Some amazing numbers: an update as of 9 a.m. Wednesday

Here I’m with Raynard Nebbitt at the recent release party for my book “The Colorful Characters of St. Louis.” He’s the one who stands on the Rock Hill Road Overpass on Interstate 44 and waves at passing cars and trucks.

For all of 2015, I got close to 4,000 views. That’s a little more than 10 a day. Stats for September showed the kind of improvements you’d expect with a new book: 659 views, or more than 20 a day. Better but not great.

George Simon at the Soulard Market

Then came last week, and things went crazy. In four days, I recorded nearly 1,200 views for my post, “RIP George Simon.”  It talked about one of the subjects of my just-released book, The Colorful Characters of St. Louis. George worked at the Soulard Market from when he arrived here from Lebanon in 1947 until not long before his recent death. I figured one of his friends or family put out word about the blog post. Boy, I thought, George had a lot of friends.

Raynard Nebbitt on his overpass.

Then came yesterday, Monday, Oct. 17, and the same thing happened with another person I wrote about: Raynard Nebbitt. He’s spent decades waving at cars on the Rock Hill Road bridge over Interstate 44. When somebody complained about all the noise from passing cars and trucks blowing their horns, Webster Groves named the overpass after Raynard. As of 3 p.m., my post about Raynard “That Guy on the Overpass,” has garnered nearly 4,000 views. But as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, there was just over 33,000. Overwhelming.

In less than two days, more than times as many people viewed a single post on my web site than everyone viewed all of my posts last year. It shows how much people appreciate this guy. I’m glad I played a part in this. I’ll talk about George Simon and Raynard Nebbitt during a presentation on my book at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Buder Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 4401 Hampton Ave. I hope to see you.

Another view of George Simon. Wish he could have come to my release party.

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.

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