As I approached the "Arch" I was quickly greeted by a park ranger on a bike who after asking "why" told me I could not solicit donations while on park property after seeing a little girl with her family give me a generous donation (One dollar. Probably her weekly allowance.) The excited child's mother told me she had seen me several times in their town in Illinois (I believe it was Albion) and when they saw me there at the arch she had to give for diabetes and explained this to the ranger, who was understanding. I was touched by the little girl's gesture and will remember it as I recall passing into the west.
After spending some time at the Gateway Arch park, I began making my way through downtown taking pictures like a true tourist, when a man offered me lunch at Mike Shannon's Steak and seafood (the best hot meal of my trip!) He also invited me to stay the day and watch the Cardinals' game in Mike's Outfield, which is across from the Stadium. The day was cool compared to last week so I thanked him for the lunch, got his business card and pushed on.
Not long after as I spoke to many fine people downtown, I got a call from KMOX radio and an invite to speak to Jack Carney on his 11 o'clock spot. I agreed to be there and pushed forward to Union Station where the wind became so strong I had to stop and call for help to get the support van (and called to see if the offer at the outfield still stood) then made our way back to the stadium. The difficulty of waiting at an outside sport venue for hours when I am used to walking was I became tired. When I am not walking my body needs rest. By the time Nice (the dog) and me got to the radio station I was exhausted and during the interview I did the cardinal sin of talk interviews I stammered with "um", long pauses, and the occasional "you know"... Sorry Jack, and sorry listeners. It was past my bedtime. Hand gestures don't travel well over the airways either. ( I say to myself-BIg Dummy!-)
Last night after returning to my gracious host's home I tried to write my daily blog but the Blackberry kept closing me out of the page. This morning I rebooted by removing the battery and clearing whatever programs were slowing down my small handheld so I can write. I will get a very late start from Union station today but it will all be for the best I am sure. My ankles appreciate the break as the swelling has disappeared almost totally.
I want to thank Marcus of the Outfield, Jack Carney for his patience towards a stammerring guest, and especially the little girl for the love I saw in her eyes at the arch.
St. Louis and Kansas Cities, here we come!