Page 1



Follow us on

of our readers purchased from our advertisers in the past 90 days.

For advertising



Our Town Volume 10 | Number 12 DECEMBER 2019 Published by the Community News, Our Town is a monthly news magazine covering the cities of Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, and Olivette. Circulation is 7,000 monthly through over 105 monitored newsstands guaranteeing 100% pickup. Additional issues are distributed online, and a free online subscription is available at www.mycnews. com


Around Town MDC celebrates 50 years of urban fishing by stocking 10lb rainbow trout in select St. Louis lakes and more.

Feature PUBLISHER/EDITOR IN CHIEF Mathew DeKinder PUBLISHER EMERITUS/ GENERAL MANAGER Bob Huneke PRODUCTION Becky Brockmann Melissa Nordmann CONTRIBUTORS Avalanche, David Finkelstein, Cindy Moore

A cornucopia of holiday fun Holiday events for the whole family take place across the St. Louis region through the month of December. By Charlotte Beard

Our Thoughts Moore on Life author Cindy Moore examines the woe of Christmas newsletters while Avalanche continues his week-long hike into the backcountry.

Lifestyle STAFF WRITERS Brett Auten Charlotte Beard

For advertising information, please contact us at: or

Community News 2139 Bryan Valley Commercial Dr. O’Fallon, MO 63366 Ph: 636.379.1775 Fx: 636.379.1632

The 2019 Ford Edge comes loaded with standard features in Automobile Alley. The DC Extended Universe will try to take on Marvel in 2020 in Entertainment. Pop up holiday traditions new and old in For the Love of Food.

In Depth St. Louis MetroMarket’s market on wheels brings fresh foods to food deserts and other underserved areas in North St. Louis County

Events Calendar

Copyright 2019 Huneke Publications, Inc. No part of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher.

Staff Writer – Charlotte Beard Cover Photo – Submitted


10 12 14 18 20


Fish in the city MDC celebrates 50 years of urban fishing by stocking 10lb rainbow trout in select St. Louis lakes

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its Urban Fishing Program (UFP) this year. Since 1969, the UFP has grown from a limited experiment to an expanded and robust program providing close-to-home fishing for St. Louis area citizens. These opportunities include pursuing rainbow trout during the winter in select UFP lakes. In that same theme of making things bigger, MDC will stock an increased number of extra-large lunker rainbow trout this season at its UFP lakes in honor of the 50th anniversary. Some of these giants could tip the scales at 10lbs. “St. Louis-area trout anglers might need to buy some heavier tackle,” said Fisheries Management Biologist Kevin Meneau. In addition to the normal eight stockings this season, including the lunker rainbow trout, MDC will also add an additional ninth stocking of brown trout in St. Louis UFP lakes, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration. This will give trout anglers yet another unique fishing opportunity. Winter trout stocking for MDC’s St. Louis Urban Fishing Program started the week of Nov. 4 this year. That’s good news for trout chasers who now need travel only minutes to pursue their passion rather than hours. “The whole goal of the program is to bring fish to the people, so they don’t have to drive to an Ozark trout stream or trout park,” said Meneau. MDC will stock the following St. Louis UFP lakes with special lunker rainbows and brown trout this season: • Carondelet Park Boathouse Lake in St. Louis • January-Wabash Lake in Ferguson • Jefferson Lake in Forest Park • O’Fallon Park Lake in St. Louis • Suson Park lakes 1, 2, and 3 in St. Louis County • Tilles Park Lake in St. Louis County • Vlasis Park Lake in Ballwin Additional St. Louis Area lakes that will continue to receive normal rainbow stockings this year include: • Koeneman Park Lake in Jennings • Walker Lake in Kirkwood • Wild Acres Park Lake in Overland • August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area lakes 3, 21, 22, 23 and 28 From November through February, MDC stocks rainbow trout in 12 St. Louis City and County lakes, as well as in five lakes at the MDC August A. Busch Conservation Area on Route D in St. Charles. The rainbows bound for the St. Louis area are spawned and raised at MDC’s Montauk Hatchery, southeast of Licking. “We’ll stock nearly 40,000 fish this year,” Meneau said. This season especially, anglers had better bring some larger nets. While the average size of the fish is about 11 inches, Meneau said ‘FISH’ CONTINUED ON PAGE 5


AroundTown FISH FROM PAGE 4 that this year MDC will also be stocking some extra-large whoppers as well. “Some fish will weigh up to 10lbs,” said Meneau. “There’ll be some real tackle testers.” Between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, some lakes are catch-and-release only, and some are catch-and-keep. After Feb. 1, trout may be harvested from all lakes. Anglers should consult the St. Louis Area Winter Trout Program brochure for details, possession limits and bait restrictions, which is available at MDC offices or at https://short.mdc., or check regulations posted at the lakes. All trout anglers between age 16 and 64 must have a valid Missouri fishing permit to participate. Anglers wishing to catch and keep trout must also possess a trout permit. MDC provides a chance for anglers to keep on top of trout stocking efforts in the St. Louis area. “The fish stocking hotline has become very popular,” Meneau said, “and we update it right after we finish stocking for the day. It’s toll free from anywhere in the St. Louis area. There’s a recorded message that tells when we stocked, where we stocked, and what fish we stocked.”

