TLC logo TLC #28:  September 30, 2001

Dear Hearts and Gentle People:
I've been told there are some unauthorized TLCs being disseminated! Don't worry - I've notified the FCC and we'll have the culprits in the slammer in no time.
No, I josh. But if I understand correctly, both Joyce Gueguen Ramsey and Shirley Briggle Miller sent out their own news. If any of you did not receive copies, let me know and I'll be glad to forward them on to you. The authors will not be able to, of course, since they will be incarcerated.
As for Lexington news, I'll send along the LHS football season report, as well as the long-promised letter from Norman Thorson, next time. Right now I'm passing along a few messages that have come in since last time.
If you are aware that - at this very moment - I should be gazing at Mount Rushmore and instead I am at home at my computer, there's a good reason for that. We left Monday on our long-planned trip to South Dakota, and that night I landed in the Mitchell, South Dakota Emergency Room with a severe gall bladder attack. That ended that trip and began another, to Lafayette Regional Health Center on Monday morning, for (I sincerely hope) laparoscopic removal of my gall bladder. I can hear you all now "Yeah, that girl always did have a lot of gall."
Meanwhile, some important messages have come in. The Boldridge girls have been located!
From Mary Pat Gueguen Miller:

Info on Irma Boldridge for Lucia Cope Hulston:  her married name is Ingram,
address, 10 Hammick Rd., West Hartford, CT., 06107:  Phone, 860-232-8990.
I felt a  very close kinship with Irma when we were Freshmen together at LHS
in1954 shortly after the Topeka vs. The Board of Education US Supreme Court
decision ending segregation in the schools.  We had a lot of classes together
and just seemed to "hit it off", i.e., both fast talkers who ended each other's sentences mostly, and LAUGHED a lot.  Last time I saw her was the spring of '95, I think, when her beautiful Mother died and was buried in the church across the street from our house.  I also spoke with her a few months ago after I had my little book ("My Story") printed, and mentioned her and our relationship in it.  I sent her a copy and never heard back.  I know we have different memories and would like to discuss them with her at length. I will call her again soon.  As of our last conversation, she didn't have E-mail, tho her son was giving her a hard time about it.  And I'm sure she is proud of Effie's letter to the paper, also.  (I also mentioned old Professor Green in my book.)
Memory of Carroll Lewis, band director:  driving into town the summer of
'54 in that red hot convertible, sparkling white T-shirt showing off his great
TAN, and build,  blond hair combed and coifed so perfectly, it never moved,
even in that convertible.  (We couldn't BELIEVE he was really married!) I've
sorta kept up with him too.  (His hair is STILL blond and beautiful and not a
hair out of place!)  Last time was at a retirement party for him when he left
Raytown S.  I think he still performs here in KC.  GREAT piano player. I guess most of my favorite memories center around band and orchestra; music contests, bus trips, summer practices down on the old tennis courts, summer
band concerts, marching band with those NEAT formations on the field that
Mr. Lewis drew out himself, the heat of the parade at the Fall Festival, and
the frozen fingers of winter football games, the practices up 16th street at
some un-godly hour in the morning to beat the heat of the day, playing with the
orchestra for the last time Senior year at graduation.  Yes, THEY WERE ALL
Some new people heard from!
From Ann McKean Hillestad:

