During WWII, the citizens of Crawford County, MO purchased The Spirit of Crawford Missouri, a P-47 fighter plane. Pictured is Capt. Joe Curtiss the plane’s pilot. Used by permission
This blog started by accident. A local man named Mardy Leathers ran across a photo of the WWII Spirit of Crawford County Missouri while he was doing research for his MBA. Thinking that it was a cool photo, he put the photo on his Facebook page, which I shared to the Cuba MO Murals & More Facebook page. Then I started thinking. What was the reason behind this plane’s name that linked it to Crawford County Missouri where Cuba, Missouri is located. Did the pilot have a local connection? Thus, the googling began. It let me to several sites, some in the UK, where vintage photos and WW II aviation history is maintained. With permissions obtained to use photos and info, here’s the rest of the story of the Spirit of Crawford County Missouri P-47 plane.
One of the first links that I found was to the Nose Art Research Project in the UK. There I found out about the WWII Buy-A-Bomber campaign. According to the website, the campaign let communities, whether town or county, purchase planes. The amount of money raised through the sales of War Bonds or Stamps determined the type of aircraft which would be “purchased.” Initially $275,000 allowed a community to have a heavy bomber (B17 or B24) named after it. Lesser funds could buy a twin engine B25 or pursuit fighter.
In the early months of the war, the aircraft was flown to a local airfield and a naming ceremony was carried out with full publicity. As the war escalated, there wasn’t time for this. The aircraft name was painted as it left the factory and a photo was sent to the community representatives or local newspapers. On the website listed above The Spirit of Crawford County Missouri, a P-47 fighter, is listed as one of these planes. At this time, none of the original publicity of the Spirit of Crawford County Missouri has come to light.
Another piece of research was found online at the Crawford County Missouri Photo Album. The info accompanied by the photo of the Spirit of Crawford County Missouri above stated:
During World War II, the story is any city or county through a war bond drive raised a total of $105,000, bought a P-47, the front line fighter of the era. Those who raised the funds went to the plant and had their name put on the aircraft, then it was shipped overseas. This plane wound up with the 56th Fighter Group, the most famous fighter group in the European Theater of Operation. The time period was most likely 1944. The man in this photo is Capt. Joe Curtiss, the pilot of the plane.
The next stop in research took me to the Little Friends site in the UK dedicated to keeping the memory of the planes and their crews alive. The site curator Peter Randall stated that there were three known photos of the plane, and I was welcome to use them for this blog entry. The photo below shows the invasion stripes around the fuselage. Randall also said that the black & white photos in this post are free of copyright as they were taken by the unit photographer who was using equipment and materials paid for by tax dollars, they are now in the public domain.
Capt. Joseph R Curtis, Houston, TX. 63rd Fighter Squadron. P-47D 42-26316 UN-C_The Spirit of Crawford County Missouri You can see the invasion stripes around fuselage.
Photo: Capt. McGarrigle via Chuck ZarkisFlown by Capt. Joseph Curtis of the 63rd Fighter Squadron,56th Fighter Group. Used by permission.
This plane was lost on Sept. 21,1944 while being piloted by 2nd Lt. Oscar L. Cagle Jr.; he was Killed in Action. They were on an area support mission near Arnhem. They were headed down to bounce a flight of Fw 190s, and he was not seen again.
Oscar L. Cagle, Jr was from Birmingham/Jefferson, Alabama, and his name is listed on the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The third photo from the Little Friends site features Lt. Joe Curtis of the 63rd Fighting Squadron, who was the pilot for the fighter. However, he was not flying it when it went down.
Lt. Joe Curtis of the 63rd Flying Squadron piloted the Spirit of Crawford County Missouri. Used by permission.
In our research, we found a fourth photo that shows the Spirit of Crawford County Missouri on a runway in a que of planes ready to taxi. This is from the World War II Color Archives: the Jeffrey L. Ethell Collection.
The plane is the last one in line on the runway. This is the last view of it on the ground. Used by permission.
