Missouri Life Magazine December 2015

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M I S S O U R I W O N D E R F U L A I T ' S


L I F E !

HO ! HO ! HO !



Keeping It Real Where to Chop Your Own Christmas Tree



~ ~




What the Dickens! The Great Author's Trip to St. Louis

Coffee Capital

10 Java Joints, Buzzin' Good Recipes, and a Surprising Missouri History

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DECEMBER 2015 | $4.50 (Display until Jan. 31)


10/29/15 8:59 PM

Rain-or-Shine Pulled Pork and Pimiento Cheese

Hot and Sweet Cubano Sandwich

Smoky Hot Chops with Cool Cucumber-Tomato Salad

Perfect Day Pork and Black Bean Nachos

Easy, Breezy Honey-Chipotle Pork Kabobs

Rain or shine, get your daily recipe Porkcast at PorkBeInspired.com/Porkcast

©2015 National Pork Board, Des Moines, IA USA. This message funded by America’s Pork Producers and the Pork Checkoff.

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Have a Ball! Thursday, december 31 • Flamingo Bay Ballroom Doors open at 7:00pm Enjoy a delicious hors d’oeuvres buffet, then get down to a performance by Surf’s Up Beach Boys Tribute Band starting at 8:00pm. Purchase tickets online at www.isleofcapriboonville.com or at the hotel front desk for $20.

100 Isle of Capri Blvd. • Boonville, MO 65233 www.isleofcapriboonville.com • 1-800-THE-ISLE

© 2015 Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. Must be 21. Isle of Capri is a registered trademark of Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. Subject to [3]notice. December 2015 change or cancellation without Bet with your head, not over it. Gambling problem? Call 1-888-BETS-OFF or e-mail freehelp@888betsoff.org. www.isleofcapriboonville.com

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Scan to learn more about Marshall.

A good way to beat the winter doldrums for the entire family is to plan a visit to Marshall’s Nicholas Beazley Aviation Museum. Located adjacent to the Martin Community Center at 1985 S. Odell, the museum offers a look at the area’s early aviation history with hands-on activities and displays. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For more information visit www.nicholasbeazley.org or call 660-886-2630.

Photo courtesy of Marshall Democrat News

Photo courtesy of Christina Morrow

The Saline County Farm Toy Show will be held Sunday, January 10 at the Saline County Fairgrounds south of Marshall on 65 Highway. This year’s show marks 30 years of the event in Marshall. Come buy, sell, trade, or just browse. Food concessions are available. Show hours are 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and admission for ages 12 and over is $3.00. To learn more visit www.visitmarshallmo.com or call 660-886-9908. Celebrate the holiday season by attending our Christmas Homes Tour on Sunday, December 13. Five homes will be open for viewing. During your visit, stop by the Marshall Welcome Center on the northwest corner of the Square to learn more about Marshall, enjoy refreshments, or to purchase your $10 tour ticket. Tickets will also be available at each home. Homes will be open from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. For information on advance ticket sales, visit www.jimthewonderdog.org or call 660-886-8300.

Comfort Inn – Marshall Station 1356 W. College Ave. 660-886-8080 www.comfortinn.com Super 8 of Marshall 1355 W. College Ave. 660-886-3359 www.super8.com

Marshall Lodge 1333 W. Vest St. 660-886-2326 www.marshall-lodge.com Courthouse Lofts 23 N. Lafayette St. 660-229-5644 www.courthouselofts.com

Claudia’s B & B 3000 W. Arrow St. 660-886-5285 www.claudiasbandb.com

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When planning a special celebration, meeting, trade show, or other gathering, consider the Martin Community Center in Marshall as your site. Conveniently located at 1985 S. Odell with ample parking, it is the ideal venue for groups from 50-500. Check our reasonable rates for your next event. To learn more about the facility, visit www.nicholasbeazley.org or call 660-886-2630.

Photo courtesy of Friends of Jim

Plan to stay with us in Marshall

Photo courtesy of Sharon Hoeflicker


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Contents DECEMBER 2015

[38] MO TANNENBAUM Round up the family, and venture out into the fields of Missouri’s Christmas tree farms.

featured >

[20] SHOW-ME BOOKS Uncover the dubious side of legendary explorer William Clark, take a booze cruise through the history of brewing in the Gateway City, and check out six new books from local Missouri authors.

[24] MISSOURI MUSIC The three musicians behind the indie rock group Enemy Airship have known each other their whole lives. Chart their journey from Farmington to Columbia to St. Louis and back to Columbia.

[26] MISSOURI ARTIST Rolla resident Dan Woodward is truly a renaissance man. He paints, he writes, he teaches, and he is even working on his own opera inspired by the Civil War in Missouri.

special features >



Some people might argue that winter is the best time. Tom Uhlenbrock—a vetto go hiking when the weather outside is cold, yet delightful.

The ever-cheerful Ron Marr muses on growing older, his decades in the Show-Me State, and this crazy journey we call life.



In April 1842, Charles Dickens—the famed author behind A Christmas Carol and scores

With boxes upon boxes of decorations and dozens of trees, the Vaile Mansion decks the halls for Christmas and becomes a Victorian wonderland.

eran journalist and experienced hiker—shares ten of the best places in the state

of other landmark works of English literature—was making his way across the United States when he stopped in St. Louis. Find out what he thought of the Gateway City, and discover where you can celebrate Christmas in the tradition of Dickens.

[46] MISSOURI PRIDE GIFT GUIDE What do you buy the Missourian who has everything? These Missouri companies and artisans are creating new ways to sport your home state pride.

[56] CRAFT COFFEE CRAZE At one point in time, St. Louis was the coffee capital of the western United States. Venture back to the turn of the century to chart the rise, fall, and revival of the coffee industry in Missouri. Plus, brew up some of these buzzing good recipes.

special section > [52] GREAT GIFT IDEAS Peruse these homegrown stores and vendors to find the perfect present this holiday season.

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departments >

18, 21, 22, 42, 47, 48, 68 36 24, 37, 15, 50, 17 49, 60 47 6349, 50, 56, 61, 67 49 62, 67 15 17 40 21 59 21 50 ,67 39, 51 26 34 48 32 24 32 18 32 35 51, 59 36 62 18, 59 60 40

[10] MEMO


Publisher Greg Wood engages in some

Snake Bite Co. makes the must-have

shameless self promotion, and Editor

accessory for any beer drinker. Erimish

in Chief Danita Allen Wood is joyous

invents a novel way to sell jewelry. The

about our talented staff.

Leaky Roof Meadery brings back a



medieval favorite.



our one-room schoolhouse feature from August, one reader writes in to agree

Loni’s Lil’ Eats lets you build your

age, the coldest month of the year in

with Ron Marr, and more.

own meal using traditional Chinese

Missouri? Learn more fascinating facts

Readers share some connections with

Did you know that January is, on aver-

ingredients. Arris’ makes great Greek

about the Show-Me State here because

[15] MO MIX

pizza. And Affäre puts a modern spin

it’s too cold to do anything else.

Get a free bag of money in Kansas City.

on classic German cuisine.

Celebrate Noel in Augusta. Discover the new George Caleb Bingham film. Find a


kitchenware treasure trove, and uncover

Check this list twice for all the winter

the artsy side of Winston Churchill.

events you’ll need to have a jolly good time.


On the Web

Sign up for Missouri Lifelines, our free e-newsletter, and follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/MissouriLife or on Twitter @MissouriLife.




Get daily updates on what happened on this

If you didn’t get enough coffee cuisine, go to

Our online events calendar has even more fun-

day in Missouri history every day, from famous

our website for a few bonus java recipes, plus

filled festivals, great get-togethers, and other

birthdays to watershed moments.

artisan coffee brewing tips and techniques.

events to plan your social life around.

All I Want for Christmas ... is Missouri Life! Check out our online web store at MissouriLife.com for gift baskets, gift subscriptions, books, apparel, and more.

on the cover> CASTLEWOOD STATE PARK Tom Uhlenbrock provided us with this stunning image of Castlewood State Park in the midst of a snow flurry. The gorgeous state park offers miles of hiking trails and spectacular views of the Meramec River.

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BETTER HOT WATER. THE SOONER YOU INSTALL A PROPANE WATER HEATER, THE SOONER YOU’LL ENJOY THE BENEFITS. The comfortable, consistent hot water and significant cost savings of a propane water heater are second to none…and you deserve the best, right? You’ll use less energy, save money, and reduce your carbon footprint compared with electric units. But don’t wait to install a new, energy-efficient propane model. Over time, the performance of any water heater diminishes, and that means you could be wasting energy and incurring unnecessarily high costs.

Talk to your propane provider about a $300 rebate on a new propane hot water heater installation, or visit moperc.org/for-homes for more information.

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501 High Street, Ste. A, Boonville, MO 65233 660-882-9898 | Info@MissouriLife.com

Publisher Greg Wood Editor in Chief Danita Allen Wood

Join us on a 7-stop roadtrip in search of Missouri’s history, food & wine, people, and much more!

Columbia Hermann Lebanon Lexington Macon Warrensburg Warsaw

EDITORIAL & ART Managing Editor Jonas Weir Creative Director Andrew Barton Art Director Sarah Herrera Contributing Editor Martin W. Schwartz Associate Art Director Thomas Sullivan Graphic Designer and Staff Photographer Harry Katz Calendar Editor Amy Stapleton Contributing Writers Amy Burger, Lisa Waterman Gray, Susan Manlin Katzman, Wade Livingston, Kelly Moffitt, Eddie O'Neill, Ron Soodalter, Alex Stewart, Tom Uhlenbrock Columnist Ron W. Marr Contributing Photographers Molly Beale, J. Stephen Conn, George Denniston, Tammi Elbert, Lisa Waterman Gray, Peter Merholz, David Wright Contributing Illustrator Meredith Wilson MARKETING • 800-492-2593 Sales and Marketing Associate Mike Edison, 646-588-5057 Sales and Marketing Associate Jim Negen, 855-484-7200 Advertising Coordinator Sue Burns Circulation Manager Amy Stapleton DIGITAL MEDIA MissouriLife.com, Missouri eLife, Facebook, Twitter Director Jonas Weir Editor Sarah Herrera Missouri Lifelines Harry Katz TO SUBSCRIBE OR GIVE A GIFT AND MORE Use your credit card and visit MissouriLife.com or call 800-492-2593, ext. 101 or mail a check for $19.99 (for 6 issues) to: Missouri Life, 501 High Street, Ste. A, Boonville, MO 65233-1211 Change address Visit MissouriLife.com

If you missed the first season of KMOS presents Missouri Life, you can catch it on KMOS every Thursday at 8 p.m.

OTHER INFORMATION Custom Publishing For your special publications, call 800-492-2593, ext. 106 or email Greg.Wood@MissouriLife.com. Back Issues Order from website, call, or send check for $10.50.

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Wine Country Getaways Vintage Charm


Timeless Beauty


Traditional Holiday Markets First Two Weekends of December

Chocolate Wine Trail

The Perfect Valentine’s Getaway Third Weekend of February


Showcasing the Best of the Wurst Third Weekend of March 2016

800.932.8687 | VisitHermann.com WINERIES • B&Bs • HISTORIC DISTRICT • DAILY AMTRAK STOPS

Enjoy a wonderful getaway.

If you’re expecting a great time, make Cape Girardeau your destination. From the great outdoors and family fun to relaxing escapes and historic sites, Cape Girardeau is sure to please. Plan your getaway at VisitCape.com or call 800·777·0068.

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for the perfect Christmas gift or stocking stuffer? You’re holding it! Pardon me for the blatant self-promotion, but what could be more appreciated than a subscription to our award-winning magazine? You’ll be giving a gift that truly keeps on giving all year long. When your friends or loved ones receive their copy in the mail, they’ll think of you. And, as a bonus, we’ll be publishing seven issues in 2016. That’s right; we’ll be adding a May issue in 2016. On that note, I’d like to share a few other things we have in the works for the upcoming year. Our Missouri Life Motorcycle Guide was such a hit this year that we are coming out GREG WOOD, PUBLISHER with our second edition in May 2016. This guide will have twenty great routes that appeal to the adventurer in all of us. And you can still order a 2015 guide from us if you didn’t get one (another great stocking stuffer). Our first season of the television show KMOS Presents Missouri Life featured seven episodes, and if you missed any, you can still watch the re-runs each Thursday at 8 PM. For 2016, we are expanding to twelve episodes, so, literally, stay tuned for our second season. Each episode features: • Local businesses • Our favorite restaurants • Our great heritage and fascinating past • Notable attractions • Remarkable Missourians • The natural beauty of our diverse state Also, get ready for Big BAM (Bicycle Across Missouri) 2016! Last year, we partnered with Off Track Events to create Missouri’s first borderto-border bicycle ride on hard surface roads. We had about a thousand cyclists on the inaugural ride from Rock Port to Canton with overnight stops at Maryville, Albany, Unionville, and Kirksville in between. The 2015 route was about as far north in Missouri as we could go. For 2016, we are still going across north Missouri—from St. Joseph to Hannibal—with six days of riding and overnight stops in between at Chillicothe, Brookfield, Macon, and Shelbina. We also will be stopping at towns along the way like Hamilton, Linneus, Marceline, Shelbyville, and Palmyra. We also treat riders and towns to great music every afternoon and evening. Learn more at BigBAMRide.com. And don’t forget to order that gift subscription! Just pull out one of our subscription cards, fill it out, and mail it in; visit MissouriLife .com; or call Amy Stapleton at 800-492-2593, extension 101.

WE WIN BIG! I’M PLEASED to tell you about the awards our incredibly talented staff won in the International Regional Magazine Association’s annual contest, which were just announced. We won Magazine of the Year. The entire staff and all of our fine writing and photography contributors get credit for their passion and dedication, but I need to give a special thanks to Managing Editor Jonas Weir. He works tirelessly to improve our stories and make the magazine the best it can be. Harry Katz—our graphic designer, photographer, and our resident jack of all trades—was recognized as Photographer of the Year. You may recall his photographs from several stories: “Teachers with Guns,” about teachers training DANITA ALLEN WOOD, EDITOR to carry in the classroom (October 2014); “Starlit Cinema,” about Missouri’s few remaining drive-in theaters (June 2014); and “The Chef’s Table,” about a culinary dinner at Broadway Brewery in Columbia (April 2014). He also works tirelessly for the magazine. In fact, he was out shooting the day we learned of his win. Our design team—Creative Director Andrew Barton, Art Director Sarah Herrera, and Associate Art Director Tom Sullivan—won a whole host of awards: Gold for Overall Art Direction; a Gold for Cover, to go with the aforementioned story about drive-in movies; and a Bronze for Art Direction of a Single Story, which was “Magical Mystery Tour” about the Beatles’ visit to the Ozarks (August 2014). When we were working on the June 2014 issue, I thought a beautiful picture of a state park to accompany another story might be better, but I caved to strong argument from the staff for the drive-in cover. It shows you how little I know! We also took Gold for best website, which is under the direction of Jonas but with plenty of help from Harry and Sarah. If you’ve never visited our site, take a minute and browse. You might especially enjoy our daily “Today in Missouri History” and our extra calendar of events. We also brought home some other Bronzes: • One for a Reader Service article written by Jonas Weir, “Dog Days,” about the best hot dog joints in the state (June 2014). • For Magazine Writer of the Year, thanks to regular contributor, Wade Livingston. He wrote “Teachers with Guns” mentioned above, “Warbird Wrangler,” about a man who makes replica World War I planes (August 2014); and “The Story of Salt Creek Cemetery’s Double Grave” (October 2014). Look for more of Wade’s work in coming issues. • For Illustration, by our friend Merit Myers for his haunting penand-ink sketches for “Missouri’s Dooley-Harris Feud” (October 2014). I thank our entire staff and all of our contributors. And to you, I promise we’ll do our best to keep up the good work! Happy holidays!

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Benton County Winter Events

Olde Tyme Christmas- Christkindlmarket

Fri. December 4, 2015—Cole Camp Kick off the holiday season with carolers, specials in local stores, FREE horse and buggy rides, AND SANTA!!! It’s sure to be fun for everyone—young and old. Experience the traditional German Lighting of the Festbaum at 6 p.m. Bring the whole family and celebrate the season in Cole Camp

Annual Kaysinger Pioneer Christmas

Fri. December 4 - Sat. December 5, 2015—Truman Dam Visitor Center—Warsaw The Kaysinger Bluff Pioneer Heritage Association presents their annual 1800s Christmas celebration. Enjoy hay wagons, carolers, fireplaces, wood stoves, candles, luminaries, buildings decked out in old-fashioned decor, hot chocolate, and hot cider. Find a truly unique gift at the General Store.

Christmas on the Harbor

Sat. December 5, 2015—Warsaw The day starts off with a down-home Christmas parade. Next the kids can spend the afternoon visiting with Santa, and the night wraps up with thousands of Christmas lights and displays shining over downtown and the Harbor area.

Lincoln's 24th Annual Christmas Parade

Sat. December 12, 2015—Downtown and R-2 School—Lincoln Activities at school start at 10 a.m.:The parade starts at 11 a.m. Enjoy a chili/soup dinner, pictures with Santa, a large craft fair, food booths, treats for the kids, and drawings for prizes.

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LETTERS from all over You write them. We print them. play on my car a bumper sticker that reads, “My species disappoints me.” All I would ask for Ron is to give cows another chance. I’m sure they just saw the opportunity for a little freedom, and to see if the grass was greener in Ron’s front yard! After all, eventually all their futures end at a hamburger factory. Most humans’ futures hold so many wonderful possibilities and even more for those who practice being humane and kind to others. —Suzann Ragan Garner, New London

This picture taken in 1915 by photographer Charles Elliott Gill is of an unknown one-room schoolhouse in rural Dent County—the same county where the Lake Spring School was founded on the banks of Hyer Creek in 1908.

PRAISE FOR THE AUGUST ISSUE I love the one-room schoolhouse article (August 2015). Small world, my oldest son’s first grade teacher was Mrs. Ragland, and my great-aunt was Zelpha Hager (Both mentioned in “Memo”). I know what you mean—demanding. I went to school in Calhoun. Aunt Zelpha retired from there! We love Missouri Life. It’s always so good, colorful, and educational. Good job! P.S. Black Kettle Seasoning (August 2015) is awesome. I use it on everything. —Kelly Hand, Rolla

IT’S THE LEAST WE COULD DO I received your letter telling me that you have marked my subscription “paid in full” because my house burned down at total loss. That is

a very kind thing for you to do. It does help by just reminding me that no matter how bad the world may seem, there are still good people in this world. Thank you so much, and our lives are slowly but surely returning to some sense of normalcy. The main thing is that me and my wife did not lose our lives.

LAKE SPRING SCHOOL I really enjoyed seeing your article on one-room schools. That’s where I was my first eight school years, and the memories are great! I have enclosed information on the Lake Spring School that I hope you will find interesting. I am now retired, live back in that neighborhood, and am writing a history of the people and events that happened there since the Civil War. Your magazine is my favorite. The great information and pictures give me much to think about and places to visit. Thank you for this excellent remembrance of my childhood. —Janet Bowles, Salem, Missouri


—Darren Sayers, Crocker

MUSINGS ON MANNERS I look forward to reading Ron Marr’s “Musings” column in each new issue of Missouri Life. After reading his comments on human manners and courtesy in today’s world (June 2015), I found myself uttering a loud AMEN! Several years ago after experiencing the same rude, disrespectful, self-centered behavior, I purchased and dis-

Email: Fax: Facebook: Address:

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Australia Chile England France Greece Italy Zambia

Spanning the globe At Harding University we don’t just talk about global experiences, we provide them. At seven international campuses spanning five continents, Harding students spend a semester studying outside the realm of a traditional classroom encountering different cultures, historic sites, foreign languages and amazing architecture. Nearly 50 percent of students in each graduating class have attended one or more of the international programs, which provide a Christian worldview.

