TODAY'S NEWS - QUICKIES THAT CHANGE OFTEN

"I WILL NOT FOLLOW WHERE THE PATH MAY LEAD, BUT I WILL GO WHERE THERE IS NO PATH, AND I WILL LEAVE A TRAIL." Muriel Strode -KHS65 class motto.
"The good old days....when we weren't good and we weren't old" Barbara Schwarz Moss 2010
SEE WWW.KHS65.COM FOR 169 PIX FROM OUR 45TH REUNION - CLICK THE SMALL PHOTO FOR LARGER VERSION. See lots of NEW grade school pix!
CHECK THE LABELS, GO TO KIRKWOOD HISTORY ARTICLES & CLICK THE POST ABOUT FRANCIS SCHEIDEGGER'S PIX FOR A GLIMPSE OF A PLACE I BET EVERYONE REMEMBERS - and much more!


We seem to all be suffering a common problem these days, WHERE DID OUR LIVES GO? Our brains seem to still be 18, but our bodies are talking a different language. Sarah Orne Jewett puts it much more eloquently than do I:

“Neither of my companions was troubled by her burden of years. I hoped in my heart that I might be like them as I lived on into age, and then smiled to think that I too was no longer very young. So we always keep the same hearts, though our outer framework fails and shows the touch of time.”

FOR LATEST NEWS BE SURE TO CHECK OUT KHS65 AT FACEBOOK TOO!


LESLIE'S KHS65 BLOG

Interactive news, reviews, gossip, musings, activities, photos, mysteries, histories, stories, truths, lies & video tapes from & for graduates of the Kirkwood (MO) High School fabulous class of 1965. Email us anything you would like to share to leslieatkhs65dotcom. See photos at www.khs65.com - comment here or on the website to make yourself heard! FIND US ~ www.khs65.com ~ www.khs65.org ~ FACEBOOK KHS65 ~ http://khs65blog.com ~ KHS65 MAKE IT A HABIT!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

How the Frisco Bell came to be the Prize for the winner of the Turkey Day Game

After I posted on Facebook about the Pioneers' huge win over the Statesmen last week I offered to tell the story of how the bell came to be the prize.  Several readers wanted to know so here it is courtesy of Ron Krieger and published in the Autumn 2022 Kirkwood Historical Review, the newsletter of the OTHER KHS, the Kirkwood Historical Society.  I will paraphrase and direct quotes will be so marked, it's a long article!

First Editor Ron gave an introduction to set the stage.  Some of he following information was taken by Ron from the Webster-Kirkwood Times, Nov 21, 2003.  The source at that time was Peter Bredehoeft, a fellow KHS53 classmate of Ron's.  The occasion to write the story was the Class of '53's 50th reunion.

Early in the 1953 school year, Murl Moore, principal, received a letter from the Frisco Railroad asking if the school would like to have a bronze bell from a steam locomotive due to be decommissioned because steam locomotives were being replaced by diesel.  [See my commentary below, this is not the complete story, ed.] You may recall that Bev Sarff's father (she our classmate of course) was the assistant principal and he asked the Student Council if they thought it should come to the school...according to this article the Council's mood was that anything free is worthwhile, but had no idea what they'd do with it.  Peter had a trailer used to haul equipment for his business so he was designated to go the rail yard and retrieve the Bell.  It was on a skid next to the train, but too heavy for anything but a forklift to move.  "The Frisco employees volunteered to make a rolling stand for the bell in their shop."  When Peter returned in a couple of weeks, the railroad folks "could not have been more accommodating or nicer." The bell arrived at the school and was displayed outside Mr. Moore's office, which proved problematic.  "Some daring students thought it was great fun to wait until the officials were all in the office, sneak up to the bell and give it a few healthy rings and then run like the devil.  The bell very quickly became a liability, not an asset to the school administration."  No kidding...

Soon it was relegated to "...the bowels of the school near the boilers and out of harm's way."

Peter said he wasn't sure where the idea came from to give the bell to the winner of THE game, but obviously it seemed like a good one and it stuck.  Peter continues, "As an aside, I am sure that the school administration was glad to see it go.  Mr. Moore contacted the folks at Webster and the deal was struck."  "...in 1953 a tradition was born, thanks to the generosity of the Frisco Railroad and the Class of 1953.  (More information is written in Shawn Greene's book "Turkey Day Game Centennial 1907-2007" page 107.)ed.  Thus ends the Kirkwood Historical Review article.

