Tag Archives: saint louis

Where I’ve lived

An almost-exhaustive compendium of
photos of places I’ve lived over my 56 years

1961. The New Orleans hospital in which I was born.
1961. With G-ma Ruth on the steps of my parents’ residence hall at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
1962. Coushatta, Louisiana.
1964. My parents’ rental house in Columbia, Missouri.
1965. The house on Clayton in Columbia — my parents’ first home purchase.
On our way to church in Columbia, 1967. I am 5, Karen 3, and Beth a newborn.
1967. The rental house in Hannibal.
Inside this rental house in Hannibal.
1969. And just next door, the home my parents purchased in Hannibal.
1971. Lee’s Summit. The home on Wingate, in Briarcroft subdivision.
Inside that home on Wingate, my parents are canoodling.
1975. At the piano, in the home on Wingate.


1979. Just before I started college, my parents bought their dream home in Lee’s Summit.
1979. Landen Hall, at Southwest Baptist University. My college home for four years.
In my dorm room, decorating a Christmas tree during my freshman year at SBU.

I am missing photos of the places I lived during the summers of 1981 and 1982, as I worked in Missouri between college semesters.  Summer 1981 was at Southwest Baptist University in the Admissions office; Summer 1982, in Tarkio as a summer missionary.

1983. Willow Springs. My first rental home.
1984. A townhouse in Blue Springs.
Townhouse living room. Drab. The painting on the wall is by Aunt Esther. The bookshelf is one I made as a kid. The coffee table was a Mom-&-Pop hand-me-down.

1986.  I am missing a photo of the house I rented in Bolivar while I was Director of Admissions at Southwest Baptist University.  The building has subsequently been demolished.

1987. A townhouse in Blue Springs, on Arlington Place. I was there four months.
1987. A duplex in Blue Springs, near Highway 7 and I-70.
1988. The first home I ever owned, on Summit Circle in Blue Springs.
1995. Just back from the UK, I rented out my home, and moved into Kansas City, where I lived in a loft in this building in the City Market.
1997. During my time at the University of Kansas, I lived in two different apartments in this townhouse building. Some of the best memories of my life are here.

1999. I am missing a photo of my townhouse in Owensboro, Kentucky, where I taught college for one year.

2000. A gated community in Muncie, Indiana. I lived in a condo in this building for 8 years.
Christmas at Halteman Villas.
At the condo, with students for a final meal as we wrapped up the show choir year: a big pan of canneloni, with Derek Wilson, Luke Meyer, Brian Calvert and mohawk, Amanda Krupinski, Jesse Diaz, Meghan Reiser, and Adam Hendrickson’s arm.
2008. The rental duplex on Alfred Avenue in Saint Louis.
At the duplex on Alfred. We were getting rain.

And then I bought my own dream home in November 2008.  And I’ve been here ever since, with one dog and then another.  I like it here.

Here’s a bonus: my elementary school in Lee’s Summit.

1971. Pleasant Lea Elementary School.


Magic Chef Mansion

The Magic Chef Mansion is a Saint Louis treasure.  And in this summer of local tourism, I finally made a visit on a cloudy Saturday in August.

Summer travel

So the summer travel is set.

  • June 5-7, Lee’s Summit to see family
  • June 28-July 3, New York City and Philadelphia for research and to reconnect with friends and students
  • July 7-10, Lee’s Summit and Des Moines, the latter to see Billy Budd at Des Moines Opera
  • August 6-8, Chicago for R&R

I have no big summer trip this year.

But I’m doing two shows this summer at New Line Theatre:

Since I only have two and a half weeks off after one show closes and the other begins rehearsal, I’m packing in trips on my days off.

I go to the office only three days a week during summer months (at least until August, when the pace picks up), so I’m scheduling a lot of local things.  I don’t eat out much, but I’m setting my eyes on a half-dozen local restaurants I’ve never visited, and treating myself to some luncheons on days when other events also take me out of the house.  Among those:

And I’m seeing plenty of shows, with my voice students in

  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 9 to 5, and South Pacific at Stages
  • The Little Mermaid and Newsies at the Muny
  • Muny Kids and Muny Teens cast shows
  • a Tennessee Williams play

plus a colleague in Next to Normal at Insight, and Christine Brewer in Albert Herring at Union Avenue Opera.

I’ll catch three operas at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis too.

This will be a fun summer of some deliberate local tourism.

Flags of Valor


Flags of Valor pays honor and tribute to all American servicemen and women who have fallen in a theater of the war on terror, since 9/11.

Their current installation, on Art Hill in Forest Park, marks the 15th anniversary of 9/11.

Fifteen years today.

This is powerful, powerful stuff.

7,041 flags.  More than 7,000 lives lost in a senseless war that is never going to end.

D and I wandered around for a while.  I repeatedly choked back tears.

Listen for the sound of the dog tags on the metal flagpoles:

D went a different direction and grabbed these super photos:

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And here’s drone video by Keith Hausher:

She was perfect


Bernadette.  Bernadette Peters.

For decades, that name has conjured up a picture of Kewpie-doll cuteness, corkscrew-curl hair, fishtail dresses, an eye-catching bosom (indeed!), and that peculiar but persuasive voice.

And last night, for the third time in my life, that conjuring was made real.

I’d seen Bernadette in Broadway in A Little Night Music and in Follies.  This is the first of her live cabaret-style shows I’ve witnessed.

Her 90-minute set, heavy on Sondheim and with Rodgers & Hammerstein thrown in for good reason was a nigh-onto-perfect antidote to a rough week at the office.

Bernadette performed in Saint Charles . . . she almost slipped and said Saint Louis at one point early on.  The folks at the college where she performed lit the show beautifully, which means that Bernadette’s famous pose — head back, arms thrust to the side — was an especially delicious visual button at the end of a star-turn song.  The Steve Schenkman Band, a local pick-up group that included two Webster University professors and three of our adjunct faculty members, played with sass and verve if not always perfectly tightly.  Bernadette’s own trio (music director at piano, with bass and drums, the latter being played by Cubby from the Mickey Mouse Club) were spot on.

The Lady herself is still a vision in her mid-60s.  The voice is intact and clear, although a bit frayed at the top.  But when she summons the pipes, asks the vocal gods for power, and puts on the punch, her ending notes remind us of why she has been one of the great Broadway royals for more years than I care to count.  And Bernadette is a master of standing still and letting the face do the work, as she memorably demonstrated in a trio of Sondheim songs, including “No one is alone” and “Losing my mind.”

Her encore (following close on Sondheim’s “Being Alive”) was a self-written song to support her pet cause about pets. The song, a lullaby to her pet dog, reduced me to tears within the first three short phrases.

More about Bernadette and this same show that has performed ’round the country: http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/2009/03/19/Bernadette-Peters-brings-a-lifetime-of-musical-theater-to-an-enchanted-evening-with-the-PSO/stories/200903190476