Holding a mike in front of the St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center, Pete Parisi looked like he might be preparing for a hard-hitting TV report on mental illness. Until he opened his month. “We’re at 5400 Arsenal St., otherwise known as the nuthouse, where mentally retarded and mentally ill people of the state of Missouri are housed,” he said, in front of the wrought iron fence around the hospital. In the background is the music of the widely criticized 1960s song about mental illness, “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Haaa.” Parisi then talks about a great dinner held at the hospital the night before. “It was a great dinner. It was a beautiful feast, like seven or eight courses and everything in it from soup to nuts.”
It was outrageous, of course, but typical of what you could expect in the fifteen years the South Side resident was a favorite on local public-access cable station viewers in the 1980s, 1990s and the start of the new Millennium.
The tale is one of the new additions to the Second Edition of Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis’s South Side. Most of the old favorites are back, guaranteeing this is a definite winner for the Hoosier or the Scrubby Dutch in your life.
You can get the new second edition at any bookstore or through the Internet. Or we can mail you an autographed copy for $21.50, tax and shipping included. That’s less than what Amazon charges for the book, handling and standard shipping.
Mail a check for that amount made out to Jim Merkel to Jim Merkel, 4216 Osceola St., St. Louis, MO 63116. Tell us how you want Jim to sign the book.