MCKINLEY LUNCHEON COMMITTEE MEMBERS

President: Don Trokey from the class of 1966
Vice President: Monica Horak Tallent from the class of 1976
Secretary: Sue Mills Coleman from the class of 1961
Treasurer: Mary Aschenbrenner Gabel from the class of 1959
Newsletter Editor: Jackie Robinson Maloney from the class of 1952
Photographer: Donna Coibion Rideout from the class of 1966


Other committee members are:
Rita Long from the class of 1971
Linda Rhodes Simpson from the class of 1964
John Strickland from the class of 1966
Pat O'Neal Wiseman from the class of 1962
Cathy Gillean Woolem from the class of 1971

IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR

Tom Kiske from the class of 1961 wrote this article that is very appropriate, especially at a time when many might be reflecting on the topic of genealogy...


At a certain age many of us realize how little we know of our family history. My wife benefitted from her dad's research, which revealed fascinating connections to Jamestown, Abraham Lincoln and Lady Diana. Paula clearly married beneath her station, but now I heard my ancestors' stories stirring my blood.



First step: document facts about existing relatives. I was astonished at the effort it took to convert what I thought I knew to names and dates in black and white. Admittedly, I have a large family, but do you know exactly when and where your aunt and uncles were married? Their birthdates and those of their kids? I sure didn't.

My biggest surprise came when I discovered a previously unknown cousin my age who'd lived around Holly Hills. That close, yet our path never crossed nor did anyone ask, "Hey, you related to Karen?" Wow, the possibilities that might've opened up in high school. A default escort for events. She was pretty and likely wouldn't have needed me, but heck, I might've improved my high school record: two dates in four years. She's a gracious, intelligent lady I'm proud to call not just a relative, but a friend.

When you look into things you may find what you've been told about your family isn't entirely true. My dad (a Goldbug) swore we were Dutch but census records list my great-grandfather's birthplace as Hannover (later part of Germany). My dad remained stubbornly "Dutch," but there are marriage records back to the 1700's in a small Hannover town. It's not far from the border with Holland and borders do shift over time, so who knows?

Disappointingly, no royalty in my family, but I can claim a literal rock star (Google Michael Kiske).

I also learned my family had lived in the Soulard area for over 150 years. Pretty deep roots. In fact, St. John Nepomuk church and rectory were built on land my great-grandfather sold to Archbishop Kenrick.

Beyond bare facts, you can draw inferences from what you learn. For example, my wife's ancestors and mine arrived in St. Louis from Germany about the same time: mid-1800's. Back then the city was quite small, with a huge population of German immigrants. Did my wife's great-grandparents and mine know each other? We can't be sure, but it's fun to speculate. If they'd been friends, were they up above nudging Paula and me towards our unlikely meeting 100+ years later at Mizzou?

Genealogy can also suggest insights into why you are the way you are. I once helped set up a family reunion at a Tower Grove Park pavilion. I flew in from Houston and was stunned at the number of relatives who showed up, at least half of whom I'd never before met. After initial introductions, I said, "Well, I know you all want to see the relationship chart I drew up." My McKinley friends won't be surprised that the chart I unrolled on the table was a full color NatGeo poster showing the descent of the great apes. When I pointed to one of the early apes and announced, "Now this is great-great-granddad," one of the older ladies shook her head and said, "Tom, you're just like your grandfather!" He died before I was born but was he the source of my quirky sense of humor? See, it's not my fault!

Sometimes reaching out to relatives can even heal old wounds. My dad's family had long ago split in two; progeny from granddad's first wife on one side, those from the second wife on the other. Virtually no interaction since the Great Depression, until during another trip to St. Louis, a man from the "other side" graciously invited my wife and I into his home. Terminally ill and bedridden, we met in his bedroom. He struck me as a good man, open and congenial. At one point, he brought up the family split and I was taken aback when he asked, "What was that about, anyway?" He didn't know! Nobody on his side knew.

I did know. My dad had told me years ago and it wasn't pretty. I could have passed the tale on to John, but to what end? Instead, I just shrugged. Better the old offense be forgotten, the family to some degree at least, made one again.

Genealogy, if no more than a compilation of names and dates, can be awfully boring. The stories, though ... Oh, the many, many stories.

