Bugle Express:A bus used to transport fans to (the old) Busch Stadium to see the Cardinals, the (former) Arena to watch Blues Hockey, and to Cahokia and Fairmount for the horse races. The “Tavern Tours” were organized and orchestrated by Donald Fanetti, who would also entertain riders by playing the accordion. The Bugle Express, which sported a large American flag atop, became a well-known sight at St. Louis sporting events. The much-anticipated arrival of the bus never failed to rouse a cheer from its riders when it pulled up in front of a South Side tavern.
Fettucini, Senore and Senora:Famous immigrant couple from Bocca de Formaggio, Italy. Originally, the couple had planned to make their home on the Hill, but changed their minds for a home on the banks of the lovely River des Peres.
Foo Foo Beach: 1. An inconsequential and totally fictional place. 2. An area in St. Louis, often cited in Bugle articles and well-known to readers, running from Levee Street, westward to Broadway, and extending north and south from Haven Street to the River Des Peres. Foo Foo Beach first came to public prominence in late 1945, when its residents allegedly had to arm themselves in preparation for a potential spillover of the conflict between Patch and Vinegar Hill troops, each fighting to assert their nation’s supremacy.
Forcelledo, Kiko, Senor:Head of the Bugle’s Cuban Bureau
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Deepweed Charlie:1. Reviled character whose exploits were regularly featured in the Bugle. 2. Longtime South Side resident who became the recipient of a peanut machine fortune when a local organ grinder’s monkey expired from athlete’s foot, leaving Charlie as sole heir.
Don Wadsworth Longfanetti:Poet laureate of the Bugle and regularly-featured purveyor of poignant verse, often written to convey deepest symbolic meaning, as noted in the following example: There was a young lady named Ruth/ Who had a great passion for truth/ She said she would die/ Before she would lie/ And she died in the prime of her youth.
Down the Mississippi: A regular column, penned by one HIPPO, that appeared during the Bugle’s earliest years describing the sights, sounds and everyday happenings along the Mighty Mississippi, in a stretch from St. Louis to Cape Girardeau, as experienced through the writer’s life on a riverboat.
Faust Ice Cream Parlor: Sweet South Side landmark, no longer in existence, where Donald and wife, Mary June Fanetti, first met.
Spanish Claim: A large tract of forested land near Sullivan, Missouri, purchased and christened by Donald Fanetti. The Spanish Claim was the site of numerous adventures enjoyed by the extended Fanetti clan, including hunting, romping in the woods, fishing and swimming.
St. Louis County Sun: 1. Donald Fanetti’s second and short-lived newspaper, following the Gab. Debuting August 6, 1940, the St. Louis County Sun ceased operations only six weeks later, a casualty of thugs and politicians who may have wanted Fanetti silenced for his support of bringing back cheaper coal to the citizens of St. Louis. 2. Forerunner of the Bugle.
Struggling Downtown Dailies: In Bugle parlance refers to the Morning Globe and afternoon St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Three Shorts and One Long: During the days of party lines in which multiple parties shared the same line, the selective ringing pattern that distinguished the Bugle from other users.
Tony Baloney: AKA Donald L. Fanetti. Married to Lotta Baloney and father to Lotta Kids.
Bocce Ball: (Anglicized as “bocci” but spelled both ways in the Bugle—sometimes in the same column—depending on the whim of the Editor): A sport and grand old Italian pastime. The game, played with a spherical ball, is best described as being something on the order of horseshoes except for the moveable peg and the over-exerted language which sometimes accompanies the game.
Bored Room:Official working quarters at the Bugle.
Broadway Rose: 1. A fictitious character regularly featured in the Bugle. 2. Faded flower of the South Side cobblestones who heralded from Hog Island’s social whirl. She appeared in a movie as Lady Godiva but was upstaged by her horse. Broadway Rose withdrew from the Social Registry after being passed over as Queen of Love and Beauty at the annual Veiled Prophet Ball, the apex of St. Louis’ blueblood events and critical determinant of social hierarchy.
Bugle: 1. Originally christened The Bar Room Bugle, the Bugle was a local St. Louis newspaper that primarily covered stories—some true; others, possibly not-so-true—of the people and events that colored the City’s South Side and surrounding South County environs between 1945 and 1972. Beloved for its satiric take on life, love and politics, the Bugle rose to iconic stature among its extensive readership through Fanetti’s brilliant use of self-deprecating humor and regular accounts detailing the deeds and mishaps of a whacky cast of characters. 2. World’s softest newspaper, dedicated to all those who enjoy the lighter side of life. The Bugle proclaimed a combined circulation with the Southwestern Telephone Book of over 743,000. The newspaper was an official Member of the Assassinated Press and guaranteed that material published was qualified and authentic, having been stolen from the most qualified and authentic periodicals in the country.
