"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!

Saturday, December 31, 2022


 I am forever trying to catch up with myself, cleaning off my ultra messy desk or some such.  Story of my life!  This time I find a folded up front page of the St. Louis Post Dispatch for 11/14/22, an issue with looks back to things Veterans of course.  The first page headline that day was "This veteran's story is about more than war."  There is a 5" x 7" color photo under the headline which shows Udell's portrait photo in uniform, the flag from his funeral and no fewer than 9 medals/awards.  The sub-title is "Udell Cambers hit .325 in the minors, then died in Vietnam".  The first line of text is "His name was destined to be on a baseball card, but it ended up on a tombstone first."  Udell had siblings in other classes, Ted and Larry in our class for example.  You may remember them as singers.  Udell signed with the Atlanta Braves soon after graduation.  In 1967 he hit .325 for their Class A affiliate.  In 100 games he hit 13 homers, stole 28 bases.  OPS was .952.  "He was drafted that fall and dead by summer."  In Feb. 1968 he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Div., 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment arriving in Viet Nam during the Tet  Offensive. On June 21, 1968 the Atlanta Braves played in St. Louis against the Cardinals; that is the day Udell died.

 Folks from Meacham Park would flock to Kirkwood to watch him play.  He hit homers at Turner School, fans wondered how he could play so well, only 5' 8" and 150 pounds but so nimble, and humble.  There were 7 children, and while not wealthy, sister Josephine is quoted as saying "With the small amount of money, we never saw a hungry day.  We never really knew we were poor."  Udell signed for $500 per month and had dreams of buying his parents a house someday.  Udell left a legacy for KHS though, his great niece played softball for KHS, she wore #19, Udell's number too.  Sadie drew a U in the dirt each time she stepped up to bat.  She later played for St. Louis U and finished her career this past season, one of the best ever to play for the Billikens.  In 2020 she set the school record for batting average, .438. In 2022 she made third-team All Region.  Her father is Mike Wise, the son of Udell's late sister Mardell.  I love the close of the article, which I have paraphrased for brevity, by Benjamin Hochman of the PD staff, "[Sadie's grandmother, Udell's mom] would love to watch Sadie play...she would say that Sadie reminded her of Udell because they could both dominate during the game but were very humble and unassuming as soon as the game was over."  Another wonderful, notable Kirkwoodian, gone too soon.  And yet another veteran gone in that awful war.  War is such a terrible thing.  Perhaps if older men, politicians, military gurus, etc. were the ones being drafted, rather than the youth of the world, war would become more unpopular!  Udell is buried at Jefferson Barracks; next time you're there you can easily look up his location and pay your respects. 



    Well friends, another year has come and gone. For many gone is a good word for 2022.  For Jack and me it was a year of chaos with no kitchen save fridge, microwave and toaster oven for half of it - it's finally finished and beautiful!  Let's all look forward to a happy, healthy, sane New Year. As one of the youngest members of our Kirkwood High School Class of 1965, I finally turned 75 earlier this month. UGH is all I have to say. Yes, I know I'm very fortunate to be this old and in at least as good shape as I am, while not as good as I'd like to be. Maybe '23... did you get that rhyme? I don't do poetry and now you see why, but in looking through some papers the other day I realized I hadn't posted any recent poems from Class Poet Laureate Alan Yount lately. I went on a search and don't see any new ones, but ran into this one below that Alan posted when he turned 74 last summer. It resonates with me now, just change a digit of the year! Alan treated us to so much wonderful music in years past - remember his band playing at our Kirkwood Kettles? In the cafeteria on Friday nights and at our dances...such fond memories.
    Waxing nostalgic on this yet another New Year's Eve, now we way too often are remembering our classmates who are passing all too frequently. You'll see on my Facebook page and below that Christmas Eve brought the death of classmate Donna Heckelman Halsband, still living in Kirkwood, a member of the local Kiwanis group and a retiree of Meramec Community College. May she rest in peace - and on a happier note perhaps some of our classmates are having a nice party up there in heaven, celebrating the great lives we have had in our shared past! May your New Year be everything wonderful!
    "Happy Birthday, Finally
    ……………..“For My Seventy-Fourth”
    ……………..“June 6, 2021.”
    it still seems amazing to me
    I try to play the trumpet everyday
    and can still make high “c.”
    awhile back I had my old horn
    professionally cleaned & worked on.
    it’s so good to play on it looking forward.
    it seems now there is no more old arthritis in the slides
    and the sticking values are all fixed.
    I now feel I still have some more notes to play!
    and feel, also for sure now I have
    just a few more poems to play & sing out high, like high “c.”
    [Alan's poem resonates with me right here, even after the not-so-welcome milestone birthday I do feel this way, thankfully - even if I don't carry a high "c"!!!  I hope you all do too... lvr]
    Postscript: A very sincere birthday wish. My hope, is a wish for a lot
    of people, who survived the virus era. Those that made it both mentally and physically. And now the wish is, they all feel a lot better, finally!
    by Alan Yount"

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."  " 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 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!