TLC logo TLC #109:  May 4, 2008

Dear Hearts & Gentle People:
I always contend the best way to get people to write to TLC is to include an error. Works every time. Only one person caught a particular error in Issue #108, and I'll point that out later.
However, there was a tiny cog in the works. In trying to repair one of the three address groups, I accidentally hit "Send" - so some of you received a repeat of #108. I yelled "No, wait!" but you know, that computer never listens.
Spring is in full force in the old hometown. Lilacs, spirea, dogwoods, redbuds, crabapples, tulip trees...all so gorgeous and so full. The forsythia and daffodils have finished. You know we lost much of our blooming season last year (not to mention all of the peaches and many of the apples) due to that late hard freeze. This year seems to make up for it. All the blooms have been thicker and more profuse than usual, and I'm told that does happen the year after a hard freeze. It's also been unusually cool, and very windy.
We received a LOT of mail, so let's get started!
This from Shirley Briggle Miller, who along with Bill Tempel, talked me into this project 7 1/2 years ago:
Another great TLC!  I hadn't realized that it's been seven years since we started all this.  Without you it would never have been a success. It's the number 108 that caught my eye, and I went into the website to see how long it had been.  Bill and I tossed it around a bit before I contacted you.  When I first asked you I was afraid you might say something like, "You couldn't PAY me to do that!"  We, sure 'nuff, you didn't get paid, and you've done a whale of a talented and loyal job of it. I'm depending on you to outlive us all! 
I'll work on that. Webmeister Bob Ball says the website is popular:
I would note that 144 unique visitors is a pretty good number for a web site like ours.  It means that during this month, 144 different people have visited the site at least once.  (Even if someone came two dozen times during a month, they only count as a unique visitor once.  The statistics are kept on a monthly basis.)  Elsewhere on the page, it shows what hour of the day, and from whence they arrived at the site.  One thing that I'm curious about -- somebody in Estonia downloaded 154 pages during March!  Why on earth...? It must be your deathless prose! 
Not very likely! But what a mystery. Does anyone have a clue???
This in from George "Skip" Brown:
Estonia??  In the bad old days of the cold war and the KGB, I might have worried that someone was trying to build a "legend" for a spy!
Sounds like a great mystery story to me. The boy from Lexington no one remembers. Skip continued:
Thanks again for sending #108 and getting me back into the server. Just finished reading #108.  Another gem!  I can imagine the lies at the Tall Tales sessions with the athletes.  I was a terrible athlete in high school, though I hung out with guys like Bill Tempel and Larry Bland.  When the new football field was built, I got a fund-raising letter requesting that I "buy" some square yards of turf to help fund the construction.  Your name was to be listed on the map of the new field showing where your turf contribution was placed.  I was glad to contribute, but I asked that my turf be located at the end of our bench where I spent most of my time.  I got back this letter that said "We did some research and discovered that you were so slow that by the time you got to the end of the bench there was no place for you to sit.  So we decided to put your turf someplace you've never ever been--in the end zone!"  Isn't it great to have buddies like that?
And now, having given in to my heavy-handed pleading, a welcome letter from Larry Bland '57;
I was very pleased to learn that my name came up as one of Lexington's notable athletes.  Thank you, Shirley Briggle Miller, for sharing Coach Bill's comments.  I think all of us that had Bill Hamann as a coach were very, very fortunate. I had a great deal of respect for him. Shirley, your dad was a terrific coach too. Your brother Bobby and I had lots of great times playing on his baseball teams.
Besides the tremendous fun  in LHS athletics, the lifelong friendships I've enjoyed with former team-mates are priceless.  It was just great seeing everybody at Beverly's (Beverly Ussery '56 Bland) 50th class reunion, and especially talking with so many  of  the  old team-mates I had not seen in fifty years.  The details we all still remembered about numerous games was amazing.  I wish I could remember other things equally as well.
Sports still play a large part in my life. I play golf with about thirty great guys two or three times a week .  Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and in many fresh water lakes around Panama City, FL. is also great fun.  In working for Florida State University for sixteen years, I of course became a FSU football fan.  Coach Bobby Bowden is a good friend, and he reminds me of Bill Hamann.  He really cares about his athletes and is a genuine good person. 
I really enjoyed U of Mo. football last year. Hope they do well again this year.
Thanks again for remembering me as a notable LHS athlete.  Wish I could have been there to discus LHS athletics and athletes with all of you.  A lot of fine athletes went through LHS. 
We finished our 3-part session on Lexington Athletes at the most recent Tall Tales & Short Stories of Lexington. It was a big hit. Nelson Bryant wrote his regrets:
We received TLC #108 and appreciate being back on the mailing list. Wish I could be there for the athlete sessions. As you know I played on the teams from l946 to l949, and I coached at the high school from l959 to l962. There have been many good athletes play for L.H.S. 
And here's another one. It was great to receive a couple of notes from H.J. Guillia '53:
In 1953 at Liberty, Mo, I set a new conference record in the low hurdles at the conference track meet. Not a big deal.
Big deal to us!
And H.J. kicks off our continuing series on local medicine:

I worked in Dr Smiths Jr. and Sr.'s laboratory from 1951 to 1953 under the D.O. program in Lex. High. They taught me how to make Dentures. They also sponsored me and registered me to attend Western Dental College in Kansas City. I never made it - moved to Arizona. They were great guys.

Mel Fisher wrote, remembering hanging out with Billy Cross and Bobby Paris. He said when he got in touch with them, he would say he found their email addresses scribbled on a bathroom wall in Block 42. 

And speaking of Block 42, that's the topic we are going to tackle at the next session of Tall Tales & Short Stories. Y'all come! And bring your memories...or Tall Tales.

Back to the Lexington medical community. This in from Donna Lutz Dye:

Susan, I'm the girl who walked Judy (Ussery Johnston) to the doctor when she was hurt during recess at the Catholic School.  Not only did we walk to the doctor's office, but when we got there the doctor was not in so they told us to go to the hospital (It must have been newly opened)!!   Wish I could remember the rest of the story but it gets a little fuzzy---I remember walking down 16th street, laughing about walking all afternoon but don't remember making it to the hospital.  I think we went to my house (only one block from the hospital) and called her grandmother.
Can you imagine walking from the Catholic Church with a broken wrist all the way to the Medical Clinic, then walking all the way back to 16th Street and out to (or almost to) the hospital?????
Jane Ann Whitney '56 Hunt wrote:
How do you find the time to write the TLCs during tax season?    I am amazed by your energy!    Excellent current TLC and also the accompanying  photos!    I especially had to laugh about the one in the “photo memories” section showing the girls’ gym class.    The girl in the front row, right, had the perfect expression on her face.   It said it perfectly---“I hate gym class and these stupid gym suits!”    Gave me a good laugh.   I didn’t recognize anyone in the photo but it could have been anytime in the 50’s.

My doctor remembrances are almost entirely of Dr. Betty Slaughter.    I am still amazed by her career, more than 60 years later, in a day when you NEVER heard of lady doctors.    But strangely, at that time I never gave it a thought.    It seemed normal to me then.     When we moved to Lexington in the summer of 1943, most of the male doctors were in the military, so Dr. Betty was our choice of the remaining doctors.   Plus she was an Osteopathic physician and my dad (Glen Whitney) was raised in Kirksville, Mo., the home base of Osteopathy at that time, so it seemed a natural choice.    She was therefore our family doctor for most of the many years following. 

I, too, fondly remember the house calls. That must have been the bulk of most doctors’ practices then. One summer (1948) Daddy was in Columbia, Mo, finishing up his Master’s degree. Mother, my brother Arthur, and I all came down with the mumps at the same time while he was gone.   Of course, Dr. Betty came to the house to nurse us through that painful episode. 

I remember another house call around the same time when she administered a new miracle drug to me----a shot of penicillin! I’m sure that’s the first antibiotic I ever had. She was a great one for “painting my throat” whenever I had a sore throat, which I really dreaded.   I must have had the most advanced gag reflex on the planet. Her office visits were always $2.00, probably right up to the time she retired. My, how times have changed!   She was a real no-nonsense doctor but kind. I miss her and all her fellow doctors of that era----many times since I have wished for just one more “house call”! Thanks, Susan!

