TLC logo TLC #123  December 22, 2009

Dear Hearts and Gentle People:


Lexington is the partyingest town around. We're all meeting ourselves coming and going. And "they" say we will have a White Christmas. Things may quiet down then.


I send you merry greetings from the old hometown and wish you a wonderful Christmas and an awesome, as the kids say, New Year.


There were some nice notes in the mail, which I will share, but we have no new photos on the website, so please enjoy a trip through the archives until we come up with something new for the next issue.


There are certain subjects that push buttons with readers. And writers. One that always brings a response is a mention of the Peckerwood Club.


Joy Knapheide, widow of our friend Arthur '56 Knapheide, wrote a nice note:


Susan, I really enjoyed the latest issue of the TLC. I only wish Arthur had been here to see it.  You see, his parents and Aunts and Uncles used to go to the Peckerwood Club and have told us great stories about that place. I only wish I could remember them to tell. Arthur's Mom is 95 and still likes to tell stories of Lexington. I have always wanted to go into the Peckerwood Club but it has never been open when we were there. I have asked Rosemarie to print out the picture to show her Mother. Thanks again--you always do such a great job.  I may not have lived there, but I have heard so many stories from Arthur about his wonderful hometown that I love it as much as he did.


Valerie '73 Wood-Hellyer reported in:


We did have our Class of ’73 reunion at the VFW last Friday.  We had a very lean turnout, but those of us who came had a blast.  I must say I was disappointed that many of our classmates who live in Lexington chose not to come, while Peggy Kelly Jackson came all the way from Maryland!  So, yes, I would say that the Class of ’59 is MUCH sharper than the Class of ‘73!  Sad to say!


Classmate (of mine) Wanda Harrington '57 Lemay gave me an early present:


Susan...I just want you to know how much your e-mails mean to me. I share them with my sisters, Lois and Jean (Harrington), trying to remember all the good times we had while growing up in Lexington. We remember the Peckerwood club fondly. Our family had a few meals there, and that is where we had the rehearsal dinner the night before Jim and I got married. I don't know if you remember, but I borrowed one of your hoop skirts to go under my wedding gown. Mom had made it and it was heavy slipper satin, so had to have hoops  or I couldn't have carried it off! Thank you for all the sharing of news and I hope to be at the next reunion of the class of '57. We had a great time at the last one!! 


Yes, M'am, we sure did!  John '47 Rostine remembers the Peckerwood Club well:


I worked for MO Public service. The warehouse was across from Walker Drug Store, and there was the old ice plant under the MPS warehouse,  The Peckerwood Club was on old 24 Hwy. I went there a lot of times. Mittieville was named after the owner, by the name of Ma Mittie. She was one of the sisters that owned the place, a very good eating place. They served fresh catfish - you would go out to the fish tank and pick out the fish you wanted and they'd clean it and cook it for you,       


I didn't know that, John. Thanks for writing.


Bette Phipps '73 Thomas sent a copy of her note to Jimmie '73 Lorantos to share:


Really enjoyed the pix from our reunion & also checked the archive pix. Thanks so much for preserving & documenting our past.  I have some of the grade-school pix & used to know the names of everyone in those pix, but 60 or so years have eroded all those memories.  I'm pretty sure those pix of you minuet-dancers were from the 4th grade play we did (Mrs. Parks was our teacher then). I was the Statue of Liberty, standing on a box or something & maybe covered with tin foil & holding up something (a torch?).  I really wanted to be a minuet dancer & decided I was given the Statue part because Mrs. Parks couldn't think of anywhere else to put me. Since I was the only Statue of Liberty, some might have thought of me as having a commanding role, but being Bette, I knew it was actually some form of "Oh, well, what else can we do with her?"  


Faithful Jim '49 O'Malley recalls the Peckerwood Club:


I enjoyed reading about the Peckerwood Club and it called up a host of memories.  During the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s the PC was known far and wide.  Before Hwy 24 bypassed Lexington to the south in the late‘50s, Hwy 24 ran right by the front door of the PC and it became a curiosity to the thousands of travelers who were using Hwy 24 to go east or west, to Chicago or Kansas City.  The Greyhound and Trailways buses passed by her front door day and night.  


I first visited the PC during high school and found it a family place where folks went for an inexpensive evening of fellowship with their neighbors and friends.  I soon discovered it had world class catfish, chicken, and tenderloin sandwiches!  They had a 3.2 beer license and didn’t have mixed drinks.  Many celebrities visited there.  Above the entrance to the dance area was an autographed picture of James J. Braddock, who defeated Max Baer for the heavyweight boxing championship in 1935 and then lost it to Joe Louis two years later.  The movie “The Cinderella Man” was based on his life.  Did Jim Braddock visit the PC?  I don’t know, but I wouldn’t doubt it.  


Once when I was visiting the PC I ordered a tenderloin and Minnie added a side of green pickled tomatoes.  I complimented Minnie on them and, from then on, whenever I stopped in to eat she included green pickled tomatoes to my order. They were simply delicious!!!! A closing comment: Their juke box had great music on it.  Just right for dancing!  Best wishes to everyone.   


