Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

January 22, 2008

Kansas

One of the reasons we blew through Ohio and Indiana was because there were stops I definitely wanted to make on the way out west, one of them being in central Kansas.

We left Columbia, MO fairly early and drove through the rest of Missouri and halfway across Kansas before stopping early in Russell. Here's our toy cow, "Mooey Bien" (Good Cow), on a fence post next to a Kansas cornfield. Mooey accompanied us on Grateful Dead Summer Tour earlier that summer as our official mascot, so we took him with us and shot pics of him coming across the country. Sort of like that "garden gnome goes on the road" travel gag that is really popular these days.

Russell, Kansas ain't known for much, other than the place that spawned former Presidential candidate and Viagra pitchman, Bob Dole. I suspect he conducted a lot of business in the Boot Hill Cafe. We had kind of a hairy experience at the Boot Hill. For one thing, that part of the USA was clearly not used to hippies. We got a lot of stares, and in fact, when I was out driving around, I was followed by a carload of redneck locals who were "whoo hooing" and "yee hawing" at the sight of a hippie chick in tie dye, driving a car plastered with Dead stickers and with Massachusetts plates. Anyway, we had dinner at the Boot Hill. Brian was wearing a purple tie dyed shirt, that had a peace sign American flag on it, which I painted. Brian likes to sit facing the door of restaurants, so I was facing the restaurant. There was a table of rather large, blue collar men who were looking at us (probably the owners of the 2 pick ups in the parking lot), then you'd see them lean in and whisper to each other, then look back at us. I wasn't sure if we should get our food to go and eat at the hotel or stick it out and hope that they didn't confront us. Fortunately, they didn't bother us. We ate quickly and left!!!

This is the cornfield and oil well behind the hotel we stayed at. There's Mooey in the corn field.

Brian and our old car on the Kansas plains. One of the benefits of towing our car was that it could be offloaded from the transport and we could drive around. I got really good at climbing through the drivers side window and getting the car on and off the car transport.
Kansas be flat!!!


So the reason we stopped early that day was so that I could make a side trip to the small town of Gorham, along I-70.

In 1973, my mom and grandmother took me to see "Paper Moon". It was the first PG rated movie I ever saw and I was not only captivated by Tatum O'Neal's performance as Addie, I thought her dad Ryan was one fine lookin' man. "Paper Moon" is my all time fave movie...tied for first place with "To Kill a Mockingbird". The credits of "PM" gave a thank you to the people "in and around Hays, Kansas and St. Joseph, Missouri". The only town I knew for sure in which the film was shot was Gorham, because of the scene when they are at the depot. Turns out, Gorham stood in for many of the different towns visited by Moze and Addie in the movie.

"Paper Moon" is set in depression era Kansas, and Peter Bogdanovich shot it in black & white to give it a real 1930's feel. The music used is all depression-era as well. Moze is a con man who attends the funeral of an old flame and the town floozy, Essie May Loggins. Addie is Essie's only daughter and her parentage is in question, but it's clear that Moze is her biological father. Moze agrees to bring Addie to her aunt's in St. Joe, Missouri. Turns out, Addie is just as slick as Moze!! It's a brilliant movie. And you just have to love Madeline Kahn as Miz Trixie Delight in her tight dresses and bouncing boobs. If you've never seen this movie, I recommend it highly.
My mom wouldn't let me get overalls....but I did bug my Uncle Yimmy for one of his cigar boxes, just like Addie had, for her special trinkets. To this day, Tatum O'Neal is still the youngest Oscar winner ever, for her portrayal of Addie. Unfortunately, her dad was so angry at being passed over for a nomination for Best Actor and so jealous that his daughter upstaged him, that he slugged Tatum in the face when she found out she was nominated. She was all of 9. Neither of her parents escorted her to the award ceremony, which I found very sad.

