"The good old days....when we weren't good and we weren't old" Barbara Schwarz Moss 2010

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.”


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 - comment here or on the website to make yourself heard! FIND US ~ ~ ~ FACEBOOK KHS65 ~ ~ KHS65 MAKE IT A HABIT!

Friday, May 29, 2009


KHS Symphonic Orchestra's Road to Carnegie Hall
Dear KHS Alumnus,
While it takes some people a lifetime of practice to get to Carnegie Hall, as the saying goes, the Kirkwood High School Symphonic Orchestra students will have that honor as young musicians March 26-29 when they perform at the 2010 Instrumental Music Festival at the prestigious hall. The Kirkwood orchestra was one of three instrumental groups selected nationwide.
Orchestra Director Patrick Jackson and approximately 60 students will follow in the footsteps of some of music’s legendary greats, including Isaac Stern, Leonard Bernstein, Nell Carter, Duke Ellington, the Beatles and Harry Belafonte, to name a few. The orchestra will perform in the main concert hall on Sunday, March 28, 2010, as part of the annual festival.
The largest concert hall at Carnegie has served as the premiere classical music performance space in the country since its opening in 1891. Its striking curvilinear design is embraced by five levels of seating and Baroque-style plaster walls that have absorbed the sounds of Gershwin, Bach and Beethoven. It is here where Kirkwood students will leave their own sound in the historic walls.
“It has been said that the hall itself is an instrument,” said the late violinist Isaac Stern. “It takes what you do and makes it larger than life.” In 1996, Carnegie’s Main Hall stage was dedicated the Isaac Stern Auditorium.
The orchestra’s selection to play at Carnegie reflects the excellence and dedication demanded of KHS students and the sense of pride generated throughout the Kirkwood community. When the orchestra students step out on that prestigious stage next March, it will be because of the support generated by the Kirkwood alumni and residents of this proud community.
Former Kirkwood orchestra students have won first-prize awards at prestigious competitions including the Avery Fisher Prize, Banff International Chamber Music Competition and the Sphinx Competition. Jackson’s students have also attended top music schools nationwide, including The Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Yale School of Music, Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, The New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Added to the annals of Kirkwood’s orchestral history will now be an unprecedented appearance at Carnegie Hall.
The Symphonic Orchestra students have embarked on their year-long fundraising campaign, “The Road to Carnegie Hall.” We encourage your support in their endeavors as they not only raise the necessary funds for the trip, but rehearse for the performance of a lifetime. The students need to raise $72,000 to cover the cost of their four-day trip.
To make a tax deductible donation, you may donate online by selecting the "Donate Now" link below or go to and select the "Road to Carnegie Hall" link on the left. You also may mail a check, please make checks payable to the Kirkwood High School Orchestra and send to: Kirkwood School District, Attention: Ginger Fletcher, 11289 Manchester Rd., Kirkwood, MO 63122.
On behalf of the students and the orchestra program, thank you in advance for your support.
Cathy Bailey, President
Kirkwood Orchestra Parents Association (KOPA)
Website Dona
Address postal inquiries to:
Kirkwood School District
11289 Mancester Rd.
Kirkwood, MO 63122

Death of father of Classmate

James Friel
ShareE-mail Visit Guest Book
Friel, James T. Wednesday, May 27, 2009. Beloved husband for 65 years of Patricia Friel (nee Webster). Dear father of Thomas J. (Carolyn) Friel and the late Genie Stevens; grandfather of Jennifer (Jeremy) Friel Goldstein and Leigh and Paige Stevens; brother of Eugene Friel. Dear brother-in-law, uncle, cousin and friend. Jim served his country as a Captain in the U. S. Army during WWII in Europe. He was awarded the Silver Star and other commendations for bravery in action. Jim's professional career included more than 45 years with Union Electric Company from which he retired as Vice President and Controller. Services: Visitation at the SCHRADER Funeral Home and Crematory, 14960 Manchester Road at Holloway, Ballwin, Sunday 2-5 p.m. Interment private.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Classmate Snippet - MIKE CALDWELL

Mike Caldwell's family lived on McLain Lane, next to the Corpenings. When we were 15 they moved out to West County and then out of state. Mike's old gang still keeps in touch, and as many of us are, Mike sometimes gets a hankering to "reconnect". We recently found another classmate who was part of our "crowd" but only for a short while. We'd been wondering about him for a long time and finally just did the work and found him. That's another day's story, but for now, thought I'd publish Mikes story as it is a very interesting one. Thanks Mike for sharing and if anyone wants to get in touch with him, just post a comment and it will be done!

