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Toast To Olde Tymes

A Toast To Olde Tymes – Helen Findlay

Nature or nurture? Sometimes, by a happy coincidence, a person ends up exactly where she should be. That happened when Helen Findlay went into the family business. Her paternal grandfather, William Wadsworth Findlay, began his career as an art dealer in Kansas City in 1870. One of his most prominent clients was William Rockhill Nelson. […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Tie The Knot

“We’ve only just begun to live / White lace and promises…”  If the words you’re hearing in your head are, “A kiss for luck and we’re on our way…”  – well then, dear reader, you’re probably as shocked as we are to realize that Karen Carpenter’s vocals were gracing wedding receptions more than 50 years […]

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A Toast to Olde Tymes – Mary Conover Mellon

Mary Conover Mellon lived much of her life away from Kansas City. Her memorial still stands, decades after her death. It is a building on what is now the lower school campus of The Pembroke Hill School, which was the Sunset Hill School in her lifetime. In all likelihood, though, many of the students who have […]

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Toast to Olde Tymes – Camp Sosawagaming

Louis L. Touton was an educator for many years, but he is best remembered as the head of Camp Sosawagaming (sometimes called Camp Soso or Camp So-So) in Big Bay, Michigan. The boys-only camp was sited where Yellow Dog River adjoined Lake Superior. In earlier times, the area had been home to members of the […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Giles Cain

Giles Pendleton Cain began writing for The Independent in 1911. His column focused on the theater. It was originally titled “Little Stories of Plays and Players,” later shortened to “Concerning Plays and Players” and finally to “Plays and Players.” He would also write other columns, such as “Petticoat Lane Levities” and “This, That and the […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – The Thomas J. Stricklers

“Dan Cupid pranced merrily this summer, positive his persuasive powers would tie a nuptial knot of importance to Kansas City, a union of big business and much musical ability,” our scribe wrote, back in September 1929. The duo in the limelight were Margaret Jane Armstrong, a coloratura soprano, and Thomas Johnson Strickler, World War I […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Lillian and Dr. Rex Diveley

The course of true love was anything but smooth for Lillian and Dr. Rex Diveley. The couple was involved in not one, but two serious car accidents in a short span of time during their courtship. A different pair might have termed the relationship star-crossed, wished each other well, and proceeded on their separate ways. […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – 1978: Fashion Forward

It’s absolutely true that fun is where you find it — and we’ve decided to look for it in 1978. We’re harking back to a time of dressing up and going out. Part of the joy of the events was in getting ready for them. If the contents of The Independent documented what our subscribers […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Arthur Kraft

Arthur Kraft: that wouldn’t be a good name for an artist in fiction (insert your own Arts and Crafts joke here), but he was a fine artist, none the less. Arthur, who was born in 1921, may have inherited some of his artistic ability from his mother, Mildred Mayfield Kraft, who designed and made flowers […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Mary Adele Bryant Georgen

Holiday flowers? We’re thinking hyacinths. Why? In honor of Mary Adele Bryant Georgen, known as Adele, who served for many years as the hostess (the term in use at the time) of the Yuletide Tea Dance. The winter event at the Muehlebach Hotel (now the Muehlebach Tower of the Kansas City Marriott Downtown) was a […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Helen Houston McDermand Nelson

Chairman of the board of the Columbian Hog and Cattle Powder Company: by 20th century standards, that sounds like a very masculine title. Not even her college classmates could have envisioned it, but animal feed would play a significant part in Helen Houston McDermand Nelson’s life. (There’s an old line, “and brother, that ain’t hay,” […]

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Delights Of Decades Past – Electric Park

A 1937 ad for Stine & McClure (yes, the undertakers – nostalgia sells) perhaps said it best:  “No one who ever rode on the ‘loop-the-loop’ will ever forget the glamour of old Electric Park at Guinotte and Agnes Avenues. Built by the Heim Brothers in 1899 to obtain passengers for the trolley line which had […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Logan Clendening

Logan Clendening was a longtime faculty member at The University of Kansas School of Medicine, but his interests ranged far beyond that academic discipline. His mother encouraged him to follow a literary career. His books included The Human Body, which was published in 1927 and remained in print for approximately 50 years, A Handbook to […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Paul Gardner

Paul Gardner arrived in Our Town early in 1932. At that time, he was the assistant to the Trustees of the William Rockhill Nelson Trust. Paul took up residence at the Sophian Plaza, across the street from the site where the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts (later […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Lucy Christie Drage

When Lucy Christie Drage died in September 1965, our scribe wrote: “Gallant was the word for this indomitable woman whose life was touched by an over-abundant share of tragedies. Three generations of localites remember her in distinctly different lights. Courtly gentlemen who were gay blades after the turn of the century recall the beautiful Lucy […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Mary Virginia Snow Austin and Howard Albert Austin, Jr.

It was a wedding announcement in this magazine from about 50 years ago that got us thinking about the role of the bridegroom. The photo featured a traditionally clad bride happily dancing with her new husband. He was dressed more like the front man for a rock group than a groom. A close reading of […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Virginia French Mackie

Find what you love to do, and find the time to pursue it – that’s advice for a happy life. Virginia French Mackie got a head start. She was only three years old when her mother began teaching her to play the piano. She lived to be 104, and she filled the intervening years with […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Marguerite Munger Peet

There are people whose lives seem meant to be pictorial spreads in magazines. It’s not that they have no sorrows – they do, just as everyone does. Having an artist’s eye helps. Always having projects is useful. Taking an interest in culture and travel is a good idea. Marguerite Munger Peet would have had an […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Dorothy Scarritt McKibbin

Sometimes, what life has planned isn’t what we had in mind. That’s definitely true lately. Dorothy Scarritt McKibbin knew the feeling long before most of us were born. Several times, she faced huge losses – and kept going. Her ability to pursue new courses of action led her to an unprecedented role in American history. […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Virginia Page Hart

Virginia Page was born on October 27, 1909. She was the daughter of Louise J. Page and Henry Clay Page. Her father was a lawyer. He was serving as the public administrator when he died unexpectedly at the age of 47 in 1922. Virginia graduated from Sunset Hill School in 1927. She attended Radcliffe College. On […]

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Toast To Olde Tymes – Patti Harding Abernathy and Taylor Stevenson Abernathy

In May 1933, The Independent published an anecdote about Patti Harding Abernathy and Taylor Stevenson Abernathy, who had been Mr. and Mrs. for more than 15 years. Patti changed her hairstyle for a party. What did Taylor think of her new look? “Her husband remarked that he liked her bangs because she looked as she […]

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