TLC logo TLC #127  November 26, 2010


Dear Hearts and Gentle People:
Happy Thanksgiving to  you all!
Do you remember me? When last I wrote, we were just entering summer, so I should certainly wish you all a Merry Christmas...just in case.
All I can do is plead insanity, or whatever will get me off the hook. As I said before, Life intruded.
Many things prompted #127, but several asked me to inform you of the recent death of Eileen Mischon Carpenter. Her funeral will be held tomorrow.

Eileen Claire (Mischon) Carpenter, 75, of Kansas City, Mo. passed away Wed., Nov. 17, 2010. A celebration of life will be Fri., Nov. 26 at 1:00 p.m. at White Chapel Funeral Home, 6600 N.E. Antioch Rd., Gladstone, Mo.

Eileen was a giving, vivacious, lovely person. She lived life to the fullest as long as she could. She is in a better place where she is no longer a prisoner of her body. Her grace and beauty are free and her spirit will remain with all who knew her. She was born in Lexington, Mo., a lifelong resident of Missouri and an avid Mizzou Tigers Fan. She was a member of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church. Survivors include her husband, Herb Carpenter; sons, Jeff and Greg Carpenter; five granddaughters; one great grandson; and one brother. In lieu of flowers, family suggests contributions to Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 9555 N. Oak Tfwy., Kansas City, MO 64155. Fond memories and condolences may be left at (Arr: White Chapel, 816-452-8419)


Unfortunately, there are other losses to report also. To their family and friends, I am very sorry I didn't print them until now.
Mike McDonald wrote:
We lost Bobbie due to complications from kidney cancer.  She died at home with family all around her.  Services were July 12.
In August from Charlie Pieper '56:
Just wanted to let everyone know we lost another classmate, Gerry Helm, married to Lawrence Bersano. She had been in a nursing home.
John Rostine:
My good friend and football teammate Gene Emke, who also played one the 1946 champion ship team, passed away this year. 
Wanda Harrington '57 LeMay reported:
My sister Lois, Class of  '52, passed away on Aug. 10th.
My sister Jean and I attended her 55th reunion on Oct 2. I think I knew almost as many attendees as she did. She has now moved to Tennessee to be closer to her daughter and family.
On a happier note, Sue Cousins '55 Wilmot sent this report of the above-mentioned reunion:
Thanks to all of the Classmates that attended the LHS 55th Year Class Reunion on Saturday, October 2, 2010, at the Knights of Columbus Hall.  We had a great evening socializing and reminiscing.  Don and Wally kept us entertained with stories and a quiz. 
Also, the catered dinner from the Somerset Cottage was very tasty.  Of course, we wish more classmates could have attended. 
Leamon Johnson (Class of ’53) took some snapshots during the evening and the Class Picture.  He sent the pictures to me on a CD, which I received today.  With Fred’s help, we will process and distribute the Class Picture, the added Memoriam sheet, and the 4-page LHS Class of ’55 Roster.  We really appreciate all the effort by the Reunion Committee, Leamon, and Fred to make this Lexington High School  55th Year Class Reunion a successful and fun night. 
For your information, in 1955:  we had 74 Graduates, 14 are deceased, with a current roster of 60 Classmates.
Eventually our webmaster will post photos from that event, along with pictures from the Apples, Arts & Antiques Fair in October. Most of the photos are courtesy of Wally "Snaps" Hulver, '55.
Last issue, ancient artifact that it is, discussed the future of the Lexington Municipal Auditorium. The referendum for restoration did not pass, but there is enough interest in preserving it that other options are being examined. This was a good report from Abigail Tempel:
Thank you for the information and support you provided regarding the auditorium in the TLC publication.  It truly is appreciated.  The responses from readers are wonderful and welcomed.  These help us identify events and dates for which there may be pictures or news articles, or oral accounts.  One of the Friends of the Auditorium Commission's ideas for the renovated auditorium is to have a rotating exhibit of these past events and bring these memories to life for our young people and visitors.
Thought has been given to soliciting funds from alumni and former an endowment for marketing, programs, children's theatre, etc.  Once we have the not-for-profit status in place, we will revisit these possibilities in more detail.
The TLC readers also may be interested to know that the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (also called Missouri Preservation) on May 18 designated the Zion AME Church as one of the state's Most Endangered Historic Buildings.  We will be working with the AME Conference trustees in Kansas City to stabilize this building at 16th and Lafayette Streets and find viable, alternative uses for it.  Information about the building's nomination can be found on  Any memories or history your readers may have concerning this building would be appreciated.
And we have memories! Jan Rider '52 McCoy wrote 
You are very special to keep us all informed and so hope all goes well for the Auditorium. I remember one time going to a Magic show held there and being called on stage to assist. I was probably about 6. The Magician gave me a Guinea Pig, and told the audience and me he was giving it to me. When he tried to take it back I almost choked the poor little thing I squeezed it so tight and told him a resounding "NO." I reminded him he said I could have it. We got in this big fight on stage, and he finally was so mad his face was red and he whispered bad things to me. He finally got it away from me and I wasn't a very happy little girl. However, I do think the audience enjoyed the extra show.
Another note from John Rostine:
On the municipal auditorium, I remember back in the late 40s and early 1950, the Dunhill Shirt Company had their Christmas parties there. My Dad and I served the drinks for them, I hope they can find a way to keep it there and find useful life for the building.
Lucia Cope '59 Hulston always has good memories. In this instance, she asks about the Boy and Girl Scout cabins. 
Are they unique to Lexington?  Are they still in use, and if so, how?  When we were in  Junior High, the Girl Scout cabin was rented out for private  parties, as well as serving for GS meetings and activities.  I have  many fond memories of those boy-girl dancing opportunities but none  of adult chaperones!

