Father Time, RIP

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Father Time at my recent book launch party. His son John is in the background.

It’s with real sadness that I pass along the news that Paul Pagano, AKA Father Time, died at 9 a.m. today, Oct. 21, at the age of 93.

For decades, Paul spread cheer wherever people were – outside a ball park, as a parade grand master, at every kind of fair imaginable. That would have been enough to make him my favorite person in my book The Colorful Characters of St. Louis.

Paul started being everybody’s goodwill ambassador as a way out of despair. After his his wife died in 1979,  he withdrew from life for two years. Then he decided he’d had enough, dressed in red, white and blue and started giving out smiles whenever he could.  He was still doing it at my book’s release party on Oct. 2. It was his second to last public appearance. He loved showing people the book he got at the party. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

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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