Gateway Arch topping out

Home movie footage of the installation of the last piece of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis on October 28, 1965.

Update: Video replaced because YouTube wouldn’t allow the audio on the previous version.  This one is captioned.

I remember that day well.  It took several more months to remove the scaffolding and finish the project and the official dedication wasn’t until the following May when Vice President Hubert Humphrey spoke at the event.

Stainless steel Gateway Arch showing signs of rust

Arch on stlAlmost 45 years into its reign atop the St. Louis skyline, the 630-foot monument is suffering from growing rust and decay. And nobody knows how extensive.

Corrosion, some of it feared aggressive, and severe discoloration of the stainless steel skin have long been present, according to engineering reports reviewed by the Post-Dispatch.

The documents and interviews with metallurgists indicate that the remedy could be as minor as an “expensive” surface cleaning or as elaborate as a full-blown restoration. One report, completed in 2006, called for a deeper study, for which the National Park Service says it only recently obtained funding.

The problems are increasingly evident, with streaks and spots marking the upper reaches of the Arch exterior.

None of the documents reviewed addressed concerns about safety in relation to corrosion, or made estimates of what remedies might cost. One speculated it could take a “long time” before corrosion would “induce any integrity concern.”

The rest of the story

A tangled web weaved

We found this on the side of the house when letting the dogs out tonight.  We had some really heavy storms roll through this afternoon.  Can they build these things that fast or can these webs survive heavy rain?  You can click the pictures to enlarge them.



Once I took a few pictures he pulled his legs in and went motionless.



Happy 189th birthday to the state of Missouri

Missouri-quarterIt was on this day, August 10,  in 1821 that the state of Missouri was admitted to the Union. Missouri is called the “Show Me State,” a motto dating back to the 1890s and a speech where Congressman Willard Vandiver declared: “I come from a country that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri, and you have got to show me.”

For the past several decades, the mean center of the population of the United States has been in Missouri.

Missouri is the center of America in other ways, too: St. Louis, Missouri, is considered the farthest west of America’s Eastern cities, and Kansas City, Missouri, is thought of as the farthest east of America’s Cities of the West. In the past, Missouri was a Southern state; now it’s generally thought of as a Midwestern state.

It’s what’s called a “bellwether state” in politics. Missouri has voted for every winning U.S. presidential candidate since 1904, with just two exceptions: the 1956 election and the 2008 election.

Missouri was settled by German brewers and has always had among the most lenient drinking laws in the nation. When Prohibition fever swept the rest of the nation, Missouri never enacted statewide prohibition. State law specifically bans arrests for public intoxication. Open containers of alcohol are permitted in moving vehicles (passengers can drink).

Missourians count among their ranks: Mark Twain, Langston Hughes, T.S. Eliot, Sara Teasdale, Tennessee Williams, William S. Burroughs, William Least Heat Moon, Joseph Pulitzer, J. William Fulbright, Walt Disney, Walter Cronkite, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Jesse James.

Thanks Mike F

Heatwave in St. Louis

106 degreesWe’re having a heat wave in the Gateway City.  I had to run some errands today and my vehicle thermometer, which has been pretty accurate, displayed 106°F this afternoon.

The weather guy on the radio warned the listeners to “stay inside with air-conditioning if possible”.  Is that really necessary to tell us that?  Is there some moron who’s just sitting outside listening to the radio and thinks, “Oh, crap, I better go inside.”

World Naked Bike Ride hits St. Louis

Naked rider

World Naked Bike Ride (WNBR)  rolls out this Saturday night, June 19th  here in St. Louis. 

The purpose of the ride:

  • To promote cyclist awareness
  • To protest oil dependency
  • To promote comfortable body image
  • To bring together cycling community

Participants are encouraged to go “as bare as they dare,” though nudity is by no means necessary. You’re welcome to come fully clothed, covered in body paint, in your underwear, in a crazy costume… last year, we had a pretty good mix of the above.

 I should probably go out and cover this event.

About the St. Louis ride

WNBR main page

I should go down and cover this event.

Sunday Mid-Missouri Ride

Mid mo rideOur ride yesterday took us through the area south of St. Louis MO.  We rode about 180 miles through, Jefferson County, St. Louis County, Iron County, and St. Fancois County.  We traveled almost exclusively two-lane roads.  Missouri does have some nice scenic by-ways.  Especially scenic on this trip were highways FF and MM and W.  There was one other road, but I can’t remember what it was.

We stopped and ate at The Family Steakhouse in Potosi MO: Sunday buffet for $7.95 Food wasn’t bad, but there were no beets on the salad bar.  (That’s how I define a salad bar.  A good salad bar has beets).  🙂

The temp was in the low to mid 90’s and it wasn’t bad  as long as you were moving.  If you stopped it got hot quick. 

Showers were forecast for the afternoon, but we didn’t experience any.  Our riding buddies from Wentzville MO weren’t so lucky,  They were five miles from home when they got soaked.  The storms were short and they got home wet but OK.