Shelly, Marcia and I made our annual tour of the town when we were there for Memorial Day activities, and were very impressed with the  landscaping in Central Park, as we were with the general “looks” of  downtown - especially all the flags and the beautiful flower pots.  I  was sorry to hear of the vandalism of some pots, but am sure Ken had  them all back in shape in no time.

After Mary Elizabeth White’s funeral, Marcia and I had lunch with Fred and Abigail Tempel, and my favorite part of our conversation was about  all the “characters” we’d known.  When I moved to K.C. as an adult,  when I married and moved into a neighborhood, I started being aware of  attitudes about “characters,” which were the extreme opposite of those  in Lexington.  I may be a bit naive about this, but it seemed that  “characters” were well-known and cared for and their idiosyncrasies  understood and sometimes even honored.  I only knew about Miss Ann’s  having dressed in red, but Fred said that when she died the community  saw to it that her casket was lined in red satin. 

What about all the ethnicities of the population?  As I recall, many  Italians came to Lexington to work in the coal mines.  My great-grandmother taught Bible classes in the mining camps, and Mother loved the gardens so many Italian families cultivated.  Some Italian patient  of Daddy’s made wine and would frequently give him a bottle of “Dago  Red.”  How un-PC is that?  But it was on his label.  I think we grew  up with a healthy respect for the foreigners who populated the town,  as they brought such a rich heritage to our small community.  Do you 
remember that Miss Mautino was frequently called upon to translate the  Spanish spoken by some Wentworth families?

Your TLC has greatly expanded my sense of Lexington to the point of  confusing my own experience of the town and I love it.  Even though I  have made a conscious effort at giving up guilt, I occasionally  indulge it by wondering if we really short-changed our kids by raising 
them in the city!

Another thing that I may have mentioned before was the whole subject  of girls’ sports beyond gym class and GAA.  Mr. Cameron was the  driving force during my teen years behind such opportunities in  softball and basketball.

Also, how about some alley memories?  There have to be tons!