Accompanying text says the following:
A very poignant historical shot (one a of number taken the same day) of the 63rdFS P47Ds taxiing to runway head prior to a mission, at Boxted, 21st September 1944. Center picture, is Spirit of Crawford County Missouri, Capt. Joseph Curtiss’ plane, ‘UN-C’ ser# 42-26316. However, when this shot was taken, the plane is at the back of the que. This is because on this day it was being flown by Lt. Oscar Cagle. This was most likely the last time anyone on the ground ever saw the aircraft.Both Lt. Cagle and plane were lost (KIA) on this exact mission.
Peter Randall of the Little Friends site also sent us a closeup photo of the plane on the runway on that fateful day. Randall stated that the code on the aircrafts is UN-C. The UN indicates the 63rd FS, and the bar or underscore to the C indicates that it was the second aircraft in the squadron carrying that letter. They had more than 26 per squadron at that time. Randall said that the photo below is a copy of the original held by the 56th FG Museum at their old base at Halesworth, England and credit should go to them.
This is a closeup of the Spirit of Crawford County Missouri on its last day of service. It was shot down on this flight, and the pilot was Killed in Action. Used by permission.
A search of the United States Air Force serial numbers found this information:
Serial number 26316 (56th FG, 63rd FS, "Spirit of Crawford County Missouri") lost Saasveld near Weerseloo,
Netherlands Sep 21, 1944. MACR 9165. Pilot KIA
Another photo that I found was on the A2A Simulations website, which uses software to simulate fighter action.
A simulated full plane shot shows the invasion stripes that were meant to help identify the plane from friendly fire. Later invasion stripes were removed from all planes. Image used by permission.
This is the story of the Spirit of Crawford County Missouri. It’s a record of patriotic Crawford Countians who raised a large sum of money during war time to do their part in maintaining our freedom. It’s the saga of the young men who flew these fighters and in some cases sacrificed their lives.
I hope the story is not over. I hope that someone will unearth a yellowed newspaper clipping about raising the money to buy the plane in Crawford County so that it can be added to this record. It was a large amount of money at the time. I hope some of the pilots or people related to pilots of these planes will comment and tell us some of the human interest stories associated with this time. It is my hope that the story goes on and is remembered as “at what price freedom.”
Feel free to utilize the comments sections to add information or anecdotes. The comments section is a rich resource for our history.
You can read about Invasion Stripes here
For another Cuba, Missouri related WWII story read, A New Chapter in the Gold Star Boys Mural: The rest of the story.
This blighted Route 66 spot in Cuba is due for a transformation.
Viva Cuba, a non-profit community betterment organization, plans to tackle this small pocket of blight in a new pocket project. Pocket projects are small transformations that improve a previously blighted or spoiled view. The projects may take a couple of hundred dollars or several thousand dollars as the Viva Cuba Garden at the intersection of Route 66 and Hwy. 19 has.
Workman Construction will remove the deteriorating boards and replace them with all-weather material that will be primed and ready for the artist’s treatment. Local artist Shelly Smith Steiger, one of Cuba’s muralists, is preparing a sketch of her proposed painting, which is a little whimsical in nature. And that’s all that we are going to reveal for now. Watch in the weeks ahead for Viva Cuba’s contribution to making our town a little more attractive.
Does your organization or business have any plans for a transformation of your own? Let us know because we like to share good news.
More Pocket Projects:
Traffic Control Boxes
Viva Cuba Garden
Annual Spring Plantings
Ready to spring clean!
Cans at Recklein Commons by the Museum and Veterans Memorial are an eyesore.
They trashed your town..
Yes, it’s true. While you weren’t looking, they trashed your town.
They threw their beer cans on the lawn of your museum.
They threw their drink bottle in front of the Recklein Memorial Library, where it is now surrounded by debris. I don’t think this is what William Recklein had in mind when he built the library as a memorial to his wife.
Plastic bottles are everywhere, including in front of the Recklein Memorial Library.
They emptied their cars at the car wash, and the result wasn’t pretty. We don’t like how some people “clean out their cars.”
Even though there are trash containers at the car wash, many just toss trash on the parking lot where it blows around until it finds a resting place.
