My husband and I recently went to a Schnucks, where an employee walked up to me saying, “We’ll miss you and all you did together on TV.”
Since her concern seemed genuine, we talked, with the employee continuing, “I’ve watched Dave and you guys since your son was a little guy.” People tend to remember the “One Tank Trips” of the ’90s, forgetting our son is now 36 and a married executive at Walmart HQ. Our few moments – the Schnuck Markets employee’s and mine – ended with a big, comforting hug.
As you may have heard, Dave Murray, chief meteorologist and weathercaster for KTVI/Fox2Now, retired this month. He’s a good guy who served his community for 42 years. I know because I have been married to him for 37 of them.
I had no idea how much talk about his retirement there was until employees at Schnucks, Straub’s, Schnarr’s, Ladue Market, Ladue Pharmacy and the Service Bureau all wished him well.
This is kindness incarnate and uniquely St. Louisan, I believe, as someone who has lived on both coasts and in between. The openness to every man and woman here largely defines who we are.
A few examples from experience. In New York, Connecticut and California, the commonality is competition to succeed professionally, pay your high mortgage and car lease. In Michigan, it’s all about cars. And Boston, where we lived for three years, is … well … still thinking it’s the cradle of liberty, though it’s really overrun by college students. Hawaii loves tourists, but our suggestion is not to build a full-time house there unless you learn the Hawaiian language.
Yet in St. Louis, the dominating characteristic is kindness. Cardinal Nation does not jeer and throw stuff on the field if our player’s out on a slide to second. New restaurants come and go, but we still cheer on the chef with a next project. I have worked with countless college freshmen who like their choice, but say, “It’s not as nice there.” And countless immigrant students have told me, “People are kind here. They welcome you.”
So let’s close with this. A few years ago, we were on a ferry in Hawaii. A male college student, with his Texan girlfriend, was wearing a needlepoint belt we admired. For one reason or another, we asked whether he was from St. Louis.
He responded in the affirmative, adding this about the belt: “My girlfriend made it for me.”
The girlfriend then entered the conversation by noting, “St. Louis is the nicest place on earth.”