FRI 8/27

Doesn't it feel like radios were beaming "School's Out" just yesterday because, well, school was out for the summer? It can't be that time already. It is. Students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville can ease the sting at the free Welcome Back Block Party at the intersection of Second and St. Louis streets in downtown Edwardsville, Illinois, at 6 p.m. There'll be a DJ and a band, and vendors will deal soft drinks and food as well as, yes, beer. (This is a college thing.) Faculty, children and townspeople are also invited. Edwardsville's an old, rather beautiful small town; the SIUE campus is expansive and bucolic. The kids should feel alright. -- Alex Weir

Tale of the Tiger
Denny McLain begins again

SUN 8/29

In 1968 pitcher Denny McLain won 31 games for the Detroit Tigers and led them to the World Series, picking up the American League MVP award along the way. Two years later he was suspended for most of the season after being caught "consorting with gamblers," beating Pete Rose to the punch by a decade and a half. These are the sort of distinctions that make a former major leaguer's autograph go from being desirable to being collectable. McLain, now in the process of straightening out his life, appears at the St. Louis Sports Collectors show at Machinists Hall (12365 St. Charles Rock Road) between noon and 2 p.m. A genuine Denny McLain autograph will set you back $20 to $30, in addition to the $2 admission fee. Call 618-281-6014 for info, or check out -- Paul Friswold

Support System

SAT 8/28

Lots of things support us in our day-to-day lives: our parents, bras, tighty-whities. But who/what do you support? Why don't you think about supporting the assistance dogs pictured? After all, they dedicate their lives to making people's lives better. Help 'em out at the $15-per-person Support Dogs, Inc. fundraising trivia night at 7 p.m. at the Kirkwood Community Center (111 South Geyer Road). With beer included, this night supports your drinking habit but not your belly -- bring your own food. Visit for more info, or call 314-997-2325 to make reservations. -- Alison Sieloff

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