Archive for May 23rd, 2017

I am always going on about the places and things I visit and find while traveling, but I don’t do much about the stuff I find in my own back yard (the metropolitan area of what is the great city of Kansas City, MO).

Well, this past weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a couple of friends from out of town – and as one does – I planned a weekend of exploring the city like a tourist. So over the next few days I will post about some of the highlights of a weekend of delights in Kansas City. First up is a true hidden gem – The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures on the campus of the University of Missouri Kansas City.

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is a wonderful building with two permanent collections – one featuring the history of toys, the other focusing on the incredible world of miniatures. Both collections are wonderful and worth more than a short visit.

About The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures: “The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures educates, inspires, and delights adults and children through the museum’s collection and preservation of toys and miniatures. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures opened in 1982 as the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City featuring the collections of Mary Harris Francis and Barbara Marshall. On August 1, 2015, the museum reopened as The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures with the world’s largest fine-scale miniature collection and one of the nation’s largest antique toy collections on public display.”

A highlight of the toy museum is a spiraling centerpiece between the museums two floors – the moving canvas includes hundreds are toys, game pieces and other childhood delight in an epic display which can only be appreciated if seen. The museums exhibits includes toys from just about every era of American life and is sure to cause many bouts of full-on nostalgia.

Currently on exhibit is Over the Rainbow: Toys from the Land of Oz: “Published in 1900, L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz is considered America’s first fairy tale. Since then, the story of Dorothy’s fantastical journey through the land of Oz has enticed generations. Explore the original literary story and its many retellings, including the 1939 Technicolor film, Return to Oz, and The Wiz, through playthings, first edition books, and original costumes at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.”

On the miniature side, we are treated to many displays of impossibly small masterpieces, from fleas dressed as circus performers (seen only under a microscope) to the ornate renderings of rooms in stately homes – truly awe-inspiring.

Plan your trip and learn more about The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures here.

Over the Rainbow: Toys from the Land of Oz continued at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures through August 20, 2017.

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is located at 5235 Oak St. in the great city of KCMO.

Sometime in the latter half of the last century, four icons (an overused word but worthy here) of “outlaw” country music decided to bring their talents together to form a super group and the world has benefitted ever since. Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson were known as the Highwaymen and never before or since have four more amazing songwriters and performers ever been together on the same stage – and that is no hyperbole.

I will always regret that I never got to see Mr. Cash or Mr. Jennings perform. However, Willie is still going strong and I had the great privilege to see Mr. Kristofferson perform a solo concert last month at the Uptown Theatre in Kansas City, MO – and what a treat it was.

Now in his 80s, Mr. Kristofferson’s voice has aged like a fine wine and adds a weary, wistful melancholy to his most enduring songs like Me and Bobby McGee, Sunday Morning Coming Down, Help Me Make It Through the Night, and especially For the Good Times.

Mr. Kristofferson’s songs have been recorded by hundreds of artists and his own recordings are legendary. If you don’t know his music, check him out on YouTube and you will see why he is so revered.

And if you ever have the chance to see him perform at this late point in his career: DO NOT PASS IT UP.

Learn more about the amazing life, career and legacy of Mr. Kris Kristofferson here.

See tour information (he’s all over Europe this summer including a sold out headline show at Glastonbury – totally worth the trip!) here.

Remember…

…freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.