that mattered to them,” Stokes said. “A family member has to be familiar with their personality and be able to identify the behavior change so that they can find help.”

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A proper diagnosis of Alzheimer’s isn’t always the most important step in helping a family member. Instead, Stokes says that identifying changes in behavior that may lead to additional precautions should also be a priority.

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taste

e n o t S f o t u o t Buil

Undercliff Grill and Bar by Ryan Richardson Photography by B.W. Shepherd

rs e f f o r a B nd a l l i r G f f ty i n u t r Undercli o p p go n i t a e e u q i un

Customers eating lunch at the Undercliff Grill and Bar in Tipton Ford, located between Joplin and Neosho on Old Highway 71.

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ome bar owners will take offense if you happen to call their venue a “hole in the wall.”

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But not owner Mike Winn. After all, he took that famous phrase and made it his restaurant’s signature look.

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Carved out of the side of a cliff, the Undercliff Grill and Bar, a family-owned restaurant, has been a culinary center point for area residents for more than 20 years.

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Undercliff waitress Nancy Hutchins delivers food to waiting customers at one of Southwest Missouri’s most unique restaurants.

The location — nestled into the side of an Ozark mountain on Old Highway 71 between Joplin and Neosho at Tipton Ford — once served as a general store in the late 1800s before new ownership took over the location in 1961, transforming the store into a successful restaurant. It was a popular establishment known for its fried chicken until a massive fire gutted the business in 1980.


The property stood vacant until Winn rechristened the location as the Undercliff Bar and Grill in 1995. Since then, the restaurant has become the go-to destination for bikers, live music fans and families looking for a unique taste of the area. General Manager Ernie Davis said the workers pride themselves on the wide variety of people that the restaurant attracts. “We like the families that come in and we are also biker friendly, which kind of goes hand in hand,” Davis said. “We get groups of bikers that are planning a weekend ride through here and they make us their starting point or the place they wrap up their rides.

Hunter Kitchingham and Aleecia Hardin, both of Joplin, take a break after a hearty lunch.

“They will grab seats right next to those families and everyone is extremely friendly with each other,” Winn continued. “That’s the kind of atmosphere we promote. It has done extremely well.” That atmosphere is something that other restaurants strive for. While part of the roof and the main wall are cut from solid rock, nearly every square inch of free wall space is occupied by items tied to memories that regulars, workers and those just passing through have given to the restaurant. While other restaurants try to copy that kitsch, Davis said that it is a point of pride for the people inside of the restaurant.

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That shared experience is built around what Davis calls the biggest menu in the area. While the fried chicken that made the previous restaurant famous is no longer on the menu, nearly everything else imaginable is. Fresh fish, loaded nachos, taco salad and deli-style hot sandwiches and so much more are prepared in the restaurant’s tiny kitchen. Though the kitchen can barely hold three people abreast, Davis said that all of the food for the 70-person capacity restaurant comes out of there.

Undercliff Grill and Bar cook Marc Hunkins places the finishing touches on a pair of gourmet sandwiches during a typical busy lunch break at this popular restaurant housed inside the side of an Ozark mountain.

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“I’ve got two of my old plates from my car up on that wall and there is one from a local state representative, but then you have just little things that have accumulated over the years,” Davis said. “Everything you see in here has been given to us because people want to leave their mark on a place. They bring a piece of their own history and it becomes part of our own shared experience.”

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“We will go toe to toe with anyone else in the area with variety and quality and it all starts with our staff and our kitchen,” Davis said. “That kitchen is so small that you can barely turn around in it, but its perfect for what we do. Its part of who we are at the Undercliff.”

“Everything about this bar is designed for friendly atmosphere and fun,” Davis said. “We’re going to be here just as long as this cliff is still standing.”

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All told, the Undercliff Grill and Bar is as unique as the cliff it was carved out of.

Undercliff Manager Ernie Davis chops green and red peppers.

