So Just What Is a Colorful Character?


Glad you asked that.

Start with one word.


But that’s not a bad thing. That word needn’t be negative. An online dictionary and thesaurus uses these positive alternative words for obsession:

“Craving, desire, drive, enthusiasm, fascination, hankering, hunger, infatuation, itch, longing, lust, passion, pining, thirst, urge, yearning, yen, idiosyncrasy, quirk, bent, disposition, inclination, leaning, penchant, predilection, predisposition, proclivity, propensity, tendency.”

The words tell of people born with a certain determination, a focus that others don’t have. When we encounter them, we take a second look and say, “What was that?”

The answer, of course, is another colorful character. The online dictionary and thesaurus consulted above describes “colorful character” as “a very unusual person.” Colorful characters may be obsessive, but they don’t have to be. A certain style might be enough, a forcefulness. Colorful characters have a sort of tick about them that makes it impossible to ignore them. Their job description would be “keeping things from getting boring.”

There are eighty folks like that in The Colorful Characters of St. Louis, including me. It’s a weighty book – more than a pound – about a weighty subject.  You can meeting some of the characters in the book, buy a copy, and have me sign it. It’ll be at the book’s release party, from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct.2 at the Royale, 3132 S. Kingshighway Blvd. on the South Side. Come and prepare for a colorful day.



Published by Jim Merkel

Reedy Press published four of my books, Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2010; Beer, Brats, and Baseball: St. Louis Germans, 2012; The Making of an Icon: The Dreamers, The Schemers, and the Hard Hats Who Built the Gateway Arch; and the Second Edition of Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch: St. Louis's South Side, 2014. They're available in bookstores and online. For an autographed copy, send a check for $21.50 made out to Jim Merkel, to Jim Merkel, 4216 Osceola St., St. Louis, MO 63116.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: