Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Wall For San Sebastian As It Relates To Pruitt-Igoe And Buying A Red-Haired Lady $26.00 Worth Of Gasoline

Earlier I related my fronting a red-headed lady $26.00 for gasoline at the convenience store.

My brother John, aka JohnInOcala, (soon to be JohnInDaytonaBeach or LongRoofJohn) added the following comment to that post:

It must be an inheritance from Bob Lee. A couple weeks ago, a similar thing happened to me at local Cstore, with a young woman, in a worn out Chevy Cavalier, looking for $16 for a night in the shelter for her and her two kids, in the car. Gave her twenty, even though unemployed, and have the same feelings of gullibility. john 5.21.2008 9:39 PM

That comment touched off some stories about our Dad that I hadn't thought about in a long time.

Dad's friend, Bob Landewe tells the story of the time he and Dad were travelling across SW MO on highway 60, stopped at a gas station somewhere in the rain and a guy came up begging a handout. He was cold and wet from the rain so Dad gave him his coat. I remember thinking at the time, while the guy in wet clothes may be wearing a dry coat, he's still wet under the coat, and Dad, because he gave away his coat, will also get wet from the rain. Now we got two guys who are cold and wet.

Relating that story led me down memory lane to St. Louis, before I-44 was built. There used to be a lot of slums that were tore down because the interstate went through those slums, by accident or design? Probably by design. Dad worked at a building on Grand Avenue and Arsenal, Dad and Father Barb Faherty, the Jesuit who was the historian who wrote "Guns For San Sebastian" (He also drove a yellow 1948 Jeepster, I thought Jesuits took a vow of poverty so I don't know where he got the car from) used to gather groceries and put them in baskets and pass them out to families who lived in the slums. Only now we wouldn't call them 'slums', we call them low income housing.

This was before Pruitt-Igoe, before the "projects" in St. Louis. All those people who got displaced by the interstate would move into public housing, the 'projects', a real life "Good Times". The architect who designed Pruitt-Igoe, Minoru Yamasaki, was the guy who designed the WTC.
John, Fr. Faherty's book was A Wall For San Sebastian. When it was made into a movie, the title was changed to Guns For San Sebastian. Father Faherty wasn't too happy with the change in the title and the rewrites done for the movie. I remember sitting around the dinner table at our house on National and Sunshine (now St. John's parking lot) listening to him tell about his experiences on the movie set. The movie was filmed in Mexico. (John, note the 1965 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon in the photo. A dark blue longroof!)

Dad had the book somewhere. It can still be purchased on Fr. Faherty also taught history at St. Louis University.

I am thinking that I got him confused with another Jesuit who drove the yellow Jeepster. I do remember sitting in the back seat, surrounded by baskets of groceries.

So I guess we come by it rightfully, John. I often wondered how we, how I got to be the way I am: it's all in the upbringing, it's all in the upbringing.
Bus note: That church that is in the Pruitt-Igoe photos is St. Bridget's. The pastor was Fr. John Shocklee. He led a group of St. Louisans on the Selma to Montgomery March in March, 1965. Mom and Dad knew him.
Fr. Faherty's middle name in the screen credits is "Barby" but on his books it is "Barnaby". I have no idea if there is any significance to this.

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