“Hey, guys, I’m back! Got batches for the bands!” she joshes in her throaty voice, balancing platters covered with aluminum foil. It’s July, late afternoon, hot.

“I seen ya comin’,” calls out Bandanna Bob, one of the security guards at the back gate of the Verizon Amphitheater in Maryland Heights. He grins. “Last time you dropped some by, I snuck five of ‘em. How ‘bout baking some for us?” She grins as he relieves her of the trays and radios for a golf cart to take them backstage. Before 911, she herself used to deliver them.

Such begins another afternoon of Cookie Lady sharing home-baked oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies with alternative rock bands. High drama engulfs the sound stage as crews do their set-ups for 311 from California and a local ensemble, The Urge.

Who is this slight lady, her hair bobbed, wearing a loose fitting top and cargo pants and sandals, now in her senior years? Her presence at such venues evokes broad smiles. She’s been at this for decades.

Raised in a third floor apartment in the West End, she picked up her passion for baking from her grandmother and from a German neighbor living on the second floor. Her father’s violin playing seeded her spirit for all kinds of music and singing. Such carried her through rough times in the 1980s. Keep Pushin’ by REO Speedwagon was critical.

A chance comment to her mother, then working at the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Bureau, housed in the old Kiel Auditorium, involved her in the high drama of the band world. “I’d like to pay back my gratitude to those guys. They’ve helped me so much with their music. Being far from their homes, I bet they’d like something fresh, from my kitchen.” Through her mother’s in with Kiel’s grandfatherly manager, Ed Marc, the doors opened for Cookie Lady and remain open to this day.

Her name is Barbara Lutz. Her laughter, like wind chimes tinkling in the winds.

 

 

 

 

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