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The Kewpie Bunch

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With 725 graduating seniors, Hickman High School’s class of 1973 was the largest the school has ever seen. The following fall, Rock Bridge High School opened and this fall, 40 years later, Muriel Williams Battle High School opens on the north side of town for its first full school year.

The class of 1973 celebrated its 40th reunion the weekend of June 21. The reunion took a team of 16 people about 18 months to plan, says Douglas Grindstaff, one of the event’s coordinators. A Friday night reception attracted 186 Hickman graduates to the Sports Zone in the Holiday Inn Expo Center for an informal meet and greet. The next day, 218 Kewpies arrived at Kemper Arena, which is owned Pete and Susan Kemper, for a dinner and dance. Susan is a fellow 1973 Hickman graduate. Charley Blackmore, also known as “Mr. Kewpie,” was DJ for the event.

Blackmore, a 1963 Hickman grad, has managed the Kewpie website, www.kewpie.net, for 15 years. With this site, Blackmore helps coordinate and document high school reunions, maintains a memorial section for deceased Kewpies and has uploaded a digital copy of every Hickman yearbook from 1912 to 2013 — among other archived documents and images. Through donations to his website, Blackmore has also set up a scholarship program for Hickman grads.

The class of ‘73 had a lot to reminisce about their Kewpie days, and they were still talking 40 years later. Although many yearbooks include quotes alongside senior photos, Hickman’s 1973 Cresset did not. Given the opportunity to revisit their high school selves, these 13 Kewpies jumped at the opportunity to offer a quote they could be remembered by.

Name: Karen Brown

Occupation: President of Boone Central Title Co.

High school activities: Tennis, student government, drama, glee club and Trireme, a philanthropic club

Dream job in high school: Psychologist

Fondest high school memory: Going to football games and spending time with friends at King’s Food Host, a local drive-in

How have you changed the most? I’m about the same, but now I’m more calm and mature.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Good times in a great town.”

 

Name: Douglas Grindstaff

Occupation: Retired

High school activities: Baseball and football

Dream job in high school: I didn’t know, but just a few days after graduation, I joined the Air Force.

Fondest high school memory: I went “boonie riding,” a pastime of driving around the countryside with some guy friends. We would also go swimming in nearby rivers.

How have you changed the most? I’m still the same crazy guy, but now I’m wiser.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Be good to everyone, because life is short.”

 

Name: Ruth LaHue

Occupation: Owner of My Secret Garden

High school activities: Speech at Hickman, art classes at MU, working downtown at Hall Theatre and spending time with my future husband, Steve

Dream job in high school: I wanted to change the world.

Fondest high school memory: After school, I would go to McAlister Park (now Peace Park) and listen to music. My friends and I would also go to a burger joint called The Old Dynamite, which was across from the park. Also, during my senior year, I got married.

How have you changed the most? I’m still trying to change the world.

How have you seen Columbia change over the years? Columbia has become a more progressive and open-minded city.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “On and up to bigger and better things.”

 

Name: Mitchell Moore

Occupation: Attorney

High school activities: Football, baseball, Key Club, school newspaper and student government

Dream job in high school: Shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals or attorney

Fondest high school memory: Beating Jefferson City in football on Oct. 6, 1972

How have you changed the most? I’ve been lucky to find my soul mate and be happily married.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “It was fun, and I wish everyone the best.”

 

Name: Gary Pauley

Occupation: Owns G.P. Construction Services

High school activities: I washed cars at Cornell Motors and worked in construction after school.

Dream job in high school: Working in construction

Fondest high school memory: I liked “cruisin’ the Loop,” a pastime of driving down Business Loop 70.

How have you changed the most? I’m still the same, just a little older and now I have a mustache.

How have you seen Columbia change over the years? There are a lot more people.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Keep on truckin’.”

 

Name: Mary Pauley

Occupation: Co-owner and office manager of G.P. Construction Services

High school activities: Pep squad and working at The Cinema Theater after school

Fondest high school memory: I became very close with five girls, and we did everything together. Most of them still live in town, and we are still very good friends.

How have you changed the most? I’ve become more responsible.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on!”

 

Name: Bill Payne

Occupation: Real estate broker at Coldwell Banker

High school activities: Golf

Dream job in high school: Working for a big corporation in a big city

Fondest high school memory: I spent time with friends at King’s Food Host and The Donut Shop on Broadway and swimming holes outside of town.

How have you changed the most? I’m more like I was in high school than I thought I’d be.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Always stay in contact with your good friends.”
Name: Adron Perry

Occupation: Former owner of Midway Little General Stores

High school activities: Working at Gerbes and delivering newspapers for the Columbia Daily Tribune

Dream job in high school: Not sure

How have you seen Columbia change over the years? There has been a drastic change in both population and business.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Live every day to the fullest.”

