TLC #109: May 4, 2008
Dear Hearts & Gentle People:
I always contend the best way to
get people to write to TLC is to include an error. Works every time. Only one
person caught a particular error in Issue #108, and I'll point that out
However, there was a tiny cog in
the works. In trying to repair one of the three address groups, I accidentally
hit "Send" - so some of you received a repeat of #108. I yelled "No, wait!" but
you know, that computer never listens.
Spring is in full force in the old
hometown. Lilacs, spirea, dogwoods, redbuds, crabapples, tulip trees...all so
gorgeous and so full. The forsythia and daffodils have finished. You know we
lost much of our blooming season last year (not to mention all of the peaches
and many of the apples) due to that late hard freeze. This year seems to make up
for it. All the blooms have been thicker and more profuse than usual, and I'm
told that does happen the year after a hard freeze. It's also been unusually
cool, and very windy.
We received a LOT of mail, so let's
This from Shirley Briggle
Miller, who along with Bill Tempel, talked me into this project 7 1/2
Another great TLC! I
hadn't realized that it's been seven years since we started all this.
Without you it would never have been a success. It's the number 108 that caught my eye, and I went into
the website to see how long it had been. Bill and I tossed it around a bit
before I contacted you. When I first asked you I was afraid you might say
something like, "You couldn't PAY me to do that!" We, sure 'nuff, you
didn't get paid, and you've done a whale of a talented and loyal job of
it. I'm depending on you to outlive us
I'll work on that. Webmeister
Bob Ball says the website is popular:
I would note that 144 unique
visitors is a pretty good number for a web site like ours. It means that
during this month, 144 different people have visited the site at least
once. (Even if someone came two dozen times during a month, they only
count as a unique visitor once. The statistics are kept on a monthly
basis.) Elsewhere on the page, it shows what hour of the day, and from
whence they arrived at the site. One thing that I'm curious about --
somebody in Estonia downloaded 154 pages during March! Why on earth...? It
must be your deathless prose!
Not very likely! But what a
mystery. Does anyone have a clue???
This in from George "Skip"
Estonia?? In the bad old days of the
cold war and the KGB, I might have worried that someone was trying to build
a "legend" for a spy!
Sounds like a great mystery story to me. The boy
from Lexington no one remembers. Skip continued:
Thanks again for sending #108 and getting me
back into the server. Just
finished reading #108. Another gem! I can imagine the lies at the
Tall Tales sessions with the athletes. I was a terrible athlete in high
school, though I hung out with guys like Bill Tempel and Larry Bland. When
the new football field was built, I got a fund-raising letter requesting that I
"buy" some square yards of turf to help fund the construction. Your name
was to be listed on the map of the new field showing where your turf
contribution was placed. I was glad to contribute, but I asked that my
turf be located at the end of our bench where I spent most of my time. I
got back this letter that said "We did some research and discovered that you
were so slow that by the time you got to the end of the bench there was no place
for you to sit. So we decided to put your turf someplace you've never ever
been--in the end zone!" Isn't it great to have buddies like
And now, having given in to my heavy-handed
pleading, a welcome letter from Larry Bland '57;
I was very pleased to learn
that my name came up as one of Lexington's notable athletes. Thank you,
Shirley Briggle Miller, for sharing Coach Bill's comments. I think all of
us that had Bill Hamann as a coach were very, very fortunate. I had a great deal
of respect for him. Shirley,
your dad was a terrific coach too. Your brother Bobby and I had lots of
great times playing on his baseball teams.
Besides the tremendous fun
in LHS athletics, the lifelong friendships I've enjoyed with former team-mates
are priceless. It was just great seeing everybody at Beverly's (Beverly
Ussery '56 Bland) 50th class reunion, and especially talking with so
many of the old team-mates I had not seen in fifty
years. The details we all still remembered about numerous games was
amazing. I wish I could remember other things equally as
Sports still play a large part
in my life. I play golf with about thirty great guys two or three times a week
. Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and in many fresh water lakes around
Panama City, FL. is also great fun. In working for Florida State
University for sixteen years, I of course became a FSU football fan. Coach
Bobby Bowden is a good friend, and he reminds me of Bill Hamann. He really
cares about his athletes and is a genuine good
I really enjoyed U of Mo.
football last year. Hope they do well again this
Thanks again for remembering me
as a notable LHS athlete. Wish I could have been there to discus LHS
athletics and athletes with all of you. A lot of fine athletes went
We finished our 3-part session on
Lexington Athletes at the most recent Tall Tales & Short Stories of
Lexington. It was a big hit. Nelson Bryant wrote his
We received TLC #108
and appreciate being back on the mailing list. Wish I could be there for
the athlete sessions. As you know I played on the teams from l946 to l949,
and I coached at the high school from l959 to l962. There have been many
good athletes play for L.H.S.
