TLC logo TLC #114:  December 22, 2008

Dear Hearts & Gentle People:
Looks as if there will be a white Christmas in the old hometown this year.  We have snow on the ground, and temperatures so cold it certainly won't melt, although it may sublimate.
In the busy-ness of the season, I want to take time to wish you a wonderful holiday season and a terrific new year. Let's hope 2009 is a happier, kinder, and more prosperous time for everyone.
Sad to report, we've lost two Lexington legends. Harry Dunford died a couple of weeks ago. He had just written a note in the last TLC, and we'll all miss his clever writing and historical knowledge. When you go to this edition's web pages, you will see a location that Harry wrote about in recent years.
Betty Hamann passed away on Tuesday of this week. She and Coach Bill were about as beloved a couple that ever lived in this town, and their influence was far-reaching. It would be interesting to see some numbers on how many people they taught and coached.
Joy Knapheide, who is a TLC in-law, wrote about husband Arthur '56.
It has been just about a year since Arthur passed away. What a year! It has been up and down but mostly up. I know that is what he would have wanted. I still enjoy reading the TLC even though I may not know many of the people I love it. Arthur had copies in his file cabinet of every TLC you ever wrote.
He truly loved Lexington and the people he grew up with. Thank you for continuing to include me in your mailing. Keep up the good work.
Otto Knapheide is a cousin, I think, of Arthur's:
I would appreciate being added to the TLC and thanks for all the work you put into this project. My wife Joann (Gadt) passed in 2005.  I am for the most part retired but still work part time at Southeast Enterprise, a workshop for the physically and mentally challenged.  We have 172 employees that do re-packaging for various industries in the Kansas City area.
I  am 76 years young, in good health, and very happy with my friend Carolyn Osborn who also works at Southeast.  She is program director and has been there for 27 years.

I have a son and daughter.  I have two grandsons - the oldest 18 is attending the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.  The youngest is 11. Life is GOOD!!

Thanks again for the Lexington Memories.
Otto also send his email address. Let me know if you would like to pursue correspondence with him, other than TLC.
And a kind note from Conrad '56 Pitz:

I look forward to receiving the TLC so much it makes me feel like I'm still a part of the old home town.

That's our goal!
Jim '49 O'Malley sent information regarding the Douglass School /s history.
Susan,  Earlene Hancock '57 Edwards wrote in TLC #112 that there were two Douglass Schools.  I remember the first one very well.  I was born on Sixth Street in 1931, and when I was old enough to explore the neighborhood, I discovered the original Douglass School around the corner on Fifth St.  It was a two-story brick building, and it burned in the late 1930s.  I was long gone from the neighborhood by that time, but I remember seeing the ruins after the fire.  The students held classes in churches and other buildings until the new Douglass School was built, sometime around 1942.

The schools were named after Frederick Douglass.  He was an ex-slave who rose to great prominence and became Ambassador to Haiti.  Oh yes - it wouldn't be a complete story without mentioning Professor George H. Green.  He was born in slavery in 1856 and became the principal of both schools.  He lived on 16th St. not far from College Park.  The last time I remember seeing him was probably in the late 1950s.  He was a very old man and was using a cane.  He was shopping at Ford and Rush Drug Store and, despite his age, had great dignity and nobility about him.  He was mentioned in Ripley's "Believe It or Not" newspaper column for never having missed a day or been tardy in 56 years!  