Sharon Shurmantine '65 McGuinness shares a funny Dr. Brasher story:
It was very late on a Saturday night.  My mother thought she was having labor pains, so she and my dad hopped in the car and drove to Dr. Brasher's house.  When they got there, Dr. Brasher said, "You aren't in labor.  That baby isn't due for another month.  I want you to come out and see my new baby goat." 
When my mother would tell me the story years later, she would talk about how she just knew she was going to give birth any minute, but Dr. Brasher insisted they go out to the barn and look at his new baby goat.  He was so excited.  Whenever mother would have another pain, he would just tell her it wasn't time and not to worry about it.  It kept getting later and later and her pains just kept coming.  Finally she convinced him she was in labor.  They drove to Kansas City to St. Joseph Hospital where I arrived a short time after midnight weighing all of 5 lbs 1/2 oz..
I heard that story so many times growing up.  Regardless of being upstaged by a goat, my mother still thought Dr. Brasher was the best.  (A note of coincidence - this all happened the night of Saturday, December 6, and early morning of Sunday, December 7, 1947.  I believe December 6 is the day that Bobby Price was injured in that football game in Oklahoma.)
I have so many, many memories of Dr. Brasher.  Another time he came out to the house.  He called the drug store for medicine from our phone and said something like, "Send everything you've got.  This whole damn family is sick."
Some sad news - Allen Entine (LHS '66 and WMA) passed away March 26.  He had suffered some health problems over the past several years, but his death was unexpected and so sad for his family and friends.  Among many other accomplishments, Allen was a very talented photographer, learning his trade back in the old days with complex camera equipment and developing film in the dark room.  Allen's parents were Ike Entine (who owned Entine's Department Store along with his sister, Helen Wexler) and Rebecca (LHS orchestra conductor in the 60's and 70's).
We have discussed the Entine family many times in TLC. Here is Allen's obituary that ran in the K.C. Star:
Allen S. Entine, 60, of Overland Park, KS, passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at his home. Funeral services will be 1:00 pm Sunday, March 30, at The Louis Memorial Chapel, 6830 Troost Ave. Burial at Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge Cemetery. Kindly omit flowers  The family suggests contributions to the Humane Society of Kansas City, Wayside Waifs or a charity of one's choice. Allen taught at Slater, MO, High School, Winnetonka High School, Southeast High School and Paseo Academy. He was also a professional photographer, but retired from both in 2003, due to declining health. Allen grew up in Lexington, MO and was a graduate of Lexington High School, Wentworth Military Academy and Missouri Valley College. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ike B. and Rebecca Entine. Allen was also preceded in death by his beloved dogs, Gizmo, Missy, Stripe Phillip and Molly. Allen is survived by his wife of 27 years, Debbie Entine, of the home; brother and sister-in-law: Dr. Benjamin and Rebecca Entine, Lynn, MA; sister and brother-in-law: Sonia and Monte Cotton, Olathe, KS; sister: Debra Entine, Overland Park, KS: niece and nephew: Sarah and Steven DeBruin, Overland Park, KS; father-in-law and mother-in- law: Eugene and Clara Cohen, Kansas City, MO; brothers-in-law and sister-in- law: Ben Cohen, Kansas City, MO; Sholom and Bryna Cohen, Pittsburgh, PA; lifelong friend: R. Thomas Day, Edwardsville, IL; He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and his dogs/children: Chauncey, Tia and Tucker. Online guest book @ (Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel 816-361- 5211) Published in the Kansas City Star on 3/29/2008.
And now, the winner of the contest! Shirley Collobert Guevel wins a one-year free subscription to TLC! Congratulations, Shirley!

I'm sure you will hear from someone else also...Norman Vialle was the 2nd proprietor of the Maid-Rite.  Harry Bertz was the first.  I think he only had it about a year...maybe less...but he opened it. 

More on Maid-Rite, this from Jim O'Malley:

I enjoyed reading Norman and Sophie Vialle's comments about the Maid-
Rite in TLC #108. They are such dear people, and I owe them a lot.

During my freshman year at Central MO State (during 1949-50) I worked 
week-ends for Norman at the Maid-Rite, and enjoyed every minute of it. I would hitchhike or catch a ride from another student on Fridays so I could work the weekend shift.  I made enough during the weekend to  pay my expenses during the week at CMS.  We had quite a crew helping  Norman.  O.W. Sexton was Norman's other full time employee.  They  would alternate shifts.  "Ozzie" was a colorful and kind adult presence who kept things rolling on his shift.

I worked with high school students such as A. J. Giorza, Richard Thomas, June Kerbrat Elsea, and Bobby Pollard.  We laughed a lot, worked hard, and enjoyed the customers, who were like family to us. 

