It’s a Long Story

in Columns/Perspective
Mike Chollet

Of all the human attributes that contribute to one’s success in life, it seems to me that curiosity is one of the most powerful. Curiosity is how we learn, though parents may sometimes lose sight of its importance under daily siege by a three-year-old armed with hundreds of questions. I was that child and while I’m sure I drove my parents crazy, I can attest to the fact that intellectual curiosity makes for a rich and interesting life.

I’m much taller now, but extreme curiosity still drives me on a daily basis. I am a voracious reader with a special affinity for history, particularly American history from the 1800’s forward. Stories of the industrial titans of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s—Ford, Astor, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Morgan—illustrate the American connection and struggle between industrialists and the rise of the labor movement in our country. The two forces are inextricably connected, and each could not have existed without the other. It’s an ongoing story of the need to counteract unchecked power with moral imperative.

St. Louis is a town that offers its own, unique, perspective on history. It is, literally, the jumping off point for the Americanization of the bulk of our country. Proximity to the confluence of four great rivers systems made St. Louis the center of north American civilization for a good part of our country’s history. I think it’s important to always remember where we came from and who we are.

Though ownership has changed for some large businesses and others have left over the years, there are many companies, large and small, who remain rooted here, proudly serving the St. Louis community. Each plays a role in envisioning and building a future for the city we call home and each, whether fledgling or giant, will leave their stamp on the history of St. Louis in some way.

Thomas J. Finan, Jr., the founder of St. Louis Construction News and Review magazine, wasn’t an architect or an engineer or a contractor. He wasn’t even particularly handy, but he was curious about the untapped potential in a city he loved. He took great pride in honoring the contributions so many of you have made to progress in St. Louis. He was passionate about documenting that important work and he believed in the immense power of community and collaboration. Next year will mark the 50th year of this magazine’s existence—a milestone our founder likely never imagined possible. All of us, team members past and present, who work together to bring each issue of St. Louis CNR to life, are immensely proud to be a part of his noble endeavor.

St. Louis CNR was established in 1969 to serve as “The Voice for the St. Louis Construction Industry” and our goal is to continue bringing you stories that inform and inspire. In our March-April 2019 issue, we will celebrate our half-century mark by featuring the people and companies who have contributed to the history and growth of St. Louis through their roles in the construction industry. CNR Editor Kerry Smith, the newest member of our team, is excited to get started telling your stories.

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