FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 29th, 2017

Team Uranus
Uranus Inc.


Uranus, Missouri: Guinness World Record Headquarters notified Mayor Louie R. Keen that Uranus is now the Title Holder for “The World’s Largest Belt “.

The “World’s Largest Belt Buckle” pays homage in its appeal to the Midwestern Lifestyle. The Mayor’s motto is “It’s gotta be BIG if it’s in Uranus!”. What better way to do that then to have “The World’s Largest Belt Buckle” establishing its home in Uranus, Missouri.

The “World’s Largest Belt Buckle” comes in at 13.371 W x 10.12 H (FEET). Created and designed locally. The process took over a year and a half to complete. Team Uranus, The Mayor, Ed Wilson, Travis Baur, and Nick Nickels along with many staff members helped put this together. John Mackey was the certified surveyor. The witnesses were Julie Marlea Harmon, Local business owner of Nona’s Kitchen and Beth Wiles from the Pulaski County Tourism. This process was certified by Guinness World Book of Records.

Uranus, Missouri: One Stop Shop #1 Tourist Destination on Route 66 with all things fun in The Heart of Uranus.


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Historic military convoy will stop in Pulaski County


Historic military convoy will stop in Pulaski County

Saint Robert, MO- August 22, 2017

The Pulaski County Tourism Bureau is pleased to announce the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (www.MVPA.org) 91st Anniversary Convoy with over 60 Historic Military Vehicles (HMVs) will retrace the original 1926 Route 66; launching from Chicago, Illinois on Saturday, 16 September, 2017 and scheduled to arrive in Santa Monica, California some 29 days later, on Saturday, 14 October. The procession will enter Pulaski County from the east on Historic Route 66 in late afternoon on 20 September, 2017 and is scheduled to travel to the John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex at Fort Leonard Wood for viewing of the HMVs from 5:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. The public is invited and encouraged to meet and greet the owners and take photos. Visitors should be prepared to provide a current driver’s license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration to gain access to the post. Visitors will not need a pass for this event.

September 20 MVPA MWR Flyer

World War II caused a marked decline in civilian and tourist traffic, but it stimulated new business along U.S. 66, when it acted as a military transport corridor moving troops and supplies from one military reservation to another. Motels saw an increase in occupancy, as families of servicemen stationed at military bases stayed for long stretches. But more significantly, Route 66 facilitated perhaps the single greatest wartime mobilization, as thousands of jobseekers headed to California, Oregon and Washington to work in defense plants.

Route 66 had its official beginnings in 1926 when the Bureau of Public Roads launched the nation’s first Federal highway system. Like other highways in the system, the path of Route 66 was a cobbling together of existing local, State and National roads. The highway quickly became a popular route because of the active promotion of the U.S. 66 Highway Association, which advertised it as “the shortest, best and most scenic route from Chicago through St. Louis to Los Angeles.

Each day’s plans have been carefully prepared, including a detailed route map, stopping locations for AM and PM breaks as well as lunch and dinner stops and lodging plans for all of the RT 66 ’17 teams.

This 2,400 mile / 29 day Convoy represents America’s longest Veterans’ parade, honoring the service and sacrifice of Veterans of all generations. Historic Military Vehicles on the Convoy will range from WWI-era to those just released from the US Armed Forces inventories. The privately owned HMVs include motor cycles, jeeps and large cargo trucks.

These Convoys (the MVPA has conducted 3 previous large-scale HMV Convoys) represent the ground forces legacy of the Nation, showcasing America’s Historic Military Vehicles of many types.

The Convoy will have the support of local, county and state law enforcement agencies in many areas along the Convoy route.

Follow the Convoy progress on line http://www.convoyontheair.org/

Follow the Convoy on line with Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MVPAConvoy

Find the schedule and detailed route map (available mid September) at http://www.visitpulaskicounty.org/

About MVPA: Established in 1976, the non-profit MVPA is dedicated to providing an international organization for military vehicle enthusiasts, historians, preservationists and collectors interested in the acquisition, restoration, preservation, safe operation and public education of historic military transport.



