House at 210 Price Ave.
Talk about resurrecting a memory! While glancing through the latest edition of MIZZOU, I noticed a picture of a house on Page 7, under the title “Living Green” [Around the Columns, Fall 2011], which looked similar to where my wife, Gloria, and I lived nearly 50 years ago. After comparing it to an old picture we had, we concluded that it was the same house. Our address was 210 Price Ave., but Price was a continuation of College Avenue at the time.
The house at 210 Price (now College Avenue) held 11 members of the Bud and Gloria Vear family while Bud, MD '66, attended medical school and Gloria ran a beauty parlor in a front room. In this photo taken for the 1964 holiday season, from left seated are Terry, Candy, Gloria holding Lida, Bud holding Ricky, Tony and Pam. Standing from left are Gy, Steve and Ray.
When I enrolled in 1962 at the age of 36 to pursue my childhood dream of being a doctor, we had eight children (nine by the time I graduated; we ended up with 12), and we purchased this house because who in their right mind would rent to such a large family! We had very few resources, but fortunately I have a creative and visionary wife. She focuses on the goal rather than the obstacles. The year before I started medical school, she earned a cosmetology license so she could have a home beauty shop to generate some income. (We battled city hall for 18 months after arriving in Columbia before they would grant us permission, but that is another story.) Then Gloria decided that with some renovations we could have seven of our children sleep in the basement and rent out the second floor to four MU students to cover the mortgage. We put in a bathroom and kitchen upstairs and another bathroom in the basement to make this plan a reality. The basement sleeping arrangement was unique, bordering on primitive. Our four daughters slept on a cement shelf that covered a storm sewer running from the front to the back of the house, and three of our sons slept in a curtained-off area in another part of the basement. The front bedroom on the first floor became the beauty salon, and Gloria and I slept in the first floor bedroom with our youngest son in a crib.
The Vear's house at 210 Price in 1962.
The house was our home for four years and generated plenty of memories. Gloria was a 1950 graduate of Stephens College, so she was familiar with Columbia. With no car, I rode a bike to the medical school about two miles away, and we shopped at a grocery store, Wyatts, just a block away. We always borrowed one of their shopping carts to bring home the groceries. On Sundays, we frequently walked to Stephens Lake to swim and grill hot dogs and hamburgers for family picnics. The large storm sewer that ran through the house had an opening in our backyard, and our two oldest sons climbed down and explored its length on more than one occasion. (No, we did not give them permission!)
It appears that the house has not aged at all. Unfortunately, we have. Thanks for resurrecting a distant memory for us.
Dr. Charles “Bud” Vear, MD ’66, Hillsdale, Mich.
Spotlight on Warren Bass
The day Warren Bass [“Crowd Pleaser,” Fall 2011, Page 41] arrived on campus, he popped over to my dorm. We were both from St. Louis, and he had been told to look me up. To say Warren carried his own spotlight is putting it mildly. He was enormously self-confident, and mentally and emotionally lived in his own universe. At a time when the university had a tiny enrollment of African-American students just beginning to express their discomfort with limited social opportunities and other inequalities, Warren quickly become an unexpected and unlikely star. Seeing us together, people would ask me later, “You know Warren Bass?” as if that raised my cachet.
Wayne Brasler, BJ ’62, Westchester, Ill.
Does tradition linger?
I just finished reading the article about MU’s Black Family Reunion in the Fall 2011 issue of the alumni magazine. After seeing the comment about Kappa Alpha Order’s waving of a Confederate flag at a football game during the 1960s, I was reminded how shocked I was when I first saw that happen during one of the first games I attended as a transfer student in 1966. I later learned that the fraternity held — and perhaps still does hold — an Old South party every year, complete with Confederate uniforms and the shooting of a cannon. As a resident of Illinois at the time, I had always regarded Missouri as another Midwestern state and had forgotten its role as a border state in the Civil War. Nevertheless, some traditions were divisive and nasty, and I’m glad they’re gone.
Karen Daigle Schickedanz, BJ ’68, Tucson, Ariz.
Editor’s note: Tom O’Neal reports the Kappa Alpha Order at MU does have a spring formal, like most fraternities. It is still called the Old South Ball, “but the days of flag waving and uniforms are long gone, as is the cannon in front of the house,” says O’Neal, who serves the chapter in an advisory capacity and is executive director of advancement for regional programs at MU.
Oldest football rivalry
I enjoyed Stephanie Detillier’s article about Homecoming [“Did Mizzou really invent Homecoming?” Fall 2011, Page 22]. I graduated from the business school in 1969, and hope I can make the Homecoming game again this year.
Just as the originator of Homecoming is probably a matter of definitions, so would be the oldest U.S. football rivalry. The first two schools to play the game were Rutgers and Princeton, in 1875, and so those teams would clearly have some claim on that title.
I enjoyed the article and look forward to more of the same.
Paul Agathen, BS BA ’69, Washington, Mo.