If any of you don't know, Shawn Greene is the son of our classmate Phil Greene and his wife Caroline, also a pal of mine.  So there we have it, and Kirkwood now has the bell for the 9th year in a row. Last I saw, it reposed in the library, but that's been awhile back.  We know it's somewhere!  If you didn't know, this year's score was 56 - 7.  I do not remember ever knowing this story in the past, but maybe it was well-known and we've just forgotten, sure has been a fast 57 years since we were hanging around the hallowed halls of dear old KHS!

After typing all of that, it dawned on me to go look at page 107 in Shawn's book!  I own the late Jim Olson's copy autographed by Alvin Miller.  I had a copy Phil & Caroline gave me, but I believe I passed it on to a KHS65 alum who was green with envy, no pun intended.  Later, Jim gave me his copy, now a treasured memory of our friendship.

Back to THE BELL.  ..   Page 118 of Shawn's book is headed Bring Back The Bell!  And it begins thusly:  "In the fall of 1951, [Mr. Moore] was contacted by an old neighbour and friend, Robert Stone, who was the VP of the Frisco RR Co.  The Railroad was in the process of replacing its steam locomotives with diesel and Stone asked Moore if KHS would be interested in having one of the bells from a replaced locomotive...the Student Council accepted the gift."  Note this says fall of 1951.  The article goes on to tell about Peter Bredehoeft, KHS53 and his being chosen to get the bell because of his flatbed truck and this article goes along like the above.  "It became an obligatory prank of the students to ring the bell and quickly flee before Moore could catch them.  This may have necessitated a decision for a use for the bell."  A bit different (I read that as tongue-in-cheek) but similar to above.  According to this article by Shawn Greene the bell was introduced at the 1951 Turkey Day Game, won by Kirkwood 33-0, but was awarded for the first time to Kirkwood in 1952 after the game ended in a 0-0 tie.  Kirkwood was awarded the bell by default because Webster had the Little Brown Jug from the previous year's loss.  Thus the first team to actually win The Bell was Webster in 1953, winning 33-13.  At the time of the publication of Shawn's book, 2007, the Bell had changed possession 25 times and only five graduation classes never had it during their tenure: Kirkwood 1966, 1972 and 1973, Webster alumni 1984 and 1990.

I have spent too much time on this today so will stop here.  There is more "lore" about The Bell and the Turkey Day Game.  I believe there is a copy of Shawn's book at the Kirkwood Library.  There should be, I am pretty sure I ended up with another copy which I donated to them not too many years ago!  What a fun bit of memories...in looking at the pix of the teams over the years, I see SO many names I know...our Football Maids, our players, the coaches and others.  What a place that Kirkwood is!

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

"GOD BLESS AMERICA" - THE FIRST TIME

 In looking for something tonight on my computer I ran across some saved emails to me in past years from our dear departed classmate & cross country star and KHS Alumni Sports Hall of Fame member Jim Olson.  This one was particularly nice tonight as the news is so full of badness, this gave me a lift.  It was sent to me and Jim aka Speed Herb on 12/14/2016 - forwarded to Jim from someone else, not his text:

Frank  Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing "God Bless  America" on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a  tear or two.  
   
Here are the facts.... The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first
public singing of "GOD BLESS AMERICA". But before you watch it, you should also know the story behind the first public showing of the  song.  
   
The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking
over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a  time of hardship and worry for most Americans.  
 
This  was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat
around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than  Kate Smith.  
   
Kate was also large; plus size, as we now say, and the popular phrase still used  today is in
deference to her, "It ain't over till the fat lady sings".  
 
Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the
radio, she was the biggest star of her time.  Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and  afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer, Irving Berlin (who also wrote "White Christmas") and asked him to write a song that would make Americans  feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before - way back in  1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America.  Any  profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this  song.  
   
This  video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an
audience. She introduces the new song for the very first  time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the  background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, "You're In The  Army Now." At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper; it's Ronald Reagan.  
 
To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country.  Back in
1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of  her fellow Americans,
I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry..... And for many generations of Americans to follow.  
 
  
Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you'll enjoy it.  
Many  people don't know there's a lead in to the song since it usually starts with

"God Bless America ....." So here's the entire song as originally sung.....  ENJOY!  

 
https://www.youtube.com/embed/ TnQDW-NMaRs?rel=0

 



Tuesday, September 27, 2022

KHS65 PARTYING IN OCTOBER 2022, READ IT HERE!