And here's another one. It was
great to receive a couple of notes from H.J. Guillia
In 1953 at Liberty, Mo, I set a
new conference record in the low hurdles at the conference track meet. Not a big
Big deal to us!
And H.J. kicks off our continuing
series on local medicine:
I worked in Dr Smiths Jr. and
Sr.'s laboratory from 1951 to 1953 under the D.O. program in Lex. High. They
taught me how to make Dentures. They also sponsored me and registered me to
attend Western Dental College in Kansas City. I never made it - moved to
Arizona. They were great guys.
Mel Fisher wrote,
remembering hanging out with Billy Cross and Bobby Paris. He said when he got in
touch with them, he would say he found their email addresses scribbled on a
bathroom wall in Block 42.
And speaking of Block 42, that's
the topic we are going to tackle at the next session of Tall Tales & Short
Stories. Y'all come! And bring your memories...or Tall Tales.
Back to the Lexington medical
community. This in from Donna Lutz Dye:
Susan, I'm the girl who walked
Judy (Ussery Johnston) to the doctor when she was hurt during recess at the
Catholic School. Not only did we walk to the doctor's office, but when we
got there the doctor was not in so they told us to go to the hospital (It must
have been newly opened)!! Wish I could remember the rest of the
story but it gets a little fuzzy---I remember walking down 16th street, laughing
about walking all afternoon but don't remember making it to the hospital.
I think we went to my house (only one block from the hospital) and called her
Can you imagine walking from the
Catholic Church with a broken wrist all the way to the Medical Clinic, then
walking all the way back to 16th Street and out to (or almost to) the
Whitney '56 Hunt wrote:
How do you find the time to
write the TLCs during tax season? I am amazed by your
energy! Excellent current TLC and also the accompanying
photos! I especially had to laugh about the one in the “photo
memories” section showing the girls’ gym class. The girl in
the front row, right, had the perfect expression on her face. It
said it perfectly---“I hate gym class and these stupid gym
suits!” Gave me a good laugh. I didn’t recognize
anyone in the photo but it could have been anytime in the
remembrances are almost entirely of Dr. Betty Slaughter. I am
still amazed by her career, more than 60 years later, in a day when you NEVER
heard of lady doctors. But strangely, at that time I never
gave it a thought. It seemed normal to me
then. When we moved to Lexington in the summer of 1943,
most of the male doctors were in the military, so Dr. Betty was our choice of
the remaining doctors. Plus she was an Osteopathic physician and my
dad (Glen Whitney) was raised in Kirksville, Mo., the home base of Osteopathy at
that time, so it seemed a natural choice. She was therefore
our family doctor for most of the many years following.
I, too, fondly
remember the house calls. That must have been the bulk of most doctors’
practices then. One summer (1948) Daddy was in Columbia, Mo, finishing up his
Master’s degree. Mother, my brother Arthur, and I all came down with the mumps
at the same time while he was gone. Of course, Dr. Betty came to the
house to nurse us through that painful episode.
I remember another
house call around the same time when she administered a new miracle drug to
me----a shot of penicillin! I’m sure that’s the first antibiotic I ever
had. She was a great one for “painting my throat” whenever I had a sore
throat, which I really dreaded. I must have had the most
advanced gag reflex on the planet. Her office visits were always $2.00,
probably right up to the time she retired. My, how times have
changed! She was a real no-nonsense doctor but kind. I
miss her and all her fellow doctors of that era----many times since I have
wished for just one more “house call”! Thanks,
Sharon Shurmantine '65 McGuinness
shares a funny Dr. Brasher story:
It was very late on a Saturday night. My mother
thought she was having labor pains, so she and my dad hopped in the car and
drove to Dr. Brasher's house. When they got there, Dr. Brasher said, "You
aren't in labor. That baby isn't due for another month. I want you
to come out and see my new baby
When my mother would tell me the story years later,
she would talk about how she just knew she was going to give birth any minute,
but Dr. Brasher insisted they go out to the barn and look at his new baby
goat. He was so excited. Whenever mother would have another pain, he
would just tell her it wasn't time and not to worry about it. It kept
getting later and later and her pains just kept coming. Finally she
convinced him she was in labor. They drove to Kansas City to St. Joseph
Hospital where I arrived a short time after midnight weighing all of 5 lbs 1/2
I heard that story so many times growing up.
