TLC logo TLC #117:  April 17, 2009

Dear Hearts & Gentle People:
We have a new Chamber director in Lex - "new" means less than five years - and she summed it up pretty well. Being from another part of the country, she said how much she is enjoying the four seasons here...all in one week.
Well, we certainly did have that. One day it was in the 70s and in the next day or two we had 4 or more inches of snow. It didn't last long, but it did make for a bit of excitement and some puzzling wardrobe choices.
As for recent news, just a couple of hours ago I returned from Ladies Night Out in Lexington, having just helped change the diaper of a baby wallaby. Who says nothing interesting happens here?
Ladies Night Out is an extremely popular event put on by the downtown merchants. They serve varied refreshments and, even better, deep discounts from 4-7. It's held quarterly, I think, and brings many ladies to town. Some of the merchants had to cut back on the strength of the refreshments a few years ago, because some of the ladies were having entirely too much fun at LNO.
Can you believe we are still receiving notes on Entine's Department Store???
My name is Charlotte Knapheide Allega (51) and my mother, also Charlotte Knapheide, worked at Entine's Store doing alterations in the early 1950,s.  I was married in 1954 and I remember the beautiful table cloth Helen gave us.  I used it for years.   She was  such a loving person.
I encountered another member of the Entine clan, Louis '61 Wexler, at a wedding in KC. We visited a bit about Lexington and later exchanged a few emails. He was recently featured on Charles Osgood's Sunday morning show. It was on the day Paul Harvey died, and Osgood related a piece ("The Rest of the Story") regarding a law suit Lou had defended. It was very amusing, but I have misplaced the URL. So, Lou, please send again if you will. I'd like to share it with the TLC family.
There are already several items of general interest and even surprise on our webpages for this issue.
Please don't neglect to visit!!!
In response to the news of Carroll Lewis' death, Lucia Cope '59 Hulston wrote:
I remember hearing that Mr. Lewis and Mr. Finnell (or however his name was spelled) made beer together.  It sounded so wild and so  exciting!  It kind of made them out to be acting young, which seemed  so unusual for teachers.

Mary Pat Gueguen '59 Miller sent the following:
Susan, I'm going to give you Mrs. Carroll Lewis's address and you can decide whether or not to put it with my entry about Mr. Lewis.  I spoke with her this evening and I'll bet she'd love to hear from old students.  
             Mrs. Ellie Lewis, 10208 E. 57th Street, K.C. MO.  64133
I have written another memory of Mr. Lewis for the Remember When column in the Kansas City STAR Magazine but doubt if it gets printed.  Seems there are cutting copy every time you turn around.  However, I sent a copy to Ellie and she liked it.  I spoke to her the day the obit was in the paper and she said Mr. Lewis had had back surgery and then suffered several strokes.  She went 13 painful days with him not even knowing her.  She is grateful that he did not have to spend time in a wheelchair or debilitated in any way.  He died still "lookin' good." 
In my adult years, I have been lucky enough to attend several events for Mr. Lewis, one being a "roast" when he retired from the Raytown School District, and a signing party at the Skies of his new CD.  I purchased several of them for my sisters too, which he signed.  It's a treasure.
Diane Gibson '58 Conger and I reminisced about Mr. Lewis on the phone.  It was like a part of our childhood was gone.  He was so darn cute and knew it.  I told his wife he was "humbly egotistical" and she laughed.  He was quite egotistical - but in a good way - and an outstanding musician. 
I remember all the days in band and orchestra, the parades, (yes, especially the Fall Festival when we wore the white shirts, blue jeans and red bandanas), the summer practices and concerts in the old tennis court area, the contests in Warrensburg and Columbia, the band practices up 16th street, with my Mother waving from the front porch, the freezing cold halftime performances at football games.  I played the glockenspiel in the band and you could hardly hold music and play that thing so I did it mostly by ear, hit and miss.  I was the tympani player in orchestra.  He was always so proud to tell his professional friends that he "had a tympani player."  I guess those are rare.  
I still remember him driving his red convertible down Main Street, with wife and small son in tow.  I didn't know them as a couple for years but I think Ellie Lewis was the "wind beneath his wings."  They were very devoted.  They lost their only child, Larry, a long time ago.  They both seemed to love Lexington as much as we loved him.  I love hearing the stories and look forward to reading more. 
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the following is one of the reasons your devoted scribe is happy to wake up in the mornings: 
Hi Susan - James Hanner here, I wanted to let you know that I think you are doing a great job with TLC.  The last time I was in Lexington was when my Grandfather died in 1992, the year I moved to Florida, but reading TLC has brought back a lot of fond memories.  I do keep in touch with Mary Gooseman and Bobby Walton,  and they kind of keep me up to speed with what is going on in and around Lexington.
In this last issue I noticed that you have received communication from Mary K. Clark (Sims), She is my first cousin and I haven't seen or talked to her since the funeral of our Grandfather.  I would appreciate it if you could send me her e-mail address so that I can get in touch. Thank you, and keep up the good work.
James Hanner.....Class of '58
James (Bear) Hanner Sr.

