Maplewood man wins beard contest

Matt Chulka, Maplewood resident, and manager of the acoustic guitar department at Eddie’s Guitars, took first place in the Full Beard – Styled Mustache Category in the third annual Meet Me in St Louis Beard & Mustache Club Competition over the weekend at The Old Rock House. Chulka said Monday others were more into the stage presentation, “but I was like, well, here I am.” He said he had considered going to spectate, but Brad Jackson, owner of Roughneck Beard Company — newly opened in Maplewood — convinced him he had a chance to do well. Chulka said Jackson styled his mustache for the contest. He said he had a clean-shaven face two years and four months ago.

Church mission to feed hungry running on low, still hopeful

A Maplewood church set to open a soup kitchen for the neighborhood is running into financial struggles after a running start with seed money from a former member. It’s now due to open in April. The Pentecostal Church of God Pastor Philip Centers and his wife, Mary, are transforming the church’s former fellowship hall, at 2150 Yale Avenue, into “The Branch Kitchen” all through with donations. Seed money paid for an architect and some of the construction. They set up a Go Fund Me page for additional construction expenses and hiring a director to run the non-profit.

View From The Wood; Good Fences Make Good Neighbors: a resident’s view

A Maplewood resident with neighbors who burn yard waste and trash in their back yards finally got fed up and called the police. Here’s his story, told to 40 South News on the last day in January. There’s an old saying that “good fences make good neighbors.” Thoughtful people through the ages have disagreed with this: The poet Robert Frost, in “Mending Wall,” pointed out that sometimes barriers are installed and maintained when there is no need, and the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., pointed out that people are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. Nevertheless, we are imperfect people in an imperfect world, and ‘fences,’ in the forms of laws, zoning ordinances, municipal codes, etc. can help to keep the peace.

Church to open kitchen to feed those in need

A Maplewood church is preparing to bring free meals to their neighborhood. Maplewood Pentecostal Church of God Pastor Philip Centers, and his wife, Mary, are transforming their former fellowship hall, at 2150 Yale Avenue, into “The Branch Kitchen,” and it’s all with donations. Pastor Centers said last year a former member of the church gave them money to start a kitchen to feed anyone who might need an occasional free meal — the unemployed, those having trouble making ends meet, the homeless. That donation and donated kitchen equipment, paint from Home Depot, a cargo van from a Fenton church and architect Barry Greenberg’s services — Centers estimates comes to $175,000. See also: Church mission to feed hungry running low on funds, still hopeful
“We’ll have a drop ceiling with all new lights, and the old duct work will all be torn out, new electrical, the floor will be painted with little glitter sparkles in there.

Eagle Scout pinned

Maplewood Richmond Heights Boy Scout Troop 362 scout, Nick Gantz, became a Boy Scout in 2009 — after beginning as a Cub Scout — and on Sunday at Immaculate Conception Church earned the highest rank. He became an Eagle Scout. Gantz is going on to earn an additional five merit badges more than what’s required for Eagle (21), to earn a Bronze Palm. For his Eagle Scout project, Gantz replaced wooden retaining walls with cinder blocks on about 20 raised beds in a community garden. The job took a day, with the help of other Scouts in the troop and some adult leaders.

A Christmas tradition continues

From a share on Facebook: John and Pat Hendel lit their house for Christmas Sunday night. It’s their 23rd year. Three years ago a tradition started to have their grand children light up the house, thinking they have the magic touch. Not only does put it a smile on their face but to many others. Such a great sight to see, sitting at a red light at Manchester and Big Bend.

Barnes & Noble picks up resident’s book

Maplewood resident, Bill Perry’s fold-out book of a road trip from Maplewood all the way to Hawaii is set to be enjoyed by by many more road-trippers — it’s getting picked up by Barnes & Noble. Road Trip began as a fold-out book for his then three-year-old son to drive a toy car along its pages. In 2014 he raised $17,000 to have it published. Now it’s in every independent bookstore in St. Louis except one on South Grand.

Chaney Elementary sign preserved: the whole story

Tim Sauer, a 40 South News reader, shared a photo of a table he made incorporating the sign for the old Chaney Elementary School in Richmond Heights. His stepdad’s grandfather was William Chaney, who was given the plaque, which had stood outside Chaney School from 1971 to 2002. Sauer’s stepdad, Randy Seagrist, sent the whole story:

I’m sending this to you in regards to an email my stepson Tim Sauer sent to you. He made a wonderful table incorporating the sign for the former Chaney Elementary School in Richmond Heights, part of the MRH School District. It sat on the site of the present MRH Elementary School at Glades and Princeton.

Cold weather moves in…

Cold weather and maybe some precipitation is on the way to Maplewood, in this photo Maplewood resident, Robert Chandler shot Friday evening from Shop n’ Save.  

And later that evening at Shop n’ Save…

Maplewood’s fly rod team’s rep is growing

Amelia Tufts and Gabe Batson are growing their national reputation. The Jordan-Mills Rod Company carries one of their fly rods in its Spring 2015 catalog, and says their rods “may be the nicest rods made by any contemporary maker today.” From the catalog:

“Rod has a brisk semi parabolic feel and is a virtual casting machine for either 4 or 5 wt. lines – I like it with a 5. The reputation of Amelia Tufts and Gabe Batson has virtually exploded in the world of emerging makers and I am proud to be one of their earliest brokers.  Their rods are spectacular for performance, structural integrity and appearance.”