Thank you so much for putting me on your mailing list.  I will look forward to hearing from you from time-to-time and may even submit something occasionally.  I thought the reunion was great and we owe a debt of
gratitude to those who did all the work in putting it together.  Hope we can do it
again in another 5 years.  If you get to San Antonio (it's a great vacation
place) - give us a call.
And while we're on the subject of the recent reunion:
From Liz Bertz Fenner:
We had a wonderful time.  About 40 attended the Friday evening and Sunday morning events.  Ninety were at the Saturday gathering.  We had a little "memory" quiz.  Baby Kehrees Thompson won.  Mr. Whitney was the only teacher from our era who attended.  (We could only think of four who are still with us.)  Glen and Fern Cullom were our class sponsors.
When I left the breakfast on Sunday morning to go to church, no one seemed to  want to go home.  Several attended our church service.  (They almost outnumbered the members present!) Feel free to print whatever of this you want in the TLC.  I could give you a list of those attending if you think that would be of interest.
Back to new people...
From Joe Parks:
Hi to the editor and others who may find this a bit amusing. I will pass this along about one of my former classmates. I'm still "peeved" at Jan Rider for
punching me in the nose on the bleachers during a basketball game while we were Juniors. I know it was a normal reaction for her when I grabbed her by the ankle to keep from falling through the cracks between the seats. Jan, want to thank you for that support that time as you kept me from "falling through the
cracks". BTW, no one had ever bloodied my nose before nor since. Thanks Jan, for the memory. (grin)
The rebuttal:
This is a hoot.  Sure don't remember it but sounds like something I might do. Sure Wayne would remember it better than I would.  Just think though-now I am a little old mellow sweet lady from Joplin!!!  Just ask my friends. 
A late but totally sincere apology to Wayne.  If it is any comfort I gave my husband the only nose bleed he ever had. 
But lest you think I am part of the fighting Irish, Bob's nosebleed was an accident.  Can't remember about Wayne.  Is he sure I did that???
Thought about Miss Lena Meierer when I read TLC.  Worked as her assistant in the Library one year and found she had a great sense of humor and really enjoyed her. Still have a lifelong love affair with books and reading.
Miss Hendrickson accused me of putting salt in the grape jelly we were canning-I wouldn't do that. Somebody (fess up) put salt in the sugar canister.  Think some of those ornery boys we went to school with did that!  I did sew my finger under the sewing machine needle and that was the end of my sewing career.  Mother was a beautiful seamstress so that was a bit of a disappointment to her.
Miss Strathman was a role model to all of us (Wow) and she was a good teacher.  My first job as Secretary was with Dunhill Shirt Factory my Senior year with Mary Small.  Remember Mary?
A final note-am I the only one who remembers the day Ernestine Seiter brought her little puppy to school in her bra?  Honest!!  She also told me I had an ironing board figure and couldn't have a part in a play-gave it to that mean old Eileen Mischon!  I think I will live in the Band Room and then can watch all of you come and go to your apartments.
Looks as if Jan will be rooming with Duncan Lee!
And now some musing from another Gueguen, Jack:
A few topics have come up in the last two issues, about which I may be able
to contribute something:

1) Professor Green.  He lived 3 doors north of us on 16th St. during my
boyhood in a very modest, and quite dingy 2 or 3-room house.  (Our
neighborhood had been "integrated" as long as anyone could remember.)  I
remember his grave and emotionless appearance as he walked past our house
to and from Douglass school.  What struck me most was the morning he
experienced a personal tragedy.  We were awakened before dawn by firetrucks
parked in front of the house.  Heavy smoke was rolling out of his house, and
he stood motionless and silent observing the scene from the sidewalk as the
fire was extinguished--after it did considerable damage to his meager
possessions.  Someone had thrown a heavy overcoat over him.  That image of
stoic acceptance of great sorrow and loss struck this impressionable boy
very deeply.  I began to pray for him at that time, and continued ever after.  I didn't realize until I read it in TLC what a distinguished educator he was.  He always seemed so modest and unassuming, so devoted to duty.  It would be a great tribute from our town (and long overdue) if some kind of memorial were established in his memory.

2) Elizabeth Gruber.  In regard to the superior teaching of English at LHS,
I have felt primarily indebted to this small and stern lady for having given
me a start in my freshman year on adequate understanding of how sentences
are supposed to be constructed.  All that diagramming was an invaluable help
in developing what eventually became a polished writing style in the advanced writing courses I took at Notre Dame as a journalism major.  By the time I became a college freshman at WMA, it was no problem in quickly emerging at the top of the class.  As I look back upon our English classes from the vantage point of my direct experience of what goes on (or does NOT go on) in college classes these days (let alone high school), it is not an exaggeration to say that our faculty (Seiter, Meierer, Cullom, Gruber) constituted something rarely found in colleges today.  Another reason, however, why our generation and the one before ours writes as well as it does, is that we READ BOOKS, and there is no better way to learn to write that to read attentively.

