As night fell in IOLA, the sky was already black. The Western Horizon was even blacker with bright flashes and distant rumble of the advancing storm.
As promised, I took my sleeping pill. As I drifted into sleep, SPIA-2 shook from wind gusts; then following bright flashes , shook again to the crash of thunder...FLASH BOOM directly on top of us.
For the non airplane pilots, the SECONDS between the FLASH of lightening until the BOOM of the thunder is approximately the MILES the storm is away. Light, if I recall correctly, travels at 176,000 miles per second, whereas SOUND (at Sea Level) travels about 600 miles per (?) I forget !
I remember nothing more until 4:30 am...peeked beneath the window covering to a still black sky.
Woke again at 5:30 am local. Ole' SOL was lighting the inside of SPIA through a small slit in the shades.
Black Sky At Dusk. The dark horizontal mass is the advancing storm.
Remnants of storm clouds followed me for a good hour before being burned away by the rising SUN.
A couple days ago, I referred to KANSAS topography as the SAVANNA. The above pic is another view of KANSAS' Savanna.
One of the many KANSAS streams meandering across the landscape.
Nearly every Ranch I passed had it's own private lake.
Grove of trees killed by fire. All tree trunks are blackened clear into the WHITE appearing fire damaged limbs .
Where the bridge use to be.
Field of Dreams...
...and, we arrive in the town of BRONSON, Kansas.A town that was born grew, and prospered under the banner of CATTLE. The railroad ran through the center of town...some days nearly endless trains stopping to pull out with railroad cars filled with cattle on the way to market.
Today, BRONSON offers some 200 residents...
....a few grain storage Silos...
.....a pristine park with some child playthings going back over a half century...
...and numerous neighborhood streets with neat as a pin homes.
Oh, yes, and a newly painted church looking as though folks take great care of it's welcome appearance.
TRAINS and every vestige of their existence in BRONSON is nowhere to be found.
Main Street use to sport two saloons, four gas stations and many many businesses which no longer have a building to house the once thriving main drag activities.
Above are most of the surviving buildings...which house a single prospering business..
MURAL on the wall of BRONSON (meat) LOCKER
Please say HELLO to MICHELLE. MICHELLE greeted me as I stepped into her office behind the counter of BRONSON LOCKER. The next two hours - in between a steady stream of phone calls and visitors - was a continuous history of MICHELLE's town of BRONSON, including her last 20 years helping manage BRONSON LOCKER.
Today, with 10 or so employees, BRONSON LOCKER is reaching across America, having recently received USDA Certification
The proud look of 8-month pregnant MICHELLE...
the image I take into my future.
BRONSON Residents are justifiably proud of their town...taken nearly to the brink in the name of progress.
For our Blog Creation and over night parking, I have driven to the bustling historic small city of FORT SCOTT, Kansas.
Again enjoying the welcome of PIZZA HUT, am also savoring what is becoming my regular evening din din: Baked "Meaty" Pasta...YUM !
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Before closing and retreating to WALMART for the night, I wish to offer MY take on an historic "truth"
The advent of the nation-wide network of super highways; i.e., FREEWAYS, was the DEATH KNOLL for countless towns - most small, but some of surprising large size - all across America.
BRONSON is but one example. I have reported on numerous more.
President (General of the Army) Dwight D. EISENHOWER is the acknowledged "FATHER" of the nation-wide Interstate Highway System. Reading the Monument to IKE, one would believe his Cross-Country Drive in the 1920s with a Convoy of Army Trucks was his reason for pushing for the Interstates, which were built some five to ten years after World War Two.
My observation of Europe in Mid 1950s was a spider web of ultra modern 'AUTOBAHN', built in the early years of the 1930s. These roadways gave Supreme Commander General EISENHOWER fits in his conquest of the WWII German War Machine.
I suggest it was World War Two German Autobahns which led directly to our modern USA Interstate System...not a 1920s convoy across America.
For whatever reason, the Interstates were built. Being built signaled the end of a Middle-America way of life; an end which lies in the future, as many new roadways are still destroying towns they pass...OR SHOULD I SAY "BY PASS."
This Blog is written and offered to share that which SAM and ME DISCOVER.
We suggest NOT what is GOOD or NOT GOOD. We discover and share. We do NOT change anything in so doing.
In the morning, will walk BACK toward BRONSON. Plan to remain in FORT SCOTT a second night, after which, will continue on US 54 East into the State of MISSOURI, which is a mere 10 or so miles from where I sit in PIZZA HUT, Fort Scott, Kansas.