"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!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Greg Knott, who died in January, really made a difference in his way-too-short life. I have posted about him earlier, see older posts, but new information has come my way via Peggy Kramer. Marilyn Kehl was Greg's good friend and right hand woman. Please go here to see a website dedicated to, among other things, Greg's involvement with Gay rights and betterment of the environment relating to life as a gay or lesbian person in our world. Additionally, below is a note from Marilyn to anyone who is interested. Greg certainly is another of our KHS65 members gone way too soon:

"At the time of Gregory's death, Judy Stone, of the Old West End Association, suggested that he should have a Memorial Plaque, similar to Murray Whiteman's, placed in the Old West End Arboretum. Many of you will remember Judy, an OWE Realtor whom I think of as Greg's successor in that field, deeply committed to the community and involved in its activities. In her tribute written at the time of Greg's death, she recalled, among other things, “parties at Lolly Blair's”. Many of you must remember her. We who consider ourselves the “immediate family” who handled all the funeral arrangements, etc. were very enthusiastic.

Pushy woman (not to say “bitch”) that I am, after a couple of months, I started asking questions. I contacted Judy, who told me that the matter was being handled by Michael Murray, yet another OWE Realtor. Many of you undoubtedly also remember Michael. Speaking for myself only, I would not trust Michael as far as I could throw the Refectory at Robinwood and Bancroft where he used to live. (Used to, because it really belongs to his wife. She divorced him and kept it.) At the time of Greg's death, I felt that the only reason Michael came to the Friday night visitation at the funeral home was so he could hand out business cards that said “Michael Murray, Auctioneer, Pamela Rose Auctions”. Michael told me that he had $300.00 in the fund, and had no idea what had been collected from our side, nor had he had any communication from us. He also advised me that the deceased woman who had funded the Arboretum had specified in her Will that no more plaques could be installed, however Memorial Benches were permitted. Attached is a picture of a different bench. Greg's would be similar. [This photo did not come over to me via email.]

I brought this information back to the “family”. There was no objection to the bench. The person responsible for collecting donations on our side said he was under the impression that Michael was to contact him. He had a number of pledges, but only one contribution to date. He immediately started calling in his chips. Sadly many of the pledges had melted away, not uncommon when time passes after the emotional event that prompted the pledge.

At this point, we have $700.00 and need $500.00 more. I'm not aware that any of you are fabulously wealthy, or I'd come after you first. But I am like Barack Obama, no amount is too small. $5.00, $10.00, $25.00 is welcome. Every little bit really does help. Of course, if you're in the position to do so, more is fine. Below are the instructions for making contributions from the man who is handling this on our behalf, followed by his business address.

Checks should be made out to Old West End Association w/ a notation in the memo section for Knott Memorial Bench. The OWE Assn. is being used because of their tax exempt status to avoid paying sales tax on the bench. Given Greg’s fondness (not!) for the current OWE Assn. I have been holding back any checks until we have the entire amount to give them in a lump sum.

Bill Robison
Great Lakes Sound, Inc.
230 Arco Drive Toledo, Ohio 43607
419-534-2260 Fax 534-2261

If you prefer, you may send them to me:
Marilyn W. Kehl
3443 Broadway Place Apt. B Columbus, Ohio 43214 (614) 447-9922
Unfortunately, your donations are not tax deductible, but Greg's worth it. Love, Marilyn"

I pass this information on to our classmates with no prejudice or preference, but for your information and action if desired.


This week Dave Beardsley, one of our stellar KHS65 musicians, attended a concert at Meramec Community College at which he had the pleasure of seeing & hearing Clancy Newell on drums and Pat Moisio on violin. At any rate, I wanted to share some information Dave sent me in response to my question about who plays in what orchestra around town. Dave plays in the Florissant Community Orchestra, the concert he attended was at Meramec CC, and I didn't know who/what/why this concert took place:

"The orchestras at Meramec and Florissant Valley are open to anybody who shows up and who can play and is accepted, be they a student or an adult who played before and wants to get back into the music for the love of it. I can't speak for Meramec, but at Flo Valley, which I'm familiar with and am president of the 501(c)(3) Friends of the Florissant Symphony Orchestra, there are several CC students, an occasional high school student, and a bunch of adults from their 30's to their 80's who are either music teachers, doctors, dentists, engineers, cops, drop-outs, ordinary civilians and of course, the lowest of the low, liberal arts majors, who played when they were in school and who could never get it out of their system, even if they had stopped for a few years during their career-building and family-building years. At Flo Valley, the adult members (not students) are even assessed $35 dues per semester. The 501(c)(3) does what it can to raise contributions and corporate matching grants, and Flo Valley CC contributes roughly $2,000 per year and pays the director's salary. It costs a lot to run the orchestra, because our rehearsal space is rented from a nearby church (Flo kicked the orchestra off campus several years ago when they got State money to change the orchestra room into some other function), and some of the music people like to hear is not in the public domain and has to be rented from New York or Detroit for anywhere from $100 to $500 for a concert, and we can't charge admission."

