Winter 2013

The nights are growing colder, and it will soon be winter. Like a beautiful woman, Missouri will soon change from her fall colors of reds and golds to a winter dress of pure white snow. In any of her seasonal outfits, we love our beautiful Missouri.

Cozy winter evenings provide an opportunity to travel via our computers as we enjoy the beauties of a Missouri winter. To aid you in that travel, I’ve researched a few Missouri websites for you. As usual, you can type in the URLs yourself or just go to and access the Cyber-Travels button to follow the links in the article.

I will be spending a good part of the winter at my home in Glasgow ( Visit my personal page at to learn even more about my town, including a slide show of our historic homes. We are the home of the oldest continuously operating single family owned drugstore in the United States and the oldest public library west of the Mississippi.

When we travel on the highways during the winter, we must always be aware of road conditions, and the Missouri Department of Transportation ( makes checking roads convenient by providing current road conditions and closures. The site also has a link to the Missouri Highway Patrol “Crash Report” listings of accidents investigated by the MHP. The term “crashes” is used because the patrol says there are no “accidents.” There is even a link that allows you to sign up for text alerts to be sent to your cell phone with road condition updates.

Something that I have not done yet, but plan to do is to ride the Amtrak. You can begin to research rates and schedules at Trains run daily between St. Louis and Kansas City and include food service for snack foods and beverages. Trains cross the Missouri River at Glasgow, the site of the first all steel railroad bridge in the world. The current bridge, which I can see from my home, is a replacement.

Sports lovers will find Missouri a great destination year round. The Missouri Winter Games ( in Springfield include basketball, gymnastics, wrestling, swimming, bowling, trapshooting and more. This year will also feature a demonstration event by Olympic gold medalist gymnast Jordyn Wieber. The event takes place in late February and early March.

Bird watching is an interesting hobby that can be enjoyed all through the year. You can travel to the woods or a park to search for birds, or you can can find them in your own backyard. You can even find them on your computer. Bob and Sally Sharamitaro of the “Dogtown” area of St. Louis have been taking photos of the feathered visitors to their back yard for years and share them at

You can read about their award winning wines of Bushwhacker Bend Winery in Glasgow at Check out links to Glasgow events and hospitality businesses and see some great photos of the winery, which overlooks the Missouri river. On nice days, the back deck is a great place to sip and converse and maybe see an eagle soaring over the river.

Winter in Missouri is always interesting. Try to get out on the good days and stay by the fire during any stormy ones. Those long winter nights are a good time to catch up on your reading, play games with the family or surf the Internet to learn more about our great state.

Fall 2013

As we approach the fall season, looking forward to the changing colors, football and those crisp evenings with friends, perhaps some travel is in our plans. If we are on the road IRL or only through our computers, Missouri has many charming places to visit.

To assist, I’ve collected some websites for your fall surfing pleasure.

Do you feed hummingbirds? These colorful visitors feed at my porch feeder all summer. Right now they are stocking up on energy for their annual southward migration. The Ruby Throats will be gone by mid-October. You can find out where they go and how to make your own feeder and nectar on this Department of Conservation webpage at They are very aggressive little birds and fun to watch as they zoom around the feeders.

At my home in Glasgow, we are lucky to have easy access to events in Columbia and Jefferson City. Of course, Glasgow has a lot to see, as well. Check it out at

Still, it is nice to get “out of town” from time to time. We often make the short trip to nearby historic Arrow Rock. Visit for a schedule of tours and events. You can see the home of Missouri artist, George Caleb Bingham and the home of Dr. John Sappington, who pioneered the use of quinine as a malaria treatment. The museum is full of historical information including the Boone Salt Factory that was located just south of Glasgow. View photos at

Of course, the jewel of a visit to Arrow Rock is the Lyceum Theatre, a professional theatre in a delightful setting that will entertain you. Each season, the theatre presents a variety of plays ranging from musicals to comedy to drama. Check out this season’s offering at

OK, now it is time for a quick history test.
Question 1: Where can one visit a church originally constructed in 1200, destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1670, bombed during a war and rebuilt again in 1967?
Question 2: Where can one visit a section of the original Berlin Wall?
Question 3: where can one visit the site where Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech?

The answer to all the questions is Fulton. You can read about all of this and more at After a visit to the webpage, I know you will want to make an IRL visit to the museum and the church in Fulton.

Now, how about a chance to get some exercise, see some beautiful scenery and spend some quiet family time. Have you considered a Missouri float trip? Missouri State Parks lists five great short float trips at Fall is a perfect time for this adventure, since the streams are less crowded, the scenery is at a peak and the weather is cool enough to enjoy the rivers without the extreme heat. Oh, yes, there are fewer annoying bugs, as well.

A highlight of the fall season is the traditional Halloween activities involving pumpkin carving, corn mazes and the like. Visit to find activities near you and discover some hints on carving and caring for your pumpkins.

Be safe wherever you travel, and be sure to offer me a helping hand if you see me trying to find my way out of a corn maze.

