Things to do in Missouri
incredible sight awaits you upon entering St. Louis, Missouri;
when you first see the Gateway Arch or the gateway to the west
as it is often called, this beautiful arch is part of the
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the well known image
of St. Louis.
Designed by Eero Saarien and Hannskarl Bandel in 1947, this
magnificent monument stands 630 feet tall and is 630 wide at its
base; thus it is the biggest monument in the nation.
Construction started in 1963, completed in 1965, and
finished in 1967.
The complex monument is made of stainless steel, carbon steel,
rebar and reinforced concrete.
It is hollow inside except for the tram system that takes
you to the top's observation deck and two emergency stairways
that contain 1076 steps in each.
The engineering tolerance of the base is one sixty-fourth
of an inch, otherwise the legs wouldn't have met at the top.
When they had built the legs up at the same time, they
didn't quite meet correctly, so the fire department sprayed
water on the southern leg, until it met the northern leg.
It is absolutely an engineering marvel and stupendous
structure that belongs to the whole country.
It is sad that Eero died of a brain tumor before the
monument was finished, four years actually, but what an epitaph
he has left, what a monument to his genius and abilities.
Just before he died, there was some trouble about getting
a safe design to build an elevator that would work taking and
bringing people to the top and back.
Numerous elevators companies were contacted, but none
could come up with a design that would safely do the job; until
Eero hired a parking-lot elevator designer named Richard Bowser,
who was given only two weeks by city leaders to come up with a
He did, and the tram system combined an elevator cable lift with
gimbaled cars were created, and these act as the gondola cars of
a ferris wheel. On
either end, the visitor enters the car, which is egg shaped and
holds 5 people sitting, with 8 cars to a train, and two trains
are sent up at a time.
Going to the top takes four minutes and the ride down
takes three, the doors have narrow windows that let passengers
to the see the stairways and structure.
Close to the top, visitors leave the cars and climb to
the observation area with 16 windows on each side that are 7
inches high and 27 inches wide giving visitors a spectacular
view of the Mississippi River, the city of St. Louis and the
county, as well as the southern part of Illinois where the
magnificent mounds of the Mississippian culture are.
The monument has already been
involved in some fairly historical significance with 762,000
area students leaving their signatures in a time capsule that
was welded into the keystone before the final parts were set
into place; and eleven planes have flown under the arch, the
first being done on June 22, 1966.
Kenneth Sawyers tried to land on it
with a parachute in 1980 and then jump off to land on the
ground, but landed on one of the legs and slide all the way down
to his death.
David Adcock tried climbing the leg
with suction cups in 1984, but was talked down before he went 20
feet, only to climb the 21 story Equitable Building the next
In 1987, it was made a National
In 1992, John Vincent went up the
arch using suction cups and then BASE jumped to the ground,
during the night, but no one could prove it; however he did
spend 3 months in jail because of it.
July 21, 2007 will be a very
memorable day for a few hundred people that were stranded in the
trams when an electrical problem arose, but all were taken down
either by the stairway or waiting for the power to return.
Roy Rogers - Dale Evans Museum
For many, the name Roy
Rogers and Dale Evans doesn't mean a thing; for others, those of
us that were youngsters in those days remember the way it was,
the good feelings, the good music and the movies that brought us
into the lives of these two great American legends.
Going to the museum in Branson is
like reliving that era of this country when we all were
Americans, no matter where you came from, since the vast
majority came here from some other country, no matter how long
our families had been here, we became Americans.
It is so unfortunate that today,
those people coming from other countries want us to think of
them as this or that; yet still want to be what nationality
Not so then, nor should it be now,
if you are here, living here, working here, raising a family and
dying here; you are an American and nothing else.
That is why we are so divisive, why
there is so much trouble and the problems will plague us until
everyone realizes that.
If you are a Christian, no one asks
you how long, or what you were before, what matters is here and
Dale and Roy personified that, they
loved this country and the people in it, from one end to the
other and were very happy to be able to entertain them and lift
them up from their mundane and boring existence of just working
and paying bills to keep working.
Yet back then, we had more, so much
more, the kids had a quarter for the movies or records, or a
soda, burger or what have you.
It was the most peaceful time in our
country's history when we had it all.
Roy was one of those individuals
that always seemed to smile in the face of adversity.
When you are tried, or go through
trials and tribulations, you would always overcome it and gain a
Your glass was always half full and
tomorrow would be a better day, no matter what problems you had
No drugs, no liquor, just plain old
fun from what you had.
This museum is their legacy.
Out in front of the museum is
Trigger, his horse and friend, that saved him many times in the
movies and he still is remembered with love, although he was
just a horse, to Roy and his family, he was a member of the
In those days, the sons of the
pioneers would go to the west coast to record their upbeat songs
to raise the hopes and dreams of the average American.
They stayed and began making movies
to broaden their audience and influence of what this country
could be like it we all pitched in together.
The best way to remember them, with
the fantastic help of their memorabilia in the museum is to get
back to that point in time when we all worked together to make
this a better world.
Do you remember 1957?
The cars, the songs, the world and
This museum is the world's biggest
dedicated museum representing the year 1957 and covers some
30,000 square feet that exhibits the wonderful world of 57, with
its marvelous automobiles, set in a pristine example of hometown
America, with the barbershop and its candy pole twirling, gas
station selling gas for pennies and you could fill you car and
drive around all day for a dollar, a drive-in movie, where in
the privacy of your own car, you could sit next to your girl,
without a hump or console in the middle, but one solid seat that
let you get close enough to put your arm around her shoulders
and breath the faint perfume she was wearing, the fire station
where you went to learn cribbage or pinnacle, the care
dealership that had all those beautiful magnificent new cars
that sold for only a few thousand dollars.
Happy days; yes they were, and you
can visit it in real time with interactive exhibits that will
let you understand what it meant to be alive, in those
There are also other memorabilia
from the 50s, but the main exhibit and the
main point is the exquisite cars
that were made in 57, and everyone of them is here.
Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac,
Hudson, Studebaker, Nash, Rambler, Packard, Ford and Mercury.
All sitting here for you to
remember, or if you didn't live then, for you to learn about.
Go visit the golden days of America
and 1957, with Elvis singing, Conway Twitty, the Everlys, and
more, three cent stamps that actually had you composing a great
letter with understandable English to a friend, relative or
penpal anywhere in the world.
Where if the envelope came with a
exquisite scent, you knew it was from a girl; can't do any of
that with a pc, nor could you.
Gas was 24 cents a gallon and you
could have all you wanted, while your windshield was being
washed, oil checked and the world was at peace.
You didn't worry about gas mileage,
although you could get a decent 20mph with a V8, and you didn't
need to go 70mph to get there; time stood still and you had all
the time in the world.
There wasn't a cold war, a skirmish
or even a drug war.
Those times will never come back;
and it seems that many wouldn't want it to, with all the
unbelievable inventions that have been made in the last two
decades, the machines that have helped give you more time, but
for what will you use it?
Work more, spend more, live more?
Life is precious and no matter how
much or how many things you stuff into a day, it all evens out
in the end.
The only thing that you have or can
have when you are about to leave this world is your memory; so
head over to the 57 heaven and remember some of the best days of