ON ANOTHER SUBJECT, Alan Yount has been sharing some memories of his KHS dance band and our late classmate Doug McKelvy. Herewith some of Alan's thoughts, with his permission:

" So sad to hear about Doug. We were great friends in high school ... through the high school band, and of course in my dance band. Doug was a really great tenor sax player and was one of the main supporters of the band. I remember he never missed a job. There were several of us in the band who really wanted to play stage band music, and he was one of them.
Very nice touch that Jack played Taps [at Doug's burial]. I did that several times when I was in the Air Force in San Antonio. Some very grim afternoons during the Viet Nam era. I remember one particular afternoon ... it was cold and pouring down rain. We were all soaked. Only myself and the funeral detail were there ... no parents or friends."

And a bit later:
"Our band played 6 dances our senior year. The kids kept asking for us and many teachers, and I remember Mr. George Beltz especially, liked the band. Doug played all 6 of those dances. Also, after discussion, Doug and all the rest volunteered to play at the last dance, the Coronation Prom. Some of us wanted to go to the dance, but we had so many requests to play. Doug and the rest of us were very pleased to have an article and picture of the band in the Kirkwood paper, talking about its being our "last dance to be played as a band." The band also had a nice write-up in Prom Magazine. [I own some of those but I don't remember this article; next time I am at the Library I'll find this and scan it.] THANKS Alan for sharing these great memories.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


During our reunion picnic I was chatting with one of my favorite couples, he a KHS65 member and she a little bit younger, but a KHSer also. We were discussing his going stag to reunion activities and she smiled and said, "Oh, it's okay with me, but I do have three rules about it - first he can't use my car (she has a cute cute red convertible), he can't wear after-shave and he has to pick out his own clothes for the occasion." I cracked up, what a perfect wifely set of rules. The husband in question IS a real charmer, so the equally charming better-half is a very wise woman indeed. This may have something to do with the fact that they have been married for over 40 years!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating VETERANS - & a Volunteer opportunity

If you are a Veteran or know classmates who are, please comment or email to let us know so we can say THANK YOU. Please continue reading down this post as I am going to add some comments received by our Veterans. And I want everyone to see the opportunity below to contribute your family's Veteran story. All such stories are welcome here too! (See Older Posts for two more posts with Veteran info, one in July 09) Some I know of are:

Rich Mills Bob O'Neill Ken McBride Judge Gary Schmidt Rusty Nelson Linda Stevens
Jack Toman
Paul Silman Alan Yount
Larry Allin - herewith, with his permission, a note received from Larry: "Your post was timely; I am a Vietnam veteran recently returned from the 3rd annual reunion of the unit I served with.
I was a combat medic, assigned to a reconnaissance company in the First
Cavalry Division. In 2008 6 of us "found" each other; phone calls & emails were great but not quite enough. We agreed to meet at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, to pay our respects & get reacquainted. It was a bit awkward at first; but within hours the years
fell away and we were close friends once again. We spent 3 days catching up on the 40 years since our service together & reliving the good and bad of Vietnam experience.

It was cathartic and has prompted us to look for others we served with and to meet again. We have found another dozen of our "brothers" and have met twice more; the search for others continues and planning for the 2011 reunion (in Myrtle Beach, SC) has begun."
Thank you to Larry so much for sharing! Larry is one of our classmates who lives, still or again, right in Kirkwood!
Also, click Linda Stevens' name for a great description of her father's incredible service in WWII. There is more information in older posts (see Snipets from Classmates, July, 2010), but this is a nice write-up I just found, written when he was honored by the Missouri State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. He had an amazing flying & bombing career!

I just found this on a history blog I follow:
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
A Call to Record Veterans’ Histories

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has issued a call to action to all Americans. During the Veterans History Project’s 10th Anniversary Commemoration Sept. 29, he launched a new campaign asking America to "collect and preserve the story of at least one veteran" and to "pledge to preserve this important part of American history." Time is of the essence, he added: "Help us gather in the accounts of 10,000 veterans by Veterans Day."

Congress created The Veterans History Project in 2000 as a national documentation program of the American Folklife Center ( to record, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of American wartime veterans from World War I through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. More than 68,000 individual stories comprise the collection to date.

The project relies on volunteers to record veterans’ remembrances using guidelines accessible at Volunteer interviewers may request information at or the toll-free message line at (888) 371-5848.

