By now many of you gentle readers will have heard our sad news. My dear Joe has left us, far more quietly than was his usual style.
I am stunned by the sheer volume of condolence messages, kind words and compliments this has caused in the community of people interested in food, wine, theater, film, journalism and the occasional wisecrack. When he retired from the Post-Dispatch, there were many good wishes and a fabulous multi-chef dinner. (Thanks, guys. He still talked about that.) But the fellow with the big ego turned to me one day in the car and said, rather quietly but with a clear note of astonishment, "They really do like me." What our family is seeing now is far larger than that, geometrically larger.
When I married Joe, I sometimes said I felt like I won the lottery. I continued to feel that way, except for the occasional 20 minutes or so, right up to the wee hours of Friday morning, and indeed I still do. Joe had a swell time in life, and I was lucky to be invited along for the last part of the ride. In all honesty, I cannot say exactly what I will do with St. Louis Eats, but I do intend to continue once we get past the immediate situation. Almost certainly things will return more closely to our original focus that's reflected in the name.
We are having a memorial service on the Mainstage of the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis this Saturday, March 17, at 11 a.m. That being St. Patrick's Day, no saloon, which an old friend pointed out would be Joe's venue of choice, is available, unfortunately. ("Amateur drinkers," Joe would have muttered.) But we will try to explain to ourselves and to our beloved younger generation just who this guy was.