 Well, I cut and pasted this from my Facebook page, it didn't copy very attractively but at least it is accurate.  It's going to be casual and fun, you can get there a bit earlier to eat dinner before the partying starts.  I'm not sure at this moment whether or not there will be music, but actually we don't need it, in our advancing years it seems most would like to TALK!  Come and see and be seen, it's always a great group!!!

KHS65.…..It’s party time!
Join your classmates for a fun evening walking down Memory Lane!
Sat., October 22, 2022, 6pm-10pm
612 Kitchen and Cocktails (AKA: The Loop Lounge)
612 W. Woodbine, Kirkwood - just west of Geyer on south side of street
Classmates coming from K.C., Dallas, Michigan, Minnesota and who knows where else! RSVPs appreciated but not required.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Larry M. Barnett, a life really well lived - his obituary

 Please know Larry's obituary is located here:

https://www.porterloring.com/obituaries/Larry-M--Barnett?obId=25611199#/obituaryInfo

It is also easily visible on my personal FaceBook page.  SO sad that the good guys are going too soon...


Saturday, August 13, 2022

MORE SADNESS

 I can't even think of a new title for my posts when another of our classmates passes away.  Every death is sad, of interest to many if not all of us, and news we don't want to hear.  Jim and Linda Day alerted me this morning, as has Paul Silman, that our wonderful Robinson and KHS friend Larry Barnett died last night. He and his family have been in San Antonio for years but he was in touch with several KHS and other childhood friends. He had COVID and in the course of that treatment learned he had an aggressive form of cancer, was in hospital for a day or two and passed away last night. We are once again grieving for a much loved and respected classmate. His was a Kirkwood family for sure. Tim Lapping is also in San Antonio so hopefully they have been in touch but Jim will let Tim know. Mike, Tim's brother and a bit behind us in school, will likely remember Jim and Linda Girard Day too. We were all little kids together, and it's just so difficult to absorb that we are aging as we are....it seems like our lives have flown by! And yet we all have wonderful stories to tell and so many of us have lived good, long lives with great beginnings, we have much to be thankful for. And our memories of those now gone are so rich, we are indeed blessed. Larry will rest in peace and love I'm sure. I will add more info as it becomes available. I have asked Jim to call me next time with some good juicy gossip rather than another piece of sad news.  But it appears in this, the last quarter of our lives, as Bruce Antle kindly described it to me recently, death and illness are going to be prevalent subjects in our correspondence.  When I began doing this, as we planned our 1975 10th reunion in 1974, it never crossed my mind that staying in touch with our classmates this long would be something I would treasure and then would make me so sad.  What a group we are and have been- fun, interesting, smart, adventurous, talented, and now so many gone from that group. 

 I have lost two of my older good galpals in the last month, which is sad in itself, but at least those I expected over the years.  When we are young I don't think we realize what older years are going to bring; yes, the obvious, but perhaps not the sadness that comes with losing our friends.  I'll never forget the words of a former-grandmother-in-law who, at age 104, said to me "I am so angry, I have no one to talk to, no one who cares about what I know or want to say, and the doctor won't even let me walk to the bar [just down the street] and have a beer!"  She died not long after vociferously pronouncing that to me!  I'll never forget it because it was an eye-opener - once we get too old there really isn't much we remember that will also be remembered by those around us.  Jack and I talk about that often as we ruminate through our lives.  STAY WELL everyone!  BTW I am sure the reason that 104 year old woman lived so long is because she always loved beer and of course beer is full of B vitamins; I think her nutrition stood her in good stead!  :-))

 

HAPPY JUNETEENTH - BILL HALL KHS66 AND BROTHER OF MATTIE CAROL HALL FEATURED FOR THE CELEBRATION

 Hi everyone, today 8/13, I was about to post something new when I discovered this post never made it out of the draft status!  There was a great photo of Bill and I must have loaded it incorrectly...if you are on Facebook, it's there back in June; I'll try to get it reposted here.  The news is now old but the story is great, I hope you feel it's worth the read!   lvr