RT 66 ’17 Convoy Regional Section 1 Officer
Brad Nelson
Email: dogtag3@me.com

Big BAM (Bicycle Across Missouri) Announces 2018 Ride on Missouri’s Historic Route 66

Date: August 3, 2017
Contact: Greg Wood Phone: 660-882-9898 ext. 106
Email: greg@missourilife.com

To schedule an interview regarding Big BAM, please contact Greg Wood at above phone or email

Photos and maps available at www.bigbamride.com or by request



Big BAM (Bicycle Across Missouri) Announces 2018 Ride on Missouri’s Historic Route 66

Boonville, MO – Missouri Life magazine has announced the fourth annual Big BAM (Bicycle Across Missouri) which will travel along Missouri’s historic Route 66 from Joplin to Eureka. This six-day event will begin on June 17 with a pre-ride party and festival at Schifferdecker Park in Joplin featuring live music. The 304 mile ride begins on June 18 and ends on June 22 in Eureka.

Four additional overnight towns will host the ride and they include Willard, Lebanon, Waynesville and Cuba. Each town will open their city parks to welcome hundreds of Big BAM participants and anyone who wants to attend. They will find free live music and entertainment from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the event area in each overnight town. The public is invited and encouraged to come enjoy the music and festivities.

BB Route header 4

Big BAM works with local authorities all along the route to help create a safe and fun event. Big BAM places water and rest stations every 10 to 12 miles. “We also encourage people along the route to set up refreshment stands if they wish and to cheer on the riders,” says Big BAM executive director Greg Wood, who is also publisher of Missouri Life magazine. “We have riders coming in from all over the U.S. and many other countries. For some, this will be their first time in Missouri. We hope all the towns along the route will be joining in on the fun and welcoming Big BAM riders.”

This is the fourth year for the event and the first time Big BAM has been on a route in the southern half of the state. “We are very excited to have the 2018 route on Missouri’s historic Route 66,” says Wood. “This will get a lot of attention nationally and internationally.”

Information and registration for the ride can be found on www.bigbamride.com. The route map for the 2018 ride and photos of the 2017 ride can be found there as well as all the details.


St. Robert Military Tribute to feature Freedom Rock

City of Saint Robert logo
Robert Incontro
City of Saint Robert

Acclaimed Artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen to Paint City of St. Robert Freedom Rock

Saint Robert, MO March 28, 2017 – The City of Saint Robert is pleased to announce that we have emplaced a large slab of Missouri limestone that will become a part of the Freedom Rock Tour. The Freedom Rock Tour is an effort by artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II to paint unique, patriotic murals on rocks around the country. Sorensen started by painting a large rock in his native Iowa and began traveling the state painting murals in different towns that reflected the town’s history and connection with the Armed Forces as a way to honor them. This has since grown into a national effort with rocks painted in three states with the ultimate goal of two in all fifty states. Bubba Sorensen has been painting rocks for approximately 18 years and is well versed on preparation and painting for longevity. Bubba is also known internationally for his artwork.

The City of St. Robert Freedom Rock is approximately nine feet by 10 feet at its widest point. The size was a challenge to move and set, our rock is set in 12 inches of concrete. The intent of this project is to honor Saint Robert’s and the surrounding communities’ veterans and service members with a unique tribute recognizing their sacrifice. Additionally it will serve to highlight this area’s connection with the Armed Forces and Fort Leonard Wood. We hope that it will draw interest to the area from both locals and citizens across the country that have begun traveling to see the murals painted by Sorensen known as The Freedom Rock Tour.

The rock is located on Saint Robert Boulevard adjacent to our current St. Robert Military Tribute display and M60 Tank. Now that the rock has been emplaced, Sorensen is set to arrive and begin painting in late August and finish by September 11th, 2017. An enclosure will be built over the rock to protect it from the elements and to preserve the mural. After completion of work, a formal unveiling ceremony will be held. The public is encouraged to come out and watch while work is underway.

Any questions or media requests can be directed to the City of Saint Robert, 573-451-2000 extension 1307, or park@saintrobert.com. Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/City-of-Saint-Robert-Missouri-146291922095875. Bubba Sorensen’s work can be viewed at TheFeedomRock.com.

