If Walls Could Talk
As First Lady of Missouri in the 90s, it was always a highlight to have former members of the state’s first families visit the Mansion. I learned a lot, because they had fascinating stories to tell of their time at the old house. Today the shoe was on the other foot, so to speak, as I visited with Missouri’s charming First Lady Teresa Parson. With me was Jamie Anderson. who is always pleased to see the magnificent Children’s Fountain, that she sculpted for the plaza just outside the Mansion front door.
It was great fun recalling tales of the past and to hear of ongoing restoration of the Mansion, that the current First Lady is engaged in with great gusto.
The Missouri Children’s Fountain
I recall my vision for the sculpture came from seeing an old photo of children playing in the abandoned fountain, that was placed on the lawn more than a 100 years ago. In today’s fountain, the girl atop the basin, her toes barely entering the water, is reminiscent of the shortened life of 9-year-old Carrie Crittenden, who died at the mansion of diphtheria. Her presence is a vivid reminder of the health care needs of children today.
The African-American boy is inspired by the youngster, who once stayed in the Mansion barn. As he reaches out to grasp the flowing water, he denotes opportunity for all children. The other boy, modeled after my grandson, stands against a backdrop of leaves, birds, and fish, reminding the viewer of our need to protect the environment for future generations to enjoy.
Jamie Anderson beautifully depicted the timeless message in the unique bronze fountain.