Monday, October 01, 2007

The Farmer LEAVES The Dell...

OK, so this story involves a "swap" I made with a farm family in Missouri in the 1970s.

So far, we have seen the "city-slicker" side of the story and now it's time to have Mr. & Mrs. Joe Farmer come to the teeming metropolis of Kansas City!

You probably know that Kansas City has side-by-side twin stadiums for the Royals baseball and Chiefs football clubs. But, did you know there also is opera and fine dining on the Country Club Plaza and that the city has "more fountains than Rome and more boulevards than Paris?"

(Hey..I was the Director of Tourism for the KC Convention & Visitors Bureau so slogans come back easily to me.)

Since my family was going to host and house this couple from the hinterlands for a fun-filled urban weekend, I wanted to repay the kindness they had shown when we huddled beneath their under-construction-house and froze our butts off stomping around their farm dodging cows and pigs.

But, I decided NOT to expose these simple folk to Opera In English and took them to a hockey game. Farmer Joe almost decked the guy sitting behind us who was VERY drunk and using VERY salty language to encourage the players to do better. Joe was more than ready to defend his wife's honor.

The next day I decided to inject some Big City culture and we drove off to the ritzy
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

I wanted them to see Regionalist artist Thomas Hart Benton's 1939 PERSEPHONE. Besides, I knew that admission is free every day to view the 33,500 collected objects. Something for everyone.

Well. Joe was impressed. We walked into the massive gallery and he stopped dead in his tracks. He looked up to the lofty ceiling. To the left. To the right. He sighed.

"Man, you could pack a load of hay into THIS place."

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