Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Yesterday our next door neighbors in Collinsville had a tree taken down. Now just any tree, but a huge and massive tree which had died from the top down some time ago. The thick upper limbs had become a habitat for a bee colony during the summer months and the bark had begun falling off in a striped pattern. But it was in an awkward spot and more than one tree removal company did not want to take on the project. Bees and a location with utility wires and homes behind. Difficult.
But I have to give lots of props to the men from Gildersleeve tree company with the addition of one or two from J's Lawn and Tree Service. They came in with a crane, a bucket truck, and a haul away truck and within two hours had that tree down and the area cleaned up. The most efficient and capable work I've ever seen. The huge upper limbs were taken off one by one. Each limb was strapped and the strap attached to the crane hook. The man with the chain saw then went to work. When the limb was freed, the crane carried it over to the dump truck.
Then the body of the tree was cut at a perfect level so that when it fell, it did not hit a fence or garage or any us standing around watching. It was excellent excellent work by men who really know their craft. Here's a few pictures of this tree. click to enlarge
See him up in there? Freeing the first limb?
And so it went until all of those upper limbs were off. Then the big part.
First ropes were tied near the top and J started cutting, stopping every now and then to check the cut.
Look at the size of this sucker.
He sawed out a notch which is tree removal one oh one.
Meanwhile three other guys were holding tight to the ropeline. There was some worry the tree could very well fall on the truck which was behind it rather than toward the house and backyard.
During a lull, Ferdie got into the rope line and got petted
Lee then began his cut on the back side of the tree so that it would fall toward the fence and the men with the rope.
And down it came without hitting anything. Perfectly done. The big trunk hit the ground and the vibration was felt for some distance.
Cut into a couple of sections, tied up and ready for the crane.
Into the truck for hauling off
And the most amazing part, they left no sign of the tree. A bit of sawdust swept up and nothing else. Beautiful job.
The Collinsville milk store, Farm Fresh, shut down yesterday. We always bought our milk from there, I am so sorry to hear about this. The best milk and in glass bottles, much better than the over priced Oberweis milk.
Dale even owns an old Divco, Farm Fresh milk truck which he got from the owner of the company. He and Walt Scheft drove it up to Collinsville over 15 years ago.
It's hard to say if the highway construction had anything to do with the closing, but it probably didn't help business.
Holy Cross school in Collinsville is celebrating Lutheran Schools Week with a different assembly even each day. Yesterday two Golden Retrievers from the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dog program arrived to lots of 'aw' sounds. Noah is a 21 month old retriever who is permanently a part of Timothy Lutheran Church in south St. Louis and Concordia Seminary. He spends his days going to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, places of sadness and joy. Esther is a 9 month old puppy who is in training to do what Noah and all the other Comfort Dogs do.
Holy Cross has completed all the paper work and other procedures necessary to get their own dog and after yesterday, many of us are hoping Esther will be given to us.
Cemeteries are normally quiet places, but yesterday as Dale, Ferdie and I took a walk through the Holy Cross Cemetery it was quieter than ever what with 6 inches of new and untouched snow. At first it was almost physically disorienting because the sky and the snow came together as if there was no horizon. We were the first to put our footprints into this snow and it was just a gorgeous, serene walk.
Holy Cross in Collinsville was established in 1848 and saw the construction of 3 church buildings with the last being what is used for worship currently.
The first was a brick structure, the second made of wood frame. (1855)
Then in 1914 it was decided by the members that a bigger church was necessary, the cornerstone was laid and construction finished in 1915. It began with Pastor von Strohe and finished with pastor Klein.
This is how it looked in 1915. Over the years the front entrance has been altered to allow for fewer steps and for a more centered access. The cost was estimated to be $21,350 for the building and $30,000 for necessary furnishings. Member John Schroeppel donated half the bricks needed, Henry Eberhardt was the builder, the organ bought from the Wicks organ company ($2000), carpet paid for by the Ladies Aid, 3 good bells paid for by the Young Men's Society and the stained glass windows paid for by individual members.
As a side note, builder Henry Eberhardt was also the builder of the Miner's theater as well as the UMB 1st National Bank.
Interestingly, what was the front entrance shown in the picture above was bricked over in around 1948 or somewhat later. But if you look at the left side of the building, you can see the outline of the original doorway very clearly. How this can be mystifies me, but so it is.
Here is a better view of the old door shadow, Click to enlarge the pictures to see better.
And looking at the church from another angle, you can see other designs in the brickwork.
But you have to make the pictures bigger to see.
Oddly, another Lutheran church, Zion, was established in 1847 one year before Holy Cross and a new church around the same time (1920-ish) and was/is almost a twin of Holy Cross. It stands without much alteration from the original in Palmyra Missouri.
This church is still active but whoa, those outside stairs. As you can see, they did not change much, especially the entry. Their windows and pews and altar are in the same places and in the same numbers as Holy Cross's. The windows have the same stained glass borders but the images in the center are different. How amazing is this?
Holy Cross window
Interesting to go back in time and see what has continued.
With the municipal election coming up on April 7, I have been trying to find a list of candidates running for Collinsville city council and school board. It hasn't been easy to find this information and if the Madison County website has a sample ballot up yet, I haven't found it. Yard signs are out here and there but not in the numbers we're used to seeing in past elections. So with that said, here is all I could find so far.
The links are where things get confusing. Tognarelli and Dorman have stand alone websites for this election while the others are using Facebook. I can't find a current page online for Karen Woolard except a Facebook page which is not public.
I still haven't seen a list school board candidates or any other office on the ballot. I have done searches in all the usual places so if anyone has any information, let me know.