TLC logo TLC #21:  July 24, 2001

Dear Hearts & Gentle (but impatient!) People:
Comments on our "scandalous" past continue to come in, so here we go:
First, my query to Jim O'Malley:
I was under the impression that there was a  bawdy house on Franklin, in the brick house between Roberts Drug Store and  Morrison's Bike Shop. Among us worldly 10-yr-olds who had some vague idea of  what "doing it" meant, we thought there was something about a blue line drawn in chalk in front of a "house" or the well-known red light  on the porch? Anything to that, o worldly one? ( I don't want everyone laughing  at me for believing these things that the sophisticated 11-yr-olds I hung out with told me.) SSW
His response:
Hi Susan,  Believe it or not, my family also lived next to the residence
you're speaking of on Franklin St.  In June, '42 when we moved from 10th St. we moved into an upstairs flat at 1122 and 1/2  Franklin, two doors down (and up one flight) from Walker's Drug Store (Clarence Walker).  The Standard Press (Arlie Schenewerk) was next to Walker's, and then there was what later was the Thompson Music Co. (Frank Thompson.....he operated juke boxes in the area.).  We lived upstairs.   The next building to us was the place you're asking about.  The lady in question (Her first name was Esther) had a beauty shop there and seemed to lead a rather private life. She was always very pleasant with us.  In 1947 or so she bought a new black Packard Clipper automobile and took us for a ride in it.  What a neat car it was.   She took in roomers, in fact, a friend of mine who taught
the 1954 school year in Corder lived there with his wife for a short time. They didn't seem to see anything out of the ordinary.  I don't personally recall any events or evidence that she was into prostituion, of course I'm talking about events from the time I was about 12 until I was 16. Seems like I do remember seeing one of her employees sun bathing in her backyard, but you can't fault a person for that.

I've never heard of the blue chalk thing.  Sounds like a little girl's
story to me.  A drunk out of towner looking for some action at 2am wouldn't be able to see a blue chalk mark on the sidewalk anyway!  As to the red light, maybe the practice could have come from the early railroading days when a red lantern might have been the signal for an engineer to stop his train, All I remember (very vaguely, at that) from my 10th St. years is a porch light burning at Helen's at night.  Just a plain porch light.

Isn't it amazing what a nice Irish Catholic boy experienced while he was growing up!  Those eight years in the Immaculate Conception Catholic School in Lexington with those wonderful (most of them) Franciscan nuns can prepare you for anything!  Do you think St. Francis of Assisi would be the least bit troubled by a little vice around the corner or across the street?
St. Francis would probably have laid so much Christian love on them that their lives would have changed forever!
From, well, you figure it out:

Greetings to one and all! From July 16 until August 25 I'll be "vacationing" in New England, which means doing a little teaching of philosophy, a little reading, a little relaxing, a lot of discussing and socializing in the company of mostly younger people at Arnold Hall Conference Center near the shore of Cape Cod Bay in the old Plymouth Colony.  I hope there will also be some good family times with the Boston-Providence branch.  Since I'll be out of reach by
e-mail, anything you send me won't be read until late August.  If you need
to reach me for any reason, the Arnold Hall phone number will eventually
get a message to me:  (781) 826-5942.  Remember that there are more substantial means of keeping in touch than e-mail and telephone.  I intend to use them to the full and hope you will do likewise.
I'll look forward to rejoining the "network" in late August and especially hearing how the reunion goes.  It will probably take me a month to get out from under the pile of accumulated messages and regular mail.  I hope everyone is into a great summer and will have equally exciting things to do "on vacation."
I hope you are having an interesting, unstressful summer, and even doing a
little resting.  I look forward to hearing all about it on my return to the
As ever,
John, Jack, Uncle Jack, and even "Professor"
More from him:
On the continuing interest in Tabo:  Once I saw a map of the early settlement of western Missouri and found the creek's name spelled Terre-Beau (beautiful land), which was eventually condensed into "T-beau" and then "Tabo."  In our family we knew it (in the '30s and '40s) as a popular place for fishing and picnicking, especially among the old-timers.
This is in response to Barbara (Tabb):  I have only the faintest recollection of the "bunking" parties my sisters used to have.  As I was always teasing them, I'm sure they (and their friends) found clever ways to "retaliate."  But I know I was the big offender in that regard, being "older brother."  I tried to make amends by sending them small checks for pocket money when they were in college.

