Sometimes Good Things Happen

Today, I had what I would call a why-I-signed-up-for-this kind of day. My story this week is about battlefields in Missouri and so I went adventuring around mid-Missouri to various battlefields. I didn’t really want to go. It’s one thing to go exploring with a teammate or a friend, but it’s another to go alone. But it had to happen and so off I went. I got some lunch, nommed in the j cafe, got my equipment, turned on my friends Marina and the Diamonds, and set out to Boonville for battlefield numero uno.

Driving to Boonville almost made it worth the trip in it of itself because for some reason Fear and Loathing (thank you, Marina and her diamond band) became a mini-anthem/metaphor for 4804. It could just be me, but check out the lyrics and maybe you’ll see where I’m coming from.

In Boonville, I drove around for a bit looking for the battlefield (surprisingly more difficult to find than I expected). After I found it, I did a celebratory dance and patted myself on the back. I took some pictures and carried on my merry way. I stopped by the Friends of Historic Boonville because I figured they might know something about the battlefield. They don’t. However, their offices are actually where the old jail used to be. Someone was giving a tour, but otherwise the place was pretty empty, so I poked around and almost locked myself in an old jail cell. I got very afraid of almost locking myself in an old jail cell again, so I decided looking at an old registry of people in the jail was a safer exploration route.

Historic Boonville Jail

This is the old jail where I almost locked myself into an old jail cell. 10/10 would not recommend.

While Boonville was much more exciting than I anticipated, I carried onto Glasgow, Missouri where the real excitement began.

Once in Glasgow, I again drove around a bit until I found the battle site (or the place where they erected a plaque about the battle). The Battle of Glasgow took place in the town, so the town is the battle field (although I found this out later). I wanted to learn more about the battle, so I walked to the visitor’s center. There I was directed to the library. The librarian, Rachel, told me the current library was the lower floor of the old library and used to be for conferences. It was also where they cared for the wounds of soldiers on both sides during the Civil War, so I was standing directly where blood and injured soldiers once were, which, to me, is really cool. Rachel took me upstairs to the original library, which was also really fudging cool because you had to walk up an old, steel spiral staircase. I also got left alone to roam around the creaky, dark, wooded library.

This is the library where I explored and almost fell through a staircase.

This is the library where I explored and almost fell through a staircase.

Once in the original library, there were balcony-type things (as pictured above) that were accessible via wooden stairs. I almost fell through the wooden stairs I think, though, because one of them was extra creaky and did not feel sound. I was also afraid the balcony things would break so I didn’t venture far.

After I returned down to the current library, Rachel gave me the names and numbers of two people who are rich in knowledge of Glasgow history – that’s right, an on-spot interview!! My journalism blood pumped excitedly at the thought. One of the men was a dentist (he didn’t pick up), but the other was a retired teacher, J.Y. Miller. J.Y. has a website and a column, if you’re interested. Rachel told me how to get to J.Y.’s home and then I drove off to meet him. He lives in a beautiful historic home in Glasgow and his wife is a descendant of one of the 13 original founders of the town. I spoke with J.Y. and his wife for a little while, and then he took me on a personal tour of Glasgow in his car “Rocky” (it’s a rocky mountain red color, not maroon, you’ll hurt it’s feelings). J.Y. told me about the history of the town, the Battle of Glasgow, and other historic stories – all while pointing out the parts of town where each various event took place. It was a wonderful experience, like a tour with an audio component, except the audio is living and breathing and far more exciting.

Meet J.Y. Miller, my personal historical Glasgow tour guide.

Meet J.Y. Miller, my personal historical Glasgow tour guide.

My experience in Glasgow was beautiful. J.Y. was such an intriguing individual, and all of the people I encountered in the town were ridiculously friendly. I also didn’t have cell service at any point in Glasgow, so I was completely disconnected, which was oddly nice.

I was apprehensive about setting out to explore battlefields alone. I like exploring, but it’s one thing to go willy nilly and another to have a set purpose with a defined end goal come Thursday. However, I know in the future I will look back upon this day and only be able to smile. This blog is about positivity and finding the shimmering light of 4804. Today was that light. If it weren’t for this class, if it weren’t for this school, if I hadn’t signed myself up for this, I wouldn’t be here now frantically typing my day for all the interwebs to read, worried I left out a critical detail (which I probably did because it’s hard to convey how rewarding today was).

Today reminded me of one of the first more “personal” things I told a 4804 professor –  I don’t want to report. And I still don’t know if I want to or if I will, but at least this class is proving to me that maybe, just maybe, sometimes I can kind of sort of be a reporter. Maybe.

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