61st Edition
First issue         November, 1920


                                 FEBRUARY, 2012


Trojan Head designed by  
Kermit Ruyle '47

8 Months until

 Reunion 2012
Oct 5,-6,-& 7th




February Birthdays

'62 Carol Weiss
'64 Rayma Weiss
'65 Chenell Penelton

Prices good through February 15, 2012

Oct 5th - Friday Mixer
St. Charles
Convention Center
3 – 8:00 pm
Light Appetizers
Cost: $25.00 (pp*)

Oct 6th - Saturday - Dinner/Dance

St. Charles Convention Center
6 – 7 pm
Cash Bar
7 – 11 pm
Cost: $60.00 (pp*)

Oct 7th - Sunday Picnic
St. Peters
Cultural Arts Room
11 – 3:30
Bring a lunch & drink
Cost: 1.00 (pp*)

(*per person)

(Buzzbook included with Saturday's event)

View Guest and events attending

2012  Member List











A Tribute to Captain Travis Patriquin:
America's "Lawrence of Arabia" in Ramadi
by Chad M. Pillai

December 6, 2011 marked the fifth anniversary of the loss of America's "Lawrence of Arabia" in Ramadi. On that day, U.S. Army Captain Travis Patriquin, the grandson of Jack Patriquin '45, along with Marine Corps Major Megan McClung and Army Specialist Vincent Pomante III were killed in Ar Ramadi by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The tragedy marked the end of Travis' remarkable career and tireless efforts to win the "Battle of Ramadi" in 2006.

Travis was a unique and unconventional thinker with whom I had the pleasure of working with. We worked together as Brigade Operations Planners and in Iraq as Civil-Military Operations Officers.

He arrived at the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division (Ready First Combat Team) with an extremely valuable skill set needed for a successful counterinsurgency campaign -- fluent in the local languages and cultures.

Travis' experience as an enlisted intelligence analysist with the Special Forces serving in South America and subsequent language and cultural immersion training in Jordan created an officer fluent in Spanish, Arabic, and Pashtu.

Immediately after 9-11 and the start of Operation Enduring Freedom, Travis deployed to Afghanistan and served during Operation Anaconda and the U.S. push to remove the Taliban from power.

In early 2005, Travis arrived in Germany to serve with the 1st Brigade. Upon notification of our deployment to Iraq, Travis volunteered his time to train officers selected for civil-military operations in language and cultural immersion classes. In the months leading up to our deployment, many of us were trained to read some basic Arabic, but more importantly, to develop a greater appreciation for Muslim and Arabic culture to plan and prepare for future operations.

From January to June 2006 I served with Travis in Tal Afar, Iraq after the transfer of responsibility from the 3rd ACR. During that period of time, Travis and I worked to rebuild the shattered city and gain the support of the local populace.

Working with Travis I was able to develop a clearer picture of the tribal dynamics of Tal Afar with its mixed population of Sunni and Shia Turkmen and develop a road map for political and economic development which eventually led to reintegration of neighborhoods (Major Neil Smith's campaign in Sa'ad, for example), the expansion of the Iraq Police, development of a small business center, illiteracy programs, and the successful (symbolic) development and passing of the Tal Afar district operating budget by the governing council and Mayor Najim. Travis' greatest impact came when the Brigade was ordered to Ar Ramadi.

When Patriquin arrived in Ramadi he studied what happened to the Abu Mahal in western Anbar Province. He instinctively knew that if a tribe challenged Al Qaeda it should be the primary goal of the U.S. to defend and strengthen that new ally.

Al Qaeda's ruthless intimidation campaign in Ramadi led to one of the deepest personal friendship and tactical alliances between the Ready First Combat Team commanded by COL Sean McFarland and Sheikh Sittar Abu Risha. Travis clearly understood that Al Qaeda's murder of a local sheikh and the dishonor displayed to the family by not returning the body to the family was the pivotal point in which the local Sunni insurgency could be redirected away from attacking U.S. forces and toward Al Qaeda's corrupt and alien interpretation of Islam. From this relationship, the Anbar Awakening took a life of its own which would eventually spread throughout Iraq. The basic principles was simplistically demonstrated in Travis's famous "How to Win in Al Anbar" stick-man PowerPoint presentation.

