...maybe you've already heard, but a lot of people are saying "meet me in Saint Louis!"
Take the Urban League, for example. The organization held its annual conference here last week, bringing thousands to the area for seminars, entertainment, and a chance to hear from several of the 2008 presidential candidates. At the same time, I was sponsoring my own show-and-tell of the Gateway City.
A group of friends from my native Arkansas came to town over the weekend to hang a glass chandelier. One of them owns an art gallery and works with a glass blower whose work is so close to Chihuly's, they could easily have the same blood line, and only a D-N-A test could settle the dispute. The minute their travel plans were in place I had out my rolodex.
First, tickets to the Cardinals games since the owner of the art gallery dates a man who remembers when the Cardinals were the Browns! Scored some tickets but by game time, the owner of the tickets and I were in a game delay, and I am too proud to beg (that's another blog...and no, he is not a former baseball player). Fortunately, my friends know people in high places...and some low...they found their own. Did I mention one of them lives in Al Capone's old lake house in Hot Springs?
In fact, that's where all of us met...on the lake in about 80 feet of water. I think the first time I saw them I was in a t-shirt, flip-flops, and a life vest. Come to think of it, that's how I always look when we see each other. So, it was probably a stretch for them to believe I even had a job...especially a job where you must comb your hair and wear makeup.
I really wanted to put on the dog while they were in town...but here in Saint Louis, the fox is even better! Picture us in box seats at the Fox Theatre, applauding wildly for the actors in Lion King. Oh, and the food we consumed, from the ballpark to Niche and Franco in Soulard to the Chase Park Plaza in the Central West End back downtown to Mike Shannon's and my new place...where we ended the weekend with a few things from my oven.
Yes, the chandelier is shining brightly in its new home. My friends now know I do have a real job. And the only question is: when do we meet again in Saint Louis?