What’s Up?

What’s Up?

Grand Center TheaterI took this photo long ago.  Camera in hand, waiting for a bus.  This theater is on Grand Avenue.  I haven’t attended an event here, yet.  There are several venues on Grand.

Wait, I’m going to try to scan something for you:

library adventureThe library offers “blind dates.”  Books are all wrapped with descriptive words on the face.  This week I choose one for the very first time.  I started to read this morning while the fiat was having an oil change.  Ooooh, I would never have chosen this enchanted science fiction novel.  It’s imaginative.  Has my attention.  It certainly IS a “Blind Date.”

Moved Back to my “Home Site.”

I was thinking about possible website changes.  Immediately the opportunity to re-arrange my performing site arrived.  I haven’t decided what I’d like to do with this one.  Maybe keep it here, maybe move favorite stories to the other space.  There’s time.  Plenty of time.

  Three errands were on a morning “to do” list.  Oil Change, (told you about that,)  check out the newly opened credit union,

Here’s an aside for you.  Do you know there is a grass roots move in our nation to move our resources from corporate banking?  I’ve checked in to a few of our local credit unions.  They are member driven, nonprofits.  They are an alternative.

Anyway, I started a new account at a bank I watched being built.  It’s along my regular weekly route.  Ta-Daa!

The third was to learn about a new-ish gym, along the same street.  Sigh, other things took longer than suspected.  The new gym will have to wait.

That’s “What’s Up” Today.

Treasure at Faust Park

The St. Louis Carousel

The St. Louis Carousel was built in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the Dentzel Company 1920.

Faust Park, St. Louis, MO Dentzel Company

 1837 Michael Dentzel was traveled the German Countryside in horse drawn wagons.  He’d set up his “hand carved machine.”  This portable machine of hand carved creatures led to the creation of The St. Louis Carousel.

Gustav Dentzel (Michael’s second son,) emigrated to America in 1864.  He brought America’s first Amusement Park Carousel by Ship.

The Company

The Dentzel Company grew steadily, hiring woodcraft masters to create life like church statues, ornamentation for fine homes and signature menagerie creatures for carousels.


The carousel was installed in the Forest Park Highlands.

Forest Park Highlands was a favorite St. Louis Attraction for almost 70 years.  Opened in 1896, the park gave happy memories to countless folk until July 1963.  The park, constructed of wood, caught fire.  The flames were hot enough to reroute highway traffic.  There was no way to reconstruct and reopen the Highlands.

If you drive by the area today, you’ll see a community college and office buildings.

The St. Louis Carousel

 Mr. Howard C Ohlendorf and his wife, Irma gave many gifts to the County Park system.  Including land, park embellishments, repairs and a great home for the carousel.

The St. Louis Carousel now lives in it’s own climate controlled facility.  Curators care for the menagerie.  People can ride the carousel and attend parties. Photographers make special arrangements for wedding portraits.

After all these years, It is still well loved and considered The St. Louis Carousel.

Faust Park

Overwhelm @ Museum of Transportation

The Museum of Transportation houses a world class collection of transportation vehicles.

Museum of TransportationSomething to catch the eye in every corner.  First, there’s amazement, Then a lot of respect.

We will take a beginning tour today.  I’ll return to add stories and photos of parts of the massive collection.

The Museum of Transportation is a County Park

The project began in the 1940’s. The Transport Museum Association, Museum of Transportation and St. Louis County Parks collaboration.  The museum began using track from 1930 Missouri Pacific railroad.

Excellent Place for Children

Museum of TransportationActivities for most age groups.  There’s a train that circles the property.  Unlimited Rides with admission wrist band.  There is also a craft station called “Creation Station.”  This is popular with guardians and children.  Registration required because the room becomes packed with happy youngsters.

Excellent Place for Adult “Children”

Automobile show room with displays beginning with wagons and continues through the 20th Century.

museum of transportation milk wagonPevely Dairy Wagon.  Looks like fun to me.

 Museum of Transportation - Dream CarBobby Darin “Dream Car”

Called “Outrageous Vision of the Future.”

