TLC #21: July 24, 2001
Dear Hearts & Gentle (but impatient!)
Comments on our "scandalous" past continue to
come in, so here we go:
First, my query to Jim
I was under the impression
that there was a bawdy house on Franklin, in the brick house between
Roberts Drug Store and Morrison's Bike Shop. Among us worldly 10-yr-olds
who had some vague idea of what "doing it" meant, we thought
there was something about a blue line drawn in chalk in front of a
"house" or the well-known red light on the porch? Anything to
that, o worldly one? ( I don't want everyone laughing at me for believing
these things that the sophisticated 11-yr-olds I hung out with told me.)
Hi Susan, Believe it or not, my family
also lived next to the residence
you're speaking of on Franklin St. In
June, '42 when we moved from 10th St. we moved into an upstairs flat at 1122 and
1/2 Franklin, two doors down (and up one flight) from Walker's Drug Store
(Clarence Walker). The Standard Press (Arlie Schenewerk) was next to
Walker's, and then there was what later was the Thompson Music Co. (Frank
Thompson.....he operated juke boxes in the area.). We lived
upstairs. The next building to us was the place you're asking
about. The lady in question (Her first name was Esther) had a beauty shop
there and seemed to lead a rather private life. She was always very pleasant
with us. In 1947 or so she bought a new black Packard Clipper automobile
and took us for a ride in it. What a neat car it was. She took
in roomers, in fact, a friend of mine who taught
the 1954 school year in
Corder lived there with his wife for a short time. They didn't seem to see
anything out of the ordinary. I don't personally recall any events or
evidence that she was into prostituion, of course I'm talking about events from
the time I was about 12 until I was 16. Seems like I do remember seeing one of
her employees sun bathing in her backyard, but you can't fault a person for
I've never heard of the blue chalk thing. Sounds like a
story to me. A drunk out of towner looking for some
action at 2am wouldn't be able to see a blue chalk mark on the sidewalk
anyway! As to the red light, maybe the practice could have come from the
early railroading days when a red lantern might have been the signal for an
engineer to stop his train, All I remember (very vaguely, at that) from my 10th
St. years is a porch light burning at Helen's at night. Just a plain porch
Isn't it amazing what a nice Irish Catholic boy experienced while
he was growing up! Those eight years in the Immaculate Conception Catholic
School in Lexington with those wonderful (most of them) Franciscan nuns can
prepare you for anything! Do you think St. Francis of Assisi would be the
least bit troubled by a little vice around the corner or across the street?
St. Francis would probably have laid so much
Christian love on them that their lives would have changed forever!
From, well, you figure it
Greetings to one and all! From July
16 until August 25 I'll be "vacationing" in New England, which means
doing a little teaching of philosophy, a little reading, a little relaxing, a
lot of discussing and socializing in the company of mostly younger people at
Arnold Hall Conference Center near the shore of Cape Cod Bay in the old Plymouth
Colony. I hope there will also be some good family times with the
Boston-Providence branch. Since I'll be out of reach by
anything you send me won't be read until late August. If you need
reach me for any reason, the Arnold Hall phone number will eventually
message to me: (781) 826-5942. Remember that there are more
substantial means of keeping in touch than e-mail and telephone. I intend
to use them to the full and hope you will do likewise.
I'll look forward to rejoining the
"network" in late August and especially hearing how the reunion
goes. It will probably take me a month to get out from under the pile of
accumulated messages and regular mail. I hope everyone is into a great
summer and will have equally exciting things to do "on
I hope you are having an interesting,
unstressful summer, and even doing a
little resting. I look forward to
hearing all about it on my return to the
John, Jack, Uncle Jack,
and even "Professor"
More from him:
On the continuing interest in
Tabo: Once I saw a map of the early settlement of western Missouri and
found the creek's name spelled Terre-Beau (beautiful land), which was eventually
condensed into "T-beau" and then "Tabo." In our family
we knew it (in the '30s and '40s) as a popular place for fishing and picnicking,
especially among the old-timers.
This is in response to Barbara
(Tabb): I have only the faintest recollection of the "bunking"
parties my sisters used to have. As I was always teasing them, I'm sure
they (and their friends) found clever ways to "retaliate." But I
know I was the big offender in that regard, being "older
brother." I tried to make amends by sending them small checks for
pocket money when they were in college.
I want to add my confirmation
to Slick Heathman's comment about how dangerous the bar on 10th St. was.
One Saturday evening I was walking down Main St. about 11pm. and a terrible set
of screams and shouts were coming from inside and in front of this bar. I
stopped to watch the activities for a while and I was most impressed that all of
the Lexington police came to the top of the hill and did some shouting of their
own but not one would venture down the hill to the front or the interior of the
bar. They seemed to have the utmost of "respect" for this
place. Tabo was a "Sunday School" by
And from his
Loretta Gueguen Broker,
Love that Flo and Dave!!
Are you serious about reopening the shop??
(Ed: If you girls are serious about
waitressing again.) I had guessed Tabo,
too, as "that infamous
place", not from personal experience, but from tales I'd heard. The
only time I was there was when I was very small and my Daddy took his parents,
my Gramma and Grampa Gueguen, and old Mrs. Lejeune, and probably my Grampa
Mallot to Tabo Creek for fishing. Must be the same one, huh? I LOVED
hearing their the old stories in their French accent. Wish I had paid more
Norma Wilson Gadt:
Thanks so much for bringing
back all those memories. One night at Tabo one of my girlfriends and I
were sitting in a booth having a 3-2 beer when in walked Brownie Rolf, the
Liquor Inspector at that time. My beer was immediately put away in a hole
in the wall (the decor was very adequate for times like this), and my friend
didn't have time. Brownie took the bottle of beer she was
drinking, and her to the police station, called her parents to come get
her, and that taught us both a big lesson. I felt very fortunate she
didn't tell on me.
Yes, the restrooms were really
something! How many of you women knew that the men's restroom had a
peek-hole in it to see in the women's restroom? I didn't learn that for
many years later.
There was something special
about Tabo. It didn't have the nice level floor, fancy restrooms, bands
every night, nor a fancy front, but it had atmosphere. That atmosphere is
hard to come by. I can't recall anyplace having
that style. It's a shame it was thought of so poorly by some, but as some
have said the 'old timers' had a stigma about that place. I remember times
when the restrooms were flooded, and to relieve yourself it was do or die across
the highway behind a car. That was, if nobody was
I attended Arnold School in the
second grade, can't remember the teacher's name, and met some great kids
there. My third & fourth were at Central. Third with Mrs.
Torrence, and fourth under Mrs. Baird -- remember her?
I'm wondering if Sharon Gueguen
remembers the Halloween Party held at Bonnie Beissenherz's when we were in grade school.
Sharon was the fortune teller, and told me I would meet a tall blonde guy and
someday marry him. Wonder if she realizes how psychic she really
was. I believe we were in the third grade at the time.
The most notorious attitude
about Tabo that I recall is the number of young people that either died or were
injured in car wrecks coming back from there. Does anyone else remember
Bobbi (Ingle) Rice:
I ran across a picture taken
graduation day 1949, which brought back fond memories: Elizabeth Briggle,
Sophie Kehress, Bobbi Ingle, Carolyn Heghin, Ann Kelly, Kari Bruce, Patty
Hughes, Tonia (Beltram) Ballard.
back as an adult, years in Lexington (through fourth grade at Arnold and again
in 1948--1951) were a good experience and have enjoyed return visits to see my
cousin Jan (Rider) McCoy and her family. Nothing seems to replace
childhood memories, friendships and family as evidenced by TLC. Different
perspectives of the pool hall and Tabo are interesting and wasn't aware that
they were such "bad" and "forbidden" places. Although
having resided in CA since 1951, I still feel that Lexington is part of my
ARN OLD ARNOLD ARNOLD YESSIREE!!!!!
Still have black spots in my knee from falling in the cinders on the playground!
However, if all of you will think back when we finally had a grade school
football team ARNOLD always won!!!! Just about cried when they turned the old
place into an apartment building.
