Some alert readers (ARs) who are now collecting Social Security may remember a time long ago when they were old enough to drink beer legally in some states but were not old enough to vote. Such was the status quo ante in much of the United States prior to the ratification of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution in 1971. I bought beer legally for the first time on October 28, 1966 in Washington, DC, 11 days before the midterm election. While I was not able to vote in this election back in St Louis or anywhere else, I was very aware of the race for governor in nearby Maryland. Spiro Agnew, whom I had never heard of, was running as a liberal. Seriously.
The recent death of former Missouri State Senator Wayne Goode was a reminder of something we’ve lost as a society: a spirit of bipartisanship in public life. While Wayne is perhaps best remembered for having sponsored the legislation that led to the establishment of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, it’s important for all alert readers (ARs) of this column to realize that he was also one of the bipartisan co-sponsors of legislation of vital importance to Schlafly and other craft breweries in Missouri.
So far the headlines of 2020 have been dominated by what might be called the five C’s: COVID, Climate, Cops, Crime and Census, all of which have interacted to some degree. For example, there’s a widespread concern that the COVID pandemic has inhibited an accurate census count, which in turn would have an impact on what might be considered a sixth C: Congressional reapportionment.
I’m proud to be associated with The St. Louis Blues.
Like most St. Louisans I was sorry to see their dreams of retaining The Stanley Cup shattered in The Bubble in Edmonton. I too was incredulous that they lost all six games in which they wore their blue sweaters as the nominal “home” team. It definitely wasn’t easy to watch the third period of game six against Vancouver, which the Canucks won so handily. Nevertheless, what happened next made me very proud.
My high school (Priory) adopted The Rebels as the name of its sports teams in 1961. It was an era when teenage rebels featured prominently in American culture. The 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause had made James Dean an icon of adolescent alienation, a status that was cemented by his untimely death in his speeding Porsche the same year. It was the same archetype that was celebrated by The Crystals in their 1962 hit “He’s a Rebel”:
As most alert readers (ARs) know, July 14th, aka Bastille Day, is a national holiday in France. This was the day in 1789 when a mob launched the French Revolution by storming the now famous prison in Paris and freeing a grand total of seven prisoners. The most famous– or infamous– of these was the Marquis de Sade, who, if he were released from an American prison today, would most certainly be required to register as a sex offender.
Most alert readers (ARs) will immediately recognize this opening signature line of one of the most famous songs by The Rolling Stones. Some of you, like me, were probably looking forward to hearing it performed live at The Stones’ concert in St. Louis on June 27. As we all now know, this concert was canceled because of COVID-19, along with the rest of the No Filter tour.
As most alert readers (ARs) know, one of my favorite quotations from Yogi Berra is “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” This was certainly true for pioneers who took the Boone’s Lick Trail from where Schlafly Bankside is today to the Santa Fe and Oregon trails; and also for Lewis and Clark, who paddled up the Missouri River from the same place.
Two hundred and fifty-one years ago, in April of 1769, a French-Canadian fur trader named Louis Blanchette established a settlement called Les Petites Cotes (The Little Hills) on the Missouri River about 30 miles upstream from the confluence with the Mississippi. The territory was ruled by Spain at the time and the settlement was later named San Carlos, the Spanish name for St. Charles Borromeo, the Cardinal of Milan in the 16th Century.
There were a lot of reasons to celebrate on January 25th. As most alert readers (ARs) probably know, it was the 261st birthday of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, an annual celebration at The Schlafly Tap Room since 1992. It was the day of the NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis. It was also Chinese New Year, the first day of the Year of the Rat, which will last a total of 383 days. This year is of particular significance for founding brewer Stephen Hale and me, both of whom were born during earlier Years of the Rat.