Jim Lehrer on the Road: A Dispatch From Kansas City

BY Chris Amico  April 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM EDT

All of those great lines from the musical “Oklahoma” leapt into — and remained — in my mind the whole time I was in Kansas City. Yes, everything is up to date… etc., etc. It’s a terrific place and I had a terrific two days here.

Public station KCPT has just finished a major capital fundraising campaign. I was able to say a few words of congratulations to the volunteers and staff at the station that made it happen. I also reminded one and all that their support for KCPT — energy and spiritual as well as financial — is at the heart of what makes it possible for us to do The NewsHour.

Last night, the station was also a co-sponsor of a most special event. It was a reception, chat and book signing at Union Station, the magnificent train station that has been completely restored to its grandeur as one of the real palaces of grace and glory in transportation. The reception was held in a 17-car luxury train owned and operated as a business train by the Kansas City Southern Railway. KCS chairman Mike Haverty, a lifelong railroad man, made that possible. Mike worked for 21 years on the Santa Fe and traveled many times on the Super Chief. So did many others who were there Thursday night. Watch the Super Chief call from the Union Station event:

They were among the several hundred public television and railroad fans who listened to me talk about my own fascination with trains, buses, Kansas and serious television news. I loved every minute of it. The good people at Rainy Day Books in Kansas City, one of the nation’s premier independent book stores, were the force behind it all.

And now it’s off — on something called an airplane — to Minneapolis.

You can keep up with Jim’s travels as he tours the country to visit PBS stations and discuss his new novel, “Super,” on this road trip page.