Meet Samuel Finley Breese Morse.

He was smiling at me from a black and white handout.  The paper was sitting on top of a counter, in an unattended corner.  It was the only piece of paper and it took me a while to find an attendant.  Eventually the information was mine.

The paper asked who he was.  Then listed a few persons he is not.  Now we know he is:

photo by Matthew Brady 1866 - public domainSamuel Finley Breese Morse

Samuel Finley Breese Morse was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts,  April 27th, 1791.  His parents gave him a good education.  Samuel preferred drawing to books.  He developed talent for portraits on ivory.  He continued his education, graduating Yale in 1810.  Samuel worked as a bookstore clerk and continued working on his art.

Art isn’t always the easiest path for financial security.  Making a living proved challenging but his skill was remarkable and there are a couple of his works in the Smithsonian.

In 1832 he met Charles Thomas Jackson, a doctor and inventor.  The two of them discussed the idea of electromagnetism.  Morse thought “if this be so, and the presence of electricity can be made visible in any desired part of the circuit, I see no reason why intelligence might not be instantaneously transmitted by electricity to any distance.”

Samuel Morse began the quirky quest of developing “electronic intelligence signaling.”

Which people considered a “silly invention.”

Morse had strong opinions about the world around him.  Plenty of folk, even today, refer to him as a ‘strange duck.’

Still, the kept working on this one idea.  He and Albert Vail worked together on this long distance communication until Mr. Vail needed to find secure employment.

May 24th, 1844

On May 24th, 1844 a message was sent from Baltimore to Washington DC, 40 miles, and changed the world forever.

Western Union, Associated Press, Railroads all adopted the telegraph.  Using a system of long and short sounds, the world was connected.

Mr. Morse died of pneumonia, April 2nd, 1872 in new York City.  He was 80 years old.

“The King Of Horror”

Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. – known as “The King of Horror”  was born May 27, 1911 in St. Louis, MO.

"King Of Horror"

Vincent Price in Laura trailer Created: 31 December 1943 – Public Domain

His performing career spanned across every imaginable genre.  He was at home of stage, screen, recording studio and radio.  Vincent price has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  One is for television and one for film.  He has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, too.

Plenty of Stars and Credits for Performance, but there was much more to The King of Horror.

Vincent was an art collector.  He purchased his first Rembrandt when he was twelve.  He saved his allowance for a year to own that first piece.  It was the beginning of a life long interest in art.  He opened a gallery in Beverly Hills, California in the 1940’s.  He became a well respected collector, and helped establish the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California.  The first teaching art collection owned by a community college in the United States.

Gourmet Cook

Vincent Price was recognized as a gourmet cook.  He hosted “Cooking Pricewise” – a cooking television program.  Once he demonstrated how to poach fish in a dish washer on late night TV with Johnny Carson.  He also authored several cookbooks, including, “Come Into the Kitchen” and “A Treasury of Great Recipes.”

Limitless List of Work

We may remember him best as “The King of Horror.” but his body of work includes every kind of quality performance.  He gave us comedy, bible stories, and even gave his voice to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

I remember him from “The Monster Mash.”

One Classy Gentleman.

A man who limits his interests limits his life.’ – Vincent Price.


Old Stone Church – Faith Des Peres

There’s a little rock church, once called “The Old Meeting House” by early settlers, was the original home of Faith Des Peres, a Presbyterian Church in Des Peres, Missouri.  Elijah P. Lovejoy was one of the early ministers here.  Rev. Dr. Anne Epling is their minister today.  I got to meet her leaving the Original Stone Faith Des Peres.  The congregation continues to hold services right here a couple of times a year – Memorial Day Sunday happened to be one of those days.  I met three people packing up to leave, all of them kind and delightful.  I’m tempted to visit their current, modern facility . . but, that’s another story.

Original stone church, built 1833In 1833, three families donated one acre each for the meeting house which was to include a cemetery.  Many of the grave markers for families that go back many generations and still live in the area.

Faith Des Peres CemeteryIt’s interesting to know the people donating this land were slave owners, because there are stories about “The Old Stone Meeting House” was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Faith Des Peres CemeteryThere is a sign on property sharing part of the story.  In 1983 one small marker was placed to memorialize those who worked for others and were never free.

slave burial marker, Old Stone Meeting House Cemeteryone stone for many lives

Faith Des PeresThe facility has been restored.  It hasn’t been an easy road over the years.  It wasn’t always top priority to maintain an old stone structure, but the building lasted long enough for the 1970’s enthusiasm of a new minister, Rev. Robert W. Tabscott.  Rev. Tabscott had a passion for historical preservation, diversity and a better quality of life.  He inspired many in the congregation to save the Original Old Stone Meeting House, and it seems that project, along with many others has remained part of the foundation of their church community.

air conditioning, electric lights, up to code and ready for the future.Air conditioning, electric lights, up to code and ready for the future., Faith Des Peres has offered all of us a hearty welcome and invitation to attend services, at the little stone church, or at their modern facility.  I have the feeling it’s a fine place to be.