Snacks were discarded in the historic district.
Trash zombies finish their snacks and discard them on the streets of the historic district where new sidewalks were installed to improve the area.
They re-landscaped the flower boxes with a beer bottle. Maybe they thought they would grow full beers by spring.
Beer bottles in the flower boxes aren’t needed, even in the winter. When they break, they make planting flowers a tricky task.
Fast food wrappers, lottery tickets, plastic grocery bags, candy wrappers…
This time of year trash is very visible when the green is off the plantings.
Who are the trash zombies who come while we aren’t looking and leave their droppings behind?
Who will clean up after them? Didn’t they get the memo?
Viva Cuba Adopt-A-Street Program is available if you, your organization, or business would like to keep our town a cleaner place to grow a business or raise a family. Watch for details of our annual Trash Bash in May.
Follow the rest of the story of the Gold Star Boys mural.
The Gold Star Boys mural was painted right after 9/11/2001. It pictures the faces of six young men from the Cuba Area who fought in WWII and did not return to their families. The families received the Gold Star Medal that was given to families who lost a relative to war. The mural was well received and makes quite a presence on Filmore Street on Route 66 in Cuba.
What we thought…
But then we found out that there was more to the story. In the red part of the mural the names of the six young men are inscribed along with the location where they died during the war. Ralph Fishwick lost his life in the line of duty on a return convoy off the coast of Africa on December 2, 1942. We thought. Read on for the rest of the story.
What was revealed…
Ralph Fishwick was born in Cuba in 1912 and on his father’s side of the family was a member of one of the early families of Cuba that was involved in mercantile and banking. On his mother’s side of the family, he was related to the Bishs. In 1930, after he graduated from Cuba High School, he wanted to join the Navy. He was told that his eyes were bad and turned down. He was told to do eye exercises if he wanted to try again. After faithfully doing the exercises, he was accepted and began his first tour of duty. Shortly after that, his eyes worsened, and he started wearing glasses.
Ralph Fishwick did not die off the coast of Africa as originally reported to his family.
In the Navy he received training to become an electrician. After his tour of duty, he returned to Cuba. When World War II broke out, Fishwick reenlisted. When his convoy went down off the coast of Africa, his family was notified that he lost his life on December 2,1942. When Viva Cuba researched the mural and found an early VFW publication, this story along with a photo was used in the designing of the mural. But that was not the end of the story.
About 20 years ago, Mr. Fishwick’s niece Carol contacted the Defense Department after discovering that certain papers about his death had been declassified. What his niece found out, was quite different from what the family had been led to believe.
Mr. Fishwick had died when his small boat was hit by a mine or perhaps even hit by a German submarine off the East coast of the United States. As a matter of national security, the United States government didn’t want anyone to know that an enemy submarine could be that close to an American coast. So the story was changed when the families were notified.
Ralph Fishwick’s body along with 14 others was discovered on May 8, 1943. At that time, the real location was given. The cold waters of the Atlantic had kept their bodies perfectly preserved. He was brought back and buried in Kinder Cemetery alongside many members of the Fishwick and Bish families.
The article below was in the 1943 Cuba Review:
The Cuba Review reported that the body of Ralph Fishwick was returned to his family.
The Cuba Review also reported the full military funeral given to Mr. Fishwick.
Ralph Fishwick was given a military funeral in 1943.
Because Mr. Fishwick died while he was in the service, he is known as a Gold Star Boy. A Gold Star pin was given to his mother, showing that she had lost a son. It was worn with pride but also with a sense of loss and sadness. When the mural featuring Fishwick was painted, his brother Bob felt pride that his brother was included in the remembrance.
So the next time, that you are in the area of the mural on Filmore St., stop and pay tribute to all Cuba’s brave young men who are pictured in the mural. You will also find their names with a star by them etched on the Veterans Memorial on N. Smith Street in the Recklein Commons area.
And that’s the rest of the story.
For more info on the Gold Star Boys mural:
The Gold Star mural is just off Route 66 in Cuba, MO.
Ralph Fishwick spent two tours of service in defense of his country.