Enough.  I’m sure you’re never short of ideas. Have a great summer, and thanks again for keeping us informed and  connected.  Your dad would love it!
My  punishment is revealing how long ago she sent this note. But perhaps this has spawned a memory that someone would like to share?
Every once in a while we hear from a person who loves Lexington who is not even from here. The most recent is from Don Barrot (Jr.)
Although I did not graduate from LHS, both my Dad (Diz Barrot) and aunt (Dorothy Barrot Ferrara) did.  I recently came across your newsletter while surfing the internet, and did not stop reading until I covered each year's worth of newsletters from beginning up to the present. 
From a very young age until my teens, when the last of my family was moved up to Nebraska, I spent a good deal of each summer in Lexington.  I have great memories of those years......Maid-Rite, Dog N Suds out by Thriftway, Italian ices down at the Dairy Creme on east Main, Mattingly's, Bing's Supermarket, Ceno's delivering groceries, Pat's Army Store, the soda fountain at Rush's Drug Store (and the cool elevator there-well, cool to a youngster, that is), Vacation Bible School at First Baptist Church, the Eagles pool, the Main Street Theater (and the diner next to it), KLEX radio, walking with my grandmother through the garden behind Wentworth (and riding my bike all over the Wentworth grounds), my grandmother and I wheeling her garden waste down to the holler behind the Dairy Creme, playing on the big cannon at Wentworth (where the helicopter sits now) across from my grandmother's house, the pesticide trucks going around town in the summertime......with their huge clouds of skeeter poison trailing behind, the summer in the early to mid-70s when someone predicted the bridge would fall into the river one night, far too many more memories to list here. And so many memorable people too, like Dr. Betty, Rev. George Gray, Miss Angela Mautino, Keith and Norma Maring, plus Bob Jackson, Don Savio and Cotton Trent at Commercial Bank (where I got to hold the Yankee Commander's sword-pretty cool to a kid.....again), and hundreds more.  I always thought Lexington was the neatest place to grow up. 
It was nice to see my Dad's name listed amongst all the great Lexington nicknames.  He truly admired Dizzy Dean.  And also to see my aunt Miss Denise's name mentioned as one of the Legends of Lexington.  She really loved her job as Cashier at Commercial Bank for all those 50+ years. It seemed everyone knew her. One of my favorite memories of her is the Saturday night dinners at Maibs/the Victory Cafe (whichever the name at the time)
.  Miss Elizabeth Young and Mrs. Anna Gibbons and Auntie would pick me up at my grandmother's house on Washington Ave. across from Wentworth.  Miss Elizabeth would be driving her blue car, and all the ladies were dressed in their finest, complete with hats and white gloves.  And I can't remember if watching Lawrence Welk at Miss Elizabeth's apartment was before or after the meal.  Auntie was so proud to show off her little nephew.....hope I wasn't too much of a brat on those outings. I still have the two small ceramic dog figurines, one from Miss Elizabeth and the other from Mrs. Gibbons, given to me those many many years ago.
As I wrote at the top of the message, I didn't graduate from LHS, but sure felt like I grew up in Lexington.  It seems like I have to explain this to my friends every time I call Lexington "down home" in front of them.  I am very glad to have discovered your newsletter online and can't wait to read more.  