Faith, Learning and Living Harding.edu | 800-477-4407 Searcy, Arkansas [14] MissouriLife

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Mo MIX Augusta

A Rockwellian Christmas PREPARE

yourselves for

visitors, as Santa Claus awaits in the

historic church. Finally, a town scav-

the ultimate throwback. Augusta

Olde Wine Hall and horse-drawn

enger hunt will round out the night.

is setting the scene for a classic

carriages trot the streets. To com-

This year’s theme is Christmas tra-

Norman Rockwell Christmas, as

bat Jack Frost, enjoy chestnuts

ditions. If you complete the hunt,

the thirty-third annual Candlelight

roasting over an open fire at the

you can enter a drawing to win big

Christmas Walk will light up the city.

old town square. And if the mood

prizes, such as a night in a bed-and-

More than 1,500 luminaries greet

strikes you, join the carolers at the

breakfast, a couple’s massage, or a wine tasting for ten. Avoid the last-minute shopping rush, and stop by the craft shops in the visitors’ center. From there, an antique trolley can take you to stores and galleries selling handblown glass, jewelry, and art. The restaurants, wineries, and brew-

Kansas City

The Money Museum

eries are all offering specials and

HAVE YOU ever wondered, “Where have all the

holiday-themed dishes and drinks.

$5,000 bills gone?”

The Christmas Walk takes place

The Kansas City Money Museum at Federal Reserve

on December 4 and 11, from 5 to

will teach you more about money than your econ class

10 pm.—Alex Stewart

ever did. With exhibits that showcase the history of the Fed, historic coins, and a framed $100,000 bill, everyone can find something of compounding interest here.


St. Louis

If you’re into heavy lifting, you can hold a solid gold bar that weighs twenty-seven pounds and is valued at

Churchill, The Artist

roughly $480,000. At the currency design studio, kids can take a picture of themselves and place it on a bill.

IN HISTORY textbooks, Winston Churchill exists as one of the great world leaders during World War II, but the

Another impressive exhibit is the $40 million wall, which

one-time prime minister of England is seldom found in art textbooks.

shows just how much surface area is required to create

“During his lifetime, Churchill painted over 530 canvases, and it’s important to note that he didn’t start until age

such an amount using $100 bills.

forty,” says Tim Riley, curator of The Paintings of Sir Winston

Finally, there’s the cash processing and vault area: a

Churchill, an exhibit at the Kemper Art Museum of Washing-

nine-story room filled with bills, where real Fed employ-

ton University’s campus.

ees sort and examine money, disposing of the ones unfit

As a part of a worldwide celebration called “Churchill

for circulation and storing the rest in the vault. Three ro-

2015” that commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of

bots—named Huey, Dewey, and Louie after the animat-

Churchill’s death, the exhibition is a partnership between the

ed nephews of Donald Duck—lift large piles of money.

National Churchill Museum in Fulton and Washington Uni-

This winter, museum coordinator Abby Anderson says

versity in St. Louis. It brings together forty-five of Churchill’s

you should expect to see a new interactive exhibit about

paintings from both private and public collections to offer a

personal finance.

show of paintings rarely seen in North America.

“We’re going to have hands-on activities that help

“This is an exclusive Missouri exhibition,” Tim says. “Other

families and children understand basic budgeting, human

exhibitions are planned, but none quite like this.”

capital, and banks—figuring out which bank and bank

The exhibit will run until February 14 at the Mildred

account you should pick for your needs,” she says.

Lane Kemper Art Museum at Skinker and Forsyth Boule-

When you leave the museum, make sure to pick

vards in St. Louis, and admission is free. For more informa-

up a free bag of money. The cash is shredded and

tion on the exhibit, visit nationalchurchillmuseum.org or

useless, but if it were still intact, it would amount to

kemperartmuseum.edu.—Jonas Weir

approximately $165.—Alex Stewart

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Winter is perfect in Clay County... Come See. Come Do...there’s something for everyone! Winter is perfect in Clay County...Offering romantic getaways and historic characters, holiday ceremonies and wineries...and so much more!

Winter event listings at VisitClayCountyMo.com. EXCELSIOR SPRINGS | GLADSTONE | KEARNEY LIBERTY | NORTH KANSAS CITY | SMITHVILLE [16] MissouriLife Photo credits: Main photo and Hall of Waters by Kevin Morgan. 016 ML1215.indd 16

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Arrow Rock

Lee’s Summit


Bingham Comes to Life

Kitchenware Cornucopia


Films is filming around the state with a

A KITCHEN-LOVER’S dream lies down a short stretch of Old Highway

Films know a thing or two about making

focus on Arrow Rock, where Bingham

50. The Cockrell Mercantile Company inhabits a 120-year-old general store, three cot-

documentaries. The Kansas City produc-

kept his studio. Although the topic has lo-

tages, and an annex. Inside each is a treasure trove of kitchen gadgets.

tion company has been making docu-

cal appeal and the production company

mentaries on the Civil War with a focus

has a good working relationship with PBS

sas City, Chris and Becky Glaze

on historical reenactments for more than

station KCPT in Kansas City, Shane says

have continued the tradition

twenty years now. However, when the

he is looking for a bigger platform for this

of providing a dizzying array of

Friends of Arrow Rock approached them

hour-long documentary.

kitchen wares.

Since purchasing the business from the founder of Pryde’s Old Westport in Kan-

to make a film on George Caleb Bingham,

“His story is just so uniquely Ameri-

Today, they stock the main

the production company found some

can,” Shane says. “We had the top Ameri-

store with fine cookware, bright-

new challenges.

can curator at the Metropolitan Museum

ly colored table linens and dish

“It’s hard to re-create his art for the

of Art say that one of their Bingham

towels, and towering shelves of

camera,” says Shane Seley, director of

paintings is one of the top ten paintings

gourmet food items. The open-

The American Artist. “Fortunately, I’m

ever done by an American.”

air Cockrell Annex is filled with

surrounded by some very gifted people.”

Bingham is most well-known for his

Aside from having a team that knows

1845 oil painting Fur Traders Descending

baskets, flowerpots, and old-fashioned crocks. The Fiesta Cottage offers the Mid-

a thing or two about historical reenact-

the Missouri, which hangs at the Metro-

west’s largest selection of Fiestaware. The Morton House stocks baking dishes, bak-

ments, Shane enlisted the help of Mis-

politan Museum of Art in New York City.

ing extracts, cookie cutters, and gourmet mixes. Finally, Cockrell Cottage houses an

souri artists to transform Bingham’s her-

The American Artist is slated to be

alded portraits of the American frontier

released next summer. For updates, visit

into works in progress.

binghamfilm.com, wideawakefilms.com,

For this documentary, Wide Awake

or friendsofarrowrock.org.—Jonas Weir

wrought-iron wall ornaments,

unusual inventory of home décor and clocks as well as candles, jewelry, scarves, and even Vera Bradley purses. At Cockrell Mercantile Company, there are treasures for every taste. For more information, visit cockrellmercantile.com or call 816-697-2923. —Lisa Waterman Gray

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Bracelet Bar SISTERS MISHA Wilson and Ericka Hamilton are selling a concept as much as they are a product. The concept is a bracelet bar. Picture this: several jars of beautiful bracelets, separated by color. You can go through each and create your own stack of bracelets, or you can select a pre-made stack that features natural and synthetic stones. That’s the novel concept behind Erimish Bracelet Bar, and that’s the reason Ericka and Misha are seeing such good success.

St. Louis

Snake Bitten BEFORE 2014, Dan Peskorse and his friends

“We just have really good taste, so the bracelets are awesome, too,” Ericka says with a laugh. The sisters tried their first bracelet bar just before Christmas in 2012. The two tested it in their boutique, Cocos in Joplin, which they opened earlier that year. It was an im-

carried around old church-key bottle openers for one

mediate hit. They couldn’t keep the jars stocked and were

purpose: to vent their cans—allowing them to drink beer

soon overrun with work, so they decided to expand. Three

without glug, glug, glug. However, when a friend popped

years later, and Erimish Bracelet Bars can be found in more

two holes in his can instead of one, a company was born.

than two hundred retailers across the country. However,

“He said, ‘This looks like a snake bite,’” Dan says. “Then,

you can still check them out at Cocos in Joplin. Visit erimish

it dawned on me: there’s probably a way to make a bet-

.com for more information.—Jonas Weir

ter tool to do all of these—open bottles, vent cans.”

to create a more refined product. They went through five more prototypes made with a 3D printer until they settled on a design, and in November 2014, Snake Bite Co. officially launched on Kickstarter to huge success. “We reached our $5,000 funding goal in thirty hours,” Dan says.


Drink Like A Viking YOU DON’T NEED to be a Viking from the days of yore to enjoy a tall glass of mead anymore. The ancient, honey-based beverage is making a comeback at Leaky Roof Meadery. Mead comes from the fermentation of honey, water, and yeast, with a mix of fruit or spices often added. Mead can be dry or sweet, high or low in alcohol content, and

By the end of the campaign, Snake Bite Co. raised over

flat or carbonated. Leaky Roof’s flagship mead, the KCC&S Cyser, is made from honey and apple cider and is low-strength,

$21,000. Since then, the company has also launched a full

slightly carbonated, and semi-sweet. It’s also named after the Kansas City, Clinton, and Springfield Railroad. In fact, the

clothing line that uses its classic looking logo. Aside from

whole company is.

the refined look, the Snake Bite tool is also a sturdy, well-

With a strong background in brewing beer, Todd Rock founded the company in 2013 with the idea of striking out on his

made product that is a 100 percent homegrown.

own and trying something new. When, he came to nam-

“Every component is sourced in the United States,”

ing the meadery, he chose the nickname for the historic

Dan says. “It’s obviously significantly less expensive to

KCC&S Railroad, or the Leaky Roof Railroad. Although

manufacture things overseas, but we wanted a really

Buffalo has never been on the railroad line, or any rail-

high quality product you could be proud of.”

road line for that matter, Todd fell in love with the lore of

Snake Bite does custom work of all types. Wedding

the railroad and the name.

parties have called on Snake Bite for groomsmen’s gifts,

The meadery offers samples, pints, growlers, and

and Boulevard Brewing Company enlisted Snake Bite to

kegs of seven varieties of mead, plus rotating specials

commemorate its launch of a line of cans. It’s not just

on tap at the taproom. You can find a select variety

Missourians that have Snake Bite fever. The company re-

of cans at grocery stores across the state. Visit Leaky

cently did work for the Netflix series From Dusk till Dawn.

Roof Meadery at 1306 S. Azalea in Buffalo or online at

Visit snakebiteco.com to learn more.—Jonas Weir

leakyroofmeadery.com.—Alex Stewart


Dan set to work making a rough prototype in his basement. He then reached out to some industrial designers

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[19] December 2015

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10/28/15 9:27 AM



UNCHARTED EXPLORER Author Jo Ann Trogdon examines American icon William Clark’s overlooked excursion and controversial associates. BY WADE LIVINGSTON

MISSOURIANS are likely familiar with the William Clark who jour-

his former commander who launched the Spanish Conspiracy—a series of covert plots to increase Spanish power in the Mississippi Valley, thereby neyed with his partner, Meriwether Lewis, and the Corps of Discovery up the weakening interests of the United States. Missouri River and then out west. That adWas Clark’s voyage a reconnaissance venture, which began in 1804 by the order mission for Wilkinson, who might have deof President Thomas Jefferson, lasted more sired to break away territory east of the Misthan two years and was the first American sissippi from the United States and ally it exploration of the western United States with Spain? Why was Clark part of a smugfollowing the Louisiana Purchase. For his gling operation that pushed Spanish pieces efforts, William Clark was awarded fame of eight up the river and into the pockets of and money. He became a national hero. conspirators in cahoots with the Spanish? But there is another side to William And, in the wake of the journey, did Clark Clark, one that has been underexplored, hope to obscure the journal of his 1798 acburied in Spanish archives, and hidden tivities? If so, why even keep it? in the hand-scrawled entries of an eightyThe book, however, is not a trial of eight-page journal. This volume—Clark’s Clark, but rather a presentation of evidence personal chronicle of his 1798 trip down designed to illuminate his persona. Jo Ann two of America’s iconic waterways to Spanreadily admits that some questions canish New Orleans—tells of an enigmatic not be answered—unless new information journey that has been overshadowed by comes to light. This examination of Clark Clark’s later exploits. It also forms the baand his associates is thoroughly researched, sis of Jo Ann Trogdon’s new book, The Unand it offers a fresh look at the explorer known Travels and Dubious Pursuits of Wilwho helped shape Missouri. liam Clark, and it hints at a more complex Readers—especially history buffs and man, one who was still acquiring the skills academics—will enjoy her deep explorathat would make him valuable to Merition of the subject matter. Everyone can wether Lewis and Thomas Jefferson. appreciate the mini-history of how WilIn the preface, Jo Ann states her goal liam Clark’s journal from that time came to is “to present the most fully human and be in the possession of the State Historical three-dimensional portrait” of Clark to Society of Missouri. Moreover, readers will date. To do so, she deviates from narraenjoy perusing a transcribed version of the tives that imagine Clark as “a stolid, unThe Unknown Travels and Dubious Pursuits of William Clark journal in one of the appendices. complicated explorer-turned-government Jo Ann Trogdon, University of Missouri Press, 496 pages, nonfiction, $36.95 In the end, this book serves as a reofficial.” Instead, she paints a picture of a minder of three important things: First, twenty-seven-year-old Clark who is learntraveling more than two hundred years ago was a dangerous affair. Secing the finer points of mapping, expedition management, and cross-cultural ond, despite America’s recent revolutionary triumph and its acquisition communication. She also raises questions about the motives of his voyage of territory, the country was very much a fragile union as the nineteenth to Spanish Louisiana. century approached. Finally, there’s value in challenging history’s narraOn the surface, Clark’s trip to New Orleans appeared commerce-oriented. tives and learning more about the people we hold up as heroes. In the There was money to be made with his load of tobacco, pelts, and provisions, case of this book, readers will have to get comfortable forming their own but Clark had recently resigned his Army commission as he’d yet to achieve opinions and pursuing their own inquiries. the distinction he desired. Clark also had ties to General James Wilkinson,

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More Good Reads BY JONAS WEIR


Staging Whimsical Tea Parties

Stan C. Smith, 200 pages, paperback, fiction, $9.99 Before this action-packed novel starts, it offers a definition: “Diffusion: the transmission of elements or features of one culture to another.” And that’s exactly what Diffusion deals with as it follows protagonist Quentin Darnell’s adventure in the rainforest of Indonesian Papua on the island of New Guinea. This is a labor of love for Warrensburg author Stan C. Smith—who self-published the novel and has just completed its sequel, entitled Infusion—and his passion is palpable.

Judy Stock, 53 pages, paperback, nonfiction, $7.99 Boonville resident and local children’s author Judy Stock took a different approach to her new book. Instead of writing a children’s book, she decided to make a how-to guide that covers everything you need, from decorations to manners to entertainment. The book even includes a few delicious recipes and a glossary of different kinds of tea. The book is simple and easy to follow, just like a howto guide should be. And the best part is, this book doesn’t need to be used for just tea parties; the recipes and ideas can be repurposed for any occasion.

Down to the Dark River Edited by Philip C. Kolin and Jack B. Bedell, 206 pages, poetry, $17.95 A collection of poetry about the mighty Mississippi, Down to the Dark River captures the spirit of the great American river through dozens of different voices. In fact, exactly one hundred different authors contributed to the two-hundred-page book. The contributors’ homes span the length of the river—from Minnesota to Missouri to Louisiana— and the poems differ in voice and style, but they all muse on the great river that defines our state’s eastern edge.

Cracks in the Cobblestone

Blood Necklace

Voodoo Butterfly

Thomas S. Mulvaugh, 300 pages, paperback, fiction, $12.99 Monett author Thomas S. Mulvaugh paints a murder mystery in blood in his new novel that follows Kansas City Detective Rick Ryder. Thomas is a native Missourian, and it shows in the pages of Blood Necklace. You can trace the detective’s steps to real Missouri locations, including Arrowhead Stadium, Roaring River State Park, the small town of Cassville, and more. Each chapter brings new twists and turns to this imaginative novel set in the real Show-Me State.

Camille Faye, 342 pages, paperback, fiction, $14.99 Voodoo Butterfly kicks off the Voodoo Butterfly book series by Joplin author Camille Faye with a compelling story that shows promise for the future. This book sets the pace for upcoming novels. The story follows twenty-five-year-old Sophie Nouveau as she inherits and takes over her grandmother’s voodoo shop in New Orleans. The Big Easy proves to be an ideal location to explore the paranormal, as Sophie has to make the transition from living in one river city, St. Louis, to another.

Susan E. Sagarra, 224 pages, paperback, fiction, $15.95 Veteran St. Louis journalist and media relations specialist Susan E. Sagarra was seeking a change of pace when she decided to write Cracks in the Cobblestone. The novel follows two women as their shared love of the Titanic brings them together to solve a historic mystery in the fictional river town of Tirtmansic. Although this tale is a far cry from a press release or news brief, her decades of writing and editing experience certainly enhance the novel’s readability.

[21]December 2015

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THE BEER BOOK Explore the history of beer in the Gateway City in St. Louis Brews. BY JONAS WEIR

IT SEEMS THAT, recently, the craft brewing industry has explod-

breweries, though, regardless of time, are expertly documented, and many supply the drama that only a good story could provide. ed. In fact, the number of microbreweries in the United States jumped from Overall, the authors—Henry 1,521 in 2008 to more than 3,200 in Herbst, Don Roussin, Kevin Kious, 2014, according to the Brewers Asand Stefene Russell, the culture edisociation. It seems unprecedented, tor for St. Louis Magazine—provide but St. Louis Brews: The History of a near-complete compendium of St. Brewing in the Gateway City puts that Louis breweries. In this, the second number into perspective. edition of the book, they cover more The Brewers Association currentthan 125 breweries, including some ly lists nineteen breweries in the city outside the city in St. Louis county, of St. Louis; that number includes and layout a timeline of brewing, large breweries, such as Anheuserwhich mirrors the spirit of America. Busch, and small-scale craft brewerSt. Louis Brews is as much for hisies, such as Perennial Artisan Ales. tory buffs as it is for beer enthusiAccording to St. Louis Brews, the city asts. The stories of these breweries sported forty breweries in 1860, all echo what was happening in the of which produced more than five country at large. The first big beer hundred barrels of beer each year, boom followed the end of the Civil and that’s before what the authors War and a time of American prosconsider to be the “Golden Age” of perity. Later, Prohibition shut down brewing in St. Louis. all breweries, and the industry sufFollowing a foreword from fered as the country entered the founder and president of Schlafly Roaring Twenties and then Great Beer, Tom Schlafly, and an introducDepression. The second golden age tion by William J. Vollmar, the Ancame after World War II, one of heuser-Busch corporate historian, the United States’ most prosperous the authors dive right into a chronotimes, and then corporate consolilogical history of brewing that spans dation in the early 1990s again saw from earliest documented brewerthe fall of many of St. Louis’s great ies in the city, which date to before ale-makers. Missouri was officially a state to the On that note, this book also appresent, featuring a cornucopia of peals to anyone interested in art great craft breweries. However, the and advertising. With historic phoGolden Age—1865 to 1889—is Henry Herbst, Don Roussiin, Kevin Kious, and Stefene Rusell tos, labels, and advertisements, this where the book thrives. Reedy Press, nonfiction, 320 pages, $39.95 well-designed coffee table book The second section of the book shows the transformation of advertising and label design over the past two focuses on profiling St. Louis’s major brewers and covers everything from the hundred years by featuring beer throughout the decades in its final chapter. glorious rise of beer titan Adolphus Busch to the tragic fall of the once-presThere are many ways to sum up this great book, but Tom Schlafly perhaps tigious Lemp family. Most of the breweries in this section operated around does it best: “St. Louis Brews: The History of Brewing in the Gateway City is a the Golden Age, but some, such as Falstaff, rose to prominence after Prohibibook to savor and enjoy, like a glass of good, local beer.” tion, in what could be considered a second golden age of brewing. All the

St. Louis Brews

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$49.99 416 pages Hard Cover

$24.99 138 pages Soft Cover

$29.95 262 pages

$29.95 160 pages

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$39.95 192 pages

$24.95 176 pages

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$39.95 192 pages Hard Cover

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Soft Cover


This year, let Missouri Life handle the gift giving. Our curated selection of books will educate, inform, and entertain your loved one’s inner Missourian. Perfect for longtime residents or the occasional visitor, our hand-picked selection of books will delight, and we’ll send a personalized card along with your gift! Get a full description of each on our website.