Ralph Fishwick’s gravestone rests is in the Kinder Cemetery on the west end of Cuba, Missouri
A version of this story was printed in a Cuba Free Press article.
Cuba, Missouri is ready for a “cool” Christmas season: the tree, the Christmas print, the History Museum, the parade, the lighting contest, the rocker, and more…
Cuba, MO “Route 66 Mural City” has the “coolest” Christmas tree on Route 66. This blog entry from last year shows the tree during its first year that Chris Palmer created it. This year Chris has designed the condenser to look like a gift box under the tree, and he has refined his lighting system. It is located on Route 66/W. Washington. Take your camera for a family picture in front of the “coolest tree on Route 66.” Let’s see how many of those we can get on Facebook showing the location of the “coolest” tree on Route 66.
Some of our Cuba neighbors are innovative. Chris Palmer figured out how to use an air conditioner and coils to make this unique Christmas tree that he lit and displayed in the historic area for the first time in 2011. What will Chris dream up for 2012?
The History Museum at Christmas
Cuba’s History Museum’s special holiday artifacts and displays offer a festive glance at our history.
Check the History Museum’s website for updates and new info.
The Parade & Santa
If you need a little small town Christmas parade footage to go with the tree coverage, the Cuba Chamber of Commerce will have its Christmas Parade on December 8 starting at 6 pm. The parade begins at the historic landmark Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66 and continues down Route 66 to Smith Street where it loops around to the Lions Den on Buchanan Street where Santa will be greeting the kids. This will be another photo opportunity. While at the Wagon Wheel Motel grounds, check out the vintage Nativity Scene that has been used at the historic motel since the 1960s.
The vintage Nativity Scene at the historic Wagon Wheel Motel has been used since the 1960s.
Cuba’s First Christmas Painting & Print
This is also the first year that Cuba has had its own nostalgic Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri painting and prints. The Hwy 19 Peoples Bank will display the original painting during the Christmas season. Prints can be purchased at the bank or at Spirals Art Gallery on Route 66/East Washington, next to the East Office Bar & Grill. To see the genesis and evolution of the print, read this blog entry.
Stop off at the Highway Peoples Bank to see the original Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri painting. Drop off some canned goods for the Cuba Food Pantry.
Santa poses with the Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri print. Look for his key to the ’57 Sleigh.
The World’s Largest Rocking Chair at Christmas
You might want to drive 4-miles to the Guinness World’s Greatest Rocking Chair at Fanning to get a photo with the festive red & green seasonal lighting.
The Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair on Route 66 lights up the night in seasonal colors.
The Lighting Contest
The Cuba Chamber of Commerce Lighting Contest is also in progress, so you might see some great light displays in some of our neighborhoods or at some local businesses.
The Christmas lights are lit in the Viva Cuba Garden on Route 66.
Many churches and organizations in Cuba are also having special services and programs during the Christmas Season. Below are some events of the Cuba Ministerial Alliance that we borrowed from a Cuba Methodist Church listing. People who receive a food basket need to sign up with the Ministerial Alliance ahead of time and attend the service on Dec. 12. Please feel free to post other church activities that are occurring in Cuba. Christmas is truly a season of giving, and we urge everyone to look to those in need, whether it is a gift tree for the children or our furry friends at the Cuba Animal Control facility. Or perhaps you know of a special family or situation that could use a little help this Christmas. Cuba is a giving town, and it goes into overdrive at Christmas.
We borrowed the Cuba Ministerial Alliance Schedule from the Methodists, but many area churches participate in these events. Feel free to list your Christmas programs and services in the comments section of this post. People who receive a food basket from the Alliance need to sign up for one ahead of time and attend the Dec. 12 service.
We would be glad to have you enjoy Cuba during the Christmas season and view our new Christmas print, have a meal at a local restaurant, take a night drive by the murals, see our unique tree and rocker, and attend some of our Christmas events. You are welcome in the Mural City the year round.
Hayes Shoe Store always prepares a Christmas display.
Enjoy a drive through Cuba on Route 66 to see the murals at night and the Christmas lights.