A FOND FLASHBACK TO 1962

As the class of 1962 celebrated the 60th reunion of their graduation in 2022, we looked back at what was going on in the world during the year they graduated.



In world news, there was much tension between the United States and Russia. In Cuba, missile launch sites were being built, and spy-plane photos showed the presence of Russian technicians at those sites. President Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba and although construction continued on those sites, Soviet naval vessels began turning back. The crisis was settled when the Soviets agreed to dismantle the launch sites and return the missiles to Russia and the U. S. promises not to invade Cuba.

Gary Powers, a United States U-2 spy-plane pilot whose plane was brought down in the Soviet Union in 1960, was exchanged for Rudolph Abel, head of the Soviet spy network in the United States in the 1950's. The capture of Powers had escalated the Cold War and increased the distrust between the U. S. and the U.S.S.R.

In space, astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit Earth. In Mississippi, James Meredith, an African-American, applied for admission to the all-white University of Mississippi and was denied. When Mississippi state troopers barred James Meredith from entering the school, President Kennedy ordered federal marshals to escort Meredith to registration. After violence erupted, federal troops were called in and Meredith registered the next day.

Two notable deaths in 1962 came from very different areas. Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died in 1962, as well as movie star and actress Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was only 36 years old and died three months after singing a sultry "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to President Kennedy at his 45th birthday celebration.

At the movies, there were lots of attractions. Burt Lancaster starred in "Birdman of Alcatraz"... Gregory Peck was great in "To Kill A Mockingbird"... Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft starred in "The Miracle Worker" and the first James Bond movie, "Dr. No" with Sean Connery hit the screens. "The Manchurian Candidate" featured Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made headlines on and off the screen during the filming of "Cleopatra." On stage, "My Fair Lady" stood as the longest-running musical in Broadway history when it closed after 2,717 performances.

In television, "The Beverly Hillbillies," a new sitcom about country folks striking oil and moving into a Beverly Hills mansion, began its rise to the top of the Nielsen ratings. Other notable shows that premiered in 1962 were "The Andy Williams Show," "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," "Combat," "The Merv Griffin Show" and "McHale's Navy."

Walter Cronkite replaced Douglas Edwards on "CBS Evening News," and an ad for NBC said, "Why be color-blind? This fall, more than 2/3 of nighttime programming will be in color."

In music, after Decca and other recording companies turned him down, Brian Epstein convinced George Martin at EMI to sign The Beatles for a penny per record side and a dime per song album. The Beach Boys came on the scene with "Surfin' Safari," and a new group, Peter, Paul and Mary, produced one of the year's top-selling albums. The soundtracks from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "West Side Story" were popular. Other popular record albums included Ray Charles' "Modern Sounds of Country and Western Music," Elvis Presley's "Blue Hawaii," and "Holiday Singalong with Mitch Mitchell". Chart-topping songs by debut artists included "Sherry" and "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons, "Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler and "Roses Are Red" by Bobby Vinton. Other popular songs of the year were Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Loving You," Elvis Presley's "Good Luck Charm," Bruce Channel's "Hey, Baby" and "Soldier Boy" by The Shirelles.

In sports, Jack Nickolas won his first major golf tournament, beating Arnold Palmer in a playoff for the U. S. Open trophy. In baseball, Maury Wills stole 104 bases and teammate Sandy Koufax struck out 18 in a nine-inning game. Willie Mays of San Francisco hit 49 homers to claim the home-run title and Jackie Robinson became the first black player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The National League expanded to 10 teams by welcoming the New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45s.

Popular fiction books were "The Prize" by Irving Wallace, "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by Irving Stone and "Youngblood Hawke" by Herman Wouk. Popular non-fiction books were "Calories Don't Count" by Herman Taller, "Sex and the Single Girl" by Helen Gurley Brown and "Travels With Charley" by John Steinbeck.

First-class stamps were 4 cents, a gallon of gasoline was 31 cents, a gallon of milk was 49 cents, a dozen eggs cost 54 cents... The average annual income was $5,155 and the average new home cost $18,200.

Goldbug Luncheon

The next McKinley Goldbug luncheon will be Wednesday, February 15th 2023. It is necessary to make a reservation to attend the great gathering of Goldbugs.

To learn more about our Luncheons, including directions to the Royale Orleans Banquet Center, please click "Luncheons" on our menu above. To print the required reservation form, please click on the photo to the right.