Folks, you know that I don't send out email addresses, but I forwarded the above email to his cousin immediately. Shortly thereafter, I received the following:
Susan - Thank you so much. I've been wanting to contact him.
Mary Kathryn (Clark) Sims
And then, back from James: 
Thanks Susan, and I did hear from her........
James (Bear) Hanner Sr.

That made my day!!!
And while we're on the subject of reuniting people, let's try some others! This request came from Don '43 Stephenson:
Dear Susan: I had two close friends from my Lexington High School graduation class of 1943 that I lost touch with after I went into the Army during World War II.  One was Ralph Hawkins and the other was Jeff (or "Bicky") Roberts.  After I came back home after being discharged from the Army, I was never able to find out what happened to them. 
I think that Ralph Hawkins went into the Navy V12 Program and I was told that his family moved away from Lexington during World War II. Jeff Roberts' family also moved from Lexington and, for awhile, lived in Provo, Utah. While there, Jeff attended Brigham Young University and I had some contact with him at that time.  But whatever happened to him after that, I do not know.
I would appreciate it if you could put the above in a future TLC and maybe someone reading it that knows anything about these two men could also respond in a subsequent TLC.
That would be great if someone does know, and here is yet another request, this time from Jerry Shinn Warner:
If you have addresses for the following we would really appreciate your sharing them: Jerry McKean, Dorothy Beggs and Shirley Grimes.
And another from Jack Gueguen:

I suppose you never knew Mary and Dean Saxton, or would know anything about them now.  He was the DO man.  I'd like to thank her.  They'd be in their early 80s.  Does LHS keep track of former faculty?

Most of you have learned that we lost one of our TLC community on February 14. Marlene Yowell '54 Martin passed away in Arizona. She had been in ill health for some time.

Good news from Wally '55 Hulver that his sister Mildred Burns is recovering nicely from recent surgery. She should be released from the hospital soon. For those who would like to send a card, her address is P.O. Box 352, Lexington, MO 64067. Wally will deliver personally.
The following is an amazing story with a Lexington connection. The URL connects to an interview on the local ABC affiliate in KC. The background:  Cindy Dickmeyer, who is being interviewed about the historical incident, lives in Lexington, and once served as mayor. Her mother was Beverly Riley Chamberlain and - correct me if I am wrong - her uncle is Forrest Riley.
First report came from John '57 Lefman:
I don't remember this, but my older sisters do. Just before WWII the Riley family lived on a farm next to us in Mayview. At the start of WWII both families moved to Lexington and both lived on Oneida Street.
His sister Emelyn filled in some details:
I think you are correct. The Rileys lived across the road from us in Mayview.  Old Mr. Riley was a coal miner. His children were Beverly, Phylissee, another girl whose name started with an "M,"  Pat  ( and others) and one of the boys had a restaurant in Lexington, which was on Main street near the "bars."  It was mostly a sandwich shop.  Mother and I went there once.  Phylissee worked at the hospital in Lexington.  The Rileys gave me a dime for my 6th birthday.
She may be referring to Riley's Pub which was established by Forrest Riley some years ago is now owned by Katharine VanAmburg and Shirley Chiles. It is on Main Street between 10th and 9th Streets, and is a fine establishment.
And so we end this issue of coincidences, reminiscences, and reunions. But before we close, I'm adding - for your reading pleasure - a poem composed by Jack Gueguen for TLC. It memorializes one of his favorite memories from growing up in Lexington.
Your devoted scribe,



Once upon a time there was a fair young typing teacher

who cooked up a plan for some of her favorite students--

to get them to form a barbershop quartet.