$12.95 250 pages Soft Cover

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10/30/15 9:40 AM



Three childhood friends from Farmington can’t stop playing music with each other. BY JONAS WEIR ENEMY AIRSHIP is not just a band; it’s a

From left, drummer Logan Epps, singer and guitarist Zach Biri, and bassist Michael Hopkins make up the Columbia-based indie rock group Enemy Airship. All three members grew up together in Farmington and have played in Enemy Airship for the past four years.

In 2011, Michael moved over to bass, and the group continued as Enemy Airship. That’s not to say that band hasn’t had other members. An early incarnation featured keyboardist Ben Chlapek, who helped shape the atmospheric sound of the band’s debut album, The Slow Suggestive. The Slow Suggestive was an experiment in sonic grandeur. It was equal parts indie pop and ambient rock. However, after Ben left the group, the three soldiered on with the Smithereens EP in 2014. The short collection of songs was darker and more ambitious. It paired the group’s warm sound with the intricacy of progressive rock. “There was a lot more dissonance on it,” Michael says. The album was so ambitious, in fact, that it turned out to be the least fun to play live. Many songs had multiple overdubs, so they needed to incorporate a second guitarist to perform them. And the opening song, “To Arms, Pt. 1,” featured a friend on saxophone.

For the new album, they decided to go back to the basics and record eight songs that they didn’t need anyone’s help to play live. “A lot of it was just Mike and I messing around, and Zach putting something pretty over it,” Logan says. “Everything just fell into place.” Accordingly, Extinction Burst is more fun. It’s brighter, the songs are catchier, and the arrangements are playfully loose. The title track rocks harder than any song before it, and the first single, “False Economy,” might be the group’s crowning achievement in pop song writing. On all the songs, the band’s seamless synergy is palpable. “It’s a split between old things we were figuring out how to do right and new things we all wrote together,” Zach says. “It’s things that we couldn’t walk away from.” After all these years, Zach, Michael, and Logan can’t stop making music together. Find Enemy Airship on Facebook, and listen to Extinction Burst at enemyairship.bandcamp.com.


lifelong friendship. “I’ve been friends with Michael since 1984,” says thirty-one-year-old singer and guitarist Zach Biri of bassist Michael Hopkins, who’s thirty-two. Michael’s mom was Zach’s mom’s lamaze instructor, so their friendship could actually be considered prenatal. Growing up in Farmington, they both met drummer Logan Epps, two grades younger, sometime in elementary school. Over the next twenty years, the three would remain friends; share memories, both good and bad; and, chiefly, write music together. Their latest album, Extinction Burst, is the culmination of those decades of collaboration. Michael and Logan started playing music together in high school. Then, during their freshman year at Mizzou, Michael and Zach formed a band, which was abbreviated when Zach was kicked out for non-attendance after one semester. After leaving Mizzou, Zach went to Webster University in St. Louis to study recording engineering, and Logan moved in with him. However, their time in St. Louis was short. Michael was still at Mizzou and on his way toward a computer science degree. Zach and Logan kept making trips to Columbia to jam with Michael, and eventually Zach dropped out of school to move back to Columbia and take writing and recording music more seriously. “You might as well just do it rather than get a degree in it because they’re worth about the same, or at least it seemed that way to me,” Zach says. First the trio formed Barn Owl with Zach and Michael playing guitar. Next, they found a fourth member to play bass, and called themselves Nonreturner. However, they found it hard to keep a steady bass player. “We have a nonverbal communication, and sometimes, that feels impenetrable for other people,” Zach says. “It’s unfortunate, but it reinforces an us-against-the-world mentality.”

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Artist Dan Woodward works on paintings in his home studio just outside of Rolla. His home is the family farm where he was raised.

ART in the WOODS

to his dad up to a neighbor’s hayfield, and on the way home, the duo IT’S 6 AM on a sunny morning in Rolla, and artist Dan Woodward would bring the herd down to the barn. is headed to work. It’s a short jaunt but one that is never the same two “I spent a great deal of time outdoors exploring days in a row. “I just love it out here,” Dan says in reference the rocks, plants, and animals and began drawing to his art studio, just a few hundred feet from the things that I discovered stomping around these front door of his home. woods,” he says. “At age eight, I became quickly known as our school’s resident artist.” To say that he feels at home on his seventyHowever, his interest in art waxed and waned. eight wooded acres is an understatement. His He became more fascinated with the backyard’s family purchased the land for around a dollar an rocks and fossils. When Dan was a young man, a acre during the Great Depression. few geologists from the nearby United States Geo“I was born in a log house just over there,” he logical Survey in Rolla befriended him. says while pointing to where his white pickup “There were a couple of geologists there that truck is parked. were always excited to see me and identify my Although the seventy-two-year-old mainly treasures I would find at the farm,” he says. “I works from his secluded studio these days, his knew then that I wanted to be a geologist.” first work space was the natural paradise that surHe almost did become a geologist. However, he rounded his boyhood home. was starting his senior year studying geology at San “My mom died when I was two,” he says. “Dad worked at a shoe factory in town, so I pretty much This work of art, titled The Drummer Boy’s Pet, comes from Diego State University when he was drafted into the Army to fight in the 101st Airborne Division had free range of this place. It was me and my Rolla artist Dan Woodward’s series of Civil War paintings. during the Vietnam War. After a thirteen-month dog, Tippy.” stint in the Army, he returned to California and graduated in 1972 from During his boyhood, he and Tippy walked two miles to Oak Grove Los Angeles State University with a degree in English instead. He spent School. The two would sometimes herd a few head of cattle that belonged


Rolla artist Dan Woodward explores the Civil War while painting from his boyhood home. BY EDDIE O’NEILL

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the next twenty-five years teaching in the Los Angeles public school system; specifically, in the south-central, Watts area of Los Angeles. He also taught English in China and Saudi Arabia for a time. Although he says he is an educator at heart, Dan has always kept a sketch pad close by. His most ambitious art project by far has been depicting scenes of the Civil War west of the Mississippi River. His interest in the Civil War started sometime in the 1980s when he and his wife went to a reenactment at Wilson Creek, near Springfield. “The scenes were so real,” Dan says. “I was very impressed. So, my first piece was a quick oil sketch of a soldier taking a break after a long march.” When possible, he ventured to reenactments to draw and paint the scenes, but his project really took off in 2010 when the Boone County Historical Museum asked him to create an exhibit of paintings to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. Perhaps, it was because Dan’s depictions of the war go beyond just epic battle scenes. “Those have been done to death,” he says. “I want to show the whole story of the war where hopefully people can draw a connection with the real world.” Dan’s portfolio is different. It features scenes like a mother in tears after receiving a letter that her son had been killed or a painting of a young Union boy playing with his puppy. And he maintains a deeper connection to his portfolio than the average history painter because his artistic endeavor has given him a chance to reflect on his own life as a soldier. “This project has allowed me to take my past life as a soldier and relate to what the Civil War soldiers encountered,” he says. “For example, small things like letters from home mean the world to a soldier away from home.”

Some of Dan Woodward’s history paintings start with his own photographs, which he then sketches and turns into the beautiful, lush oil paintings that are the finished product.

When he is not with a paintbrush and palette in hand, Dan divides his time between his piano and his writing desk inside his house. He’s been an avid fan of classical music since he was a child, when he spent his free time in the stacks of classical music records at the Rolla Public Library. In fact, he has even composed three symphonies—one of which was performed by the University of Missouri Science and Technology’s orchestra in 2012. “I’ve always created under the opinion that all the arts were intimately related,” he says. “I’ve never been able to see any difference between writing, painting, or composing. In all three, I find myself making pictures of sounds, or sounds of pictures, or writing, which describes the same effect in words.” These days, he’s wrapping up a compendium on the history of opera from 1800 to today and working on an opera of his own—complete with a Missouri theme. And as if that is not enough on his creative plate, he has entered the world of children’s books with a tale called Gooseberry Pie. Despite having traveled the world teaching English and having his paintings displayed in such places as Beijing, China, and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, Dan says there is nowhere else he’d rather be than on the land of his boyhood home. “Growing up here with an intimate connection to the forests and the fields made for an idealistic childhood,” he says. “The wonder of it all has fostered a life-long journey of observation and discovery in me. It pleases me to no end Although Dan has worked in many different mediums, he primarily uses oil paints. Dan considers himself to be a realist, to be able to share that creative spirit with others.” and most of his exhibitions have been of his oil paintings, including his first exhibition in San Gabriel, California, in 1975.

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AWAKEN to Fulton’s rich history with exciting sights and sounds all wrapped up in the warmth of small-town charm, with brick streets, elegant architecture, and 67 buildings on the historic register. UNWIND at a Missouri top 10 inn, the historic Loganberry Inn where Margaret Thatcher and other famous guests have stayed. CONNECT to our history at the newly renovated National Churchill Museum. This $4-million museum inside a priceless piece of architecture offers a look back at living history. IMMERSE yourself in the arts and music at Kemper Center for the Arts and Westminster Gallery. MARVEL at the impressive collection of 84 historic automobiles displayed in Hollywood-style sets for their era at the new Backer Auto World Museum. SAMPLE some distinctive Missouri wines at Canterbury Hill Winery, or bottle your own at Serenity Valley Winery. SAVOR scrumptious dining at one of our great restaurants, like Beks, for a unique blend of old and new where internet and espresso meet 1902 architecture. CAPTURE a sense of local history at the Historical Society Museum, or pay your respects at the Missouri Firefighters Memorial. The National Churchill Museum features interactive displays that engage and educate visitors of all ages.

SMILE at the offbeat collection at Crane’s Museum in Williamsburg, and before you head out, stop by Marlene’s Restaurant. A pulled-pork sandwich and warm slice of pie will leave you grinning.

Shop unique gift items in the Historic Brick District of Fulton.

REVISIT the 1930s by sharing a shake made with locally made premium ice cream at Sault’s authentic soda fountain.

Backer Auto World Museum displays an impressive collection of 84 historic automobiles in Hollywood-style sets. [54] MissouriLife MissouriLife [28]

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ADVERTISEMENT Wonderful breakfasts and romantic accommodations await you at Loganberry Inn B&B.

Calendar of Events Annual Victorian Christmas Sale November 12 - December 31, 2015 Open daily, 10 - 4 National Churchill Museum, 501 Westminster Ave. Fulton, MO Three galleries at the National Churchill Museum are converted into a Victorian wonderland full of arts, crafts, and fine gifts in all price ranges. Free event. Optional museum tour: $7.50 with discounts for children, students, seniors 573-592-5369 www.nationalchurchillmuseum.org

Victorian Homes Tour

Crane’s 4,000-square-foot museum is a one-of-akind viewing experience featuring rural Missouri history dating back to the 1800s.

Shop for unique gift items at the annual Victorian Christmas sale.

Saturday, December 5, 2015 5  - 7  Fulton, MO Four Victorian homes will be open for holiday tours. Travel by foot, car, or shuttle bus to explore three private homes and the Loganberry Inn Bed & Breakfast. There will also be a sneak peek of Fulton’s historic 1927 theatre, which is being transformed into the Brick District Playhouse. Homes open 5-7 , departing Cornerstone Antiques at 6th and Court streets. Concludes with refreshments and music at Court Street United Methodist Church, 719 Court St. Tickets $10 573-642-7692 www.visitfulton.com

Come tour our seven historic Civil War sites on the Gray Ghosts Trail!

www.callawaycivilwar.org www.mocivilwar.org

Christmas is magical in the Historic Brick District of Fulton. [29] 2015 [55]December December 2010

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For your next getaway or family vacation, visit Fulton and Callaway County. For more information and calendar of events, visit www.visitfulton.com or call 573-642-3055.

10/30/15 10:20 AM

winter An insider’s guide to cold weather hiking.

FROM ROLLING prairies where the bison still roam to deep Ozark hollows cut by tumbling streams, Missouri has a diverse, beautiful natural landscape.The Show-Me State has a bounty of places to explore, which helped earn Missouri the title of Best Trails State from American Trails, a well-respected national nonprofit. In fact, a new trail that opened this fall at Truman State Park was named the thousandth-mile trail because it marks that milestone for the state park system. So when is the best time to enjoy this vast wealth of nature? Right now. The hiking season for many outdoor enthusiasts begins when the first frost of fall causes the autumn colors to peak and chases away the pesky insects. The season continues into spring when a walk in the woods reveals the bluebells, Dutchman’s breeches, phlox, trillium, violets, and other wildflowers that pop up amid the leaf litter when sunlight warms the forest floor.

In the heat of summer, my wildlife watching is done mostly from the cockpit of a kayak on Missouri’s bounty of sparkling, spring-fed streams, though I might venture out to one of our many glades or prairies in June to catch the blooming of the coneflowers. However, the best hiking season of all may be winter—when the leafless trees allow a clear view of the rugged countryside. You can inspect the natural bridges, sinkholes, springs, and other geologic wonders, or you can find a bluff to stand on and see the whole river valley winding below. Winter outings don’t have to be cold. On Sunday, January 18, 2014, the day was full of sun and the temperature was 58 degrees in St. Louis. A hike at Castlewood State Park found visitors in shorts and T-shirts basking on the bluffs like lizards on hot rocks. Castlewood is also one of the prettiest parks to visit when blanketed in snow. However, it’s not the only winter hike worth making; here are ten more.



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The half-mile Oumessourit Wetland Boardwalk Trail at Van Meter State Park features wetland and bottomland wooded areas, and the elevated metal walkway allows you to walk into the marsh.

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Left: Ice forms in Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park, just outside of Ste. Genevieve. The nearby Pickle Springs is one of sixteen National Natural Landmarks in Missouri. Right: The castle at Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camden County is at the apex of the 0.4mile Castle Trail. The park offers many different trails that are perfect for winter hiking, including the Colosseum Trail.


Hawn State Park near Ste. Genevieve has the reputation of being one of the state’s prettiest parks. Shortleaf pines grow on the sandstone bluffs that border River aux Vases, a sun-dappled stream that meanders through the mixed forest. Pickle Creek splashes along chutes and pools between blue granite boulders sculpted by the water. I ventured there on a snowy morn when the park was still closed, awaiting arrival of the plows to clear the roads. Mine were the only human tracks in the snow as I walked into the valley to the Pickle Creek Trail. I normally hike the ten-mile Whispering Pines Trail, one of the best long hikes in Missouri, but it would be a hump to make it back before sunset on this abbreviated day. I chose instead to poke around Pickle Creek at a leisurely pace. The tall pines cast long shadows over the bristling white picnic grounds where snow piled high on the tables. The boulders in Pickle Creek were decorated at the water line with icy creations as delicate as cut crystal. The only sounds were the murmur of the rushing water, the fussing of blue jays, the chirps of a male cardinal that stood out like neon in the bare brush, and the drumming of a pileated woodpecker searching for bugs buried in a snag. After hours of solitary wandering and enjoying nature’s winter wonderland, I was

startled by the crunch of footsteps as a lone hiker approached on the trail. We nodded but passed without a word. Why break the magic of the moment?

Drover’s Trail


Colosseum Trail

Located on the Kansas state line in southwest Missouri, the four-thousand-acre expanse of undulating grasslands that make up Prairie State Park is the largest remaining tallgrass prairie in the state, which offers visitors a taste of what the pioneers first saw. In winter, the grasses and wildflowers are done blooming, but their stalks and flower heads form dried bouquets of russet and gold.

The Ozarks of southern Missouri are built on karst topography, where mildly acidic groundwater enters cracks and crevices and dissolves the soluble limestone, creating a maze of caves, springs, sinkholes, and natural bridges. At Ha Ha Tonka State Park near Camdenton, the 0.7-mile Colosseum Trail is a showcase of geologic marvels. The trail passes a


Prairie State Park in Barton County consists of 3,942 acres of grassland and woodland. It will offer a guided bison hike on December 5.


Pickle Creek Trail

Some grasses grow so tall that they were said to hide a horseman. The park draws special visitors in winter. Northern harriers, a handsome breed of hawk, glide low over the prairie in search of a meal. Short-eared owls sometimes gather by the dozens on the roadsides. The only prairie chicken I’ve ever seen in Missouri gave me a jolt when it bolted out of its hideout just in front of me as I hiked Drover’s Trail. The trail is a three-mile loop that is named for the cowboys who once drove cattle across the prairie. The trail begins at the visitors’ center, where you can take a look at the mounted bison inside; it may be the only one you’ll see. The park has a herd of some one hundred bison, but they are free to roam. Sometimes they graze in view; other times they saunter out of sight.

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150-foot-deep sinkhole and winds under a 100-foot-high natural bridge—a massive stone arch left behind when a cave collapsed. Nearby at Devil’s Kitchen, a sinkhole hides a shelter cave that has a view of the sky through its chimney, and Devil’s Promenade is a steep concave bluff wall. Winter often freezes the water that seeps through these rock walls and coats them with icicles. The centerpiece of the park is the ruins of a stone castle that sits on a bluff overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks. A wood stairway descends to a bubbling spring with a branch emptying into the lake. Ha Ha Tonka is a park for all seasons. Because of a regimen of prescribed burning that promotes their growth, the glades and woodlands are full of wildflowers in spring and summer. And autumn lights up the views of the forested hills surrounding the lake.

River Scene Trail

CASTLEWOOD STATE PARK In the early 1900s, trains brought visitors from St. Louis to a stretch of the Meramec River known as Lincoln Beach, where they’d

swim and relax in the clubhouses on the top of the bluffs. Historic photos at the Missouri History Museum show swimmers crowding the gravel sandbars. The bluffs and river now are the heart of Castlewood State Park, and they still draw visitors from the metropolitan area for hiking, mountain biking, and dog walking. The 3.25-mile River Scene Trail gets my vote for biggest bang for the buck among short walks in Missouri. On a January visit after an overnight snowfall, I beat the crowds and put the first footprints on the grassy field that led to a bottomland forest of giant sycamores along the river. Standing on the bank, I watched as squadrons of honking Canada geese in V-formations flew into the valley and made splash landings to rest on a gravel bar. The river was especially noisy that frigid morning. Ice floes rounding a bend crashed into each other with a sound like breaking glass. The old concrete steps leading up to the bluff-top resorts still stand but have been replaced by a wood walkway. Overlooks give a commanding view of the river valley two

hundred feet below, with nothing but green space on the other side. Resident bald eagles nest nearby, and migrants show up in winter. Linger a while on the bluffs, and one of these majestic birds might soar by to give you a look.

Castlewood State Park outside of Ballwin in St. Louis County features many vistas of the Meramec River, including this one along the River Scene Trail.

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SAM A. BAKER STATE PARK The first fat raindrops fell as I ascended Mudlick Mountain at Sam A. Baker State Park and paused for a view of the Big Creek valley below, with the ancient St. Francois Mountains as the backdrop. One of three stone-and-timber shelters— built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s—was nearby, and I retreated inside to ponder my choices. The Mudlick Trail climbs nearly one thousand feet from the river valley to the mountaintop and then winds through Mudlick Mountain Wild Area—one of the most significant, undisturbed natural landscapes in Missouri. The hike goes through stately stands of old growth timber. The trail is eleven miles long and a bear in the best of weather. I had prepared for rain and even snatched a big umbrella from the car, but the steady downpour was turning the trail into rivulets. It would be soggy walking. I was approaching the detour that drops down into Mudlick Hollow, a deep valley with a rippling creek full of pools and small waterfalls at the bottom. By the time I reached the stream, the small waterfalls had grown considerably.

The umbrella proved useless while hiking along the trail, as it snagged in the overhanging tree branches. On the other hand, it made a handy trekking pole while negotiating the two whitewater creek crossings. I was wet but warm as I explored the setting of big trees, rare plants, and overflowing pools and chutes. Even my pockets were full of water, and the digital camera was toast from condensation, but the elements made for a stunning visit. Baker offers a variety of trails. If you want a less strenuous experience, the 1.25-mile ShutIns Trail is a wonderful winter walk through bottomland forest, and in the summer, there’s a gravel bar with the perfect Ozark swimming hole on shallow Big Creek.

cluding the spectacular Fisher Cave, which is open for public tours in season. The caves are closed in winter, however, to avoid disturbing hibernating bats. Wilderness Trail is divided into two loops, with a connector in between. They total nearly ten miles and are usually hiked by backpackers who spend a night at one of eight primitive campsites.