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Two Gun Min: During the Bugle’s early years, a peace-loving citizen who offered her services as Sheriff of Bugleville. She was famous for brandishing her two pearl-handled pistols. Two Gun Min once shot up the Bugle offices, killing a bill collector and lodging another shot, not so lucky, in the wall. Two Gun Min’s vow was to shoot any critter, whether she was sheriff or not.
Vinegar Hill: The epicenter of Bugleville and home to Rog’s Tavern. Located at the intersection of Reilly and Steins, Vinegar Hill was reportedly on the list of proposed sites for the United Nations world capital.
World’s Softest Newspaper: 1. AKA, the Bugle, America’s Best-Used Publication and Lavatory-Tested. 2. Best social lubricant in the world.
Joke of the Weak:Weekly (weakly) column that became so popular that it was read on KMOX every week.
Local 62 of the Wormdiggers’ Association:1. Alleged real organization for which no official documentation could ever be tracked down. 2. Clandestine labor group constantly beset by power struggles and rifts with the community at large. Headquarters were located behind the billboard at the corner of South Broadway and the River des Peres. Though unconcerned with Broadway Rose’s plight in not being crowned the Queen of Love and Beauty, the Wormdiggers also withdrew their membership in the Veiled Prophet organization after not receiving an invitation to the annual Ball.
River Des Peres Yacht Club:The legendary club formed in the 1960’s by Donald Fanetti who believed that the City needed to convert the South Side drainage ditch of the same name into something beautiful. The Club grew to be hugely popular, spawning 13 chapters and a line of specialty River des Peres memorabilia, from T-shirts to ashtray (all proceeds going to charity). A writer once noted that the River des Peres would occasionally rise to flood tide to get over a tin can, prompting Fanetti to remark: “Such efforts put the river one up on the Bugle at taking itself seriously.” Fanetti served as the Yacht Club’s Commodore Admiral, presiding over his 700 sailors despite the absence of a ship. With plenty of beer always available in dry dock, there wasn’t a landlubber among them.
Copyright 2016. Daniel Fanetti. All rights Reserved.
Bugleville:An area in and extending beyond St. Louis comprised roughly of anywhere south of Chouteau, east of Kingshighway, and anywhere this side of the Arkansas border. Downtown Bugleville was situated at Steins and Reilly, an intersection noted for its heritage as German immigrant Jacob Steins’ homestead, and even better remembered as the location of Rog’s, a well-patronized and oft-publicized drinking and eating establishment. Donald L. Fanetti served as Bugleville’s self-appointed Mayor.
Carondelet Sunday Morning Athletic Club (CSMAC):A not-for-profit organization, founded informally during the Depression and incorporated after World War II, dedicated to providing boys and girls with a place to play competitive sports: baseball, softball, soccer and basketball. Located on Loughborough Avenue, the Club served as an important recreational venue and lively gathering spot for youth and their families for almost 70 years. In 2005, after 70 years of service to the community, the CSMAC ceased operations, the victim of waning interest and fewer young people living in the area.
Caballaros:More formally known as The Spanish Caballaros, a. Carondelet-based youth soccer team, founded in the 1930’s. The Caballaros were sponsored by the Spanish Society, a civic organization whose mission is to support youth of the large Spanish colony that settled in the area. The Caballaros always played against the CSMAC, usually at Carondelet Park or at their home field, Marlo Coil, located at the intersection of Grand and Robert. Early on, the Caballaros gained a winning reputation for their ability to play with great ability and heart. Arguably, the most famous player to ever emerge from the Caballaros was Harry Keough, an American defender who played on the U.S. national team that defeated England in a stunning 1-0 upset to win the coveted 1950 World Cup. During the winter—and before the onset of warmer seasonal temperatures, the Caballaros could often be found playing hockey on Carondolet Park’s frozen lake. This hockey, however, is not to be confused with present-day hockey games since it was played for the sheer joy of having fun.
Corkball:A “mini-baseball” game that employs a miniature-size baseball and bat but does not incorporate base running. Originating in the alleys and streets of St. Louis as a fun pickup game, corkball rose in popularity to achieve status as a recognized competitive sport, especially during the 1940’s and 50’s. Many taverns and other local businesses sponsored corkball leagues during the sport’s heyday.
Adventures in Bugleville:1. A regular inside feature showcasing local residents at work and play. 2. A weekly comic strip by Tony Baloney.
