TLC logo TLC #122  December 2, 2009

Dear Hearts and Gentle People:
Good wishes to you from the old hometown. I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are up to Christmas preparations. We will have the annual Festival of Lights Parade here on Friday. It is perhaps our most popular annual community event.
One of our most faithful readers and correspondents lived in Lexington when he was a cadet. Al McCormick should be an honorary member of our Chamber and Tourism Bureau.
I am attempting to generate a little interest in Lexington. A former Mayor of Parkville, who is now a Platte County Commissioner, is a friend and I have invited her and another Alderman of Parkville to visit me while I am on the Wentworth campus. They are very active in economic development at the city and county level, and I want them to see some of the spirit that is alive in Lexington. Perhaps an outcome will be discussions between those two and some Lexington officials about conditions in both cities.
And we have another connection with Parkville (besides resident JoAnn Oetting '56 Tognascioli). As Al knows, Wentworth and Park College have linked to provide additional college courses which may be taken in Lexington. It is possible to get a four-year degree through this program.
I received a gentle reproach from Lucia Cope '59 Hulston for not printing her very much appreciated offering in the last issue:

Our LHS class of '59 had its 50th anniversary reunion this year.  We had a grand turnout and a marvelous time.  I was, however, appalled at how many had to read the words to our school song, which, I understand, the young kids don't even sing anymore.  I have teasingly imagined that we could have been separated into groups:  Stroke survivors at this table, arthritics and joint replacement and surgeries folks at that one;  heart disease classmates in one corner, cancer survivors in the other corner, and for those not limited to one category, please take the seats right by the door;  for all others, we've arranged seating close to the bathrooms.  Or, there could have been other seating assignments:  Table #1 for the vision and hearing impaired, #2 for those with color-enhanced hair, #3 for those who still have hair, #4 for those who don't; table #5, the smallest table of all, for those who can still fit into their band uniforms, cheerleading outfits - tops and bottoms - prom dresses, etc; #6 for the women who wore dresses and skirts.  But I imagine for every class that gets together after 50 years of graduation, those table designations could become permanent.
Yes, we need laminated signs that could be passed along to every class celebrating its 50th - or even 40th. Lucia continued:
Marlene and Sonny Oetting graciously and deliciously hosted our Friday evening gathering in their beautiful home, and Saturday we convened at Lexington's newest event space on Franklin.  Down the street we gazed at the carnival rides, fully convinced they were the very same ones we used to enjoy, but with a new coat of paint. Hopefully some who had cameras flashing will submit some pictures,  but that would require remembering to do so, so don't hold your breath.
Editor's note: Au contraire, Madame Hulston. Visit the web pages for this edition.
We have been gathering formally en masse every five years, but voted to continue more informally every three years henceforth.  Whatever, we will not let our connections go.  The organizing committee of  Donna Swartz, Marlene Oetting, Frank Wansing, Shirley Link, Jim Duvall and Gordon White put together a great booklet of memories, and the decorations were amazingly time and place symbolic, including such items as white gloves, neck scarves, Cherry Mashes, etc.
Jimmie Lorantos brought on the tears of remembrance with his amazing video montage, and the evening was simply too short to be totally satisfactory.  Since no gathering of those who grew up in the 50's would be complete without some opportunity to dance, a bunch of us adjourned to the Bottoms Up Tavern out on South St., where we treated all those youngsters to the marvels of The Stroll and the Bop.  The latter, done by Molly Holman, left jaws agape - and not only from the young ones!
In the course of the old stories, it came to my attention that one chapter of Lexington's history hasn't yet - to my knowledge -  been recorded:  Mr. Cameron's organizing, coaching and managing the Blue Birds softball team, and a basketball team as well.  Can't remember the name of it, but in order to attend a national tournament in Buffalo, NY, the girls planted many of the trees in the city lake area to raise funds.  Mr. Cameron was a driving force in the Lions Club, and all those clubs might be interesting subjects of future TLC's.
Lucia, check the archives. I do believe we covered the Blue Birds history in some long-past issue.
She added:

(There were tales of skinny dipping at various places in Lexington, but I'd be surprised if many of your readers would be prepared to "fess up.")
Skinny dipping in Lexington? Surely not!
Bette Phipps '59 Thomas chimed in also:
A great time was had by all at our recent '59 reunion and my grateful thanks go out to Marlene and Sonny Oetting for hosting us Friday evening in their beautiful Victorian, and for all the work (the heavy lifting!) undertaken by the reunion committee: Donna Bertz Swartz, Marlene Stigall Oetting, Frank Wansing, Shirley Jiovenale Link, Jim Duvall, and Gordon White. Jim Lorantos also presented a panoramic video display of our years at LHS (and earlier times) that brought back many wonderful memories and for me, at least, the perplexing question: was I ever really THAT young?
Yes, Dear, you were. My grandmother told me.
And while we are on sensitive topics, an anonymous correspondent wrote:
With regard to the fire at Las Carretas restaurant, most will remember over the door in stone was "Lexington Office" up until it became The Brewery Restaurant. What I understood was that this building was "the Office" for the Lexington Brewery, which is where MO Pub had their warehouse across from Walker's Drug Store for many years. There were also supposed to be tunnels from the brewery to several other buildings to the south, but not sure which ones.  I think when they excavated for the Theater complex, there were some tunnels revealed, but not sure. Also in the Beiler Grocery building which was on the Southeast corner of 11th & Franklin, there was not only a basement, sub-basement, but one under that too.  Not sure whether this was connected with the Brewery at one time or not. 
This may all be true. Another item of interest: it was the custom in the "old days" to raze a building and then build a new structure on top of the old one. This has brought forth many interesting "archeological" discoveries years later. Yes, there were tunnels discovered when the Cannonball Six Theatre parking lot was built. Someone please send details.
That building was the site of an FBI raid during Prohibition. Details are available.
On the subject of Reunions, this arrived from Doug '73 Booker:
I suppose the unfortunate fire at Las Carretas will result in the need to find another venue for the '73 reunion.
And I suppose they did get together, but have not yet received any reports. Hmmm...does this mean the Class of '59 is sharper than the Class of '73?
Lexington Historian Jim '49 O'Malley solved a mystery:
The Franklin Ave. establishment (mentioned in issue #121), "Jim's Restaurant," was operated by Jim  Hughes, the husband of Catherine (Cathy) Nicola Hughes of Lexington. Jim died two years ago.  I ate there several times and the food  quality and variety were amazing.  Wish it were still operating!   
Lexington lost a valued citizen on Thanksgiving. George W. Stier passed away just prior to his 90th birthday. He loved Lexington, and Lexington love him.
And we lost yet another valued alum a few weeks ago:
Effie Boldridge was an associate professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. I believe Dr. Boldridge was a member of the class of '61? Her older sister Irma lives in Connecticut.

Some good news arrived from Barbara Tabb '55 Jarman:
I just wanted to send along a note that I got through the surgery okay and am back home.  I guess I'm a little worse for wear - got 6" incision on the left side of my neck, and my voice has dropped about 6 octaves.  That's because of the tube they put down my throat - had more soreness from that than anything.  But, they've told me to expect soreness for about a week to 10 days from the incision.  I've got some pain pills that should do the trick while I need them. I do appreciate all the kind words of concern, and the prayers, of course.  It's good to have it over with. 
I believe TLC has made it beyond the confines of current and former residents. This very nice note came from someone who found us on the internet. Steve Leek of Burlington, IA wrote:
Lately, after choosing a new route, I've been passing through Lexington on my way to my job in Colorado. That may seem like a long commute, but the drive is made no more than once a month. High on my list of nice things in Lexington, is the old Route 224 running West of town. (Editor's note: now a State Historic Route.) There I've found the former Peckerwood Club. If you're like me, and find out of the way vintage roadhouses irresistible, you will understand why I want to know more about it. I'm amazed that so little information is available. It's easier to find details of obscure Masonic rites than it is to find information about the Peckerwood Club. Who owned/owns it? What went on there? Was it formerly a watering hole on the Old Santa Fe Trail (before it became the Peckerwood Club) and, why is it on the web in Swahili, Greek, and Urdu? Is it true Bonnie and Clyde shot it out with Lawmen there in 1934? See what happens when facts are few and imagination must suffice!? Surely, in all of fair Lexington, there is someone who knows something about the Peckerwood!

Someone? Oh, Steve, nearly everyone know about the Peckerwood Club!
(I suggested he visit the TLC archives, and and he sent kudos to the aforementioned Al McCormick.)

What a wonderful picture of the Peckerwood Club!  I feel this was a generous response from one of your fine contributors. The TLC Archives reveal a great local spirit. "Want to see a cigarette burn twice?" You see, that's my proof that I've been going through the back issues! Now, would someone explain to me what Mittieville means?
Yes! The answer to this and many other questions will be revealed to anyone who visits our website.
Steve wrote later to say he was considering a move to Lexington! He is researching real estate at this time. Come on in, Steve. The water's fine.
Your devoted scribe,

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