My Facebook Group About St. Louis Kids

Right before Growing Up St. Louis came out at the beginning of April of 2020, my publisher suggested I ought to do a Facebook group to match it. Okay, I groaned to myself, thinking that was one more thing to do as I sold the book. Amazingly, the group called Growing Up St. Louis – what else? – turned out to be one of the most fun parts of the “after publication” portion of writing Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades.

Several times a week, I’ve sat down and feasted on some wonderful pictures of kids in and around St. Louis from the on-line photo archives of the Missouri Historical Society. Then a growing membership added more photos. One rule applied: the pictures had to be taken at least 40 years ago, and they had to include a kid. That kept the focus on the younger set. Members added comments that made it more fun. Even better, we kept out politics and anything controversial. Nobody talked about grim stuff like COVID-19. Yey!

I got to know some regulars. The last time I checked, we had 1,666 members. It may not be viral – yet – but still shows there’s a lot of people out there who love reminiscing about how it was to be a kid in St. Louis. As we celebrate a new year together, I’ll thank all of our members, but I’ll especially thank my publisher Josh Stevens for a fantastic idea.

Between the paragraphs, and below, without the captions, are a few of my favorite photos that appeared in the group last year. I’d invite you to visit the group and see the pictures in context. Then please consider liking it so you get it all the time.

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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