Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
A weird occurance here this morning, two young men walking around singing, one strumming a guitar. I heard them coming through our back alley as they cut through our yard and they must have strolled around the campus and then returned and passed by the front of the house. Not a typical thing.
There have been a number of local news stories the past week on the new pipe organ being put into Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard. This organ will have pipes 3 stories tall and will be one of the largest pipe organs in St. Louis. This reminded me of the connection Trinity has to many other Lutheran churches in the metro area. It is the mother church to many other congregations but also the first owner of the organ which is in the balcony of St. Salvator Lutheran Church in Venedy Illinois.
Old Trinity, Historic Trinity, was founded by Saxon immigrants in the 1830's. Some of those who came over from Germany and landed in St. Louis headed down to Perry County while another 200 or so stayed in the Soulard area. The locals built a church which of course included an organ and when the congregation became too large for the first building, a second was constructed in 1864. The organ was deemed too small for the new church and was sold to the members of St. Salvator.
"Six Venedy farmers, all members of the Venedy congregation, volunteered to bring the organ from St. Louis to Venedy, a distance of about 55 miles over the single dirt road that existed at that time. The day was 1865, and America was in the final days of - the Civil War. Carpetbaggers and other outlaws made traveling hazardous. The old St. Louis Trace crossed the Kaskaskia River at the only ferry in existence, located near the present hamlet of New Memphis Station. Once over the Cox's ferry here, the road was west through Mascoutah, Belleville, and on to St. Louis. The route was little more than a trail, rutted, muddy and little used. The roundtrip involved more than a week with several stops at inns on the road. Remember, this was before Ead's bridge spanned the Mississippi. So a second ferry crossing was made here. There were several minor mishaps, but eventually the organ reached Venedy."
Over the years there was periodic debate in Venedy over whether to scrap the old organ, but instead, repairs were made when needed. A musician from St Louis came to see the organ in the 1960's and said, "Junking this organ would be like putting the axe to some artifacts in the Smithsonian!"
This organ still leads the congregation in worship each Sunday!
The founder of Old Trinity and Concordia Seminary was CFW Walther who's nephew was the 3rd pastor in Venedy. Venedy's first pastor, Ottomar Feuerbringer, went to Chicago with Walther and others in the 1840's to officially form the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
Charlie Brennan of KMOX will be interviewing Dave Ellefson of the heavy metal band, Megadeth this morning at 10:20. A couple of years ago Ellefson was studying at Concordia Seminary which was something of a big story in Lutheran circles and Charlie made a point of mentioning this in his tweet publicizing the coming interview.
"Dave Ellefson of Megadeth and, believe it or not, Concordia Sem, joins me tomorrow at 10:20 a.m. on KMOX."
This is so very cool. NBC will air The Sound of Music in the near future and ahead of that they produced a video featuring a couple of guys who I don't know singing the Do Re Mi chorus in an industrial setting. Then the network must have asked ordinary Americans to make of video of themselves singing the same. These were all combined into one video.
Emporia Kansas is part of a celebration of the Flint Hills June 1-9 and the city has placed 12 upright pianos throughout the downtown so that anyone who feels the urge can sit down and play. The University has one on its campus as well.
It is tradition for members of the seminary basketball team to sing the National Anthem before each game and this last game of the year featured a player singing the second verse of the Anthem as a solo.
Two companies (one's a government run company). One is running in the red and going to stop Saturday business, the other is having its best year ever.
The first is the post office, so broke even stopping Saturday deliveries may not help the hemorrhaging. The second is the Deering Banjo Company in Spring Valley California.
It hasn't been easy for the banjo company: "If you ask the Deerings what their greatest challenge has been, the answer has been running the business in California, particularly during a run-up in workers' compensation insurance premiums that began under Gov. Gray Davis.
"That nearly put us out of business. We're still paying off some of those debts," Greg Deering said, adding that the company has remained in California mostly because the family considers it home.
"And because we are stubborn. We are so stubborn," Janet Deering said".
However they did it and whyever banjos are becoming more popular again, the Deerings " have expanded and trained its own workforce and expects to top $4 million in sales for the year ending June 30."