Check the Cuba Free Press and the Cuba, Missouri Chamber of Commerce website for updated info area Christmas events.
For most, seeing the Eiffel Tower would be a thrill. But soldier George Smith had other thoughts on his mind.
Some thoughts on Veterans Day…
When Judy Workman bought an antique dresser for Wallace House at an auction, she didn’t know the small slice of Cuba history that she would find inside–old photos, a WW II postcard, and other artifacts of a family. One photo and the front and back of a postcard gives us pause on this Veterans Day to think about the young soldiers who put their lives on hold to defend our country. They leave their loved ones at home, sometimes to venture to far lands. How do they feel? What do they think about?
A young George Smith joined many during WWII to serve their country.
George Smith was a soldier who left his wife behind. He traveled to France to serve during WW II. This post card of the Eiffel Tower and the sentiments he wrote to his wife Mrs. George Smith in 1944 show his feeling for the famous landmark and his feelings toward Cuba.
George Smith displayed his humor and his longing for his home of Cuba, Missouri in this postcard.
“Dearest, I’d prefer seeing the Cuba Water Tower. Am not having a wonderful time. Glad you’re not here. Ha. All my love George.
Our Cuba train tracks took many off to World War II and other wars and conflicts. Although some would travel thousands of miles, their hearts were often still in Cuba. Let us use this Veterans Day on Sunday, November 11, 2012 to remember their service and their love for our country.
For soldier George Smith the memories of the Cuba, Missouri water tower took the place of his opportunity to see the Eiffel Tower.
Wilbur Vaughn and his wife Imogene would often visit with artist Ray Harvey during the painting of the Bette Davis mural.
Wilbur Vaughn was a young man when Bette Davis visited Cuba,Missouri in 1948. But on that fateful day the mega-star’s destiny would become entwined with Vaughn’s. He would tell the story of what happened that day many times, often with great humor. Artist Ray Harvey would paint a mural on the Cuba Free Press building that commemorated the events of that day. Journalists videoed Vaughn telling his story, and he would often show off the camera that he used to take the photo. Articles recounted his encounter with Bette Davis. Although Mr. Vaughn’s telling of the story draws to a close with his passing, his part in our town’s history remains for all to see.
Viva Cuba would like to offer its condolences to Mr. Vaughn’s family and friends. We valued both Mr. Vaughn’s friendship and gracious support of the mural project. May he rest in peace.
The photo collage shows a young Wilbur Vaughn, his photo of Bette Davis, the camera that he used, and the Southern Hotel as it was during the visit by Bette Davis.
The facsimiles of the articles about Bette Davis’s visit tell the story.
Wilbur J. Vaughn
(July 15, 1929 – October 29, 2012)
Wilbur Jewell Vaughn was born on Monday, July 15, 1929 in Cuba, MO to Henry B. Vaughn and Myrtle Roberts Vaughn. He passed away in St. Louis, MO on Monday, October 29, 2012 at the age of 83 years.Wilbur served honorably in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict as a corporal. He was a military policeman and worked in the Criminal Investigation Division. He married Imogene Dugan on December 31, 1949 in Steelville, MO and to this union 4 children were born. Wilbur had several career opportunities during his adult life. He managed movie theatres in several states for 18 years. He was a construction worker for the Peabody Mines. At one time, he worked for the MO Conservation in Willow Springs, MO as a watchman in the fire tower. He also, was known for his photography and famous for the mural on the Cuba Free Press building featuring the picture he took of the actress Betty Davis. He was a member of the Cuba First Baptist Church. Wilbur will be truly missed by his family and many friends that loved him dearly.
He was preceded by his parents; son Bryan Vaughn; brothers Everette, Earl, Floyd, Noel, Lloyd and Elmer Vaughn and sister Mae Vaughn.
