Because life is a series of edits

Every Party Needs a Pooper (and I’m Volunteering)

In Places, Pop Culture on December 15, 2008 at 6:44 am

The western half of the 64/40 reconstruction opens this morning (work on the eastern half begins today). Maybe I’m just bitter all the forecasted ice and snow is nowhere to be found and I have to go to school for “review day,” but yesterday’s closed-highway party easily makes the “things I’ll never understand” list in 2008. And I quote:

“The novelty of walking, riding or say getting one’s picture taken on an empty interstate seemed to be the most common reason to attend Sunday’s shindig. Sharon Brahan of Rock Hill took a stroll from McKnight Road down to Brentwood for breakfast this morning because, ‘How often do you get to do something like this?'”

How often indeed? But regardless of the answer, who cares?

“‘I wanted to be able to show a picture to my grandchildren of us,’ said Debbie Bunten, who came out with a friend from her house in Chesterfield. ‘I don’t have them (grandchildren) yet, but years from now when they’re on the highway and it’s packed with cars, they’ll think it’s crazy.'”

No, actually, ma’am, they’ll think you’re crazy for making a big deal of it.

“Crazy is what Joe Wiss’ kids called him for wanting to walk the interstate. The 73-year-old retired trucker enthusiastically hauled his wife and friends from the Dogtown neighborhood to join him for a constitutional. ‘This is the first and the only time we’ll get to do this,’ Wiss said.”

Let’s hope so. Odds are if you tried it now that it’s a functioning highway again, you would likely be killed.

“‘It seems weird just standing here in the middle of the highway talking,’ said Wiss’ buddy Rick Brine, a retired construction worker.”

Sir, that’s because it is.

Forgive my party-pooper attitude, St. Louis, but it’s been a long year of alternate routes. If you’re out and about on 64/40 this morning, I hope you’re in an automobile. If not, I’ll be the one thinking sarcastic thoughts in your general direction as I drive by.

Man, I needed a snow day today.

  1. Craig, you and Jared are way too much alike! This is just too funny.

  2. I can’t understand why anyone from Chesterfield would drive to a closed highway to walk on it. But I can understand why the retired man from Dogtown would like to walk on it. Imagine someone who has lived in the neighborhood long enough to remember a time before their community was severed by an immense amount of asphalt. Before the highway, there was likely a people-friendly street that connected Dogtown to Forest Park. It’d be nice to get part of that back, even if it’s only for a day.

  3. In case anyone was wondering (and if you weren’t, no problem), the implications of the work on the eastern portion of 64/40 has surprisingly been more impacting on us than the western portion. Much of this has to do with the Manchester/Hanley intersection as well as the Brentwood exchange being so overwhelmed by traffic trying to get to the access points that it’s actually worse than it’s been. Anybody else?

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