Photos: July 2006 Archives

Goodbye J.J.


This week's column concerns Liam and his bestest BFF ever, J.J., who's moving back to Texas to be with his mom during the school year. J.J.'s dad is moving from St. Louis to Florida which means J.J. won't be coming back.

The other afternoon J.J. called Liam to give him his last goodbye. Liam doesn't really understand that J.J. is gone now; my heart crumpled when he kept asking where J.J. was on Sunday. I think that if they stayed geographically close to each other that their friendship would've reached well into adulthood. Who knows what will happen now. I know that they won't likely forget each other anytime soon. I know I won't.

Crappy camera phone: Liam and J.J.



It just wasn't the same without Hank


A couple of weeks ago I had my Big Fat Southern Family Reunion. I think we're losing our touch, because not only was there no beer, Hank Williams, or the few family members stumbling around the buffet in a state of perpetual semi-sobriety, there was no drama. NO DRAMA. I drove two hours for NOTHING.

The fire-starters in the family boycotted the gathering, except for my very tall aunt, who strolled up the sidewalk to watch the event from across the street on a neighbor's front porch. I did what any rational full-blood Scaggs would do, which was to take photos of her:

I seeeeee you.

The above, and one of my favorite aunts telling me how she kept a collection of baseball bats in the trunks of each of her cars for when she meets our crazy Cousin Meth, kept it interesting. To imagine my aunt angry is to imagine the reaction of an opossum which you've unsuccessfully tried to fricassee. Opossum's eyes glow like the devil, as do my aunt's.

So the younger cousins played,

a great uncle showed me how just a flick of his wrist gets his pin-up to shake it,

Audrey looked cute,

and Nana let Liam have more sweets than he was allowed.

[more family reunion shots.]

Dances with pigeons


With assistance from Dave and Hudson.

That's a wrap


(L-R) Me, Amy (another local), Tony, Brandon (show host), Scott (another local).

You may have read; yesterday we wrapped filming at Milo's Bocce Garden. I've never been a big bar person because I am such an embarrassing lightweight - which Chris totally appreciates - but I can see myself visiting Milo's often. That and I am determined, some would say obsessed, with improving my skillz at Bocce ball.

The crew.

I was really apprehensive when we first started filming because I wasn't quite sure what angle the producers were going for with the show. They made a point not to be touristy and they really worked hard to take their audience off the beaten path and introduce them to not only different areas of the city, but also to the places that make those areas what they are. As a result of doing this show, I feel like I've expanded my knowledge and understanding of my own city. I appreciate it more after looking at it through the eyes of people who've never known it before. I've always said that St. Louis has such a great community spirit but after talking to Joe and witnessing the locals come out in droves for the Bocce tournament at Milo's, I was grateful to see it in action. The people who live here are devoted to cultivating and maintaining family and community ties. We're not a cow town, we're not just a few buildings flung onto the golden plains between the legs of the Arch and by the Mississippi; we're a carefully executed community. We're diverse in every way with a rich culture and history. We bridge the divide between progress and tradition and that's what gives us our spirit. Thanks to the folks at Follow and Fine Living for giving us the chance to show it.

Clicky for the photo set. Catch Brandon on the air this afternoon around 1p.m. with Scott on The Point.

I've hardly had a chance to breathe all weekend. I've taken a slew of photos, some of which I hope to finish uploading by tonight. Saturday we dove into the belly of the Ozarks for my family reunion. Yesterday's shoot took about six hours, four of which were spent at the U City Loop. I met up with the two other locals at Crown Candy Kitchen, Scott Rizzuto who deejays at The Point; and a PR woman - who looks exactly like Kristin Chenoweth - from a children's charity. We crammed into a tiny booth with the show host, Brandon, after he put makeup on Scott to make him man-pretty for the camera, and shot the opening scene for the episode. Scott and the-girl-who-looks-like-Kristin Chenoweth are used to speaking on air; me, not so much. My keyboard is my buffer between me and the world and there's a certain solace in that. I had to hurry up and turn it on to match their enthusiasm.

Later that afternoon we hit the Loop. Brandon and I were filmed traipsing up and down the sidewalks while the swanky adults, collegiate hipsters and stinky hippies stared. THERE WERE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. At first I felt very self-conscious about the whole thing but followed Brandon's lead and got over it. We filmed at Blueberry Hill, Riddles' wine bar, and the Tivoli. Side shots without us are to include Donnaland and Vintage Vinyl, the Amoeba Records of the Midwest.

The dialogue was quasi-scripted; I was showing Brandon around my city and the content had to reflect that. Except one of my lines was "Hi, I'm Dana! And I'm going to show you a little thang called the St. Louis Loop!"

The producers actually wanted me to say "thang" which wasn't scary, the scary part is that I sometimes do say "thang." They shot Brandon and I walking into Riddles' a frillion times; we had to re-shoot many of the outside scenes because of noises from buses, huge motorcycle gangs, drunks, and outright hoosiers who would do something to disrupt the shots THANK YOU, I WAS IN HEELS.

We visited Riddles' so to give Brandon a taste of local Missouri wine because NO. We are not just beer country here. Missouri wines are traditionally uber sweet, which didn't jive too well with the dry preference of the New York crew. After the bartender poured our glasses the producer whisked them away because they had to get another shot of the wine being presented and poured but all I kept thinking was THEY TOOK THE WINE AWAY.

We filmed inside the Tivoli; the crowning scene was shot back at Blueberry Hill where we met up with Joe Edwards, the man who pretty much rebuilt Delmar. Joe was in the shot and talked a bit about the Loop's revitalization and then HE SERVED US ROOT BEER AND HAMBURGERS. Joe Edwards, the man who knows Chuck Berry, the man who, like, OWNS Delmar, served! Us! Food! Joe is one of the nicest, most unassuming people I've ever met. And looked very fit and tan.

We finish shooting at a different location tonight. It's a half-hour show and because of such there's only so much they can use. The St. Louis episode is nine of 13 total episodes, which begin airing on Fine Living this September.

Also, I have a whole new respect for cameramen and boom operators.

Omg straight hair


What happened when I let my cousin, Andi, straighten my hair for the first time, EVER:

How to: blowed up


Yesterday we taught the boys about the great American pastime of BLOWING STUFF UP. Liam has always been a little timid around fireworks, Ewan, however, screeched with an unimaginable glee and tore off with a caveman-like wonder towards whatever direction he saw fire. Chris and I were SO PROUD. In my youth, I was known as the Queen of Bottle Rocket Warfare and Chris used to fashion makeshift bombs from different parts of firecrackers. We take pyro seriously in this family.

Step One
Spend a small fortune on consumer explosives. Acceptable choices include any package with a snarling black cat on it or anything labeled "Desert Dominator." That worth celebrating should be done so with fire:

Not content with the simple Firecracker, we got the Demolition Cracker.

Step Two
Allow your five-year-old child to participate (and light a fuse with the help of his older cousin, both of whom were TOTALLY SUPERVISED). Giggle as he charges away from the lit fuse like all hellfire is after him:

Step Three
Take photos of your exploding dollars. The only way you could make it better is by eliminating the middleman and actually setting your money on fire:

Click for more Fourth shots.

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Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"