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Ed Moose dies.

Ed Moose fell in love with the saloon business in Gaslight Square, married it in San Francisco and became that city's premier host to athletes and journalists, bon vivants of all ages, social standing and economic position and, basically, anyone who liked to drink, eat and talk. Moose died Aug. 12 in San Francisco, where he had lived since leaving St. Louis in 1961.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Moose, 81, suffered a fractured ankle in June, and after several surgeries, developed a staph infection. Mary Etta Presti Moose, also a St. Louisan and his wife of 45 years, survives. The Beacon ran a nice reminiscence by Judith Robinson from an old feature story; the Post-Dispatch, its loyalty to St. Louisans and its institutional memory about a split-second long, ignored the event.

Moose, a tall, husky (some called him fat), pink-cheeked guy who never seemed to forget a face or a name, personified hospitality to thousands of customers at the Washington Square Bar & Grill. Moose worked at several jobs in St. Louis, including the St. Louis University alumni office, in a couple of city hall positions and as a social worker.

On a business trip to San Francisco, Moose discovered advantages--good weather and better saloons--so he relocated.

St. Louis reporters who knew Moose and Deitsch from the Gaslight Square days, would visit on their travels, and San Francisco reporters joined them. Herb Caen, Stan Delaplane, Ron Fimrite, Charles McCabe and other famed West Coast bylines hung out there.

Moose and Deitsch sold the Washington Square Bar & Grill in 1990 and ostensibly retired. But three years later, Moose saw a property across Washington Park from the Washbag and opened it as Moose's. Deitsch was an inactive partner who still kept his regular seat at the bar until he died in 2002.

Moose's drew a media crowd, including Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, Daniel Schorr and many others. Moose sold it in 2005. On the day after he died, the Washbag posted a closing notice.

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Title Annotation:Journalism of Yesteryear
Author:Pollack, Joe
Publication:Gateway Journalism Review
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1U4MO
Date:Sep 22, 2010
Words:333
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