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BARBARA EAGLETON & HARRIS FRANK – NEWSOME TWOSOME AT THE BEACON’S GALA

Hand-in–hand, gotbucks Harris Frank and activist Barbara Eagleton arrived for the St. Louis Beacon’s gala evening

Harris Frank and Barbara Eagleton

built around a performance of a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. Widow    of the beloved and former Sen. Tom Eagleton, Barbara tipped  that she has inked for a February date The New York Times op-ed    scribe Joe Nocera for her Women’s Democratic Forum. The topic of his Sunday piece was “the high cost of football teams.” Last year, The Beacon presented H.M.S. Pinafore with a super-star    cast that included Christine Brewer, David Robertson, Tim O’Leary and Hugh Russell, with Chicago Lyric associate conductor Craig Terry at the piano. Terry and Russell were back this year, for the Beacon’s “Mikado” but the 2012 cast was made up  of talented young men and women from our region, including  Keith Boyer as Nanki Poo, Heather Patterson as Yum Yum, Russell as KoKo, Mark Freiman as the Mikado and  Debbie Lennon as Katisha. “It’s the Opera Theatre model,” quipped Beacon associate editor Bob Duffy. “Find the best young talent around and help them build great careers.” Champagne was poured before the show in the Sheldon Concert Hall, and afterward gala-goers moved upstairs to a transformed banquet room, the Cabaret

Shirley Bynum Smith and Ed Wallace

Katishs, for a cabaret starring the inimitable Brewer, who started  off with Great American Songbook tunes. Craig Terry accompanied her, and good guy Ernie Clark spelled him at the grand. Among the    VIPs in attendance was longtime organist and chorus master at St. Michael & St. George Episcopal Church, Ed Wallace, who thrilled to a reunion with Shirley Bynum Smith, who once sang in his choir. The Beacon’s major benefactor Emmy Pulitzer arrived    minutes before the concert with her escort Roy Pfautch.

Emmy Pulitzer with Roy Pfautch

MORE

Prominent barrister Don Beimdiek: “Rex Sinquefield‘s attack on the city earning tax will stimulate serious consideration of a city-county merger to broaden the city’s financial base.  Missouri urban legislators will discover the necessity of working together to counter out state-rural anti-urban votes.

St. Louis Beacon’s Bob Duffy: “Jerry Berger will continue to be listed in Burke’s Peerage reign as Baron of Baggage, Viscount of the Vicious, Earl of Edgy, Duke of Dish, Marquis of Mischief, Caesar of Scoop, Prince of Piquancy and King of Course.”

Entertainment producer/agent Jane Higgins: “I believe we will have a bi-partisan government.  The Rams will go to the Super Bowl under coach SpagnuoloAeneas Williams and wife, Tracy, will find a contemporary building for their church, The Spirit.”

Judy and Dennis Jones: “This will be like the beginning of the 1990 decade. The Dow will set a new all-time record.  Unemployment will return to the lowest level in modern history.  The national debt will begin to return to a more normal level.  Those who invest in high-grade equities will be rewarded as those who buy tax-free 10-20 year munis.  A woman will be elected president within the next 10 years.”

MO. ATTORNEY GENERAL CHRIS KOSTER

“I’M THE OLDEST BACHELOR UP THERE”

