Saturday, January 14, 2017

Spike, Harry and Enos at The Chase

January is a good month to search for old stuff and get rid of it, maybe even sell on eBay. Which is what I had planned for a menu I found in my files but now I think I'll keep it.

The menu is autographed by 3 famous people, one on the front, two on the back..famous to many anyway. I think the year is early 1951, although there is no date on it.

This is the Chase Club, at the Chase Hotel in mid-town St. Louis, still a highly regarded hotel just across from Forest Park. My parents used to go to the Club almost every Sunday night. This particular night, they took me to see Spike Jones and the City Slickers. I was a big fan of Spike - still am, really - and loved seeing him in his plaid jacket, along with Doodles Weaver, George Rock, and the rest of the crazy gang. Spike's autograph is on front of the menu.

Here's an idea what was offered on the menu and the prices.
- Lobster cocktail $1.90
- Hot Deviled Chicken Livers Rolled in Bacon $.95
- Mock Turtle Soup .50
- Lobster ala Newburg  2.75
- Broiled Lamb Chops  2.30
- Choice Tenderloin Steak w/French Fried Onions   4.50
- Spike Jones Special: Spaghetti w/Meat Balls   2.85
and for dessert, Chocolate Cream Pie   .35
Almost forgot: you could get a cup of Sanka for 30 cents.

As I was considering whether to put this up for grabs on eBay, I looked at the back of the menu. There are two autographs there, lightly written in pen or pencil, I'm not sure which. One is Harry Caray. The other is Enos Slaughter. So I know it was a Sunday night, the Cardinals weren't playing, and there must have been other players at the Club that night. And there must have been a couple of babes at the table with Harry and Country Slaughter, but that's just a guess. 

Many years later, I would work with Harry in advertising. He had moved to Chicago and was the voice of the Cubs. We needed a Budweiser campaign for Chicago, so Harry became our "Cub Fan/Bud Man." My son Gregg was there for the shoot. Harry sold a lot of beer for us. 

But that was to come later. This night at the Club, he was the voice of the Red Birds, Enos was 5 years past his famous dash from first to home on a hit by Harry Walker in a World Series game against the Boston Red Sox, and Spike and his City Slickers had a hit with "Cocktails for Two." 

If it hadn't been for this menu, I probably would've forgotten about that magical evening with mom and dad, meeting Spike, Harry and Enos, and enjoying a big slice of Chocolate Cream Pie.