It is surprising how much Lexington ephemera is on eBay.
A new "subscriber" Mary Kathryn Clark '64 Sims
checks in and adds a little more information about Douglass School.
I was born and raised in Lexington. My first three years were spent at Douglass. Fifth grade was when we integrated, but I can't remember the name of that school right now...maybe it was Central? Sixth grade it was back to Douglass, but it had a new name. Seventh grade was when I started at the old LHS and graduated in 1964. I tell you all of this to ask if you would add me to your newsletter list.
Glad to do it. Your credentials certainly qualify you for membership in this august group.
And now, Ladies & Gentlemen, for all those who have been waiting for the complete story of Entine's Department Store...here is it, from Debbie Entine herself!!!!
I'm sending you my email address so that I can receive the TLC newsletters. I have really enjoyed reading the issues that Sharon Shurmantine McGinness has been forwarding to me. I was quite pleased and fascinated to read the discussions and memories about my family and our store. I'd like to fill in a few details that are missing.
And I'm eager to get in touch with Tom '57 Campbell. Tom's mother, Gladyse, was the seamstress in our store from the time she was a young woman. She and her husband Tom (and "Tommy") were also family friends. I have some old films of New Year's Parties we shared with the Campbells and an anniversary celebration of theirs. I thought Tom would enjoy having a DVD of these memories.
The Red Goose sign was sold shortly before the store burned. I have tried to find out where it went, but have been unable to get a definitive answer. I followed a lead to Los Angeles and a neon museum, but came up empty. I would welcome any leads from the community. After the sign came down and the subsequent fire, I heard the fire was called "The Revenge of the Red Goose." The sign can be seen by googling "Lexington, Missouri." Evidently, a photographer was going around to communities and photographing old neon signs.
Editor's Note: At the end of this story you will find a website where you can get a good view of the very sign.
Sharon Shurmantine McGinness has been a terrific resource of my family's history.
My grandparents, Benjamin Entin and Sadie Entin, along with my aunt and father, Helen Entine Wexler and Ike Entine came to Lexington in the middle 20's from Russia. My grandfather came to America before World War I, and the rest came after the war. Our original name was "Entin," but my grandfather added the "e" for the business. We are probably the only immigrants to ever to come to America and lengthen their name! My father and aunt adopted this change.
My grandfather and grandmother owned the store which, after their deaths in the late 40's and early 50's, became a partnership between my father and aunt. The store began in a building across the street from its well-known, longtime location. My grandfather liked to buy the stocks from bankrupt businesses and then send my father and aunt to smaller towns to sell this merchandise. He purchased from bankruptcy court the stocks from Harry Truman's and Eddy Jacobson's Haberdashery.
Entine's sponsored a baseball team for the local league. Some of the players, besides my brothers Allen and Benny (as the bat boy ) were Andy Page, Tom Carrender, Frankie Ashinhurst, Don Smith, and I think, Bobby Murry. I would welcome hearing who were the other team members. After every win the team be treated to Mr. Hagerty's Dairy Creme. Boy, would I like to go back there for a day!
My father owned the buildings on both sides of the store. One building housed Joe Olario's Sears Store and the other housed a pool hall and bar. My father also held the contract for selling the safety shoes at Lake City. He worked there on the day that this store was opened.
Jim O'Malley was correct about the "Mayflower" code that was used in the store. It indicated the wholesale cost of the garment along side of the selling price. This code indicated how low a staffer could go before causing the store a deficit. My father received many calls from the school about children who needed winter coats, which he gladly provided. He often heard from people needing a suit to bury a loved one. When the store closed in 1986, the ledger holding the charge accounts owed to the store was also closed.
I did not know that Jim had worked in the store. I would love to know who else worked there. The people I know were Gladyse Campbell, Willis Wade, Emma Hoeflicker, Mrs.Terry, Helen Parker, Toots Harrison, Mrs. Cameron, Randy Weedman, Walter Bolton, and Gloria Lefholz. Gladyse was the store's seamstress. She also had a wonderful way with Valentine boxes and made some terrific ones for me to take to elementary school at Leslie Bell.
Entine's sponsored a Fall Festival contestant. I have wonderful film footage in the store from the year Kay Howard was named queen. I think we also sponsored Susie Vollenweider one year. I would be interested in knowing who else was sponsored by the store.
I believe Jim O'Malley wrote a letter to the Kansas City Star in regard to Ike Skelton and Miss Angela Mautino about the usage of the line "and God made little green apples." This letter prompted me to give Nekie Braswell Kramer a picture to deliver to Ike. It is a beaming Miss Mautino looking up proudly and adoringly at Ike.
My father loved Lexington. He played football at LHS and enjoyed going to all the home games at Wentworth Stadium. His football picture used to hang on a wall in the old high school. He served on the City Council, from the Second Ward, for twelve years. He also served as Mayor-Pro-Tem for one. Besides his trademark cigar, my father loved going to the Modern Cafe, Maib's, sending someone to Rush's fountain for ice cream sodas for everyone, and the Dairy Creme. However, there was a short boycott of the Modern Cafe when Gussie and Jimmy Lorantos raised the price of a cup of coffee from 5 cents to a dime! My father died from a heart attack in 1976 after a long battle with heart disease. He was 63 years old.
My mother, Rebecca, has often been confused with Aunt Helen. My mother only worked in the store during holiday seasons or at other busy times. My mother taught string music in the schools. She worked with Carroll Lewis and Joe Lebouta, teaching part-time until all of her children were in school.
She became the director of both the string orchestra and the full orchestra after Mr. Lebouta left Lexington. Many of her evenings were spent at home or the high school preparing her students for the music contests held at Central Missouri State and MU. My mother taught in the schools for 29 years, retiring in 1986.
She moved to Overland Park and a very rich second half of her life. Besides music, she taught English to Junior High students. For her work and dedication to the community, she received the first Elijah S. Dulin Award for Community Service from the Advertiser-News.
A number of my mother's students went on to professional careers in music including Ronnie Perry, Judy Glover, and Linda Lloyd. Besides these students who kept in touch with her, she would hear from Don Lintvet, Gary Schaberg, Barbie Shipman, Nina and Peter Wilkerson, and Dee Fenner. While I was a college student in New York City, Gary would take us to a wonderful French restaurant every time my mother came to visit me.
Louis Wexler is our first cousin and the son of Aunt Helen and Uncle Sidney. Uncle Sidney was from New York and attended Wentworth. He was a dentist, but did not practice. He preferred the Stock Market and Lexington real estate. At one time he owned the property where the Dog N'Suds and surrounding businesses were built. He also owned the land across the road which now houses the Montgomery's nursery. Uncle Sidney owned the land on both sides of the highway before entering and leaving Lexington. My cousin Louis, had a cattle farm called "Louisville Farms" which was situated near the power station that sits today on part of this property.
Louis is happily married. He and his wife Mary Ann celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary last year. They have three children, along with three grandchildren.
Thanks a million, Debbie! And now, people, transport yourself to another time: