More than 40 regional storytellers from Kansas City to Peoria, Illinois have converged on St. Louis this week for the 35th Annual St. Louis Storytelling Festival sponsored by the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Performances and workshops are geared for a wide range of audiences, and are spread throughout the St. Louis region in venues ranging from the Gateway Arch to the Cahokia Mounds.
This weekend the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is hosting its 8th Annual Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair. Vendors and dealers will be set up in the J.C. Penney Building Saturday May 3 and Sunday, May 4, with a benefit preview this evening.
Tuesday afternoon, I got away from the office a little early and headed south, dodging raindrops on the way to Chester, Ill. Past Ruma, the sky commanded attention.
On my right, streaks of thin clouds danced against an opaque, pale blue. Straight ahead, dark, deep foreboding clouds layered upward. The rain streaked below. But above all that, a dome of the clearest, cleanest blue provided the beginning of a benediction that was completed in the rainbow patch shimmering at my left.
In chess, conquering the center is a strategy nearly as old as the game itself.
It is a building block, a foundation, with centuries of theory backing the blueprint. American legend Bobby Fischer opened all but one of his myriad games by instantly striking into the center with 1. e4, famously referring to the first move as “best, by test.”
The vibrancy of chess in the St. Louis area continues to grow. For example the U.S. Championships return to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis on May 8.
But one of the bright spots – the strength of the university programs here – recently received close scrutiny. While Lindenwood and others are building strong teams, Webster University brought in the chess world’s version of John Calipari or Coach K: Susan Polgar and her team of grandmasters left Texas Tech University for the St. Louis suburbs in 2012.
From the minute Patsy Cline’s biggest fan demands “How y’all doin’?” you just know it’s just a matter of time before she’s side-by-side with the singer, doing the swim to “Stupid Cupid.” Watch out, front row and bald-headed men, the spotlight's headed your way too.
The St. Louis area is crawling with photographic opportunities. Local professional Ryan Archer took advantage of one of them to win Best in Show in the Sheldon’s “The City at 250” photo contest.
Archer’s “City Museum Climbers,” entered in the “Events and People” category, garnered him $1,000 and a place in “The City at 250” exhibit, opening June 6. The competition was a collaborative effort of The Sheldon and the St. Louis Beacon, now St. Louis Public Radio. The Beacon merged in December with St. Louis Public Radio and is no longer a separate entity.