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OUR TOWN OF FIRSTS

Isn’t our town first in anything any more? Certainly. We’re first in potholes. First in torn-up streets. So many helmeted crews busy each morning setting up those yellow cones. We’re first in honkers, wheezers, sniffers and two-fingered nose blowers in the CWE. A computer that could calculate the germ count in any given block has yet to be programmed. There was so much debris the other night on Euclid Avenue at Lindell Boulevard you could’ve found the Dead Sea Scrolls. Barnes-Jewish has gobbled up so much real estate that one wonders why it’s not encroaching on The World’s Fair Pavilion for an ancillary ER.
Socialite Donna Wilkinson hosted the Establishment to a lavish dinner party Saturday night at her Pershing townhouse (called the St. Louis Way of LIfe). In the wake will come a new Establishment to play the game in a different way. They’ll take their guests for a remarkable evening in The Grove where they could groove on the hotspots such as Steve Kootman’s magnificently outfitted Siam. With a slimmer budget, it would be pizza at Pi, where diners patiently waited for tables on the outdoor patio. There’ll always be Herbie’s Vintage 72, where majordomo Sean Gallagher is always in residence – like Shakespeare at the Globe Theater.  Just missed Jeff Forte at Herbie’s. He’s one of our town’s most sophisticated, stylish and generous hosts. It doesn’t hurt that Forte also happens to be an heir to the Malt-O-Meal cereal fortune.

 

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SEN. RICHARD BURR AT THE FOXES

On July 12, the GOP North Carolina Senator will have dinner at Marilyn and Sam Fox’s Clayton manse to raise funds for reelection. In the invitation, Sam wrote that Burr “is a fierce critic of Obamacare and has sponsored an alternate plan repealing it and with one that lowers costs, increases choices, and covers patients with pre-existing conditions.” Fox points out that Burr, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “is also widely recognized as one of Congress’ strongest pro-business advocates.”

MOUND CITY BAR ASSOC. GALA, PRIDEFEST

The Mound City Bar Association and its Foundation held its scholarship dinner Saturday night in the magnificent Coronado ballroom chaired by prez Kendra Howard and Elaine Harris Spearman of Comptroller Darlene Green’s office. Jared Boyd, prez-elect, made the rounds while extolling that the event as “an investment in the next generation of African-American attorneys.” Currently serving his eighth term, Congressman William Lacy Clay was greeted by an entourage after which he called the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage “A signature moment in the history of our country.” On Affordable Health Care: “It’s a right – not a privilege.” Hillary? “Forty-four men have been presidents and it’s time for a female to serve.” Of his dad, Clay said his dad, Bill Clay, is now 84 “and he’ll be here in August for his annual scholarship fundraiser at the Polish Hall. The Association was founded in 1922 as the St. Louis Negro Bar Association – the oldest west of the Mississippi – and U.S. Dist. Judge Richard Callahan with his wife, Mary, never miss the annual event. Judge Kathy Surratt States was there with quondam developer Steve Roberts as were: Doreen Dodson and Dana Spitzer; Jane and Judge Charles Shaw, who sat autographing his book, “Watch Everything: A Judicial Memoir with a Point of View.” Others: Stacy and Judge Jimmie Edwards; Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, her husband Kevin Corcoran and her lead prosecutor, Mary Patcare.

Judge Kathy Surratt States with Steve Roberts

Judge Kathy Surratt States with Steve Roberts

Judge Charles Shaw

Judge Charles Shaw

Mary Patcare, Kevin Corcoran and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce

Mary Patcare, Kevin Corcoran and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce

Booker and Jane Shaw

Booker and Jane Shaw

Jared Boyd, Dana Spitzer, Doreen Dodson

Jared Boyd, Dana Spitzer, Doreen Dodson

Mary and U.S. Judge Richard Callahan

Mary and U.S. Judge Richard Callahan

Cong. Wiliam Lacy Clay, Elaine Spearman and Court of Appeals Judge Richard Teitelman

Cong. Wiliam Lacy Clay, Elaine Spearman and Court of Appeals Judge Richard Teitelman

ONWARD
Downtown was the urban and urbane place to be on Saturday. The PrideFest surrounding Soldiers Memorial could become a tourist attraction without destroying the character of the city. Not that I’m against moguls in league with City Hall, but they might oppose it. Sacred cows are like any other kind of cow. Their virtues are many, but the end product is still dung
FRIENDLY COPS abound but their lot is not a happy one. Do-gooderism has always been suspect in this misanthropic society of ours, and large segments of the public are inclined to look upon the do-gooder as some kind of nut. One of the St. Louis Police’s sergeants recalled the Ferguson riots and blamed former mayoral chief of staff Jeff Rainford “for tying our hands.”
FREE CONDOMS! Hardly noticed was the DirecTV dirgible flying much too high. Many attendees posed and made love to the lenses of TV cameras. Of the married crowd, including gay parents of tots, one mother said to her noisy baby girl, “Now be quiet or I’ll have the Princess turn you into a frog!” Two guys from a Johnny-on-the-Spot, where one yelled, “Don’t make so much noise!” Even the women and men in drag seemed innocent, clean-cut and seen as all-Americans as wholesome as Mom’s apple cheeks. Distribution of free condoms became de regueur as the crowds floated away from the memorial and into the streets passing such landmarks as the Club Baths, Beffa’s and Sam Light Loans (“Open on Sundays,” heralded a sign above the door).

