Monday, July 14, 2008

End of an Era

Wow! What a day. No shortage of blogging goodies today... with baby Knox and Vivienne making their arrival, Miss America falling on her ass in Vietnam, and my fav couple, Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman breaking up! Oh yeah- THE END OF OPERATION STAYCATION- the old hubby sets off back to work tomorrow and I can actually start blogging with actual content again, or at least have the time to try.

First things first, to those around the country (cyberworld, wherever), you may not be aware of something going on in my neck of the woods and it's kind of in the forefront of our minds.

Beer giant, Anheuser-Busch was bought out in a deal that was all but finalized today. A Belgian brewer, InBev, has bought out our hometown, essentially. Without getting all political and "Buy American" on you, I thought it was notable to mention how, oddly enough, beer has shaped the life of this and many St. Louisans.

It's not only about beer, I mean, it is about beer- we (not me, personally) drink a lot of beer in these parts, but it's so much more than that.

Everyone knows someone that works for "A-B". The uncertainty of cutbacks and layoffs that may loom in the future is daunting and we all know people that stand to be affected. The air is thick with fear of the unknown.

In a city that has seen its share of struggle and transition, A-B has been the one constant. Many industries have come and gone, but A-B was our backbone. The national ad campaigns, the World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales, and some of the best Superbowl commercials ever always warm up a sense of pride in a true St. Louisan.

Busch Stadium, home to our St. Louis Baseball Cardinals, and obvious namesake. I don't believe I have ever met a person that lives here and has NOT been to a Cardinal game. A-B and the Cardinal are synonymous with each other. This is a baseball- loving, proud beer drinking town and half of its identity has been taken over.

Grant's Farm, a popular family attraction with thousands of animals running free on 281 acres, is also run by A-B. It is a beautiful tribute to a commitment to wildlife preservation. Some of my earliest childhood memories are from Grant's Farm. Feeding the goats from baby bottles as they chew my sundress to shreds, watching the bird shows, and being able to sit atop the carriage that is pulled by the Clydesdales, whose stables are also housed on the grounds are just a few that come to mind. I have watched my children enjoy the exact same memories as I did there. I am heartbroken at the possibility of this tradition ending. Inbev has mentioned their first action would likely be selling their amusement parks (including Sea World and Busch Gardens).

A-B has played a hand in almost every aspect of this community. There is a big question mark of where it will go from here. It seems certain, though, that, in St. Louis, life, as we know it, is about to change.

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C said...

Do you blog at midnight or something? I can't stay up that late!

I've read a little bit about that whole buy out thing. It SUCKS! And I will get political here, it's interesting to note that would-be first lady Cindy McCain has some ownership/Board ties to the company that is buying AB, and the McCains stand to make A LOT of money on this deal. HMMMM... A first family that makes money off of sending jobs/business overseas...

Okay, I'm done now! Well, I'm glad you made it out of Stay-cation alive! Welcome back to "normal!"


Tenakim said...

how right you are- Cindy McCain inherited one of the largest distributors and owned $1 million in share- she made a cool $46.3 BILLION by selling(yes, she was one of the few that supported it) a foreign buyout of an American icon!

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

It's such a shame that we are losing our icons that way...geez.

Mrs4444 said...

Please don't take this the wrong way; I do not at all mean to trivialize what you are saying, but I can relate in a way. All of this Brett Favre stuff is making things around Green Bay unsettled, too. It's not just that he won't be playing her next year; it's the tension that's been caused by the conflict between Brett and the Packers Organization. When a community is so closely tied to an institution, it's just natural that changes affect everyone. I'm sorry to hear your city is living in such fear right now. Change is scary.

Terri said...

Tena I totally "get" this post. I live near Detroit and work in the auto industry. Things are BAD and getting worse. We feel that same desperateness here and change is coming big.