The Insider: 11.6.19
Age is little more than a number for Bethesda Gardens resident Opal Otis, affectionately known as ‘Opie’ (pictured at top), who recently celebrated her 107th birthday. The St. Louis native ran her own beauty shop at age 20, taught dance and once survived a hair-raising trip through the Bermuda Triangle. Her special milestone was marked with a festive party at the Kirkwood independent living community.
Riley Adams, a fourth-grader at Captain Elementary School in Clayton, recently landed the role of Melody in the Showtime series, On Becoming a God in Central Florida. The show, which stars Kirsten Dunst (pictured with Riley), is about a water park employee who tries to infiltrate the pyramid scheme that ruined her family. Riley has an impressive stage resume that includes productions at The Muny and Union Avenue Opera. When she isn’t acting, singing or dancing, she enjoys journaling and posting videos to her YouTube vlog.
Old Man River is viewed through a historical lens in author Andrew Wanko’s Great River City: How the Mississippi Shaped St. Louis. Published by the Missouri Historical Society Press, the volume features photos, maps and other images that tell the story of the Gateway City’s connection to the river, from Lewis and Clark’s big float trip to modern-day flooding. The book is a companion to the Missouri History Museum’s Mighty Mississippi exhibit, opening this month.
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Understanding microbes that live in and on the human body will be the focus of a new Washington University School of Medicine facility, the Gnotobiotic Research, Education and Transgenic Center (GREAT). Funded with an $8 million National Institutes of Health grant and $2.8 million from the medical school, the center will study how the human microbiome of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi affects our health.