A Safe Place for a Public Event?

Bobby Sweet holds plants he bought at the super clean Tpwer Grpve Farmers Market.

For months, I had big plans for April 12.

That was the date of the big Launch Event for Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades at the Central Library downtown.  I expected to fill all 250 seats, with people I interviewed, friends and folks attracted by an extensive publicity campaign.

That ended on March 11, when we learned the St. Louis Public Library had canceled the event. Soon, numerous other events were cancelled. I’ve had 13 events cancelled through today, at bookstores, libraries, clubs and even a brewery. These events drive sales, so losing them hurt effort to sell this book.

I’m not complaining. COVID-19 has robbed people of jobs, businesses and lives. Besides, how can I gripe when we’ve gotten decent media, including a couple of great radio shows on KMOX and that marvelous cover story on the Post-Dispatch GO! Magazine? Besides, the book’s concept – telling the childhood stories of a wide variety of more than 100 St. Louisans = is so good that it has to catch on.

With masks, Mark and Heather Stille show off produce they sell at their Pure American Food tent at the Tower Grove Farmers Market.

And places to sell will open up.  I’d love to hawk my books there, as long as it’s safe. Make sure that everybody wears a mask and stays six feet or more away, and I’m ready.

I found one possible place today in the Tower Grove Farmers  Market. I’ve sold over the years and always been happy there. Everybody wore a mask, and the place is spread out. To add to the safety, the number of vendors was limited in the circle drive at the center of the park. That means no artisans, which means me. But when they do open up, I’ll probably be there, as well as the other safe venues that come available.

Meanwhile, you don’t have to wait to get a copy of Growing Up St. Louis. You can buy one  here.  Meanwhile, for aspiring bookwriters, what you’ve read is an example of the truth that an author’s job doesn’t end when he or she turns in a manuscript. A major part, the selling, is just beginning.




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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