June 2, 2018, Carthage, IL-
I had a decent night’s sleep, in my premium room at Budget Inn, before embarking on a morning and noon of enjoying some of the International Ragtime Festival, downtown Sedalia.
The Festival is sparked by Scott Joplin’s connection with Sedalia, but many others are celebrated by the Festival: James Scott, James P. Johnson, Jelly Roll Morton, Gene Greene and Eubie Blake (whom I once had the pleasure of meeting and hearing, in person. Mr. Blake could still play piano and sing, at the age of 90.)
Here are some scenes of Sedalia, on this crisp late Spring day.
Approaching, and inside, the main performance tent, I found a skilled ragtime pianist entertaining the crowd, with both songs and stories of James Scott and Jelly Roll Morton, as well as of john Philip Sousa, whose energetic marches influenced ragtime, as well.
One must also eat, whilst at a festival of this sort, and eating local foods is always preferable. This food truck offered “hand-cut, hand-breaded tenderloin” sandwiches. I got one, with hand-squeezed fresh lemonade. It lasted me the rest of the day. (“Chilli” refers to Chillicothe, MO).
Lastly, this performer was focusing his energies on the work of James P. Johnson.
So, the day was a perfect counterpoint to last night’s confusion and disappointment. I went on to visit a couple, now living in Columbia, who were American Legion friends in Prescott. Then I headed riverward.
The Mississippi, from Hamilton, IL, southeast of Keokuk, IA, offered this sunset.
I had the best of what was left me in my cooler, at the quiet Smith Memorial Roadside Park, in Missouri, just west of Keokuk. Out of respect, I did a bit of clean-up on the property, before eating.
Stopping in Nauvoo, the last residence of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I found that it would not have been a good idea to take twilight photos. All the houses are occupied, and a vigilant security guard was there, to warn away evening visitors. It is a hauntingly pretty place in early evening, though.