Mudlick Trail

Wilderness Trail

MERAMEC STATE PARK Although Whispering Pine and Mudlick are two of my favorite long hikes, I was looking for something new and challenging for an early winter adventure. The Wilderness Trail at Meramec State Park gave me all I wanted and more. Meramec State Park is on the river near Sullivan. It boasts more than forty caves, in-

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The eleven-mile Mudlick Trail at Sam A. Baker State Park near Patterson leads to the top of Mudlick Mountain, which overlooks the St. Francis River, Big Creek, and the St. Francois Mountains.

I started early on a sunny morning and finished six hours later after a long day full of caves, springs, sinkholes, woodlands, glades, and river bluffs. The trail went up and down through the remote northern edge of the park, and it gave my knees a workout. Like many of Missouri’s state parks, the glades and woods of Meramec are burned periodically to allow sunlight to stimulate the growth of grasses and wildflowers. The results are impressive. In the late fall, the open woodlands glow with scarlet red sumac beneath a canopy of mature trees. Purple asters and goldenrod bloom late into the year. The north loop of the trail leads through the Meramec Upland Forest Natural Area, which is full of majestic oaks, hickories, and sycamores. Copper Hollow is a hidden valley that has a spring flowing from a cave at the base of a gray dolomite bluff. Cane Hollow Glade wraps around the top of a solar-heated, southwest-facing hillside. Prairie grasses sway amid a scattering of bleached boulders. The five acres have been burned to encourage the growth of wildflowers. The glade would be a good destination for a visit in May or June. I’ll be back with a bedroll. Meramec also has a popular short walk. The Bluff View Trail is a 1.5-mile loop that has superb views of the Meramec River from the edge of two bluffs.

Meramec State Park sits on the Meramec River about sixty miles southwest of St. Louis. The park is open all winter long from 7 am to 9 pm each day.

The section of the Ozark Trail from Taum Sauk to Johnson’s Shut-Ins state parks begins at the state’s highest point and passes the tallest waterfall.

The Ozark Trail

FROM TAUM SAUK TO JOHNSON’S SHUT-INS STATE PARKS How many superlatives can one trail earn? The Ozark Trail stretches 390 miles north to south in southern Missouri and travels over mountains of hardwood and pine forest, through valleys with streams and shut-ins, and across gorgeous glades dotted with wildflowers. The section from Taum Sauk to Johnson’s Shut-Ins state parks begins at the state’s tallest point, passes the tallest waterfall, and ends at the most popular swimming hole. It has some 12.5 miles of gorgeous scenery through pristine country, and the lack of foliage in the winter makes the views all the more beautiful. The trail descriptions on ozarktrail.com say this: “It’s hard to understate how great this section is. If this author could hike one trail in Missouri, this would be his choice.” It also is one of the state’s hardest hikes, especially if you try to do it in a day. Hiking speeds drop to a mile an hour through the rough terrain. Trekking poles are a godsend for making the many creek crossings and

getting up and down the rocky hillsides, especially if you’re carrying a backpack. I last visited after an overnight downpour to see the flow of Mina Sauk Falls, where water pours off a glade and drops 132 feet to a pool surrounded by moss-covered boulders. From the bottom, I continued on across the rushing creek to Devil’s Tollgate, where hikers pass through a pair of thirty-foot-high pillars of volcanic rhyolite. Then, I basically chickened out and turned back to wait for another day for the full parkto-park hike. Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks, made the hike with friends a year or two ago and wrote: “This hike is epic. The scenery is awesome. The terrain is formidable. The challenge is unparalleled in our state park system. In fact, I have been fortunate to have hiked some legendary trails around the country, and this trail deserves its place among the best. The park-to-park hike is our very own elite trek connecting two iconic Missouri destinations, and not to be overlooked—or taken lightly.” That’s a superlative endorsement.

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Trail of Tears State Park near Jackson offers beautiful views of the Mississippi River, and the nine-mile Peewah Trail winds through 1,300 acres of wilderness.

TRAIL OF TEARS STATE PARK I first visited Trail of Tears State Park, on the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri, while attending an appearance by Governor Jay Nixon to promote his 100 Missouri Miles Challenge. The governor and First Lady Georganne Nixon challenged all Missourians to join them in walking, hiking, paddling, or biking more than one hundred miles a year. The results are tallied at 100missourimiles.com, which has registered more than three million miles. At Trail of Tears, Governor Nixon led a hike on the three-mile Sheppard Point Trail, which climbs a steep ravine, loops down a valley, and heads back up to Sheppard Point. The trail gave a great taste of two features that make the park distinctive. First, the woodlands are different than those typically found in the Ozarks. Trees such as American beech, cucumber magnolia, and tulip poplar fill the hollows and valleys and give off an Appalachian flavor. Second, the trail ended on the top of a bluff overlooking the Mississippi, one of several

overlooks that give spectacular views of the river valley. Trail of Tears has four hikes; I’ve done the three short ones. The nine-mile Peewah Trail is waiting. The trail explores the park’s backcountry Indian Creek Wild Area. It climbs up and down the maze of ravines in one of the most rugged portions of the river hills. There are three creek crossings, and a short spur leads to a panoramic river view. The Peewah Trail is on my bucket list, and maybe it should be on yours, too.

The short trail leads to three boardwalks of steel grating that extend into the wetlands of the three-hundred-acre natural area. I was admiring the reeds, grasses, and cattails growing in the wetlands when I heard the muted calls of a wildlife parade passing overhead. Migrating waterfowl filled the leaden skies, and their honking created a mesmerizing sound.

Boardwalk Trail

VAN METER STATE PARK Van Meter State Park is south of the Missouri River near Marshall in west-central Missouri. The trail is only a half-mile long, but it’s a nice place to be on a winter’s day. The pride of Van Meter State Park is the Oumessourit Natural Area, a landscape of marsh, wet prairie, and forest that shows what the meandering floodplain looked like before the river was channelized and constricted by levees.

The Boardwalk Trail at Van Meter State Park is open everyday from 8 am to sunset all year long.


Peewah Trail

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The park is near the Grand Pass Conservation Area, which is 5,300 acres of wetlands along six miles of the river. It is an inviting spot for hundreds of thousands of geese, ducks, white pelicans, trumpeter swans, and bald eagles that use the Central Flyway in early spring and fall. Van Meter is on their flight pattern. The park is the site of an old Indian village that was home to a tribe identified as the Oumessourit by French explorers Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet when they arrived in 1673. The name, which meant “people of the big canoes,” evolved into Missouria for the tribe and to Missouri for the river and state. Missouri’s American Indian Cultural Center opened at the park in 2005 and tells the story of the state’s original nine tribes. The displays include a depiction of a Missouria thatched lodge, four glass cases of artifacts and postersized reproductions of paintings by the first artists to document Native Americans. For a rewarding winter excursion, spend time on the boardwalk admiring the waterfowl and then warm up inside the center to learn about the area’s first residents.

Shooting Star Trail

ROCK BRIDGE MEMORIAL STATE PARK With full sun and the temperature nearing fifty degrees, this was the perfect day to celebrate the end of a successful winter hiking season. Five days earlier, I was at Montauk State Park for the opening of trout season when an overnight storm dumped five inches of snow and coated the park with a layer of crusty ice. The snowfall made for picturesque photography but lousy driving. On Interstate 44 that afternoon, I was stuck in solitary confinement for an hour while crews cleared a jack-knifed tractor-trailer. But this early-March day would be balmy, and highs were expected in the sixties all next week. Winter may have a last blast, but spring was here. The remnants of that snowstorm were disappearing quickly. I decided to head to Columbia and Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. When the park opened in 1974, it was out in the boonies. Today, it is surrounded by suburbia. But Rock Bridge is home to the 750-acre

Gans Creek Wild Area, which has 8.5 miles of trails to get lost on and leave civilization behind. This is a karst park with caves, sinkholes, and the sixty-three-foot-high natural tunnel that gives Rock Bridge its name. I had never hiked the Shooting Star Trail, which is in the southeast corner of the wild area. It was a lovely choice. The trail heads through hardwood forests down to the first of three crossings of Gans Creek. Shooting Star bluff stood high over the creek bed; the hike continued up to the top for a scenic vista. I saw no other hikers on this Friday afternoon, only a snow-white opossum that trudged along with me before disappearing into a hollow log. But the spring melt was making sloppy going. The trail had been covered with ice, which now was thawing into mud. Despite my trekking poles, I slipped descending a slope and soon was sitting at the bottom in a mud puddle. Right then, I thought how beautiful this hike would be in about a month when the sunwarmed forest floor sprouts a crop of spring ephemerals. Ephemeral means lasting for a short time, and these white, purple, pink, and yellow wildflowers disappear in May when the trees leaf out and the canopy closes off the sunlight. I began planning my itinerary. In mid- to late-April, I’d head to the Missouri Nature Reserve near Gray Summit for the blooming of the bluebells and celandine poppies on the bottomlands near the Meramec River. In mid-May, I’d try to catch the wild azaleas and yellow lady’s slipper orchids at Hawn State Park. And in June, the yellow coneflowers would be covering the glades at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. I couldn’t wait to get started. But first I had to get out of this mud puddle.

NEW YEAR’S DAY HIKES Missouri State Parks sponsors guided First Day hikes to encourage residents to get the New Year off to a healthy start. Visit mostateparks.com for a full listing of parks offering a guided hike on January 1, 2016. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park just outside of Columbia offers many different topographies, including caves, grasslands, wetlands, wooded area, and more. The entire park is open from sunrise to sunset all year round.

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OChristmas Find the perfect Christmas tree this holiday season. BY AMY BURGER


Nothing compares to the aroma of a real, live Christmas tree—especially one you’ve


cut yourself. Missouri is home to a number of family farms where you can enjoy the fine holiday tradition of finding and logging your own yuletide centerpiece. So prepare to take a hayride, sip some hot cocoa, and pick the perfect tree off the hillside. [38] MissouriLife

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s Heritage Valley Tree Farm in Washington has a Christmas shop where visitors can congregate, as well as fields of fir trees where the family can peruse and pick out a Christmas tree.


Washington HERITAGE VALLEY TREE FARM This eighty-acre farm in beautiful Missouri wine country has been family-owned for more than one hundred years, and it presents a postcard-worthy holiday scene with Christmas trees dotting the landscape and a log cabin farmhouse decorated for the season by owners Vern and Bee Spaunhorst. The farm has been in Vern’s family since around 1850. It was originally owned by his grandmother and great uncle, and then it was passed down to his mom and dad. When his dad asked if he should keep the farm or sell it, Vern opted to keep it in the family, and he and Bee took over. They tried planting other types of crops at first, but the acreage was too small for largescale crops like corn. So, in 1980, they planted Christmas trees. They started with Scotch pines and later discovered that they could also grow fir trees, which are quite popular but harder to grow in this area. Now, they have three varieties: Canaan fir, Norway spruce, and white pine. Around the time they began growing Christmas trees, they also planted one hundred pecan trees, and they continue to sell pecans during

the holidays, too. In 2011, the Spaunhorsts received the Governor’s Award for Agricultural Achievement from Governor Jay Nixon. There’s an original old log house on the farm as well as other historic buildings that have been restored. Vern and Bee have five grown children who all live nearby and help them out on the weekends and during Christmastime, as well as five grandchildren who love the magic of the farm, especially during the holidays. The farm provides saws for cutting and tree carts and sleds for hauling trees out of the field. It also offers tree shaking, netting, and drilling. For those who don’t want to do the sawing, the farm sells pre-cut Fraser firs, decorated fir wreaths, and combination greenery bundles. After selecting a tree, visitors can escape the cold to shop for holiday ornaments and décor and warm up with hot chocolate, warm apple cider, and freshly baked chocolate chip and sugar cookies in the shop in the farm’s old corncrib. Some of the gifts are even handcrafted by the Spaunhorsts. “We’ve been selling trees for twenty-six years and have some customers who have been back every year since we started,” Vern says. “Many

of them came as kids and now bring their kids. The best part is watching the kids come running across the yard to get their trees; that’s what it’s all about.” Heritage Valley Tree Farm opens the day after Thanksgiving and is then open Saturdays and Sundays only from 10 am to 5 pm, closing for the season on December 20. heritagevalleytreefarm.com • 1668 4 Mile Road 636-239-7479

St. Joseph SCHWEIZER ORCHARDS Schweizer Orchards has operated in St. Joseph since the early 1900s. Conrad Frederick Schweizer founded the farm on forty acres, where he raised apples, raspberries, and pears. Today, it’s a fifth-generation family business operated by Conrad’s great-grandsons, Nick and Cory, as well as Nick’s wife, Abby, and Cory’s wife, Allison. Over the years, Schweizer Orchards grew to include an on-site market plus eighty-six acres where guests can pick their own blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, apples, and pumpkins in season. In 1999, a woman in nearby Savannah, Missouri, was selling a Christmas

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Platte City FULK FARMS Fulk Farms is a six-generation, family-owned farm northwest of Kansas City operated by Dennis Fulk and his son, Brian. Dennis’s great-greatgrandfather founded the farm in 1889. In 1998, the University of Missouri Extension Service awarded Fulk Farms Century Farm status.

Picking out your own Christmas tree is half the fun at Schweizer Orchards in St. Joseph. Picking your own apples in the summer is another huge draw to the family-owned farm.

The farm originally grew crops like corn and soybeans and still does during the summer. Dennis didn’t plant Christmas trees until 1987. “When we purchased our own Christmas tree at that time, we had to go quite a way to get one and cut it down, so we thought we might grow them on the farm,” Dennis says. “We believed it was a great location— hilly ground near the highway—to plant them. We just learned by doing it. The first year we sold them was 1992.” Dennis and Brian plant new trees in spring before the regular crops and shear them in summer. They harvest their other crops in the fall, and then move on to the Christmas trees after the regular growing season. Fulk Farms offers free tractor-pulled wagon rides to the fields, where guests can choose from a large selection of Scotch and white pines. The farm also sells pre-cut Fraser, Douglas, and balsam firs. The Christmas Shop in the cozy, heated barn offers hand-made, fresh pine wreaths and garlands, fir wreaths and roping, and various gift items, which shoppers can peruse while enjoying complimentary coffee and hot chocolate. Situated just across the river from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Fulk Farms sees a lot of military families come out during the holidays. “We see a lot of familiar faces but also lots of new faces,” Dennis says. “It’s fun to meet everyone and watch the kids enjoy it.” Fulk Farms opens at 9 am the Friday after Thanksgiving and is regularly open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. The farm is closed on Mondays. fulkfarms.com • 23400 Highway 92 • 816-225-8809


Aside from offering Christmas trees for the holidays, Fulk Farms in Platte City also sports many vintage tractors that have become an attraction in their own right.

One of the largest Christmas tree farms in the state, Pea Ridge Forest is nestled in the hills along the Missouri River in scenic Hermann. The original owner, Myron Gwinner, first planted the trees there in 1955. The current owners, LeRoy and Mary Rood, purchased the farm in 1972 after long careers in the aerospace industry. The Roods met at McDonnell Douglas while working on Project Gemini, NASA’s second human spaceflight program. After many years living in St. Louis, Mary was interested in moving to the country and owning a


tree farm. The Schweizers purchased that farm, cleaned it out, and moved the operation to St. Joseph, where they now make an easy transition from apples, pumpkins, and hayrides in the fall to Christmas trees in the winter. All of the Schweizer family lives near the orchard in nearby Savannah, including Nick and Cory’s parents, Steve and Becky, who still help out with day-to-day-operations. Cory never really considered doing anything else. “It’s just something I grew up with,” he says. Visitors to the farm can find and cut their own trees in the white pine and Scotch pine fields and enjoy hayrides out to the fields on weekends. Pre-cut trees are also available. The market will shake, wrap, drill, and load trees while guests warm up inside with apple cider or hot cocoa. The store also offers gift items, garland, and fresh wreaths in a variety of sizes. Santa visits the first weekend of December. “The neatest thing is seeing people coming from the city and riding the hay rack and cutting down their own tree,” Cory says. “It’s great having the kids actually see where the Christmas trees really come from, instead of just a store. They learn something while they do it.” Christmas trees are available at Schweizer Orchards the day after Thanksgiving until mid-December. schweizerorchards.com • 5455 SE Route FF • 816-232-3999

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The barn at Pea Ridge Forest is at the center of the experience. Here, children can warm up with hot chocolate and snacks while the Christmas tree is loaded into the family car.

farm. Someone mentioned to them that there was a Christmas tree farm for sale, so they took a look, liked it, bought it, and moved into the property’s 140-year-old log home to begin their second career. Over the years, the Roods taught the business to their sons, Mike and Scott. “The boys were in kindergarten and first grade when we bought the farm, and they both worked here through high school and college,” LeRoy says. Mike attended Mizzou, where he earned his degree in forestry. He is now a certified arborist. Scott studied international relations but eventually returned to farm life. The two brothers officially run the business now and live on the farm property. Although LeRoy and Mary are mostly retired, they still contribute and keep active on the farm. “She handles the money, and I fix things,” LeRoy says. Visitors to Pea Ridge can enjoy a hayride to and from the fields of Scotch pines, where they choose and cut a tree. The farm will shake and bale the trees and offers pre-cut trees, too. In the barn, a large, stone fireplace provides warmth, and guests can enjoy homemade baked goods, drinks, kettle corn, and even wine from the local vineyards. Santa is on hand to meet the kids on weekends, and the holiday shop offers ornaments from all over the world in addition to wreaths and bows handmade by Mary. “We get about ten to twelve thousand people through here during the Christmas season,” LeRoy says. “We see a lot of people we wouldn’t see normally at the holidays, so it’s great to visit with folks.” Pea Ridge Forest is open the weekend before Thanksgiving until Christmas from 9 am until dark each day. pearidgeforest.com • 22735 Tree Farm Road • 636-932-4687

More Tree Farms Wright City CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS TREE FARM christmastraditions.net • 25882 S. Lohman Road • 636-745-7488 Brookfield HUEFFMEIER’S FINE PINES finepinequilts.com • 27905 Route FF • 660-258-3244 Jackson MEIER HORSE SHOE PINES 2146 County Road 330 • 573-243-5501 Southwest City OZARK VALLEY CHRISTMAS TREE FARM ozarkvalleychristmas.com • 1090 Manning Road • 417-762-2276 Boonville STARR PINES CHRISTMAS TREE FARM starrpines.com • 21298 Pleasant Hill Road • 660-882-6858

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During his visit to St. Louis in April 1842, world-renowned author and playwright Charles Dickens made it a point to visit a natural prairie outside of the city.

it’sBoz! Charles Dickens visits St. Louis. BY RON SOODALTER

BY THE 1840s, St. Louis had established its bona fides thrice over. It was the site of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase, the center of the American fur trade, and the point of departure for thousands of westering migrants. But to the residents of the River City, nothing could rival the April 1842 visit of the renowned English author and speaker Charles Dickens. It is difficult to fully appreciate the frenzy that greeted Charles Dickens when he first toured America. As Edmund Wilson wrote in a 2002 Atlantic article, he was “the first true literary celebrity. … His reception here seems to have been more that of a pop star than of a distinguished author.” The most renowned and widely read author in the English-speaking world, the thirty-yearold Dickens had emotionally engaged millions of readers on both sides of the pond with his serialized Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. An acknowledged sensation in his native England, Dickens arrived in America to find that his fame had preceded him. A contemporary wrote of his much-anticipated landing in Boston, “Go where you would in the city—in the hotels, stores, counting-rooms, in the streets, in the cars, in the country as well as the city—the all-absorbing topic was the ‘arrival of Dickens!’ ” Many who encountered the author referred to him adoringly as Boz, his onetime pen name. And in those days, before the advent of photography, countless painters and sculptors sought to capture the visitor’s likeness in oil and stone. Ironically, Americans held Dickens in considerably higher regard than he valued them. In a letter he wrote from Baltimore in March 1842, Dickens

made his feelings on America clear: “I don’t like the country. I wouldn’t live here, on any consideration. … I think it impossible, utterly impossible, for any Englishman to live here and be happy.” His overall negative impression of America encompassed the president himself. John Tyler had inherited the office from the deceased William Henry Harrison, and when invited to a private audience in the executive mansion, Dickens found Tyler dull and uninteresting with a jaded appearance. When a dinner invitation arrived from President Tyler a few days later, Dickens declined and continued his journey. With the exception of a handful of luminaries—among them, Washington Irving and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow—Dickens’s dour and often condescending attitude toward Americans formed the foundation of his American Notes, published later that year. In it, he leaves no doubt that he found Americans to be unlettered, uncivil, arrogant, humorless, violent, and hypocritical. For his trip, Dickens hired a young American, George Washington Putnam, as his secretary. Nearly thirty years later, Putnam recorded his experiences in a two-part article, “Public and Private Lives of Charles Dickens,” for the October and November 1870 issues of The Atlantic. His reminiscences present a much more benign version of the author’s views than does Dickens himself. Putnam describes a typical response to the author’s presence: “A crowd of visitors thronged the house. Statesmen, authors, poets, scholars, merchants, judges, lawyers, editors came, many of them accompanied by their wives and daughters, and his rooms were filled with smiling faces and

resounded with cheerful voices. They found the great author just what they hoped and expected he would be from his writings, and no happier greetings were ever exchanged. … Mr. and Mrs. Dickens … always highly appreciated the generosity of their American welcome.” For his part, Dickens was less than enthralled: “If I turn into the street, I am followed by a multitude. If I stay at home, the house becomes, with callers, like a fair. If I visit a public institution with