Jim sent along a photo of Jim Braddock which you can call up on Google.


Duncan '60 Lee wrote and then even visited the old hometown from his home in Nevada. He mentioned a "small correction: Effie Boldridge was class of 1960." Then he remarked on a visitor's question "What went on there (at the Peckerwood Club)?" Duncan said "I'll never tell,” but I hope he changes his mind.

His classmate George '60 Gordon wrote for the first time. You will be mighty proud to read the next-to-last paragraph.


Thank you for providing this great service of connection for all of us who have resided in Lexington and vicinity and graduated from LHS.  It is fun to read of the reunion events and other tidbits of interest. 


We will be having the 50th reunion of the 1960 class in August or September of this coming year.  I am reading of the experiences of previous classes with interest. 


Dr. Effie Boldridge was in the Class of 1960, and I regretted having a conflict on the day of her funeral. On the Monday after the service, I delivered  85 dictionaries to third graders at Leslie Bell Elementary on behalf of Project Literacy in KC.The dictionaries are purchased by Tony Richardson's Foundation, and they are delivered by members of the Downtown Rotary Club. 


I was extremely pleased with the students response to my presentation. The students responded with enthusiastic spontaneity and interest in the dictionaries, and when they bordered on becoming a little chaotic the teachers calmly and respectfully brought them back to more focused attention. These teachers are doing a wonderful job of promoting both enthusiasm and cooperation in the learning process.  The entire school staff, including the principal, secretary and custodian, were all very helpful and supportive. It was heartwarming for me to witness the exceptional quality of educational experience that is being offered to the students of Lexington in this school. 


I will try to keep you posted as the plans for our reunion develop.  May I ask that my name be added to the list of the regular recipients of your journal. 


Marian Johnson '59 Buchanan was prompted to write by Lucia Cope also '59 Hulston:


Had to write when I saw Lucia's offering in the latest TLC. The class of '59 LHS Reunion deserved being highlighted...After all, it was our 50th!  Lucia's summary of our wonderful weekend was great!!!!  Although, I'm not sure about those seating assignments. Guess I'd be one of those by the door, unless one of those tables included a loss of memory category.  :-)

Didn't you love the photos that Jimmie submitted?  Gives meaning to "a picture is worth a thousand words."  Looked like all were having a grand time, didn't it?  Anyway, thank you for giving our reunion the attention it deserved.


Mary Pat  Gueguen '58 Miller enjoyed seeing them too:


I just loved those 1959 reunion pictures. It's amazing how I could pick out all the "current" alumni. Well, almost. And I even remember taking that picture of the LHS band board.  How about those glasses, kids? Hooray for cataract surgery 12 years ago!!


Now that our 50th reunion is history, I look back and wish we had taken advantage of all the old pictures more and yes, Lucia, we could have labeled tables too. How funny! Some classes just have all the fun.  


Shirley Collobert '50 Guevel also enjoyed the photos:


Just looked at the pictures.  The building on 20th Street being demolished is very sad.  However, I have no memory of it ever being Jackson's Grocery. Wasn't it Bookasta's Grocery? Seems to me that is who had it when I was quite young. I baby sat with small children upstairs sometimes when Mrs. Bookasta had to help in the grocery store downstairs. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I don't remember there ever being a Jackson's Grocery there. There was Ceno's on the other corner and Gibaud's a little north on 20th. 

Interesting issue.  Great picture of Mittieville (or the Peckerwood Club) whichever you want to call it.

Can anyone clear this up?


It was great to hear from George 'Skip' '56 Brown who sent season's greetings and was pleased to see progress in the old hometown.


Al McCormick thought some of you might be interested in news from Wentworth, so I include a portion of their recent alumni letter:


This past year at Wentworth Military Academy has been full of positive change.  We are placing renewed emphasis on the long-held traditions that have made us great.  We are raising the standard for our Corp of Cadets, and we have aligned ourselves to march forward down a promising path.


Here is a short overview of just a few of the positive changes that have taken place at Wentworth within the last few months: Bonnie Seelinger is now the Executive Assistant taking the place of Sue Jordan and Elaine Hudson. COL John Meyer '86 is now the Development Director and our General Counsel. Al McCormick '67 former letterman and Drum Major is now serving as Director of Alumni. William Wentworth Sellers '86 and member of the Athletic Hall of Fame is serving as the Academy President, and Joe Barnhill '74 is serving a dual capacity as CIO and Marketing Director. In addition, we also have a few wonderful dedicated long standing team members in new positions.COL Mike Lierman '73 is now serving as Superintendent and COL Rick Cottrell has been promoted to Director of Operations. We believe this assembly of talent from the old boy ranks is poised to take Wentworth to new heights.


Vicki Gooseman '70 Pena wrote from Phoenix:


Once again I just want to say how much I enjoy TLC.  It makes me homesick and one winter I will make it back for Christmas!!  Enjoy the holidays and thanks for all your hard work. 


The town looks really pretty now with lights and other festive decorations lending a special glow. And when it begins to snow, well, there's no place like Home for the holidays.


Your Devoted Scribe,







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