While in Austin it was really imperative to spend time with old friends. Unfortunately we ran out of this commodity way too soon and didn’t get to visit with everyone we wanted to.
Besides catching up with the familiars, we got the opportunity to meet completely new folks. Like Carl in Nacogdoches. And just before crossing the border we stopped to visit a second time with The Crumpackers.
We probably could’ve blabbed all night, oblivious to the rest of the world, but the restaurant ultimately flashed the lights on and off at us.
Once again we were reluctantly saying goodbye to friends. Group hug!
Foreseeably, we had a late start the next day. Topeka, Kansas was our destination so by the time we arrived it was dark and we were all road loopy.
I’ve always liked the word Topeka. In the language of the Kansa native americans, topeka means to dig good potatoes. My first hotel choice was a rotten tater, however. I should’ve been more skeptical of a place with such a cheap price that also used the word luxury in their name. Let’s just leave it at that. The bronze statues outside were interesting, however.
The next morning, we drove past the capitol building. It has an elongated dome (compared to Austin’s). Notice all of the contrails above! No wonder this part of the country is called the flyover.
Our reason for choosing Topeka as a destination:
The school building where it all happened has been turned into a museum and is now the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, maintained by the National Park Service.
Sagan finished her workbook and earned a National Park badge, which she is more than proud to show you.
Having this brick and mortar building helped the kids grasp the realities that existed with segregation much better than reading a few sentences in a history book. The concept of equal rights for all may seem easy, but obviously the reality of it was lengthy and hard fought.
Knowing what we have today for a Supreme Court, it is amazing and wonderful that in 1954 they ruled unanimously:
There are still inequalities for people, but this victory sets the stage for what we want for our children. We’re moving in the right direction. And on that note, we waved goodbye to Topeka and set out for Minneapolis.