St Louis, MO – day 2

Me with pink elephant
Me with pink elephant

Well, another banner day for me in St. Louis!  I went to visit the Scott Joplin House.  Wow!!!  I began playing Scott Joplin rags when I was about 13 or 14.  When I got hired to play background music for children’s plays, I’d often use Scott Joplin rags for scene changes and intermission.  I heard Scott Joplin played at antique car events my parents attended, silent movies…and of course…I used to dance to the soundtrack from the movie, The Sting.  Everyone would ask “Can you play The Entertainer?” and of course I could…then I’d throw in The Maple Leaf Rag.  The Pineapple Rag and The Ragtime Dance were my favorites.  And learning to play Scott Joplin’s music took time.  Break down the jagged rhythms in the right hand.  Practice the constant shifting of the left hand.  Then practice with hands together…SLOWLY.  And when I finally got it with my hands together…it was the best feeling a 14 year old geeky music girl could ever have.  Until I discovered boys, anyway!

When I saw the sign that I was minutes from Scott Joplin’s House – my heart raced and I knew I had to go.  I’m so glad I did!  The home was nothing spectacular.  In fact, none of his furnishings are in it.  He only lived in this particular home a year or so.  But jazz was king in the neighborhood, and many other great songs were born blocks from here, including Frankie & Johnny, and The St Louis Blues.  Below is a video of me playing an old player piano.  The rag is one of Joplin’s lesser known rags but one of my favorites, Solace.  The tour guide selected this piano roll over others, and I’m so glad he did because it’s the first time I heard it played with the Mexican flavor it’s supposed to have.

Afterwards, it was time for lunch and I was told to get Imo’s pizza.  It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great…but it was all I needed to get me on my way.

Imo's PizzaImo's personal pizza









After lunch, it was time to head to Bloomington, IL where I had made arrangements to stay overnight in a grain silo.  But on the way, I went past Livingston, IL…and saw this marvelous roadside stop, known as Pink Elephant Antiques.  They sell all kinds of stuff inside an old gymnasium…unbelievable amounts of goodies and treasures to be found there!  When I grew up, my parents were ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS stopping at weird places hunting for treasures.  The weirder the better!  All I could do was laugh…the genetic code was cast.  😀  When I got into comedy, my first jokes were about my strange travels.  I’m the only person I know who’s been to both the Hare Krishna Temple of Gold in New Vrindaban, WV…and to have shook “stumps” with The Wild Mountain Man in South Dakota, who carved the alphabet in a pencil…with a chainsaw.  You might remember him on “That’s Incredible.”

On the way to my silo – the Princess Pilot had an auto b-day.  Happy 200,000 miles!



I finally get to the silo – and here is where I wrote this blog from.  My “silo” is behind the tree.  It’s awesome – and my hostess Heather is a delight.  We had a fantastic dinner at a restaurant called Medici’s.  It was in Normal, IL – which is probably as close as I’ll ever get to Normal!  I would definitely stay here again.  I’ll have more pics of the inside tomorrow.  So…what a lovely day it has been!   More surprises are in store for me, I’m sure…and I hope they’re all wonderful discoveries and memories like the ones I had today.

IMG_1192 IMG_1193


Author: PrincessOfParodies

The self proclaimed love child of Liza Minelli and Klinger, Traci Kanaan grew up in Berea, Ohio, a quiet middle class community on Cleveland's west side. Her Italian mother loved opera, dance and theater. Her Lebanese father loved stock car racing, flea markets, and dirty jokes. Traci combined these influences to make a comedy yard sale...with music. You've seen it before...but not on display like this! Traci started taking piano lessons at the age of 4. Never one to play it the way it was written, she constantly improvised during her piano lessons by making up funny lyrics or changing the endings, ultimately burning out 8 piano teachers before she graduated from high school. Traci attended Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, and graduated with a B.A. in Music and Business, and with minors in Music Composition, Electronic Music, and Piano Performance. For her senior recital, she composed all original music, performed by other students. Each piece reflected her sense of humor, including bras being pulled out of saxophones, compositions performed on children's toys, and the staged death of a performer…assassinated by a ping pong ball gun. In 2002 and 2003, Traci performed in Tony and Tina's Wedding as the 8 months pregnant maid of honor, Connie Mocogni. She had so much fun, she continued performing stand up comedy and improv with some of the comics she met in the show. Traci continues her irreverence by creatively combining stand up comedy with her piano and vocal performances. She covers numerous topics, including her life and family, pop culture, and current events. Her performances include a wide spectrum of musical styles including classical music, oldies, rock 'n roll, country and rap. Whatever the occasion, Traci Kanaan combines her love of laughter and music as The Princess of Parodies. She is a real crowd pleaser, and an unforgettable, hilariously funny novelty comedy act!

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