Dear Hearts & Gentle People:
We "sprang" our clocks forward in the old hometown and are welcoming the first few days of Spring after a rather difficult winter. But during the welcoming we must also say some farewells to Lexington legends and other valued persons.
The most recent loss is Mildred Hulver '41 Burns. Her brother Wally '55 Hulver wrote:
Mildred passed away last night (Tuesday 3/16) at her home after battling cancer for the past two years. Services will be held this weekend at the Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home, 1720 South Street, Lexington, MO 64067, phone 660-259-2245. Visitation will be Saturday 3/19 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the funeral will be on Sunday 3/20 at 2:00 p.m. Memorials may be made to The Charles Lyons Foundation or The Margaret Gray Center. Memorials may be sent to the funeral home for delivery. You may read her obituary in the Kansas City Star Friday, 3/18. I would appreciate your forwarding this information to your family, friends and people who knew Mildred---which were many.....as she was an institution.
Several people wrote about Kent Hicklin '51. This from Liz Bertz '51 Fenner:
I was shocked to see in the paper that Kent Hicklin had died. I called his sister, Virginia Thieman, in Concordia. She said that he came in and said he felt like he was going to pass out, sat down and died. He was such a handsome guy and remained so through his older years. I last saw him at our reunion five years ago. Kent and I wrote the class ('51) prophecy for our yearbook. He predicted that I would be the first woman to go to the moon or some such thing about outer space. I'm sure you will want to send out the notice of his death on TLC.
And this from Jack Gueguen:
Kent was a buddy in the class of ’51. He’s the second of our quartet (“The Four Roses”) to pass on, following Larry Marcks. Mike and I remain. I found the following in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Donald Kent Hicklin, 76, of Henderson, NV, passed away suddenly at home Feb. 4, 2011. Kent was born May 13, 1934, in Lexington, MO, and was a 14-year resident of Nevada. Kent served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet pilot and was a retired public administrator. Kent was known for his integrity, honesty, hard work, and "as a true gentleman." Kent was preceded in death by his brother, Jack. He is survived by his wife, Lucille; children, Heather and Steve and Steve's partner Phillip Hillenbrand; stepchildren, Patrick, Shawn and Kevin Mowry and Kelly Johnson; sisters, Eileen Belcher, Virginia Thieman and Marilyn Miller. Per Kent's request, no services or memorial are scheduled. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Safe Nest Domestic Abuse Shelter, (702) 646-4981 or Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, UT 84741.
The following is a lovely report written by retired pastor George B. Gordon about services for his classmate Joyce Mason, who died recently.
Last Saturday afternoon, Dave Goodloe, L.H. Dickmeyer, Lawrence Smith and I attended the service for Joyce at the Second Baptist Church in Lexington. The church, which holds somewhat over 200 people, was filled to overflowing with 300 people at the least. It was truly standing room only.
The service was a beautiful tribute to Joyce as very giving, loving and capable person in her family, church and work. The service included two beautiful and powerful solos, letters of appreciation for Joyce from other Baptist churches in the region and many brief tributes by local ministers, ministers in her family, her niece, her granddaughter, and her son.
I was asked to offer a tribute on behalf of our class. I was thankful that I had thought that this might be a possibility, so I had some thoughts in the back of my mind and a copy of Margie's announcement to us of Joyce's passing. I had also spoken with Celeste Johnson by phone several days earlier. She spoke so fondly of Joyce also. So I was somewhat prepared. I shared Margie's affirmations on Joyce in her note and Celeste's thoughts of fondness for Joyce and added several of my own. I mentioned what a good experience we had at our recent 50th reunion and how appreciative we were of all of Joyce's contributions to that wonderful event, even in a period of limited strength for her.
Her minister did an exceptionally fine job of weaving all of these thoughts together in his final remarks. As you might understand that it was a lengthy service, but there was not a moment of the time that was not poignant and filled with love for Joyce.
