Seasonal beautification and observances…Fleeting and sometimes profound

This young fan enjoys two seasons:  fall and football.

This young enthusiast enjoys two seasons: fall and football.

This duo offers a little seasonal beautification.

This duo offers a little seasonal beautification at A Lasting Impression.

One of Viva Cuba's young friends shared this photo of his jack-o'-lantern.

One of Viva Cuba's young friends shared this photo of his imaginative jack-o'- lantern.

Seasonal beautification may come just once a year:  Halloween jack-o’-lanterns, Christmas lights, and flying flags. It sometimes comes from businesses, sometimes from organizations, but, often, it comes from the community.

Because the beautifications are out of the ordinary, they lift the spirits and stimulate our thoughts of the holiday.  Some examples of seasonal beautification may be superficial, but other examples touch a deep chord.

The beautifications are often coupled with  family or community rituals that signal the beginning of a certain season or holiday.  They get us in the mood.  They sometimes make us reflect and think about what is important. They unite us and bring us together.  Some of their attractiveness is visual, and they are accompanied by the use of certain colors, food, or music. Many are associated with a formal holiday.

This photo of the World's Largest Rocking Chair decked out for Christmas is one of my favorites.

This photo of the World's Largest Rocking Chair decked out for Christmas on Route 66 is one of my favorites.

On the 4th the patriotic bunting in the Viva Cuba Garden drew attention.

On July 4th, the patriotic bunting in the Viva Cuba Garden drew attention.

Veterans’ Day Commemoration 2009…

On Wednesday, November 11, we will all have the opportunity to take part in a  program at the Cuba War Memorial at Recklein Commons on Smith Street.  There will be a “Time of Relection” with a bagpiper playing from 3 pm until 5 pm.  Area banks will serve refreshments during this time of reverence and reflection on the contribution of Cuba’s veterans.

As darkness falls, at 5:00 pm there will be a Candlelight Service with music and a candle lit for each of the 1000 names on the memorial.  This is the first year for this event, but it should be a truly memorable ceremony. Everyone is invited and is encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

At night, the memorial is a striking site.

At night, the memorial is a striking site. The candlelight ceremony will make it even more so.

While writing this entry, I began thinking of what we light at night and what we don’t and what  the significance of that is.  But that is the subject of a future entry, Cuba After Dark.

Partnering with nature on beautification…

The burning bushes have turned a beautiful fall red.

The burning bushes have turned a beautiful fall red.

Burning bushes sizzle on Hwy. 19…

The last week, the bushes and trees along Hwy. 19 have been beautiful.  They make an attractive pathway through town. For a time anyway, nature has taken over beautification except for a few areas that have fallen victim to the Cuba Chainsaw Massacre. Hwy. 19 is a greenscape that looks like a nice place to live and do business.

In the 70s, 80s, and early 90s things looked much different.  Look at the entry “Remember when…pre-1991 in Cuba, MO” to get the full picture. It’s not a pretty site, so you might just want to skip that.

But for a brief look, see the photo below that corresponds with the present photo above.

In the early 1990s, there was a very different entrance to Cuba.

In the early 1990s, there was a very different entrance to Cuba.

MoDOT, civic groups, and the city worked together to create a better Cuba. Many contributed to fundraising to beautify the area. Business people invested in their buildings.  But even the best teams, benefit when nature cooperates.

Businesses have upgraded their premises and roadways are improved.

Businesses have upgraded their premises and roadways are improved.

Another before photo….

Pre-1991 found an ugly view down S. Hwy. 19

Pre-1991 found an ugly view down S. Hwy. 19 looking toward Georgia Pacific.

After the landscaping effort…

Even on a rainy October day the view looks better.

Even on a rainy October day the view looks better than in the photo above this one.

Crawford County is a beautiful area, and many travel to enjoy where we live every day.  For this we can be grateful. Even though nature takes its toll, and we have to rake and trim, the ever changing view is quite a reward for the work.  We, in turn, can reward nature’s effort by keeping our “man-made litter” off the streets and lots of Cuba.

The roadways are more attractive now.

The roadways are more attractive now, except for the stray litter some people contribute.

My Place Tires raises the cool factor on Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri…

My Place Tires on Route 66 decided to include a road mural on the new building.

My Place Tires on Route 66 decided to include a road mural by Ray Harvey on the new building. Ray Harvey photo.

Tire company rolls out new mural…

Cuba, Missouri  “Route 66 Mural City” just got a new mural on the front of My Place Tires.  The business picked Route 66 Missouri artist Ray Harvey to paint the mural on the Route 66 business.

A Cuba Free Press article “Tire shop goes the extra mile in outdoor signage,” explains how and why the mural came about on the new business. You can click the title to read the article.