Regardless of being upstaged by a goat, my mother still thought Dr. Brasher was
the best. (A note of coincidence - this all happened the night of
Saturday, December 6, and early morning of Sunday, December 7, 1947. I
believe December 6 is the day that Bobby Price was injured in that football game
I have so many, many memories of Dr. Brasher.
Another time he came out to the house. He called the drug store for
medicine from our phone and said something like, "Send everything you've
got. This whole damn family is sick."
Some sad news - Allen Entine (LHS '66 and WMA) passed
away March 26. He had suffered some health problems over the past several
years, but his death was unexpected and so sad for his family and friends.
Among many other accomplishments, Allen was a very talented photographer,
learning his trade back in the old days with complex camera equipment
and developing film in the dark room. Allen's parents were Ike Entine
(who owned Entine's Department Store along with his sister, Helen Wexler) and
Rebecca (LHS orchestra conductor in the 60's and 70's).
We have discussed the Entine family many
times in TLC. Here is Allen's obituary that ran in the K.C. Star:
Entine, 60, of Overland Park, KS, passed away Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at
his home. Funeral services will be 1:00 pm Sunday, March 30, at The Louis
Memorial Chapel, 6830 Troost Ave. Burial at Kehilath Israel Blue Ridge
Cemetery. Kindly omit flowers The family suggests contributions to
the Humane Society of Kansas City, Wayside Waifs or a charity of one's
choice. Allen taught at Slater, MO, High School, Winnetonka High School,
Southeast High School and Paseo Academy. He was also a professional
photographer, but retired from both in 2003, due to declining health.
Allen grew up in Lexington, MO and was a graduate of Lexington High
School, Wentworth Military Academy and Missouri Valley College. He was
preceded in death by his parents, Ike B. and Rebecca Entine. Allen was
also preceded in death by his beloved dogs, Gizmo, Missy, Stripe Phillip
and Molly. Allen is survived by his wife of 27 years, Debbie Entine, of
the home; brother and sister-in-law: Dr. Benjamin and Rebecca Entine,
Lynn, MA; sister and brother-in-law: Sonia and Monte Cotton, Olathe, KS;
sister: Debra Entine, Overland Park, KS: niece and nephew: Sarah and
Steven DeBruin, Overland Park, KS; father-in-law and mother-in- law:
Eugene and Clara Cohen, Kansas City, MO; brothers-in-law and sister-in-
law: Ben Cohen, Kansas City, MO; Sholom and Bryna Cohen, Pittsburgh, PA;
lifelong friend: R. Thomas Day, Edwardsville, IL; He is also survived by
many nieces, nephews, cousins and his dogs/children: Chauncey, Tia and
Tucker. Online guest book @ www.louismemorialchapel.com (Arr: The Louis
Memorial Chapel 816-361- 5211) Published in the Kansas
City Star on 3/29/2008.
And now, the winner of the contest!
Shirley Collobert Guevel wins a one-year free subscription to TLC!
I'm sure you will
hear from someone else also...Norman Vialle was the 2nd proprietor of the
Maid-Rite. Harry Bertz was the first. I think he only had it about a
year...maybe less...but he opened it.
More on Maid-Rite,
this from Jim O'Malley:
I enjoyed reading
Norman and Sophie Vialle's comments about the Maid-
Rite in TLC #108. They
are such dear people, and I owe them a lot.
During my freshman year at
Central MO State (during 1949-50) I worked
week-ends for Norman at the
Maid-Rite, and enjoyed every minute of it. I would hitchhike or catch a ride
from another student on Fridays so I could work the weekend shift. I
made enough during the weekend to pay my expenses during the week at
CMS. We had quite a crew helping Norman. O.W. Sexton was
Norman's other full time employee. They would alternate
shifts. "Ozzie" was a colorful and kind adult presence who kept
things rolling on his shift.
I worked with high school students such as
A. J. Giorza, Richard Thomas, June Kerbrat Elsea, and Bobby Pollard.
We laughed a lot, worked hard, and enjoyed the customers, who were like
family to us.
midnight rush was a thing to behold. Maud's Tavern, the 21 Club,
Tabo, and the bars on Block 42 would close at midnight, and many of the
patrons would come to the Maid-Rite for a snack before going home.
