Dear Hearts and Gentle People:
Happy New Year, even though the “new” year is 1/6th of the way over already. Time flies by faster than ever now. I remember a time when the clock dragged – usually when I was eager for a special event or special date to happen. Now every minute is special, don’t you agree?
It’s a sunny but chilly day in the old home town. We’ve had unusual, amazing, and record-setting warmth this winter. One day it was nearly 80, and we’ve had many days (official count) in the 60s. I have a February birthday, and do not remember a time growing up that I was able to go outside without a wrap on that day. I’m hoping that portends a wonderful year ahead.
Unfortunately for maybe everybody, no one stepped forward to take over TLC. You are still stuck with me…because I seem to be the only one who will do it. And therefore I beg your forgiveness for the scarcity of issues. It does take quite a bit of time to assemble this missive, and I have a lot on my plate. And now for a commercial:
Some of you know Jennifer Teichman Kerr, my favorite over-achiever. She and I have assembled some video programs of Lexington history, culled from old photos and slides found in the Lexington Historical Museum archives. My dear daughter-in-law, Tami Worthington, transferred over 3,000 (not a typo!) pictures from slides to digital, and Jennifer and I have been putting together free programs for area presentations. We hope some people will be moved to request copies of the old photos ($10 each) which will go toward maintaining the Museum. If you belong to an organization which would enjoy a brief program on Lexington history, please get in touch with me. We have about seven different ones planned now, and have done presentations for the Lexington Historical Museum membership, the Margaret Gray (Senior) Center, Lafayette-Lexington DAR, and will soon be doing a new one for the Lexington Rotary Club and a new one for the Margaret Gray Center.
As always, there is good news and bad news to relay. The bad news is that I have very few communiqués to pass along and, of course, there are those Dear Hearts and Gentle People that we have lost since TLC #149.
Many of you will remember Elizabeth “Betty” Lee, who taught at LHS for some years. Her husband Ed Lee managed the water company many years ago, and later served as mayor. Their children, Barbara Fay and Duncan Lee, remain in close touch with Lexington. Betty departed this mortal coil at the age of 105!
Younger than 105, but one who was a lifelong resident of Lexington, we lost Connie Thorson Thee in November. Just in the past few days we have had to say goodbye to LeRoy Schriefer and Frank “Tuckie” Kriehn. Frank’s wife Joanne wrote the following:
Frank Kriehn III passed away February 20, 2017. He was 78. Born in Lexington, he left to join the Navy and later the Coast Guard. While in the military Frank traveled all over the world. Though he began his career as a mechanic, he was later chosen to train in and develop therapy for alcohol and substance abuse. Frank excelled as a counselor, and his therapy plan was widely used. Retired, Frank lived in Vilonia, Arkansas (near Little Rock), with his wife Joanne. He is survived by his daughters Tracy Grace and Cara DeRoeck as well as seven grandchildren.
Other deaths include Janet Cross Bertz, Katherine Casdorph (wife of Fred Casdorph), Vicky Hufford Tretter, Joanne Gadt, Genevieve Iles (wife of Bob), Billy Dean Davis (husband of Diana Kuykendall), Ethel Mae Steffens, Mike McCallister (son of Bennie McCallister and Shirley Baker McCallister Summerlin), Marlene Stigall Oetting, Ruth Wainscott, Joe Mussatto, Gloria Mautino Danner and (below) Mary Pat O’Malley DiiBon, photo from her daughter Deb Richardson.
And one more, from Connie Beretta Pulley:
Unfortunately I have to report that my nephew Larry Ray “Champ” Reed passed away on May 31st. Should there be another obituary listing, please include him.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoy receiving my TLC. As I read the information you send I find myself walking the sidewalks of that wonderful little town with memories so vivid as if it were only yesterday.
It was a pleasant surprise to see the picture of Jim O’Malley and his wife. Jim sang at our wedding 59 years ago on July 27th, 1957.
Kudos to Jack Gueguen for being considerate of, “your gallant (and sometimes heroic) efforts.” Shame on us who depend on your “gallant and heroic efforts.” However, I strongly suggest that that you disregard Jack’s suggestions (for replacement). Thank you Susan, for all you do. YOU are TLC.
Thanks, Connie. I appreciate the kind words.
Such a long list of recent losses! And if I have overlooked anyone, please forgive me. I only print deaths when I receive word of them from relative or friend. Now, take a deep breath, and I’ll try to move on to happier news.
An interesting note from Jack Gueguen:
In the great flood of 1951, I walked across the bridge and looked down at the water company reservoirs that were swamped by the muddy water. For a while, we drank canned water in cans supplied by Budweiser. The bridge, as I recall, was trembling a little. Traffic, of course, was re-routed to the sturdiest bridge in K.C. That recalled the pre-bridge ferry service (Jack’s Ferry), that did a steady business to enable passengers to cross to Ray County. My Great-Uncle Willie McIntyre was one of the ferry pilots. He also had a paid government job to light the navigation lamps out at the river at dusk, and to extinguish them at dawn.
What a job! As you know, the old bridge has been replaced by a new one east of the one in the above remarks. After the flood of 1951, the bridge was again closed in 1993 during an even more catastrophic flood. The only happy memory of that is our ability to walk all the way across the bridge, since it was closed to motor traffic. It was quite “the thing” to do for months, and local residents were probably healthier than ever for those walks. And it was delightfully social. Having lived on the west coast, the east coast, and the Gulf coast, the sight reminded me of looking out over seemingly endless water. We too were the recipients of canned water supplied by Anheuser-Busch, and we learned many new tricks for personal hygiene and cooking during those days without tap water.
A personal note to the LHS Class of 1957! We are not letting our 60th graduation anniversary go unheralded! The area graduates who currently remember each other’s names have decided that we will have a Reunion on Saturday, August 26, 2017. That will be the grande finale of the annual Lexington Community Fair. It is also the week of the solar eclipse. The Fair runs from 8/20-8/26, and there are many activities every day. MORE information will be forthcoming. But everyone please mark your calendars for a really fine time that week, and Class of 1957, write it in RED! And BLUE.
I had planned to give you readers a list of activities scheduled for upcoming days in Big Lex. However, this has grown quite long, and it will give me something to write about again soon. So send your notes now, and I will begin working on #151!
Your devoted scribe,