Artist Ray Harvey uses a lift and a truck of paint to paint the vintage scene on the front of My Place Tires.

Artist Ray Harvey uses a lift and a truck load of paint to create the vintage scene on the front of My Place Tires.

A side effect of Viva Cuba’s Mural Project is the other public art that businesses and organizations have added to their premises since the inception of the project. Follow the above link to see more of Cuba’s public art outside of the Viva Cuba Mural Project. How many have you seen?

Random images and thoughts post-Cuba Fest…

The Chili Cook-off brought out some discriminating tasters.

The Chili Cook-off brought out some discriminating tasters.

It’s over, and it seems as if the 2009 Tri-C Cuba Fest was a hit. The old stand-by events were expanded to some new activities this year.  Tri-C members, volunteers, crafters, and Cuba area businesses united to create a successful community event. It is nice to hear visitors to the town appreciate what we have in Cuba, Missouri “Rt. 66 Mural City.” Viva Cuba gets contacts from other towns and organizations requesting information on what has been done in Cuba.

Viva Cuba‘s members and committees worked hard and,with the help of other volunteers, the Chili Cook-Off and the Mural and Cemetery Tours were well attended.

The Chili Cook-Off brought in almost $800 dollars, which will help pay for this summer’s costly mural restoration and maintenance. The public responded well to Past Fair Queens and their “Royal Chili.”  Rockael Chaudhry received the imperial ladle for her chili recipe based on votes cast.

The heated trolley helped tourers stay warm during the brisk fall weather.

The heated trolley helped tourers stay warm during the brisk fall weather.

The heated, enclosed trolley filled for the narrated murals tours around Cuba’s uptown historic district. There was a little bit of fate or divine intervention involved in that.  Esther, the trolley driver, started out early from St. Louis with the open-air red trolley that she usually brings to Cuba Fest. It was cold.

A little way out of St. Louis, the trolley started malfunctioning, and Esther called in an SOS.  She was told to drop the ailing trolley off at a dealership for repair and wait for a replacement. Esther was soon back on the road with a heated, enclosed trolley. Since Saturday was such a cool day, the heated trolley was a hit as it rolled up and down Route 66 and Cuba’s historic district.

Sunday’s first “Echoes from the Past” cemetery tour was successful. It lays the groundwork for a “second annual tour” in 2010.  The volunteers that took on the parts of the historical figures gave “life” to the tour.

Historical figure Dr. Walter Sherman Cox ventured from Kinder Cemetery on Saturday to promote Sunday's Cemetery Tour.

Historical figure Dr. Walter Sherman Cox ventured from Kinder Cemetery on Saturday to promote Sunday's Cemetery Tour.

Both the Saturday and Sunday tours add something extra to the Cuba Fest experience.  The trolley is not inexpensive to bring to Cuba for two days. The Tourism Tax levied on Cuba motels helps make this possible. The tourism tax also aids in advertising and making Cuba known to others outside the area.

An example of how others find out about our events and what we have in Cuba was brought home to me while my husband and I were having lunch inside Recklein Auditorium on Saturday.  Two couples shared a table with us. They had been on the mural tour and visited the History Museum. They were from St. Louis, and this was the second Cuba Fest for two of the ladies. I asked how they knew about the event. The one lady said she had seen it in a Missouri Life Magazine ad and brought some of her  friends out the year before for camping and the event.  This year the two women brought their husbands.

The bus tours that take place throughout the year, individuals traveling, and publicity that Cuba gets help make others aware of Cuba, its businesses, and its attractions and contribute to “word-of-mouth” promotion. This helps the economy and makes for an interesting town.

Not only does Cuba, Missouri have attractions to bring others to Cuba, but for the most part, the attractions preserve our heritage in a positive way.  We all benefit from that.  The children of Cuba learn about the town’s past in a way that can’t be found in a text book.

The last two photos are in the “just because” category.  Everyone makes a contribution.  Remember next year’s Cuba Fest is the third weekend of October.  Put it on your calendars. You don’t want to miss it.

Mariah poses with her brother Michael's dog Diesel.

Mariah poses with her brother Michael's dog Diesel.

This guy said, "Hey, I'm down here."

This guy said, "Hey, I'm down here."

Viva Cuba’s first Graveline Cemetery Tour brings history alive…

Historical Figures came from around the cemetery to meet the trolley and tell their story.

Historical Figures came from around the cemetery to meet the trolley and tell their story.

Sunday’s Cuba Fest-related historical tour of Kinder Cemetery “Echoes from the Past” was a hit. From 11:00 to 4:00 trolley riders took the ride from Recklein Commons to the cemetery where figures from Cuba’s history boarded the trolley as it wound its way through the cemetery. Due to popular demand, an extra tour was included at the end of the day.

