Sunday, April 26, 2009


I(Bob) usually don't like museums. It seems I get bored after a very short while. In Borger, TX we went to a neat little county museum that told the history of the area and I found it very interesting. Saturday Jan & I went to the Ralph Foster Museum at The College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO. What a neat place. The campus is on a very neat setting in the hills just outside of Branson. The museum is three floors of the history of the Ozarks and the people who lived and live here starting with the original Beverly Hillbillies truck (built from a 1921 Oldsmobile)from the tv show. The first floor has a couple of showcases devoted to Rose O'Neill and her art including her Kewpies which was one of the reasons for the visit. One whole room was devoted to Ralph Foster,a pioneer radio station owner who started his first station in 1924 in St. Joseph, MO. There is more about him on the website here. Another first floor room has primative Americana, a log cabin, many tools, steam engines and many other things used in settling the area. Another room was art of the area. The second floor is a huge collection of any kind of gun that you can imagine. Many guns and the stories of their help in settling the Missouri and Arkansas area. There are also, displays of the many prominent figures from the college that served in the armed forces and in the government. The third floor is a natural history floor with rocks and minerals, many mounted birds,butterflies, deer and many other animals from all over the world. All in all a very enjoyable place to spend an afternoon. Another impressive little museum is David O'Neill's (grand-nephew of Rose O'Neill). David opened his museum wth his and some of Janet's (his deceased sister) collection of Rose's original art and the Kewpies that she created. David has one large display case of just metal Kewpie radiator caps, which were used on old cars. Another case displays some of the various dishes, and there's several other display cases with other items. As extensive as his museum is, I would have to guess he has only managed to get part of his collection on display. If you are any where near it, I would suggest that you check it out for yourself. His museum is in Springfield MO. in a former general store located in Galloway Center, mingled in an area of other old buildings with some housing antique stores and art galleries.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I see the LITTLE GREEN TRUCK got to tell his story already. I have always thought Mister Bob likes him better. BUT I suppose it is only right since he was part of the family long before me. AND if you think about it, Mister Bob would not have needed me if he didn't have the LITTLE GREEN TRUCK to pull me
After Mister Bob got his truck, he started looking for a trailer to go with it. He advertised in the American Truck Historical Society magazine for a low deck, moving van type trailer. It was almost 6 weeks before he got a response. He had given up hope of finding one through the ad. When a guy from Jolliet, IL called and said he thought he had what Mister Bob was looking for ( that would have been ME!). I was in the far corner of this guy's lot, surrounded by his working trailers. This guy was closing his business and needed to clear out everything. I had been in the back corner for so long (over 5 years), that I thought I would never get to travel again. I had heard talk of scrap yards and knew I really did NOT want to go there! Anyway Mister Bob came to see me, managed to get into the corner and check me out. I heard Mister Bob tell the guy he was interested if I could still go down the road ok. I started to exercise right then. So by the time the guy could get to me, I would not have stiff joints and would roll down the road ok. It worked. So I moved to Michigan and became part of the family. I was pretty secure in being the one to be pulled by the Little Green Truck, that's what he used to take me home. But then about a month later a bigger trailer(40 foot) moved in with us. There was some discussion about which one of us was going to become their home. Miss Jan wanted me because Mister Bob had never driven big trucks pulling trailers before, and she thought I would fit in campgrounds easier. Mister Bob thought my running gear was the better of the two of us. So sure enough I was the one!!! The other trailer became a storage trailer for now. They would like to convert that one now, but they are having too much fun traveling all over with me to take the time to convert it.
In the fall of 2006, they started working on me. Miss Jan sand-blasted all the bottom trim to get off all of the several layers of paint. I had been working for the carival at my last job. There was faint lines where you could see Complete Carnival written on my sides. They had left boxes of baseballs and two tracks that one would throw the balls down to knock something over to win a prize. Mister Bob was going to just replace my skin at the bottom where I was really rusty and holey, but decided to pull all that old stuff off and give me a complete face lift with all new galva-steel. I felt pretty naked for awhile there because he had stripped me down to just my doors and ribs. Wow!! It was getting to be winter time and I was still naked. My boards were put back on inside but they were waiting for foam insulation to be sprayed in before they could cover me up again. The guys doing that were deer hunting which is a couple weeks or more. After I got foamed then , the family proceeded to re-skin me. The new skin was cut, then glued, put in place and then screwed. Hopefully with the glue on, it woild be placed in the right spot because they could not move it once it made contact without causing dents and creases. Once that was done then my windows had to be put in place. Miss Jan stained my tongue-n-groove ceiling boards. Then Mister Bob started putting me together. They had an old cabinet that Miss Jan had bought 25 years ago and refinished. He used that for a wall dividing the living area from the bathroom/bedroom area. He turned the bottom shelves of the cabinet towards the bathroom for storage in there. The top of the cabinet hold dishes and basic items. Under the sink he made sliding shelves to make it easier to find the stored food. He hung a drop space to store their hot-plates (gas and electric) and then a drop leaf counter on the front of the cabinet. He put an old '76 Hotpoint refrigerator next to the counter and bolted that down. Then on top of that he put a wooden box (that he had built to store their electric oven)that is hooked to the wall. The only major thing she wanted to take with us was her MIGUN massage bed, so he turned that into a murphy bed in the living area. So it can be used when needed. They used a water bed frame ( for storage underneath) and have their own queen size mattress on it. There are a couple closets in the living area ( one for hanging clothes and the other for the extra food etc). In the back doors is an area about 3 feet deep. He has shelves for tools, sewing machine, 2 inflatable kayaks, Grizz's cage, the blue box, ladder etc. So that is how we travel for now. One happy family!

