] Around Columbia: September 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Goodwill Store

I have always been a fan of Goodwill stores.  They represent a sort of permanent ongoing yard sale.  My grandfather used to buy his dress shirts at Goodwill stores.  They were white dress shirts that were already cleaned and starched that had been abandoned at some dry cleaning establishment that donated them.

After years of suffering in a leaky undersized building the local Goodwill store was moved to a new location.  The new building is spacious, the store was full of merchandise, and customers - the parking lot has been packed every time I have gone to the new location on Grindstone Parkway which is located about one mile East of the old location on Nifong.  

These pictures are from the new store location:

Here are some pictures from the old location:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flat Branch Park

This story is dedicated to James T. Scott.  I will explain his story at the end of this one.

Flat Branch Park is Columbia's best kept secret and the most underutilized park in the city.  It is fabulous. Located in the heart of downtown in "The District" it has much potential and shows what can happen when a community starts to uncover streams and use them as a resource, such as a green space, and develop the area properly.

 The Flat Branch park has much potential - especially for future establishments which are built purposefully to adjoin it.  We could have our own mini River Walk. It  has lots of parking, a small water park for kids, and free wifi.

I started in the middle and walked north.

Kind of a nice mix between the urban industrial and the pastoral.

This is the spray park although it is off for now as we leave the summer season.

The MKT trail branches off into the park.

It gets a little seedy here at the north end where I turned around.  Lots of graffiti and a homeless hangout.  You can see here where Flat Branch Creek disappears under Broadway

I walked back from around this point heading south ending up to the connection under Providence Road to the MKT trail.

Heavy rain Saturday caused the small creek to rise over the trails on the underpasses.  

From this point I am going back through where I started now heading toward the Mizzou campus.

Going in.

Going out.

At this point the trail parallels Providence road on the right and the Mizzou campus on the left.

That is providence road directly above my head here.

Starting to turn around and head north back to the main park area.

Old railroad that must have been part of a bridge or some other structure.

Back at the parking lot where I started.

This is a beautiful area.  Like all urban areas I would stay away from the seedy parts or visit them only when accompanied by others during the day.  Otherwise stay in the areas, which is most of the park, that is visible and usually crowded.  This facility is close to the Mizzou campus and the downtown area including lots of great places to eat or visit with friends, with great shopping just a little bit further away.  Our local mosque is right there too.  Columbia needs, and is developing, more space like this.  It is a wonderful thing.

In Memoriam

I promised I would explain at the end of this story the story of James T. Scott. 

Years ago my Grandfather Mordica (Americanized version of Mordecai) used to tell me the story of this lynching but I was never 100% sure that it was true.  I certainly did not want it to be true.  But, when I was writing this I decided to do a search and see what I could find out and I found a story written just days ago that was published in the Missourian.   

Mr. Scott, born 1887 was an African American man who was lynched in this area in 1923 by a mob of about 1000 people who broke him out of the county jail and hung him on the railroad bridge at Stewart road.  He was 36 years of age. The railroad used to run parallel to Providence road and there was this underpass to the railroad that you drove down and under.  That is where the lynching occurred.  Mr. Scott is buried in the Columbia Cemetery within yards of George Barkwell who is the man who was tried and acquitted of the lynching.  Death makes bedfellows of us all.

Grandpa I believed you but I just  hoped the story you told me somehow wasn't really true.

I think we owe Mr. Scott a nicer headstone and I am going to see what I can do about that.

For more information:

An outstanding story by the Columbia Business Times written when the development of the area was just starting to gather momentum:  http://www.columbiabusinesstimes.com/723/2007/11/03/flat-branch-creek-of-dreams/

More history of the Flat Branch area from a doctoral thesis:  http://www.columbiaheartbeat.com/2008/10/bottomlands-geography-of-inequality-in.html

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tom Sawyer Paddle Boat at the Bagnell Dam

With summer drawing to a close on Labor Day weekend we took one last outing driving down to Bagnell Dam for the lake dinner cruise on the Tom Sawyer.  We surprised my parents just telling them to bring a jacket and did not tell them what we were going to do until we arrived in the lake region.  

Down on the dock looking up at the ticket booth.

Taken from the dock, looking down, before boarding.  These carp are over two feet long.  There is a vending machine where you can buy feed for them and the fish come up first then the ducks appear out of nowhere.  After you throw the feed in the ducks compete with the fish and the bolder ones actually end up walking on the backs of the fish.

The Tom Sawyer coming back from a cruise.

Waiting to board.

On board the Tom Sawyer waiting to leave the dock.

Pulling away from the dock to start our cruise.


My parents.

Heading back.

Pulling back into the dock.

Back on dry land looking back at the Tom Sawyer.

It was a great time.  While on the ninety minute cruise we enjoyed the buffet, the scenery, and each others company.

Taking HWY 63 out of Columbia to Jefferson City, and then taking HWY 54 to the Lake of the Ozarks area is a nice day trip.  Do not try to cram too much into the day and do something besides shopping at the mall.  This cruise is a nice option.