Hometown Pride

February 8, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I grew up in a suburb of St. Louis called Kirkwood, Missouri. Last year we were in the national news for the first time in years when a guy working at the local pizza shop was discovered to have kidnapped, help captive and abused two young boys.

And last night we were in the news again. A disgruntled (what a descriptive word, huh) contractor killed a policeman, walked into a city council meeting and started shooting people. He ended up killing between five and six people (the reports differ), one of whom was the father of one of my good friends in highschool.

I haven’t kept up with “the gang” much since I left for college, but it was horrible to hear that Dave Yost’s dad was shot and killed in the middle of what should have been just another regular city council meeting. I spent many awesome summer days in Dave’s pool, and many winter evenings in his basement, hanging out with our group of friends, playing loud music, watching movies, and just having fun. I played Doom II for the first time at Dave Yost’s house. I kissed my highschool boyfriend for the first time at Dave Yost’s house.

I do remember his dad, because he used to come pick up Dave from other “parties” and take several of us home at the same time. I remember the first time Mr. Yost took me home and he asked me if I lived north or south of Manchester road. I said “Well, it depends on which way you’re coming from…” and everybody in the car just started rolling with laughter.

It was a bad night last night. And I hope you’re doing ok out there, Dave.

Winter Grains

On a related note, it’s interesting to see how the national media is characterizing the suburb I grew up in. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • NY Times : Kirkwood is a middle class community of about 27,000 people with a main street lined with shops and restaurants and many grand homes.
  • CNN : Kirkwood, a town of about 27,000 people, is about 10 miles west-southwest of St. Louis. Kirkwood’s Web site bills the city as “Queen of the St. Louis Suburbs” with high property values and quality public schools.
  • Canada Windsor Star: Kirkwood is a 9-square-mile (14-square-kilometer) city of 27,000 about 10 miles west of St. Louis that identifies itself as the “Queen of the St. Louis Suburbs,” according to its Web site. It says it was the first planned suburb west of the Mississippi River.
  • The AP: Kirkwood is about 20 miles southwest of downtown St. Louis. City Hall is in a quiet area filled with condominiums, eateries and shops, not far from a dance studio and train station.
  • The LA times has several quotes from my highschool principal and describes our city simply as “Kirkwood, a quiet, middle-class town west of St. Louis.”