COLLIER’S F H

A full service funeral home offering: • Traditional & Nontraditional Services • Cremation Services • Memorial Services • Anatomical Donations  G • Prearranged Funeral Plans  N L B S. A, M 

MDC celebrates the 50th Anniversary of its Urban Fishing Program this year by stocking 10lb lunker rainbow trout in select UFP lakes. The lakes will also have a stocking of

Anglers should call the hotline at 636300-9651 to get the latest information. “These close-to-home opportunities make it easy for a quick trout fishing excursion after work, or during an activity-packed weekend. It also makes trout fishing much friendlier on the fuel budget,” said Meneau. Plus, this season, those lurking lunkers provide even more incentive. For information about fishing, go online at

Trees shine bright Ameren Missouri aids children with visual impairments as sponsor of Christmas tree lot Delta Gamma Center was awarded a $2,500 grant by Ameren Missouri, Platinum Sponsor of the 68th annual Shining Light Tree Lot. This is the third consecutive year Ameren Missouri has sponsored this major fundraising event for Delta Gamma Center. In addition to Ameren Missouri’s sponsorship, proceeds from the sale of fresh Christmas trees, wreaths, roping and holiday décor will fund specialized services provided by Delta Gamma Center to over 300 local children who are blind or visually impaired and their families. In addition to providing home-based educational and therapeutic services to children from birth to three years, Delta Gamma Center provides free vision screenings conducted at area daycare centers and preschools for children ages six months

to six years. The organization also offers a wide array of resources and activities to help school age children who are visually impaired develop independence and social skills through its Group Recreation and Developmental Support (GRADS) program. A major fundraiser for Delta Gamma Center, the Shining Light Tree Lot is located at 1341 Rock Hill Road in Ladue in front of McCarthy Building Companies near Tilles Park. The tree lot season runs through Dec. 22. Volunteer opportunities are available for corporate groups and individuals 18 and older. For more information, contact Ebony Sherod, Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator at 314-776-1300, ext. 108 or email



Flying high Four of Circus Harmony’s flying children land at Cirque du Soleil

Four of Circus Harmony’s former students have landed at Cirque du Soleil

“Circus didn’t change my life. It saved my life,” says Melvin Diggs, a St. Louis native who is currently touring the world with Cirque du Soleil. Melvin and three other young urban St. Louisans are all alumni of St. Louis’ only social circus school, Circus Harmony. In addition to Melvin, three other Circus Harmony students are touring with the renowned Cirque du Soleil. “It’s just amazing. I’m so thrilled and excited for them,’ said Jessica Hentoff, the Artistic/Executive director of Circus Harmony. “Circus Harmony is a very small school but we have had a rather significant impact on the social circus and now the professional circus world!” Social circus is an intervention tool used to work with youth at risk. For Circus Harmony it means they use the teaching and performing of circus arts to motivate social change by building character in individuals and building bridges between communities. Their performance troupe, the St. Louis Arches, was founded in 1989. Over the years, the students have become so adept at advanced circus arts that Circus Harmony is now also known as one of the leading pre-professional circus schools in America. Three young men, Melvin Diggs, Sidney ‘Iking’ Bateman, and Terrance ‘T-Roc’ Robinson are all touring with Cirque du Soleil’s 6 | OUR TOWN | DECEMBER 2019

AroundTown show, “Luzia.” Currently in Vancouver, they next go to London and Moscow. Chauncey Kroner is in Montreal rehearsing for Cirque du Soleil’s new holiday show, “‘Twas the Night Before” which opens in Chicago and then in New York City. From their St. Louis City neighborhoods to these international destinations is quite a journey. Their journey started at Circus Harmony. They all came to the circus from different paths. Melvin started with an internship from a local Boys and Girls Club where he worked in the snack bar next to the circus ring. Melvin quickly decided that he would rather be flipping in the ring than making popcorn outside the ring. Sidney was assigned a mentor at his middle school who found out he liked to tumble and brought him to see a show. When Iking saw the mats he couldn’t resist trying them. Terrance was actually found tumbling down the street by Circus Harmony director, Jessica Hentoff, when she chose to drive a different way to work one day. And Chauncey was a boy who liked to jump on of backyard trampoline and when he needed a place to be during the summer, a neighbor suggested the circus. All four boys found a home and a sense of family at Circus Harmony. They found a place where they could be successful which they had not found anywhere else. Iking says, “It was a place where I could be free and be myself without any judging. I loved the feeling it gave me to perform. I loved the security and safety it gave that I didn’t have at home or in my neighborhood.” Sidney, Melvin, and Terrance have already toured the word with other circus companies. Chauncey is just starting his professional circus career but has already performed twice at the Kennedy Center - once with Circus Harmony and once as a special guest with South Africa’s Zip Zap Circus. He also performed for President Obama at the White House. Whenever they come home, they come to Circus Harmony and help the next generation. They help teach tricks, choreograph acts, and just serve as positive role models for the current generation of flying children. In Sidney’s words, “This great life, these great life lessons that I’ve learned implement into my life now. They are a big reason why I’m considered so successful in my field. I give my time to Circus Harmony. I come back and work with the kids. I do what I can so that the youth can follow in my footsteps if they want to. It would be wrong if I didn’t do anything at all.”

RV owners and dreamers: some 20/20 insights By Russ Patton, owner of Byerly RV


RV owners, don’t forget to winterize. Dreamers, new adventures await. Winer is a great time to do research. However, eventually a purchase is still a person-to-person transaction. Products and purveyors are different. Reputation, experience and community relations are important to consider. Byerly RV celebrates over 70 years in business in 2020. We have seen several generations begin and finish their RV adventures at Byerly. As for me, I’m almost out of here myself. My son, Warren, and his exceptional “family” of 65 employees will carry on the tradition, just about the time I learn how to spell millennial. I see a similarity in the cycle and try to explain to Warren the familiar low price/ high cost trap that awaits many firsttime buyers. Most people won’t buy the cheapest car, TV, clothes or other gadgets, but may still shop price for an RV because they don’t know what else to compare. The popularity of RVs has attracted sharks into bass country. Price is the bait, but after you are hooked and add up the total, sometimes hidden, costs the lesson is learned the hard way. The only remedy is to slow down and shop carefully. Use the internet; Google ratings, YouTube or Facebook postings. Best advice – visit a few dealers. Most of the local, family-owned RV dealers