Presenting Abraham Lincoln

One score and five years ago bearded Lance Mack shaved off his mustache. When he looked at his shorn upper lip he immediately realized that the face staring back at him wasn’t his anymore- it was the face of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. His first thought was “now what…?”.

At the urging of his wife, Maureen, tall and gangly Mack ventured to Civil War Days at Crossroads Village near Flint, MI. Stovepipe hatless and without a Lincolnesque suit, Mack was greeted by festival-goers with a hearty “Howdy, Abe!”, or a sincere, respectful “Good Afternoon, Mister President”. Union soldier reenactors came to attention and saluted as he approached. The event organizers noticed Mack, who at 6’5″ overtopped the crowd, and asked him to speak. Hearkening back to fifth grade, Mack began speaking, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Rick Perry And Michelle Bachmann Address Republican Dinner In Iowa

Lance V. Mack, as Abraham Lincoln in Waterloo, IA. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Since then Mack has performed as Abraham Lincoln, complete with hat and suit, at hundreds of events. He speaks in Lincoln’s own words and uses portions of Lincoln’s autobiographical essays, his farewell speech to Springfield, Illinois, his first Inaugural Address, The Gettysburg Address, The Letter to Mrs. Bixby, and the second Inaugural Address. When asked about his personal favorite Lincoln quote, Mack had a tough time narrowing it down to just one, but he did decide on the words that first thrust Lincoln onto the national stage. “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.”

Test-firing Gatling Gun

Lance V. Mack, as Abraham Lincoln, test fires a Gatling gun. Photo courtesy of Lance V. Mack.

Mack’s journeys as Lincoln have taken him throughout the Midwest, to New York City and Boston, and even to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. One of his favorite events is the Lincoln Highway Bridge Festival held annually in Tama, IA.

2016 will mark his first appearance at Old Settlers Day in Waynesville, MO.

To learn more about Lance V. Mack Presents Abraham Lincoln please visit http://lancepresentsabe.com/.

To learn more about events and activities during Old Settlers Day please visit www.facebook.com/events/1668769670079314

First Flyer

Immerse yourself in a weekend of living history!

The Back Porch Players- The Beat Goes On

Paul Stickley, acoustic guitar and banjo player for The Back Porch Players, has been a performing musician since the early 1960’s. His career started as many musical careers do, playing popular tunes that made folks want to dance. In 1963 in El Paso, TX James Brown opened for Stickley’s band, The Saxons, on a local TV show. It seems that James Brown and his band had to beat feet to play a gig in Phoenix, AZ that evening so they decided to play first.

Fast forward to 2002, Stickley and his family make a pact to spend one night a week together to play music and sing and you have the earliest beginnings of The Back Porch Players. Things began to move quickly after they played folk music at a Habitat for Humanity event in Springfield, MO. In 2005 Stickley actively began searching for gigs that were folk music related. He also began doing historical research on the songs that they performed and realized that a lot of the music was from the 17 and 1800’s. This led to bookings at Civil War events in 2006 and by 2008 the band was playing close to 32 weekends a year.

The Back Porch Players are Paul, Carol, Barb, and Kaylin Stickley. The group also includes guest performances by Carissa Gilbert, Elizabeth Coons, and Steve & Lori Allen.

Back Porch Players 2016 no txt copy

The Back Porch Players- Back Row: Steve Allen, Reth Allen, Greg Stickley, Paul Stickley, Elizabeth Coons. Front Row: Lori Allen, Barb Stickley, Kaylin Stickley, Carol Stickley, Carissa Gilbert. The Back Porch Players will be performing Civil War era music at Old Settlers Day in Waynesville, MO., July 30 & 31, 2016.

Some of the songs that they play include “Battle Cry of Freedom”, “Battle of Shiloh Hill”, “Dixie”, “Goober Peas”, “Hard Times”, “I’m Gonna Die On The Battlefield”, “Rose of Alabamy”, “Shelby’s Mule”, “Shenandoah”, “Southern Soldier Boy”, and “The Cruel War”. One song, “Follow the Drinking Gourd”, is believed to have its beginnings as a tool to teach slaves how to escape from Alabama and Mississippi to the North by using the Big Dipper constellation as a guide.

