TLC logo TLC #15:  June 7, 2001

Stop the presses! Well, maybe just slow them down a bit. My "Stringer" has returned from a public hearing of a presentation by Parker Construction out of Blue Springs regarding our old high school.
The Parkers are the ones who are planning to construct a 5-plex, or something on that order, in the Franklin "hole." (More on that in a moment.) Many of us know the Parkers - their son went to Wentworth - and they are fine people.
What they are suggesting is turning LHS into high-end apartments,
1-3 bedroom, including the gym. As we understand it, they plan to maintain the exterior much as it was but, of course, the inside would be gutted and refurbished. I sincerely hope this, or something like it, can happen.
What about the museum, you ask? I don't know. Guess it's who gets there first. I am for anyone who saves the building for a good purpose and maintains it.
Now...the Franklin hole. Our recent rains have eroded it to the point that part of the sidewalk fell into the hole over the weekend. Makes for a lot of excitement when something like that happens here - gives us something to talk about for days. Many of our streets are in bad shape. Local wags - read Del Scharnhorst - are coming up with comments such as: "The new theme for Heritage Days is: Lexington is a golfer's kind of town; every street has 18 holes and some have 36."
Speaking of Heritage Days - taking place this weekend - I won't include the schedule here, but if you need information, email me and I will answer questions. (Regarding Heritage Days, that is.)
If you don't come, you will miss great things such as the Parade Sat., Belgian Waffles, and the Turtle & Frog Races conducted by Don Coen and Dale Ensor. (Bring your own frog.)
Second order of business: Several (okay, 6) of you have written to suggest a special reunion for subscribers to TLC. If you think the idea has merit (e.g. you would come for it) we'll look into it. Otherwise, just the 7 of us will be there.
Also, there has been a huge demand (2 people) for me to do one of the "this is what I've been up to" letters. I plan to do this when I have no other letters to publish, so consider yourselves forewarned.
And, now, on with the show:
From Jan Rider McCoy
Made a trip through Higginsville and stayed with Bessie (Hackley) Hoeflicker and visited my Aunt June Payne and cousin Charlotte in Lexington.   Loved driving around and seeing all the new and remodeled buildings.  Your are so right-if you haven't been home for awhile-you should.  Looking forward so much to our reunion over Labor Day and hope all in the area will try to visit with us.  Come home that weekend if you can!!!
Went to KC and spent a few days with Eileen (Mischon) and Herb Carpenter.  Liz (Backs) Guevel joined us and we never run out of talk even after 50 years.  Did I say 50????  Saw my cousin in Liberty, Ferne (Oberhelman) Morgan, and then went to Lee's Summit to attend the family gathering of my brother's grandchild Megan. She graduated from High School. My brother was Allen K Rider and graduated from LHS in 1947.  He died when he was 43.  Still miss him.
Thinking of all my LHS buddies and wish them well.  Always looking forward to your next TLC.
From Barbara Lee Fay

