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Time traveling in Old St. CharlesPosted Tuesday, June 24, 2008, at 5:26 PM
These two reinactors were involved in a lively debate about the Revolutionary War and other issues of the time. Tourists sit on a bench outside one of the shops, listening to this conversation from the past.
This weekend I got to see, close up, how City Folks live, when my darling Memphis daughter and I went up to St. Charles - she for a bachelorette party, and me for a visit with my cousin Beverly, who lives in St. Louis.
Bev and I shopped in the colorful shops, ate in an open restaurant, sampled the wine, and - that night - we took in a Shakespearian play on the lawn very near the river. It seems that they have an Arts and Culture Commission, which partnered with a group called "River Shakespeare" to perform "The Taming of the Shrew."
Competing with air traffic overhead and the roar of motorcycles on the nearby street, the actors performed to a good-sized audience, stretched out on blankets or seated in lawn chairs. Several well-mannered family pooches seemed accustomed to such activity, and children were also remarkably quiet. One little toddler kept trotting off from his dad, who had to go round him up, but there was room enough, and observers just smiled amusedly.
Oddly enough, I didn't get bitten by a single mosquito, though I saw a woman spraying her legs with Off.
Portapotties and a portable lavatory were stationed off to the right, and I later learned that you have to push a pedal with your foot to get water out of the faucet...(Can you tell I'm from the sticks??)
I didn't have time to see all the shops, since most of them closed at five, but I'll tell you that my favorite was the glass shop, where they make stained glass in the lower level. As usual, I became totally mesmerized and confused by all that glitter, and I bought only a small glass frog for Darling Daughter.
I'm not sure if all the big cities have such programs for their residents, but I have to say that my experience was quite charming.
We did see two squad cars pulled up to one of the quaint little shops, in total contrast to all the Old World charm of the setting. Bev and I stood for several minutes, hoping to see Officers of the Law manhandling some rough-looking vagabonds into the vehicles - but it was not to be. Maybe they try to take them quietly out the back door, so as not to scare off the tourists!
I don't know if St. Charles is close enough to be considered a "Stay-cation," but you might like to put it on your list.
From the green, isolated hills of remote rural Tillman, this is your duck-out-of-water rural reporter Madeline, signing off.
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.