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OUR TOWN

HOW COME WE DON’T HAVE CHARACTERS around anymore? Well, we probably do, and I hope we don’t forget them. Gave them plenty of ink, and they soaked it up. But the more you knew about them the more pathetic they became – making millionaires laugh – and then, after they had their laugh, being shoved to the last table in the place to eat alone. They were sad enough to break your heart. There were Gus Torregrosso, Steve Mizerany, Harry Fender and Charlotte Peters.  There were Fannie Fishman,  Andy Singer and Sherlock Feldman who operated gambling dens on Delmar Boulevard. They were the last of the City-wide characters, and they worked hard at it. We wrote them off and could tell at a glance whether their complex was Napoleonic, Narcissistic, Oedipal, edible or soluble in straight whiskey.
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.

TONY PELUSO

The late Tony Peluso managed the Fox Theater for 36 years. As a youngster he was a golf caddy for Harry Arhur, patriarch of Arthur Enterprises. Many of our townfolk worked under Peluso as ushers and concession stand salespersons.  Tony died in 1993 and was survived by his wife and son, Mary and Doug Peluso, who live in University City.  On April 17, Mary turns 100 years-old, cooks daily and remains a homemaker.
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.

PRESIDENT LINCOLN SHOT IN 1865

TRUMP MODEL , FOUNDED BY THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, GONE. . .New Yorker magazine focusing on a major story on President Trump’s mentor Roy Cohn. . .Ford has begun launching a crib that can simulate a car ride to lull the babe to sleep. . .Home Depot it posting revenue of $5 billion just from online orders. . .For Easter, our state’s native son Rush Limbaugh is being accused of ordering a turkey with two righr wings. . .Townies still grieve for the passing of Chuck Berry of whom Bob Dylan referred to as “the Shakespeare of rock ‘n roll”. . .Broadcast pitchman Thom Lewis’s death has triggered those of a certain age in recalling the products to which he was linked. In those early days there were builders and consumer products who left footprints on our town.
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.
 

 

ARCHBISHOP ROBERT CARLSON

Elbert Walton, the erratic and just-suspended barrister, is identified in news reports as a former state rep who once got in trouble advising a county ambulance district. Few seem to recall, however, that 25 years ago he was considered a “shoo in” to become the city’s top prosecutor.  He was the sole African-American running against several credible white hopefuls, including Jack Garvey, Nels Moss and Ed Sweeney. But in a shocking upset, Dee Joyce Hayes prevailed, becoming the city’s first female Circuit Attorney.
CONGRATS: Missouri’s Jenni Pinkelman who won Politico’s first ever NCAA basketball “Playbook Poll.”
Mary Grace Cusumano, who was honored on her 90th birthday at Kemoll’s. She is the matriarch of the venerable restaurant.
ARCHBISHOP Robert Carlson’s testimony in the trial of an accused predator priest this week marks the first time a local bishop – sitting or retired, archbishop or auxiliary bishop – has been forced to answer questions in court about alleged child molesting clerics. (The only other civil trial in this archdiocese was back in 1999 against Fr. James Gummersbach, jurors found for the victim.)
BLUNT SHRUGS: Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, an appropriator and the chairman of the Senate Commerce Aviation Subcommittee, said Tuesday that it was “helpful” to take a look at Nav Canada’s private air traffic control service while on a trip with Chao and Shuster last week. When asked what he thought about the Canadian system, Blunt replied, “Well, I knew what they were doing, but visually it’s always better to see it.”
BIG MONEY AT EVERY TURN – MAKING AMERICA GREAT, a non-profit group aligned with big GOP donor Rebekah Mercer, is dropping six figures on a digital advertising campaign to both tout President Trump’s administration’s accomplishments and pressure senators to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The ad has gotten boosted spending in Missouri  – a market where a Demo senator faces re-election in 2018.
 
 

BORDER TAX

The “border adjustment tax,” part of the House reform proposal, could
cost the average family $1,700 the first year if it’s enacted. Ernest
and Young analyzed the extent which a 20 percent destination-based tax
on imports – $350 alone for clothing.