Please add my name to the mailing list.  I enjoy reading all the good memories of Lexington.  My aunt still receives the Lexington paper (which I still call "the Advertiser" after all these years....some habits are hard to break).  Unfortunately, most of the names we recognize these days are in the obituaries. 
I still live in Omaha, Nebraska where my Dad had settled after leaving Lexington.  HA......wish I could retire, but I am still working hard, just not today.....I am only 48......and yes, I hung out with all the old people down home.  My aunt Dorothy lives in Wahoo, about a half-hour west of here.  She and my uncle Frank Ferrara (a Wentworth grad) are both doing fine, both well into their 80s. 
From what I remember, Miss Elizabeth Young and Mrs. Anna Gibbons both lived in the apartment building at 13th and South directly east across from the Post Office. They both lived on the first floor, Miss Elizabeth on one side and Mrs. Gibbons on the other.  My aunt Denise lived in a 4-plex apartment house two houses east of them, in the lower right apartment.  I think there was a white (at the time) house with a pillared porch between the two apartment houses.  And Auntie's apartment house was one or several houses to the west of where Joe and Betty Barron Mussatto now live. 
My grandparents lived at 413 Washington Avenue, between the Pence house and Gary and Helen (Thorson) Bennett's.  Reading Norman Thorson's comments about how Wentworth bought and tore down Elia Thorson's house and others to build the new barracks made me think of our old family house. I can still remember all the little details about it, like my grandmother's rose garden.  It was a neat place I will never forget. I am pretty certain the academy has bought and torn down those remaining houses on the lower half of Washington Avenue now.  The last time I was in Lexington I remember seeing the big old white Slusher house up the street was now the Wentworth infirmary (I think).  I am all in favor of the Academy growing and remaining strong, but did it have to grow to the south, why not the woods and holler to the north?  Washington Avenue homes (when I was growing up) were always well-kept and nice, whether large or small.  
There aren't many of the old family friends left anymore in Lexington. So many have passed away this year, including Dorothy Ann Stapleton and Laura Stephenson.  I still hear from Lucky Baker at Chirstmastime and I talk to Shari Stephenson Kaullen several times a year.  I am hoping to come down to Lexington next fall for the battle re-enactment.  I think it would be a great experience.  I sort of think I owe it to my ancestors, my great-grandfather J.S. Camden being named for Gen. Joe Shelby of the CSA, and his future father-in-law (my great-great-grandfather) William Minick fighting for the USA. 
Reading everyone's Lexington memories have my own coming back to me now.   
Sorry, Don that you had to wait so long. He also commented:
I do not know the reference to "Dear Hearts and Gentle People,"
So for Don and other youngsters
In the 1940s there was a song that began: "I love those dear hearts and gentle people, who live in my home town. Because those dear hearts and gentle people will never, ever let you down." And so forth. I'm sure the lyrics are on the internet. Great song.
Another new reader is Connie Martin '76 Woodward:
I graduated in 1976, my daughter Sarah Templeton graduated in 2000, and my youngest Amanda will graduate 2013! Thanks for adding me to the list. Look on facebook at I Missed All the Fun at the Shed because my parents thought I was too young.  It is an interesting page! My brother was Tom Martin and sister Darlene Martin.

It wouldn't be a true TLC without a memory from Jim O'Malley. It was complete with a photo, but I can't get it to reproduce here.
Everyone has seen the movie, "A Christmas Story," about the  boy who wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.  Well, here's my own  version of a similar story.  Around 1938 when I was 7, going on 8, I  was a fan of the "Singing Cowboy," Gene Autry.  One day I happened to  be in the toy section of Mattingly's five and dime store in  Lexington,  when my eyes widened as I looked at a beautiful cap  pistol that had just gone on sale.  It wasn't just any cap pistol, it  was a GENE AUTRY cap pistol.  It cost 50 cents.

I went home electrified with dreams of owning this prize.  I asked  Mom if I could have it.  Times were hard and pennies were precious in  1938.  50 cents could have bought 5 loaves of bread!   After much  begging Mom agreed to go to the store and look at the gun.   She 
finally agreed to get it for me.  She put it on "Lay-away" and made  payments on it.  I don't know if she paid it off in pennies, nickels  or dimes, but by the time my birthday rolled around I had my GENE  AUTRY cap pistol!!!  Hazel Terrell O'Malley was a kind hearted woman  and a wonderful, loving mother!   I googled "Gene Autry cap pistols"  and found a picture of one like mine.

Gene Autry was my favorite too. Jane Ann Whitney '56 Hunt and I listened to his records by the hour. Jim found some wonderful spots on the internet of Lexington "connections":
Thought you'd like to see photos of the old  train depots in Lexington, MO.   They've been gone now for sometime but lots of us remember them well.  The first link is of the Myrick depot just west of Lexington on Hwy 24.  The second link is the old Lexington, MO depot.

Please check the web pages for this TLC issue for photos and other info of interest. If you think I have fallen into the river or been kidnapped by aliens, you can always find the last TLC (old as it may be) on our website.
Your devoted scribe,

Links to other pages