Trains?  We got ’em!

Transportation - Union PacificUnion Pacific Railroad #900081

Built in 1966 – Biggest, heaviest rotary snowplow.

kinda scary at first glance

Museum of TransportationThis looks like a great story.

Plenty of opportunity to learn.

A few other things to share today.

TowboatTowboat “H.T. Pott”

First Missouri River Towboat with welded steel hull.

Kids enjoy climbing this big fella.

what a craftDouglas Aircraft C-47A Transport

A Dandy!

I’ll simply have to return

too overwhelmed.  need to consider.  will pause for now to think

sure like bencheson this beautiful bench.

2933 Barrett Station Road – St. Louis, MO 63122

If you find me sitting on this bench, let’s do hot chocolate.  I’ll buy.

love & love,


Hindu Temple of St. Louis

Hindu Temple of St. Louis

Early morning photos of the Hindu Temple of St. Louis.

Hindu Temple of St. Louis It’s challenging to find a time when there are no cars.  This beautiful place serves more than 16,000 area Hindus.  People arrive all day long and well into the night.

The temple is a dream in the making.  Registered March, 1988, ground breaking,  April, 1990 and formal inauguration occurred Nov. 1991.

Temple design by V GANAPATI STHAPATI and Associates of CHENNAI, INDIA.

By Jan. 1995 they were ready to celebrate Initiation.

Hindu Temple St Louis, MO

Looking to the future

A Community Center is being built.  It gives room for quality educational programs and gatherings.

For twenty years they have fed, given legal assistance and health screening to any coming for help.  This is a place that extends blessing and assistance to others.

Greeter at the TempleCars were filling the parking lot.  I was self conscious.  Everyone offered a smile.  I explained my activity to a passerby.

side entranceWe agreed it’s a lovely place.  I could have gone inside.

Welcome everywhere I didn’t.

Going inside didn’t feel right.

Leaving wasn’t easy.

I turned around to look again.  I’m glad I looked.  I’d parked far away.  Up a hill, under a tree.  It was a perfect moment.  People arriving, sharing with friends. Clear morning sky, a temple and a “mountain tree.”  There isn’t a day I don’t miss the mountains.  There was a sight, a gift just for me.  Took one camera click.  Then, I could share that moment with you.

Hindu Temple of St. Louis

Hindu Temple of St. Louis
725 Weidman Rd. St. Louis, MO 63011

We are welcome here!

Sculpture Park

Wacky Sculpture Park

It’s possible my first impression of this Wacky Sculpture Park has skewed my attitude.  They hold a well attended art event one weekend every year.  It’s always on Mother’s day weekend.  I used to be the Sunday Morning opening performing artist.  That was “my spot” because I was easy to set up.  Easy – anytime of the day – is good.  First thing in the morning is Best.  I also sang happy, uplifting songs.

Every year I zoomed all night from where ever my concert was.  Usually I was driving from Mankato, Minnesota.  Managing to arrive in time for a quick nap, shower and on-time arrival in the back lot of the Sculpture Park.  Park Services would set up a mobile stage across from a huge red sculpture.

Recently my pupster has taken me for a few walks.  The Sculpture Park invites well mannered canines to escort their people.  There are trails, sidewalks, open spaces and, wacky views.  My fluffy friend has given me a new attitude.

Wacky Sculpture Park

Sculpture Park - near MailboxNo matter which way you look, there will be surprise.

Sculpture ParkRight Out Front @ Sculpture ParkDoesn’t this look like a great hide away?

neon welcome sign on original homeBeautiful Building.  It used to house a gift shop.  There was a kid’s art class going on.

First View of Actual GroundsWalk around the building.  The views are stunning.

 Sculpture ParkThis was created by Jonathan Borofsky.  It’s called “Man With a Briefcase at #2968443,” 1986.  “Towering White Collar Worker” – (part of the official description) – kinda sad or sinister story.  Sign says, “Look, But Do Not Touch”

just thought you might want to know each piece has a story.  Here’s a fun one:

s-park-80Yes, it’s a cement mixer.  There’s an article reporting the cement mixer was added to the collection July 13th, 2016.  I missed the ceremony.

