TLC logo TLC #35:  March 14, 2002

Dear Hearts & Gentle People:
Spring is pouncing on Lexington. That is not to say we can't have a foot of snow next week, but today was as lovely a day as one can imagine. Tomorrow is to be 75, they say, and the crocus and daffodils know it.
The old hometown has somewhat recovered from the ice storm. Every tree in town shows damage, but when the leaves come out it won't be noticeable. There are quite a few "hangers" which may catch people or property unaware when they do come down, but most everything is cleaned up now. The city did a good job of picking up the brush we (all) deposited at the curb. If they ground it up, it would be a mountain of mulch I'm sure.
The movie complex is a go, papers are signed and construction to begin soon. The new Senior Center/Community Health Center/Early Childhood Center is also a "go," and I say none too soon since I am rapidly approaching the Senior Center age. It will be located on the east end of town.
This Saturday is the St. Pat's Day parade and party, followed by Sounds of the Heart on Sunday - a benefit show, the proceeds of which go to buy defibrillators for locations in town. There will be some good talent, and also there will be the Barnyard 6 Plus 2, which is a group of some LHS grads and longtime residents who fancy themselves performers. They are a huge draw, however, so the show should be a big success despite them. They also handle the emcee chores.
The Saluda commemoration is just a few weeks away. Picture if you will the northwest corner of 13th and Franklin, where the Leiter apartments once stood. You may remember they burned some years ago. The vacant lot was donated to the Historical Association, and a permanent memorial is being established there. It will be unveiled, so to speak, on the 150th anniversary of the disaster, April 9. I believe it will be called Saluda Memorial Park.
Not more than a block away (on the west side of Walker's Drugs) is going to be a "pocket" park, a small green space with plantings and benches and lights directly across the street from the Cannonball 6 Theaters. This is courtesy of Sprint, who will lease the land to the city.
A controversial topic is the proposed construction of a new county jail, on a site between the courthouse and old City Hall. No one denies need for the jail, but the design and location have been hotly debated. We, the county, will vote on it in April.
Wentworth is making progress on their new Tillotson Barracks, and they also have a new superintendent - Major General John Little (who is from here and a WMA grad). Col. Brown and his wife (yes, her name IS Georgia) plan to remain in Lexington. She has two lovely shops, and the Browns are pretty well rooted in the town. I believe he was ready for a change of pace after a career in the military and then the stress of running Wentworth.
The mayor and city and county officials held a Town Meeting not long ago and had representatives speak on all of the above projects, along with others. Everyone seems very pleased with the broadening of communication and updates on all that is happening. Believe me, I am just taking a broad swipe across the surface of all that is going on here. I hope you will all visit soon. Bring money.
Now I'll let you talk.
Diane Gibson '58 Conger reminisced about the Mainstreet Theatre. (It's my fault it's not more timely - I've been slow getting an issue out.)
Jim and I went with another couple to see the Jim Carrey movie, "The Majestic."  It was a reminder of the movies we saw at the Mainstreet Theater.  Everyone from our generation should see that movie.  It was a movie with 'heart.'  As they restore the old Majestic Theater, you will recognize many similarities in that theater and our Mainstreet Theater.  It is definitely a 'feel good' movie.  The love story is sweet.  The music is fun.  As the credits were rolling, we found ourselves, literally, dancing in the aisle.  Go see it and take a trip back in time!! 
Going to the Mainstreet Theater was one of my favorite pastimes.  I was saddened when I learned it was being torn down.  My Dad started to take me when I was very young.  He enjoyed movies, as much as I.  When I was a little older, I often went to the Saturday matinee and the Sunday matinee.  Saturday offered the westerns and the serials.  Sunday offered a variety of movies, but in the '40s the musical was the usual fare.  Those movies were my favorites.  Dan Daily, Betty Grable, Judy Garland, Donald O'Connor, Fred Astaire, and Gene Kelly were some of the people who brought me so much pleasure.  I would leave the theater and dance all the way home.  I am sure that passersby thought I was a little weird, but I never gave it a thought.
In the '50s there were epics like "Giant."  Who could forget those Alfred Hitchcock movies.  My favorite was "Vertigo."  There were still good musicals.  Some of the musicals were biographies of great musicians such as "The Eddie Duchin Story" and "The Glen Miller Story."  The musicals in the '50s had more plot and were not always centered around getting a show together, as they had, most often, in the '40s.  One that comes to mind was "American In Paris."  Most often, dating and our social life centered around the Mainstreet Theater.  Those were wonderful times!
I do not know when Hollywood decided that we needed violence, bad language and plots that leave you wanting to go home to escape from the movie.  I thought the purpose of a movie was escape from everyday problems and to leave you with hope for a brighter tomorrow.  In my opinion, we need more movies like "The Majestic, "Finding Forrester," and "My Dog Skip."   I want to be able to take my granddaughter, when she's older, to a movie that is not animated or too silly.  I do not care to be embarrassed as I sit next to her.  I want her life to be a little bit better for having gone to the movies, as mine was.  I am so thankful that we can get 'our movies' on AMC and TCM and videos.  Paige and I will be able to share some of the movies I loved.  As I watch, I can be transported back to Lexington's Mainstreet Theater.
From Jim & Berta Luehrs:
Please include Joyce & Larry Mittie in your mailings. They finally visited us in  Hickory, North Carolina. We have been in NC since 1989. Their son, Jeff, is the head basketball coach at TCU. They had a game against Charlotte last Friday, which we attended.  We enjoyed their visit,  showed them all the highlights of Hickory, and even had a day trip to the mountains! Jim & Joyce graduated in 1961. I worked at Rush Pharmacy from June 1968 to 1970, the first female pharmacist in Lafayette County!  We look forward to your mailings! 
From Mary Lou Phipps '63 (now Phipps-Winfrey)
My sister, Bette Phipps (now Thomas) sent your newsletter to me.  I love it.  This one had a bit from our cousin, Jim O'Malley, in it.

I am a professional actress/voice talent living in Wichita, KS.  I perform locally and regionally.  My last gig was at the St. Croix Festival Theatre in St. Croix, WI.  I will be performing in Michigan and Ohio this summer.  I rarely go back to Lexington but when I do I always tool around to all the old spots even if they aren't there anymore.
Well, Bette, I say to you and all the others - come back to visit and you'll be pleased. So many of you have written about the ice storm I won't try to include them now. But I appreciate every message and try to print them all. It does get a little lengthy, but you can "skim" if you get weary of reading.
On a personal note, it is tax season, my busy time of the year. Also my mother is in the hospital and not doing well at this time. So, it's been difficult finding time to deliver another TLC issue. Thanks for your patience.
Your devoted scribe,

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