Who wants to talk — or write — when nobody’s listening? Not me, regardless of what my husband might say. (He accuses me of happily talking to a void. Sometimes, that void is he.)
So I’m thrilled when you make Bay Weekly a dialogue. On that score, this has been a very good week.
In this space last week, I asked for stories of mid-20th century fathers. Reader Bonnie promptly sent hers, noting that traits pass down for better or worse. As she’s at a stage of writing her heart out, she’s sent more, and I’ve read with pleasure.
Responding to the same request, Annapolitan and former St. Louisan Jack wrote, “I thought I knew most of the joints, but missed that one. Okay, I give! Where is/was, the Stymie Club?”
Alas, it is no more, but from the mid-1940s through the mid-1960s the Stymie supper club and cocktail lounge stood at 7555 Olive Street Road in the St. Louis suburb of University City. My parents, Gene and Elsa Martin, owned it from 1948 until 1965.
That Editor’s Letter included shout-outs to a half-dozen or so modern fathers who’ve showed me how it’s done. I’m delighted to have heard back from many of them. Bill Freivogel, the father so agile in diapering babies, reports that his son-in-law and daughter say good fathering models are still scarce:
“Over a long, wonderful weekend with six grandchildren,” Freivogel wrote, “we read a lot of our old children’s books. Liz and her husband Gabe remarked at how few modern, progressive role models there are in those books and even in today’s children’s books. (Gabe has stayed home with their two kids the past three years and is about to go back to work as a Spanish teacher.) In the books, the mommas are doing almost all of the parenting. We’ve still got a long way to go before dads become full parents, I’m afraid.”
Reader Greg flashed that issue at me from the cockpit of his sailboat, where he was reading as husband Bill and I returned from a fishless Father’s Day excursion. Greg had already accused Bill and me of combining two of Bay Weekly’s 101 Ways to have Fun into one as we picnicked waterside an evening earlier.
Readers use Bay Weekly to plan their excursions, too. Reader Marilyn, a Coloradan who spends part of summer boating on Chesapeake Bay, thanks us for guiding her and her husband to Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, where they kayaked.
Husband Bill may not always listen to me, but he always reads Bay Weekly. Having taken Sporting Life columnist Dennis Doyle’s advice to heart, he’d snatched as bait some of the soft-shell crabs meant for our dinner. Fortunately, I’d bought extra. Dennis, you’ll remember, had written that “One bait in particular will, likely as not, out-produce all others: the soft crab.”
Reader Dave teased Bill for his garden, the subject of my June 2 Editor’s Letter. Dave retired from gardening by reason of too much work for too many tomatoes, but many other readers happily till the soil.
Bay Gardener Dr. Frank Gouin tells me he has already filled nine requests for Gita beans, a tasty green bean that can grow to lengths of almost three feet on 10-foot-tall vines — better trellise them. He has more. For a dozen or more seeds, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to F.R. Gouin, 420 E. Bay Front Rd., Deale, MD. 20751.
Whatever your reasons — from beanstalks Jack could envy to diversions, excursions and thoughtful provocations — thank you for reading Bay Weekly.
Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; firstname.lastname@example.org