newlogopink.gif (49914 bytes)

This Day in My History

Stormy Weather
  Paybacks are a Bitch
 It's All Relative
2003:  One More for the Resume
2004:  Primal Scream 



PupsInBed.jpg (27685 bytes)


Latest entries:
"It's Done!  It's Done!"

(the latest entry is always on top,
and earlier entries are below)


Constitution.jpg (14147 bytes)

NotMyPres.jpg (10417 bytes)



17 April 2005

Time was our "arch" enemy today. We stood in line to pass through the teeny eye of the needle (the metal detection device. Thanks, terrorists, for making our life so unpleasant all the time) to enter the Gateway Arch building, with the intent of riding the tram to the top, 630 feet above the ground, but both times there was a 2 hour wait and we decided to come back later.

We could, of course, have bought our tickets the first time and then come back 2 hours later, but we decided to try to get on a riverboat cruise and so weren't sure when we would be back. By the time we got back the second time, it was too late in the afternoon.

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis' tallest structure (and the nation's tallest monument), was completed in the late 1960s and was designed to spotlight St. Louis as the city which was the "gateway to the west." The monument building also contains a "westward expansion" museum, which we did not tour.

Instead, we rushed (in as much as Will and I can rush) to the river to see if we could still get on a riverboat cruise, which we could. It was a perfect day for a ride up the Mississippi and you get a real feel for what a working river this is, from the sand barges dredging up sand from the bottom to sell to construction companies, keeping the channel deep enough for river traffic, to the barges pushed downstream, to the gravel plants, filling barges for transport. Ahead of us a ship was about to enter a lock system (we are now, of course, familiar with locks, from our time on the Thames!).

The tour was about an hour and the return portion gave us a magnificent view of the arch, and, centered, a view of the courthouse from where the Dredd Scott decision was read in 1857, which upheld the rights of whites to own slaves.

Then it was back up the flight of stairs to the foot of the arch again, through security again, and information that we would have a 2 hour wait (again). But we were starving and it was getting late, so we decided to either come back another day or skip it all together. I've been to the top of the arch, in the 1980s, with my former teacher, Sister Anne, when I visited her at the Daughter of Charity Motherhouse, in nearby Evansville, Indiana, so I didn't care whether I went up or not. But Walt really wanted to go.

Instead we went to part of the historic section of the riverfront and found ourselves a nice sportsbar, "The Train Wreck," where we had lunch and replenished our water supply, which had been somewhat depleted from walking around in the sun.

We were near St. Louis' oldest bridge, which is now used for light rail traffic. When it was built, we were told, people had never seen a cantilever design and were convinced it would never hold weight. They proved that it could by sending a couple of trains and an elephant across it. Will and Walt, being train buffs, wanted to ride the train across, so we bought tickets and took the train out a few stops through some pretty decrepit sections of town, where there seemed to be huge, hotel-sized buildings, all deserted as if we had passed through a gigantic industrial sized ghost town. And then back from whence we came.

The trip back to the hotel seemed faster than the ride into town and in no time we were all in our respective beds taking a much needed nap--as old people do!

At 6 p.m., we met Rachel's family in the lobby--her mother Susie, Susie's boyfriend Casey, and Susie's brother Hal, Hal's wife and a friend of hers, and en masse we piled into cars and drove the 5 or so miles out to Webster University, a small private college, where we would see "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune," by Terrence McNally, and directed by Rachel Blackburn.

We arrived at campus half an hour before the house opened and before Rachel arrived, so we stood around outside the building chatting and taking pictures.

Will and Casey

Will and Susie

"Frankie and Johnny" is a 2-person play, the story of a middle aged cook and a waitress, who have both been hurt in past relationships and who want desperately for "something" but are not quite sure what. Both are longing for acceptance, but afraid to reveal their dark portions of the past.

It's a wordy play and a tour de force for the performers, who were excellent. But the play demands a chemistry between the two and I learned afterwards that as recently as a couple of weeks ago, Rachel was still trying to get that chemistry in her performers to gel. That it was such a strong chemistry in the performance was a tremendous credit to the talent locked up in this pint sized powerhouse.

The play is written for two middle aged, rather ordinary looking people, a fact that is rather crucial for the script. But of course, these two college kids were not middle aged and Frankie was a beautiful girl, so you had to kind of get around that. But they were both very good actors and their youth (and the fact that the woman was much too beautiful!) could be overlooked.

But they were minor points and the overall effect was really impressive. I predict Rachel is going to be a successful director some day.

There were photos to be taken and a set to be struck after the show, so we didn't see Rachel (Who will join us today and spend the afternoon with us), but we went out for some dinner and then limped home to get some sleep.

Miraculously, I slept 5 hours without tossing and turning and though I woke up hobbling like my grandfather used to, at least I didn't have to sit up half the night.



powered by


<--previous | next-->

Journal home | bio | cast | archive | links | awardsFlickr | Bev's Home Page




Search WWW Search Funny the World

Created 4/09/051

setstats 1  1


setstats 1