TLC logo TLC #77:  June 30 2005

Dear Hearts & Gentle People:
This issue may make the webmaster and me "accessories after the fact," but we'll risk it in order to entertain you.
You'll recall I said I might "jinx" the opening of the new bridge if I wrote about it beforehand. All went well, except for the "hi-jinx" which occurred shortly before the official opening. You may view it at:
TLC #77 web pages
Unfortunately neither Ike nor Susie Skelton could attend (nor your scribe). However, firsthand reports say it was grand fun. They cut the ribbons and lined up two cars abreast going each way. Then the people from the north drove here, and those here drove north, honking and waving on the way. Each made a big circle, beginning at the new bridge and ending at the old. As the last car (containing local dignitaries) completed its journey across the old bridge, MoDot closed off the 1925 bridge forever. Plans to remove it have not been published.
The bridge itself is quite beautiful, and the scenery coming from either direction is just gorgeous. I had not anticipated that. The other nice benefit is the lack of big trucks rumbling through downtown. I do not believe they benefited the economy enough to make up for the wear and tear on our streets. But the old hometown is quite peaceful now, although still bustling.
This weekend is the premiere of our First Saturday Open Air Market. Each Saturday from April through October will feature an Open Air Market downtown. I'm certain that will be a big success.
Also we had the first of our Storytelling nights (Lexington Tall Tales and Short Stories) on Tuesday. What a great time! It was held at The Brewery restaurant. Featured speakers included Bob Eckhoff appearing as Little Archie Clement, the desperado/bushwhacker who met his maker right out in front on Franklin Ave.
Then Don Coen & Wally Hulver spoke with some unaccustomed delicacy about activities on 10th Street which concluded in the mid-50s. They were followed by a few stories from Slick Heathman. Others spoke spontaneously on the topics discussed and, as they say, a good time was had by all. There were 50-60 people present for the first Storytelling Night, and that was without any official publicity - strictly word of mouth. I'll bet it's Standing Room Only next time. The plan is to hold Storytelling Nights the 4th Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.
Now for the mail!
This from Joe '47 Anton:
Susan, you met my brothers George and Fred at Wentworth and both have passed away now.  They both went to Wentworth and brother George has left Wentworth with many civil war objects for their museum.  My wife Doris (from Warrington England) and I were home for LHS 47 reunion and should have our next one in 2007 (every three years).  No more LHS by the goose pond.  I was disappointed with some of the homes that are in bad shape for repair.  You know that Charlie Mussatto comes every summer to his home on South Street and his brother Joe lives there also.  Heard that Rudy Beretta passed away. Dick Van Zandt  as  well as my nephew Bob Stompoly and wife Bea keep me posted to some of the happenings around town.  TLC (not tender loving care either) will help too. You know what you are doing with TLC is worth gold to us from Lexington and much appreciated by all.  Lexington is unique from the other towns around and made us all proud to be from there.  You might check with the B&B's to see if they have items of interest for TLC. 
There was also a note from Shirley '53 Briggle, but it was just about how much she enjoys TLC. Thanks, Shirley, for the kudos.
Diane Gibson '58 Conger also sent nice words:
Thanks for another TLC.  It always tugs at my heartstrings to hear news of happenings in Lexington. 
The second grade teacher's name was Miss Torence.  I don't remember whether her name had two r's or one.  When I went to  first grade in 1946, my teacher's name was Miss Sisk.  I had Miss Torence in 2nd grade, Mrs Stewart for 3rd grade, Miss Branstetter for 4th, Miss Taubman for 5th and Miss Smith for 6th.  I imagine many of your teachers were the same.  Miss Branstetter ran to Miss Margaret Smith almost every day.  She did not have control of our class.  I will not name names, to protect their honor, but there were a few boys who made it more difficult for her to teach. 
Diane's note brought this from webmaster Bob '58 Ball:
Diane's listing of the teachers at Arnold sounds about right.  I certainly remember Miss Sisk!  I didn't remember the second grade nor the fourth grade teachers.  I really don't remember the latter having trouble managing the class, but I was pretty innocent in those days!
Possibly he was the problem? My teachers at Arnold were as follows: Miss Ann Caldwell 3rd grade, Mrs. Claudia Dell Young 4th grade, Miss Taubman 5th grade, and the inimitable Miss Margaret Smith for 6th.
Arthur '56 Knapheide sent some additional photo ID from his class photos. Others have promised to write on that subject (attn: Mary Kay Skelton Smith) but have not done so yet.
Bette Phipps '59 Thomas has declared herself Northern California Correspondent. Maybe we need reps from all regions.
Very exciting doings reported in the latest TLC!  I'm delighted to read about all the events & activities happening in L-town.  I'm just sorry Pacifica, CA (on
the No. CA coast), isn't closer to Mighty MO so I could take part.  It's also great to learn about the new storytelling group & the communications forum. (Guess I was asleep at the Mac because I don't recall reading anything about the stables, riding, etc. locale.  I can hardly wait to get  on horseback--as long as there's an extremely slow, patient, old nag for me to ride.)

