TLC logo TLC #19:  July 1, 2001

From TLC #17: What surprises your scribe is that no one yet has mentioned perhaps the most famous (possibly notorious) location from our youth. Extra issues to the first one who names it!!!
Quite a few of you guessed right, but Janice was the first one to send an email to that effect. However, I may have to disqualify her. First of all, she and I were quite good friends in high school, and I only got to Tabo one lousy time. (Actually, it wasn't lousy at all - it was fun and I felt very sophisticated.) is it that Janice was there so many times and I never knew about it?
Second of all, the Grand Prize was extra copies of TLC. And now she's whining about the prize and says she wants Blueberry French Toast specially prepared by your scribe. Now, I ask you, does the Prize Patrol for American Family Insurance say "Oh, you don't want that much money? Well, what would you like for a prize?" I don't THINK so. What say you?
Here is the prize winning submission, followed by other (later) entries:
I don't have any stories to relate about it yet ~ but the 'notorious' place just had to be "Tabo"!!  And I think we ALL have memories of that I wrong?  Another not so notorious, but one that kept us occupied when it opened was the Highway 13 Drive-in across the river. Spent many summer evenings there.
Ed. - Yes, and sometimes we even watched a movie.
Liz Anne White '57 Kramer:
"Pats Bar"?? or of course The Dragons' Den.
Ed. - Pat's Bar? Who got to go there? And what was notorious about the Dragon's Den?
Liz replies:

Oh for gosh sakes-I remember the very first time I went to Tabo-I thought I was drunk after a coke the floor was so unlevel. It was such a fun place and the "only" place you could dance except of course the big country dance on Saturday nites..

From Duncan Lee

You must be referring to Tabo! Or, The Tabo Inn as was its formal name I believe. I, too, was wondering who would be the first to bring it up.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) I was only able to enjoy the decrepit old place for a few of its last years. I was actually there on the final night. Someone in my group suggested we burn it, but there wasn't enough support for that idea. Can't remember for the life of me whose idea that was!!!
Anyway, my stories of the greatest (or worst, depending on your objective) road house of all time can not compare to those from the TLC contributors who were around in its heyday. When I tell friends about the toilet facilities they are sure I'm lying. I mean, who would believe the men's room on a deck and "the" "appliance" being a sawed-in-half hot water tank with the drain merely a piece of pipe that emptied onto the ground below!!!
I'm sure someone told me about the women's but I can't remember, so one of you gentle ladies can explain it to us.
And a dance floor flooded so many times that it sloped off to one corner. And booths and tables made of raw, unfinished lumber.
The only place I've seen to match it was a bar in Texas, out on a lonely highway (can't remember the town it was near, but there are probably many like it), in a concrete block building with no windows, no doubt once a construction workshop or something like that. There was a bar of 2 x 12's placed on empty 55 gallon drums, no booths, tables or seats of any kind,  a stereo blasting western music, and beer-only served from tubs full of ice on the floor behind the bar. There was one restroom that was constantly busy, so most men went out back and watered the weeds!
Of course, you don't have to admit ever being at Tabo, but why not? It was a natural evolution for me and many of my friends to move from the Odessa to the Dragon Den to Tabo. That and graduating from LHS were what life was all about!
Harry Dunford wrote a beautiful piece about what Tabo was like back in the....'40's was it, Harry? By the late '50's the place was a lot more raucous than in Harry's time. Unless he sugarcoated the story!!!!!
So, let's have some Tabo stories folks. I know there are hundreds.
From Sharron Jenkins '57 Heathman:
My guess would be the infamous Dragon's Den (alias-Slop Shop).  Oh what memories!!!  
Ed. - Well, that was pretty wild all right - cherry cokes all around! But you can forgive Sharron for her naivete, look who she's married to.
Then, later:
How naive of me!!!  Slick votes for Jimmy Alkire's 10th street facility!!!
Duane Schleuter:
Susan, Could it be "Tabo"?

