Tag Archives: Union Missouri

50 years ago i watched the moon landing and the walk, i remember

I grew up in Union, Missouri with a population of about 5,000 in 1969. I remember that historic lunar landing and watching Neil Armstrong step foot on the moon’s surface. It was pretty exciting for a 16 year old about to turn 17 and begin his senior year in high school.

I worked part time in the evening and on week-ends at a teen-center, which was only 3 blocks from our house. The center had a lounge with a sofa, a couple of chairs and most importantly for THAT night a T.V. There were only a few teens in the center, we all gathered in the lounge to watch the astronauts work their magic and become national if not worldly heroes. There is a lot I remember. I was sitting in the middle of the sofa, with a friend on each side. There was also this smart ass that lived a couple of blocks from me that always tried pushing my buttons. I always ignored him as there is no honor in popping the mouth of an idiot a couple of years younger……..until now. More on that later, hey it’s part of what I remember.

When Armstrong made that first step on the moon and made that now famous declaration (which I don’t even need to repeat) you could hear a pin drop. It was the quietest I ever heard the teen center. All of us watched with amazement. It really was happening, just as John F. Kennedy had challenged us to do. I also remember Kennedy’s speech that pushed America to explore and achieve beyond what was thought to be impossible.

It was a wonderful moment, the landing and first steps, we all shared the time “together”, everyone enjoyed the history being made before our eyes. Then that smart ass, as a smart ass must do, tried to ruin it. This jerk, yeah the one that was always trying to intimidate me, had to find my breaking point. He knew I wouldn’t get sucked in to his smart mouth, I wasn’t like him. As I said “There is no honor at that age to pop someone in the mouth younger than you.” Well, he finally made a mistake, he struck first. As I was watching T.V. from the sofa, the punk got up from his chair walked in front of me and stomped on my foot. I took that foot and kicked him in the butt as he passed by. Oh, but he immediately returned, while I am sitting he came up and slapped me in the face. That was it, the moment he must have been waiting for. He obviously did not expect my reaction, I forgot about worrying about what was honorable. I rose from the sofa, walked towards him and punched below his right eye, knocking him completely out of the lounge. Now, the lounge door was near the entrance door to the center. There was a big picture window in front next to the entrance (the center was previously a furniture store). In front of the picture window on the inside was a wooden railing, inner fence of sort. The boy, the punk, sailed out of the lounge, through the rail and nearly reached the window. I was actually for a second gasping I may have put him through the glass. He got up, slowly, looked at me in horror and ran out the door. He ran the two blocks to home. About 15 minutes later his older, bigger brother came to pay me a visit. I never got to speak with him, the other teens in the center this magical night informed big brother what happened. His response was “So he got what was coming?” Yep! Younger or not, the child needed a lesson. I gave him one.

This is how remember The Moon Landing!

It will never flood here? Right!!



I grew up on East State St. in Union.   We were about 1/2 mile from the Bourbeuse River.  Flat Creek ran behind our house, you could see the creek from our back windows.  I used to hit golf balls over the creek from my back yard.  Nobody ever played, roamed and caught crawfish (crawdads as we called them) in Flat Creek more than I did.  Kids today won’t break my time spent on the creek, they don’t know what its like to be outdoors.  Flat Creek flows to the east meeting the Bourbeuse.  I often waded the creek or walked along side it to the river; to fish, catching crawdads along the way for bait. After heavy rain, the Bourbeuse would often back-up flooding Flat Creek, turning it into its own temporary river.   The creative neighbor boys (guys I grew up with)  including myself would take old wooden garage doors, tie some tractor inner tubes on and ……we have a raft!   Those were the days!   When Flat Creek flooded the fishing was excellent.  When the water went down, fish were trapped in areas of the creek.   The water was still deep enough for them to survive, but they became prey to the gang on East State Street.

Coming in from the east into Union, below the highway there is farm land that grew corn each year.  I’m talking a big field of corn; this was on the right.  On the left Wal-Mart had built their first store in Union, about 100-125 yards from the Bourbeuse.   After heavy rain, there was always flooding in that corn field, turning it into a big lake.

The Army Corp of Engineers once said it would never flood Wal-Mart, or some of the areas it does in fact now flood in Union.   In 1993, a massive flood did flood Wal-Mart and the athletic fields next to it.

McDonald’s restaurant in Union was built-in 1992.   The flooding in the video above was from 2015.   Video of Main Street (one block from where I grew up) and East State Street are shown with the flooding.   The Ice Plant (owned by friends of our family and neighbor) is also seen flooded, at the end of East State St…….and East Main Street.

The Army Corp of Engineers has since learned to NEVER SAY NEVER.

One problem with flooding near cities, in and around communities where there is development, building of subdivisions and businesses; when concrete and pavement are added (and space is taken up) the rain water must go somewhere.  It finds the creeks, as drainage is often directed to them.  The more development, the greater the drainage issue.   We often pay more for the cost of development than we first realize.   Communities need to take that in consideration, build possible retaining ponds and lakes to relieve the rivers and creeks.  It can be expensive, but needs to be part of the development.  You can’t direct all your water to creeks and rivers and expect them to never flood.   There needs to be more control, retaining ponds is only one answer, not the total answer, but it helps.

As I write, here comes more rain!


Last night, or possibly early this morning, I had a very vivid and colorful dream of being homeless.  Colorful only in the sense it was not in black & white; which made it all so real.  (A little confession, I googled the word “vivid” to make sure I was spelling it correctly and using it correctly; and the example given was “vivid dream”).    Now maybe sharing this story of my overnight experience has some kind of purpose.  I was wondering why I was even considering posting this dream.   Answers come in many strange ways, which is why I believe we are guided by angels and god.   That however, is a different story for another time, possibly.   Back to the dream.

I found myself wandering in decent and clean clothes; so I must not have been homeless and alone for long.   I say alone, because when you are homeless you are alone….you may be in the company of another homeless person, but you are alone and on your own.  Being in the company of another seems most unlikely.   Most homeless people I have seen are alone……sleeping alone, digging for food from a dumpster alone, so any findings don’t have to be shared.   Not enough to go around for one, let alone two.   There’s that word again, “alone”.  Anyway, I found myself again walking through the city park in Union, Missouri, where I grew up, some place familiar.  I was carrying something with me, which I can’t make out but it had meaning, I clung to it like it was my only possession other than my clothing.   There is a pavilion in the park; was used for picnics, social events and dances.   There is a concession area with counters, kind of outdoor kitchen.   I slept there, in my dream, or maybe I should say hid there.   Sleeping on a park bench, exposed to weather and the police wasn’t a good option.  I would be out of sight in the concession/kitchen area.   A good place to hide, get a little sleep after I checked to make sure their were no rats.   A good place to be considering my condition or predicament, or so I thought.  Sometime in the very early morning a demolition crew had started on the roof of the pavilion, as it was crashing in on me.    I woke up as it was falling, but I wasn’t alone, someone, maybe my bother was there.  Was he there because he was homeless or to rescue me?   We both escaped……..the pavilion.   There is where the dream ends.

A crazy thought, or not so crazy, I had occasionally wondered growing up, if I was ever homeless, where would I go.   I always thought about going to that pavilion.

I call this a dream instead of a nightmare, a nightmare would be if it were real.   Hopefully, I found myself.