Sadly, on the 6th of December 2006, a day that important development work was being done with the chief of the Jazeera Council, I heard the news of Travis's death. The image remains with me to this day as of the smoke plume from the IED that had just detonated. At that moment I not only lost three friends (Travis, MAJ McClung, and SPC Pomante) but also my mentor and comedic partner in our struggle to reclaim Ramadi from Al Qaeda.



Page 2                                                                                     FEBRUARY, 2011


    How do you store your pictures?   Framing, scrapbooking or storing them in shoeboxes? With the advent of digital photography, there are several options for sharing the photos you love, making them last a good, long time: You can either: Email,  scan  or use US Postage (If photos are to be returned, please include return US Mail postage.)            

Built in 1930, the Arena -- affectionately known by locals as "The Barn" -- was a dominant sight from the hills south of Forest Park. The building offered a handsome, unmistakable profile to travelers on Highway 40. The Arena was closed in 1993, when the completion of the Kiel Center in downtown drew away the St. Louis Blues from their historic home -- part of the deal struck by the Kiel Partners to ensure their new venue would suffer no competition.

As the sun set on the evening of February 27, 1999, it heralded more than just the end of the day. For St. Louis, it was the end of an era, the end of a landmark. The Arena, a city icon and a familiar sight for thousands of city dwellers and motorists, was destroyed in a 30-second implosion.

Creve Coeur Park circa 1900 -->





The granddaughter of Gary Huffstutter ’62 and Donna Hagan ’68, Jordyn, age 11 (6th grade), performed in an All School Honors Orchestra on January 7, 2012 at Pattonville Senior High School. Four students from each school district were chosen to participate in this event. Jordyn was the ONLY violinist chosen from her school district. Her grandparents are very proud of Jordyn and of her progress with the violin

Diane Clark '65 asked on Facebook: "Did anyone have their picture taken on the pony that this guy would bring down your street? I remember was named Jughead."

Here are a few of the many responses, some with pictures:

Janet Thompson ’50: “I remember the man with the pony and the camera. He took a photo of me and one of my cousin, Roy Dean. I have no idea where these photos are now.... but the street we were on was Plymouth Avenue.

Ruth Douglas ’53
: “Yes, I have a picture of me taken in the early 40's in my front yard on Ridge Avenue.

Gloria Brown '63
: "I do, I even have the picture, although it has been a while since I looked at it! But he even had a vest, guns and holster and a cowboy hat for you to wear.
"Linda Langdon '66: "Absolutely. My sisters and I did but I don't know who has the pictures now. What a good memory."

Janice Clark '61
: "I DO have one of myself. Imagine how we all put on that same cowboy/girl hat? That would probably not be allowed today."

Ann Hartz ’64: “Our photo of the pony is lost now...It was a pinto pony and it was both Clyde and me. I was sitting in front of him and he was wearing the cowboy outfit. It was taken in front of our house on Mount Avenue in Hillsdale. So sad when things from the past are lost...

Mike Case ’65: “I have a large picture of me sitting on a black and white small palomino pony with all the western attire. My picture was taken in 1952 when I lived over in the 5500 block of Cabanne. I saw the man coming with the pony from two blocks away and boy did I do a lot of begging with my mom by the time he came walking by our house!


Thanks to all who have joined WHS Alumni Club – 2012. Those with email addresses should have already received an email about the new address from which the 2012 links and announcements will be sent and responded back so your provider will recognize future emails.

A special thanks to those who sent in a little extra money along with their dues. Many alumni sent in the dollar amount of their class year, some sent in a little extra while others sent in a lot! All is appreciated and needed to help keep the cost down for those who do not have internet service. Printing and postage costs keep rising, but with your generosity we are able to keep the same low price for all club members.

Mistakes are a bridge---between inexperience and wisdom.






 The tale of one report card.

by Sandy (Gibbons) LaRouche '57

It is only now that I can think without visibly cringing, about the day when I shifted into neutral in the driver's-ed car in the middle of Page and Pennsylvania Avenues during the morning rush hour the week before Christmas.

