#3 St. Louis, Missouri May 3 - May 6,1984

Thursday, May 3: Class of '50 Princetonians headed to America's crossroad city St. Louis for their third mini. A rich, complex meld of cultures, this city blends the Eastern establishment's love of fine living with the big-hearted midwestern bonhomie, a kind of edge-of-the-frontier esprit. The headquarters was the Daniele Hotel in suburban Clayton. Bill Maritz was the genial host for the 13 locals and 36 other classmates, wives or significant others. For an auspicious beginning, the group traveled to the Missouri Botanical Gardens for cocktails and dinner surrounded by lovely trees and flowers. A tram took guests around the spacious grounds.

Friday, May 4: Some attendees toured the famous Anheuser Busch's flagship brewery where Budweiser is made. The plant, which dates from the mid-19th century, rises fortresslike from the southern edge of Soulard. The Victorian brewhouse and the bottling plant, where the tour took in the beer-production process, are trimmed in wrought-iron lace. The tour ended in the hospitality room, where complimentary samples were offered. Others opted to shop or tour old homes at Lafayette Square or Ulysses S. Grant's Farm in South St. Louis. After meeting at the hotel, all boarded buses and headed to the Mississippi River for lunch aboard the Robert E. Lee. Then a cordial reception at City Hall where Mayor Vincent Schoemehl spoke. At day's end they visited the 630-foot Gateway Arch, the nation's tallest memorial, which looms over the city. Designed by celebrated Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the colossus celebrates the soaring mind of Thomas Jefferson. Its Museum of Westward Expansion features exhibits on the American frontier and the 1904 World's Fair. Classmates rode a tram to the observation room at the top where they had a superb view of this "gateway to the west." They viewed a movie showing the arch's construction. At Laclede's Landing, the attendees boarded the paddlewheeler Goldenrod Showboat for cocktails, dinner and a show featuring a quartet who entertained with songs from the 1940s and 1950s. Afterward, host Maritz suggested a "Laclede's Landing Pub Crawl." An authentic slice of old St. Louis, this area nestles alongside the riverfront a few blocks north of the Arch. Its nine square blocks is lined with historic buildings, housing boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs.

Saturday, May 5: Shuttle buses took the group to Bill and Phyllis Maritz' home for a barbecue lunch. Swimming, playing tennis and watching the Kentucky Derby were also on the agenda. In order to provide an appropriate fix for the gambling junkies, Ken Perry set up a pari-mutuel betting table to accept wagers on the race. Amid camaraderie, good food and conversation, the attendees watched Swale win this 110th Run For The Roses. On the tennis court, Steve Zimmerman took on all comers. Bill and Georgia Van Cleve hosted the evening's gathering for cocktails and dinner. Rain didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the group and all enjoyed a delightful evening.

Sunday, May 6: A Bloody Mary Brunch at the hotel capped off the mini. As au revoirs were said, the group looked forward to its 35th reunion at Princeton in 1985 and to the mini in San Francisco in 1986.

50 Link to Mini-Redux



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50 Link to Ron Wittreich pix