What about Kenny Downing?
The Homecoming centennial issue [Fall 2011] is terrific. It reminded me in part of great Tiger football players of the past. Where is Kenny Downing, the standout defender and special teams player of the mid-1970s? He was a human highlight film who played much bigger than his size. At Iowa State, he once covered a punt ahead of everyone else, clocked the much-larger blocking back, then tripped up the returner — a play not unusual for Downing’s Saturdays. Tiger fans of that era know.
Bill O’Neill, BJ ’76, Lenexa, Kan.
Editor’s note: As any sports fan knows, the beauty of all-time-greatest lists are the debates they incite! Downing, a fantastic athlete, was thoughtfully considered. He had a brief career in the Canadian Football League for the Ottawa Roughriders from 1978–80. Since 1987, Downing of Westwood, Kan., has been a chiropractor. He and wife Kris have four children. “I hope they attend Mizzou some day,” he writes.
I read with interest the spirit squad story in the Fall 2011 issue [“Rah!,” Page 36] As a Mizzou Spirit Squad member, I was on the all-girl cheerleading squad from 2000–04. During that time, two memories stand out in my mind. The first was in 2004, when the all-girl squad took fifth place at the National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate National Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla. We competed in the All Girl 1 division, made it to the finals and ended up in fifth place. We were very proud of ourselves because there is a tremendous amount of talent at that competition.
When Mizzou beat Nebraska for the first time in 20-plus years in 2003, not only was it a huge win, but also just as memorable was cheering in the rain with some great friends. All we could do was laugh that we were soaking wet. We were on such a high from the game, we never even noticed how wet we were! It happened to be Dad’s Weekend for my sorority, and my dad was in town. He still talks about how cool it was to be a part of that game. I still have that “Victory” poster hanging in my home office. I look at it often to remember what a great day that was. Way to go Mizzou!
Molly White Lyman, BS Ed ’05, M Ed ’06, Columbia
Used suits and ties needed
I enjoyed the note regarding Amanda Wooden’s efforts to “dress up” the students [Around the Columns, Fall 2011, Page 10]. Good work. I thought about the ties I have hanging in the closet. If she would like them, I’ll be glad to either send or possibly deliver them. I don’t think they are too outdated.
Gary Christoff, BSF ’65, MS ’66, Eldon, Mo.
Editor’s note: Wooden will be collecting clothes in summer 2012 for the next annual fall suit drive. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solo twirler dates to 1951
Congratulations on your superior 2011 Homecoming edition of MIZZOU, the magazine of the Mizzou Alumni Association. It is the best edition I have read in the entire 56 years I have been receiving it. I was the first specialty solo twirler at the University of Missouri in 1951.
Laura Fairfax was a twirler for Marching Mizzou in the early 1950s. She wore her black-and-gold Smith-Cotton High School uniform.
I performed at football games during 1951 and 1952. Marching Mizzou was an all-male band at that time, and there was no uniform for me. I used my retired Sedalia Smith-Cotton High School uniform because the school colors were the same: black and gold. Smith-Cotton graduating twirlers were allowed to keep their retired uniforms because we sold cupcakes to buy new uniforms for Smith-Cotton twirlers during our senior year.
Because I was the first specialty solo twirler at MU, I had few guidelines. The band director told me to do whatever I thought appropriate, because Smith-Cotton’s band, where I marched during high school, was considered to be one of the best in the state.
Our band director was George C. Wilson. My name must still be on the records, because I received an invitation to participate in the Marching Mizzou Alumni Band.
University Singers was also special to me. There were 63 in Singers when Tom Mills directed it. In 1954, I wrote a news feature for The Columbia Missourian about the Singers. I wrote the news feature as class work for Sarah Lockwood Williams, wife of School of Journalism founder Walter Williams.
I gave up twirling with Marching Mizzou when I entered journalism school, in order to have more time to study.
Our Fairfax family has earned degrees from the University of Missouri for the past three successive generations. The Fairfax men earned degrees in engineering. Young Connor Fairfax plans to enter the College of Engineering in 2012.
Laura Fairfax, BA, BJ ’55, Jacksonville, Fla.
Reporting in from India
I was delighted to receive the Fall 2011 issue of MIZZOU magazine, announcing the centenary celebrations of Mizzou Homecoming.
I often remember the wonderful time I spent in the beautiful town of Columbia, including the high quality education I received under the guidance of Dr. Adrian Pauw. While living on Hitt Street, I shared the accommodation with Dr. Ridgeway who was then pursuing postdoctoral studies in biology. Besides studies, I was the membership chairman of YMCA and in the editorial board of SHAMROCK magazine. Out of my savings from the research assistantship I received from the university, during long weekends I could explore the richness and the beautiful architecture for which the Midwest is known. During my next visit, I hope I will be able to revisit the campus with my grandchildren and show them around my alma mater.
R. Rajappa, MS ’64, Mumbai, India