Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy today’s edition….
The Blues are again in the playoffs, and St. Louisans will be glued to their TV sets at home or at the many great bars and restaurants in the region (if they can’t score a ticket to the Enterprise Center). But one gathering place for some of the most rabid Blues fans in the Midwest is in … Kansas City.
The Blue Line Hockey Bar has been “Blues Central” for western Missouri fans of the 2019 Stanley Cup Champions for years. When the Blues take on the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow night for Game 1 of their series, it will be a familiar site in KC’s River Market district to see fans in St. Louis gear making their way toward the Blue Line at the corner of Walnut and Missouri.
In 2019, during the Stanley Cup Finals against Boston, patrons packed the tavern while crowds on Missouri street and along the sidewalks in front of the Blue Line watched several outdoor televisions that hang outside the bar. When the Blues clinched the championship, the cheers and celebrations could be heard blocks away. Later, KC’s City Hall was bathed in blue light to celebrate the victory.
Giving you a heads-up, so you can mark your calendar for next month: If you love the Lake of the Ozarks, unique sports events—and dogs—checkout the Canine Cannonball competition in Osage Beach next month. The family-friendly dog jumping contest, sanctioned by the international Dock Dogs organization, features athletic pooches competing in categories such as Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve. The annual event will be held at Dog Days Bar & Grill in Osage Beach from June 11-13. Here’s video from the 2019 competition from Lake TV:
This Tuesday is the birthday of Big Joe Turner born in Kansas City in 1911. His father was killed in a train accident when Joe was only four years old. Ten years later, Turner dropped out of school to work in the Prohibition-era Kansas City nightclubs, where organized crime allowed alcohol and jazz music to flow much more freely than most other American cities. He first worked in the clubs as a cook, and soon was making money as a bartender/singer. He was known as a “blues shouter”—someone who didn’t need a microphone to have his voice amplified.
In 1951, after a decade and a half of musical success mostly in New York City, legendary record producer Ahmet Ertegun and his brother Nesuhi signed Turner to their new label: Atlantic Records.
Three years later, he sang the original version of “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, written just for him. His version would later be ranked number 127 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jerome Solon Felder (known professionally as Doc Pomus) said of Turner, “"Rock and roll would have never happened without him."
“I think top to bottom, we have some threats and I think that’s our identity as an offense. We want everyone to contribute, and we need everyone to contribute, so no we're not just riding on one or two horses. We’re all going to be the horse.”
—St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong, on the Cardinals recent winning streak that has the team atop the National League Central Division
Source: Forbes Magazine
Max Allen’s Zoo signage next to Nickerson Farms complex
I personally feel the nostalgia with this week’s Time Machine, because Max Allen’s Zoological Gardens was just a few miles away from my aunt and uncle’s home in Eldon. Every time we’d visit Uncle Don and Aunt Janice with our parents, you could be sure that the three of us kids would whine if we didn’t stop, pay admission and view (or in the case of the Galapagos turtles, ride) the many reptiles and other exotic animals at Max’s. Looking back, I’m not sure that we ever visited but once, and I’m pretty sure all the adults took great pains thereafter not to drive by that roadside attraction when we were in the car.
Perhaps we’ll tell the full story of Max Allen’s zoo in a future edition. For now, I’ll tell you that Max Allen’s full name was Max Allen Nickerson, son of the founders of the zoo—who were also the founders of the Nickerson Farms roadside restaurant chain. Max Allen would grow up to be Dr. Max Allen Nickerson, a well-known herpetologist, professor, author and curator emeritus for the Florida Museum’s herpetology collection.
SHOW ME LINKS
Baseball great Satchel Paige welcomed legends such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and the Harlem Globetrotters to his Kansas City home. Now, what remains of the residence is in peril of being lost forever. The Washington Post has more:
If you get the chance, visit one of the Missouri Humanities Council’s traveling bicentennial exhibits on display throughout the state. If you can’t, then see the digital exhibit, “Struggle for Statehood”, here:
A wealthy Washington, Mo., native has returned to the Show Me State, buying up wineries, land and buildings in Missouri Wine Country. His vision is to create an internationally known, Napa Valley-style destination in and around Augusta.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the story:
PURE MISSOURI MOment
On an increasingly warm day in 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition continued its journey near this site on the Missouri River.
From the historical marker placed at the park:
On June 22, the expedition got under way on a swiftly running river that had come up four inches overnight. it was also starting to get hot. Once again the men had to resort to the towrope, and Pvt. Joseph Whitehouse, another expedition journal keeper, said, "it can hardly be imagined the fatigue that we underwent." After moving beyond the site of Napoleon in the afternoon, the expedition passed between large islands on either side.
TILL NEXT WEEK
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