I’m from St. Louis, friends. And if you have ever followed along here at ohbriggsy, you might be saying to yourself right now something like this: No Shit, Sherlock. And hey, it’s a highly underrated city. Now, I’m not talking about Missouri or even Missourah here. I’m talking about the Lou, as my man Nelly might call it, well him and now everyone else.
So the Lou is where I go for the holidays. And incidentally, the Christmas song that for me most exemplifies the season is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which of course is from the musical Meet Me in St. Louis. Judy Garland’s character Esther sings it to her little sister Tootie to sooth them both after their father announces his intent to move them from their beloved St. Louis to stupid New York CIty. And right before the 1904 World’s Fair even! Didn’t their pappy know that ice cream cones were going to be invented at the summbitch? I’ll just leave it to you to imagine a world pre ice cream cones.
This song sums up the feelings I have around the holiday. At the end of the year we party, hoping that next year our troubles will finally be resolved, somehow. This kind of attitude gives us an excuse to eat, drink. and be merry now, or to at least stop working so hard, stop working out at the gym for a few days, stop beating ourselves up over things. We may talk about the past and its holidays nostalgically and yep, probably with some rose tinted glasses. It’s ok to do that. We anticipate seeing the loyal people in our lives who will travel the roads and the skies to be with us (or vice versa), often with hours long delays in Denver and terrible subs from Quiznos as their only sustenance (true story!). We’re hopeful that we’ll be doing whatever it is that makes us feel the holiday again next year, but you never know. I think this year that feeling is palpable. That’s the holidays to me, some excess, some nostalgia, some travel, some hope.
Here’s a version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” that I like, by Paper Moon.
And, hey, all you east and west coast bastards, St. Louis is not just flyover country! St. Louis has had some pretty great stuff and some pretty cool people come out of it.
John Goodman! You know I love him!
Marilyn vos Savant! Whose smarts you may remember reading about in the back of your parents’ Parade magazine back in the 80s! Or, hey, maybe you still do! I don’t judge!
Charles Eames! You know, the designer of much of the mid-century modern furniture you (read: I) drool over.
Irma Rombauer! Just a little German housewife from St. Louis who wrote the classic cookbook, The Joy Of Cooking. Speaking of cookbooks, again I want to remind you that my pal Meg and I are leading a cookbook challenge for 2013! We pick the books, you cook along with us and tell us what you did. We’re just hashing out the final details, so stay tuned for more info re how to join and which cookbooks we’re using coming very soon! For more information, check it out here and here!
Jackie Joyner Kersee!
Harry Caray! Not always a Cubs fan!
Andy Cohen! That gay guy who runs Bravo and all of its terrifying housewives! Sorry about that.
Kate Chopin! Perhaps you read her in high school and became a feminist?
Ok, friends. That’s it for the civic pride for today. Although there were many others I could have named: Kevin Kline, Nell Carter, TS Eliot, Jenna Fischer and Ellie Kemper and Phyllis Smith all from The Office (random!), Jonathan Franzen, Betty Grable, Jack Wagner, Maxine Waters, Tennessee Williams, and so. St. Lpuis pride is a common topic for me. Funny story: On the night I met Double S, on the Lower East side of Manhattan, she asked me where I was from, and I started up with this list. Yep, I had a lot of these names on the tip of my tongue to impress the ladies. It worked! Well, that and my non nonsense order of a simple Budwesier on our first date. Within the year, we’d be touring the brewery (Hey! Free samples!) in St. Louis.
OK, get back to having yourself a merry little christmas, pals!