EPISODES

Episode 010: Culture Shock Flashback

We kick off a new segment, Culture Shock Flashback, which features foreign nationals living in the US describing what it was like for them to move to America. In this episode host Marty Walker takes you way back to the 80s and describes her own experiences of domestic culture shock growing up in Springfield, Missouri and then being abruptly deported to Texas for unruly teenage behavior. Marty’s first foreign friend, Helena, describes what it was like to be a Swede living in Springfield, Missouri thirty years ago during the heyday of televangelists.

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SHOW NOTES
(Note: Due to the montage format of Culture Shock Flashback future episodes, we will not be offering show notes, but links of interest–MW)

About the image above: Postcard image of garden in White City, Springfield, Missouri. At first I thought this was some obscure historical nickname for Springfield, but I’ve learned that it was part of dozens of amusement parks that sprung up across the country which were called White City. During WWII (baseball was halted during the war) this tract of land was purchased by Assemblies of God and is now the location for the Assemblies of God national headquarters. According to Springfield Library’s website: “A story told by Ralph Harris of the Assemblies of God church is that in 1915 five teenage boys prayed to God to make the two-block area of White City His own because they thought it a place of evil activities. The area had been widely thought of as a place where nice people would not go. In 1945 their prayer was granted when the Assemblies of God purchased the land.”

Yup, that pretty much sums up the part I never liked about Springfield. (image courtesy Springfield Public Library website). But on the other hand, there’s so much more to love–like the infamous Cashew Chicken, spectacular foliage, spending the day on Tablerock Lake, or going to drink a beer with these guys.

Not mentioned in the episode, Springfield is home to the US Federal Medical Prison (they actually have a Facebook page?!!?). When Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt was sent there for psychiatric evaluation in 1984 (for wearing the US flag as a diaper to a court hearing), I remember the community and newspaper were in a huge uproar–it was feared that just the mere presence of Flynt would bring moral decay to our fair city. As a sidenote, in 1988, Flynt won an important Supreme Court decision, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, after being sued by Reverend Jerry Falwell in 1983, over an offensive ad parody in Hustler that suggested that Falwell’s first sexual encounter was with his mother in an out-house. Currently, Flynt refers to himself as a free speech activist.

Underground Ozarks– A great resource for creepy places in and around Springfield, including the infamous albino farm.

Legend of the Albino Farm–Novel by Steve Yates, a Springfield resident and writer, explores the lore of the infamous teen destination of cheap thrills.

Robert Tilton audio- obtained from a Youtube video not officially affiliated with Tilton. Tilton, a minister formerly based in Dallas, was one of the most successful TV evangelists of the 80s. But what goes up, must come down and a minister to the homeless of East Dallas by the name of Ole Anthony, brought down Tilton and other evangelists by exposing their fraudulent practices. This is a great read by Dallas’ WFAA that documents how it all went down.

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