The Saturday midnight rush was a thing to behold.  Maud's Tavern, the 21 Club, Tabo, and the bars on Block 42 would close at midnight, and  many of the patrons would come to the Maid-Rite for a snack before  going home.  The juke box would be blaring, people would be laughing  and talking loudly over the noise, orders would come in by the gross,  and invariably there would be someone who would want a bacon and  tomato sandwich.  This would break Ozzie's assembly line routine and sometimes he would say, "....tell them we don't have any bacon and  tomato sandwiches!"

Those days were long ago but I still have a place in my heart for Norman and Sophie, who helped me finance my freshman year in  college.  I know they helped many other students besides me. They should be in a Lexington "Hall of Fame." 

Ann Larkin '56 McWilliams salutes:
Thanks to Betty Williams '56 Duncan for forwarding to me each TLC that you have been publishing for the past 6-8 months.  It is always so good to hear about old friends, teachers, and, especially the Vialles.  I was one of their "carhops" and could tell pleasant stories all night long.
When I graduated from LHS, I left Lexington for a trip into the "wild blue yonder" with the Air Force. I had my basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tx.  Of course I missed my family to a degree but missed the tenderloins from Maid-Rite more. On my first leave home, Mom drove me straight to Maid-Rite so I could indulge in my dream meal. When she came to visit to other states, a Vialle tenderloin came with her. Yes, it was cold but still delicious.  Little pleasant memories live on with us, thanks to Norman and Sophie.
Please make sure I am added to your mailing list. Betty tried 3 times before I got #108, but bless her, she did it. And a big thank you for letting us refresh our memories so that they are as vivid as if they happened yesterday.  
For those of you who live in or around Arizona - or winter there - former resident Joe Anton has a band called Desert Swing. I believe there is a photo of the band on our web pages. Joe wrote:                                                                           
The photo was taken Wednesday 16 April 2008.  The band Desert Swing was started in the early 1980's, and we played our first paid engagement in 1989. Have been going strong ever since. We have had our ups and downs with  personnel coming and going but have managed to keep going.  I've walked up to strangers and asked them what musical instrument did they play when younger and got a few for the band that way.  I have a list of players who are available and those that need a bit more practice before being proficient to meet our standards.  I've done trading with other bands to obtain music and then I have bought new tunes to have a balanced library.  We play music 20's through 60's.

Desert Swing's reputation is top notch at present, and I strive to keep it that
way.  We are the only big band in Cochise county and the county is quite
large and mainly agriculture.  Tucson has three big bands and Phoenix has
one I know of and am sure they have more.  Sierra Vista is only 40,000
population and I consider myself lucky to have organized and still ongoing
a big band.  There are 18 ~ 5 saxophones, 8 brass, 4 rhythm  and a
female vocalist who joined us in January of this year. There is talent in this
area, but getting some of the musicians is hard due to their work schedule.

Most of our jobs are in the spring and fall season.   Summers are quite warm,
but it is a dry heat with humidity only in July/August during our monsoon season. My belonging to the Knights of Columbus has helped too, in that I get to use the hall for rehearsals, and we rehearse every Monday evening 7 to 9 pm, except holiday Mondays.  A lot of the churches have musicians for their services and I have gleamed some of them.  Okay if we don't have a job on a Sunday night.

I started a call list of people interested in hearing the band when playing publicly and since that took time on the phone, I obtained their e-mail address and send our program to them and those don't have e-mail I must call on the phone.  Also publicize in different newsletters as well as the newspapers.  One good one is the newsletter the electric company puts out with their monthly billing statement as everyone gets an electric bill.

Wasn't it fun to see that photo of the old Odessa Ice Cream Shop? Mary Kay Wilcoxon '58 Gooseman has been faithful with her photography through the years, and we should all be very grateful some of these places have been recorded. She wrote:
Here is a comment on the 'old' Odessa vs. the 'new.'   It is the SAME building, that was moved to the present location in the late 1940s.  I remember when it was moved so that Mattingly's could build the warehouse. 
I am simply amazed. Mary Pat Gueguen '58 Miller  also was amazed, at the gym suits!
I loved the picture of the blue gym shorts from p.e. class.  I see many familiar faces but no names come to me.  However, my oldest sister, Sharon, is right in the middle of the picture, hands on VERY SMALL WAIST, left knee cocked in a little, striking her familiar dramatic pose, cute smile.  Her class was 1953.  (Oh, the mysterious ways of those 25" waists.  WHERE DO THEY GO???)  I can say that.  She's my sister and we all have the same problem.
No comment on that, but I will say the gym suits are one memory we're glad to relinquish.
Happy Spring, everyone - write soon!
Your dedicated scribe,



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