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  • Writer's pictureSusan Welsh

Meet me in St. Louis. . .

When my friend Heidi texts me and asks me if I want to join her and her husband Jeff in St. Louis, this song starts buzzing around in my head and another opportunity for learning about a great American city presents itself.

"Meet Me In St. Louis", written in 1904 by Kerry Mills and Andrew B. Sterling, is about the celebration of the Louisiana Purchase which came to be known as the St. Louis World's Fair. Judy Garland recorded it in 1944 for the movie of the same name.

The screenplay was based on a series of vignettes, written by Sally Benson, that originally appeared in the New Yorker.

"Meet Me In St. Louis" tells the story of the four Smith daughters and the excitement of the year leading up to The World's Fair. There are lessons of adolescent love and lots of great musical numbers, including the terrific one with the line, "Clang, Clang, Clang went the trolley", inspired by a picture in a turn-of-the-century newspaper co-writer Ralph Blane found at the Beverly Hills Public Library.

I'll continue my research on all things St. Louis in a multi-part format over the next few weeks. If you have any interesting things to share, places to visit, or great places to eat, please let me know through this blog. I'll share it all with Heidi and Jeff.

It makes sense to begin the itinerary with the site of the 1904 World's Fair-- Forest Park, rated #1 City Park in USA Today's Reader's Choice 2106 poll. This is a massive park in size and scope-- consisting of 1,293 acres--a full 450 more acres than Central Park in NYC!

Here you will find a little of everything--from ice skating to Shakespeare. Visit The St. Louis Art Museum with paintings by Warhol and Van Gogh or experience what it's like to fly at the St. Louis Science Center and Planetarium. Visit polar bears and red pandas at The St. Louis Zoo, and check out the 75 foot waterfall built in the 1930s with WPA funding.

I imagine after a day at this park you'll be ready for a hearty and satisfying meal. For me, the food is always of as much import as the sights. One needs proper fuel to get cultured. I'll reserve this afternoon for the restaurant forage. Stay tuned, and stay hungry. . .

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