#435, December 3, 2006
KIRKSVILLE, Missouri: This past week I spoke at a couple of farm meetings in Maryland and Missouri. That was my excuse for attending, but in reality you might think I was simply evaluating suites.
First, it was the Mid-Atlantic Crop Management Conference in Ocean City, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. This historic old resort town has hundreds of hotels and motels and condos, and in the summer it is booming. But by late November it is about empty and even the farmers can afford to stay here. The meeting brought in folks from West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey and was held in the prestigious Princess Royale on the beach. Everybody had a suite because that’s all they have is suites. Mine had a living room that connected through the kitchen to the bedroom, and even a porch where if you stretched your neck a bit and looked across the dunes you could watch the ocean waves hit the beach. It was nice pleasant weather, about 60 degrees.
Thursday I flew to Kansas City where it was 15 degrees and everything covered in ice. I wondered how could it be so different, then I remembered that Ocean City is downwind from Congress. That accounts for at least half the temperature rise.
Drove to LaPlata and checked into the Depot Inn. With a name like that you won’t be surprised to find they have a railroad. In fact the passenger train between Chicago and Los Angeles stops in LaPlata and I bet a lot of railroad buffs get off, spend 24 hours at the Depot, and get back on the next train through.
This Depot Inn is new and one of the finest in all of Missouri, but I think it is misnamed. It is more of a Depot Museum, with beds and a pool. The halls are lined with railroad pictures and old tools and the lobby is a library. They put me in the Pullman suite, and I doubt that George Pullman himself ever had any classier surroundings. The bed reminded me of the one in the Lincoln Bedroom, so big I slept one night on the right side, one on the left and one in the middle. And if I had stayed a few more nights I could have slept sideways, starting at the foot and gradually work my way to the headboard. In one corner of the room there’s a hot tub and in another a fireplace (electronic), with a wide television above it that reminds you of a drive-in movie theater. They practically had to drag me out of there to go up the road a piece to speak at the Missouri Livestock conference at Kirksville. Now you probably know Missouri got hit with a lot of snow, but most of the speakers got there from all over the country, including Orion Samuelson and Baxter Black.
All this suite living reminded me that a month ago in Claremore, I stayed at a suite at the Days Inn. They have two of them, the Will Rogers suite and the Patty Page suite. You can guess which one I was in. Unlike those others, it is just slightly bigger than a regular room with a large comfortable bed, appropriate pictures hung on the walls and some nice western touches. Those other suites are great, but I fit better in one that’s less ostentatious, with a plain down home feeling and plenty of room for a cowboy to stretch out. I figure the main difference for the Patty Page suite is the pictures on the wall, and when the alarm goes off in the morning it plays “How much is that doggie in the window”.
Next week we’ll get back to politics and football and sleeping at home. Can’t beat it.
Historic quotes from Will Rogers:
“Twenty thousand people in Missouri gathered to see twelve farmers in the world’s championship corn husking. No wonder the farmer has nothing. If he had been smart enough to put these on under the guise of college athletics, hired a coach and a stadium, why then the farmer would be sitting as pretty as Notre Dame. [of course today I would say “Ohio State”] DT #1032, Nov. 15, 1929
“There is not a better day in the world to be spent than with a lot of wise old cowmen around barbecued beef, black coffee and good ‘free holy’ beans.” DT #2430, May 17, 1934
“Even if you’re on the right track, if you’re just sitting still you can get run over.” Undated notes.