Delegating Denver #29 of 56: Missouri

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Total Number of Delegates: 88 Pledged: 72 Unpledged: 16

How to Recognize a Missouri Delegate: One explanation of how Missouri became known as the "Show Me" State claims that the nickname originated as a derogatory slur in Colorado. Untrained "scabs," brought in from Joplin, Missouri, to break a miners' strike, were so unfamiliar with Colorado mining practices that Leadville pit bosses continually had to show them how to do their work. It's not that Missourians are stupid; they just love to see people put on a good show! And the more dramatic and sentimental the performance, the better. After all, Missouri is the home of show-crazy Branson, with its 100 daily live music jamborees and country jubilees. In addition, Hallmark Cards, Russell Stover Chocolates and Precious Moments are the homegrown companies that Americans turn to when they feel pressured by their loved ones to "show me" some love. At the 2008 Democratic Convention, Missourians will be the most sentimental delegates, instantly recognized for their enthusiasm to sing along with street musicians and volunteer for hay rides and hoedowns. Delegates will be dressed for action in sportswear from Missouri-based Bass Pro Shops — females in Natural Reflections moleskin tops and Leah belted pants, males in Bob Timberlake Buckskin twill shirts and RedHead weathered chinos.

Famous Missourians: Agriculturalist George Washington Carver; artists Thomas Hart Benton and Sam (Precious Moments) Butcher; authors Mark Twain, T.S. Eliot, Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs and Maya Angelou; musicians Scott Joplin, Josephine Baker, Chuck Berry, Sheryl Crow and Eminem; macabre actors Vincent Price and Linda Blair; comedians Redd Foxx and David Koechner; conservative shills Rush Limbaugh and Phyllis Schlafly; TV personalities Walter Cronkite and Dick Van Dyke.

Famous Missouri Democrats: 33rd President of the United States Harry S. Truman; 22nd Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives Dick Gebhardt; the Carnahan clan: 51st Missouri governor and father Mel, senator and mother Jean, congressman and son Russ, secretary of state and daughter Robin.

Famous Missourians With Denver Connections: 1882 Denver Tribune editor and kid-lit superstar Eugene Field; the Unsinkable Molly Brown; Gunsmoke star and Ridgway recycled-residence recluse Dennis Weaver; 1982 East High School graduate Don Cheadle; Pepsi Center owner E. Stanley Kroenke; Custom Corned Beef king John Jewsbury; Potager wonder chef Teri Rippeto; 9News meteorologist Becky Ditchfield; 9News Colorado and Company co-host Mark McIntosh.

State Nickname: The Show Me State (official); Gateway to the West, The Old Lead Belt, Spelunker's Paradise, Pennsylvania of the West, The Puke State (unofficial). Population: 5,704,484 Racial Distribution: 83% white, 11% black, 1% Asian, 5% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $29,342 Unemployment: 5.8%


Most Missourian Denver Neighborhood: Speer

Most Missourian Bar: Herb's Hideout 2057 Larimer Street This jazz and blues club is the perfect mix of K.C.'s Westport and the Power & Light District.

Most Missourian Restaurant: Yazoo Barbeque Company 2150 Broadway Most convenient place near the 2008 Convention site to pick up a full rack of St. Louis- style pork ribs.

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Best Day Trip: Lake Estes

U.S. Route 36 runs through Missouri, from Hannibal in the east to St. Joseph in the west. After its mad dash through Kansas and the high plains of Colorado, the highway makes a glorious entrance into the Colorado Rockies at Lyons, then comes to an abrupt end on the western shore of Lake Estes. It’s a fitting end, because it was here, underneath the waters of this man-made reservoir, that Missourian Joel Estes built his log cabin and in 1860 become the first permanent resident of what would come to be known as Estes Park. Estes thought he was going to be a rancher, but the brutally cold winters and the non-stop stream of summer tourists changed all that. This is no Branson, though, and he didn't give up ranching to raise a barn and put on a show. Colorado's longest-running tourist attraction has never been famous for staged entertainment; the scenery has always been the star here. And today the best seats for the show are on pontoon boats rented from the Lake Estes Marina. While floating above the original Estes family homestead, fellow Missourians can see the rugged peaks of the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park, the distant wildflower meadows and the vast expanse of the ever-changing Colorado sky. A sunset boat ride is more spectacular even than a Branson grand finale with all eight Duttons playing each other's fiddles. Estes Park's encore performance takes place at dusk, when the elk come down to drink water and bugle at the blood-red sky. That'll show you. — Kenny Be

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