Veteran’s Memorial Drive

Veterans's Memorial Drive construction 04-15-2016There has been a lot of clearing going on alongside the east side of I-55 south of Hwy 61. It’s an expansion of Veteran’s Memorial Drive from the intersection of Scenic Drive to Hopper Road. The plan is for it to eventually go from Hwy 61 to Route K.

This stage will take it from Scenic Drive to Hopper Road, which will be closed for several months, beginning May 9.

The smell of spring

I’ll never forget the sights, smells and sounds when Dad was starting a new job in the spring. There was the throaty roar of a bulldozer coming to life, belching black diesel smoke out of its stacks. Then, the “cat skinner” would drop the blade, goose the throttle, and you’d hear the clankity-clankity-clank of the tracks pushing up little squares of dirt that looked like Mother’s brownies. That mingling of grease, diesel fuel, exhaust and freshly-turned earth are spring to me.

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I-55’s Big Rock Cut

I-55 between Cape Girardeau and St. Louis 02-25-2013If you are in a family where the Dad builds roads and bridges for a living, going for a ride is a whole lot different than it is for most families.

For one, Dad would slow to a crawl anytime he passed another contractor’s job so he could see what techniques the guy was using. If his competitor had some kind of new, spiffy piece of equipment, he’s say, “I wish I had his and he had a better one.”

We couldn’t make a trip from Cape to St. Louis without him pointing this area out as “one of the biggest rock cuts on I-55 in Missouri.”

By the time I got to St. Louis on February 25, those clouds were dropping snow from the sky. After I finished my exhibit in Ohio and drove back to Cape from St. Louis on March 1, more clouds were causing snow to swirl across the road.

What IS it with snow this year? It seems like everyplace I’ve gone lately has had snow. I’m afraid to go back to Florida next week for fear I’m going to cause it to snow on Wife Lila’s new vegetable gardens.