Heads up Kirkwood, MO folks, both our KHS65 group and plenty of others! I've just received an excellent tribute to KHS66 member Bill Hall, the brother of our beloved KHS65 member Mattie Carol Hall in honor of JUNETEENTH! Mattie was my first friend in second grade when we returned to the St. Louis area from Wichita after a 3 year hiatus for dad's career. Mom took me to school in February, 1955 to my first day of George R. Robinson School, 2nd grade, Miss Clark's class, with no paper or pencil. I was seated behind Mattie and she turned and handed me one of each as Miss Clark announced we were to produce same to begin writing! I am still grateful for Mattie's rescuing me that day...what a wonderful friendship to have for all of these 67 years! We're so glad to have Mattie back in our KHS65 bubble, if not in our backyards, after her years away conquering her world! Thanks for the memories Mattie and thanks SO much for sharing Bill's insightful view of our world. He's a winner for sure! HAPPY JUNETEENTH!
"Let’s celebrate and honor our ancestors by loving one another, and working together for justice, equality and peace… Below is the link to an article I’m sharing from my ‘hometown’ newspaper, about the holiday’s history, featuring my brother, KHS’66, Professor William Hall - “Bill Hall,” in St. Louis."
Juneteenth
timesnewspapers.com
Juneteenth
The emancipation of American slaves during t

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

YET ANOTHER CLASSMATE GONE WAY TOO SOON, another VETERAN, another VICTIM OF VIET NAM


 Well, KHS65 friends this is the week I'm usually looking around the internet for another version of a beautiful yellow rose to post on the 10th. Instead I am posting more about deaths lately than graduation fun or memories. My memories of June 10, 1965 are very vivid because of my father's coming here from Florida to be with me, the following drive the next morning back to Florida with him and the special night at the Jefferson Arms, swimming at Cool Dell (by which I drive quite often lately) and breakfast at Teutenbergs, which is no longer. But now so many of us have holes in our memories because of the missing friends, and of course our aging brains which, if you are like me, are getting crowded and pushing some of those wonderful memories of our youth out of our heads! Today I am sad to say that our classmate Jim Persons, husband of Judy Lillard Persons, passed away February 27, just a bit before his 75th birthday. Jim was part of the Robinson School crowd, living not far from Thebes, our 'corner store', bike meeting place and candy counter center of our young universe. The store was just down the block from "Mouse" House's Mobil Station at which

most of our parents from Adams Ave to Robinson School down Couch Ave traded. Jim's nephew is classmate Ron Persons who let me know about Jim. As I recall Jim was actually Ron's uncle, I believe their fathers were brothers, Jim I think a younger son of the eldest brother and Ron the son of the youngest. Anyway, they lived close to one another and went to Robinson. Judy kindly told me "...Jim was a great husband, father and grandfather." She also told me he suffered from a rare disease, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy which means he was paralized in the lower extremities and in pain. Even though he is no longer suffering the world will no longer know his kindness and goodness. His ashes will be interred in one of the National Veteran's Cemeteries, perhaps in Lake Worth, FL, near where they lived and the family still does, or here in JB.


Meanwhile I hadn't heard from Ron in awhile and I'm both sad and happy to report on him. He came down, in 2017, with Non-Hodgkins Lymphona from Agent Orange contracted during his Naval career in Nam. It's been dormant for nearly 47 years but its effects are showing now. Jim says his immune system is low but he feels ok, just tired in the afternoons. Luckily the chemo he underwent didn't do any damage, and he figures his good genes will keep him going to about 95 - a great optimist he. Living the good single life in Alabama 8 miles from the Gulf...as long as hurricanes don't get him... Jim and Ron were Navy Veterans and Ron promises some stories for my veterans posts. I'm sorry for the blurry photo but it's in a frame. Just recently I was looking at this and noted that we'd only lost 2, Diane Gorbel, far left top, and sweet Sharon Lowe. Jim is the 2nd one in from the right on top and just above my head is Ron. We've taken many "Robinson" pix over the years; I have to wonder what the next one will be like. Stay well and happy as you can everyone! As I used to say to my kids when they were little, "Life is short...and then you have to brush your teeth."
(Jim is the second from the right top row, Ron just above my head.  Diane G is far left back row in black.)
 

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Carol Stalzer Koch, another classmate leaves us - a life well-lived

 Thank you to Sharon Merritt Wyman for letting me know that our classmate Carol Stalzer has passed away.  I was out of town so not able to post this before today, but I don't believe we have anyone living near where Carol did who could have attended her service.


