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.