Friday, November 03, 2006


-I've been working with Kathleen DuMontier, the President of Main Street Community Theater, on their upcoming project. Dr. Charles DuMontier, Kathleen's husband, has written The Oregon Trail, a musical complete with 17 original songs, that will stage it's world premiere next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Lindenwood University Auditorium. My work has been nothing compared to all of the toil being put in by Kathleen, Charlie and some of the others involved in the production. But, I hope Belleville-area people who appreciate the fine arts will turn out to see this new show. We need to see more professional theater on this side of the river, and the great old auditorium building on the former Belleville West campus would be the perfect place to develop it. There are some talented people performing in the show. And it's not often that you get to see the world premiere of anything right here in our own back yard. You can order tickets for any of the three shows on line by clicking here.

-Congratulations to my friend Phil Warren...named today as the new field manager of the Gateway Grizzlies. Phil was a great player in the Frontier League and I'm sure will make a great manager. He's got a teriffic personality...and understands the game. Randy Martz, former manager of the River City Rascals, will be Phil's pitching coach. Sounds like a great decision by owner Rich Sauget and his GM Tony Funderburg.

-The Blues seem to be coming around a bit. Thursday night's 4-1 pasting of the Colorado Avalanche at Scottrade Center was about the most encouraging game for Blues fans in a long time. Hopefully a few more of those will get fans back in the seats. The crowds for the last four or five home game have not been good.

-How about this Kanye West guy? He wins an award at the MTV Europe awards show...but then gets pissed when he doesn't win another award that he expected...goes up on the stage and throws a hissy fit. A little success goes a long way with some people. Grow up or stay home buddy.

-I have to admit one of the things I do miss about not being involved in radio news anymore is covering elections. I can't stand TV and radio political ads. But, being on hand at a candidate's election headquarters on election night as the results come in is a pretty good buzz. I'll miss's almost as good as covering sports.

-I had an interesting encounter with a member of the reptile world today. After stopping by the house in Millstadt for a bite of lunch, I came out to the car parked in the garage to find about a 4-foot-long snake slithering under my car. The thing stopped right under the driver's-side door. So, I wasn't interested in getting too close. I went back into the house to get something to shoo it away with and came back out to the garage to find it was gone. "Oh good"...I thought..."he took off on his own". So, I drive into Belleville for a brief meeting with my friend Roger Wigginton at Don Rodgers Limited clothing on West Main. We have about a 15 minute meeting. Then I take off to drop something off several blocks down the street. Roger calls on my cell and says..."Hey, you need to get back here. Your snake (I had told him about my encounter) is by the front door of my business." Apparently the thing had crawled up into the engine compartment when I went back in the house and was in there the whole way into Belleville. I couldn't believe it. Well, Roger calls the police...who call the Humane Society...who send a couple of young ladies out. They caught the monster in a bag and said they would haul him out of town and drop him off in the woods. We think it was a rat snake. Not sure. But non-poisonous anyway. I'm not quite sure what I would have done if the thing would have found it's way into the passenger compartment of my car while I was driving. Wouldn't have been pretty though.

-Roger and I have been involved with a committee formed by Mayor Mark Eckert to better market Belleville as a great place to live, shop and work. There was a nice article about the committee's efforts in the Belleville News-Democrat today. We just had a billboard (pic) go up on I-64 near the JJK center in East St. Louis. You can read the N-D article here. I'll be helping to produce a TV spot featuring the Mayor that will run on Charter cable early in the holiday season to encourage people to shop in Belleville for the holidays. Make no mistake, the hard work of Mayor Eckert is creating a renaissance for Belleville. The city is very close to re-claiming it's one-time status as the best place to be in Illinois south of Chicago.

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