Art, blog, History, Kansas City, Story, Uncategorized

My House The Trading Post and the Crane


Wesport Catholic Church, image from catholichistory.org

Wesport Catholic Church, image from catholichistory.org

How do you feel about work? I often feel like this old fable, The Wolf and the Crane.

“A Wolf who had a bone stuck in his throat hired a crane, for a large sum, to put her head into his mouth and draw out the bone. When the Crane had extracted the bone and demanded the promised payment, the Wolf, grinning and grinding his teeth, exclaimed: “Why, you have surely already had a sufficient recompense, in having been permitted to draw out your head in safety from the mouth and jaws of a wolf.”

An English writer, named, John Ruskin, published his first novel in 1845. He gave a number of lectures and wrote some important books on art and architecture. He devoted himself to work on social problems. He suffered from bouts of madness and his writings expressed that. My private journal sometimes sound ‘like his writing rants. My psychiatrist told me to keep a journal, then she said she didn’t care what was in it, although she thought I was a good writer, the exercise wasn’t intended to be read.

I pout when I have a job, and I pout when I don’t have a job. Not having a job, gives me the freedom to write and read whenever I want.  Ruskin has said, “I have seen and known too much of the struggle for life among the laboring population to feel at ease, even under any circumstances, in inviting them to dwell on the trivialities of my own studies;”

He goes on to say, “No teacher can truly promote the cause of education until he knows the conditions of the life for which that education is to prepare his pupil.”

Westport Missouri, from the time it was formed until present day, has been a working class neighborhood. There is a book about the, “The Battle of Westport, Missouri’s Great Confederate Raid,” by Paul Kirkman.  Wars have taken place, the burning of Mormons, the Mexican War, Civil-War, Women’s Rights and other notable history. A lot has been written on such topics, but as I read the various historic events concerning Westport Missouri, I don’t see enough written about the common working citizen of Westport. (Granted most folks don’t want anyone knowing what they are doing.)  The past owners of this property were young people. This building holds the ghosts of the starter business owners.

I claim its greatest contribution to history is the fact that it just exists. It has to be noted that it is a wood structure. I think it is remarkable that the building has existed this long, because of the number of wars, battles, and fires that took place, and the capitalist nature of cities to knock it down and rebuild.

The history of Kansas City in my opinion, too often come from the stories of the Upper Classes. The history books all discuss the same characters, like; McCoy, McGhee, Yoacham, Boone, Ewing, Vogel, Harris, Wornall, Hickman, Thomas Hart Benten, Samuel C Roby, Henry Clay Pate. Here is a short list of who had a trading post or tavern in Wesport in the year 1845.  It is important to note that this is not a complete census. The town was already, very big by the time the pre-civil war saloon, I live in, was built.

The goal or lifestyle of the residents would have been work.  They were young working class men and women. The first settlers, would have been in their twenties.  As the town grew successful, and Kansas City, dug away the dirt and flattened the cliffs along the Missouri river, the wealthy families moved into new homes and buildings in downtown Kansas City. In downtown Kansas City, they established new public-houses, and built them in a wise manner, with a more expressive display of dignity for such establishments that would sale spirituous liquors.

This was the nature of the city, and has been ever since. Not to be political, but with each new Mayor, Kansas City tends to invest in a new construction project, often centered on building another shopping and entertainment area, as well as new construction for residential housing communities. Problem is, we haven’t run out of land, yet. So we don’t build up, we build out. Creating older, communities that struggle for business. New city projects always bring in the new technology, however, the consumers only seek the basic needs and comforts from Kansas City, because silly, we all can’t be rich. The worker in Kansas City simply picks up his or her lunch pail and heads north, south, east, or west for twenty minutes from where ever they live, and they go to work.

A Saloon’s Treasures In Pictures

A 1954 Jukebox, left behind by, plays only 50's tunes.

A 1954 Jukebox, plays only 50’s tunes.

Antique display case, year ?

Antique display case, year ?

The only way up.

The only way up.

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