"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 4: 6-9

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Grandpa Schmitz passed away on January 9th, 2011. He was 100 years old. Matt's grandparents were from St. Louis and we traveled there for the funeral. Matt has many fond memories of his grandparents. He visited them every summer in St. Louis when he was younger. Matt was able to take us on a trip down memory lane and talk about all the wonderful memories he had there. We spent an afternoon driving around the city, taking photos of places Matt's Grandpa would take him. Our first stop was at the house they lived in the latter part of their lives. This is the Catholic church that Matt's grandparents attended for many years. It was just a few blocks away from their home in South St. Louis. This is where the funeral service was as well. This is a photo of the Bevo Mill. It is a landmark restaurant in St. Louis and is also a few blocks away from where his grandparents lived. The Bevo Mill was built by the Busch family of Anheuser-Busch and his Grandpa always told him that it was used as a stay-over on the first night of their beer deliveries out of town. It was always a special treat when Grandpa would take them to eat there. Many of the ponds and lakes were starting to freeze over while we were there. This pond was in Forest Park, which is the largest park in the city of St. Louis. Grandpa would take Matt to the zoo, the science center, museums, etc. which were all located within Forest Park.
While driving through the city, Matt seemed to take familiar routes that he always drove with his Grandpa. Matt pointed out that while going over this bridge, which is located on KingsHighway, his Grandpa would always comment about how there were too many lights on the lightposts, and how the city was wasting their money. The funny thing was when he was telling me that story, we noticed that every other lamp post was missing a light. We laughed and wondered if Grandpa ever knew that the city had removed some of the lights. Grandpa worked for Anheuser-Busch for most of his life, and retired from there as well. He was an oiler and worked on machinery throughout the entire factory.
Taking a tour of the brewery was something Matt did every summer when he would visit. His Grandpa loved working for Anheuser-Busch and enjoyed taking him on the tour. The Soulard Market was another place that Matt's grandparents would take him every year when he visited. This is where they purchased alot of their produce and meat. The reason for this was because Matt's Grandpa's cousin, Mike Schmitz, owned a butcher shop at the Soulard Market, and other family members had other types of businesses within the market as well. For Grandpa's 100th birthday party, barbecue sauce from the Soulard Market was given out as a favors. Matt is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan. Grandpa was even more of a fan. He would watch almost every game on TV and when his grandkids were up for the summer, he would try to take them to at least one game.
Pietro's is an Italian restaurant located in The Hill, which is an Italian neighborhood of St. Louis. This was another favorite restaurant for Matt's grandparents to take him. People would give Grandpa gift certificates there for helping them, and he would save them up to use when the grandkids came. It was one of Grandpa's favorites. After the funeral services, the whole family was able to gather for lunch there. We loved Grandpa very much and we will miss him. It was good to be able to visit so many of the places he loved to go to when he lived in St. Louis. Our family was very blessed to have Grandpa and Grandma living in Orlando the last few years of their lives. This was Grandpa's 100th Christmas and a memory we will never forget.

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