Friday, July 29, 2011


Forget all the bad prison puns... a visit to Lansing and Leavenworth, Kansas, plus a visit to Homer's Drive Inn
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During my workweek, we headed to Leavenworth.  The GPS took us on a route I wasn't aware of before.  KS 5 takes you from 435 straight to Lansing via a very picturesque hilly rural route.  This part is fine, but, unfortuneately, part of it is blocked by flooding.  Ken and I decided to stop in Lansing first, as it was a place we hadn't gone before.  We found not much of a downtown by a busy KS 7, a school for sale, and a town pretty much dedicated to the prison industrial complex.  The Lansing Depot is a museum, and besides the restoration of the building, the outside (at least -- it was closed when we went in) has a track car as one of its main attractions.  Neither of us felt confortable taking pictures of the prison, so I used the dashcam.
Road Block on K-5 means flooding ahead
Flooding on K-5
Lansing school, now an apartment building, is for sale

A few photos from Tuesday
KS route 5
Union Depot -- Now an activity center, In downtown Leavenworth Kansas
A smart phone generated HDR image of an art deco doorway, downtown Leavenworth, Kansas
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Dashcam Image of downtown Leavenworth, Kansas

Homer's Drive Inn, Leavenworth Kansas

- 2011/07/28 Thursday 18:19:07 We are at Homer's Drive Inn in Leavenworth, Kansas. I have been wanting to come here ever since I have driven by here on my trips through. Working has forced me to do fast food or nothing. This place has a fast drive in out front where the wait staff car hops out to you -- old school with no scratchy assed intercom that could not be heard, much less understood -- just peson to person interaction. You can almost picture the wait staff hopping the running boards of model A Fords. Homer's Drive Inn was started in 1931 by Homer McKelvey when he opened a root beer stand. The present store in the place it sits now opened in 1938. From 1946 to 1988, Homer's son D.H., also known as Mac operated the place. The place was sold in '88, and is now owned by Rick Jackson. Homer's is authentic, with a remodeling that occurred in 1962. Mid-century modern lovers will enjoy the elements that were added in the 60's.  I have my crazy diet, and was satisfied with the grilled chicken salad -- yes, they offer salad along with burgers, fries and other typical stuff.  Ken said he enjoyed the pie.  It did look good, but, again -- diet.  After Homer's, we moved on to walk around downtown Leavenworth, which was quite empty at sunset.
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Tima waiting patiently outside, as usual
Mid-century modern touches from the '62 remodel
Ken thinks these lattice walls are actually taken from block made for a chimeny.  I'm not so sure
More mid-century modern touches
Much more inviting than any McDonalds
The Kansas License plate from the year of the founding of the restaurant is a nice touch
The only picture of the founder, Homer McKelvey, and his original Root Beer Stand
The original 1938 building
'Mac' McKelvey
Staff from 1941
Just south of Homer's on K-7, it appears there is a Valentine 'A' Frame building

As we left, the towering thunderstorm was over Jackson and Cass Counties in Missouri, with a Severe Thunderstorm warning 
We finally got some rain today, and there were even some severe thunderstorm warnings to the south.  After our daytrip, we came to our usual Thursday evening hangout -- YJ's and discussed what we saw today.  I posted a brief transcript of between myself and Ken Mountain here.
My tourism PR Photo 
- 2011/07/28 Thursday 23:17:16 K--all we found that was intersting was Homers. Ss-- yeah I've been meaning to go to Homers dor a long time. K-- The atmosphere was interesting, the pie was good the rest was acceptable. Some day were gonna have to take 40 highway to 291 and take 24 back. You know Fort Scott is a lot like Leavenworh. There is the military attitude, there are antique stores downtown or it is empty. Ss-- I've been through Fort Scott but I've never stopped. K-- My daughter Darlene lived there for the better part of a year. She picked up her dog at the pound there. You know in the small towns it us cheaper to get an animal from the pound. All she had to pay for was the shots. SS -- I dont know if I should let people know you can get cheap poind animals in small towns. K-- They may have chnged their prices since then. They got that thing there many years ago and my grandughter Claudia, after they got that dog, man that was her dog, and if you did anything to Claudia you were in trouble. 
- 2011/07/28 Thursday 23:31:00 SS-- So we went back to Leavenworth. We were ther backin april may? K-- I couldnt tell you. They all start to run together after awhile. 
SS-- My sister is complaining that all we do ia take pictures of old buildings. K-- Yeah. I dont take too many. I like to see how the old buildings are made and how they've changed. I will take pictures of something that is unique. 
- 2011/07/28 Thursday 23:36:24 SS -- So what would you say that we found was unique today?  I would say that before this week i didn't know about that pretty drive to lansing. K-- Well I saw the lattice wall at Homers that I think was made of chimney block, the palm tree, the dead tree, the water fountain at the DQ, the water over the road, the women's prison and the speeder -- we used to call those track vehicles, speeders. You know, when the weather gets nice well have to leave earlier. 
Lansing Depot/Museum
Track Speeder at the Lansing Depot
- 2011/07/28 Thursday 23:43:55 K-- When we go to Joplin we are going to have to do differently than everyone else and do something other than tornado stuff. SS -- My response is that I was thinking that before the tornado I wanted to see the Joplin that alway was. You know -- the downtown, route 66 -- stuff like that. 
Lansing, Kansas
- 2011/07/28 Thursday 23:50:23 SS-- So what catchy title should I use for today. K-- lets all go to the slammer?  Did we get pictures of the jail. Ss-- I did with my dashcam but i was nervous. K-- It is funny but we were scared to take pictures, but a terrorist could get more off google earth. SS-- I wanted to get pictures but I did not want to get out of the car so I just used the dashcam. That reminds me too,  about that Leavenworth police officer who kept driving past us slow. K-- Yeah he must've driven past us 9 or 10 times. I think it was intersting that both the VFW and the American Legion were shut down by 9. I think though we would see more of the character of a town if we get there early enough to see people. 
Kansas Correctional facility at Lansing
- 2011/07/28 Thursday 23:59:14 Ss-- I didn't get that mural (there is a mural on the side of the art deco theater downtown that we saw but didn't photograph).   Sherman lived there and practiced law there. K-- theres a a lot of lawyers who turned into real scoundrels. 

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