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only one friend, the directors come down incontinently, waylay me in the yard, and address me in a long speech. I go to a party in the evening, and am so inclosed [sic] and hemmed about with people, stand where I will, that I am exhausted from want of air. I dine out and have to talk about everything to everybody. I go to church for quiet, and there is a violent rush to the neighborhood of the pew I sit in, and the clergyman preaches at me. I take my seat in a railroad car, and the very conductor

won’t leave me alone. I get out at a station and can’t drink a glass of water without having a hundred people looking down my throat when I open my mouth to swallow.” Not everything Dickens saw displeased him, though. Before St. Louis, his party stopped in Cincinnati, which he thought beautiful—“risen out of the forest like an Arabian-night city.” Characteristically, however, he found the residents disappointing. “I really think my face has acquired a

fixed expression of sadness from the constant and unmitigated boredom I endure.” And the outlying country folk fared no better: “invariably morose, sullen, clownish, and repulsive.” After Cincinnati, Dickens traveled to St. Louis by steam up the Mississippi, which he dubbed “the beastliest river in the world.” On April 10, he wrote, “At last, there were the lights of St. Louis.” Once landed at the wharf, he was lodged in the Planter’s House. Today, Planter’s House is a

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Wherever Charles Dickens went, he was surrounded by fans. He wrote: “I do not know the American gentleman. God forgive me for putting two such words together.�

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high-end cocktail bar on the Mississippi, but it was a hotel in Dickens’s day. He described it as “an excellent house … built like an English hospital with long passages and bare walls and skylights above the room-doors for the free circulation of air.” The proprietors, he wrote, “have most bountiful notions of providing the creature comforts.” The author and his wife walked through the old French section; his description was charming. He was impressed with the “quaint and picturesque” houses lining the “narrow and crooked” thoroughfares. They strolled past “queer little barber shops, taverns, and crazy old tenements with blinking casements, such as may be seen in Flanders. Some of these ancient habitations … have a kind of French shrug about them.” He went on to describe the recently constructed wharves, warehouses, and new buildings in all directions: “The town bids fair in a few years to improve considerably; though it is not likely ever to vie, in elegance or beauty, with Cincinnati.” He remarked on the number of Catholic churches and schools, “introduced here by the early French settlers.” But he could not resist taking a jab at the city’s weather. He declared himself “at issue with the inhabitants of St. Louis, in questioning the perfect salubrity of its climate, and in hinting that it must dispose to fever, in the summer and autumnal seasons. Just adding, that it is very hot, lies among great rivers, and has vast tracts of undrained swampy land around it, I leave the reader to form his own opinion.” Dickens had expressed a desire to see the prairie, so he and his party traveled some thirty miles from the city for an overnight visit to the Looking Glass Prairie, in modern-day Illinois. His description of the trip over the next few days is rife with his usual combination of good-humored barbs and scathing ridicule. On returning to St. Louis, they passed “a spot called Bloody Island, the duelling-ground [sic] of St. Louis,” named for the most recent pistol fight to be staged there. “Both combatants fell dead upon the ground; and possibly some rational people may think … that they were no great loss to the community.” The next day, April 13, Dickens “attended a soiree and ball—not a dance—given in my honor” at the Planter’s House. Typically, while he wrote of the food as plentiful and palatable, he found the “society pretty rough and intolerably conceited.” Nonetheless, thus far, St. Louis—if not its en-

virons—had proved pleasant and charming to the author. This was about to change. One day, as Putnam tells it, a well-known gentleman called upon Dickens, and in the course of conversation, asked, “Mr. Dickens, how do you like our domestic institution, sir?” Unsure of the reference, Dickens asked his guest’s meaning. “Slavery!” was the reply. Dickens’s guest was apparently unfamiliar with the author’s attitude toward slavery; he abhorred it and spoke vehemently against it. Of all the faults he found in the American way of life and system of government, slavery offended him most. “Not at all, sir! I don’t like it at all, sir!” was the reply. At this point, the guest made the mistake of pressing his point. “You probably have not seen it in its true character and are prejudiced against it.” By now, Dickens was in a fury. “I have seen it, sir! All I wish to see of it, and I detest it, sir!” The chastened visitor mumbled “Good morning,” and—looking mortified, abashed, and offended—seized his hat and hastily took his leave, whereupon Dickens fumed at Putnam, “Damn their impudence, Mr. P! If they will not thrust their accursed ‘domestic institution’ in my face, I will not attack it, for I did not come here for that purpose. But to tell me that a man is better off as a slave than as a freeman is an insult, and I will not endure it from any one! I will not bear it!” The next day, Dickens described the incident in a letter to friends in England: “They won’t let me alone about slavery. A certain judge in St. Louis went so far yesterday, that I fell upon him (to the indescribable horror of the man who brought him) and gave him a piece of my mind.” He went on to relate an incident that had happened in St. Louis six years earlier, in which a slave, unjustly arrested, slashed a constable with a bowie knife. Thereupon, a mob “among whom were men of mark, wealth, and influence in the place … carried him away to a piece of open ground beyond the city and burned him alive.” Dickens was outraged that “the deed was done in broad day” and “not a hair on the head of one of those men has been hurt to this day.” On the afternoon of April 14, Dickens and his party left St. Louis to retrace their journey north. “We turned our faces homeward,” he wrote. “Thank Heaven!”

They rode the river for a brief stopover in Cincinnati, then traveled by stagecoach to Columbus with Dickens occupying his favorite seat—on the box beside the driver. They rode coaches all the way to Buffalo and, from there, ferried across into Canada, leaving behind them an adulatory population that, sadly, was far more loving than loved. With the publication of American Notes, Americans would discover to their dismay the low esteem in which their literary idol, whom they had proudly welcomed to their shores, held them.


Although it’s been more than 150 years since Boz visited Missouri, you can still celebrate his life and work with Charles Dickensthemed events across the state. DECEMBER 4-6

DICKENS CHRISTMAS FAIRE Visit Neosho’s Mills Park Center for a holiday craft fair in the spirit of Charles Dickens. More than fifty vendors will be selling holiday gifts. Visit neoshocc.com or call 417-451-1925 for more information. DECEMBER 5

DICKENS CHRISTMAS The streets of historic downtown Warrensburg will come to life in the spirit of a Dickens Christmas from 10 am to 4 pm. The event will include carriage rides, live music in local businesses, chestnuts roasting over an open fire, and more. Visit warrensburgmainstreet. com or call 660-429-3988 to learn more. DECEMBER 10

A CHRISTMAS CAROL See Dickens’s most revered yuletide play at Jesse Auditorium on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia. Tickets range from $12 to $29. Visit eventpros .missouri.edu or call 573-882-3781 for more information. DECEMBER 11-20

A CHRISTMAS CAROL See another performance of this Christmas classic at the Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock. Tickets are $35.50. Visit lyceumtheatre.org or call 660-837-3311 for more information.

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Missouri Pride

Gift Guide Discover local products that help you

show off the Show-Me State. “Don’t Mess With Texas” and “I Heart NY” have become iconic brands, recognized around the world. Missouri currently has no such equivalent. However, that’s not for lack of state pride. Missourians are some of the proudest of their home state. And a handful of designers and artisans across the state are taking a stand, creating everything from bow ties that use the Missouri Flag as textile pattern to T-shirts that simply read “Missouri is Awesome.” All of the following wares make great gifts for all Missourians who want to show off their native pride, and who knows? One of these might be the next “Virginia is for Lovers.” BY JONAS WEIR

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Poverty Barn When her husband cracked a joke about the home decor giant Pottery Barn, Valerie Perkins knew she had a great name for a business. About a year later, she and her daughter, Jess, officially founded The Poverty Barn. With a shared love of crafting, this St. Louis-based mother-daughter team makes home decor that has a down-home feel. Most of Valerie and Jess’s products are painted wood signs with folksy quotes and sayings in whimsical lettering, and one of their best-sellers has become their home-state series, which features a variety of different states. For Missouri, they also offer Kansas City and St. Louis-specific home-state signs. Visit povertybarn.net for more information. Poverty Barn products are available at Elderberry Place in O’Fallon, 5 Pound Apparel in Springfield, Bella Home Accessories in Chesterfield, or Made on Mass in Lawrence, Kansas.

Stadium Graph


On the opening day of the 2015 baseball season, Stadium Graph opened its doors at 2236 Bay Tree Drive in St. Peters. As a personal project, Jacob Heberlie started out making art prints of Busch Stadium. After running a successful Kickstarter campaign, he has expanded to making small wooden relief sculptures of many different ballparks, though he credits Royals fans with helping him make the Kickstarter so successful. Now, Missouri baseball fans can make their home feel more like home field with his ballpark sculptures of both Kaufmann and Busch Stadiums. Although an art print is not available for Kaufmann yet, Jacob says he’d like to do one in the future. Visit stadiumgraph.com for more information.

Ooh Look It’s a Rabbit! Wentzville resident Susan Burkhart has been making crafts her entire life. Her grandmother taught her to crochet at a young age; she took home economics throughout her school career; and over the years, she has learned to sew, embroider, knit, quilt, scroll saw, and more. So in 2010, she decided to take the skills she’s learned and turn them into an economic opportunity by selling her projects on Etsy. Now, she has created a way to sport Missouri pride with Missouri- and St. Louis-themed key chains. All of the wood is sourced from The Wood n Shop in Eolia or St. Charles Hardwoods in St. Peters. Find more of Susan’s wares at etsy.com/shop/OohLookItsARabbit or on Facebook.

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Fetching Etching Missouri pride is important to Rita Cooper. The Cedar Hill resident has lived her whole life in the Show-Me State and says she can’t imagine living anywhere else. Today, she shares her home-state pride with a series of Missouri-themed glassware. Although the glass etching started out as a primitive hobby for Rita, she has since perfected the craft by incorporating digital designs and a mechanical stencil cutter that helped her launch her own Etsy shop in January 2014. Rita sources all of her glass—except for the Christmas ornaments she etches—from either Libbey or Anchor Hocking, both US companies. Look for Rita’s booth at various craft fairs across the state, and visit fetchingetching.com for more information.


Sami Maurer Designs Born and raised in St. Louis, Sami Maurer actually started her design company in Mobile, Alabama. At the time, she was a sophomore at Spring Hill College studying graphic design. She made a shirt for herself to show off her Missouri pride but soon realized there was a demand for her designs. Now, as a college graduate with degrees in both graphic design and marketing management, Sami is back in the Gateway City and taking the company seriously, constantly coming up with new, clever designs. She is currently teaming up with the Children’s Hospital and the St. Louis Blues to create a shirt for a new fundraising campaign. Visit samimaurer.com for more information, or find her products on Etsy.

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Bear on a Log St. Louis company Bear On A Log launched last year with one goal in mind: to create comfortable clothing that could be worn at anytime, during any season. So incorporating minimalist design aesthetics, American-made wares, and clever, pun-centric graphics, the company did just that. And being a Missouri company, Bear on a Log offers many ways to sport your Show-Me State pride, from “I Heart KC” sweatshirts to tank tops that feature a silhouette of the Arch. Find Bear On A Log on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and at bearonalog.com.

Hahn Harbour


Using reclaimed wood and a wood burner, Blue Springs resident Hannah Harrison started creating signs for friends as housewarming and birthday presents. When she realized she had something special on her hands, she launched Hahn Harbour with her fiance, Cody Hahn. Hannah has since diversified her product line, but her wood signs are still the biggest hit. She now offers custom work, too. Although the company is a booming success, the couple is truly focused and excited for their wedding in August. To learn more, find Hahn Harbour on Facebook and Etsy.

The Crafty Engineer Columbia resident Tia Berg is not just clever; she’s crafty, too. In 2012, Tia started The Crafty Engineer as a part-time project, and the onetime project has now grown into a full-time job. She designs all of the products, sources all of the materials from vendors across the United States, and puts everything together by hand at her office in Columbia. Although all of her designs are fun, her Show-Me State products are definitely the cutest. See more at thecraftyengineer.com.

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Huckababy Jefferson City resident Cassandra Huckabay’s first job is not making crafts. She’s a full-time nurse at Women and Children’s Hospital in Columbia, and she’s the mother of one, with another on the way. Yet, she still finds time to put together adorable crafts for adults and children alike. She started out making baby accessories with her friend and business partner Darlene Oliver when Cassandra’s son Henry was born nearly three years ago and since expanded to making crafts like her popular Missouri heart pillow. You can find her products at Southbank Gifts in Jefferson City or at her Huckababy store on Etsy.

Great Knots

Landlocked KC In the fall of 2014, both the Royals and the Chiefs were doing well nearing the post-season—a near anomaly for Kansas City sports fans. To get into the spirit of hometown pride, Christie Davis and Andrew Morgans launched Landlocked KC—an apparel design company specifically focused on Missouri pride. The first shirt was a pennant shirt that included both Royals and Chiefs colors, but the company has since expanded to include more items, including Made in Missouri shirts and Missouri coasters. Find out more at landlockedco.com, and connect with Landlocked KC on Facebook and Instagram.


Des Peres resident Nancy Staley is classing up Missouri pride by making Missouri-themed bow ties by hand. She started her bow tie business, Great Knots, two years ago when she made American flag bow ties for her son and his friends who were attending a high school dance. Now, she has expanded the idea to include the St. Louis flag, the Missouri flag, and Tiger stripes, among other designs. Great Knots bow ties can be found at the St. Louis Zoo, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis, the Missouri History Museum, and other St. Louis area gift shops, or online at greatknots.com.

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5 Pound Apparel “You might be thinking Missouri is boring or full of hillbillies or lacking in culture; you must be thinking of Arkansas because Missouri is awesome.” That was the opening line in Springfield clothing shop 5 Pound Apparel’s successful Kickstarter campaign for a Missouri is Awesome clothing line. The campaign exceeded its $5,000 goal by more than $28,000, and for good reason. These Missouri-pride T-Shirts are hilarious, just like the Kickstarter’s video. Find out more at 5poundapparel.com.


The Spare Garage Washington, Missouri, resident Kyle Zick thinks about his craft like he thinks about cooking. He takes a little inspiration from everywhere and gives it his own flavor. Using reclaimed wood and pallets from his family farm, rough cut lumber from lumber yards, and refined pieces from St. Charles Hardwoods, each piece that Kyle makes is unique, even if he does the same design twice, like his popular Missouri silhouette wall decoration. Find more of his work at his Etsy shop, appropriately called The Spare Garage.

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Missouri Pride

Gift Guide

Celebrating 20 years of Christmas at Grandma's House Village Designs brings you Christmas at Grandma’s House Shop a gallery of fine crafts, handmade in America. See VillageDesigns.com for directions and details. Open daily till Christmas in Daisy (SE Missouri) 573-266-3642 info@villagedesigns.com

Heirloom Stockings Handmade of quality leather. Great gifts to pass down from generation to generation. JUST RIGHT FOR YOUR COFFEE BREAK! Bookmark features original, hand-etched scrimshaw on a recycled antique ivory piano key with genuine leather and handmade paper accents. $22, plus $5 shipping/handling Check/Money Order/Visa/MasterCard 31 High Trail, Eureka, MO 63025 • www.stonehollowstudio.com

Saleigh Mountain Co., LLC 573-486-2992 www.saleighmountain.com saleighmountain.molly@gmail.com 124 E. 4th Street, Hermann, MO 65041

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Hand Stamped • Personalized • Wax Seal Jewelry

Mizzou’s own bed and breakfast Made in Missouri • Gift Certificates Available Shop online at www.CrowStealsFire.com & in independently owned boutiques

For Christmas, make this your special gift! This beautiful book, written in shareable text, tells the story of how a kitten learns her talent and finds a new home–for the child in each of us! Written by Debra Weingarth and illustrated by Catherine Mahoney, both of Hermann, Missouri.

Five luxury suites Gourmet breakfast Walk to Columbia’s downtown shops, restaurants Steps away from MU’s campus

$21 each (includes shipping and handling) Orders: camahoney@ktis.net For phone orders/information call: 573-486-2444 or fax 573-486-2164

Operated by the MU College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Rated No. 1 Bed & Breakfast in Columbia, Mo. – TripAdvisor.com

Make a reservation today! 573-443-4301 gatheringplacebedandbreakfast.com

Travel with Fellow Missourians! Costa Rica

Book your trip

8 Days • January 14-22, 2017*


*Dates subject to change.

• Tortuguero National Park: take a guided cruise through the canals to view wildlife and a guided walk through the rainforest. • Arenal: tour a pineapple plantation; go sightsee in La Fortuna; visit Natura Park, Tabacón Hot Springs, and the Arenal volcano.

Join Greg & Danita Wood, publisher & editor in chief of Missouri Life

• Monteverde: visit the Sky Walk hanging bridges, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest, Trapiche family-owned farm and enjoy a homemade lunch and farewell dinner. • Sarchi Village: see artists in their workshops making the famous oxcarts in the center of Costa Rican handcrafts.

For more information visit missourilife.com/travel/travel-with-fellow-missourians/ travelerslane.com • 314-223-1224 • travelerslane@hotmail.com [53] December 2015

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THE HOLIDAY GIFT THAT LASTS ALL YEAR Missouri Life magazine is the holiday gift that lasts beyond the holiday season. Missouri Life will deliver recipes, day trips, fascinating features, and our shared Missouri heritage to your friend or family’s door. We’ll even send a personalized gift card announcing your gift. Make this holiday season one that your friends and family will remember all year long. MissouriLife.com • 800-492-2593, ext. 101

Your friends and family will be reminded of your appreciation seven times a year, when they receive each new issue.


$45 Gift


Page & ON YOUR Plate!

• Set of 3 grill seasonings from the Urban Farmgirl • Missouri Cookie Cutter • One-year subscription to Missouri Life (7 issues)

$65 Gift

• Set of 4 garlic and seasoning rubs from Ellbee’s • Blues Hog Barbeque Sauce • Gringo Goose Pepper Relish Spread • Set of 2 grill seasonings from The Olde Town Spice Shoppe • Missouri Cookie Cutter • One-year subscription to Missouri Life (7 issues)

Spice up your gifts this year with unique Missouri treats from some of our favorite places. Each box comes with a one-year subscription to Missouri Life magazine (7 issues).

$75 Gift • • • • • •

Set of 4 garlic and seasoning Rubs from Ellbee’s Honey Bear from Gibbons Honey Farm Blues Hog Barbecue Sauce Gringo Goose Pepper Relish Spread Soup mix from Thompson Farm Set of 3 grill seasonings from The Olde Town Spice Shoppe • Missouri Cookie Cutter • One-year subscription to Missouri Life (7 issues)

[54] or MissouriLife Visit MissouriLife.com/giftbaskets call 800-492-2593 ext. 101 to order (You will be redirected and charged by Olde Towne Spice Shoppe. Shipping and handling not included.)