Sonny McQuaid:An early citizen of Bugleville who, in 1946, lost his fortunes overnight and disappeared. He was believed to have drowned in the Mississippi after authorities found his cap floating in a deep puddle of beer. Eventually, McQuaid’s body was found in a shopping bag at the bottom of a pool in a little Broadway park. Doctors at morgue reported that McQuaid had been dead for 4 weeks, but after carpenters at the morgue withdrew his blood and replaced it with alcohol, McQuaid miraculously sprang back to life.
Around Town with Kilroy:An early column of sight-ems featuring the better-than-life, often notorious and always humorous activities of South Side citizens.
Beer Drummers:1. Sales representatives, hired by the local breweries, whose job consisted of “drumming up” business by passing out samples of beer. 2. Favored guests of the menfolk at picnics, barbecues, meetings, get-togethers, and gatherings of all other varieties requiring the drummers’ vital presence and services.
Bible: An authoritative source that tells what people OUGHT to do as opposed to the Bugle, a somewhat authoritative source, that let its readers know what people ACTUALLY do.
Lockhart 8595:The Bugle’s longtime telephone number.
Loophole Louie: The Bugle’s corporate mouthpiece.
Lotta Baloney: AKA Mary June Fanetti, wife of Donald. Mary June officially served as the Bugle’s coffee break coordinator and opinion editor.
Lotta Kids: The Fanetti’s ten children: Donald Jr., Dennis, Dan, Dave, Bobby, Dale Louise, Donna, Dina, David and Jo-Ann.
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Rog’s Tavern: Popular drinking and eating establishment (no longer in existence), located at the intersection of Reilly and Steins. Site of the Rock House, one of the oldest buildings in Carondelet, and originally, home to Jacob Steins, an early German settler in Carondelet. Later became the birthplace of Donald L. Fanetti and his brother, Roger. Shortly after World War II, Roger opened a tavern there with Al Rocoberto called “Rock n Rog”. When Al left the business, the name changed to simply “Rog’s” before eventually transitioning to the family name of “Fanetti’s. 2. Downtown Bugleville and epicenter of Vinegar Hill. Perennial favorite among Bugleville citizens for eating, drinking, schmoozing, playing sports and getting the latest scoops.
Santa Maria: 1. Flagship of the three ships that Christopher Columbus sailed to discover the New World. 2, Arguably, Fanetti’s all-time favorite object of ridicule. During the 1960’s, then- St. Louis Mayor Alfonso Cervantes outbid one of the Rockefellers for a replica of the ship. This was to be the crowning glory of Cervantes’ Spanish acquisitions, following his ill-conceived purchase of the Spanish International Pavilion, which had to be moved from the New York World’s Fair Grounds to St. Louis, at a cost of millions of dollars more than ever anticipated. Shortly after the Santa Maria’s purchase, Fanetti ran a front page story, based on somewhat reliable sources, claiming that the Mayor was considering purchasing a huge Swiss cheese recently seen at the International Cheese Festival in Bern for use as a convention center in St. Louis. Having clinched the Spanish and Italian vote, the Bugle conjectured that the Mayor was trying to make a play for the City’s Swiss contingent. When the Santa Maria was knocked loose from its moorings and destroyed in a 1969 summer storm, the Bugle scooped the real cause of the ship’s demise, reporting that it had not been sunk when it struck the opposite riverbank at all, but was actually destroyed by a torpedo shot by a police submarine doing a practice run in the Mississippi River.
Sick Call: Regularly-featured Bugle column extending best wishes to hospitalized friends.
SOME: Early reporter and intrepid sleuth for the Bugle who would scale trees and peer into windows to get his scoops.
Dedicated to the preservation of the legacy of Donald Fanetti, the Bugle, and Fanetti Park
Iben Truderopes:Infamous marriage counselor of the Bugle who wrote an advice column on all problems of life, love and learning. Iben’s photo, which graced his popular weekly column, presented a battered and beleaguered image, replete with black eye and wraparound head bandage. His advice, though free and of questionable value otherwise, was nonetheless a perennial favorite among readers. For example, a typical letter to Iben reads: “Dear Iben: My girlfriends tell me that catching a man is no harder than hooking a fish. Is this really true?” (Signed, Wilma Doehr). To which Iben responds: “Dear Wilma Doehr. It certainly is. And like in fishing, it always helps to wiggle the bait a little.”
Gab: 1. Donald Fanetti’s first foray into the newspaper business. Founded in 1937, when the publisher was only 15, the Gab’s circulation quickly rose from a mere 50 to thousands of copies a week due in large part to Fanetti’s adroit writing and masterful use of satirical humor in describing daily life on the South Side. 2. Predecessor to the St. Louis County Sun, Fanetti’s short-lived and ill-fated second newspaper.
