Sunday, August 30, 2009

Busch Stadium

I’m not sure if this blurry picture was a lapse dissolve or just blurry from camera movement but that’s my daughter Chloe on the far left playing flute.(Click on photo to enlarge).

She’s played twice before at Busch Stadium before the game. She played the last season of the old stadium and the first season at the new one. Both times the camera person focused in on her. Unfortunately I took video, not still shots.

This was yesterday and just happened to be my ex’s 40th birthday too. She got free tickets for Valerie and me that were much appreciated.

After dropping Chloe with the band at the stadium we toured a couple of the local bars. My son Dylan saw part of my past.

He got to see an old concert poster from a show I did with Monica Reed, Blake Travis and The Heaters that hung at The Broadway Oyster Bar. He also saw a Cessna 150 I painted that hangs from the ceiling at Paddy O’s sports bar just south of the stadium.

The new stadium is great but I miss the old one. It was from, what I consider, the golden age of architecture in St. Louis. It went up the same time as the Arch and Lambert Airport. The stadium and the airport were designed to echo the Arch.

I grew up watching them all under construction.

I have a long history with the Busch Stadium. On its opening day I was supposed to be on a float in a parade that ended inside the stadium. I was a Cub Scout. There wasn’t enough room on the float so a friend and I were kicked off.

I lived in Laclede Town at the time. I ran home in tears. My mother must have felt bad for us. She gave us a dollar to buy candy at The Ponderosa (our local store). This was a fortune. Candy bars were still a nickel. We stocked up on candy and went across the street to Laclede Park to wade in a fountain.

My little brother Patrick played in Laclede Town’s JFL (Junior Football League) team. They had the full uniforms, padding and all. I was very impressed when the played at Busch Stadium before a football Cardinals game.

Years later I’d sneak into the stadium late at night with my friend John. He was the first Fredbird and even has a 1982 World Series ring to prove it. There was always a lot of beer there. Sometimes he’d lend me his bike that he kept there so I could ride it in the moonlight ramble.

Speaking of Laclede Town, last week Valerie and I took the kids to The Missouri History Museum. They had a photo of the manager’s office at Laclede Park. They identified it as Laclede Town.

A lot of the musicians the museum featured, most of whom are dead, are friends of ours. There were a lot of mistakes about their personal histories. Valerie and I have been meaning to get back to the museum about these errors.

It’s strange how a city can get into your blood. A lot of my friends have moved away but this is home for me. I've almost moved several times but something makes me want to stay.


...Sharon said...

Wow, I didn't realize John was the 1st Fredbird. What a bird.

Doggie said...

I'm pretty sure he was. He was one of the first at least. Now I'll have to ask him.

Valerie Pennington said...

It was a lapse dissolve - happened just as I clicked the button, drat it all!

Doggie said...

Just so you know; I meant their camera movement not yours.

Anonymous said...

i'm pretty sure he was the first, he used to come into the Oyster bar after the games in his birdsuit and hang out with the after-game crowd, i was shocked to find out he had been replaced. no telling how many there have been since. Geo