Correspondents afield, listlessly.

April 24, 2010

Final examinations are about to be administered at the Saint Louis University School of Law and your editorial staff is library-bound for the immediate future (and near-intolerable present). Infrequent dispatches forthcoming.

Correspondents afield, listlessly.



December 1, 2009

Please excuse the recent absense of frequent posting at this web log; law school finals are too-fast approaching, per usual, and we’re all looking forward to some additional writing time when those are finished.


Correspondents Afield, and A-library

August 15, 2009

With the impending advent of another semester of law school, posts here have been regrettably scant of late; apologies. New material forthcoming.

Correspondent(s) a-library, regrettably.

Correspondent(s) a-library, regrettably.

Watering Holes: Humphrey’s

May 26, 2008

3700 Laclede, St. Louis, Mo. 63108

(314) 535-0700

For more than 30 years Humphrey’s has served St. Louis, and St. Louis University in particular, with a combination of good pub food, live music, incongruous decor, oversized bartenders, and cheap beer.  Opened in 1976 by Jan and Robert “Humphrey” Mangelsdorf, this St. Louis institution is best know for its Wednesday night “penny pitchers,” boisterous crowds and nostalgic ornaments (including vintage concert posters behind the massive central bar rumored to cary insurance of over $20,000). 

Humphrey’s scene is collegial: wood and moldings prevail and the normal atmosphere is a mix of cigarettes, warm beer and bodies.  Ruggers gather after games on SLU’s nearby fields, mixing with college students returning from out-of-state schools for summer vacation, and SLU students, undergraduate and graduate.  Bartenders tend toward the bearish; the family’s three sons have all taken turns behind the bar, with Bob Mangelsdorf currently manning the helm: each son left his mark on Chaminade sporting fields, notably football and hockey, prior to his time at the bar.  Andrew Kofron, veteran doorman, counts the bar’s congenial atmosphere, large circle of regulars and dead-on soundtrack as chief draws. Deer and gazelles have lent their heads and stately racks to the walls; the outdoor patio is a summertime staple with its own bar and stage.

Humphrey’s iconic mascot has long been a stodgy old man in tails and bowtie, the “Humphrey’s Man,” “known and respected by all.”  His origins are unclear. 

While safely ensconced on Laclede today, Humphrey’s future wasn’t always so clear: years ago the tavern was pressured by developers to sell and then-SLU student Jim Swift took it personally.  Swift’s website, Save, was developed and quickly registered over one million hits. Local Greeks Tau Kappa Epsilon and Sigma Kappa sorority stepped in alongside SLU alumni groups and St. Louis radio station Z107.7 FM to promote “Save Humphrey’s” t-shirts. Public support saved the bar and Swift signed on as a doorman; he still maintains the official Humphrey’s website. 

Jim Swift, on Z 107.7 FM

A Confederacy of Dunces

May 23, 2008

The St. Louis University School of Law, hoary bastion of Missouri advocacy, is know for its Jesuit heritage and deep roots in the St. Louis, Mo. legal community.  Alumni include top-notch barristers, politicians, local and national influencers, professors and noted scholars. Highly respected and oft-published educators comprise its faculty; apt administrators its deanships. Not so in the Office of Admissions. 

My experience with these functionaries includes improperly-addressed admissions offers, rescinded admissions offers, partial admissions offers, one remarkably rude (and incompetent) office assistant who assured me repeatedly the letter she just mailed to my former Boston residence hadn’t actually been mailed to Boston, assistant deans who don’t seem to talk to each other, conflicting deadlines and finally, in an example bordering on laughably inept, my being mailed a complimentary pen that arrived both out of ink and broken in half.

I’m slated to begin law school this coming August; I wouldn’t be surprised to show up the first day and be directed to the supply closet where, due to cosmic but unsurprising mix-ups, I will be expected to start work as either a janitor, professor or mascot.