TLC #29: October 29, 2001
and Gentle People:
PRESSES!!! MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
hometown won two major awards this week. At the annual Missouri Community
Betterment Conference, Lexington won First Place in our population category.
And our Youth Group also won First Place. We were the only community in
the state to win First Place in both divisions. So you can be proud to say
you're from Lexington....if you weren't already.
Lexington Community Betterment Association documents activities and projects
which have taken place during the past year (in this case from 9/1/00 through
8/31/01). We submit a project book to the state for judging, and then two state
judges and an escort travel to Lexington for an hour-long presentation and tour
of the community. This year the awards were presented at the Conference in
Columbia by the Lt. Gov. About 800 people attended.
news. The movie complex is a "go." There will be six screens, and the
theatre will be located on Franklin in what is affectionately known as "the
hole." I believe construction is expected to begin soon. Start popping the
Recent mail brought
requests for rooms to rent at LHS.
After reading the many requests for 'rooms' at LHS, I finally decided to
put in my request for what would be my favorite space - if there is any one
space since I revere them all, but it would have to be, what else? the
Library!! Fully stocked, of course. My sister Shirley (Jiovenale Link), who is visiting as I
await surgery, loved reading the TLC and wants to put in her request for the
typing room (she likes to watch everyone driving through town). (Jan's surgery went well, and she is awaiting word on future treatment. -
Going back a few TLCs: I meant to tell you that my Grandad (Dick Atwood)
his younger brother Floyd in a diving bell accident when the Lexington
bridge was under construction. Can't remember if there were any more
workers with him in the bell. He was 24 years old at the
And before we leave the subject of the
Library, Miss Lena came to Jim
In the last
few TLC'S several of your readers have mentioned teachers or events that brought
back many warm memories to me. I'd like to share my experiences with two of LHSs
In my sophomore year (1946-47) I had Miss Lena (Meierer)
in English II. She was an exceptional teacher and demanded the best from her
students. There was no fooling around with Miss Lena. I remember
being in study hall one afternoon. The teacher in charge was a new teacher
and study hall was getting rather loud (not by today's standards, of
course). Miss Lena was walking down the hall, noticed that the
teacher was having a hard time, and stepped into the room. Immediately
there was a hush. She gazed around the room, focused on some of the unruly
ones and said, "A WORD TO THE WISE SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT!"
Believe me, the problem was solved. If she had been our Secretary of
State, no country would have dared give us any trouble!
Our main project
that fall semester was to read Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two
Cities." We discussed it in class chapter by chapter and then wrote a
term paper on it. What a beautiful job of teaching she did! It was a
course in French History, character development, government, economics and moral
courage, all rolled into one. I tried to shorten the process by
reading Classic Comics' version instead of the original. Miss Lena caught
me red handed and, instead of dishing out some kind of cruel punishment, she did
me a favor. She had me read the original work and report to the library
after school, day after day, and go through the story chapter by chapter until
we were finished. She was there with me each afternoon.
What she did
was to give me personal tutoring and I think this is what turned me into a
person who enjoys learning and decided to turn this love of learning into a
vocation and to become a teacher and, eventually, a university
professor. What a wonderful person she was! I saw her in Palos
Verdes, California in the mid 1960s. She had gone there to live with her
nephew, Al Meieier, Jr. She was suffering from what appeared to be
Alzheimer's disease and was not at all the person I remembered. She died
I also remember Mrs. Ernestine .Seiter with great
fondness. I was in English IV (1948-49) and one day our regular teacher
was absent and Mrs. Seiter was the substitute. I had never had
such an experience before! She didn't sit behind a desk as our regular teacher
did, she walked right up to the front row of students and began talking about
English literature and of how much she loved it and why it was so important for
us to study it and learn from it. She talked about us and what
constituted a good life, and how it was so important to use your gifts and be
all that we could be. She talked about philosophy and human behavior. She
talked about finding our way in the world and of practicing the
virtues. She could have easily taught at the university
level. I wish she had been a full time faculty member while I
was at LHS. I would have taken every class she
blessed to have had the super faculty we had at LHS! I also appreciated Shirley
Briggle Miller's special TLC about her husband and their life together.
What an exciting life they're having! I also remember Capt. Johnson.
I talked with him once about playing the trumpet. He told me my lips were too
big for the trumpet but that he could use a tuba player. I didn't bite on
that, but I now wish I had, because I sing
bass-baritone and it would have taught me to read music and made me a better musician. While
I was in college I sang in a Lexington Minstrel Show at Municipal
Auditorium (This is not to be confused with the LHS minstrel shows done by Miss
Mautino. This was a community minstrel. They were called the Goose
Pond Minstrels, because the proceeds of the first shows were used to finance the
changing of the original Goose Pond from a marsh to an athletic field.)
This was around '50 or '51 and Mrs. Johnson accompanied me as I sang, "I
Got Plenty of Nuthin'." I went to their home to rehearse and enjoyed
Mrs. Johnson for her good humor, kindness, and music sense. Boy,
those were good times!
rattled on so long, but I wanted to share my memories about those wonderful
people. Best wishes to all.
