TLC logo TLC #120  October 5, 2009


Dear Hearts & Gentle People:

Ain't it funny, how time slips away. Seems I had just written a TLC, and turns out it was in July. And now the old hometown is slipping into its fall colors. Everything looks good here, and we just completed a very successful Apples, Arts & Antiques Festival. There were over 80 vendors, and the downtown was full of people, despite some chill in the air on Saturday.

We had such a mild summer - and so much moisture - that our lawns are still green. And we're still mowing! Lately we have put together a string of gorgeous days. Don't tell anyone - they'll all want to move to Missouri.

Once again, I must be the bearer of sad tidings. We recently lost two members of the TLC "family." First was JoAnn Sullivan '62 Burnine, who lived in Texas, I believe. And this past week we received word of the sudden death of Gary Price. His parents are Carol Jo Rank '55 Hazlett and Sonny Price, also '55. Our sincere condolences to all of their families and friends.

TLC #119 dealt with memories of Lexington buildings, particularly schools. The mail brought comments.

This from Conrad '56 Pitz:

I saw a copy of "The Pictorial History of Lexington Missouri" a couple of Sundays ago, (WOW what a book). As I was looking at it I noticed some very good pictures of Mittieville and their owners in it. Just thought I would let you know in case you could get it to the interested party that you mentioned in the TLC. Looking at this book sure brought back some  memories from when I was young and that has been a long, long time ago.

We unintentionally overlooked the Catholic School, and Jack '51 Gueguen filled the void:

These insights into Arnold and Central fill a void in my memory, as they were "distant" from personal experience in our family.  We felt privileged and sort of "looked down" on you guys! Being objective (of course) I think Douglass and Catholic schools deserve more attention with regard to quality education.  In both cases, the students were almost as good as "home schooled"--lots of individual attention, small classes, plenty of study time in between.  Yes, over on Main St. between 18th and 19th we had a fine playground (no cinders, that I recall), big enough for anything that went on at recess and after school.  We used Central College Park too, for special events. 

I recall some kind of "competition" arranged by the Public and Catholic schools in town (not athletic, but academic).  My recollection is that Catholic School won at all grade levels.  When we moved on to Jr-Sr High in 9th grade, we all did very well.  Our teachers (dedicated nuns) were competent and inspiring.  Of course, they had their favorites (I was one).  I especially liked the world geography class, where we met youngsters our age from Baffin Island to the Congo, and learned all about their lives.  Penmanship was helpful, too.   

The discipline was strict and enforced.  And if something went awry, we got the ruler on the palm of the hand, and a note went home with us, so that another spanking followed there.  The only really bad thing I was guilty of was dipping the long, beautiful blond hair of Mary Lilyan Frost in the ink well on my desk.  She was sitting just in front of me, and that hair was irresistible.  It must have been around 5th or 6th grade. 

Enough from me.  Thanks for the memories.  Mary Lilyan, where are you?  And other '47 classmates:  Angela Schreiner, Bibiana Zeller, Lorraine Mike and Catherine Nicola.  Is she still around?  Are any of them still around?  Mike McDonald and I (the only guys) do a pretty good job of staying in touch.  I think we've only lost one so far:  Mary Jo Farrow Hammontree, my cousin. 

There was a photo display about 20 years ago when the parish celebrated an anniversary, and surely they were kept on file.

That would be good material for a future TLC!

Norma Wilson '54 Gadt sent her memories from those days:

I attended Arnold School 2nd grade, and Central School 3rd & 4th.  I remember Ms. Conger was my 2nd grade teacher's name.   Ms. Torrence was 3rd grade and Ms. Baird was 4th.  I loved those two teachers.  In later years I was re-acquainted with Ms. Baird, and she had not changed one bit.  Does anyone know where Ms. Torrence went?  I remember I was somewhat frightened of Mrs. Rush and Miss Margaret (They both looked like they could smack any kid that came in their way).  Therefore, I was a "good" little girl.
Yes, Janis Ray Beretta '54 and her cousin Ann Beretta '55 Powell did do quite a dance in the Minstrel, which was quite enjoyable.  Thanks for the memories, Susan.
The ever-amusing Bette Phipps Thomas sent her thoughts from then and from now:
Very interesting Part I; thanks. Reading it evoked the following questions/comments which I leave to your discretion to include in a future edition or merely reply to moi:

1. So did Central School burn down because of a big fire in March 1964? And, subsequently, another building was built? (Been awhile since I've been "back home" so has it been a PO all those years since?)
Yes - the post office was built on the site of Central School. It remains in operation today.

2. Re: Gen. Jo Shelby & Waverly, is/was there a "statue" or a "statute?"

3. As a lifetime (or so it seemed back then) attendee of Central School, I read about the big gym and couldn't recall it. However, I do recall being in one or more performances in a big room at Central, so figure it must have been the gym. I was the Statue of Liberty with some lines in maybe a 3rd or 4th grade play, in which some fellow pupils (Bonnie Gerhardt, Gene Hinton? and others) were dancers in what must have been Colonial Era costumes. Boy, was I jealous; I had to wear tin foil or something and as a statue couldn't dance! Naturally, I figured my role was punishment for not being cool enough to dance in those great costumes.

4. Not too long ago, while rehearsing with my singing group in Pacifica, CA, I mentioned how I'd so longed to be in a Minstrel Show, having seen the LHS performances as well as some done by Lexington's Business & Professional Women. I was so disappointed to learn that they were to be replaced by a Variety Show (yes, this was at the time of integration) but as it turned out, I loved being in the Variety Show, directed I believe, by good old Miss Mautino. One of my friends in the singing group, an African-American woman from Michigan, took it all (stories of Lexington's Minstrel shows) in good part and had lots of jokes at my expense, making very pointed, very funny and very relevant comments about the way it used to be!

5. Farms--in Berkeley??? (this may be from a local San Francisco Bay Area TV ad.) Milk machines--in Central School? I think my sister, Mary Lou Phipps, was in Gary Miller's grade, and if so, although I was several grades ahead, we'd have been at Central at the same time for a few years. I don't ever recall this mythical machine which also dispensed an orange-colored liquid. But then I quit drinking milk (when it was delivered to us, I think at our desks) because I decided I hated milk; and coincidentally, I was always the last one to finish drinking my milk, not that that had anything to do with my decision.
Are you able to respond to questions 1 & 2 or must I wait for these questions to be posed in #120 & answered in #121?
Apparently so.

Patiently waiting (but not very) in Pacifica,

Doug Booker has early memories of Central School:
I couldn't have told you what year it was, but just know I was a little kid and we were living right down the block (344 S. 13th where I grew up) and even though I was only 9 or 10 years old, can remember wandering up the street in pajamas to see the big fire.
I will conclude this issue with some current news. Our auditorium is closed at this time, due to a complaint about lack of handicapped facilities and ADA compliance. The auditorium has been declared ENDANGERED by the state Preservation Commission, and there is a local Preservation Committee working to save the auditorium by bringing it "up to code" and preserving it in a condition that would receive the most use by the community.
The commission is pleading for photos and stories of "times past" in this building. Of course they would welcome any size monetary donation or future bequest. Official name: Friends of the Lexington Auditorium. Photos or donations may be sent to me by email or to Commission Chair Abigail Tempel (wife of Fred "Ricky" Tempel) at 1622 Main St. in Lexington 64067. 
Meanwhile, for more news of the above and other enjoyable viewing, visit our website:
Your devoted scribe,

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