Road Trip: Joplin

Jeremy and I decided  a road trip was in order, as we both had a few days off.

It was a hot Kansas day, we launched Spotify, set up google maps, and opened up our app and hit the road.

I already wrote about our first stop, the Waffle House.  Something about the atmosphere, food, sounds and ambience makes it such a great place to eat.

After a fantastic lunch we visited two unusual roadside attractions.  

First the giant ampersand at Kum & Go. The ampersand sign comes from the late Middle Ages, single letters that were also words (like I and A) were referred to as letters with the phrase per se added on.  Once called the 27th letter & was spoken as called & per se and, meaning & by itself and. That read as “and per se and.”

It is not gigantic, it’s about eight feet tall, but it is still eye-catching. The sculpture was designed by the studio Sticks and is painted with scenes of the city’s past and present, along with some of its more notable residents.  We took a look around and posed for the obligatory tourist pic then we used the bathroom at the Kum & Go and continued down “that holiday road.”

We stopped by the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Apartment at 3347 Oak Ridge Drive. This is where the couple lived for several months in 1933.  On April 13, the police raided the apartment thinking they were bootleggers. That’s when Bonnie and Clyde, along with three others opened fire, killing two police officers, John “Wes” Harryman and Detective Harry McGinnis. Bonnie and Clyde escaped.  A camera was left by the criminal duo as they made a run for it.  The roll of film inside contained most of the pictures we think about, when we think about those young criminals.

Interesting side note:  The 1934 Ford V-8 the gang was driving when they were ambushed and killed was stolen from a Topeka couple.  When the couple got their car back, they counted more than 160 bullet holes. The car is currently on display at Whiskey Pete’s Casino in Primm, Nevada.

Check out our next stop… Route 66 through Kansas.

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