Riggins with little brother Charlie and little sister Sadie.


Friday, July 2, 2010


Got up to another gorgeous day, IT was 65 at 04:30am and the high will be in the lower 80's not much humidity either, both Donna and I are feeling better, Hopefully we will be in our fighting shape for vacation. Donna headed out at 05:30am for the truck company, from there she does the restaurant to night. I don't have any plans, just like retired folks, you do whatever you feel like.

Judy from Travels with Emma asked about our home city of Dardenne Prairie MO. So I went out today ,like I needed an excuse to try out the new camera and got a couple shots, First of all when Donna & I moved here, there was no City it was an unincorporated Village of Dardenne Prairie, The population signs said 685 people in 1989 when we moved here. About 5 years ago they had expanded enough to incorporate into a 4th class city so that is where the City started.

Dardenne Prairie07-02-10

The following pictures are of what used to be the center of life when we moved here, The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, this area was settled by German farmers the majority of who were Catholic. The church is the original in German stone design with beautiful stained glass windows.

                     Immaculate Conception Catholicchurch07-02-10c

Immaculate Conception Catholicchurch07-02-10a

Immaculate Conception Catholicchurch07-02-10d

Immaculate Conception Catholicchurch07-02-10b

The Parish just completed a huge new church and school that is behind and west of the corner, but the old church is still used for several Sunday masses and weddings. It is missing the old alter from the early catholic mass times, but all the other wood work is like new.

This next statue was donated by a builder who also donated the land for a small Park with bench's on Feise Rd it is called America's Story and commemorates the Civil War, one of the things I learned from it was there were 29 Civil War battle's fought in the state of MO.

America's Story0702-10a

America's Story0702-10b

America's Story0702-10d

America's Story0702-10c


I think it's pretty neat how it depicts the soldiers taking a break but covering each other's back.

The last stop was the brand new Dardenne Prairie City Hall I think they are running out of money because the parking lot is not finished and has set for months, and they are trying to rent office space out in the building. some times you bite off more than you can chew,

Dardenne Praie City Hall07-02-10


   Dardenne Prairie's Only Emergency Vehicle


                License plate tells it all

The area has really expanded and includes a commercial zone which will hold shoppes,that is what we are waiting or to sell our place. Since our street is part of the zone. Also many subdivisions have been built and a shopping mall area with grocery, 10 screen theatre, and JC Penney's and Target. Nothing at all like the little German farm community we moved into where you knew just about everyone in the Parish. Hey Al I'll bet your cringing while reading this.

One more thing since this is the 4th of July weekend and also Canada Day has just past so everyone is in a patriotic mood, I decided to reveal one of my treasures, for all you guys out there that are also veterans it will bring back memories, When I was flying in the Navy we were issued what the Navy called an Aviator's 38cal revolver which most of us wore in a holster that was sewed into your survival vest. During one of my cruises I became friends with a Marine Gunnery Sgt who loved rides in the helicopter and would come up with any excuse to go, as you might guess Gunnies had a lot of steam, I think he was the top enlisted Marine on the carrier, so one day he said "why do you carry that piece of crap revolver, come down to the MarDet and I will issue you a real gun, I went with him and he took my 38 and handed me 45cal auto and a box of shells and said come on lets see if you can handle this big boy, so we went to the fantail and shot off the rear of the ship, course I had to have a bigger holster sewed on but I was the talk of the squadron, Well naturally I had to turn that gun in after the cruise. But I always loved the 45 auto, After I was a policeman about ten years one of the cops I worked with had heard the story and out of the blue he said he Sam you want a 45, I have a chrome one I'll sell, I said chrome,  you mean nickel plated don't you, he said no this one is chrome. Well I bought it from him with the promise if I ever parted with it I would sell it back to him. I outlived that promise as he passed away a couple years ago. Anyway a Sgt I worked with was into out mountain man stuff, he was an ex-marine and when he saw the gun he said get a set of ivory grips and I will scrimshaw your helicopter on one side and you wings on the other, he also did some fancy work around the edges. Here is the result of his labor I have had it for 20 years now and it is a fitting remembrance of my Navy & Police Days.



This is not just a fancy display piece it is a shooter, I shoot it every once in awhile and keep it cleaned and oiled, it has a very tight accurized barrel bushing and will keep groups in a 4 inch circle at 25 yards. So much for not being able to hit anything with a 45cal.

Well  that's about it for today. Be safe out there, and enjoy your holidays wherever you are. Sam & Donna.


  1. Thanks for sharing pictures of your town, Sam. Our cameras give us an excuse to notice things we usually take for granted.

    Have a great weekend. And as you always say, be safe out there!

  2. Beautiful 45. In the Army I qualified with one but that was many years ago. I might be able to hit a target at 5 yards if I threw the gun.

  3. I enjoyed the story and photos of your town. Also, that gun is a beauty.

  4. You mentioned Pittsfield, IL..That is about 3 1/2 hours Southwest of Sandwich...Someday maybe we could hook up...Loved the pictures of your town...lots of great history in these "used to be" little towns...You and Donna have a great 4th of July!! ..and don't do anything we wouldn't ..(which let's you pretty much to ANYTHING!!)

  5. I especially like the Civil War memorial statue.

    Good pics.

    Have a great 4th!

  6. As a Navy Sea Bee, we were issued the 38, but if you had friends in the right places, as you obviously did, you could get the M1911a1 to replace the 38. I was in the command post bunker as a work station on most days, and we all carried a pistol. And I scored a 45 about half way thru my tour. Like you I had to turn it in when I left country.
    I again had one when on duty in the Naval Training Center in North Chicago. But there again, it was checked out to me and had to be returned when I was discharged. I have never owned one since. Especially not a bright one with scrimshaw handles. Wow!

  7. Thanks for the tour of your hometown, Sam. That old church is sure a beauty!

  8. What a nice tour of Dardenne. By the way...great photos! That camera is doing the job!! :)
    The catholic church is a beautiful building!
    Thanks for sharing your story of the 45..its a beauty and I am sure brings back many memories.
    Happy 4th of July to you and Donna!!

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  9. Only fired a 45 once & that was back in boot camp(1965)on the gunnery range. Luckily I couldn't hit anything with it & the parade ground drill sergeant lived to growl another day!!