Hello from Blytheville, AR

Hello from Blytheville, AR

Tuesday afternoon   April 2, 2013   (Second travelogue of this trip).

Well, it has been pointed out that our last post was a bit confusing.  One of my goals in this travelogue/blog is to “benchmark” all of our major stops.  I wanted to make sure that one of the posts was from Moscow Mills, MO.  That said, I knew I would not finish it in time to post it before we had to leave.  Clear as mud?

We are now in Blytheville, AR which will be the site of a very unique bus rally – one that will focus on classic buses out of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.  I will talk more about the rally in a future post.   This post will try to catch up on our stay in Moscow Mills.

We had planned to arrange for Pat to spend some time with a good friend in St Louis.  Kay is the wife of a good friend of Jim’s from the high school period.  Ken passed away several years ago, but we have kept in contact with Kay.  The friendship history is rather unique.  Ken was an amazing car painter and I used to hang around and help him so that I could learn from a real pro.  He used to paint midget racers in the garage behind the duplex they lived in.  Pat and Kay started to get together when Ken and I were in the garage.  They became very good friends and “Scrabble buddies”.  Ken and Kay had three boys that are somewhat similar in age to our girls.  Pat and Kay used to swap stories about the kids.  Prior to our getting married, they mentioned that they were buying a house.  We made arrangements to move into their duplex after we got married.  It was in a great location not far from where I grew up.

Ken later went to work for PPG as a paint sales person.  First in Omaha and then in St. Louis.  We kept in touch over the years.  Indeed, Ken and I went to many Kustom Car events (yes custom with a K). 

When we told Kay that we might be headed her way, we got an email from one of her sons who offered  for us to stay at his place.  I have attached a photo of Kevin and Ann’s beautiful house.  It is in a very rural area and is set on a 3 acre lot.  Kevin and Ann treated us like royalty!  Both are great cooks and they prepared meals for us that were amazing.

The house they bought was a foreclosure and had a huge amount of water damage – mainly in the kitchen area.  When they moved in, the kitchen was bare and all of the drywall had been removed.  They built a kitchen that is absolutely magnificent.  The stove has four gas burners, a large grill and a large griddle.  The double oven has convection and steam capabilities. 

On Saturday night, the three brothers and their families joined us for dinner at Kevin’s.  I have attached a picture of Kay and the boys.  As you can tell, the boys are all very tall (6’3 to 6’8).  We had a lot of fun seeing them and catching up on what has been going on in their lives.

Pat and Kay spent about half of two days catching up and working on genealogy.  While they did that, I worked on some issues that had developed in the bus.  We have an issue with the DVR and roof mounted dish.  I have worked on it since we left and we still do not have television.  Our solar system controller would not provide power to the batteries.  That turned out to be a butchered wiring problem (guess who?).  Pretty easy fix once I got it all sorted out.  Now we have better charging that we have had in the past and we will need it because we are dry camping most of this trip.

However, solar only works well when it is sunny out.  Yesterday was great, but today is very overcast and cold.  I think we will have more of this type of weather during the rally.  Guess we will just have to run the generator more.

The rally begins officially on Thursday.  I volunteered to coordinate the parking and that will be a challenge.  There are 60 buses signed up for the rally and we are parking in the middle of the downtown area.  Going to be a tight fit, but I think folks will be understanding and cooperative. 

I suspect I will not have much time to post during the rally, but I will catch up in a few days.

That is all for now.

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