Driver's Education was my first hour class. The students drove a car provided by O'Leary-McClintock,I was never quite awake. (In my own defense I worked 34 hours a week during the school year.)

Right in the middle of the intersection, I experienced a moment of panic when I shifted into neutral. I was so afraid I would do it wrong that I did. To this day when in duress, I get very quiet and extremely polite so when Ralph Corse sort of screamed at me, "Shift into first, DO SOMETHING, Sandy!" I replied "Isn't that what you have a set of pedals for?" Ralph Corse's face became very red. I managed to get the car into gear and back to school but only barely. I got an I for incomplete.

Just like those who were able to drive the minute they were born, I went to Ferguson to try to get my license. I did not. However, I did continue to work, saved my money, bought a little old maroon Ford and paid for my own insurance. I still didn't have a driver's license. My self confidence level was very low. My boyfriend drove when we went out and my best friend took me wherever I wanted to go, but mostly she drove the Ford back and forth to her job while I rode the Page-Wellston bus to mine. To give her credit, she would pick me up at work once or twice a week.

When I was about to marry, I suggested to my friend that perhaps she might want to buy the car from me, as she had driven it for four years.  "Oh, I don't think so," she replied. "It's just got too many miles on it."

Eventually she did buy it from me - sort of. I used the money for my wedding gown and she was my maid of honor. Many years later we laughed about that "sale" and she offered to make up the difference between the $300 I asked and the $150 she paid me. I declined because this makes a better story.

In my early twenties I did volunteer work at a mental hospital with Betsy, a large Lesbian woman who always carried a hip flask of rock and rye. She gave me a driving lesson to remember. In my fiancé's English made MG Roadster, Betsy showed me how to shift while driving on streetcar tracks in the snow on Gaslight Square. I still didn't have the courage to get a license.

I was 26 when my husband had to go to Philadelphia for six weeks leaving me alone with a 13 month old baby to schlep to my grandmother's house by bus while I went to work downtown. Now, under the gun, I returned to the place of my shame, the Ferguson License Office. This time I got my license by promising the officer, that I would never have an accident or get a ticket if he would only just change my score by one point on parallel parking. He did.

I have kept that promise. I've never had an accident or gotten a ticket....yet. I can parallel park like a robot, but I am the world's dullest driver--always the speed limit, always the outside lane, always signaling well in advance. I am totally no fun at all.


The Friday Mixer and Saturday Night Dinner/Dance will be held at the St. Charles Convention Center. The picnic is being moved back to the St. Peters Cultural Arts Room located in St Peters city Hall (5200 Mexico Road) which is the same place it was held in 2006. It is easily accessible, has plenty of parking and is enclosed for inclement weather. The room will hold 325 people.  If the weather permits, the park can be used too.

No commitment was required to attend the past two yearly picnics. You just showed up and made a donation to help pay for the park pavilion. For this picnic it will be a little different. Since the picnic will be held in an enclosed building, the cost is much higher. We are asking everyone send in a RSVP card so we know exactly how many to plan for and so nametags with your school picture can be made. To view who has committed and which event they are attending, just click the list.

If you did not receive an invitation in the mail, you must not listed in the database.  Email [email protected] asking for a RSVP card to be sent to you. Prices are listed on the front page of this newsletter.

WHS Club Membership for 2012 are now due. 
Please click (application) so you will not miss the January Newsletter link.
Don't forget to send your birth date and the address of where you lived at in Wellston.

It isn't what you gather that defines you---but what you scatter  



     Page 4

                            FEBRUARY, 2012



Our Wellston Trojan

Classmates Remembered List
Rest in Peace



Barbara (Himmelmann) Wheatly '56 passed away the beginning of December, 2011.  She had been in hospice for three weeks after suffering from lung cancer.  Barbara lived in Memphis but was laid to rest in St. Louis.