prosper because they want your repeat business. Signs you are entering a shark tank: they want your drivers license and ask you to fill out a credit app so they can determine which vehicles you “qualify” to look at. Access to vehicles is restricted and you feel handcuffed to a sales rep whose primary goal is to turn you over to the closer. When you leave, you may not get a complete disclosure of all you will be expected to pay at closing. They don’t want you to shop and may even push you to take immediate delivery, either physically or on paper. No time to think! The price seems good, but you may find a lot of add-ons which, if needed or wanted, could usually be bought for less at another dealer. The difference between the perceived great price and the bottom-line cost can be huge. The real eye-opener is when you want to trade in the entry level model and find out what the bank says it’s really worth. St. Louis is fortunate to have many local, reputable, family owned dealers. Shop locally at members of the MidWest Gateway RVDA and, of course Byerly RV, the state’s largest independent RV Dealer. Facebook. And, of course, visit us in Eureka, Missouri, just 15 minutes west of I-270 on Interstate I-44. Worth the


Byerly RV | 295 East Fifth St. | Eureka, MO 63025 800-878-3325 | 636-938-2000 | www.byerlyrv. com



Bowling for vets

When Drew Hodge, a Marine Corps Veteran from Fayetteville, Arkansas was involved in a terrible accident, his spine was severed. He still remembers when he transferred to the St Louis VA Medical Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit for recovery and rehabilitation. At that time, he thought his life was over. “I believed I could never again do the things I loved to do,” he said. When the recreation therapists at the VA’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit told him they were going to teach him how to bowl…he thought they were crazy. “Couldn’t they see that I was sitting in a wheel chair?” he said. But in fact, using “adaptive” equipment, these therapists can teach paraplegics and quadriplegics to bowl. And, they do it every week throughout the year. For those patients who have who have suffered a catastrophic injury or illness (e.g. spinal cord injury, massive stroke, mass amputation, MS, etc.), “adaptive” bowling is their first step in a return to an active lifestyle. Once these veterans learn to bowl and have the confidence to enjoy the sport and competition, then the therapists introduce them to other “adaptive” sports: swimming, kayaking, SCUBA, wheelchair basketball, hand cycling, trap shooting, and now, golf. The objective is to return veterans to a lifestyle where they can still enjoy sports and an active lifestyle…they just have to do it a different way. But, it all begins with bowling. That’s why it’s called the “gateway sport.” At the St. Louis VA’s Jefferson Barracks medical campus, dedicated volunteers and therapists operate a six-lane bowling alley. It is available to all out-patients and in-patients at no cost. It is open five days each week. When you see this bowling alley, the first thing you notice is….it’s old. In fact, it’s been in continuous operation for the past 65 years (since 1953). Automatic pin setters were added in early 1970. Volunteers keep score on paper sheets for the veterans who need it. The VA is in the process of constructing a huge, new Veterans Rehabilitation Building (VRB) nearby on their St. Louis Jefferson Barracks campus. It should be completed in late 2020 and will offer all of the rehabilitation sports available in the VA. This new building will have a 3,000 SF “shell” reserved for a new,

We take care of your mind. Individual Counseling Family Counseling • Suicide Prevention Programming • Afterschool Services Changing lives and saving lives since 1860 •



Bowling: the ‘gateway sport’ for disabled veterans

A past PBA bowling tournament for wheelchair-bound veterans.

four-lane bowling alley. But, there is no money in the VA budget to build out this space and then purchase new equipment. An “all-volunteer” Bowling for Veterans Health (BVH) Committee has been formed to raise money for the new bowling alley. Many individuals and groups have supported this project. But, the BVH Committee still needs to raise additional money for design, construction and equipment purchases. In fact, few other donations will help so many thousands of veterans for so many decades. If you are interested in helping with this project, please contact Jim Donahoe (Email: donahoejb@hotmail. com, and phone number: 314-973-0012). The BVH Committee has partnered with Heroes Care, a military /veterans charity, to make monetary donations tax deductible. But, all donations will go directly to the bowling project.


Patriotic skies

Looking around the USO of Missouri’s James S. McDonnell facility in St. Louis Lambert International Airport, a civilian might see an unremarkable room full of standard dining tables, uniform chairs and a clean food court lit by the glow of stark fluorescent light. A soldier sees more than that: warm and friendly faces, an opportunity to rest, a space that’s outfitted with the comforts most take for granted (plentiful snacks, WIFI, and a comfortable recliner, to name a few.) Just as our nation’s troops never take a day off, neither does the USO of Missouri, Inc. More than 800 volunteers work tirelessly to share the simple comforts of home including hot meals, conversation, and some refuge from the hustle and bustle of airport traffic. They also staff a USO club at Fort Leonard Wood near Waynesville, Missouri and two mobile units. Many of the USO of Missouri Inc.’s volunteers are retired veterans or family members of veterans, who’ve experienced the hospitality of the USO’s services first-hand. Ready to return the favor, volunteers like United States Air Force Veteran Stephen Ducar, wake up early for shifts or stay up late welcoming soldiers headed home from across the world - a real-time reminder of their time in service.