A Wells Fargo building on Market Street, with the character of a packing case, was where the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra gala took place Saturday evening following the concert at Powell Hall. Class and style are hard to define, but if we’re talking about classic quality, that may describe many of the 520 who attended. There was a dazzling explosion of designer wear, that moved with the women, albeit wrinkles and stretch marks peeping daringly. With her hub, Joe, UMSL’s retired chief Blanche Touhill, a self-described historian, confided she’s writing a book on the history of the campus. Carol Walker was there with her husband, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, Bert Walker (who probably can’t go to funerals, because he’s always smiling), swooned over that nation as “much better than England and France.” Bob Duffy, bossman of The St. Louis Beacon, tipped that the online newspaper will present a performance of the comic opera, H.M.S Pinafore on New Year’s Day at The Sheldon. Heading the cast of the Gilbert-Sullivan work are: Christine Brewer; Symph conductor David Robertson and Opera Theatre’s Tim O’Leary. Duffy escorted Susie Weldon Erlinger of St. Charles. “Don’t write St. Charles,” ordered Erlinger, the heiress of Dr. Virginia Weldon and the late cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Clarence Weldon. Mo. Attorney General Chris Koster escorted Chris Kaplan, wife of the much-too-ill real estater Bob Kaplan. Kaplan whispered in the columnist’s ear, “Bob jokingly told me ‘to go with Chris if that dumb son-of-a-bitch is willing to take you.'” Koster, 46, said he’s been divorced for 10 years and “I’m the oldest bachelor up there (in Jeff City).” His mom, Pat, has been re-married to Bob Thompson and Chris said, “She can still break 50 on the Whitmoor C.C. golf course.” Builder Tony Thompson dined with United Way’s stunning Cheryl Polk, while La Chef Catering’s Sherill Gonterman’s staff was serving salmon and tenderloin. A founder of the Contemporary Art Museum, Susan Sherman fawned over her new business as a fine arts consultant with former nightclub owner/restaurateur/sports drink peddler Jimmie Jamieson. Sherman and Miran Halen, wife of concertmaster David Halen, posed for photos in their Dennis Bass outfits, while Sherman said,”I was taught to model for photos by someone in New York.” Conductor David Robertson and his Israeli-born wife Orli’s sons, Peter, 19, and Johnny, 18, watched with awe as the crowds heaped praise on David as Peter proclaimed, “We’re agnostics.” Dr. Bill Danforth praised the Danforth Plant Science Center for its work and added, “The green revolution has saved a billion lives around the world.” With Danforth were St. Louis American’s Donald and Deena Suggs. Donna Wilkinson described her eye-popping outfit as a creation by fashion designer Bob Mackie – “You know, he does all of Cher’s.” I was seated with retired PR maven Anne Tretter and her partner, Holmes Lamoreaux, owner of 52 percent of Sabreliner Corp, which has just received $5 million in state economic development incentives. The company hopes to add 400 employees after construction of a new 27,000 square-foot hangar to house expanded stripping and painting operations in Perryville, Mo. For the U.S. Army, Sabreliner has just completed turning out clam shell doors for VIP’s use on Blackhawk helicopters and will soon make stabilizer parts for Boeing. The company also does major work for Lockheed, said Lamoreaux. Veiled Prophet Queen of the early 1950s, Julia Terry Barnes, escorted by Lee Zingale and his partner, homebuilder Edgar Ellerman took off, while Grand Center patriarch and former mayor Vince Schoemehl, with his wife, Lois, drove away in their fancy Cad. Vince had only one worry – that he’ll be torn down for a parking lot. The gala was dying with a flurry of wraps, hugs and pecks on the cheeks. Out on Market Street, more than a few guests remembered the good times, when the street was anchored by John Cella‘s American Theater and a Union Station, that drew thousands of customers into its Fred Harvey’s coffee shop. So, throw another buck into the slot and remember the good old days. Oh, hell!

Jimmie Jamieson

GOLDIE HAWN COMETH

Halos on street lamps over empty sidewalks that knew the tread of feet long ago. So I say hail to a long stretch of Manchester, from McCausland to Big Bend.  As the city grows away from itself, it grows more deeply into itself, perhaps in self-protection.  But it is the last of the constants, where one can hardly find the mythical faubourg on a map. It gets high marks in the minds of night crawlers, columnists and real estate agents. In sum, it is a point of view that points to itself with pride. One of the jewels on the avenue is the born-again Monarch Restaurant, which held a private pouring Saturday night before its opening on Monday. The National Chidlren’s Cancer Society (NCCS) benefited from the event, helmed by Donna Wilkinson. Bob and Carol Jones, heiress to the late oil exec Sam Goldstein, were front ‘n center.  Mary Deverman and David Steward, II, of Nicene Brands announced they will aisle walk Nov. 23 in Chicago.  Steward is the heir of David Steward of World Wide Technology fame. The grand dame of flowers and landscaping, Martha Tobin of St. Louis Blooms, arrived with her son-in-law, Mike Mertz.  She recalled an incident years ago, when she worked for the late Jon Prel. “My daughter asked Prel what his function was at his flower shop.”  According to Martha, Prel shot back, “To kick little girls like you out of the store.” Columnist Deb Peterson diligently worked the room, while lights impinged on her dazzler, given by her new husband, Dr. Tom Steinberg. Peggy and Andy Newman were toasted on their eight grandchildren. Food maven Catherine Neville, with her partner, Jennifer Schoemehl, confided to pals, that copies of her new  publication, Feast, went through the roof.  Asked what her favorite restaurant is, Neville replied, “the Persian restaurant, Cafe Natasha.” Robust wine bar owners Stanley and Arlene Browne were there as were: the Beacon’s Bob Duffy with Marty Kaplan; Marilyn and Dr. Steve Teitelbaum, whose son, Aaron, is partnered at Monarch with Jeff Orbin; Stephanie Arndt with Steve Cox and  Joan Quicksilver, who wore what one bitchy guest described, “Mother Teresa is wearing a practical peasant dress.” Past the new modern American dining room and into the kitchen, the columnist cornered celebrated chef Josh Galliano, while he prepared house specialties: crawfish etouffee, lima bean hummus and grilled spicy steak with onions.

