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!

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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.

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