Over the last few months the old inbox has received a number of interesting submissions*, so I thought I’d get around to sharing them with you. Let’s start with the Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. Locally known as “The Smithsonian of the Ozarks”, the museum is dedicated to the history and culture of the Ozarks region, which basically consists of Missouri’s southern half, the northern parts of Arkansas and a bit of Oklahoma and Kansas too. The earliest settlers were originally from the Appalachians who mixed with Native Americans, so it doesn’t get any more American than this, you know?
Mr. Foster, a famous country radio and television guy, was a collector of artifacts and firearms (there is an entire floor of guns in the museum, which sounds like a wet dream for my hunter cousin), which then grew to include dolls, circus toys, glassware, mounted animal heads, and other random things. Random, you ask? Yes, there is Mrs. Foster’s personal chair made of steer longhorns, a display of local wood stumps, a huge barbed wire collection and an African elephant painted on an elephant ear. Hey, I did mention Mr. Foster loved to hunt? The randomness continues with built replicas of a one-room schoolhouse and fake “oval offices” of famous local men like Dewey Short, M. Graham Clark, and of course…Ralph Foster. The highlight of the collection? The Beverly Hillbillies car of course. Oh, and I could go on and on. Did I mention the horse bog shoes, Andy Williams’ Christmas sweater and cowboy boots, the rainbow colored upright piano, the St. Louis Cardinals uniform from the 1930s, the miniature model of a circus and the elephant poop (it goes well with that elephant ear)? Well, I just did and I am exhausted. That’s a lot of freakin’ stuff!
*Thanks to listenfeelrock for the suggestion!