|Above, Kemper Arena today. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
In 1976, I was a California Delegate for former Governor Ronald Reagan at the 1976 Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. The contenders for the Republican presidential nomination were President Gerald R. Ford and Reagan.
|Above, the Reagans arrive at the Hilton Plaza Inn during the|
1976 Republican National Convention. Photo by Armand Vaquer.
Ultimately, President Ford won the nomination against Reagan, but went on to lose the general election against Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter.
During my return trip from Metropolis, Illinois this month, the route I took had me in Kansas City, Missouri. While there, I decided to stop and take a look at Kemper Arena. This was my first visit to Kansas City, Missouri since 1976.
1979, the arena's roof collapsed due to a design flaw and structural failure. The arena was repaired and reopened within a year. Fortunately, nobody was killed. Recently, it was proposed to tear down the underused arena, but those plans have been withdrawn.
The arena still looks the same to me, 40 years later and after the 1979 roof collapse.