But, the highlight of the evening was Donna Wilkinson‘s tip, that Goldie Hawn has been signed to highlight NCCS’s Oct. 30 gala at the Ballpark Hilton.  Wilkinson also added, that at the event, the organization will unveil a new toy, “Laffy-A-Lot,” that emits 20 different laughs and is capable of recording children and their parents’ messages.

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION UPDATE

Along with St. Louis, Charlotte and Cleveland are in the running to host the Democratic convention, tipped Kitty Radcliff, topper of the Convention  and Visitors commish. Bids are due Friday.  “But, we were told not to talk to the press,!” she pointed out. “It all comes down to politics and fundraising.” Thirty-five year-old wunderkind Timothy O’Leary, general director of OTSL, said he plans on presenting for the 2011 season Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Debussy’s “Pelias and Melisande.” O’Leary has settled down in his house on Flora Place. Monsanto’s Deb Patterson was on hand with Kelvin Carter of Top Flight Training System, where hopeful NBA players may get coached. Rick Holton and his wife, Lotsie (heiress to grandpa Gussie Busch) yammered about The Explorer’s Club of which she is chair emeritus.  They chimed in with  club member Cindy Shoenberg Peters about the St. Louis chapter’s trips, including one in the Congo. The St. Louis Beacon’s Bob Duffy cozied up to Dr. Virginia Weldon, who will chair the St. Louis Symph’s Oct. 2 gala, which will headline soprano Renee Fleming. Also on the scene were: distinguished physician Dr. Robert Packman with his longtime partner, Len Powers; Eliot and Sharon Zucker and a few hundred others.

COLUMNIST BIDS A FOND FAREWELL TO 2009!

The columnist has made hundreds of New Year’s resolutions over the years – for himself and on behalf of many of you.  Some have taken: some have not.  For himself, the columnist vows better attention to health; more acceptance of the limits of medicine; greater patience with the pace of healing; and a more heartfelt gratitude to doctors, nurses, billing clerks, insurance companies, and (especially) to well-wishers.  He also vows greater attention to correct spelling, accurate timing, complete quoting, standard punctuation, organized note-taking, credible attribution, flattering photography, and graceful corrections.  Of course, that is an annual resolution, made with little real intention of doing anything about the habits of a lifetime gossipist. On your behalf, the columnist attributes (with no foundation and with relatively little malice) the following fantasy resolutions:

