A dirty little secret…and 4 ways to clean it up in 2011…


Litter

All the world's a trashcan for some.

Viva Cuba is a beautification organization, and we like to work on positive improvements: murals, plantings, lighting, landscaping. But sometimes, it is necessary to look at some negatives. A once a year spring Trash Bash is not enough. We need community support to make a difference.

Look around the streets of Cuba. Every day you see signs of some people trashing them: plastic bottles, fast food, cigarette packs, and the ever popular liquor containers. This leads to the first way to improve the streets of Cuba.

1. Stop littering. Teach your kids not to litter. Set an example. The candy wrapper, the fast food wrappers, the empty drink bottles,used lottery tickets, the unwanted receipt or bag, or trash blowing out of the back of pickups: when this litter hits the streets, that shows disrespect. Every time a package or wrapper is thrown from a car or truck, it sets an example.

Cigarette package

Smoke 'em and toss 'em seems to be a bad habit for some.

2. Join the Adopt-A-Street program. You can do it individually, as an organization, or as a neighborhood group. Sometimes the socially responsible have to take the lead to make up for those who aren’t. Read the Cuba Free Press article that discusses the program. Get the details on the program on our website here. You can also obtain the registration form to join. Viva Cuba and some of our members have adopted streets. We keep the Viva Cuba Garden at the 4-Way clean. Other organizations are doing their part.

3. Not a joiner? Act as an individual. We appreciate businesses and homeowners who try to keep up with the litter around their neighborhoods. Read the Cuba Free Press article on Stephen Land, a transplant to Cuba, who has taken it upon himself to improve the streets of Cuba. Mr. Land understands the importance of keeping the historical areas of Cuba looking clean and tidy. His work has impressed many people. Think what a few more individuals could do.

Stephen Land

Stephen Land has adopted the streets of Cuba for his volunteer efforts.

4. Be litter conscious and help Viva Cuba spotlight a cleaner Cuba. If you sell products that could cause litter, post our sign that focuses on Treasuring Cuba and helping keep Cuba clean. We are working with the school to post the signs and put emphasis on not littering. Education is always a key. Email us or call if you will display a poster at your place of business in a place where all can see it. Make your business part of the solution in 2011. We will spotlight your posting of the posters in our blogs  and on our Facebook page.

Treasure Cuba Poster

Will you display our poster in your business?

As this year grows to a close and a new one begins, help Viva Cuba make a concerted effort in the next year to improve the streets of Cuba. Let city officials know what they can do. Offer your suggestions to the city or Viva Cuba. Pick a project where you can help. Drop us a note or send us a photo of what you or your group is doing to make a difference. Let’s not throw away our chance to be known not only as a pretty town but also as a clean town. Let’s hear some feedback. And share this post with others in Cuba.

Litter

Even some of our treasured public spaces are the victims of littering.


“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”…the Civil War….and the rest of the story…

Civil War Mural panel The Battle of Pilot Knob

The Battle of Pilot Knob was the beginning of a conflict that brought the Civil War to Cuba, Missouri. The events of the Civil War would eventually lead to a treasured Christmas song.

Today, I was reading the original poem “Christmas Bells” by Longfellow and realized that he was writing about the Civil War, which made me think of Viva Cuba‘s Civil War murals.

American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) wrote the poem “Christmas Bells” on December 25, 1864. At the time, the outcome of the Civil War was not clear and the original poem included  seven stanzas with references to the war.

“Christmas Bells”
(The original poem, complete with all seven stanzas)

“I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!


And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

So while “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” may be a beloved Christmas song, it was born out of torment and conflict of a nation and the personal suffering of Longfellow.

Later, those stanzas were removed, and the the poem became the Christmas song “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” The two stanzas referring to the Civil War were removed, and the poem was rearranged by  John Baptiste Calkin, who also added music.

To read the complete story read The Story Behind “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Tom Stewart.

The verses that we sing:

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Now, when you look at Viva Cuba’s Civil War murals, think of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and this special Christmas song.

For more on Longfellow and other poems by him, visit here.

A snowy Christmas Eve in Cuba, Missouri

Wallace House Dec. 24, 2010 Cuba, Missouri

Wallace House looks elegant as always.

We woke to a snowy Christmas Eve in historic Cuba this morning. Nature did its thing with some natural beautification. Although it was early in town,Gordoz Cafe  had some breakfast eaters, the city crews were out plowing the streets, Mace’s Grocery had some early shoppers, and the Wagon Wheel Motel had Route 66 travelers continuing their travels after an overnight stay.

The murals presented some odd warm-weather scenes when trimmed with snow.

Whether you’re on the way to grandmother’s house or doing a little nesting at home, Viva Cuba hopes that you have time to view the natural beauty around us and to find a little time for peace and joy.

Aplle mural Cuba, Missouri

The apple harvest is framed in snow this morning.

River mural in December snow Cuba, Missouri

The snow doesn't seem to bother these river visitors.

Cuba, Missouri December 24 Wagon Wheel Motel

The blowing snow doesn't faze the Wagon Wheel Motel that has seen almost 75 years of winter scenes.

In case you have forgotten take a look at December 25, 2009 in the Mural City. Was it a White Christmas?

By way, the sock monkey got some new jeans to go with  his Nikes just in time for the snow.

New jeans for the sock monkey

The boy sock monkey got new jeans in time for the snow. You can see them in Hayes Shoe Store window.

A couple of updates from the evening…lights in the darkness…

Veterans Memorial Cuba, Missouri Christmas Eve

The Veterans Memorial in front of the history museum lights up the night on Christmas Eve.

Holy Cross Church Christmas Eve Cuba, Missouri

The Holy Cross Church welcomed worshipers on Christmas Eve in Cuba.

Christmas wreath on Smith Street Cuba, Missouri

Cuba's traditional Christmas wreaths light brighten the darkness of Cuba's streets.

Original Bette Davis articles served as mural inspiration…

Bette Davis artist Ray Harvey

This was a piece of preliminary artwork of Bette Davis by Route 66 artist Ray Harvey.

Bette Davis, award winning actress, and her husband cruised into Cuba on Route 66 in their Packard Station Wagon. The actress would dine at the Southern Hotel and her husband would engage in a footrace through the streets of Cuba with a local newsman/photographer Wilbur Vaughn. Vaughn’s photo that sparked the footrace would appear that week in the Cuba News and Review.

These articles chronicle the events when Bette Davis visited Cuba, Mo.

The events of that day were the inspiration for one of Viva Cuba’s 12 outdoor murals by Route 66 artist Ray Harvey. When Viva Cuba learned of the story, the beautification organization knew that it would be a perfect mural for the new Cuba Free Press building. Below, read the real time chronicle of the events that occurred during that fateful day in 1948.

Wilbur Vaughn, the young photographer who took the photo, still lives in Cuba and often tells the story of his race to get the news of Bette Davis to the people of Cuba, MO.

Cuba, Mo Bette Davis Mural

The mural is appropriately placed on the Cuba Free Press building, home of Cuba's present newspaper.

Read  a previous entry “Bette Davis visits Cuba, MO.”

Seasons Greetings from Viva Cuba…

Viva Cuba is grateful to the Route 66 Mural Citytravelers, and  the citizens of Crawford County that help make Cuba a good place to live. Whether you live in Cuba, or come in on I-44, Hwy. 19, or Route 66, or just read  this website, we  appreciate the support that we receive concerning the beautification of our town. May you and your families have a joyous holiday season.

 

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