659. Neosho, Newton County (MO013)

This most certainly made up for the debacle of Pineville. I also couldn’t help but snicker a bit. It never fails to amaze me how many of these small towns remind me of ones back in Texas because of the square layout that I’ve been seeing all over the place as long as I can remember working in the Great Project. Since way, way back in San Augustine when I learned of the American Plan for town layout, I’ve found scant reference to it outside of hundred year old books on urban planning. It’s possible that it might instead be the Midwest Plan, but even that doesn’t come back with much that’s relevant. Indeed, depending on which search engine you use, San Augustine is sometimes the top result if you search for “American Plan town layout”. That said, Future Arborists of America, attend! While these trees aren’t that bad at the moment, that’s only because it’s cold and they lost a lot of leaves. I’m sure in the spring and summer months you can’t even see the front of this old lady. Luckily, the sun had risen, giving me good lighting. Not that I really have a problem with night photography these days, but imaging software and algorithms still don’t beat the good old Mk.1 Sun.

When I hit the county, I noticed that there was a virtual out in the middle of nowhere on its own and took a look.  Once I did, I couldn’t not get it.  Welcome to the George Washington Carver National Monument.  Since 1953 it has preserved the birthplace of the preeminent Black scientist of the 20th Century.  Normally, I don’t want to take a ton of time when I’m on the road, but this was an exception I was happy to make.  Answering the questions for the virtual required a good walk around the grounds and some from inside the museum, but it wasn’t open yet.  Luckily, the CO made some provisions for closure thanks to Covid.   Besides, I had spent 30 of the last 36 hours driving so a brisk morning walk did me some good.  Besides, it was the least I could do.  When I was a child, I spent a lot of time at the George Washington Carver Library in Austin.  It was a few blocks from home and my grandparents knew the long time head librarian.  I spent a lot of time sitting at the tables, reading books, bringing home tomes that I would return and replace a few days later.  I think, in a way, if it was not for him, I wouldn’t be doing any of this.  This pilgrimage was unexpected, but it was one I was happy to make. 

My work here done, I set off again, little realizing (though hardly surprised) that I would soon find myself in a cemetery outside of…

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