Friday, April 21, 2006

The Big Day For "Little C"

Well, today is the day! I just got back from dropping the younguns off at school. My youngest had to be there early because today is the day of the field trip. Not just any regular field trip; this is the big kahuna, the whole enchalada, the holy grail, the mother of all field trips for these little guys. The one they have been talking about since day one of 4th grade and the one they have been looking forward to since 1st grade, I bet, for a few of them. Today is the day of the annual 4th grade trip to the State Capitol!

We had to be at the school at 6:45 am. The buses were to leave at 7 am, sharp. It's a 4 hour ride to Jefferson City. These guys aren't going to be back until after 8 pm!

For the 4th graders, this trip is a very big deal-it's a rite of passage from being a little kid to a big kid. To go on this trip means you have arrived. You ain't a baby any more. And for a lot of them it's probably the farthest they have ever travelled outside of their home turf. So you can see it's a big deal. A chance to see strange and exotic sights outside of Ozark county. To see how the rest of the state lives and to tour one kickass big old building with alotta cool stuff in it and visit the Governor's house. Oh yeah, and maybe even learn something about how state government is done.

My youngest was up even before I was this morning! That's how geeked she was about going.

All of us, as a family had been to the Capitol building years ago. My husbands hepatologist was at the University Hospital in Columbia, which is a mere 10 minutes from Jeff City across the Missouri river. So he and I had made the drive several times and in the summer we took the girls along. Once we stopped in Jeff and checked out the Capitol. It was under going restoration at the time so the outside was draped with huge tarps in spots and scalfolding was up all around it, at least on 3 sides. But the inside was still open to the public. My eldest can still remember the visit, but my youngest has fuzzy recollections. She told me today on the way to school that she had always thought that we had gone to the White House! Funny how kid's brains work.

So anyhow, I'm sure she'll be exhausted but full of exciting tales and fun facts when she gets home tonight. And I can't wait to hear them!

While trying to find a pic to go with this post I came across some interesting stuff myself.
Like f'instance, this is the THIRD Capitol building this state has had-the first 2 both burned! The 1st one in 1837 and then the building that had been built to replace it burned to the ground when the dome was struck by lightning in 1911. Either this is an example of good ol' Missouri mule stubborness or maybe God was trying to tell 'em something. (I kid.)
I found a rather dramatic old photo of the Capitol in flames from the 1911 fire, but the site is no longer up, so we'll have to make due with the thumbnail copped from Yahoo search.It just looks so spooky. I imagine it was quite a heartbreaking sight to the folks in town then.

Another cool thing I'm sure my little one will tell me about are all the wonderful Depression era murals that cover so much of the interior. Scenes like this one.
All the murals inside were done by Missouri native Thomas Benton in 1935. I was in awe when I saw these. They're just gorgeous. The whole place is. It has a subtle opulance and grandeur befitting a State Capitol. I felt so proud walking about in there. I hope my little one will feel that, too.

Now, if I have piqued your interest, more fun facts and pics of the Missouri State Capitol's artwork can be found at Missouri Memories.

There had been some speculation 2 years ago that due to lack of funds and rising fuel costs, the 4th grade trips to Jeff City would be discontinued. For a tiny hick school district like ours, it is quite an expenditure. I don't know how they did it, but somehow they found the dough to continue this tradition. I'm glad. Shoot, I would have kicked in some gas money myself if it had come down to it. This is one field trip, I feel that is worth it to the kids.

UPDATE: Fetched my little one last night around 8:45. Our schoolbus driver had volunteered to drive for the field trip and had told me that morning that if it was ok with me, mine could just ride home with him on the bus and I could get her at his place, which is only about 2 miles down the road from me. Hey, sure! Nowadays, anytime I can get out of a 40 mile round trip with gas at 2.80 a gallon is fine by me!! I appreciate his thoughfulness.

Anyhow, she was so tired but still wound up and told me all about her day. She had saved me a soft taco from Taco Bell from their dinner stop. It was now all cold, gooey and greasy, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Anyway, her biggest impression she got was from all the artwork."Oh Mom, it was awesome! And didja know that all those paintings were done with eggs?" "Why, yes...egg tempera." I said.
She also reported there was some disention in the ranks-the usual school boy hijinks- (there always is.)"Mom, Robert (not his real name) has to go to the principal's office on Monday! He acted up."
"What'd he do?" (knowing this oughta be good, knowing 'Robert'.)
"During the tour, we were right under that big dome...and he started making farty noises!...And they were really loud, too!"
Can I say that I didn't hear the rest of what she said because I was laughing too hard?


Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

At least those murals are beautiful. In San Fran, the murals were painted by Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, and are all commie hammer and sickle stuff. You'd love them. ;)

4/21/2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger Cookie..... said...

Ahhh Lassie...ya brought back some good memories ya did. Wake'n the little tykes up afore dawn...givin em a good breakfast...packin their lunch and any baggage they might be a needin...taken em to the bus...say'n a tearful goodbye...goin home....lockin the door...cleanin out their rooms and sittin back in satisfaction with the wife say'n.." 27...he's moved out!"....

4/21/2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger white trash republican said...

Ah, I'm familiar with Riveria's work! He has some stuff in the gov. buildings down in San Diego and learning all about him was manditory in elementary school art class. He was akin to a friggin' god in their minds.

Benton's mural have a wee bit of glorification of the working class themes in them at the Capitol, that was typical of most of those Depression era commissioned murals. But it's not in-your-face, more like slice of life views of ordinary folk of Mo. at the time. I guess if you really scrutinized them one could read something into them. I just like the chaotic, yet flowing look to them.

Cookie, you smartypants!
My youngest wants to buy a house nearby when she grows up, so "I won't get lonely" and so she can bring me cookies. I think that's so sweet. I'll remind her of that when she's 18 as I'm shoving her out the door.

4/21/2006 1:31 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

The last time I toured the capitol, in 1993, our guide said she'd heard many people say our capitol building is one of the prettiest, if not the prettiest, in the country.

Something to be proud of, eh?

4/22/2006 8:22 AM  

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