On September 26th, President Bob called the weekly meeting to order at our usual starting time. He welcomed speakers, visiting Rotarians and guests, then led us in recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Four Way Test. The invocation was presented by Doug Russell (substituting for Dr. Beth). Julie Niemann then led us in a revised version of Meet Me in St. Louis (Tinuccified).
After lunch, Pres. Bob pointed out several awards that our club earned during 2018-19 year-
Top 3 overall giving in the District;
Rockstar award (giving more than $170 per member to the annual fund and Polio Plus);
Century award (giving at least $100 per member to the Annual Fund);
Significant service award (for our CAP GRANT project);
And the (yet to arrive) President’s Citation
October 3, 11:00 AM, will be a meeting for prospective members, to be followed by our regular program featuring Erik Siemers, editor of The St. Louis Business Journal. He will be followed on October 10 by Dr. Sam Page, the St. Louis County Executive. On October 17, Lisa Stone, the head basketball coach of St. Louis U.’s women’s basketball team will speak and a week later Ed Wheatley will speak about the St. Louis Browns – you had to love baseball to watch the Browns (past member Vernon Piper). This month will be finished by the the presentation of the Young Citizens Awards for the St. Louis Public Schools, to be led by Dr. Kelvin Adams.
The golf league’s final outing will be October 8 at Greenbriar Hills. Openings are available.
Help is needed at the Lift for Life Gym on Tuesday, October 15 from 3:30 to 5:30 PM. Please contact Helen DiFate about this.
October 24 is World Polio Day. More details on how we will continue to raise the awareness are coming.
Also, President Bob continued his unreasonable request for scribes for future editions of this journal.
Sergeant-at-arms Dan Conway finally wrestled the microphone away from the President and shared the information that the Ferris–type wheel rising near Union Station is nearly ready. So are the 18-hole mini-golf course and the Blues’ practice facility. Dan introduced to guests, Brian Elliot (guest of Rose Cooper) and David Casteel, guest of Jim Sheets and, our perpetually visiting J. Gary Neal.
Mike Regan introduced our program, Steve Pick and Amanda Boyle talking about their book, St. Louis Sound: An Illustrated Timeline. Steve has been a music critic for the Post-Dispatch and station KDHX for many years. Amanda has been a published professional writer for nearly as long. What they have tried to do is provide a fairly comprehensive, though not completely inclusive, history of St. Louis music. The idea originally came from some contacts at Reedy Press, the spectacular fire at whose warehouse many members may remember seeing in the distance from CPI Plastics during a club off-site visit a couple of years ago. They are still in business and still encouraging local authors.
The speakers posed an interesting question of what the audience thinks of when they think of St. Louis music. Is it just the blues or some of everything that has come through because of the city’s position as a transportation hub or, as our speakers put it, a transitional location. A short video was played of Chuck Berry playing “Johnny B Goode” to apparently a small television audience but there was no duck walk that this writer could see. The rest of Chuck’s act was right there.
The timeline of the book starts with the mound people of Cahokia. It transitions through French fiddlers into the late 1800s (think “Frankie and Johnny”) through the present day. A surprisingly strong influence was that of riverboats and especially the the Streckfus steamers. Once there was pleasure cruising to be done, people wanted music and the Streckfus family set a very high standard for their people and trained musicians who spread throughout the country.
A very good question from the audience was one about why there isn’t considered to be a St. Louis sound per se. One of the considerable possibilities is that, for some reason, no record labels really caught on in the city. That meant artists had to go somewhere else to record and they took their distinctive sounds to other cities, where they were identified and adopted.
One of the last points made was that we really have some fine “undiscovered” talent in the city. Particularly well agreed example is Jeanne Trevor, who the speakers and the audience all agreed can knock ‘em dead anywhere she chooses.
The presentation concluded, the 50/50 drawing was held and Ken Schuman (again?!) reduced the deck to 42 by pulling the Jack of clubs, not the ACE.
Mission accomplished at 1:00 PM.
Bill Piper, Scribe