There's a scene in the movie where Moze and Addie are arguing in a small cafe. Through the window and across the street, is a Dream Cinema. I don't know if this is the same one or not, but this one is in Russell. I've seen this movie so many times that Brian and I can do the whole dialogue from the scene in the cafe....also known as the "I want my two hun'erd dollahs!" argument. I've heard modern interviews w/ Tatum and she said that her own kids drove her crazy when they were growing up, mimicking their mom in that scene, yelling at each other, "I WANT MY TWO HUN'ERD DOLLAHS!!"

This is what Gorham looked like in 1973 when the movie was shot.

The old depot was torn down by the time I visited in 1989.

Gorham Co-Op.

This kind gentleman is Harry Goetz. I often wonder if he's still alive, although it's been nearly 19 years since I passed through town. He was the proprietor of the Gorham Second Hand shop, which used to be the only hotel in town. Obviously not used to outsiders, especially from New England, he was eager to talk to me and was pleased that I came to his town because of the movie. He shared his memories of the filming, actors and even though most of the hotel was closed off, he allowed me to explore it a little bit on the first floor.

After we got to San Francisco, I dug my copy of "PM" out of one of the boxes and watched it. There is a scene where Addie and Miz Trixie's black maid, Imogene, are sitting on the steps of a building waiting for Moze to drive up....imagine my surprise when I discovered it was here!!!



Next up: Colorado

16 comments:

  1. Paper Moon is STILL your favourite movie - including Guy, SOOS, Claire Dolan, Happy Accidents, Good Luck...?

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  2. Val - Yeah, sorry, Paper Moon is absolutely my fave movie in the world, along w/ Mockingbird. I love Vincent and I love his movies and all, but PM is still #1.

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  3. Colorado - home of the D'Onofrio family restaurant? Will Vincent bring Jojo some ribs to nibble on... ;0)

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  4. Diane - actually I think the family restaurant is in Utah....but I have pics of Utah too!!! ;P

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  5. lurve the cow pics!! especially the one of her in the field.

    so glad you told what paper moon is about, you've mentioned it a few times and i always wondered.

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  6. Paper Moon was a great film, but I can't help but think that it ruined Tatum O'Neals life.

    Jojo...You've been to Kansas, Colorado, did you happen to pass through Nebraska at some point? Even a corner of it.

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  7. I drove across country too back in 1979, so I admire your memory. I barely remember much about it because I was so excited to get to Cali. In retrospect, it would have been more fun to enjoy the ride.

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  8. alright, forgive me for asking this, but i have heard other people talk about tatum, and what a rought time she had. what happened? and if it was this, how did this movie ruin her life? i know i've heard that her dad was a jerk, but i think she's a little b4 my time.

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  9. Tess - No, we didn't make it into Nebraska....we came straight across I-70, jumped on Hwy 25 north of Denver and then got on I-80 in Wyoming, which took us into the Bay Area.

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  10. Anonymous10:20 AM

    julie...

    to echo kris, love the cow pic too. totally cracked me up. you are so funny.

    redneck fuckers.

    sorry, had to add that in.

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  11. Love the cow.I dreamed of being in BFE,Indiana last night!I was lost and there was NO Rosenbaum to be found in his home state!That sucked!

    Damn it Jojo,I need you here to take photos for me..maybe you can make me look better;)!

    Now,let's see Colorado!

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  12. Jojo, be gentle with me; any one who can mistake lip balm for deodorant can mistake Colorado for Utah (doh!)

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  13. Diane - ROTFLMAO!!!!! At least you didn't put the deodorant on your lips.

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  14. Now I feel really thick. I'm just about the only person who has never seen Paper Moon!!!

    ***Drops head in shame***

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  15. Lizzard5:50 PM

    Do you still have Mooey?

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  16. Anonymous4:37 AM

    Hey! I drove through Gorham and didn't see too much from Paper Moon!

    Email me!

    that_axe_eugene@yahoo.com


    Thanks! :]

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