At the Chase Club in the hotel, there was manager Henry “Hack” Ulrich. Hack enjoyed regaling guests with a reminiscence of Frank Sinatra’s no-show for his engagement. It seemed that Sinatra cancelled the morning following a spat with his gf Ava Gardner, who beat him with a shoe. Upon hearing that, Hack phoned Morris Shenker, who in turn, called his client Jimmy Hoffa. After a conversation with Hoffa, Sinatra agreed to return to complete the engagement, which he did.
The original Tony’s on Broadway was where you could count on gingham tablecloths and chianti wine bottles. Nearby was Al Barone’s Al’s steakhouse. At the Rahtskellar in the original Lenox Hotel on Washington Avenue, steaks were prepared before your eyes. Also, owner Gordon Heiss created the Mayfair salad dressing – still in use today. Port St. Louis (seafood house) in Clayton was where servers vowed that they were to employ used seafood shells over and over.
AH, MEMORIES of other dineries that would make present eateries pale in comparison. Such was Ruggeri’s on the Hill where organist Stan Kann entertained; Kotabuki, Myron Levy’s outpost on Gaslight Square that purveyed Japanese specialities he learned while serving in Jimmy Doolittle’s Flying Tigers in World War II; Teutenberg’s marvelous bakery goods and sandwiches; Fio’s La Forquette at West County Mall; Minna Evans’ Gold Fried Chicken Loaf; Mrs. Yoest’s Hitching Post and Sam Zwibleman’s Sam the Watermelon Man.
supporting Trinity Lutheran.
APPARENTLY IMPERVIOUS TO HISTORY, on the 25th anniversary of the infamous Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, Donald Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions seeks to roll back many Justice Department consent decrees with troubled police departments. Sessions, meanwhile admits he hasn’t read the agreement between the DOJ and Ferguson police.
MISSOURI DEPT. OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Unemployment rate decreased to 3.9 percent in March – lowest since September, 2000.
THE GLORY DAYS OF PRINT MEDIA MAY BE OVER IN THE AGE OF “FAKE NEWS.” Now media brands have turned to advertising. The New York Times: “TRUTH. It’s more important now more than ever.”
SEEKING THE CITY WITH A MAGNIFICENT PAST. There was a sense of belonging that permeated the city. We had pioneers in their respective fields who created for the ages. Among them: banker I.E. Long, J.S. McDonnell and David Lewis (aircraft); Arthur Compton (atomic research); George Capps (developer/automotive); John Olin (munitions); Fannie Hurst and T.S. Eliot (literature); Sister Rose Duchesne (education); Charles Grigg (Seven-Up); Jim Howe (Tums) and John Meyenberg (Pet Co.) Class and style sans pinky rings and flashy clothes.
APRIL 16 IN HISTORY: 1724, Easter first observed; 1978, Cards’ Bob Forsch no-hits Phillies 5-0; 1987, August Wilson’s “Fences” won the Pulitzer Prize; 1991, St. Louis Blues became the 8th NHL team in play-off to come back from 3-1 deficit as the team beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in game 7.
THE DEATHS OF TWO LOCAL TITANS have been noted in The New York Times this week. Just-retired Post Dispatch scribe Tim O’Neil reported on Chuck Berry’s memorial service and Sam Roberts wrote an obit about author Patricia McKissack.
JAMES JOSEPH “Jim” Wisniewski, a native of Salem, IL., passed away last month in Atlanta, GA. In 2008, he won the first-ever civil trial against a Belleville predator priest and the church officials who ignored and hid the crimes. Jurors gave Wisniewski $5 million for his suffering. The cleric, Fr. Raymond Kownacki, didn’t attend the trial and has since passed away. Because of reported appeals by Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton, interest on the jury award accumulated and Wisniewski and his attorney, Mike Weilmuenster, were eventually paid $6 million.
There were Campagna (the Montclair and Frontenac on KIngshighway Blvd.; Leon Strauss; Fred Kummer, Fred Weber (Thomas Dunne, Sr.); Micelli Homes; Tom Shaw; Sverdrup; Deutch family (Oxford and Linn Capri); Baudendistel structures; Zeckendorf (Hampton Village); Taylor Morley and Taylor Hitt. Today we have powerhouse commercial builders: Alberici; Paric and Brinkmann. There were bankers Don Lasater (Mercantile Bank); Leo Fisher (Bank of St. Louis); David Calhoun (St. Louis Union Trust); Adam Aronson (Mark Twain Banks); S. Lee Kling (Landmark Banks) Don Brandin (Boatmens Banks).
APRIL 14 IN HISTORY: 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater by John Wilkes Booth; 1902, Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the radioactive element radium; 1917, Chicago White Sox’s Ed Cicotte’s no-hits St. Louis Browns 11-0; 1939, John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” was published; 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the Social Security rescue for $165 billion.