Here’s a picture of the huge red sculpture:

Wacky Suulpture ParkVery Early in the Morning:

Sculpture ParkLong Ago & Far Away – Singing on a Parks Mobile Stage

Here’s something terrific.  Dogs can be members.  Sometimes they star in the newsletter.

Official Member of the Wacky Sculpture Park Walk-AboutHerself.  Official member of the Wacky Sculpture Park Walk-Abouts.

Happy Adventures to YOU!

love & love,

georgy & her puppy

Shrine & Grottos

Black Madonna Shrine & Grottos is an example of what one man can do.

Shrine & GrottosReady?  Let’s begin a walking tour of the Shrine & Grottos.

In 1927, Cardinal Glennon invited Franciscan Brothers from Poland to emigrate and establish a nursing home.  One of these monks was Brother Bronislaus Luszcz.

Madonna in Poland

Growing up in Poland, Bronislaus saw pilgrims honor Mary, Queen of Peace and Mercy.  People traveled to visit the shrine at Jasna Gora.  This monastery and shrine has been a spiritual capital for hundreds of years. People come to commune with the Holy.  There is an icon, a beautiful work of art, that inspires many.  It is known as “The Black Madonna.”   As a young man, Bronislaus embraced a great love and devotion for Mary.  He brought this love to Missouri.

In 1937 Br. Bronislaus began his labor of love

 Missouri offers scrubby, dense forests of oak, walnut, hickory and sycamore trees packed together over limitless rolling hills.  The land can be overgrown with shrubs and inhabited with countless wild creatures.  Clearing the land was a major task.

 Bronislaus built a cedar chapel and placed a painting of Our Lady above the altar.  Soon the chapel offered prayer services.  It became a devotional center.  People came from great distances to visit.

One Sunday evening in 1958 an arsonist set the alter on fire.  The brothers did their best but the blaze consumed the chapel.

Okay, let’s walk about the Shrine & Grottos

Shrine & GrottosCross the bridge and look back.  There’s a quick view of the open air chapel.

It’s an odd thing to see the last part first.  In 1960, Br. Bronislaus suffered heat stroke.  His final project was this grotto in honor of Our Lady of Fatima.  This is just west of the bridge.

Shrine & GrottosOur Lady of Fatima

beginning Our WalkaboutThe Bridge.

The grottos are built by hand.  No power tools, no help.  Native rock, from Old Mines, MO, seas shells and costume jewelry were donated by visitors and sent from foreign missions.

First Grotto, St. FrancisSt. Francis Grotto

There are figurines of tiny creatures, sparkly bits, statues of bunnies, turtles are other creatures all around this grotto.

Up a hill, our next grotto is to honor Joseph.

Faith Filled EnchantmentSt. Joseph

Grottos created by hand

taking one moment

The statues where made by artist Charles Bendel, May 1, 1890 – Feb. 24, 1978.  He immigrated from Czechoslovakia and made his home in St. Louis, MO.  It is said his favorite is a small work of a boy and his dog.

Charles Bendel, artist

Return to Walk About

grotto honoring Lady of Perpetual HelpLady of Perpetual Help

Following along the path the entire story begins to unfold . . .

" . . pray with me for one hour?"Colored glass bits in the roof – so sunlight light shines on our sleeping friends.

Garden & The Cross Hikers find their way in winter because they can see this cross.

Original Monastery StoneOur Lady of Sorrows

Br. Bronislaus built and rebuilt this grotto.  It isn’t as fancy as the others.  The white inlaid wall is from the original monastery chapel.  Originally a picture was displayed instead of this statue.

plenty of storiesThere are plenty of stories about people misbehaving over the years.  Drunks smashing cars through walls, vandals do mischief.  Still this place is a marvel.

Assumption Grotto

follow the pathfollow the path

Assumption Hill

Up the Hill - Mother’s Sanctuary – Up the Hill – above the Grottos we’ve already visited

pool with gold fish and peaceful quietIt’s quiet up here.

