] Around Columbia: 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Greenbriar Extension to the Columbia Trail Network

The trail system here in Columbia, for walking and bicycling,  is incredible and getting better.

The Katy Trail runs a little over 264 miles across Missouri from Clinton in the west to Machens Missouri in the East.  Columbia's own MKT trail connects to the Katy trail, and the MU Recreation Trail connects to that.  Various neighbourhood extensions, official and otherwise, are either a reality or in the planning stages.  The latest is the Greenbrier Extension which will connect the south west section section of Columbia to the MU Recreation trail.  More specifically, it will connect to the Hinkson Creek Trail section of the MU Recreation Trail.  Sounds confusing?  It is.  The trail system is complex until you get to know it which I am in the process of doing.  For me personally it is a great news since that the trailhead will now be extended to exactly 1.2 miles from my house. I have already measured it.

The pictures are basically in chronological order walking in from Epple Field onto the Hinkson Creek Trail.

Below you can see the entry of the new trail extension to the left of the already existing trail.  Just beyond the gravel pile.

The last hundred yards includes a pretty steep switchback.  This is where construction was underway when I visited.  

The rest of the pictures are walking out.

Back on the Hinkson Creek Trail heading pack toward Epple Field where I parked. 
I stumbled on the Greenbriar extension just a day or so after construction had started.  It was a mere trail maybe not even fifty yards, cleared in the woods.  The following pictures show what it looks like now.  After taking these pictures I drove to the end of Greenbriar and was able to find the entrance so essentially the trail has been cut, and is now in the final stages. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Jack's Gourmet Restaurant Turns 40

As part of a family celebration we revived an old family tradition of going to Jack's Gourmet Restaurant which has been part of the local landscape now for forty years.  The service and the food were excellent, and in my opinion among the top three here in Columbia. Our meal was three hours long as we enjoyed each others company, the food, and the ambiance.  The way it should be.  One of the dishes we were served was salmon, and I do not think that it could have been prepared any better.  Our waiter has been working there for 20 years, and his expertise was very apparent.  Jack's is not just about fancy dining, but also a lounge with a generous happy hour with good food, and drink, specials.

We arrived around six p.m.


Around Columbia, I think Jack's is one of those places you do not want to miss for great food and atmosphere.

There is an extensive menu with lots of price options.  Take your time going over it, and ask questions.  You can get a three course meal which has an average price of about twenty dollars.  It comes with soup and salad.  I suggest the french onion.

Our Baked Alaska - complimentary if there is a birthday person in the party.

Jack's signature mint (I always take a few extra)!

It was a bit after 9 p.m. when we left.

Located on the north east side of town.  Here is a map:

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Sam Walton Used to Live Somewhere Around Here - I Think

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, graduated from Hickman High School here in Columbia, and then went on to take his bachelors degree in business at the University of Missouri before starting his retail career in Oklahoma. That is if you do not count some clerking he did at a local five and dime here. It would be stretching it a bit to call Columbia his official hometown since throughout his life he moved around the Midwest a lot, and he was not born here in Columbia.  However, becoming the richest man in the world, and founding a retailing giant that become a social institution, counts for something so Columbia should at least make the attempt to lay some claim. I started thinking about this after doing some reading.

Sam Walton's autobiography, Made In America, is everywhere. If you go to many yard sales you are likely to eventually run across a copy, or you could check out the book section of any thrift store.  You can even get a copy at the library.  More on that later. I think there is something like one copy of the book  for every single person living in America. Despite the availability I avoided reading it for years, and when I finally got around to it was pleasantly surprised to find it was actually worthwhile reading.  I recommend it. At the same time I read the biography Sam Walton:  The Inside Story of America's Richest Man by Vance H. Trimble. I did not like it as much.   I am proud to say I purchased neither book, but checked them out at the same time from our very own Daniel Boone Regional Library. It turns out both books were written around the same time -  when Mr. Walton was dying.  The biography by Trimble is bland, and certainly treats the subject of the book gently, but it does contain a lot more detail than the autobiography.  One of those details is that Sam Walton lived on Rosemary Lane during his stay here.   1309 Rosemary Lane to be precise according to the unauthorized biography by Trimble.

I know Rosemary Lane.  It is a short street that runs east to west, and is about one long city block long.   Many years ago it started out as a middle class, single family dwelling, residential neighborhood.  Because of the close proximity to the Mizzou campus, which is literally right across the street, Rosemary Lane is now mostly campus student housing. That seemed to have started even in Sam Walton's time when his family rented out three of the four upstairs bedrooms to students (Trimble).  At this point I doubt if there are any property owners who actually live on the street themselves.  Instead the houses appear to  have all been divided up, and the rooms rented out to students or their fellow travelers. I thought it would be interesting to drive by and take pictures of the former Walton residence, and write this story about it. Problem is, the house appears to be gone.  It seems to have been replaced by the Sigma Chi parking lot.  Fraternities have expanded their foot print in the neighborhood and one of the casualties was 1309 Rosemary. So, I photographed the neighborhood, and where the house used to be.

This view is facing  west.  College avenue is about fifty yards away, running  north and south, and you can see the University of Missouri campus right across  the street past College Avenue.  1309 Rosemary would have been to the right, where the fraternity parking lot is located although that is not visible in this photograph.

Below is the parking lot, referred to above,  which stands about where 1309 Rosemary Lane would have been located.  This is at the very west end of Rosemary Lane less than  thirty foot from College Avenue.

This is a house that would have been one or two houses down from 1309.

Moving a little further down facing the North side of Rosemary.  The view now includes another house as well as the one pictured above. These two houses give you an idea of the architectural style on the street which I actually find very nice.  I love the porches.

This is a view facing east.  Parking is allowed only on the south side of the road.

I am disappointed that I could not provide you with a photograph of the actual home where Sam Walton lived during his stay here in Columbia.  I do feel though, that you can get a sense of what it was like.  The homes were multi-storied and spacious with rather small yards, and the University of Missouri campus was literally right across the street.  In the 1930s, when the Walton family resided there, it must have been a very pleasant neighborhood. It still has a lot of character. 

I hope that neighborhoods like this in Columbia can be preserved, and do not succumb to blight or the encroachment of new development such as that which has already occurred around the edge of Campus near College Avenue.

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