I Enjoy the Ride by traveling and seeing the world around me. We are so busy speeding down the freeways of life that we miss out on the back roads and all the wonderful little stories that every place offers. So, I try to take the less beaten paths and see the real world.
I have visited all 50 United States and many provinces in Canada, nearly all prefectures in Japan as well as Seaul, Korea, Shanghai and Suzhou, China and Cenu, Philippines. Also been to Mexico.
Father of five, grandfather of 10 and happily married to my sweetheart for nearly 38 years. Fluent in Japanese. Happy and well traveled. See details at http://www.sumoflam.biz/SumoflamBio.htm
On a trip to Kansas City back in November 2011, I returned via some back roads in south central Missouri. My main destination of choice was Tightwad, Missouri. This is an unincorporated town of about 65 or 70 people.
The village’s unusual name is said to stem from an episode in which a store owner cheated a customer, who was a postman, by charging him an extra fifty cents for a better watermelon. Some sources claim the transaction involved a rooster rather than a watermelon. However, there is really nothing definitive. Nonetheless, the town is fun.
Perhaps the biggest point of excitement is the Tightwad Bank, a real bank. According to its website, The bank was founded on September 5, 1900 as Reading State Bank, a Kansas chartered commercial bank. On March 27, 2008 the bank opened a full service branch in Tightwad, MO and changed its name to Tightwad Bank. Tightwad Bank is FDIC insured and is currently classified as “well capitalized” by the FDIC. They even sell Tightwad Bank shirts and hats!! YOU, yes YOU…can even open an account and get checks that say Tightwad Bank.
The other place of interest in Tightwad is the Tightwad Cafe. I actually stopped there for breakfast…couldn’t resist!!
The food was awesome and they do NOT skimp on the servings as all….see what I had below:
Though the price is right and the food is great, I was told by the owner Carrie (see below) that they “do not take credit cards.” When I asked her why, she said she “didn’t want to pay the fees.”
Of course, there is a Tightwad Volunteer Fire Department. I wonder if they are “volunteer” because the town is too tight to pay them??
I have been busy in Texas all this week so it is only appropriate I add a Texas comment on the blog.
Just about two years ago I was on business in Texas (except I drove here instead of flying). On my way back to Kentucky, I made it a point to drive to DISH, TX. This community, established in June 2000, was originally named Clark. In November 2005, the community accepted an offer to rename itself “DISH” as part of a commercial agreement with the satellite television company of the same name.
The day I went through (April 17, 2010) was also NASCAR day at the Dallas Speedway, which is just a few miles away from DISH. To my shear enjoyment, what should I behold flying over the town of DISH that nice morning? Nothing other than the Direct TV Blimp!! (I am NOT making this up!!). Try as I might, I wanted to get a photo of the DISH Town Hall sign and the Direct TV Blimp in the same photo, but the angle just didn’t work out.
Back in late May 2008 I was on a return trip home from Ontario via Michigan. I made my way through Central Michigan. As I had been told to “go to Hell” a few times, I decided I would finally go to Hell…in Michigan (see entire trip report)
Hell, Michigan is actually not a real town. It is a “tourist trap” in the midst of the Pinckney Recreation Area, about five miles north of Pinckney, MI. It is, honestly, quite a scenic drive. To get there from the town of Pinckney you need to take south Howell Rd. (no joke…you get to Hell via Howell Rd. — Hell is in the name of the road).
The village of Hell has made a great effort to make sure you know you were in Hell. Here are a couple of pictures….
The actual post office is not in Hell, but in Pinckney, though they have a “branch” in Hell that will stamp an additional “Hell Post Mark” on it though Pinckney will also be added to it.
They have some unique souvenirs in the two shops, and a unique ice cream shop (Scream’s Ice Cream) and even have a “Mayor”. I liked the bench. Note that I sat on the “Hell Flames Bench” while wearing my Utah Blaze hat.
If you ever get to Central Michigan, you should definitely go to Hell. If anything else, it will be fun for all. Send a burnt post card from Hell and have some Ice Cream at Scream’s!!