TLC logo TLC #121  November 6, 2009


Dear Hearts and Gentle People:


It's a sad day in the old hometown. One of our most historic buildings burned this very morning, and with it went arguably our most popular restaurant, Las Carretas. People came from surrounding communities to enjoy the modestly priced and delicious Mexican cuisine. Plus they were open 7 days a week, a service few others provide. That building, if memory serves, was the site of a big prohibition "bust" - the feds raided a "still" in the basement. Everyone send information you have or remember, and I'll publish it next issue. The movie theatre 6-plex next door was not damaged, I understand. Please bear in mind that this news is just a couple of hours old, so reports may change as time passes.


Our auditorium is closed at this time, due to lack of compliance with ADA regulations. A hard-working commission is seeking to have it upgraded and renovated for more extensive uses. They are seeking historical information about the building and would welcome contributions as well. Send to Abigail Tempel (Mrs. Fred/Rick) at 1622 Main St. "Friends of the Auditorium." They would welcome any photos taken inside or outside at auditorium events through the years.


It appears that we may have a new hospital - approximately the same size as our present one but state-of-the-art - at the intersection of Hwys 24/224 and 13 on the east side of town. This could be a big boon with regard to attracting business and development at that site.


Some Wentworth cadets suffered extensive loss during the recent tsunami that hit Samoa. This community joined the school in fundraising to help alleviate the suffering there. The following is a report from the school:

WMA's recent American Samoan Luau saw 700 people attend and had 5 hours of dance, singing, prayer, great food.  In remembrance of the tragedy that the Samoan families have endured, we prayed for those who lost their lives - and for suffering endured - and celebrated life and rejoiced in the knowledge that God does provide and helps to heal the pain.  At the end of the night $17,213 was raised and with previous pledges, that puts the total a little over $30,000.

I was
going to send a shout-out to Barbara Tabb '55 Jarman regarding her recent medical issues. Just as I began to write (ESP!) she sent the following report:

I'm sending this out to all who may have been concerned about my recent health issues, and I'm feeling pretty good about having a date set to take care of it.  My surgery is set for 6 a.m. on November 10, and should take about two hours.  It is to clean out the plaque blockage in the left carotid artery, which is about 70% blocked.  We met the surgeon yesterday who is going to perform it, and I liked him real well - have confidence in him, which helps a lot. LOL  Everything else checked out just fine - BP has always been good - heart, lungs, circulation, and general health conditions are very good, considering my age.  Or, should that be in spite of it? I think maybe so.  LOL


I did the usual 'Google,' and am quite satisfied that this is 'necessary'. LOL They could go in through the groin and put in a stint, but that is reserved for people whose general health is such that it's the last resort, and the surgery is recommended for all others. You do want to check these things out when somebody is going to be cutting around on your throat - ya know? LOL So, wish me luck - no need to respond to this. I just wanted to let you know the latest, and I do look forward to next Wednesday, when it's a done deal. LOL  Take care, and have a good day wherever you are.  Looks like a great day here, so I'm going out to enjoy it.


We do wish you good luck, Barbara, and look forward to an excellent report!


People certainly have fond memories of our old elementary schools here. In the past we have heard from those who attended Arnold, Central and Douglass. Recent email brought more reminiscences:


From Don Stephenson LHS '43:


I attended Central School from the fall of 1931 to May of 1937.  The things I remember were the rough, unvarnished wooden floors, the stairways, the cinder covered grounds where we played lots of dodge ball, the swings and climbing bars at the rear of the school, and the outside metal grill fire escape stairways.  I do remember that the gymnasium mentioned in TLC#120 was upstairs and that was where the PTA meetings were held.  I think the gym had a basketball goal.  As I recall, the desks we sat at in class were a type where the front of one desk contained the seat for the desk  ahead of it.


I do not remember the names of all of my teachers but I remember that my fifth grade teacher was Miss Allen and my sixth grade teacher was Miss Jennie Rush who, I think, was also the school's principal.  I still have a copy of my fifth grade class picture, and I may still have a copy of my 6th grade class= picture.  Somewhere along the way I had teachers named Gibbs and Edwards but I do not remember what grades they taught.


Editor's note: Would that be Edna Burl Gibbs Beissenherz?


I still remember that the school was a big multi-story red brick building but had white or gray stone trim above some windows or entrances.  It was the same building where my mother, the late Florence Stephenson, attended Lexington High School.


Of course, there were no school buses and so we walked to and from school.  I remember that on the way to school I used to walk near the remains of what had previously been another school but it had been torn down,  As I recall, it was fairly near Central School.  Somehow or other, the name Taylor School seems to come into my mind but I'm not sure that was its name and I have no idea of its history.  Maybe someone else can shed some light on this school.


With regard to that old school near Central that had been torn down, another bit of information is that I lived on 5th Street at the time I attended Central and I used to walk to school by walking down to 6th Street, crossing the hollow between 6th and Southwest Blvd. and walking on Southwest Blvd. to Central School.  The remains of that old school was on the right side of Southwest Blvd. facing the direction of Central (north).  My recollection is that it may have been near the intersection of 11th Street and Southwest Blvd. but I'm not too sure of that.  After all, that was more that 75 years ago.


A possibility is that this school was in use as a grade school when Central was still the high school and when Central was converted to a grade school after the "new" high school was built at Main and 16th Street, it was no longer needed.


Mary Pat Gueguen '58 Miller commented on brother Jack's recollections:


For TLC #121 if you want to continue this school discussion...


