Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. – known as “The King of Horror” was born May 27, 1911 in St. Louis, MO.
His performing career spanned across every imaginable genre. He was at home of stage, screen, recording studio and radio. Vincent price has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. One is for television and one for film. He has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, too.
Plenty of Stars and Credits for Performance, but there was much more to The King of Horror.
Vincent was an art collector. He purchased his first Rembrandt when he was twelve. He saved his allowance for a year to own that first piece. It was the beginning of a life long interest in art. He opened a gallery in Beverly Hills, California in the 1940’s. He became a well respected collector, and helped establish the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California. The first teaching art collection owned by a community college in the United States.
Vincent Price was recognized as a gourmet cook. He hosted “Cooking Pricewise” – a cooking television program. Once he demonstrated how to poach fish in a dish washer on late night TV with Johnny Carson. He also authored several cookbooks, including, “Come Into the Kitchen” and “A Treasury of Great Recipes.”
Limitless List of Work
We may remember him best as “The King of Horror.” but his body of work includes every kind of quality performance. He gave us comedy, bible stories, and even gave his voice to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
I remember him from “The Monster Mash.”
One Classy Gentleman.
‘A man who limits his interests limits his life.’ – Vincent Price.
It’s stacked stone, sitting on a sliver of land between a busy road and enormous parking lot.
I was familiar with some of the regional things I found. I’d seen photos of ancient houses in other parts of the world. Then, I learned about monumental structures of dry stacked stone all over the world.
Zimbabwe was a treasure to me because, education about Africa has been challenging to get
The installation, created by Richard Fleischer, using a technique he calls “Brutalist Urban Concrete.” Reminding us of Skara Brae in Scotland. I requested information about the stacked stone house. It seems I’m the only person thinking I see something resembling early architecture.
“the work consists of 5 elements, one of which is the wedge-shaped gabled structure.”
I imagined a teeny treasure of local history. It’s a “wedge-shaped gabled structure.” Made of Urban Concrete.
Stacked Stone? Early Historic Treasure?
nope. I was wrong. I imagined a family began humbly. It’s artistic expression.
Oh, the wall?
I like to pretend the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening is my home.
The outside is nice. The entire Center for Home Gardening is on 8.5 Acres. There are countless projects to see, plenty of ideas to try in your own garden. Specially trained Master Gardeners are on duty to answer questions. There is a walk-in Plant Doctor service . . Honest! if you bring in a sample from your ailing plant. an expert will help with information, tips and advice. There are classes and oodles of free pamphlets filled with information about anything garden.
This is NOT why I pretend, tough.
There’s a Great Room that always sparks my imagination.
Look! A Tree Living Inside!
Outside, there are lots of home gardening ideas. before we set outside, let’s check out the tree once more . . .
Center for Home Gardening Outside Ideas
Here’s a peek at a teeny urban garden. There’s seating, a water feature, statuary, super cool trees. The possibility of a quiet paradise in the middle of crowded city spaces. (click on photo for expanded view)
Let’s begin walking towards the front gate, okay?
I’m ready to head home.
Let’s pass the Chinese Garden along the way.
‘bye for now!
Days of ceremony happen on occasion. Flags fly high. Marching bands and parades fill the avenues. Uniformed dignitaries stroll to the stage to deliver a speech. Most of the hours, days and years are quiet. Good times to hold conversations with sleeping heroes.
In 1866, the Secretary of War designated the post cemetery as a national cemetery. The Civil War brought remains of many fallen to rest. In 1922 WW I Veterans required a medical center. WW II required land from the military post for cemetery space. Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery became a central location for group interments. Sleeping Heroes, every kind, color and their limitless stories are here.
There are several shelters placed around the cemetery called “committal shelters.” There are heroes, along with their spouses, from many different belief systems. I like the regard for feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others I find here. Many of these heroes did not know this respect and inclusiveness in their waking life.
Visiting Columbaria at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
Conversations with Sleeping Heroes
(some else has come to spend time)
Monuments honor different parts of the story. There is a monument to Civil war dead, Confederate dead, WW II, Korean War, Vietnam and the Gulf War..
There are memorials for War Unknowns.
One of the older monuments is dedicated to 175 soldiers of the 56th U.S. Colored Infantry.
