Santa Fe Native Americans

Santa Fe Native Americans4547-BellMy House

The Native Americans display their hand-made jewelry along the sidewalk in Santa Fe New Mexico. When I travel to New Mexico from Missouri, I like to imagine what the trip was like for the pioneers. However, my heart breaks when I visit the Indian reservations. I tend to buy everything they try to sell me.

My house once served as a trading post, owned by a man of Native American ancestry, at the time of the Santa Fe Trail. Westport Kansas City no longer has a Native American presence. The only hunting that takes place are by the shoppers that stroll by the brick buildings with awnings and neon signs.

Old Westport sign at the corner of Wesport Road and the traffficway.

Old Westport sign at the corner of Westport Road and the trafficway.

There are no tall buildings in Westport. At the corner of Southwest Trafficway and Westport Road, an old wagon is preserved under the ‘Old Westport sign.’ Although, the streets are quiet during the day, the days of gun-toting renagades are not necessarily gone. I was out shopping and saw a man bend over to pick up his toddler, and out poked his hand gun. At night, sounds of emergency sirens and train whistles echo. There are occasional gun shots in the night.

The police set up DUI check points at each end of Westport. Fools like my 20 something year old son, will try to run from the cops, if under the influence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out into the night to rescue him drunk hiding in the bushes behind the Catholic Church, “Mommy, come get me.” It is hard not to help when I actually hear the police sirens in my neighborhood, and the phone rings with my only son saying the police are after him. An unarmed party boy, he will never grow up.

The front of the Westport St. Gabreil Catholic Church

The front of the Westport St. Gabriel Catholic Church

My son.

My son.

Young people come out at night to enjoy the music and dancing at the local taverns. Most of the bars serve food, and have bands play music until close. There are taverns along Westport Road, like Kelly’s Tavern, and McCoy’s Bar and Grill, which have been here since the 1820’s. Within walking distance from me is Cupini’s, an old Italian Restaurant and Market that makes fresh pasta daily. The trendy businesses are tattoo shops, psychic readers, dress stores, art gallery’s, art supplies, and antiques.

Antique Shop

Antique Shop

In Westport you can get your future told
In Westport you can get your future told

There is more than one psychic in town where the future is told. From the way some of the young people dress around here, you may think there has been a zombie apocalypse.  It is hard not to stare at those faces whited out and eyes lined in dark liner on both the girls and the boys. You will see guys in baggy shorts even when it snows. I recognize the face of the homeless guys that sit at the Quick Trip asking everyone passing for their change, but I don’t know them personally. I say, “hi,” but I don’t give money to strangers.

A new neighbor renovates the house several doos down.

A new neighbor renovates the house several doos down.

The construction doesn’t stop. On every block, a house is being renovated. The folks in the West Plaza area try to keep their properties looking good. A new neighbor, several houses down from me has been working on his place all year. Pounding of hammers and sawing, and murmurs of construction workers and then one day the imported Spanish windows arrived. I can’t wait to see what goes on next.

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

My House the Trading Post- Walk Around Town

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Bob Simons, guitar player with Romantics, pictured on right

Bob Simons, guitar player with Romantics, pictured on right

My House the Trading Post, has introduced readers to my home town of Westport, Kansas City. The area boasts a rich history as the oldest established community in Kansas City. More than 150 years ago, Westport marked the passage into the Western Frontier and set the foundation for what it is today. The neighborhood’s historic past is fused with creative individuals, quaint houses, thriving shops, fashionable boutiques, local eateries, and hot night-spots.

Bob Simons, is the current owner of the saloon built-in 1853 that served early Westport and the Santa Fe trail. It has been rebuilt to accommodate the practice of law, music, and art-all at the same time.

Bob is an attorney at law. He has practiced criminal defense and family law in Kansas City, MO for more than 40 years. He is also a fantastic guitar player who has appeared many times at Starlight Theater, the Uptown, and similar venues with B.B King, Ray Charles, the Romantics, and the like. Presently, he plays pedal steel guitar with Max Groove, New Age Jazz and R&B keyboardist.

He also regards himself an artist. He has shown painting, photography, and sculpture from time to time in Kansas City, Santa Fe, Sedona, and Denver. He receives royalties for his photographs displayed in art textbooks written by professor Stone. Students at the Kansas City Art Institute are sometimes introduced to Bob’s interior design style on their spring field trip to our house. At present, Bob finds it more fun to make dollhouses for me and our grandson.

Bob playing pedal steel guitar

Bob playing pedal steel guitar

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

My House The Trading Post 2.2

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