19 November 2016

This Week: Work, Scale Models, and a Book Launch

Back to work at the car rental branch on Monday (14 November), we had a good amount of business as usual for the week's beginning, with returns off the weekend and rentals to start the week. I had plenty of vehicles to prep for rental, and to drive--be it to pick up or return customers, or to ferry vehicles to and from drop locations or other branches.

Right after work on Tuesday, I was off to Calvary Presbyterian Church (http://calvarypresbyterianchurch.org/) in Mehlville for this month's IPMS/Gateway (http://www.ipms-gateway.com/) meeting. Our crowd was late in arriving, due to a traffic tie up on southbound Interstate 270/255 in south St. Louis County. (I got off I-270 at Tesson Ferry Road and made my way to Calvary from there.) We had our fourth and final model contest towards Modeler of the Year, which had Heavy Haulers as the special category. I didn't have any models to enter, and might have helped judge the contest, but was needed to record the meeting minutes, due to our secretary not being there. I did give a report on my recent trip to Kansas City and my visits to several museums there (Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, National World War I Museum and Memorial, National Airline History Museum, TWA Museum). Additionally, I plugged the Missouri Aviation Historical Society's meeting two nights later. (More on that meeting in a moment.)

My off day Thursday started with a drive to the corner of Union Road and Weber Road in Affton. There, and at a 7-Eleven store on the corner, I bought two Old Newsboys Day (http://www.stltoday.com/suburban-journals/old-newsboys-day/) newspapers from volunteers, paying $1 for each. Old Newsboys Day--the Thursday before Thanksgiving Day--is a St. Louis tradition since 1957, in which volunteers sell a special edition newspaper, which donations going to local charities serving at-risk children. I was a volunteer newsboy last year, but was not asked this year, so I was happy to help out with a donation.

That afternoon, I picked up a suit from the dry cleaner, and dropped off some IPMS/Gateway flyers at Checkered Flag Hobby Country (https://www.facebook.com/Checkered-Flag-Hobby-Country-488152001202821/?rf=160139410673404), which had moved from Concord Village to a new location in Mehlville. The shop manager appreciated me bringing these flyers, which should be of help to his shop's scale modeling customers.

The Missouri Aviation Historical Society (https://moavhist.org/) met at Creve Coeur Airport (http://www.crevecoeurairport.com/) that night. Daniel L. Rust, a former professor at UMSL and now at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, made a presentation about the history of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (http://www.flystl.com/). This was a tie-in to Rust's new book, which was released for sale at our meeting: "The Aerial Crossroads of America: St. Louis's Lambert Airport" (http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/A/bo25077991.html). After his talk, Rust signed copies of his book--including mine. This book is the culmination of the Society's Lambert History Project, an effort of over two years to chronicle the airport's story going back to its founding by Major Albert Bond Lambert in 1920. I was proud to have helped a bit in this project, and am very pleased to see this book in print at last. Copies of "The Aerial Crossroads of America" are available for purchase through the Missouri Historical Society (http://mohistory.org/node/57873), the University of Chicago Press, at St. Louis area bookshops, and through amazon.com (https://www.amazon.com/Aerial-Crossroads-America-Lambert-Airport/dp/1883982898/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479570301&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Aerial+Crossroads+of+America). All royalties from the book will go to the Missouri Aviation Historical Society.

Back at work yesterday, I brought in some doughnuts from Krispy Kreme (http://www.krispykreme.com/) for my colleagues. We had a lot jammed full of vehicles to clean and spot, and it was a challenge to find space for all of them. Still, we got things in good order by the time we closed up last night.


13 November 2016

Film Festival and Election Day

One week ago tonight (6 November) found me at Moore Auditorium of Webster Hall, Webster University (http://www.webster.edu/). It was my first volunteer stint at this year's St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) (http://www.cinemastlouis.org/about-festival). I was an usher handing out fan ballots, SLIFF patron survey forms, and festival programs to audience members as they entered the theater. After the audience was taken care of, I could watch the movie, then collect the ballots and survey forms, and help tally up the audience votes. Last Sunday had a double feature, starting with the 2016 documentary "Long Live the King," about the enduring fascination with the 1933 classic film "King Kong." It was a very nice film, and was followed by some discussion lead by Tom Stockman, editor of We Are Movie Geeks (http://www.wearemoviegeeks.com/). Then, it was the second half of the bill, the aforementioned "King Kong," which I had not seen on a big screen with an audience before. It was thrilling as always.

My brother Rick and his family (wife Melissa, son Alex, and daughter Kate) had a fine time with my mom and me. More with my mom, since I was away at work and SLIFF much of the time they were there. They returned to Charleston on Tuesday. I was back at work on Monday.

After flexing out of work Tuesday afternoon (8 November), I drove to ROC Ministries (http://rocmin.com/) in Mehlville to cast my vote in the national election. I was most happy to do my patriotic duty. Most of my candidates and issues lost, and I will leave it at that.

I put in a full day of work Wednesday, then was back at St. Louis Community College at Meramec (http://www.stlcc.edu/MC/) for the Portuguese Language: Beginning II class. Our instructor Elizabeth from Viva Brasil Association of St. Louis (http://www.e.vivabrasilstl.org/home) guided us through more Portuguese, including numbers, months, and days of the week.

Off work Thursday (10 November), I got my hair cut by Great Clips (http://www.greatclips.com/) on South County Centerway in Mehlville. I met a friend for lunch at the St. Louis Bread Co. (https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/home.html), also on South County Centerway.

That afternoon, I was off to the Tivoli Theatre (https://www.landmarktheatres.com/st-louis/tivoli-theatre) for a SLIFF volunteer shift. I was outside the theater where a collection of five documentary short subjects with the theme of Valor. I did not see these films, but saw the stars and producers come into the adjourning theater for the US premier of the film "Drawing Home."

After my volunteer shift, I was off to the Plaza Frontenac Cinema (https://www.landmarktheatres.com/st-louis/plaza-frontenac-cinema) to watch a SLIFF film "Jules & Dolores (O Roubo da Taca)," a caper comedy from Brazil, which I enjoyed a lot.

I got off work a few minutes early on Friday, which was unusual, but welcome nevertheless. I did work at the rental branch yesterday morning, and that went very well.

I got a bit of a lunch while on my way from work to Brown Hall at Washington University (https://wustl.edu/). My SLIFF volunteer shift spanned the end of one narrative feature, "Phantom Boy," and all of the next one, "Heidi," a 2016 German/Swiss version of the long-time favorite children's story. I didn't see either film, as I was at my volunteer station just outside, but both were very well received by the audiences.

This morning found me at World Wide Technology Soccer Park (http://saintlouisfc.com/soccerpark) to officiate three Premier League under 12 girls matches. These were all nine-a-side, small field matches. I ran line on the first two matches before working the middle on the third match. All three went well.

After a shower and change of clothes at home, I went to my fourth and final SLIFF volunteer shift, at .ZACK (http://www.zack.events/) a new performing arts incubator in midtown St. Louis. I caught the tail end of the documentary "The Last Laugh," about comedians dealing with or avoiding the Holocaust. There was a break of some minutes, then we had one more documentary feature, "Tower," about the 1966 mass shooting at the University of Texas at Austin. I thought that was a terrific film. SLIFF is ending with its awards show as I write this; the results will be posted on the Cinema St. Louis website tomorrow (Monday), I would presume.