Gas from the Meramec: 1. The present environmental condition of the Meramec River. 2. A column that appeared during the Bugle’s early years containing humorous news and spoofs of local residents
Harvey Krishna: The Bugle’s highly-esteemed religion editor.
Hickoryville Prevaricator: 1. Fabled newspaper allegedly headquartered somewhere in the Missouri Ozarks. 2. A well-known, but poorly-regarded, newspaper with corporate headquarters in Cabool, Missouri. The paper was published by one William Jennings Wedgewood and came out only once a year when the publisher managed to scrape together the $50 it took to print another edition. The Prevaricator was not regarded as a serious competitor to the Bugle which was in the big leagues among newspapers and highly sought after for its critique and commentary on everyday life in the United States.
Hog Island: 1. An actual island located in the Mississippi River, lying roughly adjacent to Arsenal Street in South St. Louis City, near the old Armory. 2. An actual island populated by less-than-actual characters regularly featured in the Bugle, including Broadway Rose and Willie P. Snerch, Principal of Hog Island’s high school. Hog Island’s citizenry consistently set the high water mark for their forward-thinking ways, as evidenced by their distinction in having the first high school to open a smoking lounge for students and then to wisely drop the athletic curriculum to save money because the students were too winded to participate in sports anyway.
Lucky Elevens: Athletic club formed during the Depression by 11 teenage boys as a way to play football and baseball against kids from other neighborhoods. The first club was located in a 2-room cave dug by the boys in the 8000 block of Polk Street in the Patch Area of Carondelet. After World War II, the founding members purchased a war surplus barracks at Jefferson Barracks. During the late 1940’s and through the early 1950’s, leagues were formed and the Lucky Elevens Club competed in baseball and softball games, triumphing as St. Louis Amateur Softball Champions in 1955. As the members aged, the clubhouse transitioned to more of a social gathering place and served as the venue for many weddings, baby showers and eventually, retirement parties. The Club remains active today and continues to accept memberships, although only a few of the original members are still living.
Luxemburg: AKA Lemay, Missouri. In the great battle for supremacy between the nations of the Patch and Vinegar Hill following World War II, Luxemburg proclaimed neutrality, drawing inevitable comparisons to the Swiss.
Mental Giants: 1. Apt descriptor for the heralded geniuses of the day, the likes of Albert Einstein. 2. Apt descriptor used to describe the Bugle reporters.
Merz, Bob: Official photographer of the Bugle and actual person (AKA Shutters). Married to Nancy Merz, reporter (AKA Speed).
Muggs Shultz: 1. An actual person who lived in the Carondelet area during the 1940’s. 2. Early character whose claim to fame was getting trapped in his bathtub for 46 hours after returning home in questionable condition one night. Years after the column appeared, a television reporter with very little sense of humor challenged the story. Fanetti responded, “Actually I think he was in the tub for six hours, but we had a typographical error.”
Narrow Minded Folks: According to the Bugle, people who believe that words can be spelled only one way.
Patch Neighborhood: The Patch is an area at the southernmost tip of St. Louis City bounded by the Mississippi River on the east, the City Limits on the southwest, Alabama to the west and Robert on the north. Whether the Patch is part of Carondelet depends upon who you talk to. Official sources identify it as being part of Carondelet. Some residents of the area beg to differ as in the oft-heard statement: “That is the Patch you’re referring to. I am from Carondelet.”
Pete Moss: The Bugle’s knowledgeable Gardening Editor.
Pink Tooth Brush: 1. An alleged ailment or disorder afflicting members of the military that can be found nowhere in the annals of medical history. 2. A mysterious illness or disorder qualifying soldiers for immediate discharge from the service.
Pneumonia Gulch Hospital: 7500 South Broadway. AKA (the now closed) Mt. Rose Tuberculosis Sanitarium.
Professor Pooey Wine Chop: Head of the Bugle’s Research Bureau. Foremost scientist, philosopher and inventor whose specialty was inventing all things concrete, including atomic bombs, airplanes, submarines, rifles and even sausages (the latter being a philanthropic effort to relieve world hunger). At the beginning of his career, Wine Chop labored in seclusion to come up with a concrete airplane. The Germans attempted to use his idea in Nuremberg, resulting in the loss of some 50,000 of their troops. Professor Wine Chop once explained that he liked researching useful applications for concrete because it gave him something “concrete” to show for his work.
Remember When: A column that appeared in the Bugle’s early years about the good old days written especially for old timers.
Rick Shaw: Head of the Bugle’s Hong Kong bureau.