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.
A couple of weeks ago, Ferdie and I were out for a walk and while in the quad came across one of our student families having their pictures taken by a professional photographer. They asked if Ferdie could get into some photos and of course he did. This one turned out so great.
Thanks for the pic, Andrew, Anna and Malachi Noble!
Yesterday afternoon 4 of us climbed up to the top of Luther Tower to put new lights on, and crank up the large Christmas star, which will be turned on in December. It's always best to get this job done before the bad weather hits. Two new students who have been working on grounds/landscape this fall got their first trip to the top of the tower. Both of these students are from other countries, Christian from South Africa and Walterson from Paraguay.
And, there they are 2/3's of the way up and looking at the bells.
And on the trickiest portion of the climb, the iron spiral.
But the climb is so worth it, the view is astounding.
Ok, Gayle finally got everyone to work replacing the old lights and attaching the new.
And then the cranking up of the star. Uh oh, we forgot the winch to actually crank it. It's such a long way down and a long climb up to even thinking about going back to the shop and getting the winch. But! Yay! Dan Maske to the rescue. Called him and he graciously agreed to get the winch and carry it up to the top of the tower. And his wife Jenny came along.
The winch was attached and the pole cranked.
Great job guys
The view was pretty spectacular yesterday.
Here's what Luther Statue looks like from up top.
The the south wall of the tower looking down.
And, no, I did not hang out over the edge to get this picture, just held the camera out pointing down and hoped for the best.
Beautiful day for this work and a good thing we did this when we did. Cold air coming in today and for the rest of the week.
This hasn't been the prettiest Fall so far, some random trees are showing brilliantly (Sugar Maples, Burning Bushes) but the rest are still green or turning brown and dropping their leaves. I went around yesterday trying to get some color. Hopefully in a week or so we'll have more of a panorama of color.
This was basically the best color shot I got, one of our students heading home after class. While there's a lot of good color, you can still see how much green still dominates the landscape.
Reflection in the chapel windows, so much green.
There's Ferdie's friend, Max. He was looking for Fall color too.
The entrance to Werner Auditorium with the frustrating vines growing up the wall and everywhere. Their saving grace is that in Fall they turn color.
The Burnng Bushes are spectacular this year. Good for them.
Often when a tree is taken down here on campus, students or staff walk by and question why that beautiful tree is coming down. Here is a recent example of why. Trees don't live forever regardless of the mythology surrounding ancient trees.
This is one limb from an old oak which had to be cut down. Thankfully we have people who know trees and get them out of the way before someone or some part of the property gets hurt. You can't always see what's inside from the outside. What looks beautiful outwardly may be rotten on the inside. Kind of like us people.
On Saturday the seminary campus was the site of the second annual Brew in the Lou festival featuring all kinds of vendors handing out samples of food, beer and wine as well as trinkets. The event was heavily attended by people from all over the St. Louis area and benefitted LESA, Lutheran Elementary Schools Association.
This was so popular that next year the organizers will have to insure there are more bathrooms available.
On Sunday the first Bach at the Sem concert was held featuring the new conductor, Maurice Boyer. This was also heavily attended with a reception held afterward.
This picture was taken at the beginning of the Bach concert as Dale introduced Dr Boyer and presented a thank you momento to the wife of long time conductor, Bob Bergt who passed away two years ago.
And the music began
At the reception Boyer's wife Laurie shared some wifely pride.
During some rain on Saturday I toodled around on Etsy and since we'd just completed a two day 175th anniversary celebration on campus, I typed in Concordia Seminary to the Etsy search box and this came up for sale.
Described as Antique hand painted on Copper badge-1800's.
Not sure if it is that old, but certainly someone who knew of the sem's history took the time to do this for some occasion. I bought it and when it comes I'll check with an antique buff who'll be able to give me an idea of how old this really is.
Yesterday it rained and rained and rained. The most incessant rain ever and the wettest one. But. The seminary's anniversary day went very well, everyone had fun indoors and the staff did a phenomenal job organizing the massive change in plans.
The day began with a chapel service, moved on to a formal luncheon for honored guests, faculty and board of regents. Then around 4 the fun began with an October Fest affair which included pumpkin painting, German band, food, beer/wine/soda, games, Comfort Dogs and booths from many church organizations. Every Lutheran church in the St Louis/Illinois metro area had been invited and many people showed up in spite of the wet.
I love these guys. They bartend at most of our events, formal or casual. Rob wanted demonstrate his technique.
Lizzie's organization had a booth and so the 3 boys were along for the fun parts. First they took the elevator up to the third floor where the pumpkin painting was happening.
Kids love being able to operate these mysterious moving boxes with doors that open and close by themselves.
And there were the pumpkins.
Tons of kids and their parents were up there painting away. This was going to happen outside the log cabin, but the rain put the cabosh on that. This went just fine.
Christian and Connor and Nick got their pumpkins picked out and set on a table. Now where are they?
So much for pumpkins. This is where they stayed.
5 Golden Retrievers part of the Comfort Dog organization were here.
Such sweet dogs. We brought Ferdie over near the end of the evening.
The Lutheran Church Extension Fund people brought along fun giveaways for the kids.
Some of our guys around the beer tapper
There's Lizzie in her booth. She's in the middle.
And CFW Walther, the first president of Concordia Seminary back in 1839 and the first president of the LCMS back in those days. Since it's founding there have only been 10 seminary presidents, Dale being the tenth.
This isn't really Walther, but one of most talented of students, James Miller.
The food was good, brats etc for October Fest, and it kept on coming for several hours. The turnout was in the hundreds last night.
Here is a picture of Lizzie's family's pastor, Joel Christianson and his wife Laurie from the Lutheran church of Webster Gardens. The most wonderful of people they are.
Outside bounce houses were set up and by 6:30-ish the rain had dwindled down to a drizzle and kids went all out for it. They did get soaking wet, but no one cared.
I put a photograph from 1925 up on Twitter this morning as an example of how early the seminary has adapted to new technology. From the Daguerrotype camera to today's computer/internet use, the sem has gotten on board from almost the beginnings of these things.
The photo I put up was a shot taken from a bi plane of the campus being constructed. In 1925 planes flying overhead were still a source of amazement to most. And to have people back then getting the idea of hiring a plane to take construction pictures from overhead is just as amazing to me.
This Tweet had someone at the seminary sending me another overhead shot of the campus, this one taken recently by a drone.