Colorful Characters Goes to Press

After more than a year of writing, rewriting, editing, designing, proofreading, and sweating, The Colorful Characters of St. Louis went to press last week. It’s great to come that closer to getting the final product in the middle of September. With the final book comes the final cover above. It’s not that much different thanContinue reading “Colorful Characters Goes to Press”

Champion of the Poultry Pilferers

One of my favorite colorful characters terrorized canine and chicken critters for a couple of decades around the turn of the 20th Century. Tom Goabout was a champion of stealing chickens and swiping dogs.  Once police caught up with him after he’d stuffed two hens into a gunny sack in one yard  and then jumpedContinue reading “Champion of the Poultry Pilferers”

That Funny Lady on Mason Avenue

Phyllis Diller grew up in Ohio and probably never heard about a St. Louis hoosier before she lived here in the 1960s. But her monologues sounded like the latest gossip from a house on a Jefferson County back road with a rusted 1949 Ford pickups on blocks out front. The neighbor – “Mrs. Clean” –Continue reading “That Funny Lady on Mason Avenue”

When Bill Veeck Came to Town

With all the stunts he pulled, Bill Veeck was better suited to own a circus. He wound up filling more seats for baseball teams he owned in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Chicago and St. Louis with tacky gimmicks like scoreboards that exploded after home runs, live lobster giveaways, and hiring a clown as a coach. The HallContinue reading “When Bill Veeck Came to Town”

That Guy on the Overpass

For years, motorists on Interstate 44 passing through Webster Groves honked at that guy who always stood on the Rock Hill Road overpass. So did engineers on trains on nearby tracks. Everything went fine for Raynard Nebbitt until a nearby resident who worked at night complained all the honking kept her up. Then Nebbitt’s defendersContinue reading “That Guy on the Overpass”

Happy Birthday, Father Time!

If you see Paul Pagano today, tell him happy birthday. This day he’s Ninety-Three. You probably know him as Father Time. For decades, he’s been spreading cheer wherever people are – outside a ball park, as a parade grand master, at every kind of fair imaginable. What you may not know is that he startedContinue reading “Happy Birthday, Father Time!”

An “Unconfusing Guy”

A year before he died in 2011, I interviewed the legendary clown-appliance guy Steve Mizerany in a West County nursing home. He was weak, but still able to give a strong rendition of his well-known pitch, “Don’t be confused.” The Post-Dispatch did this obituary of him in the link below. He’s one of eighty folksContinue reading “An “Unconfusing Guy””