Cardozo Family Adventure Rotating Header Image

George Washington Carver Monument; sleep in Springfield, MO

On our way from Kansas City to Springfield, MO, our CouchSurfing host, Dana, suggested that we stop at the George Washington Carver national monument as an interesting sight to see, and it was.
This was George Washington Carver’s boyhood home.  The monument has been recently renovated and has lots of information about him and the science that he practiced, and how it affects our lives today.

Reproduction of George Washington Carver's teaching lab

Reproduction of George Washington Carver

We learned that George Washington Carver was born a slave in Missouri, and was a sickly young boy and as a result had only light chores on the homestead where he lived.  He thus had plenty of time to be out in nature and make observations, and this led to his interest and aptitude in the sciences.  I think children don’t get out in nature enough these days (there’s even something called “Nature deficit disorder”), so I’m always happy when the kids (and I!) get to be outside.

You can look up Dr. Carver’s history at wikipedia (and elsewhere), but we were left with some impressions that I’ll share:
•    Adam appreciated that his discoveries and inventions led to the manufacture of crayons.
•    He was a major proponent of the peanut as a crop that the south should grow instead of cotton.  He wrote 101 ways for people to eat peanuts, and 300 non-food uses, too.  However, he didn’t invent peanut butter (though it was invented in Missouri).
•    Particularly impressive was his thirst for knowledge: so set on getting an education, at age 11 he left home to go to a town where he (a black child) could go to school.  Later on when trying to educate the black southern farmers about new farming practices, he created a mobile school to bring the teachings to them.

I especially liked many of GWC’s quotes and sayings, for example:
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong.  Because some day you will have been all of these.”
“One of the things that has helped me as much as any other, is not how long I am going to live , but how much I can do while living.”
“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting system through which god speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”

We arrived in Springfield, Missouri to a wonderful reception by Dana and Gary.  Dana had specially prepared a lovely vegetarian lentil stew for us.  We had a comfortable room, and learned a lot about Italy from Dana’s travels.  The kids loved playing with their two dogs, we miss Holly.

0 Comments on “George Washington Carver Monument; sleep in Springfield, MO”

Leave a Comment