I want to add my confirmation to Slick Heathman's comment about how dangerous the bar on 10th St. was.  One Saturday evening I was walking down Main St. about 11pm. and a terrible set of screams and shouts were coming from inside and in front of this bar.  I stopped to watch the activities for a while and I was most impressed that all of the Lexington police came to the top of the hill and did some shouting of their own but not one would venture down the hill to the front or the interior of the bar.  They seemed to have the utmost of "respect" for this place.  Tabo was a "Sunday School" by comparison.
And from his sister:
Loretta Gueguen Broker, '60

Love that Flo and Dave!!  Are you serious about reopening the shop??
(Ed: If you girls are serious about waitressing again.) I had guessed Tabo,
too, as "that infamous place", not from personal experience, but from tales I'd heard.  The only time I was there was when I was very small and my Daddy took his parents, my Gramma and Grampa Gueguen, and old Mrs. Lejeune, and probably my Grampa Mallot to Tabo Creek for fishing.  Must be the same one, huh?  I LOVED hearing their the old stories in their French accent.  Wish I had paid more attention.   
Norma Wilson Gadt:

Thanks so much for bringing back all those memories.  One night at Tabo one of my girlfriends and I were sitting in a booth having a 3-2 beer when in walked Brownie Rolf, the Liquor Inspector at that time.  My beer was immediately put away in a hole in the wall (the decor was very adequate for times like this), and my friend didn't have time.  Brownie took the bottle of beer  she was drinking,  and her to the police station, called her parents to come get her, and that taught us both a big lesson.  I felt very fortunate she didn't tell on me. 
Yes, the restrooms were really something!  How many of you women knew that the men's restroom had a peek-hole in it to see in the women's restroom?  I didn't learn that for many years later.
There was something special about Tabo.  It didn't have the nice level floor, fancy restrooms, bands every night, nor a fancy front, but it had atmosphere.  That atmosphere is hard to come by.  I can't recall anyplace having that style.  It's a shame it was thought of so poorly by some, but as some have said the 'old timers' had a stigma about that place.  I remember times when the restrooms were flooded, and to relieve yourself it was do or die across the highway behind a car.  That was, if nobody was lookin.'
I attended Arnold School in the second grade, can't remember the teacher's name, and met some great kids there.  My third & fourth were at Central.  Third with Mrs. Torrence, and fourth under Mrs. Baird -- remember her? 
I'm wondering if Sharon Gueguen remembers the Halloween Party held at Bonnie Beissenherz's when we were in grade school.  Sharon was the fortune teller, and told me I would meet a tall blonde guy and someday marry him.  Wonder if she realizes how psychic she really was.  I believe we were in the third grade at the time. 
Mike McDonald:

The most notorious attitude about Tabo that I recall is the number of young people that either died or were injured in car wrecks coming back from there.  Does anyone else remember this?

Bobbi (Ingle) Rice:

I ran across a picture taken graduation day 1949, which brought back fond memories:  Elizabeth Briggle, Sophie Kehress, Bobbi Ingle, Carolyn Heghin, Ann Kelly, Kari Bruce, Patty Hughes, Tonia (Beltram) Ballard.

Looking back as an adult, years in Lexington (through fourth grade at Arnold and again in 1948--1951) were a good experience and have enjoyed return visits to see my cousin Jan (Rider) McCoy and her family.  Nothing seems to replace childhood memories, friendships and family as evidenced by TLC.  Different perspectives of the pool hall and Tabo are interesting and wasn't aware that they were such "bad" and "forbidden" places.  Although having resided in CA since 1951, I still feel that Lexington is part of my roots.