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music to the ears Wa k a W i n t e r c l a s s i c

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Written and photographed by Ryan Richardson

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or 16 lucky bands, winter time is the gateway to making their summer an unforgettable one, thanks to the unique Waka Winter Classic. Across the Midwest, major music venues in cities like St. Louis, Lawrence, Kan., and Fayetteville, Ark., got together with Wakarusa Music Festival promoters Pipeline Productions to host a five-band competition in each city. For these bands, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity could be the big break so many bands wait for. In January, five bands took the stage at the Outland Ballroom in Springfield, including Joplin’s own Third Party, in hopes of securing a single spot at the threeday Wakarusa Music Festival, held each summer at Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Ark. While the format may harken back to old-school “battle of the bands” type of shows, most of the musicians who took the stage didn’t see it like that. They likened it to a musical showcase for the best local talent.

Joining Third Party on the Outland Ballroom’s main stage were Buddha’s Groove Shoes, Darien Clea, Luna Jamboree and Sunset to Burns.

TOP RIGHT: Patrick Beckett and Mike Sullivan share a duet on the band’s cover of Gorillaz song “Clint Eastwood.” The cover has become a staple at Third Party shows.

Lead singer and guitarist for Third Party, Patrick Beckett, said the band focused on what they could perfect leading up to the Jan. 16 show.

THE VALUE of

COMPARE THE COST LEFT: Sunset to Burns singer Lucas Roberts surveys the crowd before the band’s set. Roberts and his band mates will play at the Wakarusa Music Festival in June.

A home using 1000 kilowatt hours of energy per month has a bill of about $120*. That’s about $4 a day to power your entire home – about the same price as a fast food meal, a specialty coffee, or a gallon of gas. That’s value.

www.empiredistrict.com *Based on rates as of May 31, 2013, for a Missouri residential customer of Empire District.

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That’s why we’re always here, working to provide energy that is safe, reliable, environmentally responsible, and a good value.

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You depend on it every minute of every day. In fact, no other single product touches so many aspects of our daily lives or delivers more value than electricity. It keeps our homes comfortable, powers communication and technology, lights our communities, and fuels business and industry. It’s a big job.

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FAR BOTTOM LEFT: Springfield-based Buddha’s Groove Shoes, who won the 2013 Wakarusa Winter Classic in Springfield, brings back their jam-influenced back to the Outland Ballroom to secure another spot at this year’s festival.

ELECTRICITY.

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FAR LEFT: Third Party drummer Greg Walker plays during the band’s 30-minute set.

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“We (couldn’t) worry about what the other bands are going to do because that is out of our hands,” Beckett said. “Our goal (was) to go up onstage and bring our music to a new crowd.” Unfortunately, the members of Third Party will have to wait until next year for a chance to play the festival. The Springfield area will be represented by Sunset to Burns, who garnered enough crowd votes to move on to the Arkansas festival. Burns’ lead singer Lucas Roberts said winning the competition was a goal dating back to their very first show. “We actually played the Waka Winter Classic in 2012. It was our first show as a full band and we’ve always looked back at that night as the official start of the band,” Roberts said. “But Joel Farr and I started out as a duo in the summer of 2011 right after that year’s Wakarusa. We vowed we’d play there someday as we walked out of the festival.” By securing a spot on the festival lineup, the five-piece band is looking at expanding their touring schedule, including possible shows in Joplin.

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“These days, bands are run like businesses; the more doors you open up, the more success you will see,” Roberts said. “We’d all love to tour a bit around the Midwest. We’ve been playing in the Springfield area for a couple of years now and we’d like to branch out. I think Wakarusa will help us do that.”

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The Waka Winter Classic has been a great boon to the Joplin music scene since its inception three years ago. Joplin jam kings Totojojo won 2011’s winter classic in Springfield, which put them at the festival and led to subsequent festival spots, including last year’s Harvest Music Festival. Joplin-based national touring trio The Ben Miller Band will also play the festival, which begins June 5.



Joplin Metro Magazine, Best Kept Secrets, February 2014