Ducar has volunteered with the USO of Missouri for over seventeen years. Now with a son in the Marines, he feels a stronger connection to our troops. “I enjoy volunteering and meeting with other service men and chatting about old times,” says Ducar, fondly reflecting on his time as a volunteer. Using two mobile units, volunteers travel across the state and into Illinois to feed, entertain, and assist partnering organizations during events held at posts and bases. Whether celebrating accomplishments or paying heartfelt tribute at the more somber ceremonies, volunteers offer genuine support for our soldiers in the times they need it most. All services provided by the USO of Missouri, Inc. are free. As a private, nonprofit 501c3, the organization is financially dependent on the generous contributions of private and corporate donors. The charity uses its resources to create special memories for active, reserve, and National Guard military members and their families yearround. Volunteers rally to organize annual outings like the USO Day at the Zoo, Thanksgiving Basket Packing & Delivery, and Santa’s Express Train at Busch Stadium, often leaving these events with full hearts and


USO gives soldiers a respite at St. Louis Lambert International Airport

United States Air Force Veteran Stephen Ducar (right) volunteers at the USO of Missouri’s James S. McDonnell facility in St. Louis Lambert International Airport

special memories of their own. With everyday acts like plating up fresh nachos, or those demanding careful preparation, like hosting a winter wonderland at Busch Stadium, volunteers at the USO of Missouri, Inc. wholeheartedly serve our communities and keep our soldiers connected to family, home, and country throughout their service to the nation.

Reaching out

St. Louis nonprofit empowers youth to succeed BY KRISTEN DRAGOTTO This past September, the Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation celebrated their seven-year anniversary and had much to commemorate. The Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation is a St. Louis nonprofit that provides support and guidance to youths between the ages of 12 and 19, focusing primarily on the development of fundamental life skills that in turn promotes their success and ability to be a positive influence in their community. “What we found in a lot of the neighborhoods we were affiliated with and the teens that we knew between the age group that we focus on, was that they were making poor decisions. We really wanted to find a way to give back to them and help them make those decisions in the critical stages of their life,” stated Tadessa Murray, vice president of the foundation. Murray further explained that she, along with her brothers, each followed different avenues that allowed them to tackle such a task.

They realized what could be realistically changed - behavior. It was then decided that the organization would focus on helping youths with their decision making. After that conversation they began working to make that dream a reality. They started the organization and watched as it began to grow. It was after that they brought in outside resources to form an executive board, and in 2012 they became a 501c3. The organization was originally named Youth Empowered to Succeed but was later renamed The Dewight E. Patton Jr. Foundation after their late brother and founding member, who passed away that same year. In 2015 they launched their first off site program. Now, in 2019, they have helped around 300 at risk youths in the St. Louis area this year alone. They work with eight local agencies where they offer eight-week structured programs that help at risk youths by: minimizing their stress and anxiety, building resiliency, and improving their academic performance and decision making. For more information on this non-profit, visit: or call 314-736-5458.


A cornucopia of holiday fun

Holiday events for the whole family take place across the St. Louis region through the month of December BY CHARLOTTE BEARD

If you have been confused on when some winter holidays begin and end or have been interested in exploring the festivities of a holiday outside your tradition, the information below provides some ideas to explore for the holiday season. While some events are free other events require a fee to participate (be sure to follow up). St. Louis has something for everyone this holiday season. Explore or stick with your tradition of celebrating Christmas, Chanukah/Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Hanukkah (Hebrew for “dedication”) begins in the evening of Dec. 22 and ends Dec. 30

Hanukkah Inspired Dinner – Cooking Class by Cozymeal sessions will take place on Dec. 12, 18 and 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. The host will provide the location of the session to those who book this event on Eventbrite. Chef Marcia will provide a three-hour culinary session that includes a threecourse meal.


The Jewish Federation of St. Louis will host its 2019 Pack a Bag of Love for Hanukkah benefiting the Jewish Family & Children’s Service Chaplaincy Program and Meals on Wheels; Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 10:30 a.m. Families are welcome to participate in this event. Those who participate on Thursday will enjoy craft projects and prepare gifts for the care packages. Friday’s participants will help assemble and pack the care packages. Both sessions will include drinks and snacks (observing dietary laws). Online registration closes at midnight on Dec. 10. Contact Jessica Wax at or 314-4423805 for location and other questions. The Missouri Botanical Garden will host its Chanukah Festival of Lights Dec. 22 from 12 – 4 p.m. on its grounds at 4344 Shaw Blvd. The celebration will begin with the symbolic lighting of the menorah, followed by Jewish/Israeli music and dancing. Chanukah merchandise will be available for purchase from local vendors and the Garden Gate Shop. Admission is included with a Garden ticket.

Kwanzaa (Swahili for “first fruits”) is celebrated Dec. 26 – Jan. 1 each year Better Family Life will host its Kwanzaa Holiday Expo on Dec. 14 and Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The expo will take place at the Better Family Life Cultural, Educational & Business Center located at 5415 Page Boulevard in St. Louis. The event will focus on the fourth principle of KWANZAA – UJAMAA (Cooperative Economics). Attendees can expect the atmosphere to resemble an African marketplace with various performances, workshops, speakers, film screenings, and educational activities. Visit Eventbrite for more information. The Missouri Botanical Garden will host its Kwanzaa: Festival of the First Fruits on its grounds at 4344 Shaw Blvd on Dec. 30, 12 – 4 p.m. Crafts and jewelry will be available for purchase from Ajanaku Jewelry, Mama Katambwa’s Boutique, and Renata’s African Influences. Festive stamps will be available for purchase from the U.S. Postal Service. A Kwanzaa ceremony will take place 1-2:15 p.m. Admission is included with a garden ticket.

Christmas Season

Let your little ones enjoy breakfast with Santa. Twin Rivers Church located at 10575 Tesson Ferry Rd, will host its Special Needs Breakfast with Santa Dec. 6, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. This event is only open to families with children who have special needs. However, at 6:30 p.m. they will host a second Breakfast with Santa event open to those without special needs. Children will also have another opportunity to attend a breakfast on Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. All three free events will include a free professional photo with Santa, breakfast, face painting, games and additional unannounced plans. Visit for more information. Start your holiday season learning how to make gifts. Rockler Woodworking and Hardware located at 11977 Saint Charles Rock Rd, Suite 110A will provide its Handmade Holiday Gifts Turned Handles Make and Take sessions on Dec. 7 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. and 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Participants will learn woodturning basics as they craft a handle for a bottle opener, ice cream scoop, or pizza cutter. Participants

can choose one of these projects for which they will be taught the skills to handcraft a gift to take home for a friend or to keep. Visit for more information.

The Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex located at 17925 North Outer 40 Road in Chesterfield will host a Candy Cane Hunt Dec. 7, 10:30 - 11:30am. In the case of rain, the event will be rescheduled for Dec. 14. This event is for ages 2-12 and $12 registration ends Dec. 6. The hunt will end when all the candy canes are found. Each age group will have designated areas for hunting. Hot cocoa will be provided during the hunt. Visit for more information. Green Trails Church located on 14237 Ladue Road in Chesterfield will host the Beatles music-inspired Let It Be Christmas tour for three performances – Dec. 13 and 14 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. The music will tell the Christmas story entirely through Beatles classics. Tickets are $15 for ages 12 and up and $10 for attendees under 12. Visit for more information.

Cookies with Mrs. Claus will take place at Kohler Signature Store by Crescent Supply located at 9929 Clayton Road on December 7, 12:00pm – 4:30pm. This event is family and pet friendly. There will be cookie decorating, crafts, and other activities. Attendees can take pictures of their little ones with Mrs. Claus and her elves. The location is also a Toys for Tots drop off location; Kohler welcomes the donation of toys. Visit Eventbrite for more information. Central Baptist Church located at 2842 Washington Avenue will host its Christmas Concert with special guest Israel Houghton Dec. 13, 7 – 10 p.m. Reserved seating is available for $35 VIP seating; general admission is $25. Visit Eventbrite. com for more information. The United States Air Force Band of MidAmerica will present its Holiday Traditions music in concert Dec. 15, 3 – 5:30 p.m. The free event will take place at Scottish Rite Cathedral located at 3633 Lindell Blvd. The concert will feature holiday instrumental and vocal music. Visit for more information.



s n i a p s a m Christ

d to matter. p things starte nu ow gr n he speak comThat’s w into grandmanewsleted as nc tm va is ad hr it C ays with From there hat is it nowad s sprinkled in. filled with the be to ntrol and em se ete with politic l pl al ey g in are out of co Th ag ? es rs ic of te pr ts s en ga lm ai se Why, do test Me: “The matter – the la . are in on it. .C D in ns ia same subject ic polit ventor of the youth those isoning the in of pr im ys e da ’r ey ee relatives. fr th know of the White ck on the care as how you the basement cs in pi to ne Ahh, think ba gi ch en su un og focused on ives water-r when the dial tting black ol ge t ?” dma-speak: se ou ou ith w H zza ll-blown gran t awefu os m to e e th m ng best to eat pi co si s us Now it’ ins over lunch. braces or disc . t aches and pa to your fingers lodged in your ou ed ab lu g rg salad, even tin pe at su ch u ever “I’ll have a adually gr e: ic n rn tio Be sa some thing yo er nd s, tomatoes My frie on, the conv n gives me ga ee gr r. te From there ng at hi m yt t ec gh an ake me burp.” d people subj y mom thou and onions m M d s. ee bl ga s of m evolved into ol e gu ic a’am?” make my d with the pr of dressing, m nd ki t ha I recall it starte it. t “W ou s: er it and serve Waitres ly complain ab pto-Bismal ov from 25 Pe e ne m go so would constant s ur ha u’re still in “Just po r, the price fen. Be glad yo eryone ro Ev ! up cy Ib ra “Sweet mothe of pi ns de si a to 27! It’s a co ater it with to me. cents a gallon that runs on w e alth,” she said an injury er he th t od ou go r ca va sically sustain s go e’ e ba th er n th by ca I ed , on no knows is h pr is acting up; Me: “O or has been im . My scapula ng lo o to and the invent ng tti s been trauby si my coccyx ha to her. I just n; n ow io bl nt te is at ernment.” s h cu is ck something men ver paid muc nd down to pi hite Out my be W n ith ca w Silly Mom, I ne I g d tin an sition for the matized sues experimen stay in that po ncealer. to co t nd zi te le had my own is in ib I ss if d work as a po t my up only my life.” to see if it coul thood and go ul ad ed because I now ch remainder of oa pr ap I n All is not lost he e. m But w ty pi t n’ my Christmas But do hing changed. ect matter for and used bj up su r te of own car everyt ea ty sen pl filled this ga Tacos have “What?! I just ng at Macho ki ter. or et w sl w om ne fr ck half my payche pty?” and now it’s em




Cindy Moore is the mother of three superlative kids, servant of two self-indulgent felines and wife to one nifty husband. Her ficticious occupation? Archeological Humorist: someone who unearths absurdity and hilarity in strange and unusual places including public restrooms, the lint filter, and church meetings. Most recently, she excavated a find in her neighbor’s bird feeder.


