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!


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!

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. Check back later and read his article, I'll post it as soon as I ca.  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:

 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 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

 

 

 







2 comments:

  1. What a great story! Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a beautiful story. God does have a plan!!

    ReplyDelete