.  She never attended a reunion that I can recall, but she was in touch with me in the past few years via email and Facebook.  I knew Carol at KHS, not well, but we had a class or two together.  It's easy to see from her obituary that she was a brainiac and I do remember her as a very smart classmate!  Here is her recent obituary:

Carol J. (Stalzer) Koch

March 4, 1947 ~ May 17, 2022 (age 75) 
 Carol J. Koch (Stalzer), age 75 of Woodville, (OHIO) passed away Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at her home. Carol was born March 4, 1947 in Buffalo, NY, the daughter of the late Ted and Geraldine (Crump) Stalzer.

Carol was a professor for many years at Bowling Green State University, where she taught a range of subjects from astronomy, mathematics, and English. She had a true passion for teaching, especially astronomy. Her love of anything astrological was also shown through her artistry, as she painted many pictures of stars and galaxies. Throughout Carol's life she also enjoyed traveling, reading, playing cards, doing her nails and puzzles.

Carol is survived by her husband, Ronald Koch, whom she married December 28, 1991 in St. Louis, MO; step daughter, Michelle Howey step-grandchildren: Lisa (Adam) Lowery, and Joshua (Mallory) Howey step great-grandchildren: Uriyah Lowery, Kingston Lowery, Dayne Howey, Brystol Howey, Coltyn Howey, and Brooklyn Howey; brother, Larry (Sandra) Stalzer; niece, Kate; and great-niece, Olivia.

In addition to her parents, Carol is preceded in death by her step-son, David Koch, and brother-in-law, Samuel Koch.

Friends will be received Wednesday, May 25, 2022 from 2-6pm with a funeral service beginning at 6:00pm at Foos Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 504 E. McPherson Hwy, Clyde, OH 43410.

Memorial donations may be made to the family for funeral expenses.

 To send flowers to Carol's family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Wednesday
May 25, 2022

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Foos Funeral Home and Cremation Service
504 E. McPherson Hwy
Clyde, OH 43410

Funeral Service
Wednesday
May 25, 2022

6:00 PM
Foos Funeral Home and Cremation Service
504 E. McPherson Hwy
Clyde, OH 43410

Donations

To the family for funeral expenses
504 E. McPherson, Clyde OH 43410
Tel: 1-419-547-6616

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

News of another death in our class and interesting story of two Army Veterans

HI EVERYONE, HERE IS A WONDERFUL POST FROM CLASSMATE Rocky Reece received just this week.  We have had a nice email chat and I hope Rocky will elaborate more in the future!  

"Greetings Leslie.  I didn’t know you [at KHS] at least in part because I only went to Kirkwood my junior and senior years.  I’m not a regular on your site but I do drop in now and again and wanted to let you know of the passing of fellow classmate Reed Stites.  Reed and I went into the Army together in June of 1966 on what was called the “Buddy Plan” which allowed friends to go through “Basic Training” together.  If you enlisted four four years you also got to choose your field of training and where, in general terms, you would be stationed.  We chose armor and Germany.  With the situation in Vietnam, Germany seemed a good choice Tanks on the other hand don’t translate into any civilian occupation.  We ended up in different parts of Germany on three year tours but it wasn’t long before Reed found he didn’t like Germany and he volunteered for Vietnam.  He spent his time on an M42 Duster in the thick of it for two tours reaching the rank to Staff Sargent.

More to the story but that will wait for another time.  We both made it home with very different experiences.  Below is Reed’s obit.

On a lighter note I have a short story about my son Jesse’s first day at daycare.  My wife Kat and I live near Cedar Creek in the Kingdom of Callaway and drove to work together in Columbia MO.  We were apprehensively taking Jesse to a woman who cared for infants in her home.  All went well and as we headed out the front door I saw Alan Yount and wife with baby in arms (daughter I soon learned) coming up the walk.  We both recognized one another.  I was 37 and a long way from high school.  Life’s funny. Thanks ~ Rockford Reece KHS65"


William Reed Stites

William Reed Stites

May 3, 1947 - February 7, 2020

William Reed Stites, age 72 of La Plata, Missouri, passed away unexpectedly Friday, February 7, 2020.

Born May 3, 1947 in Lansing, Michigan, the son of Dr. Joseph Gant Stites Jr. and Lucy Gray (Cates) Stites who proceded him in death. On January 6, 1996 in La Plata, Missouri, he was united in marriage to Carole (Lofblom) Van Hara who survives.

Also surviving are four daughters, Jaime L. Rader (Roger) of La Plata, Missouri, Jessica C. Benedict (Jason Campbell) of Memphis, Missouri, Gina Van Hara of Kirksville, Missouri, and Sydney E. Stites (Nick Ford) of Kirksville, Missouri; One son, Mikel J. Glaspie (Lisa) of La Crosse, Wisconsin; three sisters, Mary F. Morgan (Michael) of Elk Park, North Carolina, Ruth S. Lutz (Gary) of Columbia, Missouri, and Lucy S. Baker (Paul) of Long Beach, California; eleven grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Reed served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1970. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam where he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal. After living in Columbia, Missouri and Kirksville, Missouri he moved to La Plata in 1984. He owned and operated Stites Interiors for many years. He was a member of the Baptist Church.

Reed was a good man and a friend to many. He loved blessing his friends with his cooking, and loved his family dearly.

A graveside service will be 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Missouri. Visitation will be Tuesday, February 11, 2020 with the family receiving friends from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Travis Funeral Chapel in La Plata, Missouri.

In Lieu of flowers, memorials in memory of William Reed Stites may be made to the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville, Missouri. They may be sent to or left at Travis Funeral Chapel, 125 S. Church St., La Plata, MO 63549.

As they say, this is the rest of the story.  As I was reading this from Rocky in the back of my mind was niggling that Reed, as we knew him at KHS, was married to one of the Barnard girls who I have connections to through Des Peres Presbyterian Church  or else to one of the daughters of Mary Ellen and Don Barnard, he owning the Mobil station at Geyer & Manchester and she and I, later in life, encountering one another in our DAR chapter.  Don was one of my step-father's good buddies, but I never knew Mary Ellen until I later encountered her at a DAR meeting.  Turns out Reed's first wife was indeed one of the daughters of Don and Mary Ellen,  I confirmed this when I spoke to a current good friend who is married to a Barnard from this tribe.  I always say, when one stays in the same place all of one's life, the tentacles are very long and interconnected.  I kept thinking there was something wrong with my memory so I asked my current Barnard friend for help and she straightened me out!  But then, my memory also told me that Reed married/dated the [Barnard] girl who lived across the street from me on Claychester Drive..but according to my current pal, that part of my memory is wrong....but then!!!!  I looked at my '65 yearbook....Reed signed it, we'd known one another from a class or two, Spanish maybe I think, and called himself my "practically" neighbor.... a bit of library research would straighten out my memory but it doesn't matter.  I had the right couple in my memory, they unfortunately just didn't stay hitched!  It amazes me how much detritus, as hubby Jack calls it, resides in a brain when it reaches our advanced age!  But the great richness of those tentacles and connections is incomparable.  

I asked Rocky a complicated question about Senor Skip Day - his experience wasn't what I thought maybe it was, an incorrect memory thread on my part, but we both admitted that our SSD involved water and alcohol!  Maybe some day I'll post about that, but it involves others of our classmates who might not want to be named :-))  THANKS to Rocky for the memories and information about his and Reed's Army experiences.  The more the merrier!!! All you Veterans send me yours!  OH and ALAN YOUNT, isn't that funny that all those years later they ran into one another....which leads me to running into one of our classmates in an elevator in a downtown Chicago highrise office building one day many years ago...and we too recognized one another...Rocky's right, life can be funny that way!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

HOW A BOY FROM NORTH MET A GIRL FROM NIPHER - 57 YEARS LATER AND A GREAT STORY plus more of course!

I have been privileged to have some great correspondence with Bruce Antle for several years.  He is a wonderful writer, must be all those sermons he had to write over the years!  And he has many growing-up-in-Kirkwood stories to share.  He and wife Darlene Petri, KHS66, are retired and living in Missouri these days.  I'm going to publish some of our correspondence, but mostly want to share an article he wrote for me but I'm having trouble getting it posted due to the format it's in so for now I'm going to give you a glimpse into their lives as told by Bruce. Keep reading below and you'll see I finally got the story he wrote posted.   Here are some random snippets:

Since being retired (still do a little real estate with friends and family) and some pulpit supply, but mostly take care of Darlene and that is my primary job.  4-2-22 

It is hard to believe we are in the "4th quarter" of our life or the "last chapter" or on the "25 yard line" with 25 and goal to go, all of us within field goal range if we are so lucky.  Darlene has outlived her parents and on my side 85 seems to be the magic number, so barring anything unforeseen we should have another 10 years of somewhat independent living. 