Here is another account of the story of Linda's father being awarded the Silver Star 66 years late! Thanks once again Linda for sharing:

"Leslie, here is a follow up on my Dad's service. Several years ago Dad started talking about his experiences during WWII. He had never done this before. One incident helped me to understand what a great man, skilled pilot, hero and of course, great father he is and was. My Dad was a B-17 pilot during the war. He flew 38 plus combat missions. In addition, after his crew returned to the US, Dad volunteered to fly bombardiers to North Africa from England, so that they could practice dropping their bombs. He laughed when he told us this story. It appears that by the end of the war, the Germans had learned to trim their planes to look like American planes. This was an attempt to keep from being shot down. Dad said that during his flights to N. Africa he got shot at by the Germans and on the way back from N. Africa, he got shot at by the Americans until they identified his plane. I have many stories about my Dad's gallantry, heroism and flying skills, but I'll just tell you about one. In 1944 Dad's mission was to fly from home base, Glatton England, to France to bomb rail sites. On the way into France, Dad's plane underwent withering ground and air fire and 2 of his 4 engines were shot out and the planes fuselage was shredded. But Dad was determined to complete his mission. One hundred miles into France, Dad's 3rd engine was shot out. Dad determined that flying to his drop site would be impossible. So he dropped his load and turned around back toward England. He gave permission for his crew to bail out as he was unsure if he could get the plane back. The entire crew stayed with Dad and their plane. Dad could only generate enough power to keep him just above the waters of the English Channel. It took all of Dad's concentration and flying skills to keep them out of the water. While telling the story, Dad laughed to himself. He said he had worked so hard to stay out of the drink that he had forgotten the damned Cliffs of Dover. It wasn't until they came into sight that Dad knew he didn't have the power to clear the cliffs. The English coast is very rocky, with very little in the way of sandy beach. But Dad knew that most of his hydraulics had been damaged and he didn't believe that he had brakes that would bring his plane to a stop. His idea was to circle until he located a sandy beach to bury his wheels and bring his plane to a stop. After circling and running low on fuel, Dad finally came upon a very small strip of sandy beach. He again gave his crew permission to bail out. But once again, they chose to stay with Dad and their bomber. Dad set the badly damaged bomber down and buried its wheels in the sand to bring it to a stop. Not 1 man in his crew received a scratch and his plane was salvaged to fly again. While waiting to be taken off the beach the men in Dad's crew decided to count the holes in the plane's fuselage. They stopped at 151, many big enough to put their heads through. This number did not include the 3 dead engines. After hearing this story, I realized that Dad's skills and heroism had been overlooked. So, over the next 4 years, with the help of Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay, MO, I worked to have him recognized. I do genealogy research and what it came down to was finding another eyewitness. Keep in mind this was 66 years after the event. But, as luck would have it, using my research skills I found the only other living member of my Dad's crew, contacted him and he told me the exact same account of that day. I asked him if he would write a letter to verify the event. He wrote not 1 but 2 letters. Sgt. Neelan, thank you! To bring the story to an end, on May 22, 2010 my Dad was presented the SILVER STAR for GALLANTRY over France in 1944. Congressman Clay arranged the ceremony and presented the award. See for a little more about my Dad. He was among the first graduating class of the Army Air Corps helicopter pilots. He later became an instructor. He is proven to have been the 1st pilot to land a helicopter on the deck of an aircraft carrier. BTW, if you should see the movie "The Last Time I Saw Paris", look for my Dad, he marched in the Victory parade shown in the movie!"

Remember, every woman who has served in the US military, was a VOLUNTEER!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


As you have read earlier if you're following the blog, the Induction Ceremony & Reception for the HOF were held Saturday evening, September 25th. I've posted the photos I took and pretty much described the evening at so I hope you will go there to read all about it. A lovely evening honoring many deserving folks with the Pioneer Award & HOF recognition. The program for the evening included a musical interlude played by Senior Emily Graham who is a double bassist and has already had quite a career. She plays first chair double bass with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and certainly is a budding young star.

Some other notes I jotted down to share include the fact that KHS has recently scored #1 in Math scores in the State of MO in schools with over 200 students and #2 in the State in English. KHS is considered to have the best journalism program in the State also. This doesn't surprise me as KHS has always had excellent journalism programs, students and teachers. The "Call" and "Pioneer" have always been award-winners; remember Mrs. Conley? She was a real task-mistress! The Missouri Teacher of the Year 2010-2011 is KHS' Chemistry Teacher Roger Becker, a KHS teacher since 1990. (seems like they'd wait til the school year is over to elect the best teacher, what if he messes up?)

Patrick Jackson, the band/orchestra teacher and the one who took the KHS Orchestra to Carnegie Hall, was present at the induction ceremony, introducing Emily and commenting about the caliber of the students. Obviously he's a great teacher too!