ps.. there are more pics in the trailer album in our Picasa web albums.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Story

HI, I'm the Little Green Truck and the tall guy said that I should tell people my story,so here goes.....I am a 1965 White 3000 cabover bought in June of 1965 by a guy named, Harold in Pennsylvania. He ordered me with a White Mustang 6 cylinder, 466 cubic inch, 185 horsepower flathead gasoline engine and an 8 speed RoadRanger transmission. My green paint is very close to the original color so I think I still look pretty good. We hauled stuff like empty cigar boxes and things in Pennsylvania until he sold me ( in about 1986) to another good guy named Gerald who lived in Tennessee. Mister Gerald and I hauled freight like pvc pipe and other light stuff around the southeast part of the USA until he got very sick. He sold me to another good guy named Jake (in about 1988)who also lived in Tennessee. Mister Jake was an old time trucker who had another old truck ( a 1950 Mack LJT)that he had driven since 1954. He really liked old trucks, so he wanted me to look good and when his wife Miss Ruth said he should freshen up my paint he thought that was a good idea. After the paint job I became her truck and we went to truck shows together and had a lot of fun. When Mister Jake got sick he thought he should find someone else to take care of me, so he put a for sale sign in my window when we went to shows and that is how the tall guy (Mister Bob) found me... from a picture at a truck show that was posted on the internet.
Mister Bob and Miss Jan put new tires on me and took me to Michigan where they lived. They took good care of me but, about a year later my engine blew a head gasket and Mister Bob couldn't find any new gaskets so he found a nice C8.3 liter Cummins diesel engine(215 horsepower) and a nice Allison 4 speed automatic transmission in a BlueBird school bus and fixed me up so that I could pull things again. Mister Bob joined The American Truck Historical Society and found a neat 1946 Trailmobile trailer, but thats another story that I will let him tell.

ps.. the color on the picture by the old schoolhouse in TN. is the closest to the right color. Every picture we take of the truck it shows a different color. Bob

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just hangin' out in Branson

We are just hanging out in the Branson area waiting for the KEWPIE convention next week, April 22 - 25. We spent Monday driving around with just the truck to see if we wanted to go to a different rv park. After much investigating the ups and downs( there are so many hills as NOTHING is flat) we decided we were probably in the best spot already. Two rows from the lake (which was good since that area flooded last year!),walking distance to the "Landing" and old downtown and easy access to the main roads, what more could we ask for? So we went back to the City of Branson Lakeside RV Park and extended our time there.

