Sunday, September 18, 2005
Dog days and letterboxing in Marshall
I love history. I hate boring history books.
For me, history lived in the quirky stories in the margins of texts or ramblings of old folk. Maybe that's why I became a journalist instead of a historian.
Jim the Wonderdog is one of those quirky stories and it just begged for a letterbox.
Last winter, Cecile and I agreed to meet our Kansas City friends, Jim and Sarah Byrd, somewhere between our two homes. Marshall, MO, was a likely prospect on our map. The deal was set when we looked up Marshall on the Internet and found the Jim the Wonderdog site.
Jim was one of those folk heros that don't seem to come along much any more. A whole town got together to build a park for him when he died. How can you not like a dog like that?
Anyway, we froze our bottoms off that winter day, but vowed to return. And return we did this September. The four of us -- plus our two dogs -- had a great picnic in Jim's park and placed a special box. The Byrds also placed a fun box (the stamp for which was carved on the spot) in nearby Waverly to mark the annual Apple Festival.