When I was 5 years old, our family moved from Kansas City to Johnson County. But before I was 10, I knew where Waldo was.
Short trips across the State Line often took us to the area around 75th and Wornall Road, where we bought pastries at McLain's and took lamps that my brothers had maimed to Dave Smith's. When someone said "Waldo," one visual always came to mind: the second-story windows, with their concrete trim, on the building now serves as a backdrop to the transit plaza at 74th and Broadway.
Later, there would be birthday dinners at Michael Forbes, Sunday outings to Shoney's with my husband's grandmother, bulk bicycle purchases, field trips to Waldo Pets and two more recent discoveries: Waldo Pizza and the fact that Waldo Grain carries something wonderful called Udder Essence Better Balm.
Whether you live there or not, this place still feels like your neighborhood. For this week's cover story, Waldo resident Traci Angel tells us what makes this area unique. She brings you this story as Waldo itself embarks on an oral history project.
And, before you turn the page, read about Chad Lundquist, an unusual Jackson County dad who does more than talk about the need for young people to become financially literate. 816 is happy that writer Kimberly Winter Stern knew of his unusual Friday night club held for the benefit of his daughter and her friends.