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Archive for the ‘Mark Your Calendar’ Category


The most lavish holiday event is, arguably, the Veiled Prophet Ball on Dec. 22 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  People mingled well the other day in front of the hotel, that is unlike another nearby inn where it’s suspicious.  The Gideon Bibles are on chains. One person came from a hometown that doesn’t have a town idiot.  The people take turns.  The
classified phone book had one page.  Another came from a poor town, where the doctor’s stethoscope has a party line.  They chatted and eyeballed the planners streaming in and out for the ball.   One of the ball’s yesteryear matrons of honor, who dropped by for a peek,  is so fancy, friends joke she has Perrier on the knee. Some wealthy VP Order members made money the old-fashioned way – they inherited it.  But, the columnist hardly ever knocks the rich. I never got a job from a poor person. In the old days, it was fashionable for some to knock the VP.  Not today, because of its goodwill to our town.  With almost 2,000 members, who each pay an annual membership fee of $1,000, much of the money goes to help support: the St. Louis Public Schools; Habitat for Humanity; the Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club; Operation Brightside and housing.  The young women who make their debuts at the ball are required to serve three years of community service before they take their bows this year in the direction of Veiled Prophet Joe Imbs.


Some law firms are gearing up for extravagant parties, that seem too much for some, not enough for others, who have difficulties avoiding foreclosures. Scott Rosenblum will throw his firm’s traditional hip-hop party on Dec. 17 at the Lumen Space on Locust Street.  The Onder law firm will host a party on Dec.16 at its Taj Mahal-like offices.  Jim Holloran will hold his shop’s bash at his own McGurk’s on Dec. 20.  In another part of town – at the Sheldon – The Beacon online newspaper will celebrate the holidays on New Year’s Day with a performance of HMS Pinafore, which will be narrated by Richard “Bel” Gaddes.  Another perk for the guests will be to meet the website’s new fundraiser, Peter Franzen, formerly with the Black Rep, and general manager Nicole Hudson Hollway.


My doctor once bet me 100 to 1 that I’d never make it to my age.  He’s gone now and if he’d won, he’d have a helluva time collecting it.  I refuse to wear glasses when I look in a mirror and therefore I look blurry.  I chuckle and recall when Rudolf Nureyev examined himself in a mirror at The Muny.  I asked him what he was looking at and he replied, “Him.”  As kids, we had simple pleasures: playing cork ball on a sand lot; flying through the air on the Comet at Forest Park Highlands; enthralled at airplanes flying in and out of Lambert Field; listening to music on the phonograph with breakable records and playing tag.  Today’s youngsters are playing it smart on computers and they’re far more politically oriented than we were. Sadly, some of today’s kids are suffering with cancer, while their desperate parents pray for miracles. To many parents something miraculous happened.  They met pediatric oncologist Dr. Bob Bergamini, who practices at St. John’s Mercy Med Center.  “We have three babies in neonatal intensive care with cancer and they’ll be cured and will be given back to their childhood,” said Dr. Bergamini.  “Eighty-five percent of the children, who come in will be cured and walked out.  In cases of leukemia, we’ve learned how to give just chemotherapy and to do growth factors, that help the white count recover after chemo.”  The good doctor was surrounded by parents at the Friends of Kids with Cancer benefit at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, including Gisela and Peter Cohen, whose granddaughter was diagnosed and treated for leukemia at 3.  She’s now 18. Surrounded by Justin Taylor, Kathy Richey, Mary Mercurio and Lawson Primm, Judy Ciapciak boasted that the evening capped off a day of activity, that will bring $130,000 to the agency, “which has only two full-time employees,” she said.  A fashion show of 26 children from 3-18 years-old, who are in active treatment, modeled in the show, while seven in remission for at least five years, also trotted down the runway.  A massive boutique surrounded the ballroom with 500 donors milling around, prior to an auction.  Jeweler Dan Hufford and Scott Mangus are set to lead a new entity – Young Friends of Kids with Cancer.  BTW – Justin Taylor and Lawson Primm are heading up The Choo Choo Ride Spinning Event with 14 clubs participating and a gala on Jan. 20 at Saks.

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