1 Government Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 314-781-0900
In The Glass Menagerie:
Laura: I went in the art museum and the bird houses at the Zoo. I visited the penguins every day! Sometimes I did without lunch and went to the movies. Lately I’ve been spending most of my afternoons in the Jewel Box, that big glass house where they raise the tropical flowers.”
I love that Laura, in The Glass Menagerie visited the penguins every day. I was particularly interested in seeing those penguins she talked about. I easily found the zoo in Forest Park. At the entrance I stubbornly looked for a cashier. Finally, a woman asked me if I needed help. I told her I couldn’t figure out how to pay to get in. She said you don’t – you don’t pay – it’s free. I thought that was a little weird so I cautiously and incredulously went through the turnstile. That’s when it hit me – when I realized how Laura could go and see the penguins every day. It was free. And it still is. However, my luck quickly turned. I asked the first zoo worker I saw for directions to the penguins. He told me their pen was getting cleaned so they were not in residence. But I headed over there anyway and found a few penguin statues which looked like the real thing. Standing there – looking around – I was pretty sure I had found one of the places Williams loved in a town he also loved to hate – publicly. It wasn’t hard to imagine Williams and his sister Rose wiling away a summer day at the exhibit, and even his character Laura wiling away her days – too shy and afraid to go to school.