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A DECADE spent in the northern Rockies—where winter runs from late September until early June—necessitated that I take up wood splitting as a hobby. Because the mercury spent a lot of time at zero and frequently traveled thirty clicks below that, I ran through about eight cords a year. I didn’t have a fancy-pants wood-splitting machine, but I did spend an hour a day swinging a solidsteel monster maul. I liked splitting wood; it was a mindless task that resulted in a satisfying “WHUNK!” It was an act of pragmatic destruction and controlled aggression, and I recall but a single serious injury. Luckily, my eye didn’t completely leave its socket when it was assaulted by a hunk of lodgepole pine that reached escape velocity. I started wearing goggles soon after. My seven years in the Ozarks were spent in a ramshackle cabin in the Mark Twain forest, located smack on the banks of the muddy Gasconade. Missouri winters are mild compared to their Montana counterpart, but I still did a fair piece of splitting. Four cords of wood kept me toasty over the entirety of the cold times, and lopping down dead trees during the warm months kept me from turning into a slug. Then, things changed. In 2011, I returned to the flatlands of westcentral Missouri, the place of my birth. There were valid reasons for this move, none of which I feel like discussing. More pertinent is that, for the first time in twenty years, I no longer had any need to split wood. The house I bought had central heat and a big propane tank. That was a novel concept to my little pea-brain, and I’m still not used to it. RON MARR I miss the chopping and splitting, the soothing

crackle of burning logs, and the dance of flame on a February midnight. I’m just not a flatland type of guy, and though I’m too naturally lazy to go full primitive (damn you, Netflix), I’ve always preferred that my daily life be simple, old fashioned, and a bit backwoodsy. Moreover, I get a little agoraphobic when not surrounded by hills, mountains, forests, and rivers. I’m a mountain boy by nature and temperament, not a farmer or small-town citizen. Mountain folk have their own ways, most of which strike the civilized world as somewhere between mildly odd and seriously touched. I like to fantasize about a return to the wild places and old ways, but I’m keenly aware that the future might have something entirely different in mind. I’m neither young nor idealistic and have never been a big proponent of magical thinking. My hair is grey and thinning at a frightening and rather depressing rate. I get aches and twinges. Fate has its own plans, and it refuses to spill the beans. On the other hand, I did quit smoking a couple years back and have resumed my old weight-lifting routine. That’s mostly so, should the need ever arise, I’ll be able to split more wood. Or, at the very least, I’ll be able to move heavy furniture without pre-scheduling an appointment with the chiropractor. I just turned fifty-six, and I’ve no idea where I’ll be in five or ten years. Heck, I have no clue if I’ll even be above ground. That’s true for all of us, regardless of age and regardless of how much we like to avoid the topic. All I know is that, right now, I strive for contentment via two nutty dogs, my blues harps, a tiny cadre of distant friends, memories of wood-splitting past, and the diaphanous hopes of tomorrow. All I know is that, at some point, I’ll end up someplace. You never know where you’re going until you get there. I won’t know I’m there until I arrive.

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THE Original


Edward Goldberger captured this photograph of the Old Judge Coffee assembly line at 704 North Second Street in St. Louis in 1956. St. Louis was once the hub for coffee roasters, and the Old Judge building still stands today.


Chart the rise, fall, and revival of the coffee industry in Missouri. BY KELLY MOFFITT

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This deck of Blanke’s Faust Blend Coffee playing cards dates back to 1900. Although the company folded before World War II, the C. F. Blanke building still stands at 904 S. 14th Street.

ST. LOUIS has found itself squarely in the center of the startup revolution. Touting its affordability, entrepreneurs flock to the city to take the risk of founding a new company. The scene is cutthroat but collaborative. It is revitalizing the city. For every success story, there are dozens of companies that rise too fast and fall hard. This has happened before in St. Louis. It was not with apps or biotech hardware but rather with a product that starts up most of our days: coffee. At the turn of the twentieth century, coffee roasting and production in St. Louis had hit such a boom that it was almost impossible to keep track of how many roasters came into existence and folded in a single year, says Katie Moon, the exhibits manager and content lead for the Missouri History Museum’s newest exhibition, Coffee: The World in Your Cup and St. Louis in Your Cup. Katie estimates that there were around eighty different roasters in the city at the turn of the century and that, from the 1890s through the 1910s, St. Louis was the largest inland distributor of coffee in the world. “St. Louis Ranks As One of the Most Important Coffee Centers in the United States,” read one headline put forth by the Greater St. Louis Chamber of Commerce in 1920, estimating that the value of coffee output exceeded $20 million. “Coffee has been here since St. Louis was founded,” Katie says. “Because of St. Louis’s location with the Mississippi River connecting us to New Orleans and, later, all of the railroads that lead to and from the city, it was really the perfect storm of access.” Originally, St. Louis was the final point to pick up large bags of coffee for pioneers journeying west over the Rockies. After the Civil War, however, entrepreneurs in the region realized they could capitalize on the buying power of someone closer to home. Women had formerly been buying and roasting green coffee beans themselves, but as they started to enter the workforce, roasters began popping

up all over the city to do the work for them— roasting, flavoring, packaging beans, and distributing them all over the country. One of the most interesting pieces of the Missouri History Museum’s exhibit comes from this era: a Civil War rifle retrofitted with a coffee grinder on its side. The soldier, who had been stationed in St. Louis, crafted the weapon from scratch. “It never took off,” Katie says. “You could only grind one to two beans at a time.”

From the late 1890s to the 1920s, St. Louis’s most notable roasters sprouted up. Ronnoco and Chauvin still fill the streets of south St. Louis with the smell of beans roasting, and others— such as Old Judge, HP Petring Coffee Company, and Jas H. Forbes Tea and Coffee—are only remembered by the vintage coffee tins you can pick up at local flea markets. Much like startups today, these coffee roasters were responsible for new workplace standards. Hanley and Kinsella Coffee, for

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example, was the first company to institute an eight-hour workday in the 1910s. From 1904 and 1905, Blanke Tea and Coffee was one of the top five employers in the St. Louis area. The coffee roasters of St. Louis were also an innovative bunch. Brothers J.P. and James O’Connor felt their name was not exotic enough, so they simply reversed it to create Ronnoco Coffee. More than two hundred patents related to coffee came out of St. Louis during that era, and the National Coffee Association was founded in St. Louis in 1911 by local coffee merchants. It is now housed in New York City and serves as the main market research and lobbying arm of the coffee industry. The coffee boom era started to dwindle in the 1930s as the Great Depression hit, and the national advertising machine began to whirl and displace local brands with national favorites. “Many local companies didn’t have the funds or vision to keep up,” Katie says. “They were thinking locally.” That didn’t mean the coffee industry in St. Louis was dead. With personalities like

Dana Brown and his famous Safari Coffee television commercials and the advent of personal coffee machines, the hot caffeinated beverage stayed in the hearts and minds of St. Louisans but was never in such a boom again. That’s all changing now, Katie says. She thinks the coffee scene is having another moment in St. Louis. She estimates that in 2015, there are about twenty different coffee roasters in the city, and the majority are smaller, independent operations like Blueprint, Stringbean, and Northwest Coffee. Katie even points to Bosnian immigrant Beriz Nukic, who claims to be the first person in the United States to roast and sell Turkish coffee. “These roasters love the idea of the Midwest and St. Louis as being open to growing and learning more about coffee,” Katie says. “Like with other things, the region is a couple of years behind, but there is now this third wave of interest in fair-trade, independent coffee. People are now interested in where the coffee beans are grown, the lives of the people that grow them, and they’re willing to pay more for

This advertising card for John C. Salzgeber’s Patent Steam Coffee Roaster was printed in St. Louis at the Compton Litho Company around 1884 when the patent was filed.

a good cup of coffee. We’re re-exotifying the coffee process.” Coffee: The World in Your Cup and St. Louis in Your Cup pairs a focus on St. Louis with an exhibit on the global history of coffee by the Burke Museum in Seattle. You can find both exhibits under a mosaic of the St. Louis skyline made from 275,000 coffee beans. The exhibit is open until January 3, 2016. Learn more at mohistory.org or call 314-746-4599.

WESTWARD, HO! St. Louis is not the only place to find small, independent coffee roasters. The state is rife with great coffee shops that feel cozy, yet subtly push the envelope, either through caffeine output or a certain sense of wired style. So wake up and get ready because Missouri has a plethora of such gems hidden throughout the state.



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The Polka Dot Fox in Joplin currently brews Equal Exchangebrand fair-trade, organic coffee, but owner Aaron Blaine plans to start selling his own house-roasted coffee soon.


Springfie d THE COFFEE ETHIC If you’re looking for the caffeinated heart of downtown Springfield’s wave of urban revitalization, look no further than the clean lines and natural light of The Coffee Ethic, located on Park Central Square. Founded in 2007 by Tom Billionis and Jim Hamilton, the shop mixes finely roasted and brewed coffee with a goal of environmental sustainability. That means the shop uses biodegradable cups and coffee bags, employs local wind energy, roasts beans in house, and contributes leftover espresso detritus to local composting efforts. The shop also prides itself on serving fair-trade, single-origin coffees that are prepared by the cup and made-to-order. It is no wonder that Zagat named this one of the fifty coffee shops you should pay a visit to across the country in 2013. thecoffeeethic.com • 124 Park Central Square 417-866-6645

Joplin POLKA DOT FOX COFFEE & MICRO-BAKERY “It’s not your typical hipster place,” says Aaron Blaine, the owner of Polka Dot Fox, a small coffee shop and bakery located off the beaten path in Joplin. While the heavily tattooed and bearded Aaron’s personal tastes may gear more toward industrial hot rod style, the sartorial tastes of his mother and principal baker, Michelle, do not.

This kitschy, cute coffee shop proves that it takes a family to make a good cup of coffee and bake some delicious scones and cinnamon buns. Aaron opened the Fox’s doors this past February and says he sees everyone from old church ladies to biker gangs come sip pour-over coffee that is brewed to European standards within the shop’s walls, which are emblazoned with every sort of fox picture his mother could find. Michelle is in charge of the micro-bakery and decor. His stepfather, Andy Johnson, is in charge of the shop’s branding. Through it all, Aaron serves as the shop’s barista and coffee taster. “I’m the only shop in town serving serious coffee,” he says. And soon it’ll be the only shop in town roasting its own coffee. Aaron recently began experimenting with roasting after the Flying Crow, the only local roaster in town, folded. He bought the Crow’s roaster and hopes to soon focus his efforts on roasting coffees under the Flying Crow brand name that he’ll eventually get to brew and sell at the Polka Dot Fox. polkadotfoxbakery.com • 1303 W. 7th Street 417-553-4623

The Coffee Ethic in Springfield serves artisan coffee drinks, tea, beer, wine, and a selection of spirits and cocktails. The shop also roasts its single-origin coffee on site.

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Pour-over is a brewing method that allows a barista to make each cup of coffee individually, and the staff at Shortwave Coffee in Columbia has it down to a science.



For Columbia coffee newbies, it is easy to get waylaid by the plethora of options that downtown’s Ninth Street holds. Take a slight turn off the main drag, down unassuming Alley A, though, and you’ll be treated to a hidden gem: Shortwave Coffee. Named for the radio waves that owner Dale Bassham’s father and grandfather worked with as radiomen, this long, narrow shop with walls covered in multi-colored wooden panels has the feel of a speakeasy: hushed conversation rumbles among customers and gloriously low lighting glints off of the exposed ductwork. What’s not a well-kept secret is the baby blue San Franciscan roaster that sits at the entrance to the coffee shop. With ten years of coffee experience, including time as a barista at Kaldi’s in St. Louis, Bassham knows how to work wonders with the machine, both brewing the roaster’s yields in-shop and selling the coffees in stores around Columbia and online. shortwavecoffee.com • 915 Alley A 573-214-0880

Walkabout Coffee Shop’s proprietor Jeff Cook knows what his shop isn’t. “There are coffee shops into roasting, tasting, cupping,” he says. “I know. But we’re just a mom-and-pop coffee shop that makes a good cup of joe and has a very relaxing atmosphere.”

That’s half the charm of this Nixa coffee shop, which serves espressos, mixed coffee drinks, teas, and traditional Australian foods. The other half of the charm is Jeff’s Australian accent. He opened the coffee shop four years ago as an escape from his work in construction and as homage to his home country. The sign is emblazoned with a boomerang. Aquariums filled with fish sit against sunny yellow walls. Even the pastries have doughy kangaroos baked on top. The coffee matches the sunny disposition with two blends, Walkabout and Bourbon Pecan, which are roasted especially for the shop. The quirkiest bits of coffee fun you’ll experience in this shop, however, are the mixed drinks. Jeff will try to blend anything his customers ask for, leading to sticky, sweet, and delicious creations like the “Tumbulgum,” which is a latte that includes a mix of milk chocolate, white chocolate, pineapple, and coconut. It’s the “dinky-di,” or, the real thing, mates, as Jeff would say. walkaboutcoffeeshop.com • 1860 N. Commerce Plaza • 417-725-5282

Walkabout Coffee Shop in Nixa incorporates owner Jeff Cook’s Australian heritage by serving traditional Australian pastries and Bundaberg Ginger Beer, which is made in Australia.

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Kansas City ODDLY CORRECT The most rebellious member of Kansas City’s prodigious coffee family has to be Oddly Correct, located in the revitalizing Midtown area of the city on Main Street. Gritty, unfinished, and spectacularly artistic are three descriptors that come to mind when thinking about the shop, which brews three new coffees per week; milk or sugar are not allowed. Owner Gregory Kolsto got his start in the coffee business by traveling all over Latin America for Krispy Kreme. However, he left to start Oddly Correct and turned his laserfocus to curating and roasting single-origin coffee in a building three doors down from the Oddly Correct shop. The shop offers cuppings and classes. If artisanal coffee tasting is not your thing, the quirky, hand letter-pressed sketches that adorn the coffee bean bags are worth checking into. They’re another product of Gregory’s off-the-beaten path genius. oddlycorrect.com • 3940 Main Street 816-555-5555


Above: Oddly Correct Coffee in Kansas City features artwork by owner Gregory Kolsto. Below: Vintage Paris, in the small southern Missouri town of Hollister, serves coffee and wine in a down-to-earth environment.

If you’re a coffee snob but still crave a less pretentious coffee joint, Vintage Paris Coffee & Wine Café, located in an inviting 107-yearold house in downtown Hollister, may be the place for you. All the coffee served at Vintage Paris is hand-turned and craft-roasted in a custom hand-built roaster on-site, and the lattes, mochas, and specialty pour-overs are all delicious. These are coffee drinks to brag about, but the feeling inside the shop is anything but braggadocious. Cozy couches and chairs paired with bistro tables, twinkle lights, local art, chess boards, and fuzzy rugs create an atmosphere that feels more like your best friend’s living room than a stodgy, modern coffee shop. Pumpkin carving contests, movie nights, and live music are commonplace at this coffee shop, which also boasts a large outdoor space for community events. vintagepariscoffeeshop.com • 260 Birdcage Walk 417-593-7952

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Flavor Cup N’ Cork in downtown Cape Girardeau not only serves all the coffee house favorites, but it also serves wine and a full menu that features appetizers, salads, and paninis.

Cape Girardeau CUP N’ CORK Chocolate lovers have known that wine is a go-to pairing for years, and it is time that coffee lovers jump on the bandwagon. That’s the premise behind Cup N’ Cork, which sells both gourmet, brewed-to-order coffee and wine. The shop moved to an expanded location in 2014. A huge selection of wine covers one interior wall of the coffee shop. For those looking for something with a little more body than your typical latte or cappuccino, you could enjoy both wine and coffee while spending the day on a spacious patio outside. This sweet little shop, Cape’s only hometown coffee establishment, is also known for its open mic night as well as hosting community conversations in partnership with KCRU, the local NPR affiliate. cupncork.com • 11 S. Spanish Street 573-651-5282

St. Louis BLUEPRINT COFFEE When the folks at Blueprint Coffee talk about the loop, they’re not just talking about their brick-and-mortar store located on the Delmar Loop in University City. Their loop refers to a mutually beneficial relationship among their producers, vendors, wholesale partners, and customers. That starts with featuring only four coffees at a time, all of which are single origin. Three of those coffees are generally made at Blueprint, which roasts coffees from El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Ethiopia in both caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties. The shop recently added its first blended espresso, the deliciously heavy and sweet Penrose v7. The expertly roasted coffee isn’t the only appeal. College-aged hipsters flock to this quiet and brightly geometric coffee shop, whose walls are covered in barn wood and whose baristas spin vinyl in the background as they craft both pour-over coffees and frothy espresso drinks. blueprintcoffee.com • 6225 Delmar Boulevard 314-266-6808


Patrons enjoy the natural light, modern furniture, and variety of work, lounge, and dining spaces available at Blueprint Coffee in the heart of the Delmar Loop.

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Picasso’s in St. Charles is a hub for artists. The cozy coffee shop regularly shows works by local artists, and its baristas even turn the steamed milk in cappuccinos into art.


Hannibal JAVA JIVE

It’s fitting that a place named for one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century is almost better known as a mecca for local musicians and artists than it is for its coffee. Picasso’s bucks the trend of local coffee haunts—which open early and close before the sun goes down—by keeping its doors open until midnight Thursday through Saturday and until 9 pm on other nights. The shop offers a healthy respite for coffee junkies in an otherwise crowded bar and restaurant scene on Main Street in St. Charles. Don’t be surprised if those behind the counter know your name after one or two visits. Featuring micro-roasted coffees from the St. Louis region and a variety of bakery items from the French pastry shop La Bonne Bouchee, this shop is so popular it recently expanded to a second location at 1650 Beale Street in St. Charles. picassoscoffeehouse .com • 101 North Main Street • 636-925-2911

The original incarnation of Java Jive was a pottery studio known as Fresh Ayers. In 1993, Steve Ayers decided to open a studio that included a small coffee shop with four tables. “It was so new back then that the paper had to call to figure out how to spell cappuccino,” says daughter Katy Welch, who took over in 2009. Located a block and a half from the banks of

the muddy Mississippi, you’d be hard pressed to find a coffee shop with more charm in northeast Missouri. The shop changes out funky furniture regularly, and the walls are adorned with works by artist friends of the family. And the shop has been serving Chauvin coffee since it opened, so you can expect a good cup of joe here. javajiveonline.com • 211 Main Street • 573-221-1017

The local favorite at Java Jive in Hannibal is a drink called the Emily, which mixes vanilla and almond flavors. Also, take note that the mochas here feature extra espresso shots.

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—MissouriLife —


Courtesy of Vintage Paris Coffee Shop Ingredients >

2 ounces espresso 10 ounces tonic water Ice

Directions >


1. Prepare 2 ounces of espresso. Let cool. 2. Mix espresso with 10 ounces of tonic water, preferably Fever Tree brand. 3. Serve over ice.

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—MissouriLife —


Ingredients > Filling >

Directions >

8-ounce block softened cream cheese 4 tablespoons unsalted butter ½ cup white sugar

Cake >

1 cup finely chopped pecans 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup white sugar 1 cup packed light brown sugar 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Praline Frosting >

½ cup packed light brown sugar 4 tablespoon unsalted butter 3 tablespoon milk

1 egg 2 tablespoons flour 1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon ground all spice 3 eggs ¾ cup vegetable oil ¾ cup applesauce 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 peeled and finely chopped Gala apples Extra pecans for topping, if desired 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Spray Bundt pan with non-stick spray 2. Make the filling. Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar together with electric mixer. After combined, add the egg, flour, and vanilla, and mix until combined. Set aside. 3. Make the batter. Whisk dry ingredients together, and then add eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix just until combined. Fold in the pecans and apples. 4. Spoon about half of the batter into the pan. Top evenly with cream cheese mixture, but leave an inch border of batter around edge of pan. Use a butter knife to spread and gently swirl cheese mixture. Top with remaining batter. Bake for about an hour or until knife comes out clean. Cool on rack for about 15 minutes, and then flip out of pan. Allow to cool completely. 5. Make the frosting. Combine the brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute, while whisking. Remove pan from heat, stir in vanilla, and then whisk in the powdered sugar a bit at a time. Beat until frosting is completely smooth, and then pour over cooled cake. Top with extra pecans. The frosting will set, so prepare just before using.

Visit MissouriLife.com for more great coffee recipes, tips and techniques for brewing, the best recipes from our archives, and even more Show-Me Flavor content.

—MissouriLife —


Courtesy of Vintage Paris Coffee Shop Ingredients >

1 pump caramel sauce 1 pump Irish cream syrup 6 drips of applewood liquid smoke

2 ounces espresso 12 ounces steamed local whole milk A dash cinnamon

Directions >


1. Add caramel sauce, Irish cream syrup, and liquid smoke to a coffee mug. 2. Prepare two ounces of espresso, and mix into coffee mug. 3. Top with steamed milk. 4. Add a dash of cinnamon, and serve.

