St. Louis (Day 52)

“And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Eliot.

That sounds like a Looper motto to me! I wonder if, at the end of this trip, I will know myself “for the first time?” A curious question, perhaps, but that’s one of my goals on The Great Loop — not just physical exploration through boating, but also personal exploration through reflection.

It’s just how I’m built.

What made me bring that up, you wonder? Because the author of that evocative quote, that famous American poet, was born in St. Louis. Who knew? I didn’t, until I saw that quote carved into a wall today. In fact, there’s a lot to learn about this so-called “fly-over country,” the derisive term some use to refer to the large swath of America that isn’t near the coasts. I confess that I’ve been unfamiliar with a lot of that large swath. Our long “boating lay-over” near St. Louis is helping to fix that.

In our day trip to St. Louis today, we bypassed the famous arch — since we’ll pass right by it in our boat in a few days — and focused on Forest Park. It’s even bigger than Central Park, and boasts museums to rival many in the country. After our $90 taxi ride, split up among six of us, we had time (and energy, in this persistent heat) for only two of them. See highlights below.

Forest Park is larger than Central Park. This is the view from the front of the art museum.
Fanning myself at the art museum. I brought the fan with me on the boat because I’m a wimp in heat!
America has always been international, and the clues lie everywhere. For example, this city is named for a French king born in the 1200s who was made a saint. Why is St. Louis named for him? Will have to look it up.
I respond to sculpture more than paintings. This bust of an old Gaul warrior moves me somehow. He looks both haunted and determined.
This is what women wore to the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. That event was a big deal. The last world’s fair in the U.S. was in New Orleans, 1984. Why don’t I remember anything about it? Why hasn’t the U.S. hosted any since? Perhaps because people travel internationally so much now. But there are still so many who don’t. I think we ought to have world fairs. Just my opinion…
The marina was quiet earlier tonight. but as I write this at 10:30 p.m., a noisy cigarette boat is racing up and down and rocking the boats in the marina, and a small group is partying on the dock nearby. That’s the thing about moving your floating house from place to place…you have no control over the neighbors. (Then again, maybe that’s no different…!)

2 thoughts on “St. Louis (Day 52)

  1. You’re going to all my favorite haunts in my Home Town. The Art Museum, the History Museum, Forest Park. My house, that I rent, is about a mile and a half from Forest Park. So are Amy and my other daughter, Jen. I grew up with all of these wonderful places. Now, I’m a little hometown sick.

    Liked by 1 person

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