3) Capt. Ben Johnson.  The conversation about bandmasters at LHS put me in
mind of this properly cut, sharp little man (with a limp) who taught me how
to play the trombone in the hot, hot summer of 1948.  I recall that he doubled as band director at WMA and at LHS at least for the years I was there (48-51).  I developed a deep respect for him which grew in the two years I played at WMA (51-53).  Capt. Ben didn't develop a very personal relationship with his LHS bandsmen (as Carroll Lewis did later), but he "knew his stuff" and set demanding standards.  It should be said that I didn't have any inclination toward music at all as a high school freshman, having been a drop-out of "Miss Bess's" piano school at the tender age of 8. Her last name was Graves, and it fit, in my boyish experience.  Every time I made a mistake (which was often) during our lessons, I got a slap on the wrist with no explanation--at least not one I could fathom.  Finally, when we reached the "cross-over" exercises, it was too much to take.  Anyway, when I passed on to LHS from Immaculate Conception school, I learned to my dismay that all boys in school were expected to participate on one of the athletic teams (I was even less inclined in that direction, having grown up in a house full of girls and their many chums), but Mr. Gerhardt (and/or maybe the always kind and understanding Bill Hamann) pointed out an escape clause:  Being in the band was an honorable alternative.  At first Capt. Ben assigned me to a sousaphone when I asked what instrument he needed at the end of my freshman year.  That was almost as bad as lifting weights, so on the second day, I asked if there was anything else he needed.  He tried my ear for pitch, and passed me along to the trombone.  Capt. Ben believed in the trial by immersion method.  For the first few weeks, I played only the notes on position one of the slide--especially middle C--until I got up the courage to experiment a little with actually moving it to the other positions and screwing up my lip to get higher notes.  Somehow our family was able to afford an inexpensive used horn on which I began.  It met an untimely end in a parade uptown (in front of the Mainstreet Theatre) when a twirler whom I remember as Shari (Bruce?) rared back too far with her baton, and put a deep dent in the slide.  By that time, my promise of proficiency had emerged to the point that my dad took me to the Conn Music Store in Kansas City to pick out a proper instrument--which then saw me through WMA and Notre Dame.  (I probably never thanked Shari for that "favor".)  I still have it in the closet in a carrying case pasted with stickers from all over the country (which was the fashion in the '50s).
Until a few years ago, I used to drag it out and tune it up every 4 years for N.D. Band Alumni games.  Sorry to bore you with such a long story, but it deserves to go someplace in a footnote in the annals of LHS band
It should be mentioned too in regard to Ben Johnson that he had a very
colorful wife who was an accomplished cellist.  At her recitals, we youngsters would be deeply impressed because she invariable wept as she played.  She was also known around town as a very hazardous driver.

By the way, "bandsmen" are a special breed of people, and I'm deeply
grateful to Capt. Ben (and N.D.'s Robert O'Brien) for having turned me into

Before closing, a word or two on the national trauma:  Out of great evil
can come even greater good.  I think millions of us are working on that!  If
some fanatics want to launch a "holy war" against us, it has to fail because
in truth it is a Satanic one, and Satan is no match for our secret weapon!
And finally, from Shirley Briggle Miller:
Now I suggest that present and former Lexingtonians submit memories of stories from and about the Anderson House as it was before, during, and after the Civil War.

Last time I toured the Anderson House (where I inscribed "Briggle" on one of the top walls about 55 years ago), the Missouri Park employee who delivered
the spiel had somehow lost all the color as well as the interest.  When I pointed out some details as I had learned them back then -- the hostess replied, icily, that "we can't prove that."

Apparently they never heard of Oral History over at the Park Department, but if we can get some stories on TLC, perhaps we can at least submit them and nudge them to consider using some of them during Anderson House tours.
When at least some of us were kids, there were still people around who knew, first or second hand, details of our Civil War battle and of the Anderson House.
My own grandfather was born in 1860 (albeit in Pennsylvania), and I am not the oldest who reads TLC. Almost, but not quite.

And those chains attached to the wall on one end and to wrist irons on the other were not there to indicate it was the playroom.
Okay, another challenge from Brig!
As for me I wish for you all:

May there always be work for your hands to do;
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
Write if you get work, and hang by your thumbs.
Your devoted Scribe,

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