HIGH Way up in CAMP

The first night of my week-long hiking trip made me appreciate bringing a few extra pounds of insulation, as temperatures dropped to 15 degrees. That chill in the air resulted in even more campers and hikers leaving the mountains earlier than they had planned, which made solitude much easier to find. The hikers remaining in the range were a bit more hard-core than the fairweather crowd, and I found myself more at ease with these fewer, more determined mountain travelers. After breaking the first night’s camp and making my way further into the range, I noted a few runners making their way in and out of the mountains. While I admired (and was a bit jealous of) their ability to cover 40 or more miles of rugged terrain in a day, I couldn’t help but question the wisdom of their methods. I couldn’t be too judgmental, as I was hiking and climbing alone, for over a week. Everyone has to choose their own way. I hiked for just a few miles to my next camp, though the trip involved numerous up-and-down sections of trail, making the short mileage seem much longer than it really was. I headed to a side basin off the beaten path, knowing that few people venture into this area, with no fish present in the lakes, and a mostly dead-end trail, unless the traveler was prepared for glacier travel. I didn’t have to work to find a private campsite; I had the basin to myself. This night was not quite as cold, and I was easily transitioning into the long-forgotten, but

quickly-remembered simple, yet demanding routine of backcountry living: up early in the morning, immediately brewing up hot drinks and cooking a simple breakfast while breaking down camp, then eating, cleaning up, and moving before the sun came up over the mountains surrounding the basin. The day’s trip was along the main trail up to my high camp, which was to be my base of operations for the next few days. I saw a number of people during the first mile along the main trail; they were all day-hikers, who had camped a short distance down the valley and were visiting the harsh, high-altitude landscape for just a few hours. I continued lugging my pack higher and higher, with fewer human sightings as the terrain became more rugged. Closer to my destination, the scenery was stunning in all directions. Two large lakes in the bottom of the basin were surrounded by sheer mountain walls on three sides, with glaciers adorning the higher peaks. Much of the rock on the valley floor was polished smooth by glaciers which had melted only recently in geological time. In fact, the remaining glaciers had receded noticeably since I had last been here about 15 years ago. Despite the changes, the raw, harsh beauty crafted by massive forces was still as awe-inspiring as ever. I picked my way through the boulderstrewn area and found a small level spot that had running water nearby, and was (very) slightly sheltered from the ever-


present wind. I pitched my tarp, fetched some water and holed up inside, out of the bright sun and strong wind. Despite nighttime temperatures in the teens, an assortment of mosquitos had managed to survive the early winter conditions and found the shelter inside of my tarp as appealing as I did. They did their best to get a few meals out of me before being unceremoniously smashed flat. Now that I was at the high camp, I began to focus on my objective – an alpine ice climb on the other side of the mountain right in front of me. Staci and I had done this climb together a number of years ago, and ended up rappelling down the ice at night in a blizzard with lightning flashing around us. It had been a bit more exciting than we had planned. This time, I would have no company and no belayer; safety would come in the form of an early start and moving relatively quickly, while focusing intently on the task at hand. This pending challenge occupied my thoughts as the sun faded into darkness and the sounds of the wind and running water lulled me to sleep.

Avalanche is a functional illiterate who left the St. Louis area three decades ago in search of adventure. He enjoys motorcycling and all things outdoors. He lives with his wife and dogs.


| OUR TOWN | 13

OurLifestyle 2 0 1 9


With thoughts directed towards the refreshed look of the 2019 Ford Edge SUV, it’s worth sharing that it’s now included with a list of new features as standard equipment. For instance, their drive assist technologies are included, which raises the bar when it comes to overall safety. In-part; dual-stage airbags, side-curtain airbags, an innovative passenger side knee airbag, rain-sensing wipers, rear view camera plus roll stability control is now standard. Also introduced new to the line-up is the Edge ST model. It’s the first ever utility from Ford’s Performance division. The ST version comes with a 2.7-liter V-6 turbo engine that produces 335 commanding horsepower. The EPA numbers reflect 19-mpg city/26mpg highway. Their standard engine in their other models of Edge is their 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. It produces a five horsepower increase and improved fuel economy over the ‘18 rendition. Its

horsepower rating is showing 250, while the EPA numbers mirror 22-mpg city/29-mpg highway. The vehicle is also spotlighted with a new computer-governed, smooth-operating eight-speed automatic transmission. Also included across the mix is their fuel savings Auto Start/Stop technology as standard. This SUV is also showcased for the ‘19 model year in their SE entry level version, as well as their SEL and Titanium trim levels. All build combinations now have a sportier new front and rear fascia, upgraded front grille housing and hood assembly as well as a new rear liftgate. Edge is the first utility with their standard Co-Pilot360 enhancement which also includes pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, blind spot driver information system with cross-traffic alert plus their lane-keeping assist system. Edge’s exterior enhancements include available bi-LED front lighting and new fog lamps, which are available on SEL models and above. Five newly styled wheels are available, including an 18-inch bright-machined aluminum wheel with premium dark stainless-painted pockets. Additionally, the rearview camera now includes a unique lens cleaning washer component. Furthermore, a front safety air curtain is standard across the product mix. Also new on the Titanium Elite is their optional appearance package. It features 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels with premium dark stainless-painted pockets, body-color front bumper housing and lower fascia with chrome inserts. 14 | OUR TOWN | DECEMBER 2019

comes loaded with standard features

The SE fleet Driver’s Package includes 10-way power driver’s seat and an enhanced reverse sensing system. Optional on Edge is their all-wheel drive system. It’s engineered to detect various driving conditions and will automatically shift between two-wheel, and allwheel drive. It uses a form of artificial intelligence that can calculate quicker than the human brain. Based on information received from dozens of high-tech sensors, the driveline can determine in a fraction of a second (10 milliseconds) whether all-wheel drive is needed. With comfortable seating for five, and a well thought out interior with a modern design, the base model has a retail price of $29,995, and their high end ST performance version retails for $42,355. Destination charges come out to be an additional $995. Built in Ontario, Canada, the imported Edge includes a bumperto-bumper warranty for three-years/36,000 miles. Engine and powertrain components are covered for five-years/60,000 miles. In the mid-size SUV category, you’ll also discover the Chevy Blazer, Honda Passport, Nissan Murano, Toyota 4Runner and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.


