During the time of its construction I was training outside sales agents for the industrial maintenance products company that employed me. I was training new agents a couple of times each month; my territory covered 17 states. I was sent to spend a week with a new agent who was working in the St. Louis area.
I knew that it was going to be an interesting week because the agent was inheriting some established customers from the rep who previously serviced the area. One day he drove us down into a large construction area to call on a new account. As I looked around I noticed that we seemed to be at an area that I had seen from a distance earlier. We were near the base of one side of the new Gateway Arch that was being constructed. He had visited this client before and soon we were talking with the maintenance supervisors.
They showed us the large semitrailer that held our bolt bins and cabinets. It took us a couple of hours to check all the cabinets and bins and put together an order to replenish their stock. After our work and the paperwork was completed, a couple of the construction supervisors told us about their part in building the arch. It was cool when they invited us closer to the base of the arch to show us something. I was talking with a couple of the construction fellows when I heard my name called.
I was informed that we were going to be showed to the inside of the base. Before I knew what was happening, we were going up into the base for a better view. This wasn’t something that I had anticipated. I was very comfortable standing right where we were and looking up into the construction area because I get uncomfortable going higher than the third step on a five-step ladder.
I sort of remember riding some lifts, climbing some stairs and scooting over things until we could feel fresh air. I was shown a couple of ways that I could see outside. The view was spectacular. Every time I get to St. Louis or see pictures of the Gateway Arch, I smile and remember that special day.
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I’m well into my second week of “camp conditions” at our house. My wife, Lyn, left about 10 days ago for a two-week church missions trip in Ecuador. Stuart, our dog, began getting upset a couple of days earlier when Lyn got out her suitcase, and he was a mess when it was time to say goodbye at the airport. He stayed in the same room with me for the remainder of the weekend. We have made several trips to Ritter’s Frozen Custard because Stuart loves it.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools