TLC #9 - The REAL One!: April 19, 2001
NOTE: Did you
ever hit the "Send" button and scream "No! NO! NOOOO!" Well,
I don't know what happened, but my draft ended up in my "Sent" box. So
what follows is the complete and edited version.
Dear Hearts & Gentle People:
What's become of me, you say? Or, more accurately, what's become of the
news from the old hometown? My excuse: tax season. You see, I have a little tax
preparation business here in my home...and I got a little busy the last few
weeks. Sorry. I'll make up for it now with lots of news and lots of messages.
So, settle in and get ready to read.
It's been a busy week in Lexington, several major events. First, Bank
Midwest unveiled their new redecoration with a ribbon cutting. Then the new
B&L Bank (combining B&L Bank, formerly Lex Building & Loan, and
Lafayette County Bank) opened with a grand Open House on Sunday.
Next on the domino chain: City Hall moved to the former B&L Bank
building (the colonial style building at 10th & Franklin). Lovely new
offices for the city, much more room, and happier employees. Just today the new
Wal-Mart SuperCenter opened in Richmond, thereby increasing the traffic flow
across our dear old Highway 13 bridge. (I find the only way to drive it without
fear is to close your eyes and floorboard the accelerator.)
Site preparation at the Franklin Hole continues, and this week they
uncovered two buried houses! Apparently that's the way they used to dispose of
unwanted buildings: they tore them down and buried them. Does make for some
interesting experiences when you begin building on that property again, such as
major settling. But we forge on, and one day we will have a movie
One other thought before I send messages from your old chums. You may be
interested to know there is a revival of downtown apartments occurring. People
are renovating them and living in them, which makes downtown much more
"alive" at night and on holidays. There is a lot of "life"
in town annnnnnd it's becoming quite chic to live there. I have seen
some of the apartments and they are really lovely, and interesting.
I wish you were all here to see the town in bloom. The daffodils are pretty
much finished, but all the flowering trees are coming on strong. The tulip trees
were simply gorgeous this year. Seems to be a very virile spring. Everything is
green and everyone is sneezing.
The following is excerpts from your fellow Lexingtonians who were kind
enough to write. Yawl do the same!
Just wrote a note to Duane Schluetter after seeing his
name on your
mailing list. I was telling him that I
found a matchbook cover from back in
the days when his
dad was running for county sheriff. I found it here
Austin TX, at a flea market about ten years ago. Of
course I bought it.
Small world, heh?
McDonald: (through Shirley Briggle)
I am in Baton Rouge, LA, and my wife's name is Roberta but everyone
her "Bobbie". I'm retired, as of 1995, after working 40
years as a chemical
engineer at Exxon. We had 3 kids, all graduated
from college (one chem.
engr., one CPA, one elementary school teacher).
We have 6 grand kids, one
college grad. (sixth grade teacher), one in college
and the other four in
high school. I'm very active in volunteer things
and basically having the
time of my life, except for Bobbie's second brush
with cancer in the past
three years. Glad to hear from you and I love
the TLC. Believe it or not I
remember you and Mary Jo just like it was
yesterday. You were both so
pretty. Unfortunately, I am just an
ugly old man with a bunch of good memories.
My sister, Barbara Lee Fay, forwarded your
newsletter to me this week and said she gave you my email address, also. Even
though I'm "so much" younger than you guys (okay, only 3 yrs. Class of
'60) I remember most of your "correspondents". Perhaps a few of them
remember me. I would love to receive your emailed correspondence from other
Congratulations on the naming of the street after
your Dad. I can remember my Dad mentioning your father's name many times a week.
I think they shared many hours at the Victory over coffee. By the way, my Dad
did hear that someone is putting in a theater in the old Franklin
I won't take the time or space to give a history of
my life since LHS, but briefly: 2 yrs. at Coe College; journalism degree from
MU; 2 yrs. at good old KLEX; 3 yrs. US Army, mostly in Germany; 18-years with
RJR Tobacco International as sponsorships director, the last 7 in England;
another 4 yrs. in England as a consultant; now in No. Nevada trying to get a web
site to work and playing with hot rods, old race cars and Harley Davidsons. Two
failed marriages, no children, but a life most people would never dream
I've been to every continent except Antarctica.
I've dined with royalty and slept in rain forests of the Amazon and Borneo. I
gave a speech in Red Square (non-political!) and spent nearly a month in Siberia
(in the summer!). Needless to say, this story could go on for a long time.
I have a fantastic lady companion now and we love
sharing many things together. She's getting used to my wanderlust. I
I heard about Harold Harden's stroke, but no news
lately. Anyone heard anything?
I've lost touch with nearly everyone in my class. I
saw David Goodloe a couple of times in '96 and '97 and hear he is in
Warrensburg. Since my parents moved to KC, I don't get much Lexington news, so
this email letter is great. Keep it up.
Barb forwarded TLC #8 to me. That's the only one I
have. Send 'em all, if you don't mind.
Christmas of '99 I took my girl friend, Kathy, to
KC to meet the family and we did The Tour of Lexington. I pointed out your
house. I guess she liked everything okay because she moved in with
When I get some time I'll send a little more info
on what I've been up to. If you run across anyone from Class of '60 ask if they
have e-mail. Carol (Grechus) Summerlin's sister Joyce was in my class and, of
course, I married their cousin, Judy. But, I have no idea what any of them are
up to. I saw Carol about 6 or 7 years ago and she was working at the
From Barbara Tabb:
Thanks again for the great job you are doing. I look forward
catching up with what is going on in Lexington, and it's nice to see
those familiar names in your e-mail list. I feel very fortunate in
I remember all those people on the list with the exception of a few,
didn't even have to hunt up an old yearbook. I think those I
recognize were either gals whose married name I never did know, or
who moved there after I left. I don't think any of them were
'before my time', because only dirt seems to qualify for that
It's nice to see that many people online with close ties to
I do feel very tied to my roots, and even chose the name Showme_Mo
chat name in Yahoo. I moved away from there in '56 when I got
have lived all over the Midwest, but it's still 'home' to
years that so many of us shared. I have many wonderful
memories from those
times, and can't think of a better place in the
world to have grown up.
I never did make it to a class reunion until
the one that was our 20th, and
have tried not to miss a one since. What
struck me about that one, and
even those that followed, was that: -
even if I had to think a minute
about who it was, all the years just
melted away once we started talking, and
shared some old memories that
'tied us together'. The only thing wrong with
those that include 5
classes is that you don't have enough time to really sit
down and visit
with everybody at the reunion itself. But, I really did enjoy
across anybody I knew during that visit, and had the time to
undivided attention to a real conversation. Like - going 'uptown'
the Homecoming Parade, and running across people who were kind enough
'recognize me' after all these years. haha. I had some
conversations with a number of people. I will say this, though, and
mean no offense to the current denizens of L.H.S. We DID know how
have a pep rally, and I've got the home movies to prove it. It
'tradition', and I saw big changes in the ones they have today.
centered a lot of our activities around sports, and it was L.H.S.
was the core of our most common memories. But, I don't long for
sports news of today - nobody will ever match the record of
54'-'55 in sports - so, let's hear it for us. You guys who want
news' - subscribe to the current Lexington paper, which is little
On that subject - congratulations, Susan, on the honor
your Dad, and maybe he just set too high a standard for a
newspaper. And, I can't say enough about
what an asset he was to the whole
community - he is very deserving of the honor. I
used that nice access street
to the new museum on the Civil War site, and was
also impressed by what has
been done there. I would advise everybody to go out
there and spend the day
- well worth the trip, and I plan to go back. I
learned soooo much that I
hadn't known before, and wanted to scour the place
for all the history
there. I don't know who is responsible for getting that
done, but I
certainly did enjoy it, so maybe you can pass along my sincere
Keep up the good work. I think I detect that you
are even enjoying
it, so I guess you are probably speaking to 'Brig' again
because of it.
haha. I do look forward to them, and appreciate your taking
the time to
do it Keep 'em coming!
warmest regard, Barbara
From Carol Murry
Mother is still progressing although it is at a
snail's pace and as everyone knows her daughter never was a champion of
Jack and I are joining Ken and Deb Murry for a
cruise in the Mexican Riveria area the last full week of April.
Tonight I talked to Norman (Thorson) over the phone. He doesn't get to
Lexington very often. The last time he came was when they had the
visitation for Sonny Fiora. He said Richard VanZandt and his wife came up to his
home in Lathrop last night just for a visit. He showed Richard the eight
issues of TLC that I had mailed him, and Richard said "I didn't know all of
this information... here I have to come all the way to Lathrop to find out what
is happening in my own home town". For example, he didn't know about the
naming of 13th street for your dad,etc. Again, he said your TLC is
I was telling Norman that maybe you could mail out a printed
version and sell it at some subscription rate, or for a donation of X dollars a
year or some kind of arrangement. He thought this sounded good, as there
are probably a lot of Lexington old timers that have not entered into the
computer world. Sounds a lot like the birth of another
To answer your question, yes my sister finally got
permission from a lady in
Higginsville to bring the
Winkler/Sandring/Samuelson history in at 10:00 am
on Monday morning, April
2. Somewhere I read where the 1900 version was
published in 1910.
I do know it had my grandfather Sandring's date of
death, which was in 1904,
printed in the article that covered his life.
So... it looks like they want
to get this version out a lot faster than the
one a hundred years ago.
-- I read somewhere where they have about 1100
family histories for
this version. I wonder how well they advertised as
Norman didn't know
about it, and also two relatives in Waverly didn't know
about it when I saw
them last Sunday. Oh well, that is the way the cookie
for helping my sister, and also thank you for your
interest in asking if we
made it in with the histories O.K.
Living up here makes it difficult to know of news to send you, but I
send any I know about as soon as it happens. Thanks again for
From Liz Bertz
I would really
appreciate your running the following list of names in
Perhaps someone will give a clue as to how to track down
some of the missing
Class of '51: William Hollingsworth,
Marilyn Vanderlinden, Ben Bob
Tarwarter, Richard Horton, Marjorie Rodenberg
Schoppenhorst, Mary Ann
Garner Higgins, William Canning.
Class of "52: Kenneth Barnes, Estella Whisler
Lefman Clemens, Carolyn Priddy Weise, Carol Sue Kriehn
The reunion is set for Labor Day weekend, August
Editor's note: Voila!
We've already found one, Liz!
From Jack Gueguen:
You may like to send this news about Mary Jo (Farrow) Hammontree to the
network. Many of her classmates have been wondering about the
circumstances of her recent death on March 2 in K.C. This morning I had a
long phone conversation with the priest at St. Patrick's church in St. Joseph
(Father Matthew) who has been close to her over the past several years, during
which the people of that parish have been like a second family to her. He
attended her in her final illness. Here is what he related:
In the fall of 1999 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After a
round of chemo that winter, the cancer was arrested for about a year, during
which she was her usual cheerful self. It's possible that she excused
herself from our family reunion in June, 2000 because we would have noticed the
effects of the radiation. The cancer became active again in the fall of
2000 and spread into the abdomen. The pain increased. The second
bout of chemo left her considerably weakened, and was less effective. This
past Jan. she was told that there was nothing further the doctors could do for
her, and she began to make preparations for final arrangments. She had to
be admitted to St. Luke's shortly thereafter. Just before she slipped into
a coma on Feb. 28, she was given the last rites of the Church (Anointing of the
Sick) and two friends who had worked with her at Mo. Public Service were with
her constantly until the end. She also had frequent visits from pastoral
staff of her old parish in Independence, St. Mark's. They said she went
very peacefully, and was so eager to rejoin her husband, Lyle. She had
observed her 68th birthday on Feb. 11.
She and Lyle had been a devoted couple and were very much looking forward
to retirement five years ago when he suddenly died. This was a shattering
experience for Mary Jo, but she emerged from it stronger and more devoted to
serving others in the Independence and St. Joe areas (including the nuns who
used to teach at the school in Lexington). She had lost her sister Ann
(Zeller) a few years earlier, and probably made no further trips to Lexington
after that. The last immediate relative, her brother Shelby, died a couple
of years ago.
Father Matthew described the beautiful wake service and funeral Mass, which
was attended by about 30 friends from the parish and MPS. Several tried to
put into words what she had meant to them. Her sister-in-law, Delois
(Dorores?), was present and later met with the attorney Mary Jo had engaged for
disposing of the house on Dodgian street in Indep. (now up for sale) and its
contents. She had requested that all the family memorabilia be destroyed,
but Delois prevailed upon the attorney to allow her to keep precious photos,
etc. The two women who were with her at the end were also given items from
the home as keepsakes.
Father Matthew said that he was indebted to Mary Jo for her strong example
of quiet acceptance of the Lord's will for her. He advised us all to
learn, too, how important it is to enjoy life as it comes, spend time with our
loved ones, and "not wait for retirement," which may not be up to our
If any of you can get up to St. Joe to meet and personally thank Father
Matthew for having been such a devoted friend and substitute family, I would
much appreciate it. St. Patrick's is at 1723 S. 12th St. (64503).
The phone is (816) 279-2594.
Stay tuned for Part 2
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