 

Name: Rick Robertson

Occupation: Co-owner of Booches since 2004

High school activities: Playing bass in the orchestra

Dream job in high school: Be in a band or be the center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals

Fondest high school memory: I came to Hickman during my junior year, so I was nervous about a new school. However, my classmates were nice, and I felt accepted by this special group of people.

How have you changed the most? I’ve learned and grown from my experiences.

How have you seen Columbia change over the years? I’ve seen downtown grow into a vibrant community.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Thank God, I’m still alive. And to all my teachers at Hickman, I’m sorry I was such a jerk.”
Name: Gary B. Robinson

Occupation: Owner of Gary B. Robinson Jewelers

High school activities: Marching band and owning a leather shop downtown, Choctaw Leather Co.

Dream job in high school: Drummer

Fondest high school memory: I enjoyed playing percussion in marching band.

How have you changed the most? I’ve cut my hair and grown up.

How have you seen Columbia change over the years? Columbia is larger, so there are now more opportunities for people.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Keep on keepin’ on.”

 

Name: Don “Donnie” Stamper

Occupation: Lobbyist

High school activities: Volunteered for student government activities, worked with auto shop and COE Cooperative Education

Dream job in high school: Law enforcement officer or policeman

Fondest high school memory: I was relieved to move onto the next step. I also have a lot of great friendships that have lasted.

How have you changed the most? I’ve gained life experiences, and I see the world differently than I did in 1973.

How have you seen Columbia change over the years? Columbia has become a great community with a great quality of life.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

 

Name: David Vaught

Occupation: Associate teaching professor and department chair of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism at the University of Missouri, teaching in the area of Leisure Service and Finance

High school activities: Basketball

Dream job in high school: I worked as a lifeguard and did work with Columbia Parks & Recreation in high school. With these, I knew I wanted to do something with the great outdoors.

Fondest high school memory: I like that Hickman was very campus-like. Hickman was a great place to prepare for college.

How have you changed the most? I’ve recognized that my education would be the best way to further myself in life.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Thanks for getting me started.”

 

Name: Steve Wendling

Occupation: Owns Academy of Early Childhood Learning preschools, a construction company and FilterPave Products LLC — a company that turns recycled glass into pavement; also manages mobile home communities

High school activities: Football, basketball, baseball, state officer for VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America), and I was in a couple of plays

Dream job in high school: To fly for the Navy

Fondest high school memory: Spending time with my friends

How have you changed the most? I have become more mature, and I’ve learned to appreciate people more.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Never give up.”

 

Name: Bruce Whitesides

Occupation: Columbia Public Schools athletic director

High school activities: Baseball, football and Key Club

Dream job in high school: Professional baseball player

Fondest high school memory: We beat Jefferson City 14-13 in football.

How have you changed the most? My hair is a little more gray.

If you could have a high school yearbook quote, what would it be? “Thank you, faculty and staff for preparing me in life.”

High School Sweethearts: Gary and Mary Pauley
Mary Mountjoy and Gary Pauley met at King’s Food Host, a local drive-in, two weeks before their high school graduation in 1973. Their first date was at Sky-Hi Drive-In Theater, and in 1976, they were married. The couple stayed true to their roots by living in Columbia ever since they first met. Mary graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in horticulture, and Gary owns his own construction company, G.P. Construction Services. The couple has two daughters and three granddaughters.

The Kewpie cheer:
Strawberry shortcake, gooseberry pie

V-I-C-T-O-R-Y

Are we it?

Well, I guess yes!

We’re the KEWPIESssssss!!!!!!!

Popular music, then and now:

1973:

·      “Free Bird,” Lynyrd Skynyrd

·      “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Elton John

·      “Walk on the Wild Side,” Lou Reed

·      “Dream On,” Aerosmith

·      “You’re So Vain,” Carly Simon

2013:

·      “Can’t Hold Us,” Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and Ray Dalton

·      “Mirrors,” Justin Timberlake

·      “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk, featuring Pharrell Williams

·      “I Love It,” Icona Pop, featuring Charli XCX

·      “Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons

 

Popular TV programs of 1973:

·      “The Odd Couple”

·      “The Partridge Family”

·      “Masterpiece Theatre”

·      “M*A*S*H”

·      “The Price Is Right”

 

Popular movies of 1973:

·      “The Exorcist”

·      “Enter the Dragon”

·      “American Graffiti”

·      “The Way We Were”

·      “Jesus Christ Superstar”

 

Major events of 1973:

·      The Vietnam War ends

·      The draft ends

·      The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a right to privacy extended to a woman’s decision to have an abortion

·      Watergate hearings begin

·      St. Louis has a 77-day flood

 

Fashion trends, then and now:

1973:

·      Mini skirts

·      Tie-dyed shirts

·      Big hair

·      Leisure suits

·      Bellbottoms

2013:

·      Skinny jeans

·      Glitter heels

·      Yoga pants/leggings

·      Peplum tops

·      Bodycon dresses and skirts

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