Public Radio visits Cuba, Missouri murals

UPublic radio reporters interview Jeff Bouse of Hayes Shoe Store for a segment on the murals.

Public radio reporters interview Jeff Bouse of Hayes Shoe Store for a segment on the murals. A mural of an early 1900s business scene covers the outside of Bouse's shoe store.

On Saturday and Sunday June 20-21, two reporters from KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri visited Cuba to view the murals, interview locals involved in the project, and get an overview of the mural project.

The two reporters, John-JJ- Stankevitz and LaurieAnn Wojnowski are convergence journalism majors at the university. Convergence journalism majors produce print, on-air, and online stories for the school’s principal news organizations: KBIA-FM, KOMU-TV and the Columbia Missourian.  The convergence journalism major is the first new major introduced at the university in over 50 years.

It was a hot Missouri weekend in the 90s, but the young reporters interviewed, photographed, and gathered info that they would edit into their piece that was due the next Thursday.  On  Saturday, Viva Cuba members Jane Reed and Joyce Stewart met the reporters at the Visitor Center, gave them a tour of the murals, introduced them to local citizens, and joined them for lunch at Frisco’s Grill & Pub.

On Saturday, they interviewed Wilbur Vaughn on his role in the Bette Davis mural and set up an appointment to take photos with him on Sunday. Chip Lange spoke with them in front of the Civil War Murals that was part of his Eagle Scout Project when he was 15.  They also interviewed Virginia Watson and Jeff Bouse as business owners in the area.  They took photos of the guest book at the Fanning Rt. 66 Outpost that showed signatures of people who travel Route 66.  The two pages that the book opened to showed visitors from four countries. Of course, they got shots of the rocker and the Rt. 66 mural at the Outpost.   At the end of their day on Saturday, they drove back to Columbia but would return to Cuba on Sunday.

On Sunday, the reporters were on their own gathering information. They interviewed Shelly Smith Steiger at her home about her mural painting.  They ate lunch at Missouri Hickory BBQ and photographed the guest book there.  They also talked to Missouri Hick owner Dennis Meiser. In a later email,  Stankevitz declared that the sweet and smoky BBQ sauce was the best that he had ever had.  They also visited with a couple from Monroe, LA who were in town visiting the murals.

Both reporters who are from the Chicago area enjoyed visiting small town Cuba and commented on the sense of history that pervades the town.  Hopefully, we will soon be able to add the clip of their piece to the mural website.

Stankevitz, as a White Sox fan, also blogs on the www.examiner.com/x-425-Chicago-White-Sox-Examiner.

See the results of the student work here.

Cuba was designated "Route 66 Mural City" by the Missouri legislature.

There are eyes on Cuba, Missouri…

The American flag and the Cuba banner wave side-by-side.

The American flag and the Cuba banner wave side-by-side. Photo by a traveler passing through.

It is surprising to find something about Cuba, the Route 66 Mural City, when cruising the internet.  To see posted photos and comments that show what others think of  small town Cuba can be an eye-opener.

A recent travel blog called Top-of-the-arch by a self-described “typical woman”  wrote  “Greetings from Cuba” in a July 17 web posting.  The shots were taken on Flag Day as the American flag waved beside the Cuba 150th banners.  Photos of the mural panels on the Phillips 66 station, a road scene by a city limit sign, and a photo of the painted traffic control boxes brightened her website.

The writer promised to post more photos and write about Route 66 in Missouri.  Her site has a lot of beautiful photos and some good writing about her activities, interests, and travels. It’s funny how it is now possible to click a device and travel into another person’s world and enjoy his or her perspective.

Cuba, Missouri: An unexpected pleasure appears…

Neala Schwartzberg poses in front of the Prosperity Corner mural on the Hayes Shoe Store. See blog "If This Corner Could Talk."

Neala Schwartzberg poses in front of the Prosperity Corner mural on the Hayes Shoe Store. See our blog "If This Corner Could Talk."

Cuba, Missouri: A recent email brought word of a a new website called the Offbeat Examiner by Neala Schwartzberg.  As her first post, she chose Viva Cuba’s murals.  According to Ms Schwartzberg, she discovered the murals while traveling Route 66.  In her own words,

So, it’s totally appropriate, in my eyes, to do my first introductory column as the Offbeat Places examiner, on street murals. The ones that you find driving along and stop you in wonder – wow, look at that.

Cuba, Missouri, since 2002, has been officially known as “Route 66 Mural City” by act of the Missouri legislature. We discovered these delightful murals while doing the Route 66 trip.

To read more about the murals on this site, visit www.examiner.com/x-12202-Offbeat-Places-Examiner~y2009m5d26-Murals-of-Cuba-Missouri.

Better yet, come to Cuba, “Route 66 Mural City” and see the murals in person. Stop by the Visitor Center at the I-44 Exit and pickup a mural brochure or check at one of the area restaurants for a brochure.


Cuba, Missouri: 25th annual trash bash leaves a clean scene…

Workers gathered to get safety vests, discuss their assignments, and register for the giveaways before the day started.

Workers gathered to get safety vests, discuss their assignments, and register for the giveaways before the day started.

Cuba, Missouri:  Members of Viva Cuba, JOG.inc, the high school Environmental Club, Peoples Bank employees, and other volunteers came together to clean up Cuba for Viva Cuba’s 25th annual Trash Bash on Saturday, May 2.

