Category Archives: ROB’S RAMBLINGS AND OBSERVATIONS

EULOGY TO A FALLEN KING OF BEASTS

Cecil

Cecil was a proud father and a just ruler who was respected by the pride of lions he led and the cubs he fathered. Until  he was murdered by human lowlife who paid $55,000 for the pleasure of killing a noble beast who never lifted a paw to injure or even chase a human. The human lowlife was a dentist and hopefully no one will ever trust him to work on their teeth again. Some would say calling him a lowlife is rather harsh … he was just a sportsman enjoying his sport. Sure, but why did he have his guides wound Cecil with a bow and arrow before he moved in to shoot the fatal gun shot. Probably, because he didn’t want to damage Cecil’s head and mane which he quickly cut off as his trophy of his supposed hunting skill. The murder of an innocent animal is not skill and deserves no trophy. Yes, I’m currently backing the animals on ZOO!

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WORDS FROM THE FRONT

Once upon a time, there was a quiet little town in north Saint Louis County. It had its start in 1855 which was several years after my great grandfather Franz immigrated to Saint Louis from the little village of Alsenborn in the Rhineland of Germany.

I doubt if Franz ever visited the town because the area was basically farm land, and Franz was not a farmer. (Actually, he was a first lieutenant in the Prussian Army. And since first lieutenants didn’t have much of the future in the Prussian Army at that time, he packed his bags and headed for the States.)

Anyway, some guy named William B. Ferguson … a big time farmer who owned a lot of property in the area realized that the area didn’t have a name. So he had a great idea to deed 10 acres of his land to the Wabash Railroad in exchange for a new depot there and the naming rights of said depot. So settlement that sprang up around the depot was called Ferguson Station. But it wasn’t until 1894 that Ferguson was actuallyincorporated as a city. Have no idea what happened to William B.

Franz never owned any land, but he became a brick maker. And the red bricks he made were used to build a pretty big red brick city. He also had a lot of kids … and grandkids and great grandkids … which is why I’m able to write this today. Unfortunately, Franz had a hard time with his name … all his fellow brick-makers kept calling him Frank. He would tell them that his name was Franz with a Z. So they switched to calling him Frank Widdazee.

There’s no real purpose for this post, just like there’s no real purpose for peaceful (?) protests every night that go into the wee hours of the morning. Of the 75 people arrested in last night’s protest, only FOUR lived in Ferguson. Most didn’t even live in the Saint Louis area.

ferguson2

Anyway, most of old Ferguson looks like a town from someplace in the past.ferguson

And the farm lands have been subdivided into thousands of crowded little houses.  Time has not treated the area well and the rioting and disruptions that are now in the tenth day aren’t helping it either. 

Personally, I’m tired of the wall to wall video coverage by news readers dropped on the street with video cams and cell phones. I have no qualifications for commenting on the situation, and neither do they. Also, justice is not an instant mix you can pick up on a grocery store shelf. (Well, one that hasn’t been looted or burned.)  Doesn’t anyone remember anything about peace and love?

But to be really honest …

This is the photo I really wanted to post for SUMMER LOVIN’ …DSC00252

But I figured too many people would find it obscene.  I don’t know why, it has been sitting in a sunny spot on the lawn of the Missouri Botanical Garden for as long as I can remember.

When in the course of human events …

1776_signing-Declaration-of-Independence  A message to our do-nothing congress of 2014. Take a clue from these guys. Sure, they bickered and argued … a lot … but where would we be today if they hadn’t agreed to finally do something on July 2, 1776? Here’s to Tom, Ben, John, Caesar, Button, Samuel and the 50 other guys who put their heads on the line.

July 4

VANISHING HISTORY IS EVERYBODY’S LOSS!

In 1840s immigrants from Germany began settling in the near north Saint Louis areas.  The neighborhoods where they settled became  known as Bremen and Baden from the areas where they had lived in Germany. Except for a few, most lived in rented row houses that filled the north of city. 

So the first buildings that these new arrivals constructed were Catholic Churches.  Holy Trinity was the first in 1849. It was followed by Saint Liborius in 1856. Seven years later Holy Cross Parish was founded to the northwest in the Baden neighborhood.  And in 1873, Perpetual Help was founded. And just one year later, Saint Augustine Church was founded. The pastor was the Rev. Henry Jaegering and the founders of the church included my great-grandfather Franz (Frank), my grandfather Adolph and his eight brothers and sisters. Actually, it took them about 24 years to complete building their church.st.-augustine-248x356

In 1897 this classic gothic church was built at the corner of Lismore and Hebert Streets. Soon, a large grade school was constructed across the street facing the church. Both my father and I attended and graduated from that school about 27 years apart.

