TLC #36: April 25, 2002
Dear Hearts and Gentle People:
Back by popular demand...well, a couple of people have
asked, so I'm sending out the latest from your old home town.
Saluda Commemoration culminated in the dedication of our newest park, at the
corner of Franklin and Hwy 13. At the ceremonies, the Saluda survivor
descendants each tolled the bell. It was very moving. Now we look forward to the
next event: Lexington's First Annual Maifest. It will be May 3 and 4, downtown.
The Chamber of Commerce promises food galore, and samples from Missouri
wineries, micro-breweries, and rootbeer companies. In the evening there will be
live German music. Daytime features family fun, kids games, May Pole dancing,
cake walks, storytelling, and a dessert judging contest in the afternoon. Y'all
This past weekend Lexington was invaded by some of the
"girls" from the Class of 1956. Although I am much younger, by nearly
a year, they let me tag along. For those who are interested, others who attended
were Arden Cuadra Barrett, Judy Cook Watkins, Lovella Yates Damborg, Mary Kay
Skelton Smith, Gwen Schenck Trumbo, Ann Fiora Coen, Georgia Hurlburt, JoAnn
Oetting Tognascioli, and our hostess Dee Park LeMonnier. We stayed at Dee's
house at Lake Lotawana, and during the four days we did some damage at KCI,
Crown Center, Union Station, The Plaza, The Nelson, Maid-Rite (!!!), the shops
in Lexington, Jack's Landing Restaurant AND the Wentworth Military Ball. There
were sore facial muscles and sore tummy muscles from the laughter. What great
therapy it is to have a good ol' slumber party, or bunking party as we used to
call them, with some of your oldest and dearest.
also class of '56, has expressed interest in this gathering and dismay that he
wasn't invited. He wants the unabridged report, but I don't think he's earned
it. If it hadn't been for Don Coen and Wally Hulver at the Ball, Mary Kay and I
would have had to dance with each other all night instead of just the beginning.
By the way, Tom Watson was also at the Ball. Do you think anyone drew my
attention to that fact? No. And Ann Coen and I are the only golfers in that
group. I just give and give and give....
have not quite recovered from that, nor have I recovered from tax season, but
I'll do my best to put something together for you. And speaking of recoveries,
my mother is much improved and back at the nursing home. Thanks for asking and
for the good wishes from so many of you. And now, on with the
From Leamon '53
Susan: I finally got all the virus out of my computer and lost everything
so am just now getting around to say Hi. Terry and I just got back from
Georgia where we took part in a March for ALS. This is a dreaded disease
that our oldest son Mark has. He had a team of over 100 and they all
marched over 3.miles for this activity. ALS wanted to raise $50,000.00 and
on Thursday of this week they were still counting at $137,000.00.
Great! Our team raised over $14,000.00 and we still have a little to
send. A lot of good people in this world and a lot of great
friends. So a lot of smiles in Georgia and in the ALS community.
Will try to stay in touch and keep all informed.
And from THE Howard
I got your
name and e-mail address from my sister - Marian Johnson Buchanan. As you
probably know from correspondence with her, we lived in Lexington from
1945-1955. Our father, Ben Johnson, was Band Director at LHS and Wentworth
during that time and our mother, Frances, helped him by giving private lessons
and starting an Orchestra. (She was a marvelous singer and cellist having
graduated from Julliard in NYC in 1934.) During my 10 years in
Lexington, I was in Boy Scout Troop 318 with Bob Levy and Hershel Hay as our
Scoutmasters. At LHS, I was in all the music groups (of course), I was on
the Track team and I was in most of the plays that Ernestine Seiter directed. I
have many fond memories of those 10 years in Lexington and would like to have my
name included in the TLC Newsletter Marian has told me about.
And then he
Just wanted to let you know I
"waded through" all those past newsletters you sent (the week seemed
to go by quickly) and thoroughly enjoyed every one! You are doing a
marvelous job in bringing us all together and keeping us updated on the news in
Lexington. Reading TLC brought back a flood of memories: Latin
classes with Miss Mautino where she invariably misplaced her glasses (always to
be found perched back on the top of her head - but we wouldn't tell her).