He is survived by his wife Imogene Dugan Vaughn of Cuba, MO; children Julie Ann (David) Darmon of Ballwin, MO, Roger (Margarete) Vaughn of Owensville, MO and Charlene (Conrad) Percival of Rosebud, MO; brother Charles (Helen) Vaughn of Cuba, MO; sisters-in-law Carol (Stanley) Berry of Springfield, MO and Eileen Vaughn of California, MO; grandchildren David (Andrea) Darmon, Jr. of Wildwood, MO, Ginger (Kasey) O’Hara of Fenton, MO, Joe Darmon of Ballwin, MO, and Tina (Patrick) Heidbrink of Owensville, MO; great grandsons Braden Michael Darmon and Reed Patrick Darmon of Wildwood, MO; nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Visitation is Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 5-8:00PM and Funeral Service at 11:00AM at Hutson Funeral Home, Cuba, MO with Rev. Bob Knight officiating. Burial at Roberts Cemetery, Salem, MO.
Memorials may be given to Roberts Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Hutson Funeral Home, Cuba, MO.
For more on the Bette Davis story and Wilbur Vaughn’s part in it read “Bette Davis visits Cuba, Missouri” and “Original Bette Davis articles served as mural inspiration.”
Wilbur Vaughn speaking at a Route 66 Association of Missouri luncheon meeting in Cuba, Missouri.
A Route 66 Missouri gift idea waiting for you…
Viva Cuba, the beautification group that commissioned Cuba’s murals, had long been wanting a piece of artwork with a Christmas scene. It didn’t seem right for a full-time mural. They discussed alternatives with Missouri artist Ray Harvey who was known for such scenes. Harvey had previously painted the Bette Davis and Phillips 66 murals for Viva Cuba. After about three years of discussion and several months of preparation, the print titled Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri was introduced at Cuba Fest 2012, and it enjoyed brisk sales. Artist Harvey was at Cuba Fest to sign prints and talk to people as he also put on a carving demonstration of some whimsical pumpkins. This particular artwork is a $20 print that is available to all Cubans, past and present. It will fit in a stock 18 X 24 frame, so it doesn’t require custom framing. Viva Cuba is happy to offer this print that is accessible to all Cubans on a more personal level than a mural would be.
1. Harvey met with Viva Cuba several times about how much could be included (not nearly as much as they wanted.
Harvey spent several sessions working out the details with Viva Cuba members.
2. Local pilot Don McGinnis flew Harvey over Cuba for a “birds eye view.”
A bird’s eye view of Cuba showing W. Washington/Route 66.
3. Harvey photographed landmarks from the ground.
Harvey photographing the vintage Route 66 station in Cuba, MO. The station has been at the corner since the 1930s.
4. Harvey painted and tweaked details for Viva Cuba members. The painting was delivered.
The original painting was delivered. It will be on display in People’s Bank prior to Christmas. Note how Harvey could provide the mini-murals in the print. The Frisco train 1522 chugs by in the background. The water tower with its crown of lights from the 60s glow in their detail.
5. The digital image was made from the painting to create the prints. They can be purchased for $20 at the Hwy. 19 Peoples Bank or Spirals Gallery. At this time, a limited number of signed copies are available. Or you can go online to order the print for a small $7.00 shipping fee for domestic orders. The prints are shipped in a cardboard shipping tube.
The print will be fit in a stock 18 X 24 frame or you can have it customed framed to fit your decor and tastes.
6. The print was introduced at Cuba Fest 2012 to brisk sales. Artist Ray Harvey was available to sign prints and meet with those interested in the print. Could that be…
Santa dropped by to discuss the print with the artist. He had a rare weekend off before gearing up for the Christmas season. Santa approved and bought some prints for the elves and reindeer. Even they like to get Christmas gifts.
With its Christmas over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri print, Cuba continues its reputation as a small town with big ideas.
For more details and information read the Cuba Free Press article about Cuba’s newest example of public art. For more information on the artist, visit www.rayharveyart.com.
Trolley styles have varied over the years, but the tours are always entertaining and informative.
