Somewhere Around Second Street
The idea of this blog is to force myself into at least a few minutes of creativity a day. Everyday between 8:15 AM and 8:15 PM, I have find something to take a picture of. Every night, I'll post the picture and a short written piece inspired by it or something that happened today. Hopefully it'll all work out.
That brings us to, I suppose, the above picture.
I took it this morning on the way to work. I live and work in Washington, Missouri, a small river town about fourty-five minutes outside of St. Louis. My fiancee, Kim, and I live in a nice apartment above a dance studio in the older section of town. There's a mom and pop drugstore across the street, a mom and pop diner a block down the road ("Cowan's - Home of the Mile-High Slice of Pie!"), and not one but two Catholic churches within walking distance.
Just down the hill from us is the mighty Missouri River and just up the street is my radio station. For a little more than a year now, I've been working at FM-104.5 KSLQ, what the business calls a Hot Adult-Contemporary station (think about the station in your town that plays Maroon 5, Kelly Clarkson, and "the Awesome 80's Lunch Hour"). I am what is called the Creative Services Director, meaning I write, voice, produce, and schedule all of the things that aren't songs or DJs. Commercials, station promos, liners, etc. It's all my territory.
Kim, my fiancee, works in the newer part of town; the part with the movie theater, the Target, and the generic fast food resturants like McDonald's and Taco Bell. The new side of town is where this one-horse town gets the rest of its horses, but it's the old side I prefer. I can't for the life of me think of anything franchise owned within five blocks of me with the exception of a BP gas station and an Edward Jones. Everything else is owned and operated independantly, whether it's the bars, the coffee shop, the candy store, the funeral home, or the grocery store. Closer to the river, there are wineries and beds and breakfasts and antique shops. Further away are Burger Kings and Dairy Queens.
It should be noted here that Washington is not my home. I grew up in St. Louis county with a mom who took me to the zoo every weekend and the Gateway Arch every summer. When I was 21 I moved out of my parents' house and moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, a small town about halfway between St. Louis and Memphis and the birthplace of Rush Limbaugh. I got my start in radio on the same station that Rush did, 100.7 KGMO, and left last Labor Day to move to Washington with Kim.
But back to the picture.
This is why I love living in a river town. I love foggy mornings, as the mist rolls in off the river, up the hills, and finally dissipates somewhere around second street. I know there's no God, but for a man with a high school diploma and not much else but a head for science and wonder, this is the closest I come to spirituality.