Despite the fact the national economy is a major mess, across America there was no Red Wave at Tuesday’s mid-term election.
Trump fatigue is real. It’s time to move on from that sideshow. Will enough Republicans agree on that for 2024? We’ll have to wait to see.
To win national elections a political party needs to win favor with the folks in the middle. Yes, there are still folks in the middle, though sometimes that fact gets lost in the noise from the extremism on both sides. If Trump is at the top of the ticket, it will be difficult for Republicans to win the middle in 2024.
Is Platte County still a Republican stronghold? That is now debatable. Did you notice Democrats won both of the contested state representative races in Platte County? And Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine, who got hammered statewide by Republican Eric Schmitt 55-42 percent, only lost by one percent to Schmitt in Platte County. One percent. Schmitt carried 49.40 percent in Platte, Valentine pulled 48.42 percent in Platte. There was a difference of only 402 votes in Platte County, and Schmitt tries hard to be as Trumpy as Trump.
We plan to talk more about the seemingly changing political demographics in Platte County in an upcoming column. Thanks to an assist from a local elected official, we’ve been able to put our hands on some new data on Platte County demographics that may surprise you.
This just in: mail delivery service in southern Platte County still sucks. The worst zip codes for service, according to complaints from our readers, are 64151 and 64152. Postal patrons report going days without mail delivery. “We’re not getting any Saturday mail,” one resident of 64151 tells me. “Last Friday we received zero pieces of mail, on Saturday we received zero pieces of mail, then on Monday we received 27 pieces of mail.”
The horror stories from zip code 64152 at Parkville are very similar. Days with no mail, then a day with a bunch of mail in the box. And though we personally carry our Parkville subscribers’ copies of The Landmark into the Parkville Post Office on Wednesday afternoons rather than mailing them from Platte City, it’s not uncommon for a Parkville reader to tell me on Saturday mornings that the paper still has not been placed in their mailbox. LOL. I have to laugh to keep from crying. Or yelling. It’s unacceptable. We’re paying good money to USPS to have your papers delivered in a timely fashion. And frequently in southern Platte, “timely” delivery is a pipe dream. We’re not the only mass mailer experiencing the problem.
Any local history buffs out there?
The Landmark was recently contacted by Al McCormick of Parkville, who was president of the Southern Platte County Jaycees decades ago. “While I did that I became familiar with some Platte City Jaycees and their families,” he told me.
Of course, these days there is not an active club known as the Platte City Jaycees, which is the main reason McCormick reached out to us. We’ll let him continue the story.
“After serving as local president, I was elected to state office (in the Jaycees structure) and was responsible for the northwest side of this area. Among my chapters were Platte City and Weston, where I became friends with the Dowds,” McCormick says. And now comes the important part–at least we hope it’s important to someone out there who may have a connection to the former Platte City Jaycees. “I accumulated some items over the years and I have one from Platte City that needs to find a home. It’s the Platte City Jaycees engraved meeting gavel,” he says. “I do not want to keep it much longer and I thought a great place for it to land would be your office,” he told me.
So here we are. The Landmark office at 252 Main Street is now home to this engraved gavel that once belonged to the Platte City Jaycees. Now the question is: are any of you with ties to the former Platte City Jaycees, or a family member of someone who was, interested in having this gavel? Because I don’t really need it sitting in The Landmark. I mean it’s nice and everything, but it would mean more to someone with ties to the former organization than it means to me. It’s here for the taking if someone wants it. First come, first served. And thank you, Al McCormick.
A quick historical search indicates Platte City had a Jaycees in the 1960s and maybe into the 1970s. I don’t have recollection of an active Platte City Jaycees club during my time at The Landmark, which began in 1982. Someone please correct me if my recollection is wrong.
Another historical item carried into The Landmark recently is a small booklet that looks to have been printed in 1929. The print job was done by The Landmark and the items of information contained in the booklet were likely compiled by The Landmark at the time. Pages in the paper booklet are about 3.25 inches wide and about 6.25 inches deep. It is a booklet containing all kinds of interesting tidbits about Platte City and its surroundings, listing many members of the business community at the time, the transportation systems in use, the local government, and some town history. Almost a chamber of commerce-style booklet, if you will. An inside cover page describes it as “a short sketch of the town, its enterprises and business men, and other information.”
The booklet was brought into our office by Tim Weeks, who is the son of the late Rev. Lester Weeks, a good man who pastored the First Christian Church in Platte City for many years.
It’s interesting stuff. We’ve found all kinds of historical treasures in The Landmark office at 252 Main–home to this newspaper since 1899–but I had never seen this artifact until Tim carried it in recently. When space allows, I’ll occasionally share some tidbits from the 1929 piece. Like this one:
“Platte City is centrally located in the county and has always been the county seat, though in years gone by futile efforts were made to make other places the capital. The first circuit court was held in a log cabin that stood where the home of T.W. O’Rourke now stands. The first courthouse was built in 1840, being a two-story building, 50 feet square, with a cupola and spire, and was located about where the Landmark office is now situated.”
I love it when the current site of The Landmark gets referenced as being the location of the first Platte County Courthouse. History buffs know that first courthouse was burned by Union soldiers in the Civil War. There’s a historical marker placed on our front sidewalk. And I can tell you when we explored the basement/crawl space of The Landmark building a few years back, we noticed char marks on our west stone wall foundation. Very possibly from that notable fire that occurred in the Civil War.
(Ivan Foley might be taking a post-election nap when you read this, but you can still email email@example.com)