J.Y. Miller lives in Glasgow and is a regular contributor to Show-Me Missouri. His e-mail address is

Summer 2013

At last! Summer is here, and after some late snows, we are ready for hot afternoons, soft nights, iced tea and baseball. Students are eager for summer vacations, and many of us are on the lookout for a relief from our everyday life and a trip to enjoy our beautiful Missouri.

We may find ourselves staying closer to home these days, but Missouri offers many great places to see right in our own backyard. Of course, we can also travel the information highways of Missouri from the comfort of home. To help you out, I have researched some sites to help start you on your travels, both online and on-the-ground.

If you are going to Kansas City, you will want to check out the Power and Light District ( comprised of more than a half million square feet of entertainment. With more than 50 unique shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, the District is sure to please everyone. The P&LD page has complete information, as well as photos. There is a dress code if you go in person. When you visit online, you may set your own rules.

Amusement parks are always a summer tradition. Something that will appeal to the young (and young at heart) near Kansas City is Worlds of Fun ( The WOF website includes information for both Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun. If you are on the east side of the state, you will get a kick out of Six Flags. Visit to plan your trip.

What could say Missouri Summer with more spice than some good barbeque? On July 19-20, my hometown of Glasgow will hold its annual barbeque contest at Stump Island Park on the riverfront. The event is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbque Society ( Learn more at

Of course, if you are in Southeast Missouri, you may wish to visit Ste. Genevieve with the rich history of Missouri’s early French roots. This state parks site at, highlights just one of the many educational and fun places to visit in this city that has homes dating back to the 1700s. You can visit many of them on the Felix Valle web page.

The historic town of St. Charles has much to offer. Missouri’s First Capitol now has many shops and museums to tour. The Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website at was remodeled last year and offers tons of information.

Fun on the water is often part of summer. You can cruise and sightsee on the Lake of the Ozarks on Tropic Island Cruises’ new 150-passenger motor yacht. Captain Omer and Jacquie, the owners, offer various cruise options including a daily-narrated tour of the lake. Find out more at

This summer would be a good time to visit Independence, Missouri. Make your first stop on the city’s fantastic page at From it you will see much of what is available, including the many Harry Truman-related sites. The page has a great video presentation, and includes details about historic homes, 200-plus restaurants and historic pioneer trails. “The buck stops here,” and you will be glad that you did, too.

During your summer travels this year, please be safe and careful. That is my advice if you travel on the highway or on the information highway through your computer. Have a great summer and enjoy our wonderful state. If our paths should cross and you see me at a barbeque or waiting to take a lake cruise, be sure to wave and say “hi”. That is the friendly Missouri thing to do!

Spring 2013

Everyone who is ready for spring, raise your hand! After some bitter cold days in our winter season, many of us are ready for the green of spring and the warm breezes that take away those cold memories. OK, you can put your hands down now and continue reading.

Spring is a great season to travel in our beautiful Missouri. To help you with destination planning, and to give you a chance to travel from home through your computer, I’ve searched out some web pages that I hope you will find interesting.

As usual the Missouri Department of Conservation offers a glimpse of nature at Missouri’s native spring flowering trees, such as the serviceberry, hawthorn, wild plum and others, are featured on this page. Each includes a nice description and beautiful photos. You can almost smell the dogwood as you watch the video. Can anyone identify the bird that sings along with it?

The Missouri Botanical Garden’s website at is filled with great flower and butterfly photos. Teachers will be interested in the school tours that are offered. In early spring, the garden sponsors a spectacular orchid show. The garden opened to the public in 1859 and houses more than 4,800 trees. The 79-acre site is a National Historic Landmark and would be a treat to visit in any season. There is a charge for tickets, but information prior to your visit is available free online.

Do you like parades? St. Joseph hosts the third oldest Apple Blossom Festival in the United States. Photos from past festival parades can be found at This year’s parade will be May 4. Organizers request that each parade entry display at least one American Flag.

The St. Louis Storytelling Festival takes place in early May each year and has been a tradition for 33 years. I can’t believe that I only learned of it a few moments ago. Their webpage at provides details about the four-day festival, which will feature more than 40 storytellers at four different locations around St. Louis. A high point of the web site is the videos of storytellers casting their often humorous yarns. The stories in the festival are suitable for both children and adults, and school groups are welcomed. This festival is coordinated by the University of Missouri—St. Louis.

Even in the spring, we like to get inside from time to time. A wonderful art exhibit will run in early spring at the Ashby-Hodge Gallery on the Fayette campus of Central Methodist University, my Alma Mater. The show; “A Dream Denied” will feature more than 40 works of Glasgow’s painter, Cornelia Kuemmel. Miss Kuemmel gave up her opportunity to study art in Europe to stay in Glasgow and care for her mother. She continued to paint until her death in 1938 and is now recognized as a true talent. The curator of the gallery is Dr. Joe Geist and the co-curator for this show is my friend from Glasgow, Fr. Jerry Stockman. Learn more at the gallery webpage located at

Enjoy your spring as you travel and see the sights of our beautiful Missouri. You may travel IRL or in Cyber-space. Whether you choose to travel IRL or on the information superhighway, use caution. We may cross paths while watching a parade, listening to a storyteller or admiring a painting.