Joplin, MO

“No individual has any right to come into this world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.” G.W. Carver

This from the ground of the George Washington Birthplace Memorial just south of Joplin, MO. He dedicated a life of trying to make something useful out of other people’s junk and trash. In fact he may have been the one who STARTED recycling.

I used to read stories of his life and work and he was one of my favorite characters. But, it didn’t dawn on me, until walking around in this museum, where I must have gotten my love for picking through other people’s junk and trying to make something useful out of it. Another trait that we share is a love for rescuing flowering plants and trees and relocating them to whatever real estate that I happen to occupy.


We enjoyed Christmas Dinner with Lew and Melody Jarman, in the home of Joe and Jane Sheller, who we met while working at Amazon. Sheller brothers and sisters, kids and grandkids made us feel right at home.
Feeling lucky after we got back to the coach in the Casino parking lot, we drifted toward the penny slots. The first night we lost a total of $15, tonight it was $8. so much for the “Free” parking at a casino! On the other hand, at 17 degrees at night and all three of our electric heaters going, maybe we still came out ahead.


We got an “early” start about 9 AM. Being used to sleeping during the day, I had a hard time staying awake while driving. I finally had to give it up for little wink time about 2:30 PM. We arrived at the Texoma Recreational Area, a man-made lake straddling the Texas / Oklahoma border just before sundown.


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! Forty-nine years she has tolerated me… and loved me in spite of me. For forty-nine years she has proven time and again how tough and tender a woman can be. She has been more than worth the bride-price I gave for her.

Part of our westward shuffle has taken us to the little town of Strawn, TX. That’s about half-way between Ft. Worth and Abaline, a couple of miles north of I-20.

This town was founded by a cattleman, Stephen B. Strawn, the son of the fellow who founded Strawn, KS. It reached the height of prosperity during the early 1900’s with the discovery of oil in 1917. At a current population of 694… down several thousand from its prime, it easy to see why the most prosperous businesses are the First National Bank and two mortuaries.

My grandfather had a sister, Bessie (Strawn) Williams who lived with her family in this town for a number of years. I found a donation brick in front of the museum that bore the names of Chuck and Vickie Williams. They are probably related by the shirt-tail to me.

Tonight we have stopped at an RV park for water and laundry just west of Sweetwater, TX. Touted as, “The Home of the World Largest Rattlesnake Roundup.”