My airbnb host was outside watering his garden when I pulled up to his Civil War era abode. He waved to me from the street guiding me into his slightly steep driveway. "A" showed me his recent accomplishment; his chicken coop. Discovering his first egg, a childlike giddiness came over him.
Later, he directed me into the house and up the stairs to my room.
Immediately, I liked the vibe of this area. It had a palpable spirit to it. Not just because I am partial to Missouri, but because you could sense life happening in this Mississippi River town.
Perhaps life is not the right word.
More like youth.
Having a college and/or university is important to maintaining a vibrancy in one's community.
Young people revitalize towns.
Find me dilapidated, forgotten cities with flourishing, young populations.
They do not exist.
I settled into my room, and "A" asked if I was interested in a tour of the town later in the evening.
Absolutely! I thought.
While he returned back to his gardening and self-employment duties, I headed down Broadway to take pictures.
Construction was happening along this bustling thoroughfare.
Old buildings were being renovated to house urban hipsters, college students, and young entrepreneurs.
A few buildings were untouched.
The art deco Esquire Theater (built in 1947) patiently sits -- waiting for someone to restore it to its former glory.
Someone will come along and awaken this building from its deep slumber.
Last movie played here?
Prince's Purple Rain.
It should be what is played during its reopening -- whenever that may be.
Next, I walked several blocks east to the Great River to admire its mystery and intrigue even in the extreme heat.
A few couples could be seen here and there walking along the man-made levee.
The humidity rose.
I knew I would be seeking an air-conditioned refuge soon.
Along the other side of the levee, you could see painted images of famous Missourians.
Mark Twain, Langston Hughes, Walter Cronkite, Kate Chopin, T.S. Eliot... and ,more.
Needing a refreshing glass of water, I walked into a place called The Bar. I did not realize the movie Gone Girl was partially filmed in this location.
Unexpected surprise shared by the bartender.
I order half price appetizers, a $2 draft, water and soaked in the cool air.
On my way out, I touched the door handle twice and wondered how many times Ben Affleck had his hands on it?
I returned to my airbnb spot, showered, and napped.
Heat can exhaust the body.
I awoke around 7ish.
"A" took me to a BBQ place called Port Cape -- a towny staple.
The Missouri portions were huge. (It took me two days to eat that pork shoulder plate.)
There, I met Cat Daddy, Chad, and Kellison. Kellison encouraged me to explore the other side of the bridge.
Pretty landscapes and swirling roads.
Her husband, Cat Daddy (a Harley driver), agreed.
My plans for tomorrow were already taking shape.
I drank a few beers with this eclectic group of friends where sarcasm, curse words, and humor ran high.
Sayings like... you know why they make the portions so big here?
So you can't leave.
I learned how Cat Daddy and Kellison met.
Apparently, she rear-ended him.
And... the rest... is history.
We stayed out until around 11 p.m.
Content and full; I drifted into a deep sleep.
Until we meet again, my friend.