ANN WAGNER/JOSH HAWLEY ON CNN

CNN BREAKING NEWS AT 4 P.M., MONDAY: U.S. REP. (R)  Ann Wagner on human trafficking said that the websites “should be sued.” MO. A.G. Josh Hawley got kudos for his “first of its kind” proposals (see below). “We made good on campaign promises,” said Hawley.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI SCHOOL OF LAW has beckoned its first female dean, Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky.

ADAM WAINWRIGHT

MO. A.G. JOSH HAWLEY ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING: He proposes to combat the crimes by prohibiting the use of businesses as “fronts” for trafficking, debt bondage illegal and for new civil and criminal penalties on trafficking.
CARDINALS’ ADAM WAINWRIGHT chosen as one of the prospects by “MLB Central” hosts for an October AL/NL Cy Young.
FOREIGN COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS coming here has been made harder by the Trump administration. The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services is changing the way the agency will process their visa applications. The lottery begins today for companies to apply for the 2018 visas.

TRUMP UNIVERSITY

Our town’s Onder Law Firm has filed 13 complaints (1,000 claims) against Monsanto alleging that Roundup weed killer has caused non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
TRUMP UNIVERSITY: A U.S. DIST. COURT has settled with some 3,700 students of Trump University for 90 cents on the dollar of what they invested in the fraud. The final settlement is $25 million.

REV. LAWRENCE BIONDI

CARDINALS EXPECTED TO hit $318 million in the upcoming season to add to the robust tourism in the region and predicts three million fans. . .Dates: 5-7 p.m., April 27, St. Louis University Museum where a portrait of former president Father Lawrence Biondi will be unveiled followed by a pouring., hosted by president Fred Pestello and Dr. Fran Pestello. . .U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions on Friday at the Thomas Eagleton U.S. Courthouse to speak on violent crime. . .Kennett, Missouri’s own composer, singer Sheryl Crow in her new album, “Heartbreak Away,” has lyrics: “the president is sweating” while “Russia is blowing up the phone”. . .Futuristic hopes at St. Louis University that the Billiken mascot will be redesigned into a combination of Shrek and White Castle.
SATURDAY IS APRIL FOOL’S DAY: 1932, Debbie Reynolds was born; 1929, Louie Max introduced the yo-yo;  1946. Weight Watchers was founded; 1961, Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye were married; 1975, Stephen Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer; 1986, world’s oil dipped below $10 a barrel.

WASHU ATHLETICS DIRECTOR ANTHONY AZAMA

WASHU has hired Anthony Azama as director of athletics after serving as senior associate athletics director at Columbia University. . .About 32 Democrats are poised to snub Neil Gorsuch as President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. Former veep hopeful Tim Kaine has also announced he will ditto. Gorsuch has pencilled in a visit to our town. . .U.S. Dist. Judge Henry E. Autrey has sentenced Daniele Keith Steele to seven years in prison. Steele of Rolla had pleaded guilty of a fraud scheme involving trading in foreign currencies and soliciting more than $2 million from 20 investors. . .Activist Frankie Muse Freeman has gotten the nod for Honorary Doctor of Letters from the SIUE commencement exercise committee. . .
CLAYTON SIGHTEMS:
it seemed like newly-elected St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts had a difficult time recalling where he parked his car. The new sheriff, with the car replete with his name painted on the side, was in front of 41 South Central Ave. Tuesday morning.  Then there was a trio of lovelies looking at a copy of Sports Illustrated (swimsuit edition) at World News. “There is no way she’s a size twelve,” exclaimed one of the blondes as she tossed the magazine back into the news rack. And awaiting commuters at the Metro Garage were Proposition P flyers in support of the ballot measure on their windshields.
 HISTORIC 1882: 135 Years ago the Brown Stockings got charter membership in the American Baseball Association. The team was owned by some beer barons including Chris von der Ahe. The Brown Stockings eventually became the St. Louis Cardinals.
MARCH 30: 1943, our town’s Cella family  became original investors in the landmark Rodgers & Hammerstein musical “Oklahoma!”; 1970, Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” was released; 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded by John Hinkley, III.

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