Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Buck Stops Here

By Mary
Custom Smiley Today has been surprising in many ways. First of all the trip from Osceola IA to Independence MO was really easy when you take into account it is actually the big city of Kansas City. We have been avoiding the Kansas City area for many years because of the traffic. Today made us realize that all of the road construction they have been doing the past few years has really improved the area. Thank God!!

We are camped in the very historic city of Independence MO. For the "historically challenged", this is the home and birthplace of Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States of America. We got here about noon, did a couple of loads of laundry, and then set out on a hike.
So where did we go on our hike? Our first stop was Clinton's Soda Fountain, the site of Harry Truman's first job. He made $3.00 a week for opening at 6:00 AM, scrubbing the floors, stocking the shelves, and waiting on customers. No union there I guess!

Next we went to the Harry S. Truman National Park Service Visitors Center. I gotta mention this here, we buy a National Park Passport Pass for $50 which lasts for one year and I can't believe all the places where it is accepted...the Harry Truman Home for example, plus the Pipestone National Monument we went to on Tuesday for another. We are always amazed by how many places the pass is accepted. It is WELL WORTH THE MONEY!! We saw a 12 minute narrated slide show about the Truman home there and then hiked the 5 blocks to the home for a tour.

The home deserves it's own paragraph. The home was built by Bess Truman's very wealthy grandfather. He acquired his wealth in the 1880 milling industry. Bess was born in the house and when she married Harry in 1919 he moved into it with her, her mother, and her grandmother. WOW..lots of women in Harry's life!! Anyway, the house is furnished with the furniture used by Harry and Bess during there marriage. When Harry's term as president ended in 1953 he retired to 219 N. Delaware Street until his death in 1972. Bess died in the home in Oct. of 1982. She changed nothing after his death and his coat and hat still hang on a coat tree in the front hall. She never changed a THING after his death. It is a beautiful example of homes of the era and we really enjoyed the tour.
Then we returned home for homemade chicken noodle soup and the new episode of CSI!!