Dear Hearts and Gentle People:
It’s a hot time in the old town as I write. We’ve had 90s for 30 out of 47 days, but it’s beginning to moderate. (I think the instructions on my oven said “moderate” is 325 degrees.) Sounds about right.
It’s been a very busy summer despite the heat. I’ve been involved in the activities instead of writing about them. J Jack Gueguen thinks I should turn this job over to someone younger. He wrote: “May I make a friendly suggestion? Why not do a farewell TLC, and either appoint a successor (a junior trainee?) or call for a junior volunteer. Or get some nominations first. But you are in the best position to know. We’ve all appreciated your gallant (and sometimes heroic) efforts on behalf of old Lexington to keep us all connected, and well informed of doings in our hometown.” Any takers? The pay is terrific. Benefits: hearing from old friends every once in a while.
Our most recent event was Porches & Peaches. This clever innovation was a big success despite a short planning period and a first-time event. Six homes participated, and each had a professional musician on the porch, performing for the visitors. Homeowners gave a bit of history about the house. Peaches were everywhere, peak of the season, and I was surprised that the crowd was mostly out-of-towners. Many said they would be back next year, so I hope we do it again.
Two items of immediate interest. Do you know Lexington Rocks? Cute activity bringing people outside, and it’s being done in several other communities I understand. People paint a rock and hide it. Person who finds it must re-hide OR keep but replace. People are having a lot of fun with this, and you can actually see kids outside.
The other current news:
Zach Garrett shoots in the recurve men's gold-medal match during the Archery World Cup on May 1, 2016 in Shanghai. This Wellington resident is in the Olympics, and I believe his event is Saturday 8/6. Check it out.
Our annual Community Fair is about to begin. The organizer says it will be seven days “packed full of events” starting Aug. 15. It really is fun and much like the Fall Festival of old. Lots of events: Strut Your Mutt, washer toss, turtle races, beer garden, musical performances, games, contests, carnival, fried chicken dinners, salad luncheons, all kinds of vendors. Something to do every day during that week.
Another huge first-time celebration will take place Labor Day Weekend. Here is the Intel from organizer and Minutemen Pride president Allan Lee:
The newly-formed Minutemen Pride organization, composed of Lexington alumni and community members, is planning a celebration of Lexington High School’s rich athletic history with a gathering of the Return of the Champions, Chris Banks Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament fundraiser, and the induction of the school’s first class into the Minutemen Athletic Hall of Fame, all taking place on Labor Day weekend.
The festivities begin on Friday, Sept. 2, when the state champion football teams and their cheerleaders from 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1995, along with undefeated football teams from 1946, 1954, 1960, and 1979 and their cheerleaders, state track champions from 1959 and 1960, and the first class of Hall of Fame inductees will be introduced at halftime of the Minutemen-KC?Northeast football game. A reception and social will follow the game at the Spotted Pig Restaurant in Lexington.
On Saturday morning Minutemen Pride will host the Chris Banks Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament at Shirkey Golf Club in Richmond. The tournament is a fund raiser for the scholarship fund named in honor of Chris Banks, a 1991 LHS graduate who was an All State Minuteman, an All Big 8 player at the University of Kansas, and a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Denver Broncos. Anyone interested in playing in the four-man scramble may contact Tim Swartz at 660 232-2903.
On Saturday the Hall of Fame induction/Return of the Champions banquet will begin at 6 p.m. in the Lexington High School gym. The Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding contributions in the categories of Coaches, Athletes, Teams, and Special Contributors. Tickets are now on sale for $15 and can be purchased from LHS athletic director Billy Cobb, Tim Swartz, Tom Beck, Wendell Stephenson, Shane Dickmeyer, and Alan Meyer. Those of you out of town may send a check for the correct amount to Tim Swartz, 37 country club Lane, Lexington MO 64067. After the banquet the inaugural class will be introduced and presented a plaque. The first class is Coaches - Bill Hamann, Gil Rector, Tom Beck, Jan Marquis Thompson, and Tom Hayes; Athletes and years graduated - Bobby Price (‘46), Bobby Gadt (‘47), Bennie McAlister (‘50), John Jenkins (‘50), Richard “Dootsie” Guevel (‘52), Larry Bland (‘57), Larry Kopp (‘61), Jim Grechus (‘62), Tim Warden (‘65), Bob Gibson (‘68), Glenn Atkins (‘69), and Chris Banks (‘91). The football teams from 1946, 1954, 1960, and the state track champion teams from 1959 and 1960 will enter in the Team category, and Bill Holman, who has coached Little League football and baseball in Lexington for 45 years, will enter the Hall as a Special Contributor. Afterwards, a reception and social will be at the VFW in Lexington.
The weekend’s activities will conclude on Sunday night at 6 p.m. with a free Gospel concert at the Lexington Auditorium. Donations to the Chris Banks Scholarship will be accepted there or at any of the weekend events. Please attend any or all of these events in an historic weekend for Lexington Minutemen athletics.
Those who haven’t been to the refurbished and updated Municipal Auditorium (The LEX) will be pleased to see it full of life and the center of Lexington activities once more.
Melissa Beal, a relative newcomer to Lexington wondered: “Does anyone remember 13th street being built from Main St. North? I have a United State Geological Services map from 1949 that does not show the road until the 1979 aerial survey. Please remind everyone that is coming to the class reunions that I will take collections at the Stream Team 4618 - Lexington Middle School Booth.”
She was “also wondering if TLC readers have any remembrances of the water department or services and waste water or storm water events that come to mind. The reason I ask is to get information to possibly post on the city website about the progress that we are making in these areas. The idea came from listening to a presentation about Kansas City, MO wastewater treatment since 1809 or such. It was done by an EPA guy here in KC. I thought too it might be neat to have him out for a talk about rural development in water and wastewater / storm run-off.”
TLC readers have long memories. I am always delighted to hear from anyone about anything, so let’s hear it.
A delight for us old folks arrived a while ago. I won’t tell you who sent it, because she is in the photo. I was going to award a wonderful prize to everyone who ID’d correctly: a free subscription to TLC! But I cannot remove the names. Still, some may need further info.
And yet another photo! This is Frequent Contributor Jim O’Malley and his wife Ellie:
They celebrated very significant birthdays in July. Jim was 85 on the 12th and Ellie was 80 on the 6th. He says “We're still chugging along!”
Sure hate to sign off with obituaries. Many of the following names are people I was close to. These were the ones reported to me:
Marlene Gabler Strodtman
Bonnie Williams Larkin
James “Sonny” Eapmon
Gary Miller ’63 wrote: “I was saddened to read of the passing of Kenny Kopp. Somehow, I missed his obituary. Ken was always a loyal friend and one I never saw in a bad mood or utter a bad word against anyone. Truly a good person. I remember that I learned how to ride a bike on his bike in his back yard on Oneida street. Ken, Dick Adkison and I spent many wonderful times together riding bikes and playing baseball in the neighborhood. Such a sad passing of a good friend.”
On that bittersweet note, I will bid you farewell until next issue.
Your devoted Scribe,