The Original Stone Meeting House/Faith Des Peres Church is found @ 2250 North Geyer Road, 63131 – (Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, 1st Sundays of July and August – perhaps other fun events, like Easter Egg Hunts)


11155 Clayton Road 63131 (on “Normal Sundays”)

10:30 AM (but, you might want to check – 314-432-8029)

I suspect the music will be great.

St. Stanislaus

st louis moSt. Stanislaus Kostka Polish Catholic Parish has one of the richest, colorful and amazing stories.

When it comes to faith, freedom and community outreach, this parish certainly has my respect and gives me hope for a future.

In 1878 there was a large enough Polish presence for a church to be established in St. Louis City.  By 1880, construction had begun on St. Stanislaus and by 1882, staffed by Franciscan fathers, people were being welcomed to services.

Garden Welcome at St. StanislausParishioners embraced their community and, in 1891, formed a religious, charitable, not-for-profit corporation under Missouri state law called “Polish Roman Catholic St. Stanislaus Parish.”  Title to the property was signed over to the Parish Corporation by St. Louis Archbishop Kenrick and the parish has been self-sustaining ever since.  They have taken care of renovations after disasters, upgraded the property as needed, added land when possible, and built a beautiful Polish Heritage Center.

St. Stanislaus, St. Louis, MOThere was a time when churches were being closed, properties were being sold, people were expected to fit themselves into new configurations.  This was a time when St. Stanislaus seemed to catch hold of the spirit behind the story of their patron, St. Stanislaus Kostka, Patron Saint of Holy Disobedience, because, when they were requested to hand their parish to local church authorities, the Parish Corporation stood firm, they strongly preferred to continue worship, community service, celebration and cultural education where they were.

Everyone is WellcomeAt St. Stanislaus they say, “When guests arrive, God arrives!”  If you have a chance to visit, you will notice their lovely sanctuary, their welcoming smiles, their inclusive gathering . . . as if they actually read “The Book” and decided to “go for it.”  If you need someone to talk with, they are there, if you are sick, they will pray with you, they will come visit you if traveling to them is a hardship. They provide for others in the community, teaching, by example, everyone matters.

If you’d like to learn Polish, you’re invited.  You can visit from a distance by viewing Homilies on YouTube, you could attend events.  You might want to talk with someone with an open heart about your own faith walk, or find someone to stand with you through your journey, It’s possible  you have found your new safe place, maybe even your new spiritual home at St. Stanislaus.

“Where Doors And Minds Are Open”

Saint Stanislaus ParishSt. Stanislaus Kostka Polish Catholic Parish
1413 North 20th Street
Saint Louis, MO 63106


Subterranean Books

Subterranean Books, an independent, woman owned book store AND is my Tuesday Morning Hang Out.

Subterranean Books in the Delmar Loop

we don’t mind the temporary mess in the street – we are all excited about the New Trolley –

It is in the Delmar Loop area, one of the best walking-around-and-be-delighted neighborhoods you’ll find.

Super great people, BEST selection of books, independent book store - in the Loop

walking on Delmar, this is “The Place” to visit, Subterranean Books.

Absolute rockin’ best children’s section.
Children's Books at Subterranean Books

In the corner, by the stairs, you’ll find the absolute BEST books for children . . look to the left, Middle Readers and Young Adult books are waiting to be discovered . . this place ROCKS!

 We “test drive” Picture Books on Tuesday Mornings at 10:30 AM.  We have Story Time for tiny people and their guardians.

More Upstairs at Subterranean Books

You Always want to venture upstairs – art on the walls, special sections of books to discover, events to attend, including story time

We read three books from the shelves, sing songs, laugh, snort and enjoy silly fun together.

Tuesday Mornings 10:30 AM - Free!

Here’s our “story corner” – a quilt on the floor, happy people gather for a half hour of fun.

Look on the shelves just left of “Picture Books” to discover middle and young adult books

Through the window before Subterranean Books is Open

If you arrive early, you can look through the windows and dream about your next reading adventure.

They host countless events, you might make new friends, learn stuff, have fun,

AND, if you want, you can purchase a nifty t-shirt to wear, with graphics reminding you of a favorite read.

It’s the people that truly make it special.  I’m a little prejudiced, i suppose, BUT, “Book People” seem to have a lot to offer.  They tend to be open minded, well read, can “conversate” with ease on most subjects.

After Story Time, everything seems bright and happy

You MIGHT want to take time to learn about the people who work here – they are genuine, interesting and a JOY to be around.

I have been told people prefer Reviews from outside sources, so I’m going to include a few quotes for you here:

“Every time i come to this wonderful place I never fail to leave satisfied. They have a great selection of books, of every genre. The workers are so helpful and nice as well and always have great recommendations. Their prices are like every other book store, not lower or higher. Great location too!”  (7/28/2015 – a reader from St. Peters, MO)

Great book store on the Delmar loop!  
This is the type of book store I love, a nice eclectic selection, not huge, and a very nice staff member who would order anything you need that you could not find in the store!  Super clean, and very in order!
They even sell RAYGUN t-shirts as a Des Moines boy I dug that!  (from Des Moines, IA)

My husband and I wandered into this shop while we were in town for a wedding and I fell completely in love.  Very cute and very well curated. There were tons of books that I wanted to buy right then and there.  It was hard for both of us to leave.  Hope to get back someday. (from Silver Lake, CA)

Some may not realize, supporting independent stores, especially book stores, is one way to keep our culture vibrant.  Here is a story that makes me happy.

