Online Edition 01.2007

Galen's Stuff | Jess Dewes
Photo Essay

Streetside Pick Up | Elie Gardner
Photo Elie Gardner

The Gift and Burden of Possession | Ari Holtz

Franklin Visits eBay! | Franklin Jennings

The Book | Luby Kelley
Illustration Matt Kindt

Killed By Their Own Art | Byron Kerman

Liberation | Julie Newberry

Bless This Mess | Claire Nowak-Boyd
Photos Michael R. Allen

Best of Mississippi Nights | Jim Utz

Print Edition   


Andrea Avery, Diana Benanti, Thomas Crone, M. Davis, Heidi Dean,  Amanda E. Doyle, Joe Esser,  Chris King, François Luong, L.A. Ramsey, Stefene Russell, Steven Schreiner, and Erik Smetana.


Andrea Avery, Thomas Crone, Bill Cable, Jess Dewes, Katy Fischer, Jane Godfrey, Dave Gray.

Franklin Visits eBay! | by Franklin Jennings

As you might assume, I, Franklin Jennings, have a fantastic assortment of St. Louis bric-a-brac and esoterica. In addition to my affairs as St. Louis’ favorite cyber imp, I consider my civic duty to include the collecting of things.

Specifically, things related to St. Louis, Missouri, a.k.a. Mound City, Da STL, The Gateway City, America’s Greatest Sports Town, Murder City, The City at the Meeting of the Two Great Rivers, Lindberghville, Ol’ Shanty Town, the Goddess of the Grain Belt.

Recently, I visited one of my favorite places to shop, an online boutique known as eBay, on which buyers and sellers match interests and dollars. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Maybe a friend’s been on the site? Have I even bought a piece from you? Perhaps, if you sell that good STL stuff!

Here were the targets I was eyeballing on the first day of the New Year, with some annotated notes from that day. Most days are not this rich with options, mind you.

St. Louis Stallions beer stein: Some of you may not remember the football-free days between the Cardinals and the Rams, but those that do will surely recall the Stallions, a proposed expansion franchise that never played a game in the NFL. As I proudly possess a tee shirt from the team, why not this seldom-seen item? The $7.99 reserve price seems to say “deal,” especially with this stein falling into the European style of 25-ounce capacity.

SS Admiral tweezers: Admittedly, the Admiral was St. Louis’ favorite excursion boat for several decades, and the craft spawned any amount of spin-off products for the visitor to purchase. It’s somewhat esoteric, though, that a floating river craft would issue a set of tweezers. That said, this unbid-upon item sounds a steal at 99 cents. Heck, I saw one of these at TFA for $12.99 before Christmas!

Chuck Berry’s Chuck Taylors: It’s long been a badly-kept secret that Chuck Berry, in addition to his early musical outings, was a star of the hard court in high school, ranked as a very good, if not great, prep basketballer. This set of Chuck’s come with a statement of authenticity, suggesting that the well-worn pair of sneakers may very well be those used by Berry while draining jumpers in the PHL gyms of yesteryear. These kicks are well beyond my price range, though, at a $298. Darn. I have a feeling that I know the seller, JoeFromUCity.

Tums boxer shorts: There’s nothing more calming to my stomach than the calcium-based, antacid tablets produced in Downtown St. Louis. That said, I can imagine little more comfortable than a pair of cotton boxer shorts, bearing the logo of our favorite local medicinal. Tempting at the $6.99 high bid price. Very tempting, indeed.

“The Randy Tales of Twain” (translated): For years, the saucier, “adult” stories by Mark Twain have been a hit in European literary circles, which have hailed these stories as “the real Twain” and “a delightfully bawdy look back at mid-19th century Midwestern mores.” And this copy, in a new edition from the Finnish publishing house Oodgaarde Presse, shows that the naughtier side of America’s hailed heartland author still moves the cross-Atlantic set. While I don’t speak Finnish, I suppose some eBay buyers do, as the $19.99 price has been tracking higher since posted early on New Year’s Eve.

“Pavlov’s Dog: Back to the Garage” EP: Lost in the hubbub over the ‘70s supergroup pulling off a single, reunion show at The Pageant is that fact that the group – during their rehearsal process for the show – recorded an ad hoc handful of songs that influenced the group during their nascent days, including the minor AM radio hits “Merry Merry Me” by The Toads, and the single chart-crasher by Vic & the Victorians, “I’m Alright with You.” This Australian import is fetching a 28-bid-and-growing $48.50 and would surely be worth the sum. On the compact-disc format, fyi.

“From Peter Raven’s Kitchen to… Yours!”: The fact that this locally published book from Virginia Publishing is available at all the local shops isn’t an inducement to buy this tome of family recipes from the topper of the Missouri Botanical Gardens. But the $1.99 price and end of bidding at midnight suggest that a nice flip at Dunaway might be in order. Bid in!

Horton Watkins High School 1981 yearbook: I’ve got a friend who likes to do what I call “quirky art projects.” She’s a real card, alright. And this item’s only listing at $8.50. Oh, hell yeah! Christmas shopping for 2007 is officially underway.

Various St. Louis Sun covers: Um…twenty-five varied covers from the old tabloid daily newspaper? Who would want such a collection? Not me. And, it appears, few others. No bids. Ouch. Feel bad for the seller, but no mercy bids on this one.

By the time you read this, some of these items will be mine. It gives me great pleasure that I’m able to share my process with you, the 52nd City reader!


Franklin Jennings is, as mentioned, St. Louis’ favorite cyber imp.