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Crossing the state line

‘Sunflower’ and ‘Show Me’ states come together at Tallgrass Creek

Created date

July 23rd, 2013

Just three miles east of Tallgrass Creek s stately location in Overland Park, Kans., is the bustling metropolis of Kansas City, Mo., an easy-living city known for great barbecue, sophisticated lifestyle, enthusiastic sports fans, and more. Nicknamed the City of Fountains (it has more than any city except Rome, Italy) and Paris on the Plains (the only city with more boulevards is Paris, France), Kansas City was home to several current Tallgrass Creek residents for many years before they crossed the state line.

Deep roots

Dee and George Berry moved to the community in 2011 from one of Kansas City s genteel, southern suburbs. This is the first time they have lived in Kansas, and though their former home was a stone s throw from the state line, they had no intention of leaving their beloved Missouri. You have to weigh everything, says Dee. Tallgrass was such a special place that we put aside our desire to stay in Missouri so we could be here. George, a former judge and longtime attorney in Kansas City, is an undergrad of the University of Missouri and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Law School. He is a staunch supporter of the Missouri Tigers no matter what sport they are playing. Dee graduated from the University of Iowa and earned an MBA from UMKC. She lived in Kansas City and enjoyed participating in Missouri state politics until she and George moved to Tallgrass Creek. The Berrys still have deep roots in Missouri, as four of their five children live in Kansas City. But we have grandchildren who attended KU, so we have a few Jayhawks, too, laughs Dee.

From the Plaza to the plains

New residents Roy and Allene Martin moved to Tallgrass Creek in late June from the elegant Country Club Plaza area, a short one mile from the Kansas state line. (Interesting fact: the Country Club Plaza opened in 1922 and was the first shopping center in the world designed to accommodate shoppers who arrived by automobile.) Though the Martins enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the Plaza and, of course, the spectacular lights during the holiday season, they wanted to be closer to their daughter and ten-year-old twin granddaughters who live in old Leawood. We ve lived in several states, and though this is our first Kansas experience, we like what each state offers, says Allene. It is always interesting to see politics from a different state s perspective.

Lunch and learn

Thirty residents of both states gathered June 12 at an invitation-only event held at Kansas City s beautiful Loch Lloyd Country Club. The event, sponsored by the Tallgrass Creek sales staff, was for prospective residents from zip codes in both Kansas and Missouri and included an informative overview about Tallgrass Creek presented by Sales Counselor Judy Baxter. Afterward, attendees enjoyed a delicious lunch of beef tenderloin and all the fixin s alongside Tallgrass Creek residents and staff members, who answered questions about the community. Tallgrass Creek resident Bob Montgomery helped host the event along with resident ambassadors Phyllis and George Chamblin, Kansans since 1954, and Dr. Don Blim, a former Kansas City Missourian.

Common characteristics

Though there will always be ongoing (usually), good-natured debates between bordering states such as Kansas and Missouri about universities, sports teams, best barbecue places, and politics, several Tallgrass Creek residents mentioned one attribute both states offer: expansive skies, beautiful sunsets, and the occasional, awesome harvest moon. Ruth Filby, a Missouri resident for 80 years before moving to Tallgrass Creek two years ago, adds one more characteristic: We seem to share solid Midwestern traits of friendliness and a willingness to help, says Ruth. And of course, the easy living this community offers.

Nickname knowledge

It is easy to see why Kansas is known as the Sunflower State since wild sunflowers spring up along roadsides and grow profusely around the state. The leggy, cheerful plant, which can grow up to nine feet tall, has been the official state flower since 1903. The most popular theory as to why Missouri is known as the Show Me state comes from a comment made by U.S. Congressman Willard Vandiver, who served in the U.S. House in the late 1800s. After listening to a flowery speech at a naval banquet in 1899, he replied, I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats. Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I m from Missouri and you ve got to show me.