Carthage, MO. — The Story in Pictures

Some of the most popular blogs of “The Year on the Road” have been photographic essays.

 In the tradition of

Tortilla Flat, AZ

The Coolidge Dam.

Sedona Staturary

Show Low, AZ ,

say hello to Carthage, MO.

 The signature sight in Carthage is the courthouse.


Like an Alpine peak in the distance, the courthouse commands the view.   

My first car was a DeSoto that I paid $200 for.  It was the Chrysler Corporation’s second-most luxurious car.  The DeSoto company set a first-year production record that stood for 30 years.  The last DeSoto rolled off the line 40 years ago.

One could do much worse than judge a town by its statuary.  Alice in Wonderland is near the entrance to the Library. 

The kneeling statue of America’s Zookeeper, Marlin Perkins, stands 7 feet tall in a block-square downtown green space.  For 23 years he hosted the “Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom”.

In the first days of November, along the highways in Southern Missouri, the palette of Fall colors included 30 shades of orange and a few yellows and pink as accent hues. 

Two weeks later in Arkansas, Nature was retiring the palette with but a little burnt orange and mousy browns remaining.

Long before graffiti became commonplace in American culture, the phrase, “Kilroy was here”, and the distinctive accompanying doodle, was omnipresent in during WWII wherever allied troops had been.  I think it has been 40-50 years since I’ve seen the graphic displayed. 

A whimsical old soldier must have passed through Carthage.  


8 Responses to Carthage, MO. — The Story in Pictures

  1. Dave L says:

    Great shots as usual, and not a meth lab among them. Who’d a thought Carthage had such a civic orientation. In all of my time spent pleasantly in Mizzou, I’ve never been to Carthage. This spring, when I again return, I’ll stop in and say hello to Kilroy. Towns in Missouri are full of statuary. Small or large they put up the resources to honor their heros and maintain their memories.And history serves them well, Missouri is solvent.

    • allevenson says:

      Kansas is solvent as well. He believes it come from the agricultural tradition that when you have a good year, you put something aside for bad years. It seems to me a fundamental concept of good fiscal management. I think I will vote for the first farmer that runs for President.


      • E says:

        We tried that with Jimmy Carter, didn’t we? He was way ahead of his time. If only we’d paid better attention back then…

  2. karen wittgraf says:

    Great pics, Al. I was especially moved to see “Kilroy” as my brother served in Occupied Germany after the war. Kilroy was his signiture on every card he sent and at his funeral we displayed the Kilroy character along with his pictures. Not many people can remember anything or have even heard of Kilroy, but it was a big part of my growing up. Thanks!

  3. Love the fall foliage and that courthouse is grand. Think someone made a movie called “Kilroy was Here” sometime in the 40s or 50s. Don’t think it became a classic.

  4. Colleen Rae says:

    Thanks, Al for being our own Mark Twain. You have captured and digested middle America as well as the Southwest with a little Levenson philosophy thrown in. I like it…

  5. Pat Bean says:

    Great post. I’m way behind on answering all my e-mail and blog comments but couldn’t pass this one up without responding. I was in carthage in 2006 and one of my blogs is on the Marlin Perkins statue. He was one of my heroes. Thanks for sharing your marvelous photos.

  6. April Edsberg says:

    You are a very good photographer! You catch the right light and scene.
    Your blog gets to the heart of each area.
    Have a fun Thanksgiving.

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