This serious looking statue is a representation of Dr. Edmund A. Babler, a St. Louis surgeon. The statue and the 3.8 square mile park in which it sits were commissioned and donated by Dr. Babler's brothers in his memory. Quite a memorial.
The park itself is found west of St. Louis in Wildwood and consists of rolling hills on the south side of the Missouri River.
It's a rather beautiful park, but one I've avoided for many years because I have associated it with my first marriage. It was a fairly common hangout at that time, and is clearly still popular with young West St. Louis County residents. This little group camped out beneath the statue very much resembled those I was part of in my younger days – it was a little eerie seeing them. Almost as if time had turned back.Still, I have made it a sub-textual objective of mine to wash this entire region free of older and unhappier memories and my explorations over the past few years have worked towards this happy goal.
Just how far I have come was clear to me as I re-explored this pretty wood on Sunday afternoon. Dark emotions that would have clouded any such visit a decade or so ago were not there. I felt quite relaxed. Not altogether surprising – I have put together a very full and satisfying life since. But you never know…I drove through the woods, finding these little pavilions that once I had partied under, now showing a delightful mossy age to match my own. A little further on I came to a burned-out building; too enthusiastic a camp fire, I guessed. Still, it gave me a pretty evening view though the bare trees.While taking this shot, a very fit and energetic disabled woman swung by on her racing tricycle and asked me to move my car so she could access her van's wheelchair lift. She then did me the favor of spotting a deflated rear tire on my Toyota – not flat, but getting close. A brief interaction, but enough to generate a sense of the park of today and not a repository of yesterday's memories. For that, I was as grateful to her as I was about the tire, but I did not tell her so. Home then, out past the central area with that imposing statue, with those old memories vacuumed up and away into the sky.