Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hello..Mr. President

-I told some of this story on the radio Sunday...but it bears another...and more detailed...visit here.

This kid...(well he's my kid)...now 24-year-old Stewart Calhoun continues to have amazing moments in his young life. Another came to him this past week when he got a call from a friend asking if he wanted tickets to see The President. Yeah, that President.

"Well, sure". Why wouldn't someone want to see the President of the United States in person. You'll remember Mr. Obama was visiting Los Angeles last Thursday to meet with The Governator, L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa, do a town hall meeting, and make an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Stewart's friend Paul had done some work for the Obama team during the election campaign and has some Democratic party ties. Paul told Stewart he had two second-row tickets for the town hall event.

So, off Stewart, and friend Dan, went to the meeting thinking they had reserved seats in the second row. When they showed up several minutes before the thing got started, they ran into an enormous line. This, after having to park many blocks away and practically run all the way just to get there in time. Thinking they had reserved seats, they sought out a security person at the entryway to the building and asked if they could just go in past the line of, what they thought were, hopefuls. The security guy says...something to the effect..."These people all have tickets and are hoping to get in just like you. They put out too many tickets for the building to hold everybody."

Unhappy at that news...the crafty Stew and Dan managed to (and he wasn't taught this by his dad) sneak into line at the first available spot. As the line continued to dwindle, it was made clear that not everybody was going to be allowed access due to the fire marshall's maximum. And, as it got closer to starting time, Stew and Dan were the last two people allowed in the building. All others were turned away. Whew!

There was no place to sit. Standing room only. So security people began telling those without seats to stand in certain places where they could get a peak at the stage. Just about the time Stew was settling into his standing place, Governor Schwarzenegger was finishing his introduction of The Prez. Young Calhoun found himself near the spot where Mr. Obama would enter the hall and climb the steps onto the stage. The President came out to the cheers and shreeks of those assembled, he began to shake a few hands. And, although we don't have a photo to prove it, the young fellow that we've been so proud of since drawing his first breath at St. Luke's hospital in Chesterfield in December of 1984, shook the hand of Barack Obama. What a moment for him!!...or anybody for that matter. What we do have on DVR is the town hall meeting...and Stewart in the background of a shot where someone near him was asking a question of the President during the Q&A. That's enough proof for ol' Dad of the hand-shaking claim. You're welcome to read some of Stewart's thoughts on the day at his blog.

Stewart's been in Hollywood now for almost two years trying to catch fire in the acting business, and has had many more of these Forest Gump-type moments in his life than a sensible person could reasonably expect. The frequent serendipitous happenings in his life make me believe that there is some sort of star guiding his steps...or other-worldly entity at his back. That's just one of the reasons his mother and I have always believed in him, his ability to perform, and have easily dealt with his choice to enter the iffy world of show business. Some people just seem to have "it" thrust upon them to accompany their talent. If you were around the young fella for a while...or heard some of the coincidence stories...you'd understand. Some things are meant to be.

Stardom, or not, it never hurts to have a Presidential hand shake in your memory bank.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spanning the Globe

-Update from Hollywood and our actor son. Stewart has been hired to the cast of The Eves. It's a horror flick that will shoot in southeast Texas in April and May. Release? It's a full-length feature that hopefully will be at a theater near you sometime within the next year. This will be one of those pics that has no real star. In fact, it's unlikely you will have heard of any of the lead actors. But the big thing for Stew is that it's a real, honest-to-badness slasher flick. Not that I advocate, or really enjoy, that sort of entertainment. But it definitely harbors the opportunity for upward career movement for our guy. And think of the others who've made it big in Hollywood after a start in horror films. I don't need to name them for my highly astute readers here do I? Nah!

I've gotten a sneak peak at the screenplay. And I will say this, that the writers and producers have a script to work with that has some meat to it. Many flicks of this genre feature a lot of skin...a lot of slash...(and there's some of that)...but little else. This one also gives the thinkers among us a little bit to work with. Of course, I won't spill the creative beans here, but there's a biblical backdrop...with something to say about the "super-zealots" of the population. Stewart will take on the role of Paul...who as much as a few others in the story...is a central character. Paul brings a sense of stability to the ensemble of characters. We're terribly excited for our guy once again. He keeps taking small steps up in his career each month. And that's saying a lot more than many Hollywood hopefuls can say.

