DDL this week: On the road with the commish

The Cardinals, Bob Gibson, and Mark Farner bringing it on the stage. Read on for an American story.

In 1919 a young immigrant from Austria/Yugoslavia (now Croatia) stowed away on a military vessel to escape to America.One of 17 kids born to a family in a war-torn land, survival was a challenge. Facts are hazy, but at least five of the siblings did not live through child birth or the war. Hiding among mules on the ship was a way out. He eventually settled in St. Louis.

In 2022 the immigrant’s grandson travelled to the same city. The Cardinals, a mentor, and a concert, were calling. In this, the third installment of road trips weaving family, baseball, and slices of Americana, we visit Busch Stadium, shake hands with the spirit of Bob Gibson, and join Mark Farner in a celebration of the people we are.

Last year you may recall, we visited daughter Dominique and Seattle. Stops included a childhood home, a White Sox-Mariners game, and the Jimi Hendrix Memorial.

Also last year, a trip to Socal and stay with son Mitchell, produced a day at Camp Pendleton, ball games in San Diego, at the Angels, and Lake Elsinore. The Americana piece was paying respects to John Wayne.

The Gibson statue in the picture on the home page is at the entrance to the park.  Gibson has served as an inspirational guide for us beginning with the ’68 World Series. Hard work. No prisoners. Act like you’ve done it before.

The Reds-Cards game was uneventful, with the exception of three throws to home for Yadier Molina to display his blocking and tagging prowess. Day and night pictures look like the game don’t they?

Concert night drew an interesting crowd. There may not have been enough handicapped parking spots for this audience. Tripping over canes was a threat to making it to your seat. Blue Oyster Cult announced this year’s tour is the band’s 50th anniversary.

Farner, 73, has been wearing a pacemaker for eight years. Wouldn’t know it when he takes the stage.

“I’m not a Democrat,” said the former Grand Funk Railroad frontman. “I’m not a Republican. I’m an American.” That was the introduction to “We’re An American Band.” This is a man with Cherokee ancestry. He could think differently, but that would belie his American – no excuses – we’re in it together mantra.

As Farner often said, “Brothers and sisters,” he lauded the collective and the military. Pounced on politicians and humorously, English bands.

The Farner show was sandwiched between a satisfying Head East performance, and predictable Blue Oyster Cult show. We left the latter prior to “The Reaper.” Not enough cowbell after Farner’s foot stompin’ theatre.

The Austrian immigrant who started in St. Louis, spent his last years in Arvada, dying in 1959. Grave is on a hill along Kipling. Described as a difficult man, no one cared to buy a tombstone. In 1972, the son he orphaned and grandsons, placed a marker on the grave. Always impressed my father would do that. The marker reads: “Peter Anton Premac.”

And for a sweet coda: Here’s a 1974 Grand Funk Railroad full show. Enjoy.

Categories: DDL This Week

1 reply

  1. If you decide to check this out, dial the clock to zero for “Foot Stompin’ Music” and “Rock and Roll Soul.” The least funkiest band ever with Funk in the name.

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