I have friends from St. Louis. I have had many protracted conversations with them about why I despise their city. From the crime to the racial segregation to the stratification of wealth, there's a multiplication of reasons why I do not like St. Louis.
And then there's the arch. It's a tall, freestanding arch. It's a city-owned skywalk at the top of half of an ellipsoidal with no other function other than to be. It's the epitome of pretentious architecture, atop a museum to one of history's most notorious hypocrites. The arch is St. Louis.
It also happens to be a lie. A city's grasp at revisionist history to maintain a semblance of notoriety as it sank further and further into the abyss of being a forgotten metropolis (also known as Cleveland).
Josiah Gregg, in his two-volume almanac on the Santa Fe Trail, Commerce of the Prairies, wrote the following in 1844:
PEOPLE who reside at a distance, and especially at the North, have generally considered St Louis as the emporium of the Santa Fe Trade; but that city, in truth, has never been a place of rendezvous, nor even of outfitting except for a small portion of the traders who have started from its immediate vicinity. The town of Franklin on the Missouri river, about a hundred and fifty miles further to the westward, seems truly to have been the cradle of our trade; and, in conjunction with several neighboring towns, continued for many years to furnish the greater number of these adventurous traders. Even subsequently to 1831, many wagons have been fitted out and started from this interior section. But as the navigation of the Missouri river had considerably advanced towards the year 1831, and the advantages of some point of debarkation nearer the western frontier were very evident, whereby upwards of a hundred miles of troublesome land-carriage, over unimproved and often miry roads, might be avoided, the new town of INDEPENDENCE, but twelve miles from the Indian border and two or three south of the Missouri river, being the most eligible point, soon began to take the lead as a place of debarkation, outfit and departure, which, in spite of all opposition, it has ever since maintained. It is to this beautiful spot, already grown up to be a thriving town, that the prairie adventurer, whether in search of wealth, health or amusement, is latterly in the habit of repairing, about the first of May, as the caravans usually set out some time during that month. Here they purchase their provisions for the road, and many of their mules, oxen, and even some of their wagons — in short, load all their vehicles, and make their final preparations for a long journey across the prairie wilderness.
As Independence is a point of convenient access (the Missouri river being navigable at all times from March till November), it has become the general sport of embarkation for every part of the great western and northern 'prairie ocean.
So, congrats on that, St. Louis. You have a 630-foot tall artifice of lies in the heart of your city.
Nice zoo, though. And it's free.
Edinson Volquez starts tonight for the Royals. He's been very good for the Royals, particularly in light of the struggles Kansas City has had in their rotation over the first seven weeks. Between Volquez and last night's starter Chris Young, they have been responsible for much of the team's success in the starting pitching department the past month.
The two best teams in baseball play in Missouri, and tonight they play in Kansas City.