Connecting to things once broken

11 Nov 2013 by gebhard, 1 Comment »
ballroomTheir Majesties of the Middle Kingdom, my beloved Katayoun, myself and many others loaded up into my van of unreasonable size headed out to Crystal Ball. Our local Crystal Ball expert and dance laurel Mistress Felice wished for us to stop at City Museum in St. Louis, near the event location. 



I had never heard of the place before, but it’s somewhere probably everyone should visit once.  It’s a history museum disguised as a multi-story piece of industrial art, made from re-purposed and unwanted machinery, concrete, tile and metal parts turned into a twisted maze of ladders, slides, cat-walks, secret passages and hide-aways.  There is a 10 story slide, and both a jet fighter and a school bus suspended by rails and pipes, all of which you can climb through. Every inch is a marvel of industrial art. We giggled like little kids as we worked our way through the endless mazes.

A few times worried about becoming a pooh bear, stuck mid-waist on of the many undersized openings, stuck until I lost 15 lbs.  Once when I was wiggling around like greased worm trying to free myself, I started to think of a marketing campaign for this new diet plan.  “Have diets not been giving you the results you hope for? Fear not! You can lose all the weight you need in just three days! Try the ‘stuck in a hole’ diet today!”

Somewhere between the naughty sculptures, the giant whale belly and the water life mosaics, I realized what make this place so amazing.  It’s art you can touch, rub on and fondle. You get to be part of it and sense everything about it. The smoothness of marble, the cold touch of steel gears, the creak of wood intertwined with metal conveyor belts, the weight of concrete statue. By doing so, we make a physical connection to objects of the past.

In a nutshell, doesn’t this explain the much of the appeal of the SCA? In the much the same way, we use our physical senses to learn about the past by climbing inside it and wiggling around in it until we understand it. This physical connection, in my opinion, is a critical part of the human experience.

Until you pick it up, put it on, fall over in it or drop it, you don’t really know anything about it. Or least that’s what I tell my wife about the vase.

You can lern more about the City Museum at:

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One Comment

  1. Thomas Penyngton says:

    Yes, Amelie & I have been there with the kids; we all loved it & will go back when in the area. Truly a treasure of St. Louis.

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