April 2021

In 1969 an article in Life magazine reported, “The counter culture has its sacraments in sex, drugs and rock.” In 1971 the British magazine The Spectator wrote, “Not for nothing is the youth culture characterized by sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.” In this context, as most alert readers (ARs) of a certain age will recall, the most famous celebration...
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March 2021

One of the inspiring stories to come out of the pandemic involves a French nun who recently celebrated her 117th birthday. Sister Andre, who was born Lucile Randon in 1904, is the oldest known person in Europe and, most amazingly, survived the coronavirus with no complications. What some alert readers (ARs) might find particularly interesting is the menu Sister Andre...
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February 2021

The Chinese Year of the Rat, which began over a year ago on January 25, 2020, is finally coming to an end after 384 days. Considering the year we’ve just endured, some alert readers (ARs) have likened these 18 or 19 extra days to bonus tracks on a Yoko Ono album. In any case, on February 12th it will be...
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January 2021

Early in the evening on the Winter Solstice my wife and I went to Central Fields in Forest Park and directed our attention to the southwest sky. It was a clear night and we were not disappointed. As we had hoped, we were able to see the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn with our naked eyes. This celestial phenomenon,...
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December 2020

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....
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November 2020

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...
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October 2020

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...
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September 2020

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 ...
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August 2020

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....
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July 2020

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...
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