I trust that her family felt a tremendous outpouring of love and support. I know that all gifts to the church in Joyce's honor will be deeply appreciated. Our class sent a bud vase with red and blue flowers along with a sympathy note.
Our former LHS teacher, Martha Turner Viebrock (wife of Norman), also died this month. And another teacher, Anna Rutherford (wife of the late Kenneth) lost her grandson. If you would like to contact her, the address is 2600 E. 3rd St, Tucson, AZ 85716.
If I am asked to report a death by a family member or close friend, I will do so. It isn't always possible to get the news out quickly, though. It may look as if I just dash these TLCs off in a few minutes, but it does take some time. Please know I do try to please everyone.
Shirley Collobert '50 Guevel sent an inquiry:
I just wondered...did I miss it or have you not noted the death of Dorothy Helm Goosetree, Class of 1950? I don't remember the date, but it wasn't too long before Mary Margaret Ruehter Riley. Dorothy had evidently been in a nursing home in Richmond for some time before she died.
The recent Tabo Reunion Dance was a lot of fun. Some great pictures of the place had been found and some stories were told. And hearing the music that I so loved to dance to was great. Brought back a lot of memories. The crowd was small, I think because of the awful weather that was predicted for that night. Rumor has it that there will be another Tabo Dance later this year.
And speaking of dances, our favorite Krazy Cats were in town on Saturday. Don Armbruster was in attendance:
Some of you all will remember this group and the times we had at their dances 50 some years ago. One guy, Skip Wilson (Higginsville) drove up from Branson for tonight's dance. Sally and I walked across the street.
(See the photo on our website.)
John Rostine commented on our memories of 18th & South Streets.
Thanks for the TLC. I remember the Dankers Building on 18th St. I was senior in high school, working one-half day, called Diversified Education (later Co-operative Education, COE). My Dad was Streets Commissioner, and Henry Dankers was Mayor of Lexington. Henry had a cabinet shop in that building, and my Dad met with Henry every morning to get his orders for the day. I can't remember Pete's Market.
Correct me if my memory is faulty (how could that be?), but Dankers Apartments was on that corner. I believe Mr. Dankers' shop was on the first level. One room was dedicated to Pete's Market (Pete Hood), and the apartments were above. I don't know how long Mr. Hood had his market - must have been late 1940s or very early 1950s, and I don't know how long that building stood. Now it is a much-needed parking lot for the Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home.
Private note to Vicki Gooseman '70 Pena from the editor:
Thanks for the very nice compliment.
The grocery store in Dover and the crash of the B-17 stirred a lot of memories!
From Jack Gueguen:
I remember very well when that B-17 crashed near Lexington. All of us boys rushed out to see it before it could be “secured” by the military authorities from Knob Noster. We were proud of the “souvenirs” we carried away—until we were ordered to return them. That plane was as close as we ever got to WWII. Maybe it’s what inspired Adam Simonetti and me to write a fake “Jap” spy warning which we left “surreptitiously” at the Court House. Nobody was fooled, although your dad put a little notice about it in the paper (without identifying any “suspects”).
The family had just returned to Lexington after two years in K.C. and were living temporarily at the old McIntyre Boarding House on N. 10th St. In the City there were occasional air raid tests (no light emitted from any source). We boys enjoyed patrolling the streets around 37th and Wayne with the helmeted wardens.
The Whittier verse (in the last issue) was perfect for the blizzard many of you experienced earlier this week. St. Louis was again “on the edge.” We got just three and a half inches of sleet (plus the wind and low temperatures). But that created a beautiful thing to look out at all day Tuesday. And early today we got an unexpected 3-inch covering of snow that makes it even more beautiful.
This experience gives the little kids of western and central Missouri something to “build on” in their later years when they tell their grandkids about “the great blizzard of ’11.” My Grandpa Mallot used to tell us when the snow was so deep that boys could walk across the fences, and when the ice was so thick that teams and wagons could cross the river. Anyway, beware the spring floods that are bound to follow this.