David Finkelstein is a Master/Skill Automotive Service Technician, and a shop owner. He’s also invented garage service tools for mechanics and has served on both National and local Automotive Trade Industry Boards. He pioneered “Car Talk Radio” starting out with KMOX/CBS Radio and hosted “Auto Talk” on KFTK/FOX News Radio for 15-years. David tests and evaluates new vehicles weekly and does some consulting with various auto manufacturers.


Can the DC Extended Universe take on Marvel in 2020?

Heading into the final weeks of 2019, “Best of…” articles become rather plentiful. Most film fans realize, however, that this has been – and will continue to be – the year of Disney. Looking at the current box office totals, Disney’s various holdings occupy the top 6 spots for the year. “Avengers: Endgame” was a brilliant, heart-wrenching end to a storyline that began back in 2008. Live-action remakes of “The Lion King” and “Aladdin” exceeded expectations while “Captain Marvel” introduced moviegoers to a powerful heroine. With “Frozen 2” and the latest “Star Wars” film already on deck, the Walt Disney Corporation has 2019 locked up, but 2020 is still up for grabs and the crown may change ownership. The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) released films such as “Man of Steel” and “Suicide Squad” that were not wellreceived critically, but still did well at the box office. 2017’s “Wonder Woman” changed all that, with Gal Gadot bringing the iconic Amazonian warrior to life on the big screen. Gadot’s solo outing outperformed its DCEU predecessors and inspired a lot of moviegoers in the process. The MCU’s strength has been its superhero teamwork, with 2012’s “Avengers” setting the heroic bar high. In contrast, the DCEU’s power lies in the strength of its individual characters. Released more than a year after “Wonder Woman,” “Aquaman” was a huge box office hit. Though the character has been parodied on both “The Big Bang Theory” and “Family Guy,” Jason Momoa and director James Wan made Aquaman an incredible hero and a likeable person. Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the Joker in the recent solo film captivated audiences like no other. As reported by Indie Wire, the film, made for a reported $62.5 million, has become the most profitable comic book movie ever. In


1989, Jack Nicholson played the Joker in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and 20 years later, the late Heath Ledger embodied the character’s madness in “The Dark Knight,” but Phoenix’s performance as the villain exceeded expectations. “Joker” also opened the door for more dominant DCEU features. In 2020, “Birds of Prey” arrives in theaters as Margot Robbie reprises her role as Harley Quinn, the love interest of the Joker. She teams up with the Huntress, police detective Renee Montoya and Cassandra Cain, who has taken on the mantle of Batgirl. Solo outings have been the moneymakers for DC, but with four solid characters like these, this one should do quite well at the box office. Gal Gadot also returns next year for “Wonder Woman 1984.” Set during the Cold War of the 1980’s, Diana Prince takes on the Soviet Union and a new foe called the Cheetah. The sequel has a built-in fanbase, which went crazy when pictures of Chris Pine in character as Steve Trevor appeared online. Trevor, who shared some romantic moments with Diana, presumably died decades earlier but looks alive and well in the stills. 2019 was all about Marvel and Disney, but 2020 definitely could see the rise of DC Extended Universe. BY STEVE BRYAN


Born and raised in South St. Louis, Steve Bryan is now based in Anaheim, California, and has been allowed access to movie and television sets to see actors and directors at work. Though his writing has taken him far from St. Louis, Steve is, at heart, still the same wide-eyed kid who spent countless hours watching classic movies at neighborhood theaters.


| OUR TOWN | 15



From decorating the tree to carving the turkey, there are many timehonored holiday traditions observed by families around the country. However, the holiday season is about more than just celebrating old traditions. A perfect opportunity for creating new memories and, in turn, traditions, popcorn can serve as an ideal ingredient to bring family time to life. Whether wrapping the tree with garland made from the light and airy treat, filling clear ornaments with freshly popped kernels or simply popping up a bowl as a nutritious alternative to other holiday noshes, popcorn makes it easy to get hands-on while you deck the halls. These seasonal recipes for traditional treats like peppermint bark and popcorn balls plus edible trees and a more elegant take on a simple snack highlight low-fat, non-GMO, gluten-free whole-grain popcorn as the main ingredient. Find more modern takes on traditional holiday recipes at


OurLifestyle WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT POPCORN BARK Yield: 1 pound Ingredients: 5 cups popped popcorn 12 ounces white chocolate baking chips 1 cup crushed hard candy peppermints Directions: Cover baking pan with foil or wax paper; set aside. Place popcorn in large bowl; set aside. In double boiler over barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Stir in crushed peppermints. Pour chocolate mixture over popcorn and stir to coat. Spread onto prepared pan; cool completely. When chocolate is cooled and set, break into chunks.

CRANBERRY POPCORN BALLS Yield: 18 balls Ingredients: 2 cups sugar 1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, slightly mashed 1 tablespoon grated orange peel 1/2 cup cranberry juice 1/2 cup light corn syrup 1 teaspoon vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 5 quarts unsalted, popped popcorn butter Directions: In heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cranberry sauce, grated orange peel, cranberry juice, corn syrup, vinegar and salt. Bring to boil; lower heat and cook until temperature reaches 250 F on candy thermometer. Slowly pour cranberry mixture onto hot popcorn; mix until wellcoated. Let stand 5 minutes, or until mixture can easily be formed into balls. Butter hands and form into 3-inch balls.

EASY, ELEGANT HOLIDAY POPCORN Yield: 8 cups Ingredients: 8 cups popped popcorn 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips 1/2 cup white chocolate chips candy sprinkles Directions: Line baking sheet with wax paper. Spread popcorn in thin layer on prepared pan. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave in additional 10-second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Drizzle over popcorn.

