Robert Arthur “Bob” Boots

Robert Arthur “Bob” Boots

Bagnell, Miller County, Missouri, USA
Death 13 Apr 2014 (aged 87)
Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma, USA
Burial Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri, USA
Plot Blk 37
Memorial ID 104797996 · View Source
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Veteran: WW II (USAAF)

h/o 1st, Lois M (currently unknown), 2nd Carol (currently unknown).

~ NOTE: Click on underlined words and images for additional information!

~ Message from "Bob" to me 8 NOV 2009:

"BILL, I look back at my early {and not so early} life and I started out life so dumb its down right embarrassing. I was born in Bagnell Mo. near the Lake of the Ozarks. in 1926, When the Bagnell dam was being built. We didn't have electricity just wood fires and kerosene lamps. Dad brought the first generator and lit up some electric lights and it was a marvel. I wasn't dumb but I was ignorant of so many things that my peers took for granted. One instant was, back in Carthage when I first started drinking beer in High School I saw a sign where we went to go, draught beer. I pronounced it drawt beer until Bob Wiggins told me how to say it. Another time we were talking about the Olympics and the 4 minute mile, I ask "do they run all the way?" Was I some kind of ignorant or not?

"I wanted to go to college after we got out of the AAF bit. I let Dad push me into the drive-in business and I did well at it I never did like it. I used to close up the place and drive around the square looking at the other kind of businesses wondering if I would like that one. {It wasn't until I was 57 years old, when I sobered up did I find it.}"

A later message: "I didn't coin this phrase but it speaks my feelings better than I can. It’s true---my heart still lives in Carthage. I can’t say I understand it, but my deepest feelings say to me that “Carthage is home.” I have stopped arguing with it. Here is where I grew up during WW II and living with Boots Motel and Rt. 66. It was Boots Court back then; Dad didn’t think people would know that motel was an acronym of ‘motor hotel.’ After a short stint in the Army Air Force it was back to Carthage and Boots Drive-In for fourteen years."

"Bob"'s folks removed around 1938-'39 to Carthage, Jasper county, Missouri from Independence, Montgomery county, Kansas, where his maternal grandparents, the Caldwells, are found in 1935 on their 1940 Federal census, when the United States was ending a major depression.

Many other men roamed the countryside, looking for work, but "Art" was a cautious man. First, in Carthage he built a gas station, the 18’x11’ office at the front of the front building. He put in two gas pumps, just in case his motor court plans did not work out. He called his gas station the "Red Horse". Then, he built the first four rooms just behind the gas station of their Boots Court, renting at $2.50 per night, a place which at least once had Clark Cable, Gene Autry & Mickey Mantle as guests to name but three, on west side of The Jefferson Highway, Route #71, Winnepeg to New Orleans, "court" located at 107 south Garrison avenue, that portion known as the "Crossroads of America", containing a four city block portion of John Steinbeck's book "Grapes of Wrath", awarded Pulitzer Prize for fiction with his "The Mother Road", Route 66, Chicago to Los Angeles, from its beginning, around 1926, for nearly its first quarter-of-century, sharing Garrison avenue, south of Central avenue to Oak street until realignment during the early 1950's, then west across Garrison and straight out Central, through the old.

Of course the interstate highway system (with its Interstate #44), following WW II antiquated many old highways including our "Mother Road" known as Route #66.

Following end of World War II, in 1946 after "Bob" was honorably discharged from the United States Army Air Force, "Art" & son "Bob" built the "Boots Drive-In & Gift Shop" across Garrison avenue, on northeast corner, of Second street, addressed 126 south Garrison avenue, which Bob's mother, Ilda, (separated from Arthur in 1941) was the cashier. "Bob", regretted his father's guiding him to later own & operate, it for fourteen years, with partner C Jude Arney, while married to Lois living, 1st with his mother at 215 north Maple, then 1800 Hazel street, lastly at Carthage, as he said, "in the well built McElroy home" at 1301 Grand avenue, raising a family before removing to Tulsa, Tulsa county, Oklahoma in 1958, living at times at 3635 Lakewood, 5782 Harvard, lastly at 6840 south Toledo, where he died in 2014.