Partnered dances often accompanied these Civil War era tunes. Victorian balls were often opened by The Grand March. Other popular dances were Paddy Cake Polka, Broom Stick Polka, Virginia Reel, Quadrille, and Schottische.

When asked about finding music from the Civil War era Stickley remarked that “Finding it is easy. The hard part is performing it in a style that is not modern”. He added that Appalachian style music is the most similar to what was performed in that time period. The Back Porch Players arrange the songs to fit their instrumentation to fit the era.

It’s no surprise that The Back Porch Players believe in passing down the musical heritage of the Civil War era. “Music is an expression of the times and how life was affected during this time period,” said Stickley. “We hope to help keep alive a love of the melodies, lyrics, and history of these songs.” Some of those lyrics have a blood connection to The Back Porch Players. An ancestor of Carol Geddes Stickley, General James L. Geddes, penned the Union’s answer to “The Bonnie Blue Flag” while a prisoner of war. Sung to the tune of “The Irish Jaunting Car”, Gen. Geddes lyrics include this verse:

And when this war is over, we’ll each resume our home
And treat you still as brothers where ever you may roam.
We’ll pledge the hand of friendship, and think no more of wars,
But dwell in peace beneath the flag that bears the Stripes and Stars!

The Back Porch Players now only perform nine weekends a year. Fortunately, you can find them at Old Settlers Day & Civil War Battle Reenectments July 30 & 31 in Waynesville, MO.

To learn more about The Back Porch Players please visit www.backporchplayers.com.

To learn more about events and activities during Old Settlers Day please visit www.facebook.com/events/1668769670079314

First Flyer

Immerse yourself in a weekend of living history!

Hidden History Found by Author Kitty Sutton

Kitty Sutton is the author of the historical fiction “Mysteries From The Trail of Tears” series. Although written with an adult audience in mind, the series is also appropriate for, and popular with, readers as young as twelve. Each book, three in all, with a fourth forthcoming, are based on hidden or lost historical events that have been overlooked by scholars or escaped the historical record.

The first installment, “Wheezer and the Painted Frog”, tells the tale of a conspiracy to steal food allotments from the tribes after they relocated to Indian Territory. The missing food caused untold suffering and led to thousands of deaths.

The second book, “Wheezer and the Shy Coyote”, tackles the illegal whiskey trade that exploited tribesmen. The “Arkansas Whiskey War” pitted the Seventh Infantry, garrisoned at Fort Smith, Arkansas, against the merchants who peddled their cheap whiskey to emigrating tribesmen. Sutton states that “the long term effects can be seen today on many reservations across the U.S. in rampant alcoholism, as much as 70%.”

Kitty Sutton

Author Kitty Sutton. Image via Home Grown Books

The third novel, “Wheezer and the Golden Serpent”, takes an international twist as spies for the government of Mexico agitate rebellion in Indian Territory. The conspiracy was a smokescreen to disguise their intentions of regaining the territory known as the Republic of Texas. The author describes Chief John Ross as an unsung hero for “saving Texas from an all out invasion.”

Wheezer and the Golden Serpent

“Wheezer and the Golden Serpent” cover.

The latest installment headed to press, “Wheezer and the Giveaway Child”, probes the ongoing issue of “illegal adoption and the abduction of Indian children out of Indian territory.” This novel has an especially strong connection with Sutton’s own Native American ancestry and family history. Her Grandmother was “adopted out to a family in Missouri” and her family name was lost to time.

Wheezer, the central character of the series, is rooted in historical accuracy as well. The Jack Russell Terrier represents the first of his breed in the United States.

Sutton describes the timeline for each novels completion as between one and a half to two years, which includes research to ensure “my facts are straight.” . Sutton will continue the series for as long as she is able to “dig out hidden historical events”.

Kitty, and her husband, Native American artist, Jim Tatonka Sutton, will both be appearing as vendors at Old Settlers Day in Waynesville, Missouri, July 30th, 2016. In addition to “Mysteries From The Trail Of Tears” novels, they will also have art, moccasins, jewelry, and other crafts available for purchase.

To learn more about Kitty Sutton please visit her website at kittysutton.weebly.com, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KittySuttonAuthor , or follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/Kitty_Sutton