Jack, at least in Lexington we do not worry about our homes being flooded.
Wayne Tabb recalls:
I remember that B-17 plane crash. I was there. The news traveled fast and I was one of the first to trek through the river bottoms in ankle deep gumbo to reach the crash site. I got there before there was anyone to guard the plane and I was all over it. I climbed inside and picked up an oxygen mask and brought it home. I still have a twisted piece of aluminum from one of the wings. The story about Lexington's city lights being mistaken for a runway is not accurate though. The location of the crash site was north of the river about 2 or so miles east of old highway 13 about half way between where 13 is now and where it used to be and it was slightly downstream across the river from Lexington. The plane did crash in the willows but was traveling SOUTH instead of north as would be the case in the account by Lou Michel's. At that time the Lexington airport was east of 13 instead of west, maybe a mile from the highway right in line with the flight path of the bomber. The local story at the time was that the pilot was trying to land at the airport and mistook Henrietta for the airport when they ran out of fuel. The lights that were mistaken for a runway were not Lexington's main street lights, but were lights from Henrietta. If the plane had run out of fuel over Lexington at such a low level there would not have been enough altitude left to glide that far and do a 180 to land where it did, and an experienced pilot would never try to make a turn that low to the ground. If the plane had skidded a few hundred feet more it would have ended up in the river. Several days later there was a memo sent to all of the schools advising anyone to return any souvenirs taken from the crash site. There were threats connected to not returning stolen materials. It scared me enough to return the oxygen mask. I kept the scrap aluminum though.
Their personal memories are much more entertaining. But Wayne found the official report:
LOST IN MISSOURI
Having completed the Borinquen-Morrison Field leg of a trip from the Advance Base to Grand Island, First Lieutenant Reuben W. Carlton on 26 January 1945, filed IFR clearance for B-17F number 42-5330 direct to Grand Island at 8,000 feet. Aboard were eight other members of Lieutenant Carlton's crew, number 1115 of the 411th Bombardment Squadron and 10 passengers.
The official narrative report of the accident states: "After leaving Morrison Field, the flight en route was normal and on course as far as Springfield, Missouri, where the pilot noticed he was running short of fuel. He was then flying (CFR) Contact Flying Regulations and states he could see Springfield, Missouri Airport and the city of Springfield very well. Because of shortage of fuel, he inquired of Springfield radio what facilities were on hand as well as length of runways and condition of field contemplating a landing at this airport, but pilot states he again checked his fuel and felt he could make Kansas City easily. At this time while over Springfield, pilot asked Navigator for a course to Kansas City and was given a reply of 325 degrees M. by Navigator. Pilot misunderstood 325 degrees for 335 degrees and flew this heading from Springfield, Missouri toward Kansas City. This error in compass heading of 10 degrees plus a wind shift and the fact that pilot at various times, from statements made, was flying a heading of 315 degrees and very poor visibility, aggravated and caused pilot and aircraft to go off course 50 miles east of Kansas City at the time their ETA (Expected Time Arrival) was up, and to be temporarily lost.
At this time, navigator discovered they were over the Missouri River and knew they were East of Kansas City but did not know how far. Later investigation showed this distance to be approximately 50 miles. He noticed through the haze below them lights that were believed to be runway lights on an airport and it was decided it must have been Kansas City. At the same time one engine had quit running because of lack of fuel. They descended to 4,000 feet and again checked so-called runway lights and were sure it was a runway but not Kansas City. Pilot decided to land and states he entered a traffic pattern, lowered his wheels, started on final approach, dropped his flaps and went approximately 150 feet above end of runway. When ready to land, observed that what they thought to be runway lights were street lights with rows of houses on either side of street in a small town. He immediately applied power and proceeded to climb at the same time losing another engine from lack of fuel. He continued on a short distance and states he knew he was going to run out of fuel on the remaining two engines at any minute. He observed what he thought to be a corn field in front of him, crash landed the aircraft, wheels up, in what later proved to be the willow marshes running parallel to the Missouri River, approximately three miles northeast of Lexington, Missouri."