Don Carter '44 died on January 6, 2012 at the age of 85. The 6-foot, 200-pound Carter bowled five  800 series, 13 perfect games and six 299s in sanctioned play. He practically held a monopoly on bowling honors. He was voted Bowler of the Year six times (1953, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1962).  The rest of the story:


Don was the world bowling Champion. He graduated from my high school in Wellston, Mo in 1944, Eleven years before I graduated. He owned the Wellston Bowling alley on Easton Ave, now Martin Luther King Boulevard. I passed by it daily on my long walk to and from home to Wellston Jr high and high school (6 years total). I saw him bowl on “Bowling for Bucks” on TV many years ago. He was living in Miami and was 85 years old. Bill Eggert '55


Feb 1

Feb 2

Wimpee, Marian '46

Crouch, Phyllis '62

Feb 13

Cointon, Paul '58
Mack, Eleanor '61

Feb 20 Moellering, Marion '51

Feb 3

Feb 4

Hill, Barbara '59

Polkinghorne, Gary '66

Feb 14


Penilton, Dora '67


Feb 21 Smith, Robert H. '49

Feb 7

Feb 9

Tiernan, Gene '46

Landsbury, Louise '65

Feb 18


Fears, Mary '64

Feb 25


Cebe, Jerry '57
Feb 11

Barker, Glenda '57    


Feb 28 Orvus, Harry '55



  Page 5



By Joyce (Perkins) Sudbeck '53 
1853 Irving Avenue

Last month I wrote about our balloon-legged gym suits and leg-wrestling which are a part of my fond memories of Wellson High School. There were other things that we did in gym class that were a lot of fun as well.


I have been ruminating about our “alternate Fridays” when, for whatever reason, some faculty member(s) decided it would be very beneficial and great fun to “mix” the boys and the girls. The purpose - to teach us to dance.


Now…their idea of “dancing” and our ideas were certainly not one in the same. They leaned toward the more conventional type of dancing and we were more into the modern, or current dance crazes.


I can still remember seeing the pained look on the boys’ faces as they lined up along the gym wall. They would much rather have been tossing the basketball, running track, or possibly even “hanging by their thumbs” than dancing around the gym floor with just any girl. The pairing, or partner selection, was done randomly. It was not based on any personal preferences or choices made by the dancers, themselves. No opportunities there, at all.


Once we had been given a demonstration of the footwork, we were expected to duplicate it. As the music began, we danced to the schottische, polka, foxtrot, jitterbug, or waltz, to name a few. Good old traditional dances that no one would ever do in the “school dance” world, I assure you. Think back to the Homecoming Dance, the Valentine Dance, or even the prom. Can you remember waiting breathlessly, on the sidelines for some handsome lad to walk up and say, “Hey, do ya wanna Schottische with me?” Oh…I think not.


Even the foxtrot (more along the lines of the popular box-step) was not a favorite. The one-step, or the two-step were more easily mastered, by the boys for slow dances. For the fast ones, well, the jitterbug was pretty similar to the swing, which later evolved into the imperial (double-time, fancier footwork). We didn’t dance many polkas or waltzes at the school dances, either, as I recall.


Anyway, I’ll admit it did turn out to be a lot of fun. There was something about music and dancing that brought out the best in everyone. Quite a few of the guys had two left feet. Their talent for dancing ended with slow dancing the one-step or two-step I mentioned. Lightly skipping around the floor to the lively schottische music with a “One, two, three, hop - One, two, three, hop - Step hop, step hop, step hop” wasn’t their thing. They made us laugh a lot as they “grumbled and stumbled.” They were not happy campers.


We all survived the PE dance sessions and lived to tell about it. I know the faculty meant well and hoped to instill some rhythm and dancing skills in us - maybe even a few social skills, too. They hoped it might “break the ice” so to speak, for our school dances and social events. Did it work? Maybe it did. What do you think?


When we danced back in those days, we actually touched the other person. That was before rock (Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis) hit the record counters.