"I moved to Creve Coeur at 15 and met Janet. Only there one year (Parkway West High), then to a teenie town in S. Illinois. Coal mining town; I was generally called “Hey, Slick”, so you know I didn’t get a good welcome. BS in Aero Engineering from Univ of Illinois, married Janet, and off to the Air Force for seven years. Janet bore our first son, but he lost his battle with leukemia at four. Flew KC-135s, doing midair refueling. Out in 1977 with a MS in Systems from USC and on to Texas Instruments in Dallas. By then had sons Andy (now 34) and Chris (now 31). Got MS Electrical Engineering while working at Texas Instruments, then on to National Semiconductor in Salt Lake City for one hundred years. No, wait, only four; it just seemed like 100. Been in California since 1984, mostly with technology companies, but for the last six years have been practicing patent law. Andy lives right across the street with our seven year old grandson and five year old granddaughter and their mother. Chris just got married for the first time, to a younger Russian girl. He is 6’ 3”, and she is a size zero; they’re quite a pair, and just returned from a month in Moscow meeting the rest of her family."

Mike & Janet attended our 35th reunion so if you go to and look at that photo album, you'll see some pix. Mike and Wayne Stine were best buds from waayyyy back, and if you remember, Wayne died 1/1/2004. We hear from Mike from time to time that Wayne's family is doing well.

Awhile back Mike was commenting on a grade school/Robinson photo on the website. In the process of identifying his many girlfriends from long ago, he mentioned Luff Johnson who was another person who began grade school with us then moved. Here is more info on Luff, perhaps some of you Robinsonites remember him.... "Luff's real name is Charles, Luff his middle name, his mother's maiden name. She was once a model & Luff was once in a LIFE Magazine full page ad for Purina Dog Chow, had a puppy in a wagon." Mike has an amazingly good memory & has sent some other snippets, among them the fact that he remembers Jim Moriarity as a newbie to Robinson, who had just moved here from New York City and had a "REALLY heavy NYC accent." Actually, for us as little kids that would be a memorable factoid to have remained in his many kids from NYC did we KNOW in grade school?! Mike also found the participant in his first kiss in a class photo, and in that same photo she & two more of his "first loves" are seated all in a row. Wonder how the photog knew? He mentioned another classmate who moved, Reid Bartleson..anyone else remember him? I do but vaguely... so we know Mike was kissing in the 5th grade, and the girl was cute too, I remember her! But I'll not tell who, poor Mike we need to let him have some secrets! Wonder how many of us remember our first kiss? Comments on the subject welcome :-))

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Barrett's Tunnels

If you have looked at recently and seen the pix from last weekend's KSDF Gala 09, you might have noticed a photo of a train tunnel. One of our class train experts has won my prize, knowing that tunnel is at the Museum. I just now happened upon some papers about Kirkwood landmarks and found the following: "The 2 Barretts Railroad Tunnels are notable as the first railroad tunnels west of the Mississippi River. Situated off Barrett Station Road near Kirkwood, they were part of the route laid out for the Pacific Railroad by Chief Engineer James P. Kirkwood to link St. Louis to the West. The first trains ran to Franklin County in 1853, but the line did not reach Kansas City until 1865. The railroad, recently acquired by Union Pacific, has been entirely rebuilt over the years, leaving the tunnels as the only structural reminder of the original line left in MO. The west tunnel is now on the grounds of the National Museum of Transport, while the east one is still owned by the Railroad." Dave Beardsley, who won the prize, says he didn't do "nuthin" there but I've always heard that there was some teen-aged monkey biz there in that tunnel.... but he sure knows his trains! Those of you who grew up in the Greenbriar neighborhood and other places in that neck of our woods, may already know this bit of history, but I don't imagine too many can go here to read blurbs about a number of Kirkwood properties to include the tunnels article. Enjoy! PS... I knew I didn't imagine that I'd heard about fun things going on in that tunnel, herewith a comment by our classmate Dr. Ron Masters, who frequently states things quite succinctly & this is no exception: "That tunnel was a big draw for kids in the area mostly for exploration of all types.".... SO where was Beardsley during all this exploration??? :-))

PS : 8/3/10 A friend recently gave me the book The Past in our Presence, a wonderful catalogue of historic buildings in St. Louis County. The book has a section about the National Park Service's criteria for buildings and "sites" to be considered worthy of placement on various lists such as the National Register of Historic Places. The Barrett Tunnels are listed there, with a great photo, as a good example ... nice that Kirkwood sites get some recognition!

