Thursday, July 26, 2012

Family time

The other day, my Parents and I paid a visit to my Dad's Aunt and Uncle next door to my Great Grandmother's old house.  So how did we get there?  Via the Mother Road, of course!

On our way to Steelville, Missouri, we planned to stop for lunch, so when we saw the signs for Missouri Hick BBQ (or Bar-B-Q, or Bar-B-Que - it's spelled all 3 ways on the main page of their website, which I just looked up to see what their "correct" version was!), we naturally followed them off highway 44 and onto the real, old Route 66 near Cuba, MO, a self-described "mural city" with lots of great nostalgia to recommend it.  While the prices weren't overwhelmingly thrifty at Missouri Hick, they were reasonable, and the food was tasty and plentiful (I had the brisket, which was tender and tasty even without sauce or seasoning).  My corn on the cob was a little soft, but I enjoyed everything else.  They have 5 barbecue sauces on the table to choose from.  My favorite was the honey, but it was even better when mixed with a bit of their original sauce.

The food was plentiful, but that plate may be a slight
optical illusion.  Still, look - you get your own onion stalk!

The place itself was not vintage, but included vintage and rustic elements in fitting with its name, and was quite nicely done:

Stone and rough-hewn cedar staircase - lovely!

Yes, the table base is an old singer sewing machine base.
The treadle still worked on ours, likely this one as well.

Mom and Dad enjoying the handmade bench out front.  How cute are they?

I only just recently learned of the existence of an old Route 66 motel in Cuba that has been restored to it's former glory, and while if I had been on my own I'd have made a point of looking for it, on a day when we had a plan and a destination, the most I was hoping for was to catch a glimpse of the old neon sign.  So imagine my surprise when, after lunch, we found that the Wagon Wheel Motel was right next door!

The station/cafe (now motel office and gift shop).

One of the "cabins".  

Fabulous sign! 

According to the history on their website (see link above the pictures), the buildings were built with stone from local farms.  How cool is that?  But we were in a hurry by then, to pick up a cake to share and get on down to visit Aunt Grace and Uncle Gerry.  In fact, you may be able to tell by the shadows, these pictures were taken after our visit, not right after lunch.  But this next one was:

Cuba Bakery & Deli.  As it turns out, they only bake cakes to order, so we weren't able to
get one here, but next time we'll know to call ahead!

We did find a cake at the local supermarket, though, and finally got down to the business at hand of visiting!  Grace is my Grandma's sister.  She and her husband Gerry have always been such a sweet, fun couple.  Gerry's having a hard time these days, but Grace seems to be getting along really well, and when, while catching up on our various lives, she learned about my booth at the antique mall, she happily showed off for me some of her own vintage treasures, which I was more than happy to gawk at!

This fabulous lamp I actually started gawking at
the minute I walked in the door.  It's gorgeous in person!

Grace's treasures - a lovely dancing couple.

This pretty lady didn't have a dance partner,
but she looked like a perfect southern belle.

Stunning peacocks, and some cute brass animals.

A butter-warmer for your lobster.

Wall-mounted tropical birds.

This one Grace had labelled on the back so she wouldn't forget.

It's real vintage, not a repro -purchased at the
Chicago World's Fair by someone in the family.

And as a grand finale, Grace showed off her wonderful kindness and generosity, and passed on to me a planter Grandma Barbara (my great-grandmother) had owned.  It's so ornate and lovely:

Grace says you can tell it's old because the gold bits are so thick.

Now, the only plants I've managed to keep alive thus far in my life are the riot of aloe vera on my kitchen windowsill that all grew out of one overgrown pot of the stuff I picked up at an estate sale for fifty cents.  Somehow I do not think this is an aloe vera sort of planter!  I'll have to think of something special for it.  All I have to do now is be very, very careful not to break it, so I can think of Grandma Barbara and her amazing 100 year life whenever I look at it.

And I'll leave you with this shot of a portrait of Aunt Grace and Uncle Gerry from long before I was around to know them:

Can't you just picture these two hanging out with William Powell and Myrna Loy?


  1. I sure do loves me some BBQ (or Bar-B-Que/Barbeque/whatever) brisket! Ever been to Pappy's in St. Louis? They've got the best brisket that's ever passed my lips.

    1. I did make it to Pappy's once - good stuff! But if you ever go to Johnson's Shut-ins down in Ironton, you have to check out Baylee Jos. I haven't been in a couple of years, and it has a website now and seems to have either built onto or replaced it's fantastic old diner-in-a-motel-parking-lot building, but I've never had better bbq anywhere, and the guy makes amazing cornbread too.

  2. Just found your blog - aren't family road trips the best?!

    1. Cool to have you, welcome! And yes, nothing better than a road trip - especially when there's time for meandering!