Did you know James Patterson also writes for kids?  Just sayin’.

6275 Delmar Blvd St. Louis, MO - Great Books

Subterranean Books, 6275 Delmar, University City, St. Louis, MO 63130

You’re Invited

Jazz Ensemble Market

Jazz Ensemble Market is an easy trip across the Mississippi River.

Jazz Ensemble Market & CafeRide any metro-link train headed across the river from Missouri to Illinois and get off at Emerson Park Station, which is the third stop.  The scenery becomes interesting along the way and, once you arrive, you’ll notice the clean station, with little shops and a walking bridge, in case you need to get to the other side of the highway.  BUT, You won’t need to go any distance at all for fresh coffee, friendly faces, local produce and the opportunity to support a  Dream Come True.


Your first glimpse happens as soon as you step off the train.  The market sits right on the corner.  A tiny stroll across the street and you are there.

Places to Gather with Friends

Places to gather with friends

Inside you’ll begin to sense how special the place is.  This is neighborhood planning that may set a standard for the future.  This is a non-profit place were people can gather, locals are employed, neighbor serves neighbor, the food is nutritious and locally grown.  There is a cozy cafe.  “Regulars” make themselves at home, grab their personal coffee cup from the shelf and share the news of the day, along with a joke or two.  There is a cozy fireplace, television, Wi-Fi, a great view and plenty of good choices on the menu.

Mixed Use BuildingThe market is part of a mutli-use facility, including two hundred senior living apartments and is working to develop a community garden.

Jazz Ensemble Market Neighborhood This is a place in East St. Louis, with a happy story and people feel safe.

I asked about the words, “Jazz Ensemble.”  The title was chosen because East St. Louis was known for terrific musicians.  No one asked me, but if I were an “up and coming musician,” or a teacher with a music program, or an established performer willing to give back to a community.  I’d begin booking events, right there, on the sidewalk, and invite the public to cheer and support Hopes for a Bright Future.

Multi-Use Facilityjust sayin’

Jazz Ensemble Market, 1001 North 13th Street, East Saint Louis, Illinois, 62205


Sidewalk Star

William Inge is one of our Sidewalk Stars.

We have a “Walk of Fame” on Delmar Blvd. in University City.  I think the number of stars is still growing.  140 seems to be the current agreed upon number.

The star that always captures my attention sits at 6624 Delmar.  This star is dedicated to William Inge.  (I wonder if he would prefer to be called “Mr. Inge?”)  William Inge must have been a personal favorite of my drama teacher because we studied his plays in depth and I won awards and scholarships doing scenes from “Come Back, Little Sheba” and “Bus Stop.”  It’s safe to say much of my higher education and career opportunities came from the work of Mr. William Inge.  So, of course, this star has meaning for me.

Sidewalk Star William IngeWilliam Inge was born in Independence, Kansas in 1913.  When he was old enough he joined a local Boy Scout Troop and together they were invited to great community events.  Fortunately for me, some of these events were theatrical.  “Memorial Hall” had a theater and the scouts were invited to sit in the balcony and watch the performances.  (It’s great to see Memorial Hall continues to serve the community.)

William Inge must have been a gifted student.  After graduating from University of Kansas, he was offered opportunities to continue his education.  Partway through his master’s program he left school to find himself.  He worked on a highway crew for a while and then began his own path.  He was a radio announcer, a high school teacher, went off to finish his Master’s Degree and in 1938 moved to Columbia, Missouri to teach at Stephens College.

In 1943 he moved to St. Louis, MO and became a drama and music critic at the St. Louis Star-Times.  I suppose that’s where he met and became friends with Tennessee Williams.  That friendship inspired Mr. Inge to begin working on his first play, “Farther Off From Heaven” which was produced in Dallas in 1947.   Inge taught at Washington University (1946 – 1949)  and went on to create his stellar body of work.

photo permission given (and gifted) by Lily Morgan, Director of Library Services, Independence Community College

photo permission given (and gifted) by Lily Morgan, Director of Library Services, Independence Community College

He turned a short story into “Come Back Little Sheba” and earned the title “Most Promising Playwright of the 1950’s Season.”  In 1953, his work “Picnic” opened in New York City and won several awards, including a Pulitzer Prize.

His original Screenplay, “Splendor in the Grass,” earned William Inge an Oscar in 1961.

He gave us and era of stories about life in small mid-western towns.

Yes, I’d say he deserves a Star . . and a lot of Thank You’s.

In learning more about Mr. Inge, I met some excellent people.

Speaking of “THANK YOU” – I am grateful for help from Patrick O’Leary at The Inge Center and Lily Morgan, Director of Library Services at Independence Community College, for their help, encouragement and permission to use the handsome photo of William Inge.

Independence Community College LibraryIndependence Community College Library