Saturday, May 12, 2012

Adventures in St. Louis -day 8, part 1-The Smiths!

I'm dividing Saturday into two, non chronological posts because the Smith family deserves their own post, they are the oldest friends I have.

 I have know the entire family since I was six.  When I go back to St. Louis within a few minutes, my east coast guard is down and I get a little bit of my mid western accent back.  I met Gretchen on the first day of first grade.  I remember her bouncing down the stairs with her orange pigtails and freckles "Hi I'm Gretchen, lets be friends".  We have been friends ever since.  We were  in the same homeroom every year until 10th grade when I moved to Maine.   This is a remarkable feat because St. Louis public schools were a disaster in 1977.   It was the beginning of busing, desegregation and magnet schools.  We literally had to camp out with our dads on the superintendents porch in hopes of getting into a good school.   School aside, we were inseparable.  We often joke about the "pool parties" at her house,  because not until many years later did we realize that the pool was actually a galvanized steel horse troff.  Our families grew up together and on paper they couldn't of been more opposite - mine all liberal and hippee, the Smiths more conservative and church going.  However, both families loved us all dearly and taught us that a great sense of humor and respect can go a long way. 

As I sit here and type this, I realize I could write about Gretchen and the Smiths for pages and pages.  I don't know how to summarize a life time of knowing someone into a couple of brief tidbits.   I am honored to include them in the project, it means so much to me have maintained this friendship half way across the country before Facebook existed.  I was able to photograph Gretchen & her family, her sister Alexis and her family, and her parents Janie & David.  Unfortunately, her eldest sister Monica was out of town. Next time.

Gretchen, Clarence, Nell & Grant
Aw, Gretch made me chicken soup!
Grant shows me his bedroom
Nell shows me her bedroom
Taking the hermit crabs for a spin around the living room
Gretchen in the kitchen
Living room
Nell smiling before I cream her at Sorry!
I know I saw Alexis at Gretchen's wedding, but I'm not sure I had seen her since. Definitely not since she got married and had children.  She has always been like a little sister to me, and as I've watched her grow up, I have seen her creative spark flourish, so it wasn't surprising that she turned a total fixer upper into a thrift store palace. Her eye and sense of style is evident through out the house.
Yep, a present was waiting for me!
Sal and the cat
Alexis, Nick, Sal & Louis
Sal's playroom
Dining room
Not only a crate full of records, but the first one is Black Sabbath
Nick & Louis
Of course I take my camera to the bathroom with me
Especially if you have cutie shelves like these
The fireplace is the perfect spot for a rack of Dwell
Killer kitchen tile with an even more killer inlaid shelf
Mirror / Village on the windowsill
Janie & David were welcoming and warm and snacks ready for me!  In the olden days,  I think sometimes they got fed up with me, but always the door was open -- like the time I ran away in 5th grade.  I was running late so didn't get to spend a lot of time with them (and am somehow missing the majority of the images) but so happy I got photograph them and really loving Janie's  pink cowboy boots.
Janie & David
Delicious cheese platter & olive / orange bowl

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