Saturday, May 7, 2011

An Old Coot

An Old Coot (Friedrich Ludwig Jahn)

I thought I knew every bit of Forest Park after hanging out there for 44 years, since my earliest days at St. Louis University. (It was a favorite beer swizzling spot for undergrads in those ancient times.) Well, wrong again.

I was wandering down a little-used path with my camera when I came across this enormous monument to
Friedrich Ludwig Jahns. The plaque describes him as the father of systematic physical culture, which I think means working out in contemporary language. He had a lot to do with the promotion of the Turnverein (gymnastics) movement, which was popular among the German communities in the US a century or more ago. You still see Turner halls here and there.

Some modern scholars associate his nationalistic philosophy with the roots of Naziism. And here he is, glowering across the decades, in a green and quiet corner of our great park.

Lots going on this weekend. Last night we went to the opening of the big annual art fair in Laumeier Sculpture Park. Just downloading pix as I write this. Today I'm the official volunteer photographer for the wacky and wonderful People's Joy Parade,the lead-up to the Cinco de Mayo Festival on Cherokee Street in our small Hispanic community. Photo ops galore. Dinner with friends tonight. The final concert of the St. Louis Symphony season tomorrow afternoon, followed by Mothers Day dinner at Mrs. C's favorite Lebanese restaurant. Whew! All of which will get in the way of cruising the portal and leaving notes. I know, excuses, excuses.

Downtown St. Louis 365 visits the edge today.

Under The Highway


cieldequimper said...

He looks rather stern. I remember last year's Cherokee St. photos, looking forward to more! said...

Interesting to find a monument to an otherwise now-obscure person. In Washington DC right near the Lincoln Memorial there is a monument to someone named Everson, the inventor of the screw propeller.

You will have a wonderful and busy weekend. Just a few more days until you can rest during the work week.

Sharon said...

I remember the Laumeier art fair! My friend David has a painting he bought there back in the 90's when were working in St. Louis. I bet you see lots of beautiful things there.

Birdman said...

Wow! You give us a lot today. looks like you'll be busy for awhile.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Maybe he's glowering because he believed in jumping jacks and hadn't counted on Zumba arriving on the scene. So not Aryan.