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• • • • • •

Great selection of mail order Wurst gifts and cheese boxes available for shipping to friends, family, in-laws, outlaws, teachers, and work associates Hundreds of Germanic/European flavored wurst, wine, bacon, beer and brats Indoor or outside deli seating In-house craft beer and wurst sodas Great German food & Amish made food gifts Download the Wurst Haus mobile app in the Apple store and receive 10% off in-store purchase

Meats produced in house by Mike Sloan, two-time Hall of Fame Wurstmeister

Mon to Sat 8 a.m - 6 p.m. Sun 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday breakfast only from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Free samples

Located in historic downtown Hermann 234 East First Street, Hermann, MO 573-486-2266 | www.hermannwursthaus.com

Upcoming Events December 3-6: “Mary Poppins” Presser Performing Arts Center 573-581-5592 | www.presserpac.com December 11: Kansas City Southern “Holiday Express” Jefferson Street Depot 573-581-2765 | www.mexico-chamber.org December 18: 74th Christmas Evensong Missouri Military Academy 573-581-1776 | www.missourimilitaryacademy.org

Mexico is a perfect combination of small-town charm and urban style. Artsy boutiques, jewelry, quilt shops, scrapbooking, antiques, and cultural offerings give Mexico a sophisticated air with a family-friendly attitude. Come visit us today!

Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce We work hard as a Chamber of Commerce to be the pulse of the community, assisting all to provide services that will nurture and encourage our businesses and strengthen our community. 573-581-2765 | www.mexico-chamber.org

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Jefferson City

Mediterranean Margherita SINCE IT opened at 17 W. High Street in September 1961, Arris’ Pizza has become a staple in Jefferson City. The pizzeria originally hit the spot by combining an American favorite, pizza, with founder Arris Pardalos’s Greek heritage. Now more than fifty years later, his family continues the tradition in the same location, though it has expanded to three buildings and can now seat more than 150 people. The business has also expanded to feature locations in Columbia, Osage Beach, Springfield, and Lenexa, Kansas. A visit to any location is a treat. Specialty pies range from the Arris—Greek sausage, green peppers, and onions—to the Apollo— Canadian bacon, breakfast bacon, pineapple, red onions, and jalapeños. However, you can also customize any pie or order one of the restaurants many other dinner options: Greek dinners, such as spanakopita; American favorites, like chicken strips; pasta dishes; subs; and sandwiches, like burgers and gyros. And no trip to Arris’ would be complete without ordering Olga’s homemade Macedonian baklava—a sweet Greek treat.—Jonas Weir arrispizzaonline.com • 117 W. High Street • 573-635-9225

St. Louis

Chinese Chipotle EVERYTHING about Lona’s Lil Eats is casual and friendly. You order from a counter; find a seat either at one of the fourteen tables inside or, on nice days, at picnic tables in front of the restaurant; and the food is



Kansas City

Deutsch Delicacies INCORPORATING

a variety of influ-

and fries; or seared trout with sautéed spinach, butter

Folks design their own meal here, too. Pick your pro-

ences, Affäre pairs sleek, modern surroundings with

tein: pulled turkey, grilled chicken, grilled steak, sautéed

contemporary German fare that reflects chef Martin

After a delicious brunch, lunch, or dinner, you can

shrimp, or stir-fried tofu. Choose a staple: rice, noodles,

Heuser’s passion for farm fresh, seasonal ingredients.

bring home a package of Heuser’s homemade brat-

or a lettuce mix. Add one of five sauces and a side. And

Martin and his wife, Katrin, own the restaurant togeth-

wursts to share the experience with everyone at

decide how the meal is served: on a plate, rolled into a

er and support local producers as often as possible.

home.—Lisa Waterman Grey

giant flour tortilla, or wrapped in rice paper. Spring roll

With herbs from Prairie Birthday Farm and beef

and dumpling appetizers plus a variety of craft beers and

from Barham Cattle Company, among other local pur-

sodas round out the menu.

veyors, Bavarian cuisine mixes seamlessly with fusion

Lona’s Lil Eats began when St. Louis native Pierce

dishes. House-made bratwurst and pickles are found

Powers met and married the talented chef Lona Luo.

on the same appetizer menu as the carefully com-

When the couple moved from south China, they opened

posed sea plate, which features shrimp tempura and

a food stall in Soulard Farmers Market. In 2014, they ex-

smoked salmon confit. For an entrée, you can select

panded into a full restaurant in an old brick building in the

anything from hearty smoked octopus to the classic

Fox Park area.

jägerschnitzel—a breaded pork steak served along-

Lona was born and trained in the Yunnan province

sauce, and roasted potatoes.

affarekc.com • 1911 Main Street • 816-298-6182

side butterspäetzle.

of China—a culturally diverse area—and her cooking

The restaurant also offers $10 business lunches.

reflects elements of various Asian cuisines, including

Menu items may include a smoked spinach salad with

Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese.—Susan Manlin Katzman

apple, walnuts, goat cheese, and bacon vinaigrette;

lonaslileats.com • 2199 California Avenue • 314-925-8938

a Bavarian sausage burger with sauerkraut, mustard,

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SHOW-ME The front facade of the Vaile Mansion in Independence is stunning. It’s so noteworthy, it’s been featured in USA Today and on the HGTV and A&E networks.

VICTORIAN Wonderland “IT’S ALWAYS a marvel,” says Ron Potter of the Vaile Victorian Society. There’s no other way to describe the Vaile Mansion during the holiday season. Each year, the Victorian Society—a volunteer group dedicated to the mansion’s preservation—selects a Christmas theme and begins to deck the halls of this historic Second Empire-style home. Past themes have included Victorian Silver Christmas and Victorian Whimsical Christmas. This year, the mansion shut down on November 1 to begin setting up for a different yuletide theme: a Victorian Winter Wedding. The team has about three weeks to set up, so they can open the 134-year-old estate for the season on November 27. “It’s a monumental thing,” Ron says of decorating the house for Christmas.

With thirty-one rooms and ceilings that reach the height of fourteen feet, preparing the house for Noel is no easy task. The mansion’s unfinished third floor and basement are full of decorations and plastic Christmas trees. There are so many decorations, in fact, that the Victorian society hires local Boy Scouts to unpack and move the boxes and trees. Ron says the society owns hundreds of trees, and the twelve-foot high trees work well on the first floor where the ceilings are the tallest. Ron Potter has been involved with the Victorian Society for about thirty years, and he loves the mansion. He’s one of the tour guides at Vaile and is a wealth of knowledge about the estate that an 1882 Kansas City Times reporter called, “the most princely house and the most comfortable home in the entire West.”

The mansion takes its name from Harvey Vaile—a well-known statesman and abolitionist who was born on February 24, 1831, in Vermont and grew up in New York. As a lawyer and a journalist, Vaile worked in Indianapolis and Kansas City before he and his wife, Sophia Cecelia Graham, settled in Independence in 1870. In 1880, the couple began construction on their residence. By the summer of 1881, construction was complete, and the cost totaled more than $150,000, which would be more than $3 million today. When it came to furnishing the mansion, Vaile spared no expense either. “They brought over artists from Germany, France, and Italy to do the murals,” Ron says. “It’s just absolutely beautiful, especially upstairs in some of the bedrooms.”


The Vaile Mansion in Independence celebrates Christmas in style. BY JONAS WEIR

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Above: The grand staircase that leads to the second floor welcomes guests as they enter the Vaile Mansion. Right: All of the furniture at the mansion was acquired after 1983, though it is decorated with antiques to reflect the house’s history.

mansion also sports two original chandeliers in the ladies’ and gentlemen’s parlors. “The chandeliers were supposedly meant for the White House,” Ron says, “but Vaile was in Washington, DC, and was able to buy those because there was some flaw in them.” In fact, one of Ron’s favorite parts is the way the wood is painted in the house. “All the woodwork was Georgia white pine, but they painted it to look like forty-five dif-


Although Vaile must have decorated the mansion with grandeur, all of the furniture was sold when the estate left the Vaile family. The mansion was converted into a nursing home until it closed and was turned over to the City of Independence in 1983. That same year, the Vaile Victorian Society was formed. To the group’s delight, the owners of the nursing home had the foresight to keep all of the original paint work and the nine marble fireplaces intact. The

ferent kinds of wood,” Ron says. “If you go in, you think, ‘This is bird’s-eye maple,’ but it’s not. It’s just pine that’s been painted to look like that.” Ron’s favorite part of working with the Vaile Victorian Society, however, is preparing for and giving Christmas tours each winter. The year’s theme is inspired by a donation of more than ninety vintage wedding dresses that the society received a few years ago. “Every room will be decorated to the hilt,” Ron says, “and wedding dresses will be mixed in with the decorations.” The mansion is open for the holiday season from November 27 to December 30, except for December 23 to 25. Admission is $3 for children twelve and under and $6 for adults. All proceeds go to the Vaile Victorian Society for upkeep on the mansion. This year the Vaile Victorian Society will also be hosting a Champagne and Chandeliers fundraiser. For $40, patrons can enjoy a night of food, drinks, and games with a fairytale theme. Visit the mansion at N. Liberty Street in Independence. Call 816-325-7430 or go to vailemansion.org for more information. The bedrooms on the second floor of the home are a sight to see just as much as the parlors on the first floor.

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JUNE 11-17


6 days of riding from St. Joseph to Hannibal

Missouri's only cross state bike tour and music festival! For tickets and more information visit www.bigbamride.com BigBAM_ML_1215.indd 1

10/30/15 2:00 PM



D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 5 /JA N UA RY 2 0 1 6


The Fox Theatre in St. Louis explodes with a holiday spectacular from December 4 to 6 with three hundred costumes, twenty acts, and thirty performers. Tickets start at $25, and the show times are 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday with a Saturday matinee at 2 pm. There are also shows at 1 and 6 pm on Sunday. Call 314-534-1111, or visit cirqueproductions.com.

ST. LOUIS WINTER WONDERLAND Nov. 30-Jan. 2, St. Louis > Meander among a million twinkling holiday lights fashioned into more than a hundred displays on seventy-five acres of woodland. Tilles Park. 5:30-9:30 pm (Sun.-Fri. vehicular traffic; Sat. horse-drawn carriages by reservation only). $10$90, 314-615-4386, stlouisco.com/parks

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Dec. 2-27, Webster Groves > This prequel to Peter Pan is rich in magic, off-the-wall humor, and sincerity. Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts. Show times and costs vary. 314-968-4925, repstl.org

CANDY CANE HUNT Dec. 5, Ballwin > Children can hunt for hidden candy canes. Queeny Park. 10 am. Advanced reservations. $6. 314-615-8472, stlouisco.com/parks

LAS POSADAS Dec. 5, St. Charles > This traditional Spanish procession depicts Mary and Joseph’s journey to find lodging with a fife and drum corp, a live nativity, and caroling. Main Street Historic District. 6 pm. Free. 636-946-7776, historicstcharles.com

BASKET CLASS Dec. 5 and Jan. 9, St. Charles > Make a hand-crafted basket. First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site. $35-$45. 10 am-3 pm. Registration. 636-9403322, mostateparks.com/park/first-missouri-state -capitol-state-historic-site


Dec. 5-6 and 12-13, Hermann > Celebrate a traditional nineteenth century German Christmas with a tour of this historic house decorated with German ornaments, holiday music, and samples of cookies including springerle and zimmerschied. Deutschheim State Historic Site. 10 am-4 pm. Free. 573-486-2200, mostateparks.com/park /deutschheim-state-historic-sit These listings are chosen by our editors and are not paid for by sponsors.

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SANTA AT THE MARKET Dec. 5, 12, and 19, Washington > Get your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy holiday activities. Farmers Market. 9-11 am. Free. 636-2391743, downtownwashmo.org


parings. Throughout area. 10 am-5 pm Sat.; 11 am5 pm Sun. $30. Advanced purchase. 800-932-8687, hermannwinetrail.com


Dec. 11-12, Chesterfield > The historic village will be decorated for an old-fashioned 1850s holiday; take a tour with historically dressed docents. Faust Historic Village. 6-9 pm Fri.; 5-9 pm Sat. $5-$8. 314615-8328, stlouisco.com

Dec. 13, St. Charles > Mrs. Claus tells this traditional story written in 1823. Warm yourself by the fire, enjoy hot cider and cookies, and visit with Santa. First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site. Noon4 pm. $10. 636-940-3322, mostateparks.com/park /first-missouri-state-capitol-state-historic-site



Dec. 12, St. Charles > Traditional old-time songs indigenous to Missouri and the Midwest will be performed live in the candlelit legislative chambers. First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site. 6:308 pm. $10. 636-940-3322, mostateparks.com/park /first-missouri-state-capitol-state-historic-site

Dec. 13, Washington > Tour local homes beautifully decorated for the holidays. Throughout town. 4-6 pm. Free. 636-239-1743, downtownwashmo.org

FLEA MARKET Dec. 12, St. Louis > Peruse crafts, antiques, and specialty items. Affton Community Center. 8:30 am-2 pm. Free. 314-615-8820, stlouisco.com

SAY CHEESE WINE TRAIL Dec. 12-13, Hermann > Seven wineries explore the timeless marriage of wine and cheese with food

UGLY SWEATER CAMP Dec. 18, St. Louis > Dust off your old ugly sweaters, and celebrate the holidays with this kooky camp where you will explore all things kitsch. Artscope at Tower Grove Park. 9 am-3 pm. $40-$55. 314-8650060, artscopestl.org

NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION Dec. 31, Maryland Heights > Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display followed by carriage rides. Westport Plaza. 6-9:30 pm. Free. 314-576-7100, westportstl.com

FIRST DAY HIKE Jan. 1, De Soto > Join the park naturalist staff for a 1.5-mile hike on the 1,000 Step Trail, learn about unique natural and cultural landscapes, and enjoy refreshments. Washington State Park. 1-2:30 pm. Free. 636-586-5768, mostateparks.com /park/washington-state-park

GEORAMA Jan. 20-Feb. 7, Webster Groves > This world-premier musical is set in the mid-1800s and charts an artist’s rise and fall as he chooses between the art he loves and the life he’s always wanted. LorettoHilton Center for the Performing Arts. Times and costs vary. 314-9684925, repstl.org

PIANOS FOR A PURPOSE Jan. 23, Pacific > This fundraiser features dinner and a duelling piano show. Eagles Hall. 6-11 pm. $30. 636-271-6639, pacificchamber.com

EAGLE WATCH AND TRAIL WALK Jan. 23, St. Louis > See live eagles and other birds of prey from the World Bird Sanctuary. Take two guided hikes on the three-mile trail to spot eagles feeding and roosting, and enjoy refreshments. Fort Belle Fontaine at the Grand Staircase. Registration suggested. 10 am-2 pm. Free. 314-544-5714, stlouisco.com/parks



FEATURING 100+ EXCITING WORKS FROM A YEAR-LONG COLLABORATION AMONG MISSOURI FIBER ARTISTS January 15 through April 3, 2016 Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, Missouri www.missourifiberartists.org www.albrecht-kemper.org


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FETE DE GLACE Jan. 30, St. Charles > See an ice carving competition. North Main Street. 9:30 AM-4 PM. Free. 636946-7776, historicstcharles.com

SOUTHEAST CHRISTMAS AT GLENN HOUSE Nov. 27-29 and Dec. 5-27, Cape Girardeau > On Saturday and Sunday, tour the restored Victorian home decorated for the holidays, and enjoy cookies, coffee, and cider. The Glenn House. 1-4 PM (candlelight tours Dec. 11 and 19 from 5-8 PM). $5. 573-335-1631, glennhouse.org

Nov. 27-Jan. 6, Ste. Genevieve > Stroll along with members of the colonial community to the crèche hidden in the boxwood grove. Bolduc House Properties at the Linden House gate. Dusk Fri.-Sun. $2. 573-883-3105, bolduchouse.org

A CHRISTMAS CAROL Dec. 3, Cape Girardeau > Enjoy a performance of the timeless classic by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan. Bedell Performance Hall at River Campus. 7:30 PM. $38-$44. 573-651-2265, visitcape.com


historic Downtown Each holiday season, the wing lights. Visit Square is blanketed in glo holiday shopping the into get with Santa and on the square and spirit with local boutiques west Arkansas rth No the national brands in tsoftheozarks.com Mall district. Visit theligh more. edu for an event sch le and


Enjoy this annual winter celebration. Costumed guides explain the customs, foods, music, and crafts of an early French Colonial Christmas on December 13 in Ste. Genevieve at the Felix Vallé State Historic Site. The festivities run from 1 to 6 PM and are free. Call 573-883-7102 or visit mostateparks .com/park/felix-valle-house-state-historic-site for more information.

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Dec. 5, Kennett > Shop more than 150 craft vendors with a variety of handmade and commercial holiday items. American Legion. 9 am-3 pm. Free. 573-888-5828, kennettmo.com

Dec. 17-18, Perryville area > Take a self-guided driving tour of twenty-eight country churches, each at least one hundred years old and decorated in holiday traditions, and enjoy music and refreshments at each stop. Throughout Perry, Cape Girardeau, and Bollinger counties. 3-9 pm. Free. 573547-6062, perryvillemo.com

CHRISTMAS CANDLELIGHT TOUR Dec. 11-12, New Madrid > Tour the decorated Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site, Higgerson School State Historic Site, Historical Museum, and River Walk Gallery at the Hart-Stepp House; and enjoy refreshments. Throughout town. 6-8:30 pm. Free. 573-748-5300, new-madridmo.us


CHRISTMAS WALK Dec. 12-13, Ste. Genevieve > This celebration will include a parade; samples of croquignolles, the historic French doughnut; book signing with historian Dr. Carl Ekberg; guided house tours; musical entertainment; and a program on French and German Christmas customs. Felix Vallé House State Historic Site. 10 am-4 pm. Free. 573-883-7102, mostateparks .com/park/felix-valle-house-state-historic-site

MARDI GRAS CHRISTMAS Dec. 5, Salem > Vendors with a variety of holiday items display and sell their wares, and there will be a Mardi Gras-themed parade with floats and walking units. Downtown and Old City Hall. 8 am5:30 pm. Free. 573-729-6900, salemmo.com

Jan. 9-10 Ste. Genevieve > Follow the scenic wine trail to six wineries, and taste soups paired with local wine. Route du Vin. 11 am-5 pm. $25. 800-3737007, rdvwinetrail.com




CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA Dec. 12, Sikeston > Enjoy food, craft vendors, photos with Santa and Anna and Elsa from Frozen, children’s craft area, and live music. VFW Hall. 10 am5 pm. $1. 573-481-9967, sikestondepotmusuem.com

treats, and children’s activities. Downtown Square. 6-9 pm. Free. 573-774-3001, pulaskicountyusa.com

ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS SHOW Dec. 3, Rolla > Enjoy this hilarious musical about the annual holiday variety show and pageant at the St. Everybody’s Non-Denominational Universalist Church. Leach Theatre. 7:30 pm. $20-$30. 573-341-6964, leachtheatre.mst.edu

CHRISTMAS ON THE SQUARE Dec. 3, Waynesville > This old-fashioned, familyfriendly holiday street festival features music, holiday

Dec. 5-6, West Plains > More than 150 booths display and sell a variety of handmade and handcrafted items. Civic Center. 8:30 am-5 pm. $2. 417-256-1587, westplainsoptimist.org

Dec. 5 and Jan. 2, Waynesvile > Take part in a supervised paranormal investigation of one of the town’s oldest homes with a team of ghost hunters. Historic Talbot House. Begins at dusk. $20. Reservations. 573-528-2149, pulaskicountyusa.com

SNO-GLOW Dec. 11, Rolla > This nighttime 5K run/walk will feature lots of snow and glowing colors. Starts and ends at the Chamber of Commerce. 5 pm registration; 6:30 pm run. $35 (free for spectators). 573364-3577, split-secondtiming.com

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JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM Dec. 11-12, Crocker > Old Bethlehem comes to life with more than a hundred different characters and live animals recreating the journey Mary and Joseph took to reach shelter. Christian Church. 5-9 PM. Free. 573-736-5121, crockercc.com

CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES Dec. 12, Dixon > Enjoy a parade of holiday lights and fun-filled activities for the whole family in the park. Downtown. 6 PM. Free. 573-528-1159, dixonchamberofcommerce.com

BLUEGRASS NIGHT Jan. 16, Dixon > The band Missouri Boat Ride performs a concert. The Barn. 6 PM. Ticket prices vary. 573-433-9370, thebakerband.com


CENTRAL VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS SALE Nov. 26-Dec. 31, Fulton > Three galleries are converted into a wonderland full of fine arts, handmade crafts, and holiday gift items; and you can take a museum tour. National Churchill Museum. 10 AM-4 PM. Free ($7.50 tour). 573-592-5369, nationalchurchillmuseum.org


Wander through a beautiful display of trees decorated by local individuals, businesses, and organizations. Each tree is a work of art in an array of colors and lights. The model trains and railroad sets are also decorated for the holidays. The display is open from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Ozark Natural and Cultural Resource Center in Salem and is free. Call 573-729-0029 or visit oncrc.org for more information.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME Dec. 2, Jefferson City > This program explores the stories behind the names of some of Missouri’s most interesting towns. Missouri State Museum’s History Hall. 5-9 PM. Free. 573-522-6949, mostateparks.com/park/missouri-state-museum

GOVERNOR’S MANSION TOURS Dec. 4-5, Jefferson City > Tour the historic mansion decorated with traditional, old-fashioned, and natural items; and enjoy a musical program. Missouri Governor’s Mansion. 6:30-9 PM Fri.; 2-4 PM Sat. Free. 573-751-0526, visitjeffersoncity.com

Dec. 5, Boonville > Enjoy a holiday homes tour, parade, holiday market craft show, Rosyln Mansion tour and soup lunch, Sugar Plum tea party, living nativity, and Snow Angels, a children’s community play. Throughout town. 10 AM-7 PM. Costs vary. 660-882-3967, goboonville.com



Churches, unusual buildings, and homes are decorated for the holidays throughout Chamois, Morrison, and Pershing. Grab a map, and take this free driving tour on December 13 from 1 to 5 PM. After the tour, enjoy a free Christmas concert and refreshments at the St. John’s United Church of Christ in Chamois. Call 573-301-5134 or go to visitchamoismorrisonmo.com for more information.