My brother seems to put a healthy "glow" on most things in his growing up years as seen in his joining the "friendly fray" of school rivalries in Lexington.  I think we all felt "privileged" to attend Immaculate Conception Catholic School (ICS)  but not in any material way.  In fact, we lacked a lot of the public school amenities... no gym, no auditorium, no cafeteria, had to pay tuition, large classes, small rooms, etc.  My own perception was that ICS and the Douglass school were two of the poorer schools in town, with large families and little money.  Nevertheless, I, and they, would all agree that we had an excellent education, in school and in our homes (I still  have some of my report cards) and were well prepared when we entered dear old LHS.  I don't think I was ever in Central or Arnold school but love reading the stories and similarities of the times.  Yes, Arnold always reminded me of a medieval castle; my Daddy went to school there, and my best friend next door went to Central.  My Mother went to ICS. 

Some very specific ICS memories were: being served hot cocoa and donuts by our mothers and nuns wearing long aprons at our desk after the First Friday Mass; walking into the little back hallway to hang up our coats and the icky (?) smell of milk, since we were delivered those little milk bottles for our sack lunches by Mr. Fiora early in the morning and it stayed cold out in that frigid room; (we almost always walked home for lunch and Mr. Fiora would give us a ride in his milk truck) the Nancy Drew mystery books sitting on the bottom shelf of the bookcase in the big room upstairs (for 6th, 7th, 8th grades) and loving every one of them; smacking James Lee Wilkerson right across the face in class one day in 5th grade (and I was VERY shy) after he said something to embarrass me (and I thought I was going to get killed before the day was over!); my mother all dressed up with hat, heels and gloves to attend a PTA meeting after school; our end of school picnics at Central Park.  P.S. Came face to face with the same JLW, only now white-headed, still ruddy faced, at our 50th high school reunion last Oct. and he didn't hit me but hugged me fondly remembering all his antics of grade school.  What great memories.  I wish more ICS kids on  this list would write theirs down for all to enjoy.  Marilyn, Donna, James Lee, Clyde?????  


Charlie Pieper '56 remembers the rural schools:


There were other schools around Lexington, which some of us attended before enrolling in high school. They were the one-room rural schools that many have heard about. They were divided into rural school districts and, if I remember correctly, they were: Burns, Locust Grove, Marshall, Hicklin and Slusher. I believe the Burns School building is still standing out on Hwy 13. The Locust Grove school site was where the old Tabo relocated to on Hwy 13. The Marshall School site at Hwy 13 and Marshall School Road is, or was, a gasoline distribution site. Hicklin was on Hwy 23, east of town, near the old Tabo site. I do not recall where the Slusher School was. Alvera Dothage '56 Johnson will have to fill you in on that.


Marshall School was actually a four-room building, though only one room was used for school purposes. The other rooms were a cloak room, library and a large room used for community gatherings. I am unable to describe the layouts of the other buildings, that input will have to be made by their alumni. I did attend 4-H meetings at the Local Grove School, only that was too long ago.


All classes were conducted in the same room. Grades 1 through 4 were taught every year, and the 5th and 7th, and the 6th and 8th taught in alternating years. I kind of remember that Mrs. Ropey was my First Grade teacher. After that came Mrs. Ramey. My last two years was Mrs. Groom. The ones in between have faded from my memory. We too had a cinder-covered playground in front of the building, with a big swing set, and a white fence to separate us from Hwy 13. In back of the building we had a teeter-totter and a jungle gym with two slides. We also had a large athletic field to play various games.


The members of our 8th Grade class were: Sally Meyers, Shirley Stratton, James Gilkey, Wayne Hayes, and me. Even though we didn't have the frills of a town school - milk delivery, school lunch, or separate classrooms for each grade, I feel we received a good basic education to prepare us for the rigors of high school. I will admit that, even though we had extensive drills in cursive writing, I never did learn how to write very well.


On behalf of those of us who attended elementary school in town, we're all thrilled to know we had amenities AND frills! There were no school lunches in my day - we all went home or brought a sack lunch to have at school. Even LHS Jr.-Sr. High did not serve lunches, although we boasted a lunchroom. When we took our lunches, we ate there. Otherwise we went home or (High Cotton!) to Maid-Rite, occasionally even to Maib's. Once in a while some group would hold a fundraiser and sell hot dogs out of the Home Ec kitchen area into the lunchroom. I never had a better-tasting hot dog than those.


Reunions! Memories from and upcoming ones:


Jimmie Lorantos '59 goes first:

October 1-2, 2009 we had our 50th  Reunion in Lexington.  I created a DVD that runs about 25 minutes.  If you will send me your mail address I=92ll send you a copy.  I think you=92ll enjoy it.

Obviously, this next one will change, but attention LHS Class of 1973:

The class of '73 will have a class reunion at Las Carretas/Lexington on Friday, November 27th, the day after Thanksgiving.  We are staying away from that Saturday because of the MU-KU game. Can you please help us spread the word so we can have a great turnout!  We are inviting teachers, friends and coaches and members from other classes - for a great time.  Dress is casual.  See you there! There will be a $10.00 donation fee to take care of food and entertainment.
Instigated by the following: Mark Rosewell, '73.
Northwest Missouri State,; and Doug Booker, '73, 660.259.7278 / 913.232.0244.


That's all for this issue, folks, but don't miss new additions on our webpages.


Your devoted scribe,








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