Last Call to Be in My New Book

I interview Alison Vedova for “Growing Up St. Louis”

Like a lot of youngsters, Alison Vedova helped her mom adjust the settings on her computer. The Webster Groves High School senior got a flip phone at 12 and a smart phone at 14, but only uses it in free time. “A lot of teachers will take your phone away if you have it out,” she told me in an interview at the Hartford Coffee Company in the city’s Tower Grove South neighborhood. The day she spoke about what it’s like to be a high school senior these days, she revealed some good news. That morning – Dec. 16 – she learned she’d received a $21,000 scholarship to attend Loyola University.

Alison will be one of at least 10 people who will represent those who were still growing  up after 2000 in my upcoming Reedy Press book Growing Up St. Louis. My friends, fans and regular readers will recall that I’m interviewing at least 100 people,  9 to 109, fortunate and unfortunate, black and white, about their unique experience of growing up in the Gateway City. I don’t want to leave anybody out of this sweeping look at the lives of kids or teenagers here since 1900.

I have less than 10 interviews to go, and I’m looking for your help to get them. If you’re younger than 32 or from 45 to 52, I may want to quiz you  for the book. Please e-mail me ASAP at I can’t wait to talk to you.


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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