Sooo sad to see the senseless and indiscriminate killing of innocent lives on the other side of the world.  Why can't we all just live our lives in peace? 

Darlene and I are both doing fine.  Thanks for asking. We both have our issues, but who doesn't at this age?  Mine seem to be below my knees with what they call neuropathy.  One foot doesn't want to cooperate like it is supposed to.  I have conversations with it, but it wants to be lazy.  Going down is easy, getting up needs a helping hand.  Probably caused by all those years I used to jog or when I was doing a lot of physical labor.  I used to love to run, but what can be good for the heart, we later discover, if we live long enough, can be tough on other parts of the body. Last year I asked Darlene to pick me up a cane for balance.    4-3-22

It [some physical ills] started about 10 years ago for both of us and like age, progressive.  Darlene is still my 16 year old girlfriend and for someone turning 74 next month still has a cute figure and as pretty as ever.  We eat sensibly which helps and we enjoy each other's company which is also very helpful, especially the last couple of years with Covid.  

This is the wonderful response I received when I asked Bruce to write the charming story of his and Darlene's beginning as a couple:  

The last person who asked me to do so might be sorry she did. 

Actually that isn't true.  My daughter asked me to write down some stories and 800 pages later .... she got probably more than she thought she wanted.  Although she tells me she is very appreciative.  Most are family related.  My two favorite authors are James Michener and Laura Wilder.  Laura wrote the Little House series of books, with large print and pictures.  Books they say for children.  I loved them all.  James on the other hand, historical novels, with a lot of depth and research, small print, few pictures and many, many pages.  My dad also did a lot of family genealogy back before computers with letter writing and visiting cemeteries.  I took up the mantle after he passed, adding my research to his.  Then Darlene asked me to do the same for her family.  She always thought she had some Cherokee in her ancestral background.  She didn't as we later discovered.  However, what we did discover was she was a great, great granddaughter x 6, to Daniel Boone. 

For the family I wrote a series of 6 books, third person, in the style of the Little House books with lots of photos from the photo albums Darlene kept, tying the photos with a narrative.  I then followed it with my Michener style, three part Family History of 800 plus pages. I had to divide it into three parts because of the size.  Again, a lot of photos, along with family trees dating from the colonial days to the present.  This is still a work in process as I edit and move around stories. 4-3-22

As a genealogist, he is one of my idols!  I would love to do what he has done but I keep myself too busy to do it! Isn't he just amazing??? 

After Bruce sent me his article I had two suggestions, he said the number of graduates in our class was about 1,000, but it was really about 785 and he mentioned Cyranos being downstairs from the music store and I corrected him to "down the block" as in 1996 I opened a small antiques shop down the street, DeMun Avenue, so drove by where Cyranos had been 5 or more days a week HOWEVER, he was correct, the restaurant was below the music store and just down the street from other businesses.  Here is his response to that message:

And yes, Cyrano's was down the street, beneath a music store, later moved to Big Bend, now in Webster Groves, Old Orchard, and still has the Cherries Jubilee and World's Fair Eclair, or at least the last time we ate there which was a couple years ago.  I could have added "down the street," and you are welcome to do so but figured anyone in our class who went there would know it. [The mother of the fellow who opened the Cyranos on Big Bend became a pal of mine thru my antiques biz and later the fellow who, with a partner, opened it in Webster was a pal of mine through our mutual membership in the Symphony Volunteer Association! - sooo many connections - sooo typical in Kirkwood and environs! lvr]

Cyrano's was a customer of mine. My dad was the sales manager of a company that manufactured melamine ashtrays.  The summer before our senior year I would go down to the plant, load up the trunk of my car and peddle them to restaurants and bars in and around St. Louis.  Cyranos was one of my wonderful discoveries ... those were the days when people smoked, especially at a coffee shop.  The steep outside stairs leading down, the basement rafters concealing everything in the rafters all painted black, and yummy desserts made it a very special place. I am guessing it made more money than the music store above it.  It was never the same after it moved.  My sales career came to a quick halt after selling a truck-load of seconds to Grandpa Pigeons when my dad's sales rep who covered the area reported I had encroached on his territory.  My dad never dreamed I would go to a Grandpa Pigeons and thought I was just fine going door to door to little mom and pop businesses.  4-5-22

 Of course that led to a discussion of Tom Holley, whose family owned Grandpa's, earlier Grandpa Pigeon's:

All history is related for those who might be interested.  Grandpa Pigeons was also the grandpa I believe of one of our classmates ... Tom Holley.  My dad commented he was impressed because he could read Tom's signature, apparently on a purchase order sent to the company and I guess, like me selling ashtrays my dad made, Tom was working for his grandpa at the store.  It was a fun store.  So many people just scribble their name, my dad was impressed when he learned Tom was a classmate who took the time to legibly write his name.  Funny isn't it, what goes through that gray mass above our neck.  It has been awhile ... as you know.   