For those of you who have not been to Branson in the past 2-3 years, let me tell you there have been some changes.
They have the "Branson Landing" now, with shops, restaurants, bars, condos and everything imaginable at the edge of Lake Taneycomo. They won the "INTERNATIONAL DESIGN and DEVELOPMENT AWARD in ANNUAL SHOPPING CENTER COMPETITON". They have a $7.5million night-time water feature that combines light, water, fire and music for some outstanding sights. We had walked the sidewalk along the lake and walked back through the business district. There was a guy setting up the chairs for an outside cafe at Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar and Grill. Now that was something we had never been to see. He informed us that there were 2 guys and 1 young lady that played there nightly. We would have to definitely put that on the 'to do' list.
We went back to the camp ground and lazed around for awhile. A couple came over to show us a picture of the oldest 7-UP delivery truck. The gentleman had been over earlier looking at our truck and told us about the 7-UP truck his brother owned. The only picture he had of the truck was on a t-shirt that his wife was wearing. He said he would send her over so we could check it out. While they were here we mentioned the bar with the pianos, they had heard about them and was considering going there, also.
About 8:30pm Bob put Grizzly in the truck. Grizzly behaves the best there, only barking if someone comes TOO close to his truck and is content to "guard" the truck for hours. So once Grizz was taken care of, we walked to the bar, which is the farthest from the rv park. As we were sipping our first drink, the other couple showed up. Little did any of us know that she was doing a solo that night. Yup, someone had requested a certain song and the observant piano player noticed the lady from our park was the only one who knew the words and was singing along. He had her come up on stage to do the song. She was great! This bar is very determined to have audience participation. They ask for requests, they "spotlight" you for any reason! Now something like that puts total fear in me. Other people do NOT realize how tone deaf some people can be and how unable some people are to carry a tune!!! I even have difficulty of clapping to the rhythm of the music so some people think I'm not enjoying the music. I am!!! I just have a different beat!!

We managed to see a couple shows this year, the Rankin Brothers at the Starlight and the Twelve Irish Tenors at the Branson Varity Theater. Both shows were well worth the effort, time and money. There are so many good shows and usually so little time after the convention starts. So we decided to take advantage of our unscheduled time in Branson. We always manage to stop at Billy Bob's Dairyland for a hamburg and shake, like the good ole' days. I think that has been as much a tradition as the convention has for the last 20+ years. Another favorite place to eat is the "Hard Luck Diner" where the waitstaff and even the cooks are ready to entertain us with songs.

Monday, April 13, 2009


We are in Branson, MO waiting for warmer weather and dryer would be nice. I guess I shouldn't complain. So it's been wet and in the 40s, at least we did not get snow. After reading Nick's blog and seeing his picture of approximately 3" of snow over Easter weekend at Show Low Lake, AZ, I decided I would enjoy the weather we had. And pray that it did not get worse.
I have been coming to Branson for over 20 years to attend KEWPIESTA, a convention for Kewpie collectors and collectors of Rose O'Neill memorabilia. Rose O'Neill was the creator of the KEWPIE doll. She, also, was the highest paid illustrator until Walt Disney. She has written and illustrated many books, did advertisements for Jello, Rock Island railroads, floor varnish, folding camera, woman sufferage and the list goes on and on. If interested check out the Rose O'Neill Historical Society or email for more information or come to the Ramada Inn in Branson April 22-25. Hopefully the sun will be shining by then.
For those people north of us, we will try to post some pictures of flowers and dogwood trees in bloom. We really hope spring gets to the north soon. We are headed back to Michigan slowly....... Hopefully following the warmer weather there.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Where does one start to explain the feeling one gets traveling the TRACE? We started from Natchez and headed north trying to visualize how a person would manage to walk the entire distance. We took our time and traveled the trace in 3 days and still missed seeing everything listed. At the southern starting point the trees seemed to be denser making the area appear to be more secluded, giving us the impression that we were alone on this journey. Later we ran into other travelers and chatted a bit with them.
If you have ever seen the Milepost, which lists all the important sites along the highway in Alaska, then you can relate to the brocure one is given for the Trace. It lists all the areas along the way, even telling how much time some of the walks will take.
We had been on the trace for 3 or 4 hours when a park ranger was coming from the opposite direction with his flashers going. He made a u-turn behind us and pulled us over. Wanted to know if the trailer was our camper and when we replied in the affirmative, his response was, Carry on". We were not stopped again during the rest of the trip. They must have spread the word about the little green truck and trailer. The first leg of the trip, we went as far as the information center at the Kosciosko chamber of commerce, about 160 miles. The ladies there gave us a printed sheet of campgrounds in the area. The one we stayed at was set up for 5 rv sites. Small, but fulfilled our needs for the night. We were not even unhooking the truck, just a quick meal, relaxing a little and rest for the next part tomorrow. My legs were definitely telling me I had walked and climbed more than usual. Even Grizz came inside early, without complaining, and was sleeping like a log before it was even dark outside.
The next morning we did not get started as early as planned. I had to stop at Walmart for a simple refill of medicine. NOT! When am I going to learn, it is never simple at Walmart or most pharmacies?
Anyway we finally got back on our secluded little back road,speed limit 50 and no commercial vehicles allowed. Our first stop was at the French Camp. Two ladies at the welcome center were so informative and helpful. We had driven by a cafe, about 500 feet back from where we were stopped. So we had to stop there for lunch. It was as good as they had said. Definitely a must-stop if you are doing the trace. Our next major stop was the Parkway Visitor Center, lots of exhibits and a short video that was well worth watching. We stayed at the Tishomingo State Park for the night at 304.5 miles. Wish we had more time to explore the park. We did find the swinging bridge before we left the next morning.
The 3rd leg of the trip started out gloomy,almost raining. As we progressed up the trace the weather became colder and heavy rain. We stopped in Collinwood at the Visitors Center where we were informed of tornado warnings. We spent over an hour there having lunch and waiting for updates on the weather. We finally felt safe to continue on up the road. We found out later that at least 2 tornadoes had touched down, doing damage to over one hundred homes and killing at least 2 people in Murfreesboro not far from Nashville or the Trace.
We found a place to spend the night near Nashville. Thankful that we had driven the Trace in 3 days versus walking it in 6 months!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