The highlights of the evening for our class were of course the induction of our classmate Judge Gary Schmidt who had a stellar career in the judicial system, and has been a staunch supporter of KHS65 for many many years, and the induction of classmate Paula Faulk's husband Rodger Riney, founder of ScottTrade. For me personally another highlight was the posthumous induction of John F. Yardley, a leader in the early space program and a colleague and friend of my father for over 30 years at MDC. One of my best friends' husband's cousin was also inducted, making another treat for me to meet Ted Almstedt and his wife Barbara. Mr. & Mrs. Earl E. Walker (KHS39 & KHS38) are well-known Kirkwood school benefactors and I am told are the parents of KHS65 classmate Tom Walker. I didn't know Tom well at KHS and am still not positive they are his parents, but they are the parents of 4 KHS alums so I don't want to leave them out; whether or not they are Tom's parents, they have done an awfully lot for the Kirkwood School District!

Students gave their time to serve as guides during the inductees' campus tour, to serve punch and hors d'oeuvres and escort the inductees off the stage with their awards after their acceptance speeches. They were all just charming and YOUNG! It was a memorable night, I wish everyone in our class could have been there.

For those of you in St. Louis, you might check the coming year's
Opera Theatre schedule as John McDaniel (KHS79), another inductee, will be conducting 'Daughter of the Regiment' from 5/28 to 6/26 with single tickets going on sale 2/26; and in April he will be conducting 'Catch me if you Can' on Broadway. John is a charming and gracious fellow whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a Symphony concert - he autographed my CD "From KHS79 to KHS65" which I thought was so fun!

Herewith is Gary Schmidt's acceptance speech which I coaxed him into sharing - he had to cut it a bit on stage, some were way too long and he was trying to follow the requested time allowance - but he did get most of this said!

I promise you I’ll be short. Ginger Fletcher threatened me if I went over three minutes, and my family promised to help if I even got close to that.

I am a fortunate child, with much for which to be grateful, and I am truly thankful.

Kirkwood High School was a fabulous educational opportunity. I owe a heartfelt “thank you” not just to the great teachers, but to all the school board members, administrators, and staff. Thanks for your time and efforts, both past and present.

Not only did I get to go to Kirkwood High School, but I had wonderful parents too. Kirkwood residents Arthur and Mittie Schmidt are alive, doing very well, and here with us tonight. If we had a hall of fame for greatest parents, they would be there.

I was lucky to be in a fabulous class in 1965. We had 23 National Merit Finalists and Semi-finalists. State Champions galore, including Jim Olson, the best distance runner of the decade not named Jim Ryun. We had an Olympian who competed for Iceland. We had people of coming accomplishment such as Nelson Wainwright & Larry Ferree. Our unofficial class historian, Leslie Canavan, is here tonight. Truly a person was fortunate to be in the Class of 1965.

For the most part our class was a group of genuinely nice people. Teenage cruelties were far less than they could have been, and those classmates would try to help you when you needed advice on important problems such as should you wear socks with penny loafers.

Today you can still get great advice and counsel from these friends. For me, Tom Holley and the Reverend Joe Marting come quickly to mind.

Many of the Class of '65 have continued to hang out together, drawing hundreds to class reunions.

I told you I was fortunate. Forty years ago I married the best thing to ever come from Webster Groves High School. She has been an equal partner in everything we’ve accomplished. Thank you Chris, for all the help and patience.

I want to report something I have seen to you that has nothing to do with good fortune. The Kirkwood system today is outstanding; and in my opinion better than ever.

A few years ago a group of alumni took a tour of Kirkwood High School. During that tour Principal Dave Holley spoke of future challenges, and what Kirkwood was doing to meet them. I was totally stunned by the incredible vision and forethought of the Administration. I walked away thinking, “Kirkwood cannot be in better hands than the current leaders.” I mean that sincerely.

Ginger Fletcher, thank you for the many courtesies. Thank you to the Committee for the honor of letting us be here tonight. I remain proud to be, and always will be, a Kirkwood man."

Gary's write up in the Program Book:

Gary Schmidt graduated from Westminster College in 1969, where he was an All-American runner & Scholastic All-American. Following military service, including duty in Vietnam, he graduated from law school in 1974. Mr. Schmidt was first elected as a judge in 1978, and he served as a judge for 20 years. He received the Irvin A. Keller Distinguished Service Award in 2007 from the MO High School Activities Assoc. In 2002, Judge Schmidt succeeded U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as the Distinguished American Jurist, an award presented at Mississippi State University. Following retirement from the bench, Judge Schmidt served 4 years as Corporations Counsel for the State of Missouri, and then was the Acting Director of Fraud and Noncompliance for the State. [He lives in Jefferson City.]

So classmates, we are batting 1000, (Jim Olson was inducted last fall in the Athletic HOF.) let's nominate another of our stellar athletes for the Spring 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame - send ideas, talk it up with your friends. Wouldn't it be GREAT to have another KHS65 member in the next HOF? Nominations open in January. Let's MAKE KHS65 A HABIT in the HOF!