Geography


Dear Readers; I know you guys have some understanding of the geography of Kansas City. There is a reason Aislinn and Nadine never end up in Kansas City, Kansas, there’s not much there. It is in fact the smallest (in both area and population) city in the Kansas City metro area. And you’ve read lines from my books like “We passed the sports complex where the Chiefs and Royals both play in Raytown”. I don’t know that I have ever specified that Raytown is in Missouri.

On Sunday, the Kansas City (Missouri) Chiefs scored 21 points in 7 minutes to beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl. Making the Kansas City Chiefs victors who got to take home the Lombardi Trophy. It was a huge accomplishment for Missouri and Kansas. Marx was wrong, religion isn’t the opiate of the masses, sports are. Missourians and Kansaserians (I had to go look this term up, because most Missourians just refer to people from Kansas as Jayhawks or worse – because Missouri and Kansas were serious college rivals for a long, long time) will disagree on just about everything except the Chiefs and the Royals.

Missouri is a bit weird. Missouri shares two major metropolitan areas… St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, Missouri. The majority of Kansas City is in Missouri and the Chiefs, Royals, and KC Sporting (MLS) are all listed as Missouri teams. I don’t know that I care much that the president doesn’t know this, but it does bother me that he doesn’t understand the geography of two states that voted for him in 2016 as Missouri and Kansas both voted red. My best friend called Missouri a fly-over state and it is, a lot of people can’t figure out where Missouri is on a US map. However, the population of Missouri is just over 6 million people, making us approximately the 15th largest state in the Union. 15th out of 50 is nothing to sneeze at, because that means 35 better known states are smaller than Missouri.

I’m a little tired of being overlooked by the rest of the country. Seriously important things have happened in Missouri. And no, I don’t mean Jesse James (who is a criminal and shouldn’t be revered). It was a Missourian that was given the unenviable task of trying to decide whether to drop the first nuclear bomb to end WWII…. and PS: President Truman was from the Kansas City, Missouri area). The country’s largest beer company – Anheuser-Busch is a Missouri company (Budweiser, Busch, Rolling Rock, Michelob, and Shock Top, among others). The city I live in still has one of the most renowned fine arts colleges in the world; Stephens College where dance, music, acting, and literature are more important than college algebra and chemistry was founded in Columbia, Missouri and is surprisingly still an all women’s college and has produced some world class writers and musicians. Both actresses Jennifer Tilly, Joan Crawford, and journalist Paula Zahn are all Stephen’s College alumni.

And while you may not have known they were from Missouri, there are tons of famous Missourians: writers Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), and Eugene Field, inventor George Washington Carver, film and animation pioneer Walt Disney, painter George Caleb Bingham, singers Sheryl Crow and Sarah Evans, actors John Goodman, Vincent price, Don Cheadle, and Brad Pitt, General Omar Bradley, and President Harry Truman… all Missourians.

So while many would consider us a flyover state, Missourians have made an impact on your life somewhere along the way, even if it’s just your love of Disney movies or Bud Light or The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Or Missouri’s 10 electoral college votes.

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