St. Patrick’s Day Myths; Early St. Louis Irish History

 

 Top o’ the mornin’ to ya. I knew the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll was going to have a low response, the more controversial the subject, the more responses. Q: Agree or disagree: Irishman Saint Patrick is celebrated today for bringing Christianity to Ireland, driving out snakes. Strongly agree: 1 [6.67%] Agree: 3 [20%] …

Activity at the Bottle District Site

 

 The eastern edge of my new neighborhood, Columbus Square, has been known as “The Bottle District” since 2004. In 2004, longtime neighborhood business McGuire Moving and Storage Company, announced plans to redevelop the district as an entertainment destination. Noted architect Daniel Libeskind was hired to design the district. The Ghazi …

A St. Patrick’s Day Sunday Poll

 

 The downtown parade was yesterday, the Ancient Order of Hibernians parade is today in dogtown. St. Louis has a long history of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day: On March 17, 1820, a small band of Irish settlers gathered to praise St. Patrick. It was the first recorded observance of St. Patrick’s …

New Book — St. Louis Sound: An Illustrated Timeline by Steve Pick with Amanda E. Doyle

 

 I like music — I have a decent music collection (digital & vinyl), but I’ve never been to a concert. Well, I did see & hear Bonnie Raitt and many others at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2004. Though I’ve lived in St  Louis for 28+ years, I haven’t …

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A Look Back At My Posts From Twenty Eighteen

December 31, 2018 Featured, Site Info Comments Off on A Look Back At My Posts From Twenty Eighteen
 
Looking West from inside, very inviting!

Today my annual look back at some of my posts from the past 12 months:

January:

February:

March:

April

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

Goodbye twenty eighteen, hello twenty nineteen!

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: How Should ‘2019’ Be Pronounced?

December 30, 2018 Featured Comments Off on Sunday Poll: How Should ‘2019’ Be Pronounced?
 

As 2018 comes to a close I think more about the pronunciation of the current year, next year, etc. So much so it is the subject of today’s poll.

Please vote below

Here’s the poll:

This poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

My Remaining Bike Brings Back Great Memories

December 28, 2018 Bicycling, Featured Comments Off on My Remaining Bike Brings Back Great Memories
 

Prior to my February 2008 stroke, I’d bought numerous bicycles while living in St. Louis.   With two exceptions, all came from A & M Bicycles — at Arsenal & Morganford Rd. I bought my first bike from A & M back in the mid/late 90s, it was still owned by a descendant of the original founder. It wasn’t long after when the owner sold the shop to his employee, Karl Becker.

Numerous bikes, new & used, were bought from Karl. A couple of times I needed a used beater bike, we’d go down to the basement and come up with exactly the bike I needed.

The two bikes I bought elsewhere since 1990 were a used 50s Huffy fat tire at an antique store in the Kansas City River Market area, and a new Swedish Kronan bought sight unseen from a bike shop in San Diego. They disassembled it and shipped to Karl @ A & M, who assembled it. That was in 2004.

My bright orange Kronan bike in front of the former UMA store at 11th & Locust in December 2007 — this was in that short period after I moved downtown but before my stroke. After UMA moved to Chicago Rooster expanded into this space.
Following my stroke, the Kronan became art in our home office

Last month Karl Becker died, a huge loss to the St. Louis cycling community:

Becker, Karl Joseph born April 7th, 1963 to Joseph H. and Mary Ann, passed away suddenly November 18, 2018 while surrounded by family and friends. Karl enjoyed life fully by engaging everyone he met as a friend. His passion for cycling started early in life by following in the footsteps of his father. He was enthusiastic about cycling, both participating and promoting the sport. His love of cycling culminated in owning and operating A&M Bicycle, the oldest bike shop in the city of St. Louis. Karl is survived by his mother, Mary Ann, sisters Mary Jane, Lisa Evans (Brice), Mary Margaret Hendrix (Bill), Amy Becker (Steve), brother Paul (Cyndi), loving friend Mary Ann Hoopes, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins and countless friends. Karl had a zest for life and passions included reading, music, art, Jeopardy, good beer, fireworks and above all his cat, PK. Karl was a kind soul who gladly helped those less fortunate. Even in death, his generous spirit is a gift of life to others. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mid-America Transplant Foundation. www.midamericatransplant.org

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Nov. 21, 2018 (Legacy)

This month we took the bike down from the shelves, yet something wasn’t right. The pedal would turn, but the wheel wouldn’t move.

The coaster brake rear hub was the problem.

I knew A & M was still open, but we have no bike rack for our car. Friends suggested Big Shark’s downtown location. A week later we walked it five blocks East to Big Shark. A few days later we returned to pick it up — the rear hub was freed up for less than $30.

Repaired in from of Big Shark’s Urban Shark location on Locust.

I haven’t ridden this bike in over a decade, but I just can’t part with it.  Lots of great memories on this bike. It also reminds me of Karl.

— Steve Patterson

Readers Unhappy Trump Partially Closed The Government

December 26, 2018 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Readers Unhappy Trump Partially Closed The Government
 
Me in front of the White House, October 2001. Back then I wore a watch and on my belt: a case for a point & shoot camera!

Unsurprisingly, most of those who resounded to the recent unscientific Sunday Poll are unhappy with the partial government shutdown, blaming the president:

Q: Agree or disagree: I’m glad President Trump is holding firm on money for the border wall, worth the partial government shutdown.

  • Strongly agree: 6 [20%]
  • Agree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat agree: 0 [0%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 0 [0%]
  • Disagree: 1 [3.33%]
  • Strongly disagree: 23 [76.67%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince 20% why they’re wrong.

Those who wanted to visit the Arch museum should consider ice skating at Kiener Plaza. Skate rentals are $12 ($7 kids), skating is free if you have your own skates. See Winterfest for more hours, etc.

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Holiday Nostalgia

December 24, 2018 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Holiday Nostalgia
 
Christmas 1972-ish with me (right) and my brother Randy (left). This is the last Xmas that we’re both in our 50s.

I’d originally planned to write about retailing, gift giving and such, however, I ran out of time. Instead you get some nostalgic ramblings.

My husband and I are both atheists, but Xmas is an important time for us. It’s about recalling childhood memories, watching favorite movies, and having a meal with family. For us this means my husband’s family (mom, brother, uncle) coming to our loft for Xmas lunch tomorrow.

I love getting to host a holiday meal, this is the 6th Xmas that we’ve had them over. As a kid we’d go to my grandparent’s houses for the holidays. At my maternal grandparents, Mennonites, that meant the men in one room and the women in another (kitchen/breakfast). After we were served, they’d eat. I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen to learn from my grandmother (1902-1982), or hang with my cousin. They never did a tree.

My paternal grandmother’s (1905-1994) house was very different. There everyone was in the kitchen enjoying the company and abundance of food, and her endearing laugh. She always had a huge tree.

Since marrying I’ve learned of traditions in his family, one year I made a traditional German stollen from scratch. His ancestors came here around WWI, fought in WWII.

I hope you have great memories, traditions, and plenty of food. To me, this holiday was never about what it has become: consumerism.

— Steve Patterson

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