There is a monument by artist John K. Daniels to honor the 164 Minnesotan officers and soldiers buried at this national cemetery.
U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Michael Blassie was shot down over South Vietnam. His remains were sent to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. After a DNA test, his parents asked to bring him home to Jefferson Barracks.
The stories seem to continue forever.
It was time for a bit of soul lifting, I headed to the Soulard Art Gallery.
Soulard is an old neighborhood. The name comes from Antione Soulard, who helped develop the area. There’s a lot of brick, and churches, and bars, and celebrations. It’s super close to “The River.” Soulard is also a great place to find artists. On this particular “break away day” I choose to visit the Soulard Art Gallery.
Resident Artists welcome every visitor. There’s always a display of art from regional artists. Each Resident Artist has a mini gallery. There’s plenty of color, texture and new views. Each gallery has it’s own style, look and feel. It’s a bit like visiting worlds of wonder.
Looking is okay, purchasing encouraged. – Prices fit almost every budget. You’ll be offer a beverage. There are invitations to upcoming exhibits. Say anything nice and an artist will reward you with a bright smile.
Soulard Art Gallery – 2028 S 12th Street – 63104
On to the “The Grove”
Onion Rings and a Coke – seems like terrific transition snack for a wanderer like me. “The Grove” has become one of the most fabulous, colorful neighborhoods in St. Louis. I was passing through around early lunch-ish time, so energy was quiet, and a little low.
O’Shays is friendly. They offer a hearty Sunday Brunch with plenty of choices. All of their food is prepared in house. They don’t mind if you’re a light weight and only order onion rings an a coke. The Irish eye twinkle is easy enough to see. No matter what’s goin’ on in the world. An Irish Pub can make it better.
Oshay’s Pub – 44353 Manchester Ave. – St. Louis, MO – 63110
There’s a little rock church, once called “The Old Meeting House” by early settlers, was the original home of Faith Des Peres, a Presbyterian Church in Des Peres, Missouri. Elijah P. Lovejoy was one of the early ministers here. Rev. Dr. Anne Epling is their minister today. I got to meet her leaving the Original Stone Faith Des Peres. The congregation continues to hold services right here a couple of times a year – Memorial Day Sunday happened to be one of those days. I met three people packing up to leave, all of them kind and delightful. I’m tempted to visit their current, modern facility . . but, that’s another story.
It’s interesting to know the people donating this land were slave owners, because there are stories about “The Old Stone Meeting House” was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
The facility has been restored. It hasn’t been an easy road over the years. It wasn’t always top priority to maintain an old stone structure, but the building lasted long enough for the 1970’s enthusiasm of a new minister, Rev. Robert W. Tabscott. Rev. Tabscott had a passion for historical preservation, diversity and a better quality of life. He inspired many in the congregation to save the Original Old Stone Meeting House, and it seems that project, along with many others has remained part of the foundation of their church community.
Air conditioning, electric lights, up to code and ready for the future., Faith Des Peres has offered all of us a hearty welcome and invitation to attend services, at the little stone church, or at their modern facility. I have the feeling it’s a fine place to be.
The Original Stone Meeting House/Faith Des Peres Church is found @ 2250 North Geyer Road, 63131 – (Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, 1st Sundays of July and August – perhaps other fun events, like Easter Egg Hunts)
11155 Clayton Road 63131 (on “Normal Sundays”)
10:30 AM (but, you might want to check – 314-432-8029)
I suspect the music will be great.
It was a Gorgeous Saturday. I was out the door early, but – not early enough. “The Garden” was surrounded by parking guards, whose job was keeping an overflow of vehicles from the lot. Tower Grove Park was already wall to wall people. It was time to find some quiet. So, this week, the learning curve of a new camera begins at Benton Park.
I really like the Benton Park neighborhood. It’s diverse, sweet to the eye and their history is rich with every kind of city story possible. (and, I do mean, this part of St. Louis proper goes back to rowdier days.) Someday I’ll take you for a cuppa and share stories, but today we’ll simply stroll around the park.
During early-ish 1800’s expansion of St. Louis, land from the city commons was set aside for parks, including Benton Park. A small portion of this land was already fenced off as a cemetery. But, in 1865 a city ordinance was passed and all remains were relocated.