DadsGrad

This was my dad’s class in 1937.Graduation1953

This is my class. We’re actually both standing in the same row, second from the top. 
(If you click on the photos to make them bigger, you might be able to pick us out.  Note, the priest in both photos is the same man. He was pastor until he died in the late sixties.)
This is what our church looks like today …

StAug

The Old Saint Augustine Catholic Church Today

 Back in the 1970s the church was closed, deconsecrated and sold by the Archdiocese of Saint Louis to a Baptist congregation. It was passed down to other non-denominational churches over the years. 

And in just about the same time that it took to build the church in the first photo, you see the church as it stands today.

 By comparing the two photos you can see where the church has been vandalized. The stained glass rose window has been partially destroyed and most of the windows have been boarded up. The school building actually caught fire and was demolished. Where it stood is now a vacant lot.

Why is today’s society so determined to destroy the culture our ancestors struggled so hard to build?

OK, FOLKS, IT’S TIME TO STOP HUMORING COLD WEATHER!

penguins

Also, I’m tired of dressing up like Ralphie’s little brother Randy everytime I want to go outside.

Randy

Also, I walked through Forest Park this Saturday Afternoon and all I saw was ice floes on all the streams!ICE FLOES IN THE PARK

It’s time to send all the groundhogs back to Canada with all the Biebers!

IT'S TOO DARN COLD

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report

Thanks to everyone who dropped in to see what the Smiling Bagel was up to during the past year. Mlle. Renee thanks you,too! We all know she is this blog’s main attraction.DSC08743

MY DAILY CALENDAR – DAY 352A – DECEMBER 18, 2013

ABOUT NAPKINS:  When I reread  my Wednesday post, I noticed that I sounded kind of snarky in my comments about my origami calendar repeatedly including napkin folding as an origami challenge. I realize that there are probably a multitude of individuals gainfully employed in folding napkins every day. It’s just that my family never used cloth napkins when I was growing up. Hey, my brother always used to wipe his spaghetti bowl on his head when he was little.  Also, I never ate a meal in a real restaurant until I was a senior in high school. And paper napkins were always available on our kitchen table at every meal. What really bothered me was the fact that I had blown off another challenge. So, instead of folding a napkin to look like a butterfly, I went back and folded the GOLDEN ANGEL I had originally planned to fold on Tuesday.

THE GOLDEN ANGEL

THE GOLDEN ANGEL

And it turned out even better than I had expected.

MY DAILY CALENDAR…DAY 279 – OCTOBER 6, 2013

MY DAILY CALENDAR FOR SUNDAY, DAY 279 OF 2013:  Well, I was away from the house both yesterday and today, and I’m still in the middle of sorting through all the pictures I took over the weekend. So tonight I decided to post a blast from the past … in case you’ve ever wondered what a Smiling Bagel is …OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Back when I was a spritely lad in my early 20s, i had just started my career in advertising. Dismiss all images of advertising you might have of MAD MEN! Yes, all people who work in advertising are mad, but television can not really the real story of how mad they really are.  Like the copywriter who set a large cardboard box on her desk that covered her and her typewriter so that no one could watch her work. Or the artist who called in every other day will a new and deadly disease she was sure she contracted from a rabbit that ran thought her yard. It only gets weirder from there.

Since this was my first job … ever … I might have asked a lot of questions and followed people around to learn all I could about the art of advertising. For some reason, I became the puppy dog to some of more senior staff members. One art director even drew a caricature of a sheep dog whose face bore a striking resemblance to mine.

A number of years later, I made an animated film called The Smiling Bagel That Devoured The Ad Agency  and used the face of that dog for the face of the villain bagel. And that was how THE SMILING BAGEL was born.

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

My dad’s grade school graduation picture …DadsGrad

Saint Augustine’s German Catholic Grade School – Class of 1927

Dad is in the fifth row, second in on the right. Historical note: His grandfather, father and aunts and uncles were all listed as founders of the Saint Augustine’s German Catholic Church in the 1890s.

FLASH AHEAD 26-years:Graduation1953

Saint Augustine’s Grade School – Class of 1953

Yes, I graduated from the same grade school … fourth row third in on the right. Now look closely at the priest in both pictures. That’s right, the pastor of the church was the same at both graduations. Then I went on to the same high school my father attended.