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Road trip: Buddy Holly memorial, Sculpture Garden, Covered Bridge & Shuttlecocks from MN, IA, MO, KS by Ann Treacy
January 5, 2022, 1:43 am
Filed under: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri

Heather and I are on the road. Our mission is to deliver a car to Venice Beach, California. We have quite a few days to do it and only a loose itinerary of suggested stops. Admittedly our first goal is to get where it’s warmer as soon as possible and maybe hover once we get there.

We left early in the morning. First major stop the Buddy Holly Crash Site. Well, after being there we might call it a minor site. The glasses were much smaller than we anticipated but it was still sad and amazing at the same time. It was easy on a windy, cold day like today to think about how miserable that flight and end must have been – that day the music died. We also took a quick visit to the Surf Ballroom, where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson played their last concert. What a strange story for the ballroom to have to hold – although it is just one chapter in a long book.

Next stop Des Moines and the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden, plunked right into town. It was a perfect recharger stop for us. We walked around and saw the sculptures – several looked very reminiscent of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or other sculpture gardens I’ve visited. It was the perfect 30 minutes. It was super windy and chilly but brisk. A few of our favorites – the large body made of white words by Jaume Plensa, big stone faces with tons (perhaps literally) of personality by Ugo Rondinone and White Ghost by Yoshimoto Nara – like a spooked up Lucy from The Peanuts.

Mini stop was a quick drive by a bridge of Madison County, specifically the Imes Covered Bridge; it is the oldest of the remaining covered bridges, Imes was built in 1870 and is 81 feet in length. Absolutely worth the five minute detour. We thought about the birthplace of John Wayne but decided that wasn’t worth a 40 minute detour.

Props to Heather, the driver, she’s doing an amazing job. We had hoped to get more of a break in Kansas City, but a lot of things are closed. We did get to see the Shuttlecocks of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. (I love the inside of the museum too, but sadly closed on Tuesdays.) Folks from the Twin Cities will know Oldenburg’s Spoon and Cherry. They Shuttlecocks are as much of a splash – with several large scale shuttlecocks peppered around the yard of the museum. There are a few works. We also liked Rush Hour by George Segal (group of people) and what I assume is an iteration of Rodin’s The Thinker.

And now we’ve landed in Wichita. We may go work out. We may find a dive bar. Maybe I’ll report tomorrow!


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