You scream, I scream!  Did EVERYONE work at Odessa Ice Cream?!  Yes, the juke box was great and I used to tell the folks with quarters what numbers to play!  I really do have my W-2 Form from 1955 when I worked there for Nancy Sartain.  My total wages were $100.57, and my total Federal Income Tax withheld was $18.70.  That was for an entire summer.  I have no idea where the income went, but I sure do remember how to make the best ice cream soda around!  My challenge was getting the scoops out of the containers -- the ice
cream was very hard!  I don't recall that it was a particularly lively
business and that I would spend a lot of idle time polishing chrome fixtures and longing for customers.  Another great challenge was the day Nancy told me to drive her stick-shift car to Odessa on an errand. Hey, a real road trip! I made it, but I didn't last at the Odessa Ice Cream Shop.  
From Norma Homfeld
I so enjoyed the email from Harry Dunford, and really did enjoy the website on Lafayette Co. Keep up the good work.  Apparently it is done by his cousin.  Brings back lots of memories.
And what would a TLC be without Jack Gueguen:
Just for the record:  Esther Bowers hired me to help out at the original (Odessa) shop next to the Mattingly offices when I was a wee lad of eleven-going-on-twelve (in May of 1945); our family had recently returned to Lexington from K.C., where papa was working at the main office of the Corps of Engineers downtown during the final years of the War.  My wages were 15 cents an hour, but employees also got to take home a pint of ice cream every night.  This was the first milestone among my many "career changes" because it required me to get my social security card (which I still carry in my wallet).  My last chore of the day was to take all the empty ice cream containers out back and burn them (this was way before anybody was concerned about spoiling the air).  The only co-worker I remember (she was a couple of years older) was Zelma Wilmot, whom I used to tease (as I did my little sisters) when Mrs. Bowers was on break at her home down the street.  Once in a while Zelma and I would take hikes along the bluffs and the river bank taking pictures with my tiny Brownie.  (I could have become a photo journalist.)
If Shirley Briggle Miller is looking for reasons why our family won out
over hers when Esther retired, it might be because I had "seniority."  My earliest "resume," dated 11/22/57 says that my "title" was "soda fountain attendant" and that the cause of my termination was "outgrew the job."  I'm not sure that is quite accurate, because I was still helping out as a Wentworth cadet when my mom finished her stint as manager in Sept. '52.
And I think I still remember how to make the Odessa specialties even now. By the way, Odessa Ice Cream was still being sold in the county as recently as the early '90s when I would come home to visit mom.  And it still tasted the same.  (Surely there will be some at the Labor Day reunion!?)

My sister Mary Pat and I visited Esther and Jimmy Bowers in their
retirement home on Baltimore in K.C. a couple of years before they died within 7 months of each other (he in Sept., '98; she in July '99).  She was well into her '90s and as cheerful and sharp as ever.  Her devoted husband, Leroy (who drove commuters like me back and forth to downtown K.C. on the Greyhound in the '40s and '50s) had died in 1958.  I was still exchanging birthday greetings with Esther every year until the year before she died (she still called me Jackie).  A grand old lady of the sort that built Lexington and helped to give us our start.
The hardest part of my job in the first summer was satisfying a persistent customer (a man highly placed in the community--maybe a banker--whose name I don't remember) who came in for a "hand-packed" quart--always during "a rush."

The funniest customer I remember (a few summers later) was a big lady from Rhode Island, passing through town with her husband, who asked me how much further they would need to travel west until they "came to the Indians."  I doubt if I gave her a very well-informed reply, never having studied the subject.  But if it happened now, I could think of some amusing answers.

And even more Gueguens:

 Hello All from Joyce Gueguen Ramsey
     I almost fell off my chair reading Lucia Cope's treatise on Bruna McGuire - can't tell you the times I used to cut her article out & share it with classmates/friends/interested observers/etc., who would laugh with me until the tears came.  Gosh, if I had only known that I could have gotten an autographed picture or some correspondence with her, I would have been set for life.  What a character & we all loved her.  I bet somewhere in this house I still have some copies of her greatest.  Loved hearing from Mary Jo Smith - she & Sharon were great friends & we have been to Buffalo, either en route to son, Chris' house in Pittsford (Rochester) or, with he & family, to Niagara Falls.  Surely would have tried to find her & will the next time.  The other sons, Casey, Michael, & Marc, with Joe & I, were just up there in Feb. for Chris' 40th surprise party.  (Yes, 40th) 
     Duncan Lee, Loretta is alive & well in Russellville, MO, email address is - check with her there, I'll let her tell you her own story.  
     Enjoy hearing Shirley Briggle's interesting stories, even Jerry Jones' house (even tho I have never or ever will be a Dallas fan - was always loyal to the HOUSTON Oilers).  Too bad our paths have never crossed - wish I had a nickel for all the times we have been in the Dallas vicinity, either going thru to visit relatives north, to see son, Michael & family in McKinney, close by in Fort Worth when Michael was at TCU, & Marc with wife lives in Lakeside.  Several TX Assoc. of Vocational Nurse Educators conventions have been held there, too. 
     Heard, sort of, from Mikle Fenner, but nothing related to memories we shared.  Also, Susan, wondering about Gordon & Jeanene Wright - we saw them last June in KC - tell them hello.  Looks like, from the pictures someone sent me in the Lex paper, Connie Beretta & I were the only ones, practically, who missed the class reunion.  Would love to hear from any & all of you.  Melba Redden hasn't changed a bit!!!!
    Enjoy the TLC, Susan, & thanks.  Looking forward to the next time.
And yet another Gueguen! From Mary Pat Miller
>WHO IN THE WORLD IS BRUNA MCGUIRE??????????????????? 
And from Jim '49 O'Malley
Hi Susan: What's all this stuff about Bruna McGuire?  I guess all this happened after I'd left Lexington.  I wonder if someone could check the newspaper files at the Lexington News office or the public library and find an old column or two to share with us.  Bruna must have had a rare talent to be remembered by so many after such a long time. Maybe our good friend Harry Dunford could dig some up.   Susan, here's an idea for the readership. This TLC thing is developing into quite an exciting  group.  Why not have a TLC
reunion (or festival?) in Lexington sometime soon?  What a grand time we could have just visiting and getting reacquainted with old friends and new!
Ellie and I are doing fine.   Tell Ken and everyone hi for us.