Ed: I also have cinders embedded in my knee. Anyone
Loretta Gueguen Broker,
Greetings to all fellow
Lexingtonians! I have really enjoyed the "history" lessons from
everyone's contributions. Something that has not been mentioned that holds
a special place in my heart is the "minstrel shows" first held on the
stage of the Mainstreet Theatre. My earliest memory goes back to when I
must've been 4 or 5 years old (1946-47) and played a pickininny dressed in a
white costume that matched my sister Sharon's, (which our mother made, of
course) was black-faced and had my hair in pigtails all over my head.
These were great musicals that were community affairs. And then of course
there were the high school Minstrels with "end men" Don Coen and
Wally Hulver. Those were so great and I really don't think any of us
considered what we were doing as controversial or racist--it was just what was
Later, after the Civil Rights
Act passed, we had Variety Shows with Miss Mautino directing each one, am I
right? Can we ever forget how we all tormented that poor woman and almost
drove her to the edge??? Remember where she kept her hanky to cry
in??? Did Mrs. Seiter direct any of these, or did she just concentrate on
drama? Anyway, those were special events in my high school career and I still
remember the words to those wonderful old songs, which by the way I use often in
my ministry as Activity Director in a nursing home. I actually get paid to
"perform" and we all love it!!
Let's hear it from all of you
#20 bring back memories!! You have the advantage of inserting your
editorial comments along the way. I'll save my interjections about Tabo,
Arnold/Central and our public school education for the issue after you include
the attached one.
Well I finaly got a date to talk to
the Dr. in Tulsa. Aug.23 then we will set a date for surgery. Will keep you
Need a little help on lexington.
What was the name of the dept. store on the corner of 12th & Main? A lumber
yard I believe was across the street. Also the name of whatever was on the
corner of 12th & Franklin, some kind of a tin shop or blacksmith. I want to
write to Susan on a couple of things. Remember the frozen food locker close to
Walker drug store, there was a vacant lot between
Roger and Sue Cousins '55
Cox's was the name of the store at 12th and Main, right
across the street from Russell's Lumber Yard. Gene Vialle had a grocery store on
the corner of 11th and Franklin and right next to it was the Frozen Food Locker
where Jack Salyer worked.Then there was a large vacant lot, then the phone
company and then Walkers' Drug Store. I can't remember what was on the corner.
On the South corner of 11th and Franklin was Wingates,'
then Franklin Cleaners, then something, then the Bus Station and on the other
corner was Winklers Furniture Store. On the other side of the street was the
fire station, City Hall and the jail. I am not certain, but I think it was
Paynes' Shoe Repair Shop.
Barbara (Tabb) Jarman has a pretty good memory of a lot
of things in Lexington as they used to be. By the way, do you remember the
little duck pin bowling alley they opened in the building next to the open lot
where we played baseball? When that closed, remember the Henry J Dealership they
put in there? If I remember correctly, I think Mike Malos' dad had something to
do with it. That's where Pat Stephenson has his boat dealership now, and he
parks his boats all over what used to be our baseball lot. He also bought my
folks' old place, tore it down, and parks boats there.
And now some "snail mail"
This entry arrived by mail from Mrs. Beverly Ann Kelly
1930s and 40s our old bridge was very nice and kept up. On the dome of the
bridge were all colors of lights, like a Christmas tree. These lights went
across the top of the domes and down the
latter part of 40s and 50s they couldn't get enough men to replace the lights
because they didn't want to climb that high to change the light bulbs. The
Lexington people were so proud of this bridge.
The bridge could be seen for a great
grandmother's only son, Arthur Patrick Rogers, was one of the "sand
hogs." They went below the water to put the piers in. This story my
grandmother, Mrs. Mary Ellen Rogers, told many times.
There was a bus line called the
Manley Bus Line that went from our bus station to Excelsior Springs and back. It
was an old school bus that was painted a drab color. I rode on it many times to
visit my Aunt Grace in Excelsior Springs.
so we come to the end of another stroll down Memory Lane. Do keep 'em coming,
folks. You'd be surprised at how hungry people are for news from those who live
and love in our hometown.
Your devoted scribe,
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