I went on a drive today and took a route I have not driven in probably 35 years or so. I was in the area around Warsaw, MO.
We spent time in the area when I was a kid. My great-grandma lived just outside of Warsaw. On the way there from the town of Clinton, MO you will find the little towns of Coal, Racket, and Tightwad. My great-grandma used to play cards with Harry Truman before he became president along with the Katz brothers of Katz Drugstores.
It’s been probably around 35 years since I have been here. If I remember correctly, one of these stores (I think it was the one on the right) we would stop in to buy tubes of Daisy BBs for my air rifle plus penny candy.
For those of you who don’t know what “penny candy” is, basically those old stores would have a case with containers of candy like jawbreakers, gum balls, Bazooka bubble gum, Beich’s banana taffy, Tootsie Rolls and such. Everything in the case was a penny so you could get a great selection for a quarter!
I remember the old suspension bridges along the way and they were pretty scary to drive across. I remember one time a semi truck collapsed one of the bridges.
My great-grandma and great-grandpa established a resort camp consisting of small lots and cabins and it is still there to this day. I believe this was done before Truman Dam was built and flooded the valley. I remember going to some old lakes way back on the property before the water levels rose. There was a small old cave we used to go in.
I remember the big camp hubbub concerning an old lady who would sit outside on her porch swing naked. Her house happened to sit right on the highway. That really was a big scandal!
The other route, MO 13 south out of Clinton, MO, had some memories along it. I saw some remnants of the old highway sticking above the low water level. The flocks of pelicans and other birds were loving it. There’s an old bridge pylon still standing after all these years.
I remember there used to be a ski area just north of Springfield, MO. It is gone now and I can’t even see a trace of it but I think I know where it was. The highway used to be two lanes but now it has been upgraded to a divided four-lane and re-routed around the towns in some areas.
I used to drive down to these areas quite often and did a lot of camping and canoeing in the Missouri Ozarks. This adventure brought back some memories.