Maplewood’s premier memoirist Bill Jones is remembering them faster than I can get them out. Here’s three more that I know you will enjoy. DH
The Hershey Chocolate Bars – Maplewood High, 1943
Our high school a capella choir was excellent. I felt privileged to be invited to participate. We harmonized beautifully. (My violin was on the shelf by my own choice.) We sang in competition with University City, and Normandy for “top choir”. My boss at Harper’s Pharmacy loved our performances and when I told him of our competition concerts, he said we should be rewarded. He gave me two boxes of Hershey Chocolate Bars (rare in 1943) for our choir.
On the day of the competition at U. City High, I secretly carried the Hershey Bars to our choir. Dr. Best, our Director, stopped me. He smiled and said, “Billy, this is truly a special gift but if our choir eats chocolate before singing, they will sound squeaky!” We knew U. City was better than our choir so two baritones took the chocolate to the U. City tenors. They eagerly passed them around and they all enjoyed the Hershey Bars! You know, we were judged in 2nd place. Normandy’s Choir won 1st place and we kept the secret of the Hershey Bars forever!
Our choir still sang with the student concert with Golsman’s St. Louis Symphony the next year. I sang tenor in the quartet of Grieg’s “Land Sighting” even though my own voice was changing. NO HERSHEY BARS!
Cardinal Fever in Maplewood 1935
In February 1935, we lived on Roseland Terrace in Maplewood on the corner by Manchester. My little brother was born in that home and everyone got excited. I played outside and all our family came to see the new baby!
When early summer came, our Lyndover school principal put his radio in the hall and let the Junior High and some of the rest of us) listen to the Cardinal games. We all sat cross-legged in the hall and pretended to listen to WIL (Franz Laux) broadcast.
My aunt drove in from Jeff City with her son to see the new baby and treat Mom to tickets to the Cardinal game. I was only eight and couldn’t have cared less about the game. We played outside and my buddy Ollie and I walked to the corner. Cars on Manchester were blowing and tooting their horns. They all hollered over and over “The Cardinals won!” Ollie said, “Big deal!” When my Mom and Aunt came home with my cousin, they backed the car into our driveway. Cousin Billy Zim announced, “We are putting cans on string on the back of the car and driving to a place called “Dog Town” to celebrate the Cardinals. Reluctantly, Ollie and I joined my cousin going to the trash behind Remley’s Grocery (faced Manchester) and collected some cans and tied them with rope pieces of “clothes line”. Cousin Billy Zim left us and came back with a large pan that had a few little dents in it and tied it to the bumper. (Ollie whispered, “I think that’s your neighbor’s dish pan.”)
We all loaded up in Aunt Esther’s car and rolled down the windows so we could holler “Cardinals win!” Dog Town was fun and we were just one of the parade that circled through the town and drove back up Oakland Avenue. Everyone was shouting “This is our year.”
When we got home, Ollie and I took the big dish pan off the car. Ollie stomped out the biggest dent and we washed it carefully. Cousin Billy Zim took it back to the neighbor’s back porch and ran back to us. He said, “You kids must not tell anyone we used the neighbor’s dish pan!” My cousin, Billy Zim, never forgot the “dish pan” story and, five decades later, when he was “Zimmerman Ford” in California, Billy Zim called me and we chatted about our Dog Town/Cardinal Dish Pan fun days. He couldn’t stop laughing.
When I told my Dad about this months later, he bought a new dish pan and put it on the neighbor’s back porch! (Daddy was impeccably honest.)
MRH Class of ’45
Little Margie Moore
Margaret Moore (MRH class of 1944) was surely the cutest young lady in our a cappella choir for 3 years. Her effervescent energy and excellent manners made her very popular. When our a cappella choir sang with our St. Louis Symphony, Margie was so petite, she was at the top of our stands. It was a student concert and our families were invited. We filled all of the Kiel Opera House and the convention hall needed to be opened up to seat all our families. We sang “The Heavens Are Telling” and Grieg’s “Landsighting”. We were very proud of our a cappella choir.
Margie had the “letter sweater” for our Maplewood Girl’s Hockey Team. She married my buddy Wayne Friesinger while I was in the Navy. They settled in later years in Clyde, New York. Wayne had a severe work accident and, when I last met Margie, she told me Wayne had passed away. We met at her older brother’s (Tom Moore) funeral in Webster Groves.
Tom had given me (and Bob Rollins) the story about Babe Ruth’s statement about the cute little five-year-old in a Cardinal uniform. Babe Ruth said, “This is the only Cardinal I will ever pose with” and picked her up. She told us that was the most exciting memory in her life until she married Wayne! Margie is one of my fondest memories from Maplewood High.
Those are all great stories, Bill. Thank you so much. And it’s important to remember they are typed by his wife, Barb and she can spell.