The major concern was to create a monument which would have lasting significance and would be a landmark of our time. Neither an obelisk nor a rectangular box nor a dome seemed right on this site or for this purpose. But here, at the edge of the Mississippi River, a great arch did seem right. — Eero Saarinen
Me and my Eero. Aiti was my Finnish grandmother. ‘Aiti’ means ‘Mother’, ‘pulla’ is Finnish coffee bread, ‘kansa’ means ‘with her’, and ‘molopaa’ means ‘dickhead’. So “Aiti Pullankansaa” means “Mother with Her Coffee Bread”. But I speak none of that tangled coat-hanger of a language, and Finns rarely speak at all, so reality in Aiti’s dark, wooden house tended to slowly spiral into a point of nothing like a snake consuming itself tail-first. But there are no snakes in Finland. None that I know of, anyhow. I’m certain there are no grasshoppers, thanks to St. Urho, who drove them out. This is well-documented. Unless we wanted to watch baseball with my grandfather Ukki (“Grandfather”) we could read a book on the porch or, if we were really bored, wander up by the Fineview schoolyard and sportingly present ourselves to be beaten by the city kids for mocking their inarticulate attempts at verbal insults, while enjoying the view, which was fine indeed.