Another recurring theme in the mail: my
conclusion in TLC #28. Five (5!!!) different people wrote to suggest it was time
to discontinue the Vicodin after I wrote "feel so welcome each time that I
return, that my happy heart keeps laughin' like a clown." I trust the rest
of you are conversant enough with the wonderful song that you recognized the
Next topic (and this one has
accompanying photos): Gordon Wright. Since he gets TLC secondhand by snail mail
I think we can say pretty much what we want about him without fear of reprisal.
I, for one - and I have many compatriots - think Gordon can be blamed for nearly
everything that goes wrong.
reporting on a recent hunting trip:
Well, as you can see from the attached
photos, we were hunting real hard and the accommodations were terrible.
Gordon and Moose are shown doing what they did best as Elk almost trampled them
and still they went home empty handed. In the one picture, I am literally
begging for a bite of food, but did they share? No Way...........
Please feel free to reprint these photos and give them wide distribution.
those of you who cannot receive photos, Joe sent pictures of Gordon '55 and
Moose '57(Rodekohr, his brother-in-law) eating gigantic portions of food. I am
sending these photos in a separate email, and I will also send Liz Bertz
Fenner's pictures from the LHS Reunion held here over Labor
Someone mentions Gordon Wright and that does spawn some memories.
EVERYTHING is Gordon's fault. Short story: Several of us were in Carrolton, MO,
sometime in the sixties preparing to spend the day hunting. There were at least
four of us "boys" sitting in a restaurant waiting for sunrise. Gordon
smoked at the
time. When he'd finished his cigarette he carelessly flipped it
into the air not knowing where it would land. The butt sailed across the room,
lit right in
the center of someone's lemon meringue pie as upright as a
birthday candle. The gentleman at the counter had his head turned at the moment
of ciggie semi orbital
re-entry. When he turned to take a bite, his fork
froze in mid air, for the "candle" was still smoldering after its trip
across the room. It was hard to keep from bursting out laughing at the sight of
that man's face. Gordon just buried his face in a
newspaper acting as if
nothing had happened. Fortunately it was about time to hit the brush and begin
our hunting. If it had been ten minutes earlier there probably would have been
an 'incident', cause that guy was mad. So everything makes a proper assessment
in saying "everything is Gordon's fault." There are other stories too,
but not for publication.
Gene Boyer checks in:
Boy, its good to be back on line, not 100% yet, but getting there. Want to
thank all for the cards and prayers that came my way. Have an appointment next
Tues. for what I hope may be the last one for a while. I feel like I am doing
pretty good. This is my first day to drive, so I had to come to the library to
let my friends know since it will soon be a month with no contact. I sure enjoy
the TLC. It's always good to have a flashback to know how things used to be. It
was great, they can't take that away from me. Thanks again.
And now, the
first of many recent missives from our newest subscriber, Diane Gibson '58 Conger:
As I am anticipating Halloween with my
little two year old fairy princess, my mind goes back to the Halloweens at
Arnold. My Mother seemed to take great pleasure in making me as
unrecognizable as possible. She would not buy a costume. She would
come up with something she could stuff with mounds of pillows and make sure my
hands, neck, shoes or anything that might give me away were completely
covered. Dad would drop me off in some other part of town.
That way no one could guess who I was by the direction from which I was
coming. If my memory serves me right, I won the prize for being the last
recognized two or three times during my Arnold years. Her hard work paid
Diane also sent news of her life
since LHS. I wish more of you would do the same:
Susan, thanks for all you are doing to bring us the pleasure of
stepping back into those wonderful, innocent years!
1958 - Off to William
Jewell College. I met my future husband.
1962 - Graduated from Jewell
and married Jim Conger. My
at Central Seminary in Kansas City,
kindergarten in North Kansas City.
1964 - We were called to El Dorado,
Ks. Jim was Minister
I helped start a pre-school at the church.
1966 - Garnett, Ks. became our
first pastorate position.
substituted in the
Garnett school system.
1967 - Our son, Bryce was born.
1970 - Our
daughter, Marci, was born. We were called to
First Baptist Church
in Newton, Iowa.
1982 - A church in Kingman, Ks. was our next
1985 - We were called to Paris, IL. I taught pre-school and
worked at an assisted
1995 - I came to Lexington to care for Mother (LaVerne). She was
Alzheimer's. Dad (Horace) had
1996 - I needed to get back to my husband and my life. I
store, sold the house and moved my
IL. Mother went into a nursing home and
lived in a small
1997 - My Dad moved in with us.
1999 - Dad went to nursing
home. Marci and her husband, Steve,
blessed us with our
first grandchild, Paige Diane.
2000 - We retired to Crawfordsville, In.
We are near both
children. We take care of Paige three days a week.
2001 - March 25th my
Dad died. Mother is comfortable. She has
known me for 6
It has been a great life! There have been heartaches, but
God has always
seen us through those times.
And speaking of heartaches, Norma Gadt sent word
of the recent death of Mary Ellen Oberhelman '54 Booth. She resided in Ft.
Collins, CO. Her husband's name is Austin.
There is much more news, but it
can wait until next time. I have the computer equivalent of writer's cramp, and
you are getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome eyes from all this
Keep sending those cards and
letters, folks, and especially the email.
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