A trip to the Capitol. Capital!

Three adults took five Girl Scout Cadettes to Jefferson City, Missouri’s state capital today. We hopped on the Amtrak at 9:40 this morning and returned at about 9:20 tonight. We visited the Missouri capitol building, the Lohman Warehouse and General Store, the Missouri State Penitentiary Museum, the News Tribune newsroom and editor’s office, a small café, a pizza joint, and YoYum.

Here is what I learned today:

  1. Grumpy Henry, the capitol building volunteer guide, has opinions and he’s entitled to them. Not that any of us challenged him. No, we were too busy challenging ourselves to stay awake. Oh, Henry. History can be so much more interesting than what you make it. Also, your “back stories” are terrible. Back stories are supposed to be sneak peeks behind the scenes, interesting twists on commonly known historical events. Not random asides about people we’ve never heard of who really had no impact on the timeline of our state government. That’s just my opinion and I’m entitled to it.
  2. Missouri became a state in 1821. To be fair, I may have learned that in grade school, but grade school was a long time ago so I re-learned it today.
  3. The legislative lounge smells like an old-folks home, although the mural is kick-ass.
  4. It’s so cool to run into a former student advisee at the Student and Government session in the capitol building. We waved to each other (I from the gallery, he from the floor) and then we happened to meet in the lobby as we were getting ready to leave and they took a break so we got to chat for a moment.
  5. The woman who gave us a tour of the Lohman Building is the sweetest thing in the world. She was so engaging with the girls, and showed us a variety of tools that make me thankful I live today because I’m pretty sure I’d catch myself and my house on fire if I had to use a toaster from the 1800s.
  6. Former inmates often come back to tour the Missouri State Penitentiary. I would have thought that they’d want to stay the hell away from a place like that, but the museum lady (who is awesome and who I think would make a kick-ass warden) said that they return more often than you’d think. Fascinating.
  7. There were two chairs in the gas chamber. Efficient. Zoe said, “Well, at least people didn’t have to die alone.”
  8. Gary Castor, managing editor of the News Tribune in Jefferson City, is the shit. He is amazing. He took time out of his busy day to talk to five Cadettes about what it’s like to produce a daily newspaper. He was thorough and answered our questions, and introduced us to one of his designers who was in the process of laying out tomorrow’s paper. So. Cool.
  9. The Venus pizza with gyro meat at Arris’ Pizza is to die for.
  10. Central Dairy closes at freaking 6 p.m. on Friday nights. WTF. I didn’t want your stupid delicious ice cream anyway.

#blog#observations#personal essay#train#travel#writing#zoe

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