Dec. 5, Fulton > Travel by foot, car or shuttle to explore three private homes and the Loganberry Inn, each decorated for the holidays. Enjoy refreshments and cookies at the end of the tour at the United Methodist Church. Throughout town. 5-7 PM. $10. 573-642-7692, visitfulton.com




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Every winter since 1981 The Kansas City Ballet has staged a version of THE NUTCRACKER. KCPT’s ARTS UPLOAD followed the creative process as the holiday classic got a serious makeover with dramatic new sets, new costumes, even new choreography. Visit KCPT.org/ArtsUpload to get a backstage look at the round-the-clock work it takes to remake a classic.

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Dec. 6, Columbia > Concert celebrates Sinatra and Getz. Lela Raney Wood Hall at Stephens College. 7 PM. $15-$35. 573-449-3009, wealwaysswing.org

Jan. 24, Columbia > This jazz concert features the vibraphone. Murry’s. 3:30 and 7 PM. $20-$43. 573449-3009, wealwaysswing.org

CAPITOL CAROLING Dec. 8, Jefferson City > See performances by the high school symphonic band, orchestra, chorale, Simonsen choirs, and the concert choir. Missouri State Capitol Rotunda First Floor. 7-10 PM. Free. 573659-3000, visitjeffersoncity.com



Dec. 12, Jefferson City > This fundraiser helps preserve Missouri’s history. The black-tie event will have live music, silent and live auctions, dancing, and tours of the Capitol. Missouri State Capitol. 7-11 PM. $100. 573-634-4161, caring4missouri.org

SOUTHWEST CHRISTMAS TOUR OF HOMES Dec. 4-5, Kimberling City > Explore four unique private residences all dressed up for the holidays, and stop by the Gifts and Glitz Galleria for local crafts, jewelry, baked goods, and a drawing to win gift baskets. Table Rock Lake area. 10 AM-4 PM. $15$20. 417-779-1007, hometour.nftrl.org


Dec. 18, Centralia > Lighted vehicles and tractors parade throughout town. Downtown. 7 PM. Free. 573-682-2272, centraliamochamber.com

Dec. 5, Joplin > Learn basic bird identifying techniques and ways to attract them, and take a short hike to see winter birds. Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center. 9:30-11:30 AM. $6-$12, Registration. 417-782-6287, wildcatglades.audubon.org



Dec. 31, Columbia > Enjoy a multi-cultural, familyfriendly celebration of the arts, 5K run/walk, and fireworks grand finale. Downtown. 4 PM-midnight. $6-$8. 573-874-7460, columbiaevefest.com

Dec. 6, Hollister > Santa and his dancing elves arrive on a special train to hand out bags of goodies and cookies. Depot. 1:30 PM. Free. 417-334-3050, hollisterchamber.net



On January 2, begin with a birding boot camp to learn the basics before heading to the field to count as many species as you can see. Prizes will be awarded for the most species and the most unusual bird found. Held at the Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center in Joplin from 9 AM TO 1 PM, the event is free and includes lunch. Call 417-782-6287 or visit wildcatglades.audubon.org to learn more.

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CHRISTMAS CONCERT Dec. 12, Carthage > Duke Mason Band performs holiday classics. Memorial Hall. 7 PM. $10 donation. 417-358-2373. dukemason.com

EAGLE WATCHING Dec. 19 and Jan. 16, Cassville > Watch a video about bald eagles in Missouri, and then go outside to see bald eagles hunting on the river and coming in to roost. Roaring River State Park. 3-4:30 PM. Free. 417-847-3742, mostateparks.com /park/roaring-river-state-park

FIRST NIGHT Dec. 31, Springfield > Celebrate the new year in a family-friendly way with music, theater, dance, magic, and fireworks. Throughout town. 8 PM-midnight. Call for costs. 417-831-6200, firstnightspringfield.org

CHAMPIONSHIP BULL RIDING Jan. 9, Lebanon > See some of the best bulls and bull riders in the world. Cowan Civic Center. 7 PM. $15-$25. 817-626-2855, cbrbull.com


The Kansas City Repertory Theatre performs a musical version of the classic Dickens tale of Tiny Tim and a grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge, who needs a few ghostly guides to find the true meaning of Christmas and of life itself. The show is at the Spencer Theatre in Kansas City from November 20 to December 26. Show times and tickets cost vary. Call 816-235-2700 or visit kcrep.org for information.

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MAD DOG DEMOLITION DERBY Jan. 15-16, Lebanon > See the Heroes of the Mad Dog Derby Tour do battle, and enjoy a mini car derby. Cowan Civic Center. 7:30-10:30 PM. $15-$18. 417-863-6353, motorheadevents.com

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KANSAS CITY A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS Nov. 28-Jan. 2, Kansas City > It is the 50th anniversary of the animated classic. Watch it come alive with the addition of a live jazz trio playing the original score. The Coterie Theatre. Show times and ticket costs vary. 816-474-6552, thecoterie.org

HOLIDAY CHOIRS Nov. 29-Dec. 17, Kansas City > More than 130 area school, church, and community choirs perform. Crown Center Shops Atrium. Times vary. Free. 816274-8444, crowncenter.com/choirs





Dec. 5, Lawson > Visit with costumed interpreters as you stroll along lantern lit paths, enjoy hot apple cider, sample traditional treats, visit with Father Christmas, and listen to holiday music and a performance by the Lathrop Singing Mules grade school choir. Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site. 2-7 pm. Free. 816-580-3387, mostateparks.com/park /watkins-woolen-mill-state-historic-site

Dec. 11 and Jan. 8, Excelsior Springs > This local art crawl offers entertainment and a chance to meet the artists. Downtown. 5-9 pm. Free. 816637-2811, visitexcelsior.com

VISIT WITH ST. NICHOLAS Dec. 5, Kansas City > Experience a nineteenthcentury holiday with decorated log cabins and a visit from St. Nicholas dressed in green velvet robes. Shoal Creek Living History Museum. 10 am-4 pm. $5. 816792-2655, shoalcreeklivinghistorymuseum.com


Dec. 4-5, Lee’s Summit > More than a hundred vendors sell handmade crafts. John Knox Pavilion. 11 am-7 pm. Free. 816-524-4111, craftpatchshow.com

Dec. 5, Sedalia > Vendors sell and display a wide variety of holiday items. Multipurpose Building at State Fair Community College. 9 am-4 pm. Free. 660-530-5800, visitsedaliamo.com



Dec. 4-5, Warsaw > Celebrate Christmas in the 1800s with hay wagons, caroling, luminaria, oldfashioned decorations, and hot cider. Truman Lake Visitor Center and Pioneer Village. 3-9 pm. Free. 660-438-2090, visitbentoncomo.com

Dec. 5-6, Lexington > Tour the decorated historic house, and enjoy desserts and music. Battle of Lexington State Historic Site. 10 am-4 pm Sat.; noon4 pm Sun. Free. 660-259-4654, mostateparks.com /park/battle-lexington-state-historic-site

PICCADILLY Jan. 23, Excelsior Springs > A ladies’ night out features silent and Piccadilly auctions, appetizers, drinks, drawings, and games. The Flander Hall. 6-10 pm. $25. visitexcelsior.com

NORTHWEST HOLMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS Dec. 4-20, St. Joseph > Danger and hilarity are nonstop in this whodunit set during December 1936 at the castle of William Gillette, who is admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes. Robidoux Landing Playhouse. 7:30 pm Fri.-Sat.; 2 pm Sun. $15-$35. 816-232-1778, rrtstjoe.org

BROADWAY HOLIDAY POPS Dec. 5, St. Joseph > See classical holiday favorites with a Broadway flair. Missouri Theatre. 7-9 pm. $5$43. 816-233-7701. saintjosephsymphony.org

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CHRISTMAS WITH THE NELSONS Dec. 6, St. Joseph > See a heart-warming multimedia Christmas concert. Missouri Theatre. 3-5 PM. $12$35. 816-279-1225, saintjosephperformingarts.org

THE OAK RIDGE BOYS Dec. 16, St. Joseph > The Oak Ridge Boys perform country music and holiday tunes. Civic Arena. 7:309:30 PM. $24.50-$44.50. 816-271-4171, stjoemo.info

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Dec. 18-20, St. Joseph > Set in late 1941, this musical is about family and hope in the golden days of radio. Missouri Theatre. 7:30 PM Fri.-Sat.; 2 PM Sun. $10-$30. 816-232-1778, rrtstjoe.org



Children of all ages can participate in interactive science experiments with teachers from Missouri Western State University on January 30 in St. Joseph. The event is held from 10 AM to 3 PM at Remington/Agenstein Hall at the MWSU campus, and the cost is $2 for students and $4 for adults. Call 816-2328471 or visit stjosephmuseum.org for more information.

The final season begins January 3

Dec. 3, Kirksville > The community String Orchestra performs new tunes and old favorites. Life Church. 7-8:30 PM. Free. 314-764-3434, kirksvillearts.com

FROSTY 5K Dec. 4, Moberly > Run through the park that’s decorated with lights. Rothwell Park. 6 PM. $25 (free for spectators). 660-269-8705, moberlychamber.com



Mercy Street A new drama brings to life the chaotic world of Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia, and the Mansion House Hospital in the early years of the Civil War. Sundays starting January 17

KMOS-TV broadcasts in HD on channel 6.1 and is carried in many communities on channel 6. KMOS-TV is a service of

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LIVESTOCK SYMPOSIUM Dec. 4-5, Kirksville > These seminars and trade shows for livestock producers nationwide feature workshops and speakers. William Matthew Middle School. 4-9 PM Fri.; 8 AM-5 PM Sat. Free. 660-3416625, missourilivestock.com

CHRISTMAS WITH THE CELTS Dec. 5, Kirksville > Celebrate the season with this Irish group than entertains with music, dance, and humor. Baldwin Hall Auditorium. 7:30-9:30 PM. $11. 660-785-4016, lyceum.truman.edu

THE GATEWAY RINGERS Dec. 5, Moberly > A bell ringers choir plays many holiday favorites. High School Auditorium. 6 PM. $3$10. 660-263-6070, moberly.com

Dec. 12 and Jan. 9, Hannibal > Tour the local galleries, enjoy special guest artists, and sample refreshments. Downtown. 5-8 PM. Free. 573-221-6545, visithannibal.com

CHURCH WALK Dec. 13, Louisiana > Take a guided tour of six beautifully decorated churches, and listen to music performed at each location. Starts at Bethel AME Church. 3 PM. Free. 888-642-3800, louisiana-mo.com


This celebration starts on November 28 and runs until December 24 and features living windows, art walks, and a Christmas and children’s parade. Enjoy live music, horse and carriage rides, wassail tastings, and holiday pub crawl. Held in historic downtown Hannibal on Saturdays from 10 AM-9 PM, most events are free. Call 573-248-1819 or visit vistorianchristmasinhannibal.com for more information.



The final season begins January 3

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ADVERTISERS Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, p. 72 Arrow Rock, p. 76 Bent Tree Gallery, p. 25 Benton County Tourism, p. 11 Big BAM, p. 70 Boonville Tourism, p. 13 Branson Visitor’s TV, p. 73 Callaway County Tourism, pgs. 28 & 29 Cape Girardeau CVB, p. 9 Carthage CVB, p. 81 Clay County Tourism, p. 16 Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, p. 85 Columbia Eve Fest, p. 77 Columbia Orthopaedic Group, p. 82 Daniel Boone Historic Home and Heritage Center, p. 25 Fayetteville AR, p. 74 Greater Chillicothe Visitor’s Region, p. 78 Hammons Black Walnuts, p. 76 Harding University, p. 14 Hermann Tourism, p. 9 Hermann Hill Vineyard & Inn, p. 92 Hermann Wurst Haus, p. 66

Inn at Harbour Ridge, p. 78 Inn St. Gemme Beauvais, p. 78 Isle of Capri, p. 3 James Country Mercantile, p. 76 Jefferson City CVB, p. 75 KCPT, p. 80 KMOS, pgs. 84 & 86 Lebanon, MO Tourism, p. 85 Lexington, MO Tourism, p. 76 Maples Repertory Theatre, p. 74 Marshall Tourism, p. 4 Maryland Heights CVB, p. 25 Mexico, MO Tourism, p. 66 Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, p. 87 Missouri Life Books, p. 23 Missouri Life TV, p. 8 Missouri Poison Control, p. 78 Missouri Pork Association, p. 2 Missouri Propane, p. 7 Moberly Chamber of Commerce, p. 83 Old Trails Region, p. 76 The Railyard Steakhouse, p. 66

Connect with us online! www.MissouriLife.com www.facebook.com/MissouriLife Twitter: @MissouriLife

Rolla Area Chamber of Commerce, p. 76 Socket, p. 79 Spiva Center for the Arts, p. 77 St. Joseph CVB, p. 72 Ste. Genevieve, MO, p. 25 True/False Film Festival, p. 91 Truman State University Press, p. 74 Union Station, p. 19 Westphalia Vineyards, p. 9 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Catherine Mahoney, p. 53 Crow Steals Fire, p. 53 The Gathering Place, p. 53 Missouri Life Gift Baskets & Gift Subscriptions, p. 54 Missouri Life Travel, p. 53 Ozarklake Distinct Décor, p. 52 Saleigh Mountain, p. 52 Stone Hill Winery, p. 52 Stone Hollow Studio, p. 52 Village Designs, p. 52

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SHOW-ME SANTA CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS Nov. 27-Dec. 24, St. Charles > See more than eighty Christmas Traditions from around the world, parades, carolers, skits, and visits with Santa; enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and see train displays. Historic Main Street and the historic KATY Train Depot. 11 AM-9 PM Sat.; noon-5 PM Sun.; 6:30-9 PM Wed. and Fri. Free (except special events). 636946-7776, stcharleschristmas.com

EBT LAUGHING SANTA Nov. 27-Dec. 31, Kansas City > One of Kansas City’s favorite pieces of nostalgia, this mechanical marvel first appeared at the Emery, Bird, Thayer department store in the early 1900s. Take photos with Santa. Crown Center Shops. 10 AM-9 PM Mon.-Sat.; noon6 PM Sun. Free. 816-274-8444, crowncenter.com

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS Nov. 28-Dec. 20 (Sat.), Independence > Enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides; sing with carolers; sip cocoa and cider; eat cookies; see animated windows and a holiday light show, and visit with Santa. Independence Square. Noon-10 PM. Free. 816-3257890, visitindependence.com

SANTA VISITS THE PARADE Dec. 3, Ellington > Enjoy a lighted Christmas parade, activities with Santa, pictures, hot cocoa, craft activities, and a bonfire with s’mores. Main Street. 6-8 PM. Free. 573-663-7997, ellingtonmo.com

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING Dec. 3, Jefferson City > See a tree lighting ceremony, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Rotary Park. 5:30 PM. Free. 573-634-6482, visitjeffersoncity.com

GERMAN OLD TYME CHRISTMAS Dec. 4, Cole Camp > Enjoy carolers, horse and buggy rides, German lighting of the Festbaum, and meetings with Santa. Downtown. 5-8 PM. Free. 660-668-2295, colecampmo.com


Santa and Mrs. Claus roll in to Washington, Missouri, on December 4 on the Amtrak train. Children can meet Santa and enjoy holiday treats from 5 to 7 PM at the Train Depot. Call 636-239-1743 or visit downtownwashmo.org for more information.

and displays shining over the harbor and downtown. Downtown. Noon-5:30 PM. Free. 660-4382090, visitbentoncomo.com

HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL Dec. 5-6, Ste. Genevieve > This fest includes a parade, carriage rides, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, more than thirty musical programs, carolers, and holiday refreshments. Historic Downtown. Times vary. Free. 800-373-7007, visitstegen.org



CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK Dec. 4, Lebanon > Take pictures with Santa, and enjoy hay rides, face painting, storytelling, and Christmas lights and displays. Atchley Park. 5-7 PM. Free. 417-991-2222, lebanonmissouri.org

Dec. 6, Waynesville > This holiday parade follows historic Route 66 and features bands, floats, antique cars, and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Downtown. 2 PM. Free. 573-774-3001, pulaskicountyusa.com

SANTA TRAIN PARADE AND TREE LIGHTING Dec. 5, Fair Grove > Enjoy breakfast with Santa, holiday parade, chili lunch, tree lighting ceremony, seeing Santa arrive by horse-drawn wagon, and cookies and hot cocoa . Main Street. 7 AM-8 PM. Free (except meals). 417-833-3467, fghps.org

CHRISTMAS ON THE HARBOR Dec. 5, Warsaw > Watch a down-home parade, visit with Santa, and see tens of thousands of lights

Dec. 11, Mexico > Take a tour, and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate as Santa arrives on the decorated train. Mexico Kansas City Southern Station. 4-8 PM. Free. 573-581-2765, mexico-chamber.org

CHRISTMAS PARADE Dec. 12, New Madrid > This Christmas parade has floats, walking groups, bands, and Santa. Downtown. 3 PM. Free. 573-748-5300, new-madridmo.us

HOLIDAY PARADE Dec. 12, Springfield > This parade features floats and Santa. Downtown. 2 PM. Free. 417-831-6200, itsalldowntown.com


CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK Dec. 11-19, Rolla > Drive through thousands of lights and displays, and visit Frosty and Santa. Lion’s Club Park. 6-9 PM Sun.-Thurs.; 6-10 PM Fri.Sat. Free. 573-364-4386, visitrolla.com

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Misso˜ iana When the weather outside is frightful, these fun tidbits will be delightful.

Baby, it’s cold outside ...


Each year, The MISSOURI Department of Conservation holds a contest to find the official state CHRISTMAS tree at the Governor’s Mansion. Entries must be an eastern WHITE PINE, Norway spruce, or eastern red cedar; at least forty feet tall; fully BRANCHED on all four sides; accessible by equipment, such as large trucks; and given at no cost.

“I have MEASURED out my life with COFFEE spoons.” —St. Louis native T. S. Eliot

“Winter is begun

January 1940 was the COLDEST month in the past 100 years of Missouri history. The average TEMPERATURE across the state was 15.3 degrees. January is usually still the coldest month of the year here.

here, now, I suppose. It blew part of the hair off the dog yesterday and got the rest this morning.” —Mark Twain


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