6427 Miles: A Tour of America
By Gerard Forgnone
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Knob Noster, Missouri to Kansas City, Missouri
My grandfather retired and passed away in Holden, Missouri.
I had never seen his grave, and I was passing by, so I decided to
go a bit south of the Interstate and visit his grave. I took
Missouri Highway 13 south from Interstate 70, and tried to find a
campsite or cheap hotel in Warrensburg, but there was nothing
available. Some quick laptop searching using the WiFi at
McDonalds pointed me to Missouri's Knob Noster State Park.
For some reason, the name "Knob Noster" was familiar.
Remember, I had worked on the B2 Spirit Stealth Bomber?
Well, the base of most of the B2's is Whiteman Air Force Base,
just south of the town of Knob Noster, Missouri. Below is a
Google Maps view of the State Park at the upper left, and the Air
If you look closely at the concrete runway at the lower right,
what do you see????
Sure enough, a B2 Bomber!!!! I was THAT close to the
airplane I helped build at Northrop in the mid-80's.
State Park website said the park closes at 10 pm, so
I rushed there and found this site in the
dark. I didn't realize it was a handicap
accessible spot, hence the full concrete pad.
Luckily, nobody needed it that night.
campground was really nice, and it was warm that
morning, so I made breakfast on my campstove.
Scrambled eggs, bacon, toast with butter, and
camp hosts came walking through and introduced
themselves. Nice people! I also got a
lesson on the non-poisonous local snakes being used
for a necklace.
was not buried at the main cemetery of Holden, but
in a smaller place further west. This is a
nice place to visit, and get some family history.
lived a long time!
of the people I wanted to see on this trip was my
old friend, Tom Hand. Tom worked for
Honeywell, and was involved in plastic oil bottle
recycling at the same time I was selling the B.O.B.
Oil Recovery System. We stayed in touch over
the years, and it was nice to visit with Tom and his
family in Kansas City, Missouri. This is Tom
and his 69 Plymouth Barracuda.
is Tom and his father Jim, standing behind Jim's
super-fast 1970 Pontiac station wagon, with 455
Pontiac power. It may not look the part, but
this car will pop wheelies on the street.
After Tom and his family so kindly fed me dinner, I
was off to north Kansas City, near the
Harley-Davidson factory, where I was scheduled for a
plant tour the next day.
Tomorrow is going to be a fun day!
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