Norma Wilson Gadt:
Well, we've heard about the Odessa Ice Cream Shop, The Pool Hall, the Mainstreet Theater, and many wonderful places in Lexington.  The Pool Hall as I read it, was nicer than perceived, and of course it was a "bad" place to go for some.  How many of you remember the other "forbidden" hang-out -- Tabo.  It was run by Jim Thorpe's parents, and was a great place to go to dance.  It had a notorious reputation, some of it made up and some true, but in comparison to today's "hang-outs", it was very mild.  This is the place where I met my husband of 45 + years and I know plenty of the alums can add remarks to how much fun we all had.  Just thought I would remark on this "forbidden" hang-out.  Any others out there want to comment?
Shirley Guevel-Jones: 

Thanks for sending me the back issues.  They are great and filled with little things that bring back memories.  Which of the "notorious" places have not been mentioned?  Tabo?  Mittieville?  Mittieville was strictly "off-limits" to me as a teenager but Tabo was a great place.  Five of us would  each put in 25 cents to pay a taxi fare to Tabo which was a total of $1.25!  We could always manage to get a ride home!  We could go spend the evening dancing and having a good time and spend very little money. I don't remember how much cokes were but they couldn't have been much.  Tabo was the only place to dance except for the times when there was a dance at the "Teen Town" that was at the Municipal Auditorium. 
Ed. - Okay, Shirley: Who were the other four?
Lucia Cope '58 Hulston:
One of my fondest (reunion) memories was of driving up and down the alleys at 3 something in the morning listening to Charlotte Skelton tell stories from her younger years.  Few trips to Lexington are complete now without alley driving, and I'd love to hear alley memories.  Charlotte even remembered ( and demonstrated ) how to make hollyhock ballerinas!  What a talent!!
Ed. - Oh, was that you? Guess I shouldn't have called the police.
Jack Gueguen:
"The Most Famous Location from Our Youth"--I'll take a guess:  Youth Center, basement of Municipal Auditorium, where I learned to square dance.
On North Tenth Street:
I think that grand old street, so famous in Lexington's history in the 19th century (because it led up the hill from the river boat landing), is getting a bum rap in these pages.  There was another side of the street!  At 117 N. 10th, Aunt Bessie and Uncle Willy McIntyre were in the process of phasing out the family "boarding house"--it was really an Inn, in the best of traditions before B & B--which had begun not long after the Civil War.  How many travelers must have tasted that wonderful Irish hospitality and humor over many decades!  When we knew the house in the '40s and '50s, it was only a shell of its former self, but the old furniture and wonderful patterned copper ceilings still told something of its glory days.  And it still provided shelter for several unbelievably quaint old people who now-a-days would probably be sleeping on the street.
My family lived there for a brief time in 1945 when we returned to Lex. from our wartime ramblings up and down the river with the Corps of Engineers, and before our house on N. 16th St. was ready for us to move back into.  Even as a little kid I recall how noisy it was at night on the other side of the street, where we were told there was "a cat house" causing all the disturbance.  When it got really bad, Uncle Willy would "call the Law" to intervene.  But my most awesome memories of that big, dingy old house (which was torn down for parking in the '60s after the old-timers had passed on), were the spectacular lightning displays visible through the huge windows.
That there could have been such contrasts on one street is something notable about Lexington's long history.  It was a kind of microcosm of life's different sides and the world's different peoples.
How about starting something about another street--N. 16th.  Already you have heard from several of its residents.  Others were Holmans, Hackleys, Fioras, and beloved John Marchetti, our LHS custodian.
Mike '51 McDonald: 

The most notorious location that I knew of in Lexington was not on Block 42.  My paper route for the Advertiser-News included the area from Main St. to the river from 12th St. west.  This included the red light district.  This "house" was far up a hill off 10th St. and I will never forget the first time I had to climb the steps, knock on the door and collect for the paper.  I was only 12 and was quaking in my shoes.  It did not help a bit when the lady that answered the door invited me in------.
Jim '49 O'Malley:
More about Block 42:  When I think of Block 42 I remember it as a
transportation center, for its many barbershops, and for its ethnic
diversity.  The largest presence on Block 42 was the Bus Station, based in the Palace of Sweets restaurant & confectionery.  It was located in the middle of Block 42, on the north side.  In '48 or '49 the Bus Station moved to Franklin St., across from the City Hall & Fire Station.  The Palace of Sweets was owned by two Greek brothers.  Their names escape me.  They had delicious food and ice cream and made their own candies, which they displayed in glass cases.  Everything they sold was exceptional!   The Bus Station was served by Greyhound, Missouri Pacific Trailways, and a local bus company that was owned by Joe Delapp.  It ran between Excelsior Springs
& Springfield.

There were many taxi cab companies on Block 42.   After WWII they were even equipped with two way radios to speed their operations.  Prior to WWII, calls would come in for a ride and their dispatchers (located in second loor offices above their parking spaces on Main Street) would stick their heads out of the second story windows and shout orders to their drivers below....something like "Pick up a passenger at the Gueguen residence on 16th St."
The fare to anyplace in Lexington was 25 cents.  Before WWII it was 10 cents.  The cab companies were Billy's Cab (owned by Billy Kukendayhl (sp?) and the first to use radios), Red's Cab (owned by Billy's brother, Red Kukendayhl (sp ?), Turk's Cab (owned by my uncle, Vincent "Big Turk" Terrell), Joe's Cab (owned by Joe Bookasta), George's Cab (owned by George Lorantos), and Sam's Cab (owned by Sm Lorantos.  Also, there was Dan's Taxi (owned by Dan Ginow (sp ?)

There were more barber shops on the "Block" than any one place in America, I'm sure.   Just imagine, four barber shops in one block!  Where did all that hair come from?  The Palace Hotel Barber Shop's barber was named Joe. I can't remember his last name.  Lucien Vocate had one next to the "Irish Pub," Lucien had a card game in his back room and sometimes you had to wait a short while while Lucien finished his hand.   At other times your haircut was accompanied by the sounds of cards shuffling and chips clicking.

Virgil Landucci and his father had a shop next to Mr. Kehrees' Cafe,
Around the corner, across from the Court House, was the famous Gem Barber Shop, owned by Floyd Boldridge.  It was opened in 1910.  Working there with Floyd were Buzz Boldridge and Slick Boldridge.

