Here’s another one of my favorites from the Journals, about the day I let them stick it to me. http://www.stltoday.com/suburban-journals/illinois/life/hour-story-reporter-gives-blood-in-spite-of-himself/article_69912c41-43c0-57e4-92a1-c6fe06b15127.html
The time and place seemed all wrong. But in the depths of the Great Depression, Harry Brinkop emptied the bank to bet on a South Side spot for a new shopping center. He came up all aces. The yet-unpaved intersection Brinkop chose when he started his Boulevard Frontage Company in 1930 was Chippewa Street and Hampton Avenue. Some might have doubted Brinkop’s wisdom when his first building opened at the end of December 1939. But today, Hampton Village remains vibrant.
The link is below.
Charlie Brennan of KMOX-AM 1120 interviewed me about the 49th Anniversary of the topping out of the Gateway Arch Tuesday morning. Here’s the link to the broadcast: http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/tag/making-of-an-icon/
October 28, 1965
All around were countless photographers and filmmakers, amateur and professional, ready to take the pictures that would go into the history books. A few of those pros sat in helicopters that swarmed uncomfortably close to each other near the not-quite-finished Gateway Arch. “You can’t handle sleep the night before, knowing it’s going to be very historic,” Eldon Arteaga said in a 2013 interview.
Charles Guggenheim sensed the history. The final moments of Guggenheim’s film Monument to the Dream show the masses on the ground straining their necks to see what happens—including an old guy squinting behind wire-rimmed glasses as he chomped on a stogie. “You’re about 180 feet up, right at 200 feet,” Vito Comporato said to hoist engineer Bill Quigley over the phone link in the film seen by millions in the Arch Visitor Center. On the top, about eighteen people wearing silver hard hats but no protective lanyards watched as the piece came ever closer. “The flag’s about even with the top,” Comporato stated. “Hold it right there. That’s good.”
“What’s that all about?”
“All of them whistles?”
“I don’t know. Steamboats, I guess. Celebrating.”
The lift took thirteen minutes, but the piece wasn’t entirely in place until 11 a.m. From below, that last piece was shining, even with its surroundings. Around 2 p.m., the jack was released, forcing the two sides into one. Never again could someone say two distinct legs rose separately on the east side of the city’s downtown. Forevermore, one soaring stainless steel curve would rise from the riverfront in St. Louis. “Neither an obelisk nor a rectangular box nor a dome seemed right on this site or for this purpose,” Eero Saarinen had said. “But here, at the edge of the Mississippi River, a great arch did seem right.” It took 889 days to build that great arch, but nearly two hundred years to ready the ground where it would stand.
- The Making of an Icon,
The Dreamers, The Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch
Maybe I should try selling my books in Brazil. In the last 30 days, my website, jimmerkelthewriter.com, has had 310 views from the USA and 53 from Brazil. Eight views have come from Italy, five from France, and four each from Germany and Australia.
I’ve been getting lots of hits from Brazil ever since the web site started early in 2012. I’ve also gotten hits from every continent in the world except Antarctica. Maybe people everywhere soon will read my books about the Gateway Arch, St. Louis Germans, and South Side Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch.
Meanwhile, if you’re reading overseas, drop me a line, either at the bottom of this page or at my e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Talk to you soon.