Gee, I just wonder who came back to her hometown & started a newsletter that resulted in a renaissance of communications, events & activities that built a
network of eager people devoted to invigorating an entire town?  Oh, I think I know---It was YOU!  Thanks again, Susan!!!!

It's exciting for someone, such as yours truly, who has been away from L-town for 40-some years (with occasional trips back) to know that she can connect
with a family of enthusiastic TLCers via both email & trips "back home."  I'd love to attend some of the storytelling events, esp. if my cuz, Jim O'Malley, is
the storyteller.
We're working on that, Bette.

Just got back from an extended trip to Erin where we saw many tombs, high crosses, churches & esp., sheep. Even crossed a rope bridge at the Giant's Causeway & best of all, lived to make the trip (a HIGH wind had come up!).  Hadn't been there since '89 & was delighted to see the improvements resulting from the
economic upturn.  So many new houses going up, so much construction. Then there's Dublin:  I'd enjoyed Dublin on previous trips, but this time, found it to be a
vibrant, electric, exciting place.  Great food, great coffee, great Joyce exhibit (@National Library) & best of all, great shopping!!!  5 thumbs up!

Yr. No. CA Correspondent,

PS:  Why don't I see more from certain people who've made trips back to our old stomping grounds, hummmm? You know who you are!  It isn't only Mark Felt who's been revealed.  The Shadow knows & she tells all.  She's been known to make stuff up, too.............bette
Our Southern California Correspondent, Jan Jiovenale '57 Tubiolo wrote:

Whewww!  Lots going on back there!  Sounds like a full court press on marketing and it's pretty exciting to everybody, there or away.  Where are Kenny Welch's stables?  Are they on the east end of town?  Don't remember hearing about them. 

It was great to hear news from some of the 'upper classmen' or I guess I should say the 'above and beyond' classmen, since some of them were leaving LHS as we were entering.  We have friends who used to live in Sierra Vista, AZ; unfortunately, we didn't know Joe Anton was there when we visited several years ago.  They're now split up and neither one lives there anymore.

Am so pleased to see the Veteran's Memorial moving ahead so well.  Dad was pleased that we put his name in (he was in the Marines during the war), but of course doesn't exactly express high glee when he gets noticed.

I had to correct him about my wanting to see change in Lexington, but Don Stephenson sent his thoughts:
I have enjoyed your TLC's and the recent stories about the new Lexington bridge as well as some comments about the old bridge.  The last time I was in Lexington and traveled across the old bridge, I felt like I was taking my life in my hands.  An interesting note is that the old bridge is the same age as I am because I was born in 1925.  I hope I am in better shape than the old bridge; at least, nobody has yet started to dismantle me.
You may be anxious to see Lexington grow, but it's not all that bad to me to see a town stay about the same.  The town that I live in, Gilbert, Arizona, was a small town of 2500 population when I moved here in 1973.  In fact, the reason I moved here was that I wanted to live in a small town with a lot of the advantages that a small town like Lexington has.  I really enjoyed it for awhile until the town began to grow (like the rest of Arizona).  It had one high school, one junior high school, and two grade schools, and this was where my wife and I raised our youngest daughter who was only 4 years old when we moved here. 
When we moved to Gilbert, most of the land around the town consisted of farms.  Now that land is covered with houses and the population of Gilbert is about 160,000 with all the traffic congestion, etc. that comes with it.  Gilbert, Arizona for some time has been the fastest growing city in the United States and I for one would not be disappointed to see it lose this title.  Some growth may be good but not like I have seen it happen here.  So, my message to you is to appreciate the fact that Lexington isn't a rapidly growing town.
You bet I do, Don. Controlled and thoughtful growth of the right kind is acceptable, but we all like our small town ambience. We have the convenience of Big City activities not far away, but we have all the advantages of small town life here.
And that's the way it is in the old hometown where the hearts are big and the women are tiny.
Your devoted scribe,

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