~ "We moved to Tulsa in the spring of 1958. Oklahoma was still celebrating its 50th birthday as a state. Eisenhower was president. We watched the Russian ‘Sputrnik’(sic) wink across the night sky. Governor Orval Faubus closed the schools in Arkansas rather than desegregate them. The Chipmunk Song was a hit. Bing was singing ‘To Catch a Falling Star.’ Elvis had it made it by singing ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ and ‘Hound Dog’. Tulsa was more of an overgrown town then than the city it has now grown into."
Wherein, the balance of his life was spent, and we got together around 1978 once while I was in business in Tulsa, where I had lived, 1950-'51, following DEC 1949 graduation from college.

"Red" Morrow and some friends, of Carthage was interested in developing an apartment complex in Tulsa in the late 1950's. To that end, Bob arranged to obtain an option on 10 acres of zoned land at 28th and south Harvard, enough land for about 100 apartment units. "Red" and his group had second thoughts of entering the unfamiliar development business, so never proceeded, as told me 1/15/2011 by Bob Boots of Tulsa.

Death: in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ~ following some five years of an earlier message, to wit: July 17, 2009, "Bill, I decided that I wanted my ashes taken back to Carthage."

~ OBITUARY: Bob choose to NOT provide an obit, which upset many of his remaining friends.

~ "Bob" once wrote me the following, to wit: "
I’m beginning to think that coming home is the completion of a circle. It is the alpha and the omega---the journey of life. I forged outward into life not knowing exactly where I would end up or what was next. In looking back I believe that there was a higher power that guided my footsteps to each event, good and bad, in my life so that I might learn a certain lesson that could only be learned by experiencing it. Lessons that were both exalting and painful to the extreme, bought and paid for by pain and laughter. Precious, hard earned lessons that I will never forget. The wisdom from those experiences---is what I will take with me when I go back to where I came from."
~ ~ It all makes good sense to me!

Father: Arthur Albert "Art" Boots b: 14 AUG 1904 Iowa
Mother: Ilda Caldwell b: 25 NOV 1906 Bagnall, Miller county, Missouri.

~ 25 FEB 2009 regarding his paternal grandparents who once owned Mr Roper's 40 acre Spring river floodplain farm and home at Coolbrook, to wit: "Granddad, Oscar Boots and Maude lived there in the 1950's. I'm not real sure that where he lived would be called Cool Brook or not, however the stream from the large spring ran between the road and the house. You had to walk on a concrete bridge over the stream to get to the house which was backed up almost against a hillside. Grandpa laid a pipe from the [Roper's] spring to the house so grandma would have running water. there was forty acres there that was across the road and ran down to the railroad track [Missouri Pacific] as I recall."

“Jude Arney, my pardner, and I got the brilliant idea to start a cattle ranch there so we bought 4 cows and a registered bull. We built a fence around it and a cattle shed on it. It was less than a year until we realized that it was not such a great idea after all so we slaughtered them and ground them up and sold some very expensive hamburger at the drive-in.

“Our bookkeeper called it assassinating our assets."

Marriage 1: Lois M (currently unknown)

Two known children, a male, nicknamed "Clancy" & Linda Kay, who died DEC 2013.

Marriage 2: Carol (currently unknown).

No known issues.

Revised: 02-21-2015.

Prepared by Bill Boggess.

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  • Maintained by: NJBrewer
  • Originally Created by: Bill
  • Added: 7 Feb 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 104797996
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Robert Arthur “Bob” Boots (2 Jul 1926–13 Apr 2014), Find a Grave Memorial no. 104797996, citing Park Cemetery, Carthage, Jasper County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by NJBrewer (contributor 47097113) .