My Trip to Missouri June 2013

Discussion in 'Postcards from Planet Earth' started by Shale, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Shale

    Shale ~

    My sister wanted to take a Caribbean cruise with her family so I came St. Peters Missouri to check on mom and watch her house & dog while she is gone.

    I left Miami on June 20th.

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    When we were approaching the St. Louis airport I could see the remnants of the recent flooding that took place here the last few weeks.

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    This is Lambert Field or the St. Louis International Airport. This terminal was built in 1956 when I was a kid living in St. Ann. It was the first of the new innovative airport terminals that would go up around the country.

    The last time I was up here the windows were still boarded up from the tornado that went thru this building a few years ago. Probably saw that on the evening news as someone caught it on camera.

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    1 person likes this.
  2. Shale

    Shale ~

    Cottleville, Missouri

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    My sister drove me to a little community about a mile from her house and showed me the Dardenne Greenway Cottleville Trail that goes for another couple of miles.

    On June 23rd, to get some exercise I did a hike/run for the 3 miles or so, actually being a tourist in Cottleville.

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    The small town is about 3 blocks long on the main road and has a few 19th century 'American Gothic' type buildings.

    I thot this overgrown building looked interesting

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    This pic shows that we are really on the edge of 'the country' here.


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  3. Shale

    Shale ~

    Dardenne Creek Greenway

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    This is the log cabin at the entrance to the Greenway Trail that runs along Dardenne Creek back to the main highway, Mid Rivers Drive. It is very rustic but contains a very modern bathroom (with a composting toilet) sort of the modern version of the old outhouses that were still in use in St. Louis when I was a kid.

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    Dardenne Creek was not too impressive this day - couldn't even find a deep enuf place for a swimming hole like other creeks of my childhood visits to Potosi, Missouri. But, judging by the depth of the banks, it likely fills with rushing water in flood stage.

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    Besides, almost every tree along its banks was covered with poison ivy and it was on the ground so I personally wouldn't be traipsing barefoot to it.

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    I took some more pix of other local plants along the trail, Poke Weed, Blackberries, Mullen, Milkweed and Thistle.

    It was a fun trek along this paved running/walking/biking path. Met ppl walking their dogs and it seems a popular place for the local community and the occasional tourist.

    I may go back in a couple of days for some more running - tho the weather is predicted to be in the 90s F. I'm from Miami Beach - not used to that kinda heat.
     
  4. Shale

    Shale ~

    Today my Tourist Agenda was to visit the Cow on Mid Rivers Mall Drive, a local attraction for half-a-dozen years or more.
    https://www.************/pages/The-Cow-on-Mid-Rivers-Mall-Drive/128138233877922?sk=photos

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    We all drive past it multiple times a day and give a glance at its current decoration, depending on the season or holiday. But, being a tourist I had to get a pic of it.


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    And, with it.

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    I also visited my mom today and decided to get a pic of us as well.

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  5. Shale

    Shale ~

    St. Louis

    Yesterday, I visited my old high school buddy, Steve Smith. I am getting better at driving directly to his studio in Fenton MO after about the third trip there over as many years. But, got off to a roundabout start while fighting with a GPS that insisted it was still in Louisiana. Did you know there is a Fenton LA?

    Spent the morning with Steve & co-workers and they treated me to lunch where I had a sopaipilla con helados at a Mexican restaurant (I live in South Florida and come to Missouri to have my first sopapilla).

    Afterward, I decided to make a trip into St. Louis since I am halfway there to see the old neighborhood of my first childhood memories. The last time I was there in 1988, all the old 19th Century buildings that I grew up with were rubble, except for Jackson school and St. Liborius Church, which dominated the block of North 18th Street on which I lived. I had seen a satellite view of the neighborhood last year and it actually showed new buildings with little lawns.

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    http://home.earthlink.net/~roboyte/robssite/id32.html

    I did the trip on I-44 without too many turnarounds – just one when I was on I-55 downtown and took an exit that I thot was leaving the expressway but soon found myself on a bridge over water. Yep, made a little trip to Illinois on my way to St. Louis.

    Got back to St. Louis and off the expressway, driving north thru a patchwork of many cleared vacant lots interspersed with a few boarded up, crumbling 19th Century buildings. It was a surreal landscape that also contained the occasional block of new single family homes with small lawn – something very rare when I lived here up to 1954.

    Such was my block at 1817 N. 18th Street, now totally transformed from large brick tenements into small residential buildings with lawns.

    In front of 1817 N. 18th Street - 1954
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    In front of 1817 N. 18th Street - June 25, 2013
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    It was a beautiful sunny day and the neighborhood was mostly empty except for a few kids playing in front of the houses, just as I did some 60 years ago.

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    The demografic had changed from segregated white to mostly black with some white ppl in the mix. I think surreal is the feeling I will go with here, being displaced in time at a familiar place that seemed so much smaller as seen from my larger body. The block that was my world growing up (until at the age of about 9, when I would walk all the way downtown) was once a large place to traverse but was now just a few strides from one end to another.
     
  6. Shale

    Shale ~

    One of the few antiquities remaining on the block was the large cathedral, now mostly abandoned except for some social service Youth Center and Food Pantry.

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    I walked thru the grounds that was once a playground for us neighborhood waifs. The Gothic archway where we would hang out with visions of Medieval Knights (my dad had made me a wooden sword and a Masonite shield).

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    This led to the Grotto where the statue of Virgin Mary was behind glass and it was a place for kids to climb on. The remnants are still there and someone has put a small statue in place of the much larger one when it was still tended by Nuns.

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    There was a sloping courtyard between the church and the convent where we kids would ride our sleds down the hill in winter, and where there was a window by the alter where the nuns would throw out flowers to the ground.

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    We also scraped the rice off the sidewalk in front of this church after weddings and threw it at our own play weddings. It was a simpler time in the city in the early ‘50s.
     
  7. Shale

    Shale ~

    There was another old building from my childhood still standing across North Market street.

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    IDK what it was used for but it had a day care center run by the Community Chest and I stayed there in early childhood while my single mother went to work at White Rogers. It appears to now be a nightclub.

    The other building central to my youth was my grade school where I went from Kindergarten to 4th grade.

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    These were places from my formative years up to 10 years of age. To this day is a scar on my hand where I fell on some broken glass on the playground at this school. Kids today would have gotten stitches, but a Band Aid and mercurochrome took care of it back then.

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    I have already written of the early years in this neighborhood, of the large rats, the outhouses that were still in use, the ice box and the horse drawn Pevely Dairy wagon. These moments in time have transitioned to crumbling or missing buildings now preserved only in the memories of an ageing brain.

    All things must pass and the old is giving way to the new. It was nice to see the new vigor in this place I once called home, the fresh houses and green spaces. But along side that was the vacuum of too many vacant lots and old buildings abandoned.
     

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