Interview with Tammy Gottschalk December 3, 2014
by Stephen Hanpeter
How did you get involved with visiting the Cakeways to the West?
We started seeing cakes. The first one was at the Sappington House when we were roller blading on the Grant Trail. Then we saw one at the Wild Bird Sanctuary where we sponsor a bird. The third one was at the Muny or the St. Louis Zoo. At that point I googled the cakes and found out they were put out by STL250. I suggested to Joe, my significant other, that we see all the cakes and that we photograph them with us in the photo. I also suggested that we do a pose for each cake. Well we tried to do different poses for each cake, but some of them are not so different. We also had a prop, a little guy you can see in most of the photos. He is actually a little speaker to play music. The intent was to hide him in each photo, but in many of the photos he is just sitting on the cake. Sometimes we forgot to put him in the photo and ended up driving back to retake the photo with him in it. With some cakes, we ended up picking a photo that he did not appear in. We found other people who were visiting all the cakes and one had a little Ozzie Smith to put in each photo. For some photos, I wore a funny hat. Joe and I have a couple of friends who also visited all the Cakeways.
What has visiting all the Cakeways meant to you and Joe?
We learned a lot about the city. I have lived in St. Louis a long time, but there were many places that I did not know. And when we visited a Cakeway at a place with a tour or a museum to see, we visited the museum and tried to take the tour. We visited the Campbell House and the Eugene Field House. I connected Eugene Field with some favorite books as a child; “The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat” and “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod.” At the Missouri History Museum, we saw the “250 in 250” exhibit. We visited the Soldiers Memorial on Memorial Day and toured their museum. We went to the Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park in East St. Louis to go up on the look out tower to see the Arch. We visited the US Grant Historic Site. When there was a restaurant nearby, we tried to plan to eat there. We missed Crown Candy when we visited that Cakeway, because they were closed. But we bought chocolate at a Cakeway in Illinois. We ate at the Blue Owl. We walked areas where there was a concentration of Cakeways, like downtown St. Louis and Forest Park. We planned our visits and sometimes, when we were going somewhere, we planned to visit Cakeways nearby. So sometimes we ended up visiting Cakeways at night or in the rain. We visited most of the Cakeways between May and June. Joe was determined to see them all. Some of the Cakeways weren’t put out until later in the year, but we visited them when the were put out.
Did visiting the Cakeways increase your interest in history?
We learned more. We visited the Holocaust Museum, the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton and we saw the barges on the river. We visited the Mercantile Library and the Cakeway there is inside. We visited the Mount Lebanon Cemetery where they did not get a Cakeway so they built their own. We hiked some parks when Cakeways were there or nearby. We met other people visiting all the Cakeways. We got photo bombed a few times when someone jumped into our photo in the background. That is kind of fun. Did you know that one of our teachers, Marilyn Callahan, art teacher at Crestwood School, designed the Cakeway at the Butterfly House?
As experienced Cakeway visitors, do you have recommendations for others making visits to the Cakeways?
Yes, it is a good idea to pre-plan your visits, find out the location and whether there is food available nearby, otherwise pack your own food and water. Take a camera with a remote release or a self timer to get your photos. Wear good walking shoes. Travel in a pair or in a group for safety and go early in the day for the same reason. It is fun to travel in a group. We took Joe’s parents to some Cakeways and also my aunt. Take lots of quarters for parking meters and in some places the parking is quite a bit more, such as Grant’s Farm.
See more photos below of Tammy and Joe visiting Cakeways at
Cakeway Photos from Tammy and Joe.
Go back to the Cakeway Cupcake Prize page.