06 October 2008

A Monday News-In-Review Moment

Over the weekend, St. Louisans had many choices of things to do, places to go, people to see, and weather that was warmer than normal.

On Sunday afternoon, The Fabulous Fox Theatre was the place to be for the 2:00 pm Stan Kann Memorial and tribute. The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ was the centerpiece for the hour-long remembrance ceremony of a man who embraced music as a child and was the face of theatre organ enthusiasts all over the planet. Many family members, close friends, acquaintences from the Fox and the St. Louis Theater Organ Society - which by the way has a wonderful tribute page on their website to the late entertainer - and fans were given the opportunity to view some video and film presentations showing Stan Kann in various situations from performances at the Fox to his many appearances on The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, and other on-screen and personal appearances. Mary Strauss, Marty Bronson and numerous others paid tribute to Stan Kann's wit, laughter, and --- chiefly important --- talent.
I suggest putting his name into a search engine and watching some of the videos that prove the man was a natural showman. There are things we learn only after we have lost someone of Stan Kann's caliber --- take the moment and see why so many of us who knew him found him to be genuine, kind, and someone who could brighten up a moment with his charm. And if you were someone who didn't know him from the theatre organ, you may have been a vacuum (cleaner)collector --- as Stan was one of the only people in the entire country who could say he'd been on national TV shows with his collection. In several online videos such as those on YouTube, you can see his collection from the collectors' standpoint or in his comic adventures on those national hookups.
Stan Kann was 83 years young. And memories of his life will be with thousands of us well beyond our own years, thanks to technology.

Did you get to the Soulard Oktoberfest this year? A great weekend of weather kept those working busier than ever, and fans of beer and fun and gehmuetlichkeit could not have been more pleased than to have the mild temperatures and dry conditions. No matter which part of the Soulard Oktoberfest you may have attended, there was Oktoberfest music with German Bands and great party bands such as Brave Combo as well.
There are concerns being raised by some that the Soulard Oktoberfest is growing too fast. That having been stated by just a few locals, it doesn't appear that there were many problems, as a quick view of other local news sites and blogs didn't show any serious crimes associated with this year's event. The weather may have played a part in the largest attendance in the short life of this traditional outdoor event.


It's Monday: the stock prices around the globe are in a state of flux. Having watched the Asian markets and European index fall during Monday trading, Wall Street is following suit.

###Now may be the time to get a second job, if you can find one. The unemployment claims have been steadily rising along with the actual rate of unemployment. Observers are pointing out that many people who have been underemployed after losing their primary income and some who have been truly unemployed had not filed claims or they had been denied by government agencies over the past two years.

STL: Locally, those who are employed at the former AG Edwards, now Wachovia Securities, are watching to see what moves are made on behalf of the banking arm of giant Wachovia. Last week the company was approached by Citigroup and eventually by Wells Fargo as those firms jockied position to take over the less-than-stellar Wachovia Bank, and perhaps the entire group. It has been speculated that the securities division based in St. Louis at the former AG Edwards HQ could be the prime reason that Wachovia Bank has been able to stave off insolvency, although if there have been money exchanges between the branches of Wachovia it has not been widely reported. The securities division could be spun-off and be a stand-alone business, or it may be absorbed in whichever deal is accepted by the government entities overseeing large banking and securities business. A judge put a temporary stop on the later proposed deal by Wells Fargo after the Citigroup protested that their bid was not being given time to be properly negotiated.
Be assured that law firms are filing papers and boards are talking money while Wachovia workers feel held hostage by uncertainty.


Eyes are on THE MOONLIGHT RESTAURANT in Fosterburg/Alton IL. The Castelli family members who have been managing and operating the lone location on Fosterburg Road has a bid from other family members to takeover the 71-year-old Italian family restaurant --- but there may be a rough patch today. Alton Mayor Donald Sandidge has been party to a 5:00 pm deadline today for the Castelli's to pay thousands of dollars in owed fees for services ranging from sewage to business taxes on the restaurant. Should that deadline pass without the debts paid, the city of Alton would likely revoke the business' liquor license for an unspecified amount of time. We'll keep a keen eye on this story. It has been a personal favorite of many in the metropolitan area, including the chief editor of News St. Louis, who celebrated his birthday dinner there this summer.


Congratulations to the Mizzou fans who have reason to celebrate the first gridiron victory on the road at Lincoln, Nebraska, in 30 years. 52 - 17 --- many Cornhuskers fans must be thinking they are in the twilight zone. Meanwhile, Missouri fans who believe in jinxes are hopeful that a top-ranking does not come until the final week of the college football season. It would be nice to have a national-champion in the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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