Costumed appropriately to portray their characters, the historical figures came from all over the cemetery and boarded the “Grave Line Tour” to share their stories with wit, wonder, and their personal view of history.

Brig. Gen. Brown had no use for Southern sympathizers on the tour.

Brig. Gen. Brown had no use for Southern sympathizers on the tour.

Civil War Brig. Gen. Egbert Benton Brown explained how he fought for the Union Army and after the war visited his scout Jerome Alyn Stanton where he lived in Cuba.  Finding the area to his liking, he and his wife bought property in Cuba and shared many happy years in the area.  Brown had little patience for any on the tour with Southern sympathies.

The Tiemans still seem to have difference concerning his disappearance.

The Tiemans seem to have differences concerning his disappearance.

Henry Herman Tieman, owner of Prosperity Corner where Hayes Shoe Store now sits, and his wife Elizabeth discussed the fact of Henry’s disappearance and move to Shreveport, Louisiana. He left her behind to raise their eight children, seven of which were his by his first wife.  Even time cannot resolve some conflicts.

Dr. Walter Sherman Cox, Cuba's doctor for over 34 years, had a lot of inside information on Cuba's citizens.

Dr. Walter Sherman Cox, Cuba's doctor for over 34 years, had inside information on Cuba's citizens.

Dr. Walter Sherman Cox, Cuba’s doctor for 34 years, alderman, and mayor shared some of his knowledge of Cuba’s citizens.  However, as the good doctor said, some things that “happened in the 1900s should stay in the 1900s.”

Fenetta Sargent Haskell gave tourers a reading from her book In the Cup of Those HIlls.

Fenetta Sargent Haskell presented a reading from her book In the Cup of Those HIlls. Tour host Alexander Fleming, a founder of the cemetery, looks on.

Fenetta Sargent Haskell came from the unusual and talented family Sargent family, all of who are buried in Kinder.  She married W.H. Haskell, a poet, orator, traveling salesman, and merchant. He built the beautiful stone mansion on the grounds of the Catholic Church for her.  She was a noted elocutionist, dramatist, and writer of In the Cup of Those Hills, which is now available on Amazon for over $100. Fenetta graced tourers with a brief reading from her book.

Elizabeth Parks, who sang at the 1904 World's Fair, led the group in singing "Meet Me in St. Louis."

Elizabeth Parks, who sang at the 1904 World's Fair, led the group in singing "Meet Me in St. Louis."

Elizabeth Parks was a born musician who sang at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.  She also taught music a Lindenwood College and toured the U.S. singing. On Sunday, she boarded the trolley to tell her story and lead the group in the tune “Meet Me in St. Louis.”

J.M. Wallace built the stately Wallace House, which still welcomes Cubans to special events.

J.M. Wallace built the stately Wallace House, which still welcomes Cubans to special events.

J.M. Wallace came to Cuba from Pennsylvania to open a store. He built his fine brick home in 1885, which still stands today to welcome the citizens of Cuba to special events.  In 1928, his widow sold the home to the Methodist Church, where generations of Cubans got their religious training. In 1940, aspiring senator Harry S. Truman gave a speech on the steps of the church.

Elizabeth Lewis Saigh lefta sizable endowment to benefit Cuba students.

Elizabeth Lewis Saigh lefta sizable endowment to benefit Cuba students.

Elizabeth Lewis Saigh, one of nine brothers and sisters, was descended from a family of community leaders. She graduated from Cuba in 1933 and never forgot her days at the old school.  She married Fred Saigh, the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals before the Busch family owned them, and she left over two million dollars to the Crawford County R-II School to support academics for future Cuba students.

It was appropriate, that Alexander Fleming, an Irishman and a member of one of the founding families of Cuba, hosted the tour and introduced the historical figures to the trolley riders. He helped organize the Presbyterian Church in 1871 and built a meetinghouse that sat where Kinder Cemetery is today, on the northeast corner of the United Presbyterian Cemetery. On Sunday, Fleming saw more activity in his “home” than he had seen for many a year.

One can only wonder how the cemetery tour committee will top this year’s tour.  Any suggestions?

The Viva Cuba Graveline Tour met an enthusiastic response during Cuba Fest.

The Viva Cuba Graveline Tour met an enthusiastic response during Cuba Fest.

Fennetta Sargent Haskell poses in the family plot.

Fennetta Sargent Haskell poses in the family plot.

Gen. Brown credits a visit to his old army scout Stanton in bringing him to live in Cuba.

Gen. Brown credits a visit to his old army scout Stanton in bringing him to live in Cuba.

The trolley leaves the historical figures of Cuba in repose--until next year.

On Route 66: The trolley leaves the historical figures of Cuba in repose--until next year.

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