I Remember ... Stories - Page Two
Even though I was lucky enough to be a three year starter in both football and basketball at MHS in the early 60's, my fondest memory among many is being part of the Madrigal Singing Group under Virginia Drain, that brought back all 1's - the highest grade - at the district competition in Kirksville. I remember being far more nervous for that competition than for any sports game, but strangely, that made our great performance all the better!
Unfortunately, I'll have to miss the celebration - I'm now the Sports Director for WGRZ-TV (NBC) in Buffalo, NY - and have been for the past 33 years. I am proud to say that my daughter Shannon just finished her freshman year at U of Missouri, where she plans to follow in her dad's footsteps and will be attending the Mizzou Journalism School.
But I am grateful to my former classmate, Suzanne Ayers [Hutchinson], who e-mailed me to tell me about your big celebration and invite me to participate by sharing my own memories of Macon. I am pleased that I was able to be a part of it - thank you!
Suzanne Ayers Hutchinson
I'm probably remembering through rose-colored glasses, but I remember Macon as a very peaceful town with 25 cent movies and those frozen candy bars that would last almost the entire movie if you nibbled. My memories of growing up in Macon include a lot of safe activities for kids of all ages.
In today's world it's hard for our children to imagine a time when you could get on your bicycle and ride from one end of Macon to the other and back - about 2 miles - without any problems except an occasional barking dog.
In the 50's and early 60's my parents had one hardfast rule. My brother Mike and I could go play at almost anyone's house - in the yard, of course - as long as we had our feet back in our yard when the 6PM whistle blew. When we still lived on Duff Street, I remember a couple of races down the cinder alley from Gary & Terry Crutchfield's house to our backyard to get home on time. I don't remember what the punishment was if we didn't make it - since we always did - but we probably thought it was dire.
After we moved to Bennett Avenue, almost every Saturday in the summer I would walk about a mile to the library to pick up my week's supply of books, and no one ever bothered me. In fact, when it was really hot, the little old ladies who lived on that street would often give me a glass of water or lemonade.
The summer I turned 16, a group of us girls decided to bicycle around Macon Lake. We packed our lunches and took off - no hats, no sunscreen (what was that?) and no worries. Seven or so miles later we were a bunch of tired - but satisfied - dirty, sweaty achievers whose only problems had been dust from the occasional passing car AND that hill by the Girl Scout Camp. Did I mention that I didn't know how to ride a bike when I agreed to do it - and had to quickly teach myself using my brother Steve's bike on the Bennett Avenue cul-de-sac - because who wants to admit that they don't know how to ride a bicycle when you're almost old enough to drive a car? That cul-de-sac was the site of many cowboys & indians wars, GI Joe battles, etc, because all the neighbors from the 14 or so houses on the street knew all of us, and we knew they had permission to correct us if we got out of line. At one time there were 30+ kids within two blocks of our house. Our yard never had grass around any of the bushes, because we played hide-n-go-seek until after dark many nights during the summer, and there was an almost permanent softball diamond cut into our little backyard.
Another thing I remember is Daddy getting up on a ladder after rainstorms to see what was stopping up the drains. Inevitably, the stoppage would be two or more balls lost playing Alley-Oop over our house.
I miss the innocence that Macon provided for most of its kids. What I'm saying is that my favorite Macon memory is of the security I felt in my childhood - that so few children will get a chance to feel today - and it's only been 40+ years.
Today I live in a small village of only a few hundred people, yet we now lock our homes and our cars because it's a different world out there. It's rather sad, don't you think?
Connie Parks Barringhaus
Growing up in Macon was awesome!!! I remember getting to go to the Jack & Jill Tot Shop to pick out clothes and my Terry Lee Doll which are now collectibles on E-Bay.
Every Saturday night we would go to the Vine Street Cafe and have the best hamburger baskets!! During high school, our favorite after school activity was going to Rexall Drug, having an ice cream and talking about our pressing teenage problems!!
A favorite summer activity was to lay out in the sun at Macon Lake. When I was a Girl Scout I always loved my summers at the Scout Camp on Macon Lake and all the college girls being our counselors - Lucinda Eggleston, Dr. Maddox's daughter and the others - we thought they were so cool!!
As a teenager, of course we loved going to the Frostop Drive-In, then cruising around it and the square in downtown Macon, to pick up boys. It was a different time and place then, and there were no worries about drugs or crime or being attacked. My parents never worried about my being out late in Macon, because it was a safe place.
I wish I could go back in a time capsule and discover the magic there all over again!!
