A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Joplin, Missouri

English: Fred and Red's diner in Joplin, Misso...Image via Wikipedia

         Sometime in the late 1960s I read a story in Life magazine that made mention of "Red's Chili Parlor" in Joplin, Missouri as having some chili that was not to be missed if in any way possible.   I wrote it down in my notebook of "things planned for my future".

          I had every intent of visiting "Red's" during the summer of 1970 when I was making a hitchhiking grand tour of the United States that never quite made it as far as Joplin.   I kept the notebook with the notation about Red's for when the day came to finally make it to Joplin.

             That day came in 1979, when I was touring with the "Cinderella" tour by the World of Fantasy Players.   We were in Joplin early with a few hours to spend before going to set up the show.  A group of us set out to find Red's and try that legendary chili.

             You know--I don't really remember much about the chili.  It was good as I recall, but I must not have been blown away by it.  Now I know the place was actually called "Fred and Red's" but Red's is easier to remember.  Maybe one day I'll have to go back and give the chili another try.  Apparently the place is still in business.

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welcome to my world of poetry said...

I've never heard of Jolin MO, But have been to Branson MO.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Joplin is about 2 hrs from Branson.

Lee, that's interesting. I guess next time I go to Joplin I may try that chili. Good thing that the place is still in business after the devastating tornado.

Great post.


fidel said...

Travelogue with a difference. Nice

Kristy said...

The Spaghetti Red is what they are famous for. It is like a chili that is served on spaghetti noodles. It comes with pickles, onions and crackers. I remember it being very greasy. I used to live in Joplin. Moved about 6 years ago. Lived there for 15 years to long. It was and is a real hell hole.

Lynn Proctor said...

i love to find places that have good chili---thanks!

Journaling Woman said...

Aww, you're talking about my neck of the woods. When I drove past there last summer (on the interstate) they were still trying to recover from the tornado. The sights broke my heart.

Let's see in 1979, I was a stay at home mom of a two year old.


ediFanoB said...

You traveled a lot in your life.
I think you know your country well.

Every time when I mee Japanese people they tell me about all the places they visited in Germany. Most of them have been to more places than me.

Arlee Bird said...

Yvonne - Joplin is a bit off the beaten track for most overseas tourism.

Doris -- I don't know if I'd make a special trip for the chili unless you're an extreme chili aficionado. It is a historical restaurant stop though.

Fidel -- Thanks for the visit.

Kristy -- It is more like a sauce to serve over spaghetti, but I've never been able to get into the concept of chili as a pasta topping. I suppose some people like Joplin okay. I've never spent more than a few days at a time there and have mostly just passed through.

Lynn-- I'll have another chili stop coming up for the letter T.

Teresa -- In my most recent Joplin pass-by's I was on my way to an overnight stopover in Springfield. On one of those we made a stop in Joplin for some Steak 'n Shake for supper.


Arlee Bird said...

edi -- I've done a great deal of travel around the U.S. and Canada. It does seem like a lot of travelers from overseas are very well traveled and travel often.


Cheryl Klarich said...

I'm glad it survived the tornado!
Someday I'll have to take a ride out there!!

Dawn Malone said...

Never been to Joplin, but I'd be up for a side trip on my way through Missouri if the chili was worth it. My husband and I love traveling the backroads and finding out-of-the-way places like this. Thanks for the heads up!

Sandra Tyler said...

jjoplin. Would love it! I've barely ever left the east coast except for california and New Mexico. Amazing how you can get to know your own home too well.

Donna Martin said...

Hi...I'm hopping over from the A to Z Challenge. Lovely blog...good luck with the challenge!

Donna L Martin

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

If the chili wasn't memorable, maybe it is more the experience of the place. You remember going.

Matt Conlon said...

I probably won't get many friends by saying this, but that isn't usually my focus... I was born in 1979...

The Brew Newb

Arlee Bird said...

Cheryl -- That was one heck of a tornado and really brought some attention to the town.

Dawn -- I don't know that I'd tell anyone to go there for the chili, but it is a historic place. I wouldn't mind trying it again.

Sandra -- It's good to break out of one's comfort zone now and then.

Donna -- Thanks for visiting.

Mary -- I think it had a lot to do with having read about it, anticipating going there for so long, and then actually being in the place. Someday I hope to go back and focus on the experience of the chili itself. After all 80 some years in business must be for a reason.

Matt -- Nothing wrong with 1979 I guess. Seems like a good year to have been born.


Anna said...

Fun post. We remember selectively!
Best wishes,
Anna's A-Z, the letter K

danneromero said...

I wonder if it's still there, after the disaster. I was in Joplin last summer wanting to help with the aftermath - even wrote a blog post about it - I will return this summer and look for reds. .... Thanks for sharing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lee .. Danneromero reminded me I knew of Joplin for some reason - it was the terrible tornadoes ... but your chilli meal sounds interesting .. I wonder what it'd be like now ..

Cheers Hilary