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

Gay Pride

OBAMACARE, MARRIAGE EQUALITY, FALL OF CONFEDERATE FLAGS

The week that was. Can you even recall what seemed of paramount concern this week? There was the rise and fall of a football team whose name has not crossed many lips recently unless referring to a new stadium. The stadium may cost a few million more than anticipated, but even then it wouldn’t look as gloriously temporary as before.
In a week we have learned too much, and much of it too late. In contrast to events in France, Tunisia and Kuwait, we realized that our country has also become a land of terror and violence of another kind. It’s been a week of: marriage equality (“Hate doesn’t win out over love,” Mellissa Etheridge); the fall of Confederate flags; China market plunged; Obamacare became law of the land; grieving for the murder victims in Charleston, S.C. and a powerful message and song by our President;  death of a convicted murderer on the run; researchers found that couples who have sex six times a week are happiest; nuclear talks in Vienna heading to a deal with Iran and proposed Greek bailout plan.
OTHER EVENTS OF THE WEEK
Minimum wage rise may be dead for our town; the reelection of Mayor Francis Slay was being discussed and analyzed; Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway” musical set for a St. Louis premiere May 5 at the Peabody; Univision ended its business relationship with Miss Universe, owned partly by Donald Trump who made insulting remarks; Phantom 3 drones launched; North American movie box office hit an all-time record of $5.3 billion year-to-date; Kirk and Spock sign on for “Star Trek 4″ and Ben Affleck set to produce a movie on FIFA scandal for Warner Bros.
IN OUR COUNTRY
We are the best-fed, best-housed, best-paid people on the face of the earth. All the weapons of destruction cannot keep us safe. The only shield is compassion and understanding, firm in the face of hate.
THAT WAS GEORGE NOORY of “Coast-to-Coast AM,” entertaining a crowd at the studio of Pelopidas in Brentwood on Friday afternoon. Noory, onetime St. Louisan, was taping a TV pilot called, “We’re Not Going to Take It,” which is apparently meant to tap into the unsatisfied American public.
His hair is dyed darker than should be allowed, and he’s doing the interview show in hopes it will take off as a weekly or daily program.
It apparently has the backing of Rex Sinquefield, who funds Pelopidas and the phenomenal studios on top of the onetime University Club Tower on Brentwood Blvd.
Noory has made his living tapping into fringe radio audiences, talking about UFO’s, Big Foot sightings and black-eyed children, who are apparently emissaries of space beings. Just down the hallway from Noory’s gabfest is the studio used by Jamie Allman of the “Allman Report.” Let’s hope George’s ratings are better.
1941 – In a doubleheader against the Washington Senators, New York’s Joe DiMaggio tied and then broke the American League record of hitting safely in 41 consecutive games. DiMaggio doubled in four at-bats in the opener and singled in five at-bats in the nightcap to break the record set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns in 1922.

AMAZING COINCIDENCE

The Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of same-sex marriage came on the same day in 1969, when the historic Stonewall Riots took place at the Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn in the name of gay liberation. And it should be noted that on this day: In 1924, “The Ziegfeld Follies” opened on Broadway; in 1959, Queen Elizabeth and President Dwight Eisenhower opened the St. Lawrence Seaway, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered his celebrated speech in West Berlin – “Ich bin ein Berliner” (“I am a Berliner”); in 1966, “Here We Are At Last” closes on Broadway; in 1974, Elizabeth Taylor celebrated her fifth divorce – from Richard Burton and in 1984, Barbra Streisand recorded “Here We Are At Last.”

 

FR. JIANG SUES PARENTS, ETC.

In a first, an archdiocesan priest is going after parents of a young alleged victim of a pedophile priest. Fr. Joseph Jiang has filed a civil federal lawsuit against the mom and dad of a Cathedral parish boy who city cops and prosecutors say was molested by the priest. Jiang’s Clayton lawyer once clerked for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The suit also names as defendants two police officers, two SNAP leaders and the city itself, claiming religious discrimination and other counts. “We feel terrible for these brave parents who’ve done nothing but act with courage and compassion to protect other kids,” said SNAP’s David Clohessy.

OFFENSIVE

The Bergermeister predicts the newest kerfluffle involving controversial comments by a Catholic cleric will emerge from Milwaukee. The top dog there, church-wise, is Archbishop Jerome Listecki, who took over when Timothy Dolan was promoted to head the New York archdiocese. Listecki has managed to offend gays, Asians and artists in one fell swoop with a rank that includes these gems:
Bruce Jenner can be a woman this week, a man next week or a Labrador Retriever the week after.”
“An NAACP director can be an African-American woman this week, a Native American the week next and possibly an Asian, simply because she likes egg rolls.”
“What about art featuring Gandhi sporting an uzi, Lincoln in Ku Klux Klan garb or Hitler with a yarmulke reading the Torah?”
What prompted this diatribe? A Milwaukee museum – the Calatrava – “accepted a work that fashions a portrait of Pope Benedict made of condoms.”

A.G. KOSTER DISMISSES APPEALS RE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

In accordance with the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, Attorney Gen. Chris Koster has dismissed appeals filed by the state, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the Missouri Supreme Court.

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