Here's an old one from Mike McDonald
Keep the news of Lexington coming.  I have not been back for about 15 months (Editor: Now it's been 18 months or more) and the changes that you mention are impressive.  If you don't mind me getting personal, I have a few memories of your Dad that I want to share with you.  I was in the 8th grade and had been working at the newspaper several years when your Dad bought it and you guys moved to Lexington.  I threw newspapers for the first year or so and then was lucky to get the mailers job.  In this job I was responsible for counting every newspaper for every guy delivering a route and also addressing and mailing every newspaper for out-of-town delivery. 
Near the end of August, before I started at LHS, your Dad invited all the adults to a party at the country club, a picnic on a Friday evening.  I was invited and everyone was told to bring the wife or girl friend.  None of the newspaper boys were invited so I really felt mature and privileged.  I did not have either a wife or a girl friend but decided it was high time to get started.  I decided to invite a classmate from the Catholic grade school.  She lived in the country just outside of town and I rode my bicycle over there and nearly had a heart attack when I finally approached the house.  I've never been more nervous in my entire life.  Her family was nice, and so was she, and after some small talk she agreed to go and even seemed pleased at the same time.  You may wonder why I've bothered to tell you all this.  I just wanted you to know that your Dad was really the cause and responsible for my first date.  I always liked your Dad's personality and especially liked all his editorials and columns in the newspaper. 
From Duane Schlueter

Susan-------I still remember when Mom received recognition for having the "Yard of the Month."  She was absolutely thrilled and so happy.  She loved her flowers, especially her roses, and the big tree. 

I was surprised to hear your father was John Shea.  I worked for the Lexington Advertiser for a number of years even back when Harry Booth managed the paper.  In the mid-40s I had a paper route, Main Street plus Wentworth, 23rd and 24th streets.   Later I was the "Clean Up Boy", a better name would probably be custodian and from there I moved up to the mailer position.

That position involved counting out papers to the carriers,  addressing outgoing papers and taking them to the bus station and the post office. I was in the chips making 40 cents as hour.  A fellow by the name of Mackey ran the
press. I also worked some week-ends putting out publications for Wentworth.

Short summary of my life:  After college I received a teaching position here in Jeff. City and taught for 13 years.  Then I accepted an elementary principal's position which I had from 67 to 96.  Today I enjoy yard work, spending time at our place on the lake, traveling, playing some golf, and enjoying the grandchildren.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Editor: Isn't it amazing the similarities in life growing up in Lexington? So many have mentioned feeling "safe" and also, as children, leaving the house in the morning and not coming home until dinner time. And no one wondered. Personally I always felt all grown-ups were surrogate parents, teachers were gods who lived at the school (i.e. no life away from the school), and they were all completely without fault or frailty.
Now...Bruna McGuire. I had to explain individually several times, so here goes again. Bruna wrote the Hardin news for the Lexington paper. She had a, well, homey style of writing. A sort of stream-of-consciousness type that include miniscule detail on occasion. "The cake had tiny rosebuds on the icing." She may have, however, written in complete sentences, unlike the one I delivered mid-way through this paragraph.
We'll work on rounding up some samples of her columns for the underprivileged who never had a chance to enjoy them.
Do write soon. Others are waiting to hear from you.
Your faithful scribe,

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