Also, I remember Latin class was right after lunch and dear Angela could never
stifle a burp gracefully. It would always a loud "Bur-r-rp" followed
by "excuse me, class."
And her Minstrel shows were a
hoot. What a fun and wonderful woman. My favorite teacher, though,
has to be Ernestine Seiter. What a great English teacher! I really
developed a love of Literature and Theatre from her. I couldn't wait for
the next auditions to get a part in a play she was
I guess one of my first
experiences in the "dramatic arts," though, was in 6th grade in Miss
Margaret's Room where a few of us prepared a murder-mystery skit. I don't
remember the details of that great masterwork, but I do recall it involved a
detective (John Stompoly) discovering the murder weapon (a small revolver) and
then during the operation to remove the bullet from the victim (Shirley
Briggle), the doctor (me) removed a huge artillery shell and pronounced the
victim dead. To that classroom of 6th graders, this was the ultimate in
sophisticated humor and it "brought the house down."
Another memorable event
which occurred a few years later was the infamous Slave Day and Senior Open
House in 1953. A few of us formed a band to play at the dance. We
called ourselves "The Knights" and somehow we got ahold of some
arrangements and played such classics as "Blue Moon" and "You,
You, You." It was pretty big stuff for us to be up on that stage
playing for that dance that night. I was seated at that "clunky" old
upright piano having a great time plunking out those tunes. H. J. Guillia
was on drums (when did he learn how to play drums?) Gene Jarman on
trumpet, Terry Buck on trombone and John Stompoly on alto sax. What a
great group we were (at least we thought so at the time). We just didn't
get to dance much that night. Ah, those were the days.
Anyway, keep those
newsletters coming, Susan. You're doing a great job and we all love
it! By the way, do you have any information on how I could get in touch
with Tom Mallot, Walter Yeoman or Terry Buck? They were among my closest
friends in High School and I would love to be able to contact them. Thanks for
everything you do.
I was able to
give him Tom Mallot, but have no current information on the
Lee '57 Fay:
Who remembers the 1957 Prom?
Decorating the gym was a challenge, and I cringe to think what our kids would
say if they could see the primitive crepe paper and poster board
decorations. Didn't we have streamers draped from the ceiling, and maybe
even a twirling lighted ball? I do remember my date though, and that's
probably more than my kids can remember about their proms. Tom Corbin was
the fortunate fellow. I do not believe he and I had ever had a date before
the prom. Back then, I don't remember him as being much of a speedy guy,
but then some of us are late bloomers. He went on to become a sprint-car
driver who retired from that avocation in 1995. For those of you read the
KC Star, he is quoted extensively in the April 23 article in the sports
section about his nephew, Danny Lasoski. (Says he's from Higginsville, but
I thought Dover.) Danny is now a hot item in the racing field, having set
numerous track records at the Knoxville Iowa track and most recently scoring
winning points at the Talladega Short Track in Alabama. Danny credits Tom
and his dad for shaping him as an adept sprint-car driver. (Some of you
guys can probably relate to this love affair with cars and speed, perhaps on the
I'll bet "Tommy" doesn't know that I read about
his racing records and that my interest in racing developed over the years due
to my brother Duncan's career in the field, too. In fact, I'm
getting a new set of ear plugs very soon because Bill and I have tickets to the
Let's hear it from the rest of you --- '55 Chevy's,
popping the clutch, peelin' rubber.
A new name
for the list:
I'd like to chime in with some Lexington memories. I'm Bette Phipps
Thomas '59 and have enjoyed reading issue #22 greatly. The first is my
memory of sitting in Miss Mautino's class (maybe in '57 or' 58) while she was
crying, fiddling with her "bra straps" under her smock, saying between
sobs that we couldn't upset her because everything "rolled off her, just
like water off a duck's back," while Supt. Leslie Bell stared in at her
from the hallway outside her door. I never knew what awful atrocity
"we" had committed to set her off (maybe somebody incorrectly
conjugated a Latin verb?). I also think she never knew Leslie Bell was
observing her. If anybody from that wild & crazy Latin class remembers
what we did, please let me know. Lauren LeJeune and Irma Boldridge were
also in the class but everyone else's faces have faded away. My second memory is
of dear Mrs. Seiter teaching us how to pronounce "grimace," with lips
wide open, she said and we (Sr. English class, maybe?) repeated:
GRIMAAAACE. I think Frances Tonetti Cross and Anne Thompson Johnson were
in this class.