ROUTE 66 & NTHP Efforts

There are several KHS65 members who are aficionados of Route 66 geography, lore, and history, myself included. Route 66 goes right by many areas and sites that we frequented as kids and teens in the mid '60s. It turns out that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has just put Route 66 buildings on its current list of 11 most endangered places. They have a campaign for individuals to donate $11 toward the 11 most endangered place revitalization, not such a bad amount! Go here to learn about their efforts:


Funeral of Oldest Kirkwood Citizen Extracted from the St. Louis County Watchman, 12 February 1926 Submitted by Special Collections, St. Louis County Library
The following article is transcribed exactly
as it originally appeared in the St. Louis County Watchman.

Luther Armstrong, 88, Had Occupied the Same House - There for 81 Years.
From the oldest house in Kirkwood, to the oldest church of Kirkwood, was taken yesterday
the body of Kirkwood’s oldest citizen, Luther Armstrong, 88 years old, retired florist, who died
Wednesday of the infirmities of age in the house he had occupied 81 years. He will be buried this
afternoon, with services in Rock Hill Presbyterian Church, which his father helped to build in 1845, and interment in Oak Hill Cemetery. Mr. Armstrong was 7 years old when his father,
Clinton Armstrong, came from Rogersville, Ky., with his wife and 9 children, in a wagon
train. They bought the 8-room house at what is now 700 Collins Road, and the surrounding
farm for $15 an acre. The house, built of huge logs and framed with wide boards nailed upright,
was erected in 1808 by Mrs. Jane Yeats. There was one other house in the Kirkwood district, the
Bodley home, three miles away, but it has been replaced. Today the Armstrong homestead has dwindled to 12 acres and the house stands back from
the road hidden in a grove of large, old shade trees. A telephone, a radio and a phonograph can
be found within, but coal oil lamps and stoves are used and water is carried 50 yards from a well
dug by Clinton Armstrong. Luther Armstrong’s widow, Emma, and a daughter, Miss Julia Armstrong, now occupy the house. In the front yard is the stump of a broad ailanthus
tree which tradition says sprung from a stick which Clinton Armstrong had whittled for a cane
in Tennessee and thrust into the ground on his arrival in St. Louis County. Armstrong brought
several slaves with him when he migrated and freed them in 1847. Luther, the tenth of 13 children, was sent to Amherst College and served in the Union Army through the Civil War.
After the war, young Armstrong returned to Kirkwood and became a florist. He built hothouses
near the residence and later opened a floral shop at Spring Avenue and Olive Street, in St.
Louis, which he abandoned 20 years ago because of failing health. He refused to permit electric
lights or plumbing in the house and employed several servants to do the housework in the old
manner. Two sons grew to manhood and departed. One son, L. H. Armstrong, now lives in Berkeley, Cal., and the other, H. H. Armstrong, in Hartford, Conn.
In the house are found broad stone fireplaces with high mantels. There is an old inlaid cherrywood chest of drawers which Mrs. Clinton Armstrong received as a wedding gift in 1816. A
bookcase of the same period is still in use. The building is in good repair and evidently has many
years of usefulness before it. Outside it is painted white, with a sloping shingled roof, and two massive stone chimneys, one at each end, are thickly grown with ivy.
St. Louis County Watchman, St. Louis
County, 12 February 1926, page 5. Submitted by
Special Collections, St. Louis County Library.
Reprinted with permission of the St. Louis County
Watchman Advocate.
Wonder what Collins Avenue is now and if this house still stands. Anyone wanting a research project, this could be a fun one! Let me know & I can give you some hints on where to start. LVC

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bev Schwarz Martin - Renaissance Woman

In August of 2006 Bev sent this interesting update on her interesting life. Check it out and at the end is a 2009 update. Go to classmate photos to see some illustrations of her activities. "In June I went on a 4-day trail ride at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. This was the Crazy Horse Memorial Ride that honors that great leader. We began in Ft. Robinson, NE where Crazy Horse was killed. Rode 30-some miles the first day into Chadron where we camped. Rode from Chadron to Beaver Creek where Crazy Horse often camped. Rested a day and then finished the ride by coming into Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for the beginning of the Veterans Pow Wow. I stayed with the same family I had lived with for ten weeks when doing volunteer work at SuAnne Big Crows Boys & Girls Club. In July we went to Winston Salem, NC for our son's 6th annual Heavy Rebel Weekender - a band and antique car show. He and Dave Quick have put on this show for six years. This year there were over 70 bands playing during the 3 day event. My job was to check each person's ID as they came through the door. Then my son William left for Marine Boot Camp and John, my husband, left for Costa Rica. I managed our farm, learned how to operate an idustrial size walk-behind mower, and took a class in Navajo Weaving. I also am continuing to learn Lakota language. That about sums up what's been happening here in Millersburg, Missouri. Oh, did I mention that when it was 106 I rediscovered the joy of skinny dipping in our pond?! Nice thing about living out in the middle of nowhere - I can pretty much do what I want when I want! Here are some pictures" - see

