Elections, Escaped Chimp, and Tiger Homecoming

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October 22, 2010 – Government Relations Update

Kristi Smith Wyatt, Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Policy Development

So many issues to ponder….historic elections in the states that will most likely change the majority in U.S. House of Representatives, possibly the U.S. Senate, and most certainly the policy direction of many important issues in our country.  Then there’s the statewide vote on the earnings tax in Missouri, a measure that could have a major impact on KCMO and St. Louis.  And Kansas City was in the national news this week…..because of Sueko, the pet chimpanzee who rampaged through a KC neighborhood on Tuesday and is now recovering and rehabilitating at the Kansas City Zoo.  Three cheers for Randy Wisthoff and his team at the zoo for taking on the project of caring for Sueko and directing her assimilation back into the animal kingdom.  We’re all pulling for her!

Notwithstanding these important issues, I am distracted by this glorious autumn we are experiencing in KC, particular after the brutal winter and scorching summer.  And autumn in the Midwest equates to changing color of leaves,  a crispness in the air and of course… college football!

I was on the MU campus on Wednesday afternoon and evening.  It was alive with preparations for tomorrow’s big game – Missouri (#11) vs. Oklahoma (#1) in Columbia…..the college game of the week and maybe the season…..first time ESPN’s “CollegeGameDay” has broadcast from the Columbia campus.   On Wednesday, students were hustling to finalize preparations for the talent competition and floats for Homecoming.  They were focused and busy as they assembled their props, costumes and teams.  I got lost on campus and received location directions from a very polite young man who looked like a tiger!    Oh, do you know Homecoming was invented at MU?  The very first one held in 1911.  No wonder it’s such a big deal.

It brings back such sweet memories……of our caravans of the faithful in the 60’s and 70’s from Chillicothe to Columbia for almost all home games, leaving very early and arriving at Faurot Field so we could be among the first in the gravel parking lot for a morning of old fashioned tailgating – picnic baskets of fried chicken, bread and butter sandwiches, hot chocolate for the kids and Jack Daniels for the adults.    Homecoming was especially sweet …..my Dad always produced huge golden mum corsages with black ribbons for the women and girls.  I wore it proudly and saved it for days. 

Go Tigers!

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