“Clang, clang, clang” went the trolley
“Ding, ding, ding” went the bell
“Zing, zing, zing” went my heartstrings
It was time for a Cuba Fest tour, I could tell
“Chug, chug, chug” went the motor
“Bump, bump, bump” went the brake
“Thump, thump, thump” went my heartstrings
I smiled for I knew it was the tour I would take
Our apologies to “The Trolley Song,” but you get the idea. It’s trolley time at Cuba Fest 2012 on October 20-21. We never know exactly what trolley will roll down School Street to stop in front of the Catholic Church where the trolley loads and unloads, but our driver Esther is always on board and ready to speed us up if we get off schedule.
Esther has been our driver every year. She drives the trolleys from St. Louis in time for the tours. She stays overnight to drive on Sunday. By now, she knows as much about our history as we do.
The tours are free, but you need to get a ticket to hold your spot on the tour. There are three different colors of tickets circulating at once. To save time, be prompt with the trolley pulls up. Be careful when loading and unloading.
The trolley loads and unloads in front of the Catholic Church. Be sure to get your “free” trolley ticket to hold your spot and keep things moving smoothly.
Please, turn off your cell phones as narrators will be sharing information, and we want everyone to be able to hear.
Saturday from 11:00-3:30
Saturday October 20 is the day for narrated Mural Tours
You will travel the mural route to hear the story behind each mural. Why did Bette Davis’s male companion chase a young reporter down the street? Which businessman faked his disappearance?
Part of the trolley tour is down Cuba’s Historic Route 66.
Sunday is the day for the Cemetery Tours as they travel to Kinder Cemetery on the west edge of town, where citizens from Cuba’s past (in costume) greet and board the trolley to tell their story. The “Tales from the Past” Tour shares a little local history and provides entertainment as well. These tours are popular, and seating is limited so take the tour sooner rather than later.
On your way to Kinder Cemetery, a citizen from the past William Recklein will share his story, and you will find out why he gifted the town the Recklein Commons area. Other characters on the tour are Allyne Glassey Earls, the owner of Midway Motel and Restaurant for many years. Ray Maxfield, a WWII glider pilot also has a story to tell. Local history teacher Gary Durbin will be portraying this character. Sam and Mary Vitali ran the Fanning Store for years. Sam use to hang the mail out for passing trains. Sam’s character will be portrayed by Bruce Campbell, Sam’s grandson. John Bayless will play the role of his father Sam Bayless who was the Superintendent of Cuba School in the 30s & 40s. There is a story that involves a cow with this one. Be ready for these stories and a few surprises.
Our characters from the past come to tell you their story. A few still have “issues.”
Sometimes the characters are a married couple and that can provide an extra spark to the story.
However, if there is a real burial at the cemetery that day, we may revert to mural tours until the services are concluded.
We have a passion for our small town and look forward to seeing you. So when you hear the ding, ding, it’s “All aboard.”
Children must be accompanied by an adult. Because of the congestion (and the little girl who brought her meowing kitten on board one year), we ask that you not bring pets aboard the trolley.
The trolley heads back to Cuba Fest for another tour group.
This is the first year that Viva Cuba’s annual Chair-i-table Auction will be held in the fall at Cuba Fest rather the Saturday before Mother’s Day.
Viva Cuba’s annual Chair-i-table Auction, which features furniture by local artists and crafts people, has become an expected event. However, this year the event will not be the Saturday before Mother’s Day as it has been since the first auction. The auction has been moved to the first day of Cuba Fest on Saturday, October 20. Viva Cuba members have discussed this idea for a few years, but this seemed to be the year to make the transition and to see how the event is received at its new time and place.
Silent bidding for the custom designed furniture takes place from 9:00 am-2:00 pm on Smith Street in the Recklein Commons area as a Cuba Fest Event. At 2:00 pm, the bids will play out until someone walks away with the winning bid for his or her piece of furniture. While you are watching your bids, taste some of the chili from the Chili Cook-off to see who will be the new Chili Chef for 2012.
If you would like to take a look at some of this year’s offerings, they are displayed at the Hwy. 19 Peoples Bank. They are on display in the bank lobby. Let the bidding begin! Funds are used by Viva Cuba for mural maintenance and repair.
Here’s a preview of what you will see.