In March, 2009 Bev reported: "I just returned from meeting up with my hunka (adopted) Lakota family in Rapid City. John & I participated in a buffalo kill. Our combined families butchered 3 buffalo that were culled when the Sinte Gleske University had to cull its herd after losing some of their pastures they had needed for the herd. I've learned how to do Navajo weaving, Anglo spinning, dying my yarn using MO plants and am studyig the Lakota language."
Great talents and activities all in one half of a twin dynamo! Thanks Bev for sharing your life with your old pals! GO to to see an article about Barb, Bev's "other half"...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Kirkwood School District Foundation 20th Anniversary celebration

A good time was had by many tonight, May 2, 2009, at the National Museum of Transport. Theirs is a fabulous venue for private parties. Under a trainshed we were served sumptuous hors d'oeuvres, open bar, delicious dinner & dessert by Patty Long's Catering, who also does the food at the St. Louis Art Museum. There was music all evening, tours through wonderful old train cars, some with well known past owners. Our own KHS65 Bob O'Neill was one of two conductors on rides in a restored trolley car around the park. Bob gives MANY hours to the Museum, is in the process of restoring one car, and pointed out a mess of an engine which he says is his next project. I told him he's going to have to live to be 100 to finish his work there! Yours truly attended the very first meetings at which was discussed the formation of the alumni association and what later morphed into the School District Foundation. As it turned out, those of us with no CURRENT ties to Kirkwood, i.e., we were already paying taxes and donations in other school districts, tended to stay with the alumni activities and those living in Kirkwood tended to stay with the KSDF. As the President of the KHS Alumni Association, I had a seat on the Board of the KSDF and was an honored guest at tonight's gala fundraiser and 20th anniversary celebration. Many familiar faces were there, but several "regulars" were conspicuous by their absence. Suffice it to say, this was a great evening - good food, good liquor, nice music, a bit of a lumpy dance floor, and a lovely way to support Kirkwood kids. Oh yes, he was there.... I know someone will ask...Franklin McCauley was indeed present in a red shirt and a very gaudy southwest Indian turquoise squashbuckly neck tie thingy! Kirkwood Mayor Art McDonald was there as were the son and daughter in law of Robert Clodfelter with whom we sat for a few moments. Jim Velton, retiring KHS athletic director, was there in a nice suit, crisp white shirt and gorgeous red silk tie! He's a very handsome man! As it turns out, the pix I took are the only pix they can find of the Athletic Hall of Fame Induction evening as the pro photographer's camera turned out to be on the fritz. Go to to see photos of this evening, to include Kirkwood's all time best athlete who was in attendance tonight and let me take his photo...he's the one who said, "Kirkwood is like Mayberry with cable". He was delighted to learn he is quoted on our website! We're thinking about a "COME BACK TO KIRKWOOD YET AGAIN" theme for our 2010 reunion...maybe at the Museum...a laid back, fun way to visit our friends and reconnect. Let us know your opinion by adding a comment here! Or just send an email to
I hope those of you living in the Kirkwood School District will support the district in any way you can, be it via monetary donations or volunteering your time. It's a worthwhile cause...

And another side note, I had a call from Jane Via today. Some of you know that Jane went through breast cancer treatment in the past year and a half. She is now through with it, having had chemo, surgery and radiation. Her hair is nearly grown back, she's back to work on a relaxed schedule and feeling great. She's considered cured and we are all so thankful that her outcome was so positive. Ladies, I must tell you, Jane took control. She had fabulous support in her husband who dealt with insurance companies and "rules"; she had prayers from her many many friends, colleagues, co workers and family. She had a friend who INSISTED she read the correct breast cancer books, then she did what she had to do. I feel strongly that her, and her support group's, strong stand for her treatment helped her achieve the positive results she has received. She sounds great! Now her challenge is to rest and not make herself crazy with too much in her life at one time, like a few others of us I can think of!!!! Sound familiar??? I always say, they don't teach NO in the Kirkwood School System...