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Archive for the ‘In Our Town’ Category


Robert Davi flanked by Amanda and Ky Pietoso

Robert Davi flanked by Amanda and Ky Pietoso

Union pension funds have provided a $1 billion investment in Missouri projects of which $115 million went for seed money for four buildings: the Laurel; Pet Building Apartments; Majestic Stove Lofts; Forest Park Apartments and the Gatesworth reitrement center.  The St. Louis Labor Tribune reports the total impact of pension fund investments is $2.3 billion, equal to 6.3 Busch Stadiums. . .Our town’s Ky Pietoso of Cafe Napoli fame and his wife, Amanda, were in L.A. to visit syndicated radio star George Noory and actor Robert Davi, who has appeared in almost every movie ever made and also sings Sinatra and he’s itching to do a benefit at the Peabody to benefit Dismas House.  The house was founded by Rev. Charles “Dismas” Clark in 1959.  Father Clark was a Jesuit priest who long had a goal of helping ex-offenders by providing accomodations  to allow them to get on their feet after their release from prison.  In the 1960s, Dean Martin,  Sammy Davis and Sinatra did a benefit at Peabody’s predecessor – the Kiel – to benefit Dismas House. . .Martyl Langsdorf recently died at 96.  The former Martyl Schweig was born in our town, graduated from WashU and became a celebrated artist whose works have been on view in many museums and the Smithsonian.  At the age of 18, she sold a painting to composer George Gershwin.  Martyl was married to Dr.Alexander Langsdorf, Jr., a physicist who had worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb.  He was one of 70, who petitioned President Harry Truman NOT to use the bomb.



KMOV’s Claire Kellett with Cardinals PR chief Ron Watermon

You can romance all you want about baseball, but you had to be downtown Monday for the Cardinals home opener – a true high.  They never get old.  The late and beloved Stan Musial would have blushed to see all the sights and sounds that paid homage to “the man.”  Bryan Schwarze,  Musial’s grandson who served as his companion and like a brother and a dad in later years, graciously acknowledged all the kudos.  He mentioned that Musial is buried at Bellerive Cemetery in a site that should become a mecca for generations to come.

Chris Duncan and Bryan Schwarze

The 360 atop the Hilton at the Ballpark was overflowed with crowds dining and wining under the eagle eyes of Bob and Steve O’Loughlin, toppers of Lodging Hospitality & Management (LHM), a partner in the ownership of the station. “We hope to have excursion trains running to and from the Missouri wine country and to Cubs games in Chicago,” said Bob.  Red Schoendienst’s daughter, Colleen, introed her son and daughter in-law, Henry Schwetye and Lucy Schnuck who married over the weekend at the Church of the Anunnziata and after the game were off to honeymoon in the Virgin Islands.  Lou Brock was on hand with his favorite nephews. Brad and Roy White while nearby were Kat and Dan Ungerleider, who introduced himself: “I’m the grandson of the Cardinal team’s partners, John and Ellen Wallace. Paul Pagano a.k.a. “Father Time” rolled around Busch Stadium in his wheelchair festooned with Stan Musial memorabilia.  Here ‘n there were parking lots with signs hawking prices from $35 to $40 to fill the pockets of the greedy. A low point was a traveling billboard sponsored by Amini’s that blocked a few thoroughfares.

John Mozeliak interview with KTRS’ Martin Kilcoyne

Paul Pagano

Colleen Schoendienst flanked by Lucy Schnuck and Henry Schwettye

Jack Clark and Angie Finks

Lou Brock flanked by Roy and Bradley White


Founded in 1966, hamburger lovers have trekked to the Clayton stand during its heyday, then operated by Vince and Tony Bommarito. Fatted Calf venues sprung up from coast-to-coast in the 1970s.  Alas, the restaurant has folded.


Beginning tomorrow, Budweiser will bring the Chinese New Year (the year of the snake) to Times Square.  The Bud commercial will run continuously on an LED screen Feb. 9-16 and will feature urbanites in Beijing, New York and Paris holding the brew and counting down to the theme, “Celebrate the Chinese New Year Around the World.”


Way back in May, University of Missouri System Tim Wolfe announced his decision to shut down the University of Missouri Press to save its $400,000 annual subsidy. Now Wolfe says he’s willing to get around to discussing his decision with Mizzou’s faculty members. Or their representatives, anyway – Wolfe sent a smoke signal that he is open to sitting down soon with officials of the faculty council, representing the academics. The UM Press has published many literary titles and has a large catalog. But a spokeswoman says Wolfe decided the UM Press wasn’t part of the university system’s mission. Academics, authors and other supporters of the UM Press have expressed outrage at the autocratic moves by Wolfe, who was picked for the system presidency from the corporate world. They say Wolfe has ignored the longstanding practice of shared governance between administration and faculty on academic matters. After the Columbia campus agreed to oversee the UM Press, its 10 or so employees got pink slips with no specific dates, so they are in limbo. To rub in salt on raw feelings, Mizzou announced it would hire a new UM Press editor for a salary almost doubling the pay from the editor who was sacked.



