Story: What do Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel, director Steven Spielberg, Hall of Fame baseball star Sandy Koufax, actors Kevin Bacon and John Malkovich have in common with Yeshiva University, the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank Austria and the United Jewish Endowment Fund? Tragically, all were victims of financier and convicted felon Bernard Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme that bilked his investors out of a staggering $65 billion.
I met Michael Staenberg the same day Stan Kroenke announced his plans to build a stadium in Los Angeles. Staenberg and Kroenke co-founded THF Realty and built it into one of the biggest property development companies in the country.
Story: Matt Drayton is a newspaper publisher in San Francisco, where his wife Christina owns an art gallery. Their domestic servant, Matilda “Tillie” Binks, keeps everything humming in their well-to-do home, which is a bit quieter since their daughter Joanna (“Joey”) has gone away to college, circa 1967.
It’s 47,500 square feet of baseball heaven. If you wanted to learn how to play the game, and you spent five days a week at All-Star Performance, I would like your chances to succeed. Matt Whiteside is one of the directors behind the vision.
Story: Living in an orphanage is no picnic, and the Great Depression makes it even worse. Still, 11-year-old Annie has faith that she’ll find the parents who left her as an infant on the Municipal Girls Orphanage doorstep in New York City back in 1922.
He is nothing like we have had in St. Louis lately: Jason Heyward is big, strong, athletic and yes, African-American. The last African-American starter for the Cardinals was Reggie Sanders back in 2005. Four years ago, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Heyward was considered the consensus No. 1 MLB prospect. Why not? He has a rocket right arm, arguably the best in baseball. He has incredible range in right field. He could be the best defensive outfielder in the game right now. Not many in history have two gold gloves by the time they are 25 years old. He also is fast enough to steal 20 bases a season.
A St. Louis holiday tradition is making its 'entrée' onto The Touhill stage this month: Saint Louis Ballet's production of The Nutcracker is set for 10 performances, from Dec. 18 to 23.
The St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum has unveiled its first-ever temporary exhibit: Stan Musial: 'The Man' Off the Field. Displays include artifacts from the Cardinals, as well as items on loan from the Musial family.
Nonprofit boutique Sign of the Arrow recently awarded 17 grants to local agencies at its annual philanthropy brunch. Recipients include Haven of Grace, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital and World Pediatric Hospital. Since its inception, Sign of the Arrow has donated more than $3.5 million to local charities.
Wedding cakes play a starring role at any wedding. It usually is given a table all its own, positioned strategically so that as many guests can see it as possible. Cutting of the cake can be a high point in the wedding reception. Wedding cakes, the cutting of, and the eating of the proffered bites by your new spouse has been a classical idea steeped in symbolism—usually to ensure a fruitful union.
Points of Light, the country’s largest volunteer management and civic organization, recently awarded St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program (St. Louis HELP) with the Point of Light Award. St. Louis HELP loans home medical equipment to those in need at no cost. Last year, the organization loaned more than 4,000 medical items.
Bravo to longtime master of the arts and the dean of Webster University's Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts, Peter Sargent, the recipient of this year's Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Webster Groves Arts Commission.
Nothing grabbing you at the theater? Here are the options for home:
Whitey Herzog will turn 83 next month, but you wouldn't know it. The man is everywhere: You see him at Cardinals games, you hear him on the radio, and you can meet him at the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation Golf Tournament.
Meghan Christina Blase and Charles Brian Flynn
He played against the greats of the game. He is one of the greats of the game. Last month, it was all confirmed in Canton. Aeneas Williams was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It surprised no one. When you go to eight Pro Bowls, make the 1990s All-Decade team, and intercept 55 passes and score nine touchdowns, you are worthy.
Ask almost anyone who knows Dan Farrell, senior VP of sales and marketing for the Cardinals, to tell you something about him and the first thing they’ll probably say is that he is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet in St. Louis.
I recently called around to a few local golf courses, and opened up the conversation by asking, “I’m looking to do a story on the oldest golfer in the area, do you have anybody who might qualify?” The responses were usually that they used to have a really old guy, but he passed away or just stopped playing because of his health. Then, at Westwood Country Club, the head professional, Daryl Hartig told me without hesitation, “Oh, do I have the right guy for you!”
Gerald Early was born and raised in South Philadelphia's Southwark neighborhood. It was the setting for the story of Rocky Balboa. The movie was fiction but the area was a very real place, and Early is one of its real-life over-comers.
If I’m being incredibly optimistic, I would say studios are opting for quality, not quantity, this summer. We shall see. Here’s what’s coming to theaters in July and August...
Make plans to attend the St. Louis International Children's Film Festival this summer. Two former St. Louisans are the featured guests: Brad Schiff (Coraline, The Boxtrolls) and Shawn Krause (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Up).
So, this was the scene: In the spring of 1986, Pattonville was hosting De Smet in the district final. De Smet led 2-1 in the sixth. There was a man on second and two outs. DeSmet elected to pitch to Scott Cooper, who had homered earlier in the game. Bad idea. Cooper hit the ball 400 feet on the track by the football field. Pattonville won 3-2.
The Kirkwood Farmer's Market Advisory Committee is putting on A Tasteful Evening at Kirkwood Farmer's Market on Friday, June 27, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The event will feature a variety of farm-to-table selections from local chefs like EDDIE NEILL, STEVE GONTRAM and more, utilizing ingredients from the best local purveyors. Tickets are $45 per person, with proceeds benefiting improvements to the market. Call 822-0084 or go to downtownkirkwood.com for more info.
You see their names and faces everywhere—on ‘SOLD’ signs in front yards, in the pages of Ladue News and maybe even around your neighborhood. But how much do you really know them? Here, some of the area’s top realtors share how they got into the business, advice for home buyers and sellers, and a tidbit or two about their favorite way to spend a weekend.