Odds and Ends

Apparently I see some things around the city that make me chuckle or stop and just look. Here are a few from the last month or so.

Private Traffic Signals

I recently became fascinated with the phenomenon of “private” traffic signals, which are electric traffic control lights which serve only one user at a busy or dangerous intersection. The first one is where West Pine Boulevard sweeps around and terminates at Lindell Boulevard after coming out of Forest Park. The traffic light usually only serves…

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Perhaps a visit to the burial ground where so many iconic people are buried would not be as memorable if a steady rain were not falling as I walked the winding paths of Père Lachaise Cemetery. Designed as the first rural or garden cemetery, laid out with winding paths and forested lanes, the land lies…

Two Events Coming Up Soon

I would like to invite my readers to two wonderful events coming up this weekend and the first weekend of October. Imagine yourself trapped between two hostile forces during the Civil War in Missouri. Caught in this huge conflict the enslaved Archer Alexander would earn his freedom, because of his brave act at the Peruque Creek bridge…

Sinclair Dinosaur Sighting

It has been over a decade since I last spotted the rare Sinclair Dinosaur, brontosaurus sinclairensus, in its natural habitat of a gas station. This one is in Iowa, in an undisclosed location. Note that the owner has chained it to the canopy support to prevent theft. The one in Dutchtown, which I photographed in…

Dan Fogelberg Memorial, Peoria

“Dan Fogelberg? Who’s Dan Fogelberg?” As at least one friend has remarked to me recently, Google Maps has been arbitrarily highlighting some features and ignoring other more important landmarks. Recently, while scanning around Peoria on Google Satellite, one such arbitrary…

Richard Pryor and Peoria

I had known for awhile that Richard Pryor was from Peoria, but I had always assumed it was one of those situations where he was born there and had moved away when he was a small child. That is far…

In Search of LeTourneau, Peoria

It is amazing how quickly we lose the memory of the huge old factories that once powered America through peacetime, and then when war came, helped defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Few people probably know the LeTourneau name anymore,…

Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville

St. Louis was not the only city in America to embrace the rural cemetery movement. Louisville has Cave Hill Cemetery. Two famous men are buried there, and colored lines lead visitors to their graves. A green line leads you to the grave of Muhammad Ali. On the day I was there, beautiful flowers and inspirational…

Gingham Girl Flour Mill, Chouteau’s Landing

This anonymous cluster of buildings, one of which is obviously a grain elevator, has an incredibly important role in the history of America in the early Twentieth Century. Known variously as the George P. Plant Milling Company as well as the Gingham Girl Flour Mills, and apparently later the Corneli Seed Company by 1950, it…