Marilyn Prather Goulden
My family moved from Kirksville to Macon in 1948 and we lived on Jackson Street across from our high school art teacher, Mrs. Kessler. The walk to Central Grade School was 2 or 3 blocks. What an ugly school as I recall. I will never forget that there were no doors on the stalls in the girls' restroom. We lived one block from the Jackson Street Park where I spent many hours swimming in the pool. It was drained every afternoon, and kids would linger in the pool until the last drop of water was gone! The merry-go-round was always a challenge - seeing how fast you could push it, jump on and get as dizzy as possible before jumping off. I suppose now this would be called a 'rush'!
I have fond memories of Sunday afternoons spent at the Lenzini home. Mary, Betty Lou and Laura Kay and I would listen to the 'Shadow' on the radio while eating Mrs. Lenzini's famous homemade fudge and drinking real lemonade. I felt it an honor to be included in their family tradition.
I remember riding my bike all over town - day and night - without a light or a helmet ... that was freedom! My favorite trick was flying down the hill on Sunset Drive, standing on the seat with my arms outstretched ...
Yes, I too remember the Old Maid ice cream treat at Rexall's. And how about those ham salad and tunafish sandwiches served on toasted white bread?
Amy Lee Goosey - Re: The Missouri Highway Patrol Radio Tower
What was classified as a 'Million-Dollar Tornado' ripped through Macon County and into Macon on June 12, 1970, and Troop B patrol's 328 foot tower was toppled. It came down with such force that the top sections were buried in the ground. Winds also removed a section of the roof on the headquarters building and there was heavy rain damage on the inside. This marked the second time the tower was struck by a tornado, the first time was in 1960.
At the height of the 1970 tornado, 23 year old Trooper William R. Brandt was killed when his patrol car slammed into the Middle Fork Bridge west of Macon. He was one of three patrolmen in the area that were tracking the storm and reporting funnel sightings. Trooper Brandt is one of only two troopers from Troop B killed in the line of duty.
Maria L. Evans - Re: The Missouri Highway Patrol Radio Tower
I remember that tornado in which the tower went down. There was HUGE hail that day the size of golf balls up to baseballs. I ran out to grab them up wearing my dad’s construction helmet, and it was one of the few times we actually WENT to the basement in my grandparents' house instead of just talking about going down to the basement. You could see the tower from their backyard, and when we went to the basement, the tower was in the horizon - but when we came out, it wasn't. Very weird! Read the whole story on the Missouri Highway Patrol and Troop B
Linda Mathis - Re: The Missouri Highway Patrol Radio Tower
About the tornado that blew over the Highway Patrol Tower the second time, I watched the tower go over through the double glass doors in the Emergency Room at the hospital. A bunch of us - mostly my relatives - were standing there watching the storm, and I remember someone saying "There goes the tower!" - then seeing the lights fall slowly into the treeline.
Donna Llewellyn Lester - Re: The Missouri Highway Patrol Radio Tower
I remember the day the State Highway Patrol Tower was taken down by the tornado! I was playing outside when the sky turned this really weird greenish and orange color. That was right after my grandmother and her little dog, Tiny, left their mobile home next door and descended the steps into our basement. My sister and mother were already there, with KRESS radio station turned up so loud that I could hear it outside! Tiny was running up and down the steps and barking at me because she thought I should be in the basement too. I was fascinated by the sky but then I started watching our neighbor boy, Skeeter Benedict. Skeeter was trying to get his dog out of its dog house to bring into their basement. Skeeter was around 11 years at the time and he was home alone. Skeeter could be the meanest kid in the neighborhood and I was surprised that he was so worried about his dog. At this time everything was really calm - but then all of a sudden the wind picked up. It raised the dog house up off the ground and the dog ran out. Skeeter and the dog headed up the stairs to the back door of their house - mind you there were around 18 steps - and then the entire roof came off the Benedict's house!! At that moment I forgot all about Skeeter and his dog and ran into the back door of my own house and down the steps into our basement. I jumped into the coal bin in the southwest part of the basement where mom, my sister, my grandmother and Tiny were huddled ... and yes, it had coal in it! We still heated our homes with stoker coal at that time. The tornado DID sound like a freight train. We had heard many freight trains since we lived on West Bourke Street just north of the Burlington railroad tracks. I didn't actually see the State Highway Patrol Tower come down - but my father, Bill Llewellyn and Shorty (William) Crail did - it dropped down right behind their vehicle on US 36 as they were driving home from work!
My father and Shorty said the tower was swaying and they didn't know whether to stop the vehicle or drive on, and they decided to drive on. The patrolman that was killed was behind them on the US 36. The tornado did the most property damage on Sunset Drive and if you drive down that street today, you can still pick out the houses that were built after the tornado.