TLC logo TLC #29:  October 29, 2001

Dear Hearts and Gentle People:
The old 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.
The 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.
MORE big 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 popcorn.
Recent mail brought requests for rooms to rent at LHS.
Jan Jiovenale Tubiolo:
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. - Ed)
Going back a few TLCs: I meant to tell you that my Grandad (Dick Atwood) lost
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 time.
And before we leave the subject of the Library, Miss Lena came to Jim O'Malley's mind:
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 master teachers.

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 shortly after.

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 taught!
Weren't we 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!
Sorry I've 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 lyrics.
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.
Joe Parks, 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. 
For 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 Day.
Wayne Tabb:
From South Texas:

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 off.
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 husband
          was studying at Central Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas.
          I taught kindergarten in North Kansas City.
1964 - We were called to El Dorado, Ks.  Jim was Minister of
          Christian Ed.  I helped start a pre-school at the church.
1966 - Garnett, Ks. became our first pastorate position.  I
          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 position.
1985 - We were called to Paris, IL.  I taught pre-school and
          worked at an assisted living center.
1995 - I came to Lexington to care for Mother (LaVerne).  She was
          diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  Dad (Horace) had mini-strokes.
1996 - I needed to get back to my husband and my life.  I sold
          Dad's little store, sold the house and moved my parents
          to Paris, IL.  Mother went into a nursing home and Dad
          lived in a small apartment.
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 not
          known me for 6 years.

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 reading.
Keep sending those cards and letters, folks, and especially the email.
Your devoted scribe,


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