Original Facebook post July 3 at 10:02 AM
When I was a young boy, my Dad, Charles Maness and I boarded a train (so famous that Johnny Cash sang about it - the Wabash Cannonball) in Detroit, MI and rode it to see his boyhood home of De Soto, MO. So, while I was planning my route for this year's road trip, I thought it would be interesting to revisit it nearly 60 years later. And I am so glad I did. Being there brought back wonderful memories I had long forgotten, and reintroduced me to people and places that I just loved. Since I have talked about some of them (see update below), I want to focus on our family name and origins in this post.
I have often joked about growing up with a rhyming name, but I don't have that issue in Missouri because it is pronounced "MAIN-us" there (and "MAN-ess" in other parts of the country}. And wow is it ever a popular name! When I posted about hosting a MANESS (Long Lost Cousin) Family Reunion, I had over 40 people share the post with loved ones who currently or previously had our last name.
While there I learned there once was a Maness store, garage, school, and that someone in our family owned the first car in De Soto. I also learned that today there still is a Maness cemetery and a church. But what I think intrigued me the most was Maness Road. With it's horses and livestock, vibrant green forest and land, ranch homes and barns, this pretty, tree lined dirt road seems like it leads back to a simpler, more peaceful time.
My last stop on the journey through my Dad's past was to stop at his boyhood home. When I knocked on the door to ask permission to photograph the house, the very friendly people there were kind enough to invite me in and tell me about it. As I looked around, I tried to imagine my Dad, his parents John and Harriet, and his eight brothers and sisters, Edith, Harriet, Nellie, Minnie, Howard, Bertha, Frank and Joe all living there.
Looking back, I came to De Soto to recollect some great memories and ended up leaving with many more. It is my sincerest hope that in doing so, I have honored my Father - a loving, hard working, fun and Godly man who called me his "Pal" - and the place he was blessed to call home.
Update July 3, 2018: For more posts, photos and links about De Soto, MO, see:
11. MANESS (Long Lost Cousin) Family Reunion Invite.
35. Honor Thy Father.
36. Amazing Places: De Soto, MO.
37: Amazing Places: Pine Mountain Country Coffee House.
38: MANESS (Long Lost Cousin) Family Reunion Photos.
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