One more story:

Happy Birthday StoryThe Happy Birthday Story.

I figure it’s time to go home now.

Shrine & Grottos -100 St. Joseph Hill Rd. Pacific, MO.

Summer Hours: daily 9-7 – Off Season Hours: 9-4 – (Call to verify) Phone:636-938-5361

see ya later.

love & love,


Center for Home Gardening

I like to pretend the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening is my home.

Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper Center 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.

Cozy Corner in the Kemper CenterCozy corner especially nice in winter.  It’s peaceful and quiet on any kind of day.  (But, warming by the fire on a chill day is excellent.)

Missouri Botanical Garden Kemper CenterThe walls are windows all around.  Plants preferring different types of light teach us their sunlight preferences.

Center for Home GardeningHere are some morning sun plant-people.

Center for Home Gardening North WindowHere is the North Window.  Do you suppose these plants yearn for winter?

Look!  A Tree Living Inside!

Happy Evergreen Lives Insideisn’t this wonderful?  A little forest tree, right inside.

West Window Home Garden CenterHere are plants happier to see the sun set.  (West Window)

Center for Home GardeningFacing South, these are mostly cactus-plants.

Outside, there are lots of home gardening ideas.  before we set outside, let’s check out the tree once more . . .

Center for Home Gardening‘bye for now, baby tree!

Center for Home Gardening Outside Ideas

Center for Home GardeningJust stepping out the front door, water features, plantings, in pots or yard, gathering spaces . . .once there was an entire section dedicated to planting around mailboxes.  It was festive.

Center for Home GardeningThere are ideas for urban living.  Here’s an outdoor kitchen and entertaining area.

Center for Home GardeningComplete with Grill

Center for Home GardeningHere’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?

Center for Home GardeningA shaded walk about allows protection for us and shade plants.

center for Home GardeningThese portals give inviting glimpses into other types of garden areas.  Does your yard look like this?

I’m ready to head home.

Missouri Botanical GardenLet’s pass the Chinese Garden along the way.

‘bye for now!


Jazz Ensemble Market

Jazz Ensemble Market is an easy trip across the Mississippi River.

Jazz Ensemble Market & CafeRide any metro-link train headed across the river from Missouri to Illinois and get off at Emerson Park Station, which is the third stop.  The scenery becomes interesting along the way and, once you arrive, you’ll notice the clean station, with little shops and a walking bridge, in case you need to get to the other side of the highway.  BUT, You won’t need to go any distance at all for fresh coffee, friendly faces, local produce and the opportunity to support a  Dream Come True.


Your first glimpse happens as soon as you step off the train.  The market sits right on the corner.  A tiny stroll across the street and you are there.

Places to Gather with Friends

Places to gather with friends

Inside you’ll begin to sense how special the place is.  This is neighborhood planning that may set a standard for the future.  This is a non-profit place were people can gather, locals are employed, neighbor serves neighbor, the food is nutritious and locally grown.  There is a cozy cafe.  “Regulars” make themselves at home, grab their personal coffee cup from the shelf and share the news of the day, along with a joke or two.  There is a cozy fireplace, television, Wi-Fi, a great view and plenty of good choices on the menu.

Mixed Use BuildingThe market is part of a mutli-use facility, including two hundred senior living apartments and is working to develop a community garden.

Jazz Ensemble Market Neighborhood This is a place in East St. Louis, with a happy story and people feel safe.

I asked about the words, “Jazz Ensemble.”  The title was chosen because East St. Louis was known for terrific musicians.  No one asked me, but if I were an “up and coming musician,” or a teacher with a music program, or an established performer willing to give back to a community.  I’d begin booking events, right there, on the sidewalk, and invite the public to cheer and support Hopes for a Bright Future.

Multi-Use Facilityjust sayin’

Jazz Ensemble Market, 1001 North 13th Street, East Saint Louis, Illinois, 62205


World Chess Hall of Fame

Chess is so much more than game at the World Chess Hall of Fame.

