Living the Ref life

Life in Columbia is like a layover for Ali Saheli.

During the week, Saheli is a senior programmer and computer analyst at MU. Come Friday, he is off to places such as Los Angeles or Bermuda to referee some of the world’s most high-profile soccer games.

Following history

Whether on a barge floating down the Missouri River or on a train traveling through the countryside, vacationers have many ways of experiencing the adventures of Lewis and Clark.

Julie Fanselow, author of “Traveling the Lewis and Clark Trail,” has been traveling the trail annually since 1993, and she has pages of advice for travelers looking for a Lewis and Clark adventure.

The new radicals

Chip Walker and Dave Sanford couldn’t believe it when they heard the Missouri Students Association had rejected a statement of support for U.S. troops headed to Afghanistan.

Walker and Sanford, friends through MU College Republicans, had talked about publishing a conservative newspaper. The student government resolution was the push they needed.

History often viewed with ‘rose-colored’ perception

Most American citizens are familiar with stories of successful explorations on the early American frontier. Stories of Lewis and Clark and Christopher Columbus are not only written about in history books, but also are passed down from generation to generation as inspirational tales of bravery and courage. What remains unquestioned is how and why these stories continue to pervade the mindsets of Americans and influence American culture today.

“Thinking about somebody being a pioneer fits into the values of an individualistic, entrepreneurial culture,” said Jeffrey Pasley, associate professor in MU’s history department. “(But) we apply these words to apply luster to activities that have relatively little to do with blazing a trail across a country that’s never been mapped.”

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

Meriwether Lewis

King of the road?

You either love them or hate them. Or maybe you just sip your Big Gulp and whiz right by them.

Drive east from Columbia on Interstate 70, and you’ll see more than 200 billboards displaying ads for gas stations and tourist shops, funeral homes and tractor supply stores.

Lewis’ boating experiment

Meriwether Lewis spent hours of preparation and dedication on his iron boat before the expedition of the Corps of Discovery. The boat, invented especially for the expedition, was aimed at tackling the problems Lewis knew lay ahead on the Missouri River.

And then it sank.

Golden Years

Art and Vera Gelder are moving into a retirement spent taking care of more than 1 million bees, 24 goats, 12 rabbits, 12 ducks, five llamas, four emus, three peacocks and a pair of pigs. That’s not counting the dogs, cats, guinea fowl or the 2,500 adults and children who visit their family farm on the outskirts of Columbia.

“This is what we want to do when we retire,” Art says.

Guessing game

From doodles in Clark’s journal to copies of maps given to the expedition by American Indians to celestial observation, William Clark drew, compiled or collected the maps that detailed one of the greatest expeditions in American history.

More than 140 maps were made during the Lewis and Clark expedition and more than 30 were collected from American Indians, fur trappers and traders.

The kindness of strangers

The Lewis and Clark journey was deeply influenced by native tribes living in the American wilderness. Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation says, “The North American people shared their unique knowledge of people in the land — helping (Lewis and Clark) map the lands around them, providing horses, and providing valuable knowledge about food preservation and ways to survive.”

Bob Moore, a historian at the Museum of Westward Expansion, says Lewis and Clark didn’t have a clue how lucky they were until the expedition was over.

A woman, a symbol

Sacagawea’s part in the expedition began with the party’s hope to acquire horses. She was to help guide the expedition to the headwaters of the Columbia River. However, her role evolved greatly during the voyage.

She served as an interpreter, and expedition members hoped she would speak kindly of them to American Indians they met along the way. She was also valued as a woman. As expedition co-leader William Clark noted in his journal, “one woman with a party of men is a token of peace.”

Playing your cards right

Starting Monday, Medicare recipients can begin applying for the new prescription drug discount cards. But with 28 different cards, each with its own formulary of available drugs, deciding which card to get might be difficult.

The discount cards, which will cost $30 a year, are aimed at providing relief to senior citizens until the new prescription drug plan for Medicare recipients goes into full effect in 2006. The card could reduce the cost of prescription medications by 10 percent to 25 percent.

Stomaching the expedition

The old saying, “an army moves on its stomach,” proved true for the men on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

But the most important part of each day wasn’t the exploration but rather the hunting, gathering and shepherding of the daily food requirements.

On the rivers, they traveled into the unknown

In the course of walking, boating and canoeing nearly 3,000 miles, it was inevitable that the more than two dozen men of the Lewis and Clark expedition would encounter trouble.

Sometimes it came from within.

Holden talks at Democrat Day

Democrats from counties throughout Missouri attended the Central Missouri Democrat Day on Saturday, which aimed to unite Democrats and raise money. Featured speakers were Gov. Bob Holden and former Gov. Roger Wilson, who spoke in place of State Auditor Claire McCaskill.