Here's a link to the movie's website...still under construction. Cast photos. Writer/producer bios etc. And Stewart's updated site. Photo at right--> lovely Cathy Baron who plays the part of Nicky in the film.

By the way...Stew and his co-star Alex Schemmer recently received news they have won a Garland Award for their ensemble performance in last year's Thrill Me-The Leopold and Loeb Story. It played at Hudson Backstage Theater in North Hollywood about this time in '08. Unfortunately, the awards will be given out in late April when Stew will be on location with the movie project above. Here's a link to more on the Garland Awards.

-The Blues recently completed homestand puts them in pretty good shape to slide into one of the Western Conference playoff spots. Now, its a matter of doing what they can with 4 home games in their final 13. Not an easy schedule...but they've been good on the road since Christmas. What a job by the whole organization for them to be in this position. Exciting! Even more exciting is the thought of watching Oshie, Berglund and Perron skate for the next several years. One or two more like them and watch out!

-I've got a notion that the economy is starting to bottom out and will be heading back to respectability soon. No facts...just a feeling.

-So far so good with Chris Carpenter. If the guys arm stays in service...the Cards are once again favorites to battle it out for the Central division title.

-Well, I've got two brackets filled out. One is the reasonable one. The other is the hopeful one. I'm hopeful that Mizzou and the Illini will do some damage this year. Both have reasonable chances of making it to the Sweet 16. After that, who knows. The reasonable bracket though has Mizzou losing in the round of 16...and the Illini losing their second game to Gonzaga. Let's hope that hope wins out over reason.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


-Many thanks to all of you who have congratulated me on my 1000th game with the Blues. As I've often said, my association with the Blues organization has been a lucky break for me and something I'll always cherish. I hope I can hang in there for another few years.

-Also thanks to Jamie Ingle and the folks at the Belleville News-Democrat who included me in a story about people who use their voice to make a living. The story ran in the Sunday Magazine (3/8) and I thought it was very well done.

-Speaking of the Blues, it would be great to see the team make a strong run at a playoff spot in the next five weeks. The odds are stacked against them. But Andy Murray's team has shown that they don't much care about the odds so far this season. They've got a big mountain to climb...but that's what makes sports such an interesting part of life. Nothing is impossible until the numbers say so.

-Some things I will never get a grip on--
  • Why some people can't manage the energy to buckle a seat belt...or use a turn signal while driving.
  • Why a woman who has been beaten up by a man often gives the guy the chance to do it again.
  • Why an adult will shake...and often kill or maim...a helpless infant.
  • Why some people don't understand that you don't want to hear their cell phone conversations in a public place. And why they have to talk loud enough for the entire county to hear them.
  • Why when some people attain the title of supervisor...they somehow manage to lose the ability to be friendly.
  • Why things that taste really good are almost always really bad for you.

-I had an encounter with a young man at the hockey game Tuesday night that got me thinking a bit about what I do. In a good way. I was in the middle of making a few announcements between periods when I noticed this guy being shown into the penalty box to my left out of the corner of my eye. After I finished up, I turned to greet the fellow who had asked one of the ushers to meet me. I introduced myself and we shook hands and the guy said "So this is where you do it huh?". I said, "Yes. This is the place." He told me if he could get this close to the action all the time that he could enjoy hockey a lot more. I said I was sure a lot of people feel that way...when I noticed that he was using a white cane to get around. He told me that I was his connection to the game where he sat in the area set aside for physically challenged fans. He wanted my autograph on his ticket...which, of course, he would never see but I was happy to provide. It reminded me that there's a section of the population that can only enjoy sports through sound and feel...and that I always need to be mindful of that. Next time I'll try to be in less of a hurry to get back to my announcements so I can write down a person's name and phone number to make a follow-up call.

-Khalil Greene--early nominee for Comeback Player-of-the-Year.

-I would have enjoyed seeing Mike McKenna and Ben Bishop play goal for their respective teams in the Blues-Lightning game Friday night. It's amazing how far youth hockey has come in St. Louis...and how many St. Louis kids are now playing...or soon will be... in the NHL.

-Sad to see what's happening to some people and their jobs in the broadcast industry. I thought things couldn't get much worse when I stopped going to a radio station daily in 2004. But I was wrong.

-Good for Brian Williams...at least trying to do some good news in amongst all the gloom-and-doom economic stuff on his NBC Nightly News.