Many thanks to Earlene for sharing her memories of the Douglass Schools.   Earlene, you mentioned the great teachers you had.  Please tell us about them!      Best wishes to all.  
Jan Jiovenale '57 Tubiolo found some Lexington artifacts:
I have a question - how old is the Lex. courthouse now?
(Editor's note: Built in 1847) I found an old colored print in a box of Grandma Minnie Atwood's things that shows the entire complex and says in part,
" daily use after ninety years of service, still stands in excellent condition..." 
The print, with a hedge along the entire front of the block and a pink-washing-to-blue skied background behind the building.  It has an inset in the upper left corner of the Column with the cannonball, mentioned in the printed part.  I'm thinking I may frame it, or maybe just put it back with the 1917 Atwood marriage certificate and other hometown memorabilia...I've developed quite a trunk-full of hometown memories and clippings.
Also found a newspaper article and photo of my dad, representing the Lexington Youth Center, presenting Mary Jo Smith with a bouquet of flowers as winner of the contest as  Lexington's entrant for the 1956 American Royal Queen.  The paper has turned brown, but it was really a wonderful surprise to see it. 
BTW, I thought of writing something about the Lexington Creamery, but Marietta Atwood Carroll's dad, my great-uncle Tom Atwood, worked there for many years and she would have better memories of it than I do.  Like everyone else, we got our milk delivered (can't remember if it was daily or every other day), but I do remember the little metal crates with the handle that six bottles came in,  the paper pull-tab caps and the cream filling the entire neck of the bottle.
(Editor's note:) And, when it was cold enough, the cream would freeze and push that little cardboard top up several inches above the bottle.
Anymore, I find myself increasingly nostalgic about home, childhood and youth; the wonderful TLC's and the images they conjure up always grab my heart.   Love reading about everyone and everything I knew then.  They are all special to me, even if I might not recognize some of them if I ran into them in a distant place.
I recently read that your long-term memories improve as you age, while you can't remember what you walked into a room a minute ago to look for - absolutely true.....
No argument from me.
Our next contribution comes from Joyce Gueguen '55 Ramsey:
Susan, thanks for those corrections to our silly family picture.  Can't imagine anybody who knew us thinking I was Redda and she was me, but it's been a long time and you never know.  Mary Pat sent me the article on Ronny Sowers, and that is one I never would have recognized.  He took me to the Jr-Sr Prom when I was a Sr I think - such a good dancer and all-around good guy.  He also invited me to the Soph Cotillion at Notre Dame while he was a student there.  My sister, Sharon, was out of school and working so she paid for my trip, God bless her.  I was in Nursing School in KC at St. Teresa's (and poor) and had so much fun riding the train up and back, sitting in the domed Club Car having drinks (you know I couldn't have been old enough) and acting like I was a big shot college girl!  Wish I had some pictures, but I bet Ronny did. 
Pictures! We love pictures! Scan them to me or to the webmaster directly. Any candid photos with current or former Lexington residents would be treasured.
Bob Hall, another TLC in-law, wrote about some amusing memories.
I'm the husband of the late Harriett Ann Skelton '51 Hall. I'm accepting Susan's challenge to Duncan Lee's experience re: honeymoon.
I took a furlough to come home to marry Annie (she never liked her first name) in Nov. '52. I was stationed in Idaho so many of my friends were giving me a hard time about how cold it was up there, and I needed someone to keep me warm. I never thought of that myself (I was in love) but it sure worked out, but only for 55 years. 
The honeymoon: TWA lost my luggage, and my billfold was in there - ergo no drivers license and Annie hadn't gotten hers either. We planned on spending a few day around Bagnell Dam - what to do? My father came to our aid and said, "I'll go with you." My first thought was, how's this going to work? I am convinced the male brain does not function properly when he's got honeymoon on his mind, so I said OK.
Now, my dad was a frugal man, and thought it more prudent to stay in the little ol' stone motor court just outside the center of all activities. They're the cheaper ones you see because he had planned on staying there the three days and two nights we scheduled. Happily, I persuaded him to go home and come back after us, since gas was in the 20-25 cent range in '52. It wasn't long before we found out the isolation came at a price. The nearest restaurant was a very long walk for two very tired honeymooners on a cold November morning. God provides: there was a grocery story across the street, and with a stove and one 4" sauce pan in the room, Annie managed some bacon and eggs. I never did get up the courage in 55 years to tell Annie, "I was sure glad to get back to the A/F 'chow line'.''
Annie joined me in Idaho in February in the midst of a record snow fall - couldn't get out for days. God is good. 
Hmmm! We're developing a trend! Family joining couples on honeymoons. Any more similar stories out there?
I'm glad Bob gave me a funny one to end on.
And, speaking of Bobs, Webmaster Bob Ball '58 notified me we are the number one Google selection when you "google" thelexingtonconnection. He wrote further, about our statistics:

This is the monthly data for the TLC web site for November.  Sure, 155 pages were downloaded by folks in the US.  And I can guess that the folks in Japan and the Philippines happened on our site by accident, took one look, said the local equivalent of "Oops!" and went elsewhere.

But who in Romania was so fascinated as to download 21 pages of our web site???  And Sweden???< /P>

And another time someone from Estonia downloaded a large number of pages. Maybe they all plan to move to Lexington?

In closing, let me once again wish you all a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah and a very good 2009!

Your devoted scribe,






Links to other pages