4657 Maryland Ave. 63108 I found this poster on a community bulletin board before I even arrived.  It was a Sign of Great Things to come.

Exciting Exhibits at the Hall of Fame Walking into the building I was greeted by the nicest people and learned there were two exhibits open for viewing on the first and second floors. On the third floor an event was being prepared for opening that evening.  The new exhibit is the one advertised on the poster.  It will be available for a few months.  We’ll definitely return to see it.

The second floor was filled with amazing chess sets, some from the 1700’s.  There is also plenty of information about the Ivory used to create these masterpieces, and why we do not use Ivory any longer.  The exhibit is called ENCORE! Ivory Chess Treasures from the Jon Crumiller Collection”  We are allowed to photograph, but I sincerely doubt I could have done it any justice, so I encourage you to go look for yourself.  There are people to answer questions, everyone is Really Nice, the exhibit is free (although you can donate.)  If you aren’t able to visit in person, you can follow the link – HERE it is again.

  The World Chess Hall of Fame was moved from Miami to compliment the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

You DO want to walk into the “Q Boutique,”  which is the niftiest gift shop I’ve seen in a long time.  I found the kid section AND a container of eraser chess pieces.  I adopted my favorite piece and went to the counter.  There was a gentleman with a clear, honest smile who gave me the gift of story about my first ever chess piece . . . YES, it is an eraser, yes it only cost a dollar . . . (Really, One Dollar, no tax, because the store is non-profit . . this organization serves our community and beyond, just sayin’)

an eraser with a story inspires and encourages


Turns out she is a Queen, the most powerful player in the game and she travels where she wants.

The gentleman is Brian Flowers.  Trust me, you would like to meet him.  If you can’t visit in person, you can still visit his shop.

Gotta tell you about the World’s Largest Chess Piece.

World's Largest Chess Piece

World’s Largest Chess Piece – 14 ft high, 6ft wide at the base, Created by The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis. Taller than a Giraffe. If it was on a chess board – one square would be 9ft X 9ft. wow

 Directly across the street is the Chess Club and Scholastic Center.  There are three floors. Downstairs there is a production room.  During my visit a tournament was taking place in Norway.  Members of this club were participating and the event was being broadcast live.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center has an outreach program in hundreds of area schools,  summer camps, scouting programs and plenty more, (including classes, lectures, field trips . . )  There’s plenty of evidence Chess improves lives.

Upstairs is a room filled with photos of Chess Masters.  It’s  place for Tournaments as well as classes.

Chess Club & Scholastic Center


That’s not the half of it!

They have a Toddler Tuesday from 9 AM to10:30 AM all summer.  (Color me over the moon about this.)

Chess Board Tables4657 Maryland Avenue, Saint Louis, MO. 63108

What’s YOUR Chess Story gonna be?


I went to visit, and learn about the TUMS factory.

"We're Here For You"It’s a secured pharmaceutical facility.  Even delivery drivers need to have an appointment.

Driver Door

 There were lots of drivers keeping each other company, waiting for their delivery times.

 Dedication Plaque

“This historic building is one of the last manufacturing sites in downtown St. Louis.  Its history goes back to 1905 when the A.H. Lewis Medical Company began manufacturing a product  called Nature’s Remedy.  The facility expanded its operations to include the manufacturing of TUMS antacid in 1930.  Today, this site is proud to continue manufacturing TUMS.”

 beautiful facility

TUMS were created in 1928 by pharmacist James Howe for his wife.  Once they took a sea voyage and several people on board ended up trying the medicine created for Mrs. Howe.  It has been popular ever since.

 Attractive Facility

So far, this is the only place TUMS is manufactured, although it sells all over the world.

TUMS Building - St. Louis

It’s made of sugar, calcium and starch.

TUMS Building and colorful advertisment

I rode MetroLink, got off at the “Stadium” station, enjoyed walking two blocks west on Clark Ave/St to Broadway, the morning was stellar, the views  memorable . . I give it a high recommend. I hope you don’t need TUMS.  If you do, “They’re Here For You!”  320 Broadway. St. Louis, MO

"We're Here For You St. Louis"