Most people who remember Gussie Busch picture him as the St. Louis Cardinals owner who joyfully ran the team for more than forty-five years with joy and made it a source of pride for St. Louis. Oddly, though, Busch favored other sports early on. He favored riding horses, shooting, boxing, rodeo riding, and the the rough and tumble of running the nation’s leading brewery. He’s one of many featured in my book, The Colorful Characters of St. Louis, which will be out in mid-September. Plan now to buy a copy, preferably at the book’s release party from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, October 2 at The Royale, 3132 South Kingshighway Boulevard.
When Mike Stein wanted to sell more furniture, he went on TV and yelled like a hyena about credit. When civil rights crusader Percy Green wanted to draw attention to the lack of jobs for African-Americans in the construction of the Gateway Arch, he and another activist climbed a ladder 125 feet up the side of the partially-built monument. In the 1880s and 1890s, the heavily-German accented owner of the local ball team brought in customers with a scantily-clad all-girl band, horse racing, a shoot-the-shoot, a beer garden, and a Wild West Show with cowboys, cowgirls, and Indians.
Its all in my upcoming book, The Colorful Characters of St. Louis, and now we have a publication date. It’s set for publication around September 15. The star-studded release party will be from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, October 2 at The Royale, 3132 South Kingshighway Boulevard on the South Side. It’s a great place to eat, drink, meet with some of the folks in the book, and have me personally autograph a copy for you.
And what a book it’ll be, with the stories of dozens of characters who worked overtime to ensure that St. Louis never would be boring. Herein are the stories of the dancing traffic cop and the Irish-as-they-come St. Louis County mayor who raised the ire of veterans by painting a World War II era tank a bright kelly green. The tales are enough to convince anybody that St. Louis has a higher CCPC (colorful characters per capita) count than anywhere else in the country.