Place white chocolate chips in separate microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave in additional 10-second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth. Drizzle over popcorn. Sprinkle desired amount of candy sprinkles over warm chocolate-coated popcorn. Allow chocolate drizzles to set until firm. Break popcorn into pieces. Note: Chocolate chips can be replaced with cut up chocolate bars. DECEMBER 2019

| OUR TOWN | 17


Thanksgiving on wheels St. Louis MetroMarket’s market on wheels brings fresh foods to food deserts and other underserved areas in North St. Louis County


Approximately one week before Thanksgiving last year the last stores in the Shop ‘n Save grocery chain closed their doors. For some people in the community these closures caused extra financial hardship due to the food prices at other grocery stores. Thanks to collaboration between Healthy Schools Healthy Communities (HSHC) and its community partners with the nonprofit – St. Louis MetroMarket, the community has an opportunity to experience a difference in their spending this coming holiday. St. Louis MetroMarket’s market on wheels (converted metro bus) will be on the grounds of the Emerson Family YMCA, located at 3390 Pershall Rd in Ferguson on Tuesday, Nov. 26. 18 | OUR TOWN | DECEMBER 2019


St. Louis MetroMarket’s market on wheels (converted metro bus) will be on the grounds of the Emerson Family YMCA, located at 3390 Pershall Rd in Ferguson on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

“We’re calling it Thanksgiving Feast,” stated Phedra Nelson, HSHC’s Community Wellness Director for the Gateway Region YMCA. “Everything that will be on the bus that day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be everything imaginable that you would cook for Thanksgiving dinner. This is when people buy cases of collard greens, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, yams, etc. They (will) have other traditional things on the bus as well as meat, corn meal, bread – everything will be centered around things you need for Thanksgiving dinner.” The St. Louis MetroMarket is a 501c3 nonprofit mobile farmers’ market. The organization transformed a donated city bus into a grocery store on wheels to serve areas identified as food deserts. Nelson became aware of the MetroMarket bus when it was only running in St. Louis City. She shared that one bus is used for all routes. “Every fruit and vegetable imaginable is placed on this bus,” Nelson stated of the bus that starts its weekly routes in May and ends in November. “They get the produce from farmers here in Missouri and place those (items) on the bus for purchase. It looks like a grocery store on wheels. (People) can shop for fresh, affordable fruits and vegetables. They accept EBT, double-up food bucks, cash, and credit cards. Everything is so affordable. The prices are ridiculously low. It’s unbelievable.” HSHC’s partnership with St. Louis MetroMarket began in 2017 following Nelson’s research to find out more about the traveling MetroMarket and reaching out to the Executive Director, Lucas Signorelli.

“I drove him around North County – showed him how important it is for the bus to be out (here) and told him that I had funding to pay for a couple of stops in North County.” Nelson shared that HSHC received fiveyear grant funding from Gateway Region YMCA and the Missouri Foundation for Health. Dellwood Recreation Center became the first stop in North County for the MetroMarket bus. Nelson has collaborated with Reggie Jones, Mayor of Dellwood and Ella Jones, Ferguson Councilwoman in securing the traveling bus’s presence in North County annually between May and November. St. Louis MetroMarket invited the mayor and councilwoman to become board members after the initiative for North County began and they remain current members. Nelson stated, “They have been influential in making sure we keep the bus out here in North County. I’ve connected (MetroMarket) with the school districts as well.” HSHC’s mission in North County focuses on combating childhood obesity in Ferguson-Florissant, Riverview Gardens and Normandy School Districts. Since Nelson’s quest began for more presence of the MetroMarket bus in North County, she states that the bus has been at Riverview Gardens and Moline Elementary School. In 2018 the bus had weekly funding for stops in the Canfield Green community where the Ferguson unrest took place. In collaboration with Michael McMillan, Urban League’s President and CEO, this year HSHC’s funding secured stops on the grounds of the Fer-

guson Community Empowerment Center (FCEC) located on West Florissant where the former QuikTrip existed in 2014. Nelson shared that weekly Friday service provided on the grounds of FCEC by the MetroMarket bus between May 3 and Nov. 8 this year yielded the following numbers: $10,227.27 in sales, 910 transactions, 3,730 people fed, and 5,660 lbs. of food sold. FCEC’s last stop for the year will be Friday, Nov. 22, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. “My hope is that we can continue,” stated Nelson. “Food justice is a major advocacy for me because it is needed, especially here in North County.” To view the schedule for other stops in and outside North County until Nov. 26, visit about/schedule. To learn more about the mission of HSHC visit https://www. DECEMBER 2019

| OUR TOWN | 19


Cyber Monday


Creve Coeur Winter Market Creve Coeur Winter Market takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at American Legion Post (indoors and outdoors) at 934 E. Rue De La Banque (behind Bristol’s). Local vendors will be selling baked goods, meats, cheeses, spices, tea, honey, soaps, jewelry and other amazing handcrafted pieces at the Creve Coeur Winter Farmers Market. Everything is locally grown, raised or handcrafted within 50 miles of Creve Coeur.

Holiday Party at Westport Bring your kids to the indoor mall of Wesport Plaza for a free picture with Santa and holiday activities such as face painting and balloon twisting at the Holiday Party at Westport Plaza from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at 111 W Port Plaza. DaySpring will be on hand performing holiday music for entertainment. Must be in line for Santa by 11:45 a.m. to ensure your photo opportunity. Ages 10 and under.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day


National Guard Birthday


Bill of Rights Day


Wright Brothers Day


First Day of Winter


First Day of Hanukkah




New Year’s Eve


Profile for Community News

Our Town: December 2019  

Our Town A Community News Publication Community News, Maryland Heights, Creve Coeur, Olivette, Events, What’s Happening, Contributing Write...

Our Town: December 2019  

Our Town A Community News Publication Community News, Maryland Heights, Creve Coeur, Olivette, Events, What’s Happening, Contributing Write...

Profile for mycnews