The last couple of months have been amazing. Reedy Press released the second edition of my 2010 classic, Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis’ South Side. I spent time with Eric Saarinen, the son of Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen, while he was in time doing a PBS documentary about his father. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved the honorary designation of Knapstein Place for Providence Place. Knapstein Place, as regular readers will recall, was the street’s name before the Board of Aldermen changed it during the anti-German hysteria of World War I. Meanwhile, Bill McClellan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Debbie Monterrey and Charlie Brennan of KMOX, Andy Banker and John Pertzborn of Fox 2 News in the Morning and Steve Potter of KWMU interviewed me. All three of my books, Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch, Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans; and The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, the Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch received publicity in the interviews.
All of this meant helped my website, Jim Merkel the Writer, to have its biggest month in November, with 426 visitors and 883 views. That clobbered the previous high month, October, with 264 visitors and 467 views. A lot of web sites do better, but its still decent. What it really means is that people are reading my books and liking them. I’m honored. I think of these words in the acknowledgments page of Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: Finally, thanks to you, for buying and reading this book. “If something you read here adds to your knowledge, makes you think, or brings a smile, I’ve done my job.”