Now for the diversity part:  Have you noticed the names of the wonderful people mentioned above?  I've listed them, plus a few others.What a wonderful mix of ethnic groups who lived in Lexington and who worked on Block 42.  Not your typical Anglo-Saxon names.   Lorantos & Kehrees (Greek), Bookasta, Stomboly (Lebanese), Landucci, Malo, Salerno, Savio (Italian), Gueguen, Vocate, Ginow(French), Boldridge (African American), Libo, Entine (Jewish).   Now you understand why a guy named O'Malley was so comfortable with the people who lived or worked on Block 42.   There were certainly places that ladies wouldn't have felt comfortable in, but most of
the area was safe and fun to visit.
And from our newest subscriber Fred '58 Sellers:
Susan--TLC is great.  I've read all 18 installments.  Here is my own contribution to this collective trip down memory lane.
Reading Barbara Tabb's recollection of how imposing LHS seemed to newly arrived 7th graders brought back a flood of memories about my own first semester there. 
It was the fall of 1952, and I was just three months out of Miss Margaret Smith's sixth grade class at Arnold School. 
[Quiz:  How many employees did Arnold School have back there in 1952?  You'll find the answer at the end of this e-mail]
Because of heightened interest in the federal election between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson after the introduction of televised party conventions, LHS decided to have an all-day convention in the gym, patterned after the Republican and Democratic versions, to nominate and elect student council and other campus leaders.  My home room was Miss Owens's geography class, and we were told that each home room was to vote on student council president and report the results to the convention.  The candidates were Leamon Johnson and John Stompoly.  We voted, and Stompoly won, though I didn't have the slightest idea who he was, and I don't think most of my classmates did either.  But then the trouble for me started because, Miss Owens said, we had to choose someone to announce our home room choice at the convention, and I was voted in to do the honors.
Well, I wasn't sure I liked having that task--in fact I was scared out of my mind about it--but there was nothing I could do except wait for the big day, which was a couple of weeks off, and try to figure out what to say.  When the day of the convention came around I was seated with the rest of Miss Owens's home room class near the top of the basketball bleachers on the north side of the gym.  As speeches started to be made, it became clear that all the upperclass students knew who the candidates were and had lots to say about them.  There were lively speeches, processions with drums and bugles, balloons and crepe paper, and all sorts of other excitement.  Not only that, but the speeches covered all the student council offices, not just president.  I looked at my notes, with their miserable little announcement of how our class had voted for president, and wished I were dead.  The morning dragged on and my turn still hadn't come
when it was time to break for lunch.
Lunch for me every day was in the Wentworth mess hall, before the cadets ate, with a group of other WMA faculty and staff kids, all much older and, of course, much more sophisticated than I--Howard Johnson, Marlene Yowell, Jim Garner, Terry Buck, Dee Park, Ann Beretta and Phil Bullock.  Phil was the only one my age.  During lunch my imminent speaking obligation became the topic of conversation, and when the others heard what I had to do, they asked who our home room was supporting.  Well, apparently they were all Leamon Johnson supporters, because when I told them I would be speaking for Stompoly, they all said, as if in unison: "JOHN STOMPOLY!!??  YOU'RE SPEAKING FOR JOHN STOMPOLY??!!!  I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!"
Well, this wasn't really what I needed to hear, given the highly nervous state I was already in.  However, I dutifully returned to school after lunch and--the rest of this story is pretty anticlimactic--when Miss Owens's home room and my name were called I made my way down the bleachers, up to the stage, and to the podium, sweating and shaking all over.  I mumbled something to the effect that I had lost my script, which elicited a bit of laughter, and blurted out,  "Vote for John Stompoly!"   Then I hurried back off the stage, through the crowd, up the bleachers and back to my seat, relieved to have it over with.
Postscript:  John Stompoly won the election, with Miss Owens's home room no doubt providing the margin of victory.
Second postscript:  A few weeks later, after Eisenhower had won the U.S. presidency, Lee Roy Ashinhurst and I were discussing the election as we walked up out of the Goose Pond and back to the school after gym class with Coach Herb (Hamann).  Lee Roy informed me matter-of-factly that "when the Republicans are in, you only get a dollar a day."
Answer to quiz:  Arnold School had seven employees:  Miss Sisk (first grade teacher), Mrs. Young (2d grade), Mrs. Stewart (3d grade), Mrs. Branstetter (4th grade), Miss Taubman (5th grade), Miss Margaret (Smith) (6th grade, doubling as principal) and George (the janitor).
Ed. - I was a year ahead of Fred, but had Miss Ann Caldwell for 3rd, Claudia Dell Young for 4th grade, Miss (Mrs.?) Taubman 5th and Miss Margaret 6th. How about the rest of you? A-R-N  O-L-D! Arnold! Arnold! Yessiree! (We hated those Central School kids.) Now, back to Fred:

Third postscript:  Interesting that so many TLCers have become Texans.   I'm living now in Georgetown, Texas, just north of Austin, with Kathy, my wife of 32 years, a native of Parsons, Kansas.  I teach accounting and chair the department of economics and business at Southwestern University, a Methodist-related liberal arts college.  (I probably shouldn't reveal this, but I got my Ph.D. at a certain educational institution you may have heard of in the city of Lawrence, west of Kansas City.)  My son Mark graduated in 1991 from Wentworth and in 1995 from Rice and lives in Houston where he works in information technology at M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital and plays bass in a band, the Tequila Cowboys.  My daughter Becky has just graduated from Southwestern and is looking for work!
Mary Pat Gueguen '58 Miller: 

For TLC:  Another "funny" from "The Lexington News" in the 1941 column: "Ann Beretta, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Beretta, celebrated her fourth birthday at her home.  Her guests were Janice Beretta, Tommie Mallot, and Billy Temple."  Coed birthday parties at FOUR!?  What were we thinking?!
Ed. - Well, she is related to most of them.

ALSO from Mary Pat:
Thank you, John Cross!!  Sorry to wake you!  Yes, I DO remember all those details about the Oriental Garden Prom.  Why do you think it was so special that you (or somebody) finally asked me??????????  I thought after all that work, I was going to have to miss it.  Didn't we have fun though!!
And so we come to a close of TLC #19. When I ran my spell check, it nearly blew a fuse trying to change "Tabo" into "Taboo." Maybe it knows something I didn't know.
Several gauntlets have been thrown down. Send your memories soon!
Your faithful scribe,

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