I'm quitting now because I have to tutor some kids
in reading in a few minutes, but if you'll add me to the recipients, I'll send
you my memory of when the Lexington men (Chamber of Commerce?) put on minstrel
shows. Yes, that is a teaser.
Bette Boop3--no relation to the hooker of the same name that
cousin Jim O'Malley mentioned.
And now the
Hi - I'm Mary Lou Phipps (now
Phipps-Winfrey) class of 1963. 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
thanks for the newsletter. Your thoughts about the Mainstreet Theatre
really brought back a lot of good memories. What I remember most about the
movies were the 5 cent Cokes, 10 cent popcorn, 25 cent BonBons and the
JuJuBees!! I can almost taste them.
I live in Independence, MO, just east of the Blue Ridge Mall. I retired
from Southwestern Bell Telephone on 3/8/02 and am now resting up for my first
cruise which I take on 3/27 to the Caribbean. I am going solo and am
looking forward to a new adventure. My son Chris is married (3 years) and
is a PE teacher and Head Coach for Boys and Girls Soccer in Ozark, MO. He
will receive his Master's Degree in May and wants to get into School
Administration. He will be 26 in May. My daughter Cary, also 26 in
May, is currently single and living in New York City. She graduated from
MU with a degree in Child Life but has that on hold while she pursues her dream
of performing on Broadway. At present, she is touring the east coast with
a company and is doing children's theatre.
When I started going to the
movies, the price was 25 cents--what a bargain compared to today's prices and
not to mention the huge amount of trash that they call movies today.
Needless to say, I pick and choose my shows very carefully. Keep the info
coming---it is always good to hear about Lexington.
Several people have
inquired about a reunion for the Class of 1960. Any of you '60 whippersnappers
planning anything? Let us know.
From Bob '58
milder weather, I enjoy walking around Lexington. This week, though the
weather isn't optimal, I am constrained to walk because my car is at Rodekohr's,
awaiting repair parts (apparently custom-made in Japan--the fault of Subaru, not
Rodekohr's). Ah, well, it's good for me!
But you can
notice the most curious things, walking around. Are you aware of the
deep and significant connection that this city has with Wabash, Indiana? I
suspect that every home and business in Lexington has an item made in
item is: A water meter box made by the Ford Meter Box Company of Wabash,
Indiana. If you want to check me, go into your yard where the water meter
is located and look at the lid!
It's one of
those things that you can look at for years and not really notice, provided you
are as slow-witted as I am.
terribly large town, about 11,000 souls, but, curiously, there seems to be no
mention of the Ford Meter Box Company on the Wabash site. It's not as if
the company went out of business, since they have their very own
that the company was started to meet only local requirements, around 1900, but
word of the product spread and, pretty soon, neighboring towns ordered the meter
boxes, too. And so it grew. Not an exciting product, but one for
which there is a real need.
other questions arise in my mind: Are there other providers of meter
boxes? What brand do other towns use? If there are other providers,
why does Ford seem to have a monopoly in Lexington. How will I ever find
out? And, really, why do I care?
sort of trouble you can get into, just walking around
I can go you one better than that,
Bob. See what trouble you can get into when you start a little newsletter to a
few friends? It was on February 21, 2001 when the introductory issue of TLC was
published. Now we have nearly 300 subscribers, and some don't even have email!
If any of you would like to "adopt" a computer-free subscriber, let me
know. You just have to print it out and get it to that person.
Till next time, when we will address
the burning issue of Tonettes, I remain
Your devoted scribe,
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