Best Place and Time to Get Schatzied

Saturday mornings, WEW (770 AM)

There are at least three kinds of Germans: Bad Germans, who are stinkers; good Germans, who also are very, very bad (but can take orders); and St. Louis Germans, who like to trink bier, tanz around in der lederhosen und schtufft der bellies full o' de big fat wursts. Most years, when the weather's not so verdamdten hot, these Deutschers gather at the Strassenfest, where there's lots of trinken, tanzen und wurst-schtuffing. Where are they the rest of the year? Some, we suspect, spend their time, hidden in caves under the Mother Brewery, working for the Keg Kaiser. Most others blend in, cleverly disguising themselves as regular folks and only revealing themselves on Saturday mornings, when, for reasons known only to them, they tune their Grundigs to the nation's second-oldest radio station. It's on WEW (770 AM) that Silvia Van Versen, the irrepressible Konigen of Happy Go Lucky Music, spins the schmaltziest German tunes this side of Bavaria. Think German Barry Manilow on speed, but with the up-tempo stylings of Lawrence Welk. It's not the music that's the magnet -- it's Silvia. If Silvia had been der Führer, she would have delighted the Allies to death. In Silvia's world, everybody's a schatzi -- a dear. She's a bouncy laugh riot. At a recent live remote at the Sappington Farmers' Market, Silvia was in regular form: "You don't hear schtuff like dis on udder stations -- that's why we standt out like a sore tum.... Is everybody happy? Is everybody smiling? You better be -- 'cause I'm here, and I'm a very happy person."

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