It was Christmas, 1971, which means I would have been 12 years old, when we made our first trip to Missouri. We travelled from Los Angeles to Kansas City by train and I'll never forget waking with a start at about 5 AM, somewhere on the Kansas prairie. The train was going about 110, when I woke the rest of the family, convinced we had missed our stop. In a couple hours, we'd arrive at Kansas City's Union Station.
It would be my first trip to Missouri. We were there to visit our favorite Aunt, Aunt Ruthie. She would show us around Kansas City, but she also made plans to drive us across the state to see St. Louis. In 1971, St. Louis was just beginning it's long planned renaissance; the Arch and Busch Stadium were only a few years old.
Aunt Ruthie took us to the bank of the Mississippi and the Arch. We walked on the cobblestones and visited the Goldenrod Showboat. We went up in the Arch.
The visit made a lasting impression on me, and St. Louis remained fond in my memory. Little did I know then that in a little over ten years, it would become our adopted hometown. Thanks, Aunt Ruthie, for making that introduction over thirty years ago.