Signing Books in a Favorite Place

Arch window 3
The view from inide the window of the new Gateway Arch westward looking entrance.

I’ve been to all kinds of places promoting the second edition of The Making of an Icon since it came out about a month ago. I’ve been on radio and television, have spoken at a Rotary meeting and a senior living apartments center and signed books at a gift shop. It’s all been fun, but I had a special thrill on Sunday, when I signed books at The Arch Store in the Visitor Center of the Gateway Arch.

I’ve been too busy to go down there since it opened just before Independence Day. Sorry for repeating a cliche, but it’s amazing. The entrance is spectacular, and the new museum does a much better job of telling the story of the westward expansion and the Gateway Arch than before. I’ll write about it more some time. A mockup of the middle of the observation deck gives a good sense of what it’s like to be at the top of the Arch, down to the view from cameras at the top.

What I liked the best on Sunday, of course, was talking to visitors from everywhere, including one guy from Australia. I talked to a lot of people from Indiana, for some reason, and explained when St. Louisans mean when they say “Hoosiers.” More than anything, I liked signing books and telling people why the Arch is the best thing St. Louis has.

I liked almost all of it, except for the wait to get in. I came at a really busy time. It took more than an hour standing in line before I passed through security. They have three metal detectors, but only used one. Fortunately, lines are inside where it’s cool rather than outside where it’s hot, as it was with the old entrances. Maybe they should run all three metal detectors when crowds are heavy.

Meanwhile, we can come when there aren’t many people. Regardless, everyone should see the new visitor center and museum, and everyone should buy The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and The Hard Hats Who Built The Gateway Arch, 2nd Edition. If you want to support a struggling freelance writer and get an autographed copy, click here.

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