Talk of the Towns: 5.1.24


the metro | The County Library is presenting two heavyweights at different locations this month and next. Writers, of course, not boxers or wrestlers. Esteemed novelist Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and numerous other works, will appear May 11 at 7 p.m. at the Ethical Society of St. Louis. And renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will appear June 10 at 7 p.m. at the library’s new Clark Family Branch, former location of library headquarters, to discuss her latest work, An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s. First, the Tan event is slated to feature a conversation focused on her new book, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, with fellow birder Joan E. Strassmann, Wash. U. Professor of Biology and author of her own volume on watching birds close at hand, Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the Birds in Your Own Backyard. By 2016, Tan had started to become discouraged, then grew overwhelmed. As hatred and misinformation became a daily presence on social media, she felt our country had become more divisive than ever. In search of peace, Tan turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, watched the birds visiting her yard. But what began as an attempt to find solace evolved into something more—opportunities to savor quiet moments during turmoil and to connect with nature in a very personal way. Her book maps the passage of time through daily entries and thoughtful questions, and is enhanced by Tan’s own precise, beautiful watercolor sketches. With boundless charm and wit, the author charts her foray into birding and the other natural wonders she experienced just outside. Then, in June, Kearns Goodwin is slated to discuss her book, which weaves together biography, memoir and history. Dick and Doris Goodwin were married for 42 years, he worked as a close adviser to Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy; she worked directly with President Johnson, later assisting with his memoir. The Goodwins’ last great adventure was to open the 300 boxes of documents he had saved for more than 50 years. They soon realized they had an unparalleled time capsule of the 1960s: a time, like today, when lines were drawn, loyalties tested. Their journey of remembrance renewed old dreams, reviving hope that the youth of today will carry forward the couple’s unfinished love story with America. Tickets for both events, each including a copy of the book, are available at Kearns Goodwin will be able to sign hers, while Tan’s will be pre-signed.

Madison Pyatt has her eagle eyes on the LPGA championship. It will take a few years, though. She’s 9. The Eureka primary-schooler won her age group for girls during last month’s National Drive, Chip & Putt Championship in Augusta, Georgia, at Augusta National, the course that hosts the Masters, arguably the greatest tournament in golf. That’s just for boys, of course, but we won’t split that hair just now. One among an exclusive group winnowed down from thousands of hopefuls nationwide, Madison won the drive competition for her age group, tied for third in the chip and sealed the deal with the winning putt. And she’s been working hard at her game for three years, she told a USGA interviewer, which means she started taking the competition seriously at age 6, a year before she was even eligible for the 7-9 age group. But her aptitude started blowing away her dad, Travis Pyatt, when she was not even 4. He says she took to chipping pretty much right away. Talk about a natural. Today, her drives typically go farther than most men’s do on the range—often upwards of 230 yards. What are her short-term goals? For now, probably making it through the fourth grade. And spending time with her favorite caddy and mentor: her dad.

Louisville, Kentucky, can lay claim to the official MLB bat, the Louisville Slugger. But pretty much most of the rest of the gear used to play in the majors—the gloves, baseballs, bases, face guards, helmets—is the bailiwick of a company that’s been based in the Lou since 1887: Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc. The corporate offices moved to Westport late last year. And last month, the Rawlings Experience opened at Westport Plaza. This free attraction showcases Rawlings Gold Glove Awards through the years, provides plenty of photo ops, such as posing next to a 10-foot-high gold glove statue (pictured) or larger-than-life game ball, and allows players—some of them, perhaps, to be portrayed on an ever-more-expensive, collectible rookie card of the future—and softball phenoms the chance to take a crack at the ball via a virtual batting-cage experience. Take a gander at one-of-a-kind gloves, such as the one embellished with more than 15,000 Swarovski crystals applied by hand. Equipment and apparel will be for sale on site. Visit for more.

  notable neighbors
lasalle park
In the early 20th century, before Prohibition, a bucket of beer wasn’t bottles on ice for who knows how much that costs today. You just sent your kid down to the corner tavern with a bucket and maybe a nickel, and they’d slosh back home with enough draft to last as long as it took you, your family and friends to drink it. But a few things have changed since the Lemp, Griesedieck and Busch families ruled the world of suds in the Lou. Significantly, the Lemp and Griesedieck breweries are no more, Anheuser-Busch generates its own gravity (could A-B be responsible for our funky weather?); meanwhile, microbreweries have cropped up all over—tasting rooms with dozens of taps and great food are a bigger deal than ever. And today, tea has joined the alcoholic thirst-quenchers in retail coolers and on shelves along with beer, hard seltzer and ‘adult’ lemonade. YES. TEA is one of the latest concoctions developed at 4 Hands Brewery Co. by Andy Burgio, 4 Hands’ director of innovation, and his crew in the LaSalle neighborhood south of Downtown. This is not the tame, cool refreshment you’d expect at a church picnic to help warmish macaroni salad go down smoother. Brewed from black tea, “with a little hint of lemon,” says Burgio, it’s 4.8% ABV (alcohol by volume), akin to a lower-octane beer, and along with nonalcoholic beers, 4 Hands brews varieties and flavors from 3% ABV on up to an appropriately named seasonal brew, War Hammer, with 9% ABV. Burgio, a Parkway South grad, reinforced a budding romance by brewing at home. “First, I was hooked—then I became obsessed!” Burgio exclaims. In a stroke of serendipity, he ran into an old friend who’d worked the front of the house with him at Macaroni Grill in Chesterfield: Kevin Lemp (incidentally, no relation to the old St. Louis brew meisters). With Lemp, Burgio is now a co-owner of 4 Hands, established in 2011. But he didn’t start fiddling with the hops and fermentation tanks right away. He worked at the ground level, in areas such as shipping and receiving, also helping with packaging. “I hardly knew what a wrench was,” he says, with a laugh. But his ideas, at first offered as a consultant, proved invaluable. “I love what’s new,” Burgio says. “That’s what’s great about my career.” YES. TEA should one day be available in peach and blackberry flavors—all this and more is fermenting in his mind. For instance, one of the seasonal flavors dreamed up at 4 Hands, a stout, is peanut-butter milk chocolate. There are tropical varieties. And, of course, one of their 10 core beers is more traditional: City Wide American Pale Ale. Quarterly, $1 from every case is donated to a different nonprofit that benefits St. Louisans. And, $1 from every case of State Wide Hazy Pale Ale sold in Missouri, up to $50,000, will go toward the Veterans Community Project with the goal of building a tiny house in their village here. “People don’t know how proud we are to make great-tasting beverages in St. Louis,” says Burgio. “Whenever we sit down with someone who orders a City Wide, we share a real moment together.” That could be at the LaSalle brewery, 1220 S. 8th St., the tasting room at The District in Chesterfield Valley—and, if all goes according to plan, by the end of May near the train station in Kirkwood. Visit

Exit mobile version
Skip to toolbar