Inside Columbia
Your Guide To Living, Working & Having Fun In Columbia
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prime profiles

Bob and Kathy Jones

Photos by L.G. Patterson Like many other retirees who woke up on a balmy June morning this year, Bob Jones went for a swim. He had been preparing for this particular swim for more than a year, and he had flown from Hartsburg, Mo. to…

Richard & Margaret Hart Create Sanctuaries

Photos by L.G. Patterson After 86 years of experiencing life, most of those spent as a Ph.D. entomologist, Richard has developed an extensive understanding of monarch butterflies and a commitment to making a place for them in the world. At…

The Un-Retired Retirees

Photos by L.G. Patterson On top of the papers stacked semi-neatly on MU Director Emeritus of Admissions and Registrar Gary Smith’s desk at his office in the General Services Building lies a columnar schedule sheet, filled out by hand. “I’m…

Lanny & Lynee Geary

Not all Missouri roads lead to Columbia, and not all the streets of Columbia lead to the University of Missouri. Except in the world that Lynne and Lanny Geary have created together. Lanny is a retired physician; Lynne, a retired nurse. The…

A Perfect Fit for Rocheport

Photos by L.G. Patterson If Rocheport were a jigsaw puzzle, John Zondca and Diane Dunn would be a pair of pieces that fit exactly in its center. Having dropped out from the 21st Century's stressful pace of life, they've made a place for…

Exercising Their Retirement Options

Chuck and JoAnn Wilson are sitting together at 10:30 a.m. in the living room of their villa at Old Hawthorne. Their dogs, Dotty and Coali, are lying down nearby. Outside, a brisk winter wind is blowing across part of the golf course that is…

Exercising For Good Health

This issue of Prime focuses on healthy living. Alberta Smith is closing in on 89 years old and exercises almost every day. When she was younger, her exercise was chasing her seven children. As the wife of former Columbia mayor and county…

The Volunteer Life

In 1961, Charlie and Jean Gibbens were Kansas natives living in Grinnell, Iowa, and looking for a new path. Charlie, a territory sales representative for Mobil Oil Co., needed something better, but with a young family to support, he was…

Choosing Children

photos by L.G. Patterson Lynn Barnett remembers what she was wearing the day she interviewed for the director of special education position at the Columbia Public Schools’ district office in August 1984. She remembers each of the people in…

Columbia’s Fashionista

Monica McMurry is a fashionista! But not like the airbrushed divas you see preening on the red carpet on Oscar night. Not the ones who boast that they’re wearing Dior and Harry Winston. She’s more akin to those defined by Merriam-Webster:…

Chuck Crews

In 1979, 68-year-old businessman-philanthropist Chuck Crews lived through “Terrible Tuesday,” which is one of the worst weather disasters in American history. Just three weeks after he had arrived to Wichita Falls, Texas, with his family,…

Louise-isms For Life

Stacks of old photographs and newspaper clippings, typed documents and handwritten notes are scattered across Louise Martin’s living room. They occupy the surface of every table, sofa and chair. On one end of her coffee table sits a box…

Mary Jean Leeper

In the 21st century, it seems everyone is in a constant state of fast-forward with their life-settings on autopilot. We rarely slow down long enough to sift out the frivolous and the mundane. Everyone is plugged in, logged on and connected…

Leaving His Mark

“Coulda, woulda, shoulda called Atkins!” It’s an earworm that can last all day, and the company and the family this locally known ditty represents has a long history in Columbia and Boone County. Beginning in the 1920s, T.E. “Country”…

Cheryl Howard

Fifty-six-year-old Cheryl Howard has what some might call grit…actually, a whole lot of it! That’s what kept her on the job as executive director of the historic Nora Stewart Early Learning Center near downtown Columbia when she wanted to…

Peter Mark Richman

Recognized for hundreds of television roles dating back to the 1950s, Peter Mark Richman broke into film alongside Gary Cooper in the 1956 civil war western, “Friendly Persuasion.” “But I'm not only an actor, I’m also a playwright,” notes…

Warren and Shelly Mayer

Once while manning the sign-up table for a Divorce Care class at church, Warren and Shelly Mayer were horsing around, being playful, teasing each other as they tend to do. And when a woman who observed their back-and-forth banter approached…

Plants, People and Place

On a Sunday morning in early spring, parakeets are chirping somewhere in Helmi’s Gardens as the wind picks up and buffets the plastic on the greenhouse outside. The warm morning sun causes the roof to creak and shift as it expands in…

Halcyone Ewalt Perlman

Anyone who’s ever met 80-year-old dance instructor, Halcyone Ewalt Perlman, will readily agree that she’s a lady, and a lovely one at that. She’s an artist with a penchant for beauty and her south-side Columbia home is evidence of…

Jane Williams

If you watched much television back in the 1970s, you couldn’t miss the television commercial that touted, “When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Back then, E. F. Hutton was one of the most respected brokerage firms in the…