There were no casualties in this accident. In summarizing its findings the Investigating Board stated: "This Board finds this airplane commander one hundred percent (100%) responsible for this accident and loss of aircraft due to poor flight planning and judgment." It further censured the pilot for: a) Calculating fuel consumption improperly. b) Attempting to make Kansas City instead of landing at Springfield, or at Sedalia Army Air Field, which was on the route and whose beacon should have been visible from the air.
It also laid part of the responsibility on the Morrison Field Base Operations Officer. Its recommendation stated: "This accident board recommends that this airplane commander and all pilots be given more thorough instruction on cruise control data. That this pilot responsible for this crash attend a flight planning course and be reduced from first pilot status until more experience and responsibility as airplane commander be accomplished and that clearing authority for this flight be reprimanded and made to realize its responsibilities on clearing long range flight by closer observation of Form twenty three's for in this case the accident and total wreck of this B-17 could have been averted in the Operations Office."
Now, on to the Dover general store!
John Kent '59 Beltram:
I believe the owner was "Red" Hurtz or Hertz? I played college football with his twin grandsons in the sixties.
John '57 Lefman:
A 1981 Lexington phone book lists a Schumaker General Store in Dover.
The store in Dover was Thee's.
Bill Flanigan '45 of Dover
The store was originally opened and operated by a Mr. Miller, first name Ed, I believe. Two of his daughters, Betty Jean and Phyllis Ann went to Dover School from 1937 to about 1948. The store building was converted from a church and was indeed a general store and was red.
We left Dover in 1950 and moved to California, returning to the Lexington area in 1998. I don't know how many owners there were after the Millers, but the Schumakers were running the business in the 1980's and maybe later.
From Wally Hulver:
The General Store in Dover was owned and operated by the Shoemaker family can't remember his first name.
Mickey said the store and owners were Schumachers and it was called Schumachers. Hope I spelled it right. Sure glad to see TLC back.
Franklin Duffett '63:
My brother forwards your TLC's to me and if possible I would like to get on your email list. I enjoy reading your emails as I know several of your readers and people you speak of in your writings. My oldest brother was Robert (Bob) Duffett. He was 5 yrs older than me and I think he graduated from LHS in '58.
In response to one of your readers' questions regarding the general store in Dover - if memory serves me right the owner's nickname was "Poggy," and it seems his last name was Schumaker but I'm not real certain of that. I don't remember the name of the general store - we always just called it Poggy's, but it was very unique w/its wood floors; meat & cheese counter and he would slice however much you wanted. And it was a red brick building. Thanks for your TLC's and all the memories.
Isn't it interesting how many different answers were submitted - and all of them correct, I assume. It all depends on the era.
Bob Ball raised a number of questions with this one:
item of interest I recently found is a Lafayette County Directory, 1913.
It's in bad exterior shape but the interior pages are all there.
Inside the fly leaf is written "Property of Lexington
Mercantile Co. 'The Quality Store'." Lots of
advertising, much of it repeated over and over, and it lists the residents of
Lexington, Higginsville, Odessa, and Concordia. Apparently Wellington,
Waterloo, Napoleon, and Dover were uninhabited or perhaps did not have phones
yet? It also lists Land Owners around the county.
Did you know that Lexington contained the Lexington Flouring Mills? Or that the Lexington Savings Bank had a capital of $50,000 and Surplus and Profits of $35,000? How about that Aull and Aull (Wm Sr & Wm Jr) were attorneys-at-law in the Traders Bank bldg? With a telephone number of 62? And that Aull Wm Jr was the "pros atty" with offices in Traders Bank bldg. They both lived at 1706 Main tel 68.
Shirley Briggle '53 Miller:
Great start with Whittier. And the pictures were (I can't help it) hilarious. You may have noticed we've had a bit of surprise weather in Dallas as a welcome for the Super Bowlers. Ice and snow or not, there are going to be more than 100,000 people on the road to the stadium today, and I'm not going to be one of them. But it was touching of them to celebrate my birthday with such fanfare.
Jan Jiovenale '57 Tubiolo:
love all the TLC's and have diligently saved each one (hope I have them
all, but haven't checked). I especially loved the poem beginning this one
because it visually took me right back to winter nights watching snow fall
through the windows and seeing it reflected under the street lights. They
bring 'home' back to me every time a new issue comes out.
As to songs reminding me of high school, as usual, can't narrow it to ONE (must be the Gemini factor), but two do stand out: "Sh-Boom" of course (never gave a thought to how silly it sounded), and, from prom night, "A White Sport Coat and A Pink Carnation". Funny though, two popular singers that spring to mind from that era are pretty opposite: Pat Boone and Little Richard.
Don't have any recollection of a B-29 crashing in Lexington, or even ever heard of one, but I became close friends with a man who flew in the B-29's in the Pacific during the war. From what Gordon Tresch related, he may well have flown with my friend Orville Blackburn (another warrior who passed away last year at age 86). Tossing in my two cents, if they thought the Main Street lights looked like a runway, they would most probably have been traveling west to east and crashed somewhere east of town, since flying the other direction might have put them in the bottoms along old hwy. 24 below Myrick. That was where they would be most likely to find willow trees, but if they didn't mention the river, it was probably the other direction. Maybe you'll find out from somebody who actually knows. Blessings on your pen!
And now, a new feature: Whatever Became of..... (You may fill in the blank.)
We have two entries this issue. First is from Bette Phipps '59 Thomas
I was friends with Linda Kerbrat in 7th and 8th grades. I wonder if she was related to June Kerbrat Elsea? I never saw Linda after 8th grade and wondered what'd happened to her. If anybody knows, please tell me.
And the other inquiry comes from Gary Paul Johnston '57. Gary is looking for Gilbert Hughes, also '57. They were quite good friends in school and remained in touch until recent months/years. Gilbert lived in Henrietta, but Gary has lost him. Gilbert may have moved to northern Missouri. Anyone know?
Okay, you sleuths: Let's find Linda Kerbrat '59 and Gilbert Hughes '57!
Oby (or Bobby Dean) Paris wrote for the first time:
I would really appreciate it if you would put me back on recipient list--changed my email address and forgot to tell you--sure do like getting the old home town updates. Thank you very much. Robert D. Paris (Bobby Dean and/or Oby)
From Jim O'Malley:
Have you ever heard of Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen? She lived in County Mayo, Ireland in the late 1500s. Here's a series of 6 videos from the Discovery Channel about her. Each section is about 10 minutes. She was quite a colorful lady. My grandfather, Peter O'Malley, lived in Louisburgh, County Mayo, Ireland and came to the States when he was 16. Mayo is on the west coast of Ireland on Clew Bay. There are some beautiful scenes of Clew Bay in this series. Enjoy! Jim O'Malley
Our Lexington Admirer Don Barrott wrote:
Just wanted to say I enjoyed the last newsletter. It was nice to read other's comments about my submission of memories. I already e-mailed Bob Heggestad back in November regarding the building where my Aunt Denise lived, hopefully he received my message.
Thanks again for putting together this newsletter.......I sure do enjoy reading all of everyone's memories, and sharing my own. Perhaps we can meet up when I am down home for the Battle re-enactment in September.
Which reminds me to have you mark on your calendars - the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Lexington. The reenactment and associated festivities will take place Sept. 16-18. Be there!
Don McGowan '57:
Thank you also for your nice compliment.