We left the casino RV park this morning and headed north east bound for Mississippi and found US highway 84 again. We had traveled on it a ways in TX and kept seeing signs-- El Camino East/West Corridor--I finally looked it up and found it was a route the spanish settlers used to travel from the Atlantic to Mexico. It runs from Georgia to Colorado now--1919 miles. Tomorrow we leave on another famous road-- The Natchez Trace-- a 444 mile route the riverboat men (and indians and wild animals) used to return north after traveling down the Mississippi river. In Natchez we went to Melrose, an antebellum mansion built in the 1830's now owned by the National Park Service, what history. Louisiana had the Acadians and Mississippi had slavery, we don't think of how people lived (and the mistreatment of others) until we stay in an area and learn about history that we have only read about. Seeing the area and talking to people really makes it come alive. How great it is that we have the freedom to travel and visit places like this.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Leaving Louisiana

It's Monday and we are still in LA., but a little closer to another state. On Friday we took the Grizz to a groomer to get a shampoo and nail clip. We need this to help us keep on his shedding hair (never ending). Saturday we went back to the Zydeco breakfast, then hit some antique shops. In the afternoon we went to Calvin Touchets "2check" bar for the French Cajun Jam--songs in cajun French-- done to preserve the cajun culture. Had a great time,again, the southern LA people are very welcoming and friendly. Sunday we sadly left and drove about 150 miles. We landed at the Paragon Casino Resort RV Park-- 185 sites,Passport America,$8.50 a night full hookups in Marksville, LA. Jan loves it. I am just relaxing so thought I would update the blog. If you want to know more about Betty's Rv park check out uppity-womans blog. She was at Betty's with us and started her blog about the same time we did but has more patience uploading pictures. Check out the other pages we like too!Tomorrow we are on the road for the Natchez Trace and the long way around to Branson MO. and Kewpiesta.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


We had planned on leaving for Branson MO last Monday but changed our minds because this area has been so much fun and the weather north still looks cold. Yesterday we went on "Champagnes swamp tour" on Lake Martin. It is a lake formed out of the bayou and swamp when the gov't built levee's that stopped all the drainage out. It is still very swamp like with much moss in the cypress trees with the water in most places less than two ft deep. Our guide has lived here all his life and took us very,very close to lots of alligators and we also went into a friends duck blind. Saw a lot of nesting birds that we both have forgotton their names, but it was neat to see them nesting in large flocks and see some little ones in the nest. The area they nest is closed to boat traffic,but we could see the nests good enough to see the babies. We also went to a bakery where the have been baking french bread and ginger bread cakes since 1884 in the same building with the same receipes, mmmmmmm good. We are leaving Sunday, but there is still a lot of good Cajun and Zydeco music this weekend that we plan on going to hear. The people in the area are so friendly that it really makes it hard to leave even though there is still lots we want to see on our way north.