Well, as you can see, I was waylaid in getting this posted, a trip to Atlanta, prep for that trip and now after a week, still unpacking.   Here is the romantic tale of Bruce and Darlene in his words posted 15 May:

 How a Boy from North Met a Girl from Nipher



 I guess this story could start as boys standing in line waiting to receive our high school diplomas and asking, “Who is that cute girl?”  We had a large graduating class back in 1965.  I believe close to 1,000.  Add to that number, grades 10 and 11, when KHS was sophomore - senior classes and a combination from North and Nipher Junior High, it was not unusual to NOT know someone.  And speaking from a purely boy perspective, KHS had a lot of cute girls!


Darlene came from Nipher.  I came from North.  My mom, my brother, my cousins Pat and Becky Wall (KHS 60 & KHS 63) all attended Nipher.  My mom attended when it was the high school.  My cousins not only attended but later taught at Nipher.  When it was my turn, North Junior High was brand new, and a little further to walk than Keysor.  I lived on a street called Wilcox, a street off of Essex. Our house was about 3 or 4 blocks from the high school, depending on if you took the pipe over the ravine to get to my house and a lot farther to North Junior High.  [I had a wonderful high school romance with a resident of Wilcox, whom I used to walk to that pipe over the ravine after school sometimes, then high-tail it back to KHS Essex parking lot to catch my ride home. lvr]

 I was in my senior year at KHS when Tom Friel asked if wanted to go to an “away” football game.  I


think we were playing Ritenour.  We sat on the visitors side and in front of us on Tom’s side were two really cute girls.  They were Juniors. Tom seemed to know them both, at least he knew their names and started talking to the one close to him. My eye was on the one farthest from me, a really cute strawberry blond. (I later learned it was a color that often changed.)

 

On the way home Tom told me her name was Darlene Petri.  He remembered her last name, possibly from the associated with what we learned in biology as a Petri dish, named after a famous bacteriologist.

 Over the weekend I couldn’t wait for school on Monday in hopes of seeing her.  With no luck on Monday or Tuesday, I devised a plan.


I was on the “Call” staff as the business manager and free to come and go to solicit ads for the paper.  Mrs. Conley, also my English teacher, led the “Call” as well the “Pioneer” and we would meet for 6th period. I decided to go to the office and ask if a note could be sent to Darlene to meet her at her locker.

Darlene had recently been photographed for the “Pioneer” in a full page layout.  The student in the office was more than happy to help out, as well tell me where her locker was located.  When Darlene got the note, she had no idea who this Bruce Antle guy was, so after class she raced to her locker hoping to avoid him.

No such luck, I was there to meet her.  I was excited.  She didn’t know what to do. When I asked if I could carry her books and walk her to the parking lot, she seemed relieved and vaguely remembered me as the “other guy” on the bench next to Tom.  She said okay. 

Our first date was a movie at the Esquire, followed by a flaming Cherries Jubilee downstairs at Cyranos.  It was one of those cool, crisp fall evenings. I asked if she would mind if I put the top down? She had never been in a convertible and thought it sounded fun.  We rolled up the windows and put the heater on, then a slow ride home down Clayton road, with the stars shining bright in the night sky and soft music playing on the AM car radio from Wood River.  It was magical.  I drove as slowly as I could not wanting the evening to ever end.

We dated that fall and winter for about 4 months, falling madly and passionately in love.  We broke up when things got too serious. 16 & 17 was a little too young for marriage. After graduation I was heading off to college. We would date others, but never stopped seeing each other, knowing if we ever got back together it would be for keeps.

Four years later I was standing in a different graduation line.  This time from Washington University.  In the audience my mom had invited Darlene. 

A year later we were married. That was 52 years ago!

 Looking back, it was also the first and only time either of us had gone to an “away” football game. We know God had a plan.


                                                 Bruce and Darlene