Put your thinking caps back on. Shirley Collobert Guevel needs some information:
I am trying to find out about the Russell, Majors & Waddell memorial/monument that is on the corner of the hospital grounds, opposite the Battlefield entrance. It is a Conestoga wagon with oxen on a rock base. There is a plaque with information about the freighting firm, but no date or name as to who put it there. Would it be possible to send out the information to your list of people to see if there is anyone out there that might have information? I have talked to everyone in Lexington, City, Hospital, Roger Slusher, and a bunch of people that might have information and no one does. The only info I have is that Kathy VanAmburg remembers her mother talking about it and she says it was done by a Lexington High School art teacher...but she doesn't know when or why. John Morrison says he painted it as a boy scout about 1940 and it was rusted then. Several of us think it might have been done in the late 30's. School has no records of who the art teachers were, the City has no record of what happened on College Park property, and it was Park property before the hospital and the memorial was there before the hospital was built, so I am grasping at straws. But possibly someone out there might know something.
It was good to hear from Mae Neece '56 Johnson, who wrote about her nephew the new author:
Gary Neece is the son of George & Sylvia Neece, nephew of Mae Neece Johnson and her siblings -- all originally from Lexington. After graduating summa cum laude from college, Gary was employed by the Tulsa Police Department and presently heads their Vice Squad. Gary has written his first book, COLD BLUE, about corruption, and is well into his second book. Having discovered that he likes writing, Gary is hoping to become a full time writer once he retires from the police force. COLD BLUE can be purchased through Amazon.com. It can also be ordered through various book stores. The above web site can be accessed to read an article about Gary and watching a video (click book) interview conducted by Tulsa's Channel 6.
Mae writes further: Gary has had a very rewarding and successful career in law enforcement and plans to become a full time writer when he retires in two years, after twenty years of service with the Tulsa Police Department.
Catherine Bost Johnston also wrote for the first time:
Mae Neece Johnson, Arlington, VA, sent me this memo, that you were taking articles of us Lexington classmates and memories. I worked at Mode O’ Day, went to school, then worked at the Bus Station at night from 6 to 10 p.m. I remember you, but not sure if you remember me. I think I was one year ahead of you graduating. I just turned 73 in Feb. I have a very good life with my husband, Jim Johnston, who owned a United Super in Richmond, Mo. I was married to John W. Wright, Highway Patrolman for 20 years, had 3 boys - Dale, John and Clay. Now I am married to Jim, and have been married to him for over 33 years. I’m very happy, now living in Gladstone, Mo., a suburb of KC. We’ve lived here 31 years. I lost one son, Clay, at age 23, two weeks before he graduated MU. I have two other sons, Dale, age 52, of Key Largo, FL and John, Jr. 51, of Houston, TX. They are both doing well. John has two daughters, one will get her Master's in May, and will be getting married on July 10 in Houston. The other will be a senior at Texas Tech in Lubbock this Fall. Christie is in College at Texas A&M in College Station. Her husband to be is in Med School to become an Orthopedic Surgeon. Erin, the younger one, will get her Master’s Degree in one more year, after her Senior year in College. I’m so proud of my kids and grandkids. They have all done very well. Someday, we may move nearer to one of our sons, but are not there yet.
Lexington brings very great memories of my growing up years. I have so many lasting friends and memories. I worked for the Airlines at KCI for 34 years, both for Braniff, then Continental. I retired in Dec. 1991, as I fell down some steps and ended up having 2 hip replacements and a knee replacement, and therefore could not lift luggage to the Bag Belt, as I worked at the Ticket Counter and Gates. It was an exciting career, and I still have lots of friends, who were my weekly customers. I worked “First Class” along with the Elite Mileage Program Customers, whom all knew me well and I knew them. It truly was an exiting job.
And a newcomer to Lexington is welcomed into the fold. His name is Chris Campbell:
I've just moved to Lexington and found your website. I've truly enjoyed reading several past newsletters and am glad to live in such a wonderful, charming town with so much history. Please add me to your email distribution list for the newsletter.
Welcome aboard, Chris, and welcome to Lexington.
There. That ought to keep you all reading for a while. I apologize for the unexplainable change in font and size. Content, People, content!
Your devoted scribe,