richmond heights | Hyundai and Kia, two major South Korean auto manufacturers, found themselves in a world of hurt when a video showing how to steal the cars with nothing more than a screwdriver and USB cable went viral on TikTok last year. But Kia, a subsidiary of Hyundai, made an effort to straighten things out over the past weekend at the St. Louis Galleria in Richmond Heights. If you didn’t drive your 2011-2021 Kia to the mall, you’ll have to turn to a dealership for the proactive software fix. We only caught wind of the event one day past this issue’s deadline, on Oct. 25. But don’t think for a moment that the corporate behemoth was being generous. In May, they settled a nationwide, $200 million class-action lawsuit over the software oversight, which hadn’t been standard until last year’s models rolled out. Tishaura O. Jones, mayor of St. Louis, was among government officials nationwide who filed their own actions in addition to the class-action suit. If you’ve waited this long to get your Kia or Hyundai fixed, and it’s still out front, maybe never even tampered with, consider yourself as lucky as the unvaccinated knucklehead who somehow made it through the pandemic without coming down with COVID-19. So, what are you still waiting for? If some dope doesn’t manage to steal your car, they could still damage your steering column.
Pickleball is for old folks, according to the target audience for a commercial promoting Consumer Cellular, the wireless carrier that’s for old folks. For instance, moi. Let’s just say I’m thankful to finally have entered the world of Social Security and Medicare and have been a Consumer Cellular customer for a number of years. OK, Boomer: At 68, I’m a full-fledged Baby Boomer who feels a certain kinship with the company spokesman. And I have a certain affinity for attractive older women: I married one. In its TV ads, a fit woman of retirement age floats down to a pickleball court and, before she launches her serve, the ball bursts into flame like a comet or something, and in the spokesman’s sunglasses, you see a reflection of the flaming spheroid getting slapped back and forth. That won’t happen on the courts at Olivette’s new indoor pickleball complex, Padel + Pickleball Club, which touts itself as the country’s largest so far, and is slated to open in December at Olive and Price in Olivette. Nothing catches on fire, except in players of a certain age who haven’t kept up with their chiropractor appointments or joint supplements such as glucosamine, it sure may feel like it in the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows and wrists. Or so I hear from an actual player, my friend Jim Murphy of Kirkwood. It’s not as safe as ping-pong, at one end of the comparative spectrum in the sports world, with doubles tennis at the other end, and pickleball somewhere in the middle: If you’re not careful, Murphy emphasizes, of course you can hurt yourself. There’s even more chance for pulling or twisting something in padel, which is closer to squash on the racquet-sports spectrum: Six glass-walled courts for padel will complement the eight pickleball courts at the club, which will cater to everyone from novices to professionals. Anyhow, what does Consumer Cellular have to do with any of this, besides its clever marketing campaign? The phone company sponsors USA Pickleball, and anyone more interested in watching than playing may even want to road-trip to the World Pickleball Open, Nov. 16-19 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Chamber Project St. Louis presents “BOLD: Uncommon Spirit,” a program of expansive, stirring music for winds, strings and piano to celebrate the human spirit. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 at 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave. in U. City. Iconic, Grammy-winning composer Joan Tower’s works honor the strength of brave women who broke barriers. She dedicated her powerful Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman to Tania León, who in turn celebrated her vibrant Latin American heritage in Tumbao, which she dedicated to Cuban singer Celia Cruz. Following these two pieces, a fabled merry prankster gets a playful reimagining in Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel, here for mixed quintet. Finally, the confidence and vigor of youth are captured in Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Nonet for winds, strings and piano. Nina Ferrigno is on piano, joined by members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis Chamber Project. The works of Coleridge-Taylor, an Afro-British composer, languished for a century following his untimely death of pneumonia at 37. The concert begins with two solo piano works by Ferrigno, who is on the teaching faculty of Washington and Webster universities.
Lisbon, Portugal, could have been the dateline for this piece about Anna and David Isserman, but that’s out of our readership area by about 4,000 miles. But since the first question many metro residents ask is about high school attendance, David graduated from Clayton High School in 2001. Suffice it to say, he’s been pretty busy since then. In 2008, while in grad school at Columbia University in New York, David and close friend Eric Steele founded RareShare, a way to help people suffering from rare diseases find and interact with one another. The effort soon grew too large and unwieldy for two men who had different career paths in mind. “Together we expanded it to encompass 850 communities,” David recalls. “Our efforts garnered international recognition, with a feature on the front page of the Washington Post. Ultimately, we exited the venture by merging it with the Rare Genomics Institute.” Recently he was knighted in Portugal for his conservation and philanthropic work there. “My knighthood is rooted in my enduring passion and commitment to philanthropy, especially in the realm of wilderness conservation and exploration,” he says of the honor. “This aligns closely with the ideals and values cherished by the Portuguese people.” When we chatted, David and Anna, fresh from an Alaskan cruise, had decamped to the Hudson River valley while the kitchen in their Lisbon home was being renovated. They could very well have been in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, where they have a second home. If it seems like these two are all over the place, here’s a reason: David is an Explorer, with a capital ‘E’: He’s on the executive board of the Explorers Club in NYC. He heads up the group’s annual charitable dinner, the city’s longest-running. Recently he rubbed elbows in the Azores with others smitten with a similar urge, including astronauts, for Portugal’s annual Global Exploration Summit. Isserman calls this the “Davos of Explorers,” after the world financial confabs held at the Swiss alpine resort. Although Lisbon’s climate is comparable to Florida north of Miami, you might as well find him in Greenland or elsewhere in the arctic. David and Anna don’t often make it back to the States, although he’s a trustee advisor for the Academy of Science in St. Louis. They also run Isserman Ventures, which provides microgrants to support local conservation efforts and makes ‘angel’ investments to scientists and entrepreneurs dedicated to making a global impact. “Through these engagements, we’ve been instrumental in annually raising millions of dollars dedicated to conservation efforts and field research grants,” he said. “These funds have played a pivotal role in sending scientists into the field and facilitating groundbreaking discoveries.” You might wonder what they do for a living amidst all this globetrotting. His main gig is COO of a direct-to-consumer e-commerce brand, Touchstone Essentials, a dietary supplements provider serving more than a half-million customers in North America, Europe, and Asia. Most of the staff works remotely, so Touchstone was well positioned when the pandemic struck.