Another cloudless day, about 70 degrees. I would be happy if every day were like this, except that my face is beginning to take on the red leathery cast of an old wino, while my forehead, protected by the brim of my hat, stays white. Ah, vanity. As Al Pacino said in The Devil's Advocate, definitely my favorite sin.
Sikeston. Where do I start? The Wikipedia page on this city is unusually detailed. Obviously the Sikeston p. r. folks got to it and did their best. It's chock full of trivia.
I'm staying in the Wal-Mart parking lot, of course, taking the day off. But not just any Wal-Mart parking lot. Sikeston is where the first Wal-Mart outside of Arkansas was built, in the 1960s. Not the present building, to be sure, and maybe not at this precise location.
Two more items from the Sikeston page, and I'll save some for tomorrow, when I will be walking through the town. First, that Confederate general, Jeff Thompson, who robbed the bank in Charleston to pay his troops and buy supplies, is supposed to have buried some of the money here, under an oak tree at the corner of New Madrid Street and Kingshighway. Kingshighway was the name for what became U.S. 61, originally built by order of the King of Spain in 1789, when he owned this land. It was called El Camino Real--the royal highway. I'll be traveling on or near it for quite a while longer, because it goes to New Orleans.
The other item is true trivia, but too good to pass up. William Jefferson Blythe, Jr., the birth father of President Bill Clinton, died outside Sikeston on U.S. 60, in 1946, after an accident in which he was thrown from his car into a drainage ditch, where he drowned. That was three months before Clinton was born.
Now I'm off to the laundromat.