The juke box would be blaring, people would be laughing and talking loudly
over the noise, orders would come in by the gross, and invariably there
would be someone who would want a bacon and tomato sandwich. This
would break Ozzie's assembly line routine and sometimes he would say,
"....tell them we don't have any bacon and tomato
Those days were long ago but I still have a place in my
heart for Norman and Sophie, who helped me finance my freshman year
in college. I know they helped many other students besides me.
They should be in a Lexington "Hall of
Ann Larkin '56 McWilliams
Thanks to Betty Williams '56
Duncan for forwarding to me each TLC that you have been publishing for the
past 6-8 months. It is always so good to hear about old friends, teachers,
and, especially the Vialles. I was one of their "carhops" and could tell
pleasant stories all night long.
When I graduated from LHS, I
left Lexington for a trip into the "wild blue yonder" with the Air Force. I had
my basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Tx. Of course
I missed my family to a degree but missed the tenderloins from Maid-Rite more.
On my first leave home, Mom drove me straight to Maid-Rite so I could indulge in
my dream meal. When she came to visit to other states, a Vialle tenderloin came
with her. Yes, it was cold but still delicious. Little pleasant memories
live on with us, thanks to Norman and Sophie.
Please make sure I am added to
your mailing list. Betty tried 3 times before I got #108, but bless her, she did
it. And a big thank you for letting us refresh our memories so that they are as
vivid as if they happened yesterday.
For those of you who live in or
around Arizona - or winter there - former resident Joe Anton has a
band called Desert Swing. I believe there is a photo of the band on our web pages.
The photo was taken Wednesday 16
April 2008. The band Desert Swing was started in the early 1980's,
and we played our first paid engagement in 1989. Have been going strong
ever since. We have had our ups and downs with personnel coming and going
but have managed to keep going. I've walked up to strangers and asked them
what musical instrument did they play when younger and got a few for the band
that way. I have a list of players who are available and those that need a
bit more practice before being proficient to meet our standards. I've done
trading with other bands to obtain music and then I have bought new tunes to
have a balanced library. We play music 20's through 60's.
Swing's reputation is top notch at present, and I strive to keep it
way. We are the only big band in Cochise county and the county is
large and mainly agriculture. Tucson has three big bands and
one I know of and am sure they have more. Sierra Vista is
population and I consider myself lucky to have organized and
a big band. There are 18 ~ 5 saxophones, 8 brass, 4
rhythm and a
female vocalist who joined us in January of this year.
There is talent in this
area, but getting some of the musicians is hard due
to their work schedule.
Most of our jobs are in the spring and fall
season. Summers are quite warm,
but it is a dry heat with
humidity only in July/August during our monsoon season. My belonging to the
Knights of Columbus has helped too, in that I get to use the hall for
rehearsals, and we rehearse every Monday evening 7 to 9 pm, except holiday
Mondays. A lot of the churches have musicians for their services and I
have gleamed some of them. Okay if we don't have a job on a Sunday
I started a call list of people interested in hearing the band
when playing publicly and since that took time on the phone, I obtained their
e-mail address and send our program to them and those don't have e-mail I must
call on the phone. Also publicize in different newsletters as well as the
newspapers. One good one is the newsletter the electric company puts out
with their monthly billing statement as everyone gets an electric bill.
Wasn't it fun to see that photo of the old Odessa Ice Cream Shop? Mary
Kay Wilcoxon '58 Gooseman has been faithful with her photography
through the years, and we should all be very grateful some of these places have
been recorded. She wrote:
Here is a comment on the 'old'
Odessa vs. the 'new.' It is the SAME building, that was moved to the
present location in the late 1940s. I remember when it was moved so that
Mattingly's could build the warehouse.
I am simply amazed. Mary Pat
Gueguen '58 Miller also was amazed, at the gym suits!
I loved the picture of the blue
gym shorts from p.e. class. I see many familiar faces but no names come to
me. However, my oldest sister, Sharon, is right in the middle of the
picture, hands on VERY SMALL WAIST, left knee cocked in a little, striking
her familiar dramatic pose, cute smile. Her class was 1953. (Oh, the
mysterious ways of those 25" waists. WHERE DO THEY GO???) I can say
that. She's my sister and we all have the same
No comment on that, but I will say
the gym suits are one memory we're glad to relinquish.
Happy Spring, everyone - write
Your dedicated scribe,
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