the trunk of soul

this weekend in kansas city has been busy. yesterday several of us left to go downtown to tour two museums, jazz and the negro leagues. on the way constance blew out a tire, so we stood on the side of a very busy intertstate while changing the tire. we finally got down there and check out the exhibits. as a fan of the game, the negro leagues museum was fantastic. they had many artifacts, as well as displays on how painful the racism was to the players and the communities. one quote i loved was how the folk who attended the african-american games dressed up, while those who went to anglo games dressed like they were "raking leaves."

i found a great josh gibson poster, which asked the question, "is josh gibson the black babe ruth? or is babe ruth the white josh gibson?" gibson slammed hundreds of home runs that were never recorded. satchel paige is regarded as one of the best pitchers ever, but of course we don't have all of his records either. there would have been several knocks against these players, #1 being the competition against which they played. but since that competition was banned for more than 50 years from the majors, who's to say they wouldn't have better numbers if allowed to play at wrigley field or yankee stadium? the jazz museum was nowhere near as good. how does one display jazz anyway, ella fitzgerald's dress cannot express her pain like her voice can.
after the museums we walked to arthur bryant's bar-be-que. we got there at 1:00, waited in line 30 minutes before ordering (pulled pork sandwich, beans, fries, jumbo lemonade, in case you're wondering). it was amazing-- so much better than anything i have ever eaten. as we left folk were still queueing outside. i could barely walk back to the car! today after church we ate at the peach tree restaurant, again just amazing. it was 2:00 and brunch was still being offered. two huge plates later, i waddled out. needless to say i had afternoon naps yesterday and today!
at the jazz museum there is a quote from legendary band leader and composer duke ellington, saying that jazz is "the trunk of the soul." i love the quote-- it's a great use of language, just as jazz itself is a great use of sound and emotion. but judging from the weekend activities-- broken down by the side of the road, walking through history, at church (a future post), around the table-- i'd say fellowship with good friends is "the trunk of the soul" too.


Anonymous said…
I want that bar-b-q and lemonade that you spoke of!

A new b-b-q place called Hard 8 just opened here and it's pretty darned good ( ). Y'all will have to swing by sometime and join us for a bite to eat there. There's tons of outdoor picnic bench-style tables.

Anonymous said…
When I lived in KC over 25 years ago, I heard a lot about the Negro Baseball League and Jazz museums that were to be built at 18th and Vine. I saw so little activity that I thought that folks were just dreaming. But dreams do come true. Last month I visited both museums and enjoyed both. Even though I am not fan of the game, I felt at home because of the many stories I had heard from my father. I like jazz but do not really understand it. It was facinating to sit at the various stations and listen to the same piece in the various styles. I felt like I was creating music.

I did not go from Dallas to KC last month to visit the museums or eat bbq (though Gates would be my preference). I had been invited by my brother, who had been estranged from the family for more than 20 years, to witness his being consecrated as a deacon in his church in Topeka. I did not want to miss this opportunity for reconciliation. You see, just a few years ago my brother was a alcholic and drug addict on the streets of KC. He moved to Topeka "to get his life together" but ended up at the men's mission/shelter there. Then something happened. He heard the word of God preached at the mission and he wanted to know more about Jesus. He started to ride the van to the church that brought worship service to the mission. Later he found work as a carpenter and brick mason. Now he takes his own van to pick up men at the mission for church and to feed them lunch. What a transformation! What a servant!! I praise God for it.