  • From President Barack Obama: I’ll do my Christmas vacation next year with Claire, Joe, and their family in St. Louis, as long as Claire promises not to Tweet about it and Joe pays for the Pi.
  • From Governor Jay Nixon:  I’ll ask Peter Kinder, who practically lives there, to tell Georganne the best places to eat, shop, and stay in St. Louis.
  • From Archbishop Robert Carlson:  I’ll make more good news with Catholic Charities than bad.
  • From SLU president the Rev. Larry Biondi:  I’ll commission a statue of a naked Rick Majerus for Bannister House if the Billikens make the NCAA Tournament.
  • From Sen. Kit Bond:  I’ll use my final year to find jobs for all my staff.
  • From County Executive Charlie Dooley:  I’ll ask the nice Greg Boyce for a couple of lumps of clean coal to put into a certain former staffer’s Christmas stocking.
  • From Mayor Francis Slay:  I’ll give a Key to the City to Lady GaGa.
  • From KMOV GM Alan Cohen:  I’ll do infomercials 24/7.
  • From “Donnybrook” founder Martin Duggan:  I’ll start a blog. What’s a blog?
  • From Emerson CEO David Farr and celebrated attorney Linda Martinez:  We had no idea we were named “man and woman of the year” by the Variety Club until we read it in Berger’s column. We hope he’ll be seated with us at the April 24th dinner.
  • From Congressman Lacy Clay:  I’ll check “finally single”  on my Census form next year.
  • From former GOP consultant Rod Jetton: I’ll use the hot air
  • From the Robin  Carnahan campaign to fill a bouquet of green balloons.
  • From Gateway Foundation donor M. Peter Fischer:  I think I’ll do another two blocks.
  • From Build-A-Bear boss Maxine Clark:  I’ll stuff the first marketing person who suggests a children’s video on national health care reform, immigration, or gun control.
  • From former Engineered Air’s Mike Shanahan:  Since that fancy country club in Naples, Fla., has blackballed me and sent me a check that bounced, I think I’ll remain at Old Warson.
  • From the St. Louis Beacon’s Bob Duffy:  We now have our own space in the KETC-TV offices and hope we’ll open an Illinois bureau in Pontoon Beach.
  • From television reporter Alex Fees:  Maybe I can get Donna Wilkinson to follow Steve Schankman on my “Conversations with. . .” in January on HEC-TV – if her stockings aren’t falling.
  • From Congressman Russ Carnahan:  I’ll use my frequent flier miles to send mouthy Ed Martin on a long trip to country without the Internet.
  • From Blues owner Dave Checketts:  I’ll play Ed Goltermann in goal for home games.
  • From Gerard Craft:  I’ll open a Niche on every corner.
  • From WashU chancellor Mark Wrighton:  I’ll get that Top 10 ranking back.
  • From Chief Tim Fitch:  I’ll find a new badge for Floyd Warmann.
  • From KSDK GM Lynn Beall:  I’ll retire or replace any face viewers might conceivably recognize.
  • From Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom:  I’ll fire the coach if he blows our number one draft choice by actually winning another game.
  • From Bob Baer:  I’ll ride the last Metro bus to Chesterfield if the County tax campaign fails in April.
  • From would-be Rams owner Rush Limbaugh:  I’ll buy the Arch Rival Roller Girls instead.
  • From north St. Louis developer Paul McKee:  I’ll mow all my yards and rake yours too.
  • From entrepreneurs Mike and Steve Roberts: We’ll suggest changing the name of St. Louis City to Roberts St. Louis City.
  • From Symphony music director David Robertson:  I’ll buy KFUO and program it with hip-hop, uh. . .classical music.
  • From Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III:  I’ll change the name of Ballpark Village to Holliday Haven.
  • From the Loop’s Joe Edwards:  I’ll open a successful venue on the actual Moon.
  • From Lee CEO Mary Junck:  I’ll improve morale by signing a good contract with the Newspaper Guild.
  • From AmerenUe officials:  I’ll use the phrase “a warm holiday glow” in our next filing with the Public Service Commission to soften them up on a nuclear power rate increase.
  • From Art Museum honcho Brent Benjamin:  I’ll expand.
  • From AB Inbev boss Carlos Britto: I’ll find out if Clydesdales go better with a little lime.
  • From grocer Greg Dierberg:  I’ll open the most popular grocery in a decade and call it. . .Culinaria Too.
  • From the Caseyville and Collinsville police:  Next time we hope we’ll get it right. (At Teezers Bar in Collinsville, a guy walked in with a silver handgun over the holidays and fired off a few rounds and marched out.  Police began looking for a 70 year-old man known to them and after much searching, they decided that the gunman they really needed to look for had the same name but was just 52.  Then, the Caseyville police gave their Collinsville counterparts an entirely different suspect’s name. The guy, who allegedly committed the explosive act, was none of the above: he had been hiding out all that time at Jessi’s Hideout in Collinsville.)
  • From restaurateur Sam Kacar: I hope to open a third Trattoria Branica in Chesterfield Valley by mid-January and then focus on a fourth in the CWE or Webster Groves.
  • From former airport director Dick Hrabko: I’m going to get those slots installed at the Spirit of St. Louis Airport.
  • From Wind Capital exec Tom Carnahan:  I’ll use the hot air
  • From the Roy Blunt campaign to generate electricity.
  • From uber-flack Joan Quicksilver:  I’ll nominate Jerry Berger as Media Person of the Year.
  • From affable CVC’s Kitty Ratcliffe:  I resolve I’ll ask for another convention center. (The woman has garnered kudos for signing such major confabs as the Church of God in Christ, that brought 40,000 here and has inked its convention for St. Louis in 2011 and 2012 – away From Memphis.
  • From all of this column’s many sources: We’ll not turn a blind eye to any item that might amuse St. Louis in Jerry Berger’s website.

Caveat lector and Happy New Year!

AND MORE

St. Vincent Home for Children got a $45,000 boost the other night from donors at the Four Seasons Hotel.  That’s where hosts Jeanne and Rex SinquefeldRachel and Travis Brown of Pelopidas and Laura Slay of Slay and Associates plied hundreds of guests with a dinner and music by a Motown-sound band (Arvell & Company).  Sinquefeld and his brother, Jerry, lived at St. Vincent in the 1950s, after their family fell on hard financial times following the death of their father. Rex said to guests, “This organization has an important job.  And, with families struggling in a down economy, our task becomes even more urgent.  The children who come through the center need every bit of tender loving care, and every second of recreational, social, emotional therapeutic and spiritual help we can give them.”  Donors on hand included: Mayor Francis Slay; County Exec Charlie Dooley; Lt. Gov. Kinder; Vince Mannino of R.G.Construction and his wife, Patti; Charlie Brennan of KMOX; Diana Bourisaw of Midwest Charter Solutions; Mark Carlie of Stone Carlie & Co.; Dan Mehan of the Mo. Chamber of Commerce; Sam Fox of the Harbour Group and his wife, Marilyn; Lauren Herring of IMPACT Group; Bob Duffy of The St. Louis Beacon; Antonio Segovia of Monsanto and Guy McCormack of the University of Missouri-Columbia and his wife, Norma.


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