Mad About Plaid by Joyce Stewart
This antique chair with a wide seat would be a substantial addition to a den or living space. The modern plaid with the vintage chair is an unexpected update that makes this chair a winner.
Joyce Stewart’s skillful upholstery work makes this chair pop.
Shimmer by Merry Cloer
Merry Cloer of Spirals Gallery & Studio on Route 66 is known for her mosaic work. She has transformed this simple chair into a bright and sparkling addition to your–as the chair says–Love, Home, Family. Visit Spirals to see more of Merry’s work and that of other area artists.
Shining with love and family, this one-of-a-kind chair will brighten any corner.
Redbird Rookie by Marge Fleming
Marge Fleming’s little cardinal rockers have become a staple of the auction, and this one does not disappoint. The talking Fredbird might tell you what he thinks of the Cardinal’s chances for the series. Put your little rookie in this chair for a little Cardinal time.
With the Cardinals getting ready to rock the playoffs, your little tyke might enjoy this chair, which is accompanied by a talking Fredbird.
Aurora Borealis by Pat Cookson
Pat Cookson’s classic black chair is the perfect canvas for Pat’s outstanding textile skills. Like the night sky, the black chair surrounds the rich colors of Pat’s work. See more of her skills at the Two Pats Gallery blog. This award winning textile artist knows her way around a needle.If you love the needle arts, visit her gallery outside of Cuba, which is open to the public by appointment.
Some decorators say that a black piece of furniture or accessory gives a room a touch of elegance.
Show-Me the Dogwood by Julie Brand
This antique sled is such a treat with its aged wood that artist Julie Brand wanted a subtle decoration that would not overwhelm its integrity. With the much loved blooms and branches of the Dogwood, she has succeeded in showcasing Missouri’s state tree and creating a standout piece. Pile the sled with gifts at Christmas time or use it as a coffee table year round. It’s all good. Julie Brand and another local artist Shelly Steiger have painted the River, Millworks, and Amelia Earhart murals. Her primary passion is ceramic pottery, which can be viewed by appointment at her rural Cuba studio. Visit this blog for more information and for examples of pottery by this versatile artist.
This sled makes a winter accent piece and a year round addition to your house. I think it says “coffee table.”
Wild Acorn by Kathleen Fleming Mead
Kathleen Fleming Mead is a hometowner who has moved to the city but left a bit of her heart behind in Cuba. She has re-caned this oak chair and added some seasonal acorns. It’s a lasting reminder of the spreading oak and all that it creates.
A classic, caned-oak chair is a mainstay for many homes.
Two pieces of Americana: You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream and Ben Davis Apples by Marge Fleming
These matching striped ice cream chairs evoke a time when dates might have shared a sundae or soda down at the town’s drug store. Put them with a small table to create your own memories.
The “We all scream for ice cream” chairs are a classic design that evoke memories of times past.
The Ben Davis Apple chair is another piece of Americana. If you know a collector of all things apple, this is the chair for them. Ben Davis apples were classic, dependable producers and an appropriate theme for a community where “Apple was King” at one time.
Nothing says Americana like an apple does.
Artist Ray Harvey- UPDATE
There is one piece that is still missing. Mural artist Ray Harvey has a sandblasted vintage glider that he is still creating. We do not know what theme or subject he has decided to use for his glider, but from past pieces by Harvey, we are sure that it will be worth the wait. Harvey will be at Cuba Fest from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm to sign copies of Viva Cuba’s new print “Christmas Over Route 66: Cuba, Missouri,” which will be introduced at Cuba Fest. Harvey also painted the Bette Davis mural and the Phillips 66 station murals in Cuba. To see more of his work go here and visit www.rayharveyart.com. Due to a knee injury, Harvey will not complete the glider for Cuba Fest. However, he will still be there to sign Christmas prints. The glider will be advertised and offered for auction at a later time.
Drop by the Peoples Hwy 19 Bank to see these pieces. Place a bid and add to the buzz. Visit Cuba Fest for the many activities of this outstanding community event. It’s all a win-win. Visit Route 66 Cuba Fest 2012 on Facebook.