Metro-East Living

The metro-east: Where past, present and future intersect

I’ve lived in the metro-east my entire life.

I’ve never relocated due to job or personal reasons.

Never had to leave my home to find a home.

There have been a few opportunities and temptations. But I’ve always found myself right here where it all started 55 years ago. Most things happen — or don’t happen —for a reason, I figure.

There’s a new promotional campaign being coordinated by this newspaper entitled, “get to know m.e. The Metro East. I live here. I love it.”

An element of the campaign is testimonials from leaders of local sponsors who live in the metro-east and were asked to share their thoughts and feelings about why they live here.

This is what I would have said…..

The metro-east is my home. My only home. It’s where my ancestors from Ireland settled generations ago. Where my grandparents and parents lived, died and are now buried. Where my kids were born and raised. The grass may be greener elsewhere, but it’s green here. Especially this time of year. Thick, too.

I like the metro-east because it’s where my roots are planted. Roots give a natural sense of belonging to an area. I belong here.

I like the metro-east because of its location. I can drive 20 minutes west and enjoy live Cardinals baseball, Blues hockey, Rams football, Billikens basketball, eclectic music venues, great food and drinks, in a big city or quiet neighborhood atmosphere.

I like the metro-east because I can drive west across the Eads Bridge into the heart of downtown St. Louis. Across the historic bridge that I rode across as a kid on the old Redbird Express bus to Cardinal games.

The same bridge that my grandpa worked on as a laborer in the 1930-40s. He often told me those stories of his work as we’d ride to ballgames together. I was lucky. My grandpa retired in 1959, the year I was born. It opened the way for a great friendship.

I like the metro-east because it hurts when the Blues lose in the first round of the playoffs. Again. When I hear news that pitcher Adam Wainwright is out for the season. When I read the Rams’ owner wants to leave town. It’s personal. They’re my teams.

I like the metro-east because on any day of the week, I can drive by my childhood homes and neighborhoods. The houses are so small and simple. But those old, small homes had all we ever needed.

I like the metro-east because I can drive by my old schools. Every day, I can bump into a few of my old classmates. You can’t take away our ties that bind.

I like the metro-east because I can play golf on Sunday mornings with old friends. We talk more about what happened 40 years ago at an MRF concert than what happened at the office last Friday.

I like the metro-east because golf is affordable. Not fancy or overdone.

That’s a good thing. My golf game cries for affordability.

I like the metro-east because on a Monday, my good friend texts me to see if he can cut my grass because he knows I have been busy and traveling.

I like the metro-east because on a Saturday afternoon, I can play golf in my old high school football coach’s (Glenn Schott) charity golf tournament and let him know firsthand how much he means to me.

I like the metro-east because of its Mississippi River, bike trails, small-town homecomings, baseball stadiums, fishing holes, city downtowns, peach orchards, pumpkin patches, high school sports and miles upon miles of open farm fields.

I like the metro-east because on a Saturday night, I can volunteer at my cousin’s trivia night for her charity, and I feel proud of being part of a family.

I like the metro-east because I’m a short drive away from Dairy Haven on Interstate 157 in Caseyville. It became my pit stop in the early 1980s while commuting to SIUE. Decades later, I’d still drive a half day for an orange twist cone.

I like the metro-east because of its history. I enjoy looking at old photos of the area. Then and now. What has changed and what has not.

I like the metro-east because on any given day, I can see my past, present and future intersect. I can see it, feel it, talk to it, visit it, hug it, remember it. Smile about it. Shed a tear for it. Share it.

I like the metro-east because it’s my home.

My only home.

I live here.

Always have. Never had a reason to live anywhere else.

  Comments