Liz Anne White Kramer:

ARN   OLD   ARNOLD ARNOLD YESSIREE!!!!! Still have black spots in my knee from falling in the cinders on the playground! However, if all of you will think back when we finally had a grade school football team ARNOLD always won!!!! Just about cried when they turned the old place into an apartment building.
Ed: I also have cinders embedded in my knee. Anyone else?
Loretta Gueguen Broker, '60
Greetings to all fellow Lexingtonians!  I have really enjoyed the "history" lessons from everyone's contributions.  Something that has not been mentioned that holds a special place in my heart is the "minstrel shows" first held on the stage of the Mainstreet Theatre.  My earliest memory goes back to when I must've been 4 or 5 years old (1946-47) and played a pickininny dressed in a white costume that matched my sister Sharon's, (which our mother made, of course) was black-faced and had my hair in pigtails all over my head.  These were great musicals that were community affairs.  And then of course there were the high school Minstrels with "end men"  Don Coen and Wally Hulver.  Those were so great and I really don't think any of us considered what we were doing as controversial or racist--it was just what was accepted.
Later, after the Civil Rights Act passed, we had Variety Shows with Miss Mautino directing each one, am I right?  Can we ever forget how we all tormented that poor woman and almost drove her to the edge???  Remember where she kept her hanky to cry in???  Did Mrs. Seiter direct any of these, or did she just concentrate on drama? Anyway, those were special events in my high school career and I still remember the words to those wonderful old songs, which by the way I use often in my ministry as Activity Director in a nursing home.  I actually get paid to "perform" and we all love it!!
Let's hear it from all of you old participants. 
Barbara Lee '57 Fay

Boy, did #20 bring back memories!!  You have the advantage of inserting your editorial comments along the way.  I'll save my interjections about Tabo, Arnold/Central and our public school education for the issue after you include the attached one.  
Gene Boyer:
Well I finaly got a date to talk to the Dr. in Tulsa. Aug.23 then we will set a date for surgery. Will keep you posted . 
Need a little help on lexington. What was the name of the dept. store on the corner of 12th & Main? A lumber yard I believe was across the street. Also the name of whatever was on the corner of 12th & Franklin, some kind of a tin shop or blacksmith. I want to write to Susan on a couple of things. Remember the frozen food locker close to Walker drug store, there was a vacant lot between them?
Roger and Sue Cousins '55 Wilmot:
Cox's was the name of the store at 12th and Main, right across the street from Russell's Lumber Yard. Gene Vialle had a grocery store on the corner of 11th and Franklin and right next to it was the Frozen Food Locker where Jack Salyer worked.Then there was a large vacant lot, then the phone company and then Walkers' Drug Store. I can't remember what was on the corner.
On the South corner of 11th and Franklin was Wingates,' then Franklin Cleaners, then something, then the Bus Station and on the other corner was Winklers Furniture Store. On the other side of the street was the fire station, City Hall and the jail. I am not certain, but I think it was Paynes' Shoe Repair Shop.
Barbara (Tabb) Jarman has a pretty good memory of a lot of things in Lexington as they used to be. By the way, do you remember the little duck pin bowling alley they opened in the building next to the open lot where we played baseball? When that closed, remember the Henry J Dealership they put in there? If I remember correctly, I think Mike Malos' dad had something to do with it. That's where Pat Stephenson has his boat dealership now, and he parks his boats all over what used to be our baseball lot. He also bought my folks' old place, tore it down, and parks boats there.

And now some "snail mail" !
This entry arrived by mail from Mrs. Beverly Ann Kelly Gray:
In the 1930s and 40s our old bridge was very nice and kept up. On the dome of the bridge were all colors of lights, like a Christmas tree. These lights went across the top of the domes and down the sides.
About the latter part of 40s and 50s they couldn't get enough men to replace the lights because they didn't want to climb that high to change the light bulbs. The Lexington people were so proud of this bridge. The bridge could be seen for a great distance.
My grandmother's only son, Arthur Patrick Rogers, was one of the "sand hogs." They went below the water to put the piers in. This story my grandmother, Mrs. Mary Ellen Rogers, told many times.
There was a bus line called the Manley Bus Line that went from our bus station to Excelsior Springs and back. It was an old school bus that was painted a drab color. I rode on it many times to visit my Aunt Grace in Excelsior Springs.
And so we come to the end of another stroll down Memory Lane. Do keep 'em coming, folks. You'd be surprised at how hungry people are for news from those who live and love in our hometown.
Your devoted scribe,


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