Originally this was called “City Park.” It was renamed to honor Thomas Hart Benton, the first U.S. Senator representing Missouri.
Circling back around, there’s a memorial to Freidrich Hecker, a German-American Hero. When the monument was officially installed, over 15,000 people attended the ceremony.
Plenty of celebrations are held at Benton Park. The two that look interesting to me this year are the 150th Birthday Party on June 25th (2016,) and August 13th, we are invited to “Gospel In The Park.” If it turns out to be great music, I might have to show up.
The answer to my “What is that?” outburst was, “It is a Lime Kiln.”
I traveled out towards Wildwood, which used to seem far away, and used to be one of my favorite places. Now the road is store after store all the way out to a new college and shopping center. I saw a sign directing me to some woods and decided it would be a refreshing view.
Turns out there was more to find than my performing arts fantasy. This place is called Rockwoods Reservation. Trying to find out what, exactly the name means is fun. The land is cared for by the Missouri Department of Conservation. I sent them a question, they were kind enough to respond, but it was the same information on the print outs posted on the rules, regulation and information sign.
“Rockwoods” must have come from the trees and limestone rocks found everywhere you step. “Reservation” is a bit challenging, no natives live there, perhaps it’s being held for some other purpose, someday.
This beautiful land was a place trappers walked through in the 1700’s to get to the new settlement of Saint Louis to sell fur. In the 1800’s Ninian Hamilton received a Spanish Land Grant and built a home for his family. Eventually mineral resources were discovered on the land and Glencoe Mining Company took ownership in the 1850’s. It took massive amounts of wood to burn limestone rock – into powder. There is a list of things limestone powder is used for, the one I remember best was mortar in brick homes. The land was stripped bare before the company went broke.
There are several Lime Kilns to be found along the trail. They are 40 feet high. The thick walls have bolts in them to allow expansion when rocks became super hot. Fires burned every day, and men would come to pull the powder out from the mouth of these huge structures.
In 1938 St. Louis County began taking care of the land. It took 70 years for the beautiful forest I admired to grow. Speaks highly of Nature’s Design, hm?
The Dog Museum is a Fine Arts Gallery.
In the 1970’s people interested in creating a national museum dedicated to art and books about “man’s best friend.” The idea continued to inspire people and in 1973 the American Kennel Club sent out a survey, asking dog enthusiasts what they thought of the idea. In 1981 William Secord became the first director of The Dog Museum of America. It’s original home was in New York City, but soon there was a need for more space and the entire collection moved to Saint Louis County.
The Dog Museum is located in the historic Jarville House, built in 1853, which sits on the far side of Queeny Park, away from the main entrance. The view is breathtaking. I suspect many beautiful events take place on the grounds, and in the building.
When it comes to stories, the Dog Museum shares plenty of them. There is an entire wing dedicated to service dogs, canine police officers, and canine war heroes. It’s inspiring, and if you’re like me, you might need a moment to wipe away a tear or two.
The museum is home to the Hope A. Levy Memorial Library which holds thousands of publications. I peeked in, the room is inviting, i didn’t dare venture inside, or I might still be there today.
The Museum holds regular events, programs for young people, weekly talks about different breeds, and training events.
I enjoyed my time there.
I started to wonder why University City, Missouri has a Legacy of Lions. Lions are seen on banners. Lion Statues grace columns greeting people entering the city. I’m certain no wild lions pad the streets causing concern, equally certain no one has been eaten by a lion, so it was time for me to ask around.
The world class artist, George Julian Zolnay was appointed director of the art department of the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition for the World’s Fair of 1904. His work became so popular he became director of the Art Institute in University City, Missouri in 1909.
One of his majestic creations was the “Gates of Opportunity.” There were two columns standing on either side of Delmar Avenue. Each Column towered forty feet high and each column supported a big cat. There was a lion atop one and lioness on the other.
Unfortunately, it was all too heavy and began to tilt. In 1989 the lions were recast in a modern polymer concrete and placed on top of fourteen foot columns.
Edward Gardener Lewis and George Julian Zolnay surely would rejoice at the many ways their efforts ave continued to inspire residents and visitors alike for so many generations. Their efforts have caused people to come together, share ideas, not only about public art, but about ways to create a sense of community.
They have left us a Legacy of Lions