One day she asked them to stay after class, and said:

"Would you like to sing?" 

"Sing?" they asked as one.

That gave away their answer! 

Then she guessed their natural range=97

first and second tenor, first and second bass--

and gave each his corresponding note to sing and hold.

Four high school boys singing!


The four notes blended perfectly,

The eyes lit up,

and "The Four Roses" came into existence:

Mike McDonald (sweet tenor),

Kent Hicklin, Jack Gueguen, and

Larry Marcks (basso bombasto). 

When Larry hit the low notes, his eyes would bulge. 

Kent couldn't harmonize so well, so he was "lead." 

Mrs. Saxton (Mary to her friends) had struck gold.

Thereafter the lads began to rehearse,

four high school boys singing. 


She handed them some music to try out: 

"The Old Songs," "Honey," "Little Liza," "Coney Island Baby." 

They became the favorites.  Others were added:

"My Wild Irish Rose."  "Me and My Gal." 

"Down by the Old Mill Stream." "Shine on, Harvest Moon."

Another teacher heard about them,

Angela Mautino put them in her minstrel show.

Four high school boys singing.


They started singing a lot;

friends liked to listen in at practices=97

Jimmy O'Malley, Donald Simmons ...

The parents heard about it and bought them look-alike grey suits.

One mom put blaze-colored roses in their lapel when May came. 

A grandpa coined the name--from a famous brand of whiskey. 

Pictures were taken.  Where are they?

Four high school boys singing.


What did they sing? 

"The old songs, yes the old songs,

that gave our fathers joy,

the songs they sang till the welkin rang,

when Nelson was a boy." 

They used to change the name and point to him: 

"When Mikey was a boy ...

when Larry was a boy ...

when Jackie was a boy....

when Kent-o was a boy."

Four high school boys singing!


They were invited to sing for civic clubs,

up on stage at the Mainstreet,

and even in churches. 

Mary Saxton took her boys to the competition in Warrensburg,

and even to the State in Columbia. 

They were naturals.  They won ribbons.

Mike gave each one "his note" and off they went:

Four high school boys singing. 


What kind of boys were we? 

They got good grades because they did their homework.

They came from good families in town. 

They said their prayers at night. 

They went to church on Sunday--

2 Methodists, and 2 Catholics.  Ecumenical harmony.

Four high school boys singing.


Roy B. heard about them, too, and nodded his approval.

It would keep them out of trouble, thought he.  It did. 

From typing class to singing.  From singing to friendship. 

They kept singing the rest of high school and into college years. 

Until Mike went away to M.U. and Jack to N.D. 

But during summer vacation they got together again:

Four college boys singing: 


"Honey, honey, bless your heart. 

You're the 'honey' that I love so well, so well ..."


"Little Liza, little Liza, little Liza Jane. 

I got a gal that calls me 'Hon.'  Little Liza Jane. 

Oh Eliza, little Liza Jane ...."


"The bells are ringing, for me and my gal.

The birds are singing, for me and my gal ...."


Do high school boys still sing?  Together? 

Without guitars? 

They don't need any accompaniment. 

Just the voice--the perfect instrument of nature. 

Sonorous harmony.

It builds character, by gosh.


"Goodbye, my Coney Island Baby;

Farewell, my own true love, true love. 

I'm gonna go away and leave you,

never to see you any more, any more. 

I'm gonna sail upon that ferry boat,

never to return again.  So long forever ..."


Do high school boys still sing? 

The old songs? 

"They will echo onward, down the years, and never, ever fade. 

For 50,000 singing men will never be afraid. 

For to raise their lusty voices, their spirits to revive.

And tell to all eter-ni-tie: 'We're glad that we're still alive!' 



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