Parish, Missouri: The Heart of the Nation – Pages 401-442

It seems like to me that Missouri just followed the nation throughout the 80’s and in much of what they did in the 90’s.  Some of that was okay, but when it came to the education of the children they did not want to follow the crowd and spend more.  It sounded like they complained that the education was not good enough, but did not want to raise the taxes.  This reminds me of a saying that you cannot get anything for nothing.  I did read where the taxes were raised for the education, but it took a court order to do it.  The people of the state should have done this on their own.  I know that I want the best for my children and if I have to pay a little more then that is fine with me.

When I think of the agricultural business in Missouri all I can think about is the farming.  I would say that is the only thing that sticks out in my mind because that is mainly what is around here.  I never did stop to think about the farmers that raises the chickens and other livestock.

I would think that there was something other than just politics and farming that went on in the 80’s and 90’s, but that is all the book seamed like it talked about.  There was a few main court cases in the 20 years that was talked about, but it was basically how Missouri compared to the rest of the nation.  There should have been something in that time frame that was just Missouri that did not depend on the nation and it’s outlook on life.  I guess with the way the book talks we just followed the crowd and did nothing to stand out.

Parish, Missouri: The Heart of the Nation – Pages 360-400

I really did not realize that Missouri grew so many different crops.  I am in the bootheel of the state and we don’t see that much variation in what is grown around here.  They grew soybeans, cotton, and wheat mostly.  I was just really surprised by seeing that this was like that.  The mining of coal did not occur to me.  I have spent most of my life here and there is no mining around me that I know of so I just did not think of it happening.  I did know that the coal is used for making electricity because the local power plant here has a coal powered generator that they run sometimes.

I am glad that they consolidated the schools when they did.  I think that was one of the best decisions that they could have made.  Now if they will spend more money on the education of the children that would be even better.  I feel like my children that are in the public school system right now do get a fairly good education, but it could be better.  They are using some textbooks that the children can not read and they are written for that grade level.  This means that the school system is failing them or the textbooks need to be replaced with something that the students can use.  All of this needs more money to make the necessary improvements.  

I like reading that each of the colleges help to persevere the history of the state.  That is something that needs to be done.  I believe that you need to understand the past so that you can make the future better. 

Parish, Missouri: The Heart of the Nation – Pages 315-359

I have always known that some people did not play fair in the game of politics, I just did not realize that it was that bad.  When Pendergast was in charge of the politics here he could have been a ruthless man.  If you did not vote the way he wanted you to then you would pay some kind of price.  That is just about as mean as you could get.  This was just one way that he was corrupting the system that we have in place to elect the right person, not the person one man thinks is right.

I did not know that the constitution was supposed to be voted on every 20 years to see if it needs to be updated.  I do not remember ever voting on this.  I would want to leave that in the hands of someone better than me.  I am not a very poilicity sound person to determine anything about the constitution.  From what I read it sounds like they made wonderful changes in it.  Things that needed to be fixed.

Stepenoff, Dead End Kids – Pages 68-132

After reading this book I have found that living in St. Louis during this time would have been hard on the kids as well as the adults.  I would have never thought of putting my four year old boy on the streets to sell newspaper,  First of all I don’t think that my wife would have allowed it.  I understand that for some people that would have been the only way they could have survived, but I still cannot imagine it.  
The lure of the gangs was just fast money and fast cars.  I would have thought that the possibility of being shoot would have been enough to stay out of that life.  I guess I just don’t have the ambition to be a part of a gang like that.  If I was born a few years earlier I am afraid that I might have been one of the kids in these homes due to my handicap.  I was surprised that they built the projects for the homeless people so far away from everything else.  That just really did not make any sense at all.  It was a good thing that they were trying to do, but how would they have gotten to the store.  People really need to stop and think before they do things like this.  

Reading: Stepenoff, Dead End Kids – Pages 1-67

So far this book has given me a lot of different information in regards to how the kids lived in the streets of several different places.  I feel like each chapter is retelling the some things over but from a different point of view.  They do end up giving you more information in each chapter but I am having a hard time putting it all together in a format that makes sense to me.  I thought that this book was supposed to be about the kids in St. Louis, but they talk about the kids all over the country.  It seems like they had the same problems in the other big cites as well.  What I would like to know is if they did have the same problems.  So if they use the relocation program in say New York did they use the same program in St. Louis?  At one point they talked like the New York and other cites like them were sending their kids to St. Louis, if so then this was just adding to the problem there.  While it would have helped in the other cites it would have just added to the problem in St. Louis.

Parish, Missouri: The Heart of the Nation – Pages 267-314

I was wondering all this time what happened with the artists.  I knew that even though life was hard and they had to work from sun-up to sun-down that people had to have some free time for other things.  I am glad that the life from that time was captured on canvas.  I have not seen any of this art that has survived since I do not get out for things like this.  After this semester is over I might start looking up some of it on the internet to see what it was like then.  Books can tell you just so much about life and some things you need to see.  

I knew that jazz and the blues came from ragtime music I just did not know that ragtime started in Missouri.  My wife was surprised to hear this as well since she grew up in New Orleans with all the jazz that is down there.

From what I can understand in the next chapter the automobile did more for the state then the railroad did. It bought everyone together not just fright.  The children out in the rural areas were able to go to bigger schools with the ease of transportation.  And it not only created the jobs of making the cars, but also the roads and fuel.  It even added to the job of the repairman. 

Parish, Missouri: The Heart of the Nation – Pages 223-266

From the beginning of this reading it seems like everything is going good with the exception for the railroads.  The industry in St. Louis started to grow fast.  The profit from these did more than double over a few years.  I have always known that Bush beer was started in St. Louis but just did not know how long ago it was.  I really enjoyed reading about the beginning of some of the factories and all that started there.  After the civil war everything was turned upside down.  Not only did the farmers suffer but the industries did as well.  The next chapter really focused in on the farmers and the problems that they were having and not anything else.  I think that everything should have been talked about. Or am I to assume that everything suffered like the farmers did?  I had hoped that in this time of financial worry that bribes would not have happened, but the book talks about 4 or 5 such bribes.  In some of the bribes they don’t make much sense to me.  I would think that if I was going to bribe someone it would be over bigger things then what goes into baking powder.

The last half of the book about Louis Houck

I have learned so much in this book.  What I found to be the most interesting is the beginning of SEMO.  I figured that the buildings were named after some of the people that had a major influence over the school and it was good to be able to read about some of them.  It really made me feel like I got to know some of them.  It even gave me a little more respect for the beginning of the school since it did have a hard start to get as big as it did.  I am glad that it made it and was able to prosper since I am able to get my education through SEMO as well as my wife.

I knew that bare basics of the drainage project since I have lived here most of my life.  This gave me a new understanding of how this area became the fertile farmland.  This book has given me a new understanding and appreciation for the land that we have around here.

Rhodes, A Missouri Railroad Pioneer – Pages 1-151

This is a story about a man and his rise to success.  Over his life he was able to do whatever he wanted to do.  This is the kind of life style that I wished that I could have.  When ever he chose to change careers he did without any worries about what he was going to do for his daily living money.  He seemed like he took great pride in what he did.  When he set out to do something like getting SEMO in cape he was doing things for the betterment of the city and not necessarily for him.  When he set his mind to something he did not stop until it was done.  I also like how he never forgot any of his past skills.  When he needed to raise the money for the railroad he used the skills that he learned as a lawyer to convince his wife.  He was mainly a self taught man and was able to keep adding to his knowledge.  When he wanted to know something he made his own manuals for it so that he could always refer back to them.

Parish, Missouri: The Heart of the Nation – Pages 172-222

The days before the civil war seemed like the State of Missouri was going to stay with the union and help them.  They saw no reason to leave.  This made sense to me since the Union did everything that they could to help Missouri to be admitted as a slave state.  When the war broke out inside the state with brother against brother that is when they chose sides.  I think that they made the best choice that they could at the time.  The south looked like the best choice to go with so that they could protect the slaveholders.  Before the end of the war I think that they just became like sheep following the heard. 

After the war it seemed like the blacks chose to be by themselves.  Since they finally had the freedom to do anything that they wanted to they started to copy the whites and the different things that they were doing.  Many schools were set up that was just for the blacks as well as clubs.  The period of the radical rule was almost turning things upside down.  They went to the opposite end of things.  This time they want to give the blacks everything.  It was almost like they were trying to make up for everything that had happened to them over the years of slavery.  The blacks were now able to do almost everything that a white person could.  It only made since that soon after this that women would want more rights as well.

I could not believe the test oath.  I think this was just a way to make the people that supported the south pay for it.  They only fought for what they believed in and was punished for it.