These young people from the Environmental Club helped Viva Cuba clean the streets. They saw the vests as fashion accessories.

These young people from the Environmental Club helped Viva Cuba clean the streets. They saw the vests as fashion accessories.

The groups met at the Viva Cuba Garden to pick up safety vests and trash bags provided by MoDOT. Individuals registered for drawings of a wheel barrow of gardening goodies that Viva Cuba member Elizabeth Karl put together.

Some lucky workers took home some of the prizes that they won in the drawings.

Some lucky workers took home some of the prizes that they won in the drawings.

Chairperson of the event Kim Baldwin organized the teams, and they fanned out to pick up trash and plant the planters around town.

Gene Beyers had the right tool for the digging.

Gene Beyers had the right tool for the digging.

After a couple of hours, the streets were cleaner, decorative pots had flowers, and some lucky people won some of the gardening supplies that were in the drawing.

A little dirt went home with Viva Cuba members.

A little dirt went home with Viva Cuba members.

“It was great to have the kids in the Environmental Club from the high school join us this year,” remarked Viva Cuba Member Jill Barnett.

Prior to May 2, the Tri-C organization, led by Judy Workman, worked with Dave Workman, Marcus Bast, and Don Meyr to clean up and do some planting at the railroad overpass on Hwy. 19.

Tailgaiting is part of any activity.  These were "planters" who planted the flowers during the Trash Bash.

Tailgaiting is part of any activity. These were "planters" who planted the flowers during the Trash Bash.

Viva Cuba hopes others will join them in their effort to keep Cuba clean. The most effective cleanup is when people don’t throw their soda bottles, wrappers, and other trash on the streets of Cuba.

Many businesses and organizations have helped by beautifying their buildings, planting flowers, and cleaning up the front and back of their premises. Viva Cuba appreciates these efforts and hopes to be part of the continuing effort to beautify Cuba.

What other ideas are there for keeping a small town looking good? Comment below.

Viva Cuba member Tina and Kim plant the Garden.

Viva Cuba members Tina and Kim plant the Garden.

The day wasn't all work. Tina gives Ryan a ride in the wheelbarrow that she won in the drawing.

The day wasn't all work. Tina gives Ryan a ride in the wheelbarrow that she won in the drawing.

The Peoples Bank crew gathered some deposits for their trash bags.

The Peoples Bank crew gathered some deposits for their trash bags.

Cuba, Missouri: Viva Cuba public art goes to the dogs…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jazzy knows a good looking dog when she sees one.

Jazzy knows a good looking dog when she sees one.

Cuba, Missouri: One aspect of Viva Cuba’s Mural Project has never been discussed before. That subject is the inclusion of three canine companions in Cuba’s artwork. It’s a tail wagger of a story, and now is the time to reveal it.

Pillsbury, a basset hound, was the first to make an appearance in the Viva Cuba Mural Project with his presence in the Apple/Barrel Mural on Washington Street. Artist Shelly Steiger borrowed scaffolding from local lumberyard owner Bob Wilson during the project. To show her appreciation, she painted his dog Pillsbury into the mural. Pillsbury had been given to the Wilson family when his previous owners had to relocate and couldn’t take him along.  As dogs tend to do, Pillsbury soon created his own place in his new family’s heart. Pillsbury has since gone on to a better place (although he had a pretty sweet deal at the Wilsons), but his role in Cuba’s history is apparent for all to see.

Pillsbury Wilson was the first dog to join the mural project.

Pillsbury Wilson was the first dog to join the mural project.

The second dog in Viva Cuba’s mural project is in the River Mural,  sponsored by the Bass family.  The dog in the canoe belongs to Robert “Bear” Bass and is a more or less constant companion to Mr. Bass as he makes his daily rounds running Ozark Outdoors, a local river resort. The mural was painted by local artists Shelly Smith Steiger and Julie Balogh Brand.  Brand was responsible for Milo’s realistic depiction in the mural.

Bear Bass and Milo are always a team.

Milo enjoys his spot in the canoe in the River Mural.

The third canine to make it into the public art of Cuba, Mo is Jazzy, a Welsh terrier, who belongs to Viva Cuba member Jane Reed.  During a Viva Cuba meeting when the group was looking at a preliminary artist’s sketch for a painting to go onto one of the traffic control boxes at the Hwy. 19 and Route 66 intersection, Reed noticed that there was a dog penciled in.

As a joke, she said, “Hey, my dog could go in the painting.”  Someone in the group laughed and asked her how much money she would like to pay to get her dog into the painting.  To continue the joke, every time the painting came up in a meeting or an email, she reminded members that her dog Jazzy was available.

Without Reed’s knowledge, Viva Cuba members obtained photos of Jazzy from Reed’s husband and gave them to Missouri artist Julie Wiegand, who painted the dog into the mural.  When Reed viewed the mural for the first time, she was surprised to see Jazzy was in the painting–both front and back.

So now you know, that Cuba, Missouri is not only a town that cares about its history and art but also recognizes the importance of its canine companions.

Coming or going, Jazzy is interested in her image on the traffic control box.

Coming or going, Jazzy is interested in her image on the traffic control box.

If you like seeing “dogs in art” view Route 66 artist Missouri artist Ray Harvey’s series “Dogs of Route 66.” Harvey painted Cuba’s Bette Davis mural at the History at the 4-Way murals.

Best of the Blog

Categories

Archives

Search the Blog

Find Us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter