Several alert readers (ARs), including Carrie Odum and David Stratmann, have brought it to my attention that The Testaments by Margaret Atwood imagines a venue called The Schlafly Café in Cambridge, in the dystopia known as Gilead. It’s a place where evil women, collectively known as Aunts, meet to hatch their sinister plots.
As bad as the fictional schemes of the Aunts might be, something much more appalling (at least in the minds of some Bostonians) actually happened a few miles away at TD Garden on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. As most ARs will recall, that was the night when the St. Louis Blues stunned hockey pundits everywhere, especially in Boston, by defeating the heavily favored Boston Bruins IN BOSTON to win the Stanley Cup. That was the first time I ever actually saw the Cup up close; and I had the added thrill of hoisting it over my head and kissing it.
Over the next few months I had several opportunities to hang around Lord Stanley’s Cup in St. Louis, most recently on September 30th, when I received my championship ring along with players, coaches and other owners. Since that night I’ve become The Lord of the Bling, never passing up a chance to flaunt this special souvenir of a remarkable season.
On October 3rd I wore the ring at the German Embassy in Washington, DC, where Schlafly was one of the sponsors of the German Unity Day celebration…and the only American beer served. Twelve days later I was back in Washington with my ring when the Blues and the Stanley Cup visited The White House. While I was in town I was able to check in with two fine establishments in the District of Columbia that sell Schlafly: One West Dupont Circle Wines and Liquors at 2012 P Street, NW (https://www.pstreetwines.com/). and La Betty, a restaurant at 420 K Street, NW (https://la-betty.com/). That evening I went to the final game of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) between The Washington Nationals and The St. Louis Cardinals. While the outcome was disappointing for a Cardinals’ fan, I have to give the Nationals’ fans credit for being among the most gracious and courteous I’ve ever encountered in over 50 years of following the Cardinals and Blues on the road. High on this list is an AR named Harry Huang, whom I met on a golf course in Bethesda, MD.
I also need to acknowledge the man who provided me with tickets not only to game four in Washington, but also to several playoff and regular season games in St. Louis, as well as a couple of spring training games in Jupiter. As some ARs undoubtedly know, Mike Maddux (whom I met through Harry) is the pitching coach of the Cardinals, having come to St. Louis from Washington, DC, where he had the same job with the Nationals. I had great seats for all of the games and had the pleasure of sitting with members of Mike’s family, including his father Dave, wife Lise and daughter Lexie. I also met Mike’s longtime friend Dave Burke, who at one point introduced me to someone as “Mike’s golfing buddy Tom.”
While this statement may be strictly speaking true—I have in fact played golf with Mike—it’s incredibly misleading. As I have readily admitted in this space and elsewhere, I am a dreadful golfer. Enthusiastic, but awful. Mike, on the other hand, is a superb golfer. Despite only being able to play very infrequently during the baseball season, on the morning of game three of the NLCS Mike shot two holes in one in one round of golf. For the record these were his fifth and sixth holes in one… and two more holes in one than I’ve even witnessed. Not only am I a lousy golfer, but most decent golfers, i.e. those likely to hit holes in one, have better options than playing with me. “Mike’s golfing buddy!” Right.
Looking ahead, one of my next opportunities to wear my bling on the road will be at the wedding in New Jersey of the daughter of an AR named Ted Frangos. In addition to being the father of the bride, Ted was among those who joined me in watching game five of The Stanley Cup Finals at The Jacks in Philadelphia, where “Gloria” became the Blues’ victory anthem.
A few weeks later, specifically on November 18th, there’s another potential opportunity to flash my bling. I’m referring to the 80th birthday of Margaret Atwood, the author of The Testaments. I don’t know what she has planned, but who knows? Perhaps she’d like to celebrate her special day at either The Schlafly Tap Room or Schlafly Bottleworks I can assure her that the clientele, management, staff and beer selection at these real venues are vastly superior to those at her fictional Schlafly Café.
Chairman – The Saint Louis Brewery