Joe Adams, Deanna Daughettee, Damon Tabor and Robin Smith

Joe Adams, Deanna Daughettee, Damon Tabor and Robin Smith

Dr. Warren Stevens, who studies fossil plants with reference to global warming, conceded that the effect is here and now: “And, it’s getting worse so be prepared.” Stevens, along with others from the Mo. Botanical Garden, sipped and supped at Dominic’s on The Hill with Drs. Shirley and Alan Graham and Olga Martha Montiel.  Nearby were Peoria’s Rebecca Dailey and Steve Hanselman, a dead-ringer for a royal.  Gina Galati, heiress of Jackie and Giovanni “Dominic” Galati, reminded us that on Aug. 29. the restaurant will host a Tuscan dinner in honor of “Winter Opera Nigtht.” Over at Truffles, celebrated architect Brian Smith grazed over plans for a manse in New Jersey with revered landscaper Matt Moynihan.  Sad news from Sally Johnston at another table that her beloved hub, Harry, is suffering with Alzheimer disease.

Matt Moynihan and Brian Smith

Matt Moynihan and Brian Smith

With her were their sprigs Bob and Sally Johnston, Liz Parker and Steve Johnston.  Overseeing the meals was Truffles chef Brandon Benack, former chef at Delmonico’s in New Orleans and Norman’s in Miami.  Signature dishes: bbq shrimp, Dover sole and gumbo. BTW, Morgan McDonald, granddaughter Truffles’ chief cheerleader is featured in the current run Stages’ “The Sound of Music”. . .

Sally Johnston (seated left) and her family

Sally Johnston (seated left) and her family

“Soldier of Fortune” Joe Adams got the onceover at Jimmy’s on the Park from Rolling Stone’s freelancer Damon Tabor, whom Adams will escort on a trip to the U.S./Mexican border to see first hand drugs and weapons smuggling. With them were Deanna Daughettee and KMOV’s Robin Smith. . .Sibyl Goldman, daughter of activist Vivian Eveloff, is doing the Hollywood thing these days with her commute to both left and right coasts.  She is a proud grad of John Burroughs. . .Hometowner Debbie Nadler Straubingerhas joined the Orlando campus of Webster U. . .

Steve Hanselmann and Rebecca Dailey

Steve Hanselmann and Rebecca Dailey

That was WashU law prof Rebecca Dresser in the New York Times yesterday urging adult children to discuss end-of-life issues with their aging parents and with doctors and nurses, “who know about the potential benefits and harms of interventions like feeding tubes.” Patients need accurate information about the possible consequences of their treatment choices, she argues and “medical professionals are the ones who can — and should — deliver that information”. . .

Shaw's Garden family with Giovanni "Dominic" Galati (right) at Dominic's

Shaw’s Garden family with Giovanni “Dominic” Galati (right) at Dominic’s

Also in the NY Times, a story on using flash- mobs for wedding proposals in which the reporter refers to our town: “The resulting flash-mob.proposal at the St. Louis Zoo was no easy feat.  The zoo’s strict guidelines in the use of its public space nudged Mr. Stephens into making a charitable donation of $250  in order to speed the approval process along with the zoo’s board of directors. The cost of this love-mob was levied at $3,500, which included the donation.”


Lou and Martha Fusz (seated and surrounded by grandchildren)

Lou and Martha Fusz (seated and surrounded by grandchildren)

Martha and Lou Fusz, founder of the auto empire bearing his name were front ‘n center at Il Bel Lasgo toasting some of their grandchildren – a weekly ritual.  On hand were Corinne and Joseph Whitacre and Paul and Annie Fusz.  Lou recalled the days when,  in 1946, he first launched his dealership here. . .While the St. Louis City and St. Louis County NAACP battle it out over memberships, and $15,000 owed to the County branch by the City, former MO State Rep. Esther Haywood and County president is beaming brighter than ever because her grandson John Gaskin,

John Gaskin

John Gaskin

 III  has been elected national chairman of the NAACP’s  Influential National Youth Work Committee of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  Gaskin was elected at the end of the civil rights  National Convention this past weekend in Houston Texas.  He is a sophomore at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS  and the first chairman ever elected to this position from Missouri.  Gaskin, III will serve as liaison between the national board and its new CEO of the NAACP, Ben Jealous. . .The Foundry Art Centre will bow its exhibit, “K-Pow! Comic Art & Storyboarding on July 27 featuring original works influenced from traditional or contemporary comics executed in any media.


“While fictional robots have been used for decades — witness the enduring cultural imprint of the movie characters Wall-E, the Terminator and R2D2, to name a few — only in recent years have real-world robots attained the sophistication to perform live,” reports Alex Wright in today’s New York Times. Under the headline “What a Mechanical Performance,” he describes professional a play in Chicago by Elizabeth Meriwether, one in Cambridge by Tod Machover, and a high school performance in New York, all of which featured robots. “Researchers are starting to develop machines that can move autonomously, memorize complex movement sequences and in some cases even improvise,” Wright says. And he quotes appropriately-named Washington University computer science professor Bill Smart, who has been collaborating withAnnamaria Pileggii, a performing arts professor, to use the tubular iRobot B21r models in acting classes.

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