A couple of years after our PE dancing days, I remember Dick Clark and American Bandstand graced our TV screens. Those kids danced up a storm and introduced a myriad of new dances. The imperial was #1, the cha-lypso (combination cha-cha and calypso, often danced to Paul Anka’s “Diana”), the stroll, the monkey, the mashed potato, the swim, and on and on. For most of the dances, the participants went solo, never making any physical contact with their partners. They had better be good at whatever dance they were doing or they would have looked pretty foolish. They sure couldn’t depend on any help from their partner - who was busily whirling about on their own. Only while performing slow dances, or the imperial, did they really dance with their partner.


Funny how I remember such trivial things, like the names of a couple of the kids on American Bandstand. Remember Justine and Bob (they were favorites that always reminded me of Ken and Barbie)? There was Pat Molateri, Carol Scaldefari… I remember a lot of the names were Italian. Most of the girls were pretty and the boys were handsome and they were all terrific dancers. Fortified with boundless energy, they “Rocked Around the Clock” for hours on end. Of course, Dick Clark (who remained, amazingly, ever-young over the years) was the perfect emcee.


Our “traditional” PE dancing paled by comparison, but I don’t think the faculty ever had it in mind to elevate us to the level of dance expertise performed on American Bandstand.


I love thinking back to my Wellston High School days. Life was pretty much fun with new adventures every day. Strangely enough, I soon began looking forward to those Friday “mixers” in PE class. Learning those dances and watching the boys suffering through them gave me something to smile about.


Fun was where we found it, wasn’t it?

A fire in your heart---can melt the lead in your feet.



     Page 6                                                                                   FEBRUARY, 2012

On the Street Where You Live…

by: Roger Noon '62 | FLASHLIGHT REPORTER
(6418 Mount Avenue)

The Village of Hillsdale was a “fertile” area for Wellston Schools. Living on one side of Mount Avenue, we had plenty of kids who took the bus or walked to school to swell the ranks of its classes.

          With what I remember (with apologies for anyone I forgot)… on the same side of Mount where I lived was Gloria Brown (’63) at the end of the avenue near a factory and the rail tracks. Up from her house was a boy named Johnny Kiefer. I don’t remember him after elementary school.  A couple doors down from him and next to our house were another set of Browns, Christine '55, Danny ’63 and Larry ’64 close to my age. On the other side of our house lived Danny ‘62 and Richard Sedivic. A couple more doors up the same side were the Shuberts, Joan,’59 Gary ‘64 & Sharon ‘65.

    The other side of the same street had Jack Shepherd ’62 and his older brother Howard (Hap) '57, Nancy Forshee ’65 and Ellen Williams ’61 with her brother Danny.  Even with my faulty memory, that’s about a dozen kids headed for school each day on just our little street.  There had to be as many if not more on the other streets and avenues of Hillsdale. It just seemed as if there were kids everywhere with so many of the families being young and primarily blue collar!

          I wasn’t allowed to go beyond my street until I learned to ride a bike, but I was often sent to a corner grocery less than two blocks from the house. When the bike came into use, I often went as far as the cleaners and gas station on St. Louis Avenue and through the four or five streets before that. What an adventure that was as and a new found sense of freedom it gave.

          We played ball in the street as well as cowboys & Indians, Yankees & Confederates and other military battles against the “bad guys”. When the traffic was busy, we moved to the alley in the back of Mount and continued those games. Flipping baseball cards was big (wish I had some of them back, they are worth a fortune nowadays!), playing cards, shooting marbles, swinging at soda pop lids  and reading comic books were mostly our entertainment. If not that, we were watching Howdy Doody, Ding Dong School, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, The Lone Ranger, Saturday cartoons and B-western cowboy shows. In the teen years it was American Bandstand (Justine where are you now!) and the St. Louis Hop (to check out how the other schools danced) Does anyone remember when you were on it!

          Up until the 6th grade, we took the bus which parked near the Shubert end of Mount Avenue. Mr. Saffley, the bus driver was there to take us to Wellsmar. It was torn down and replaced by Spensmar Elementary School during my years. I remember 5th and 6th grades at Spensmar). Do you remember the confectionary store next to the school where you would buy pencils and sweets?

 In junior high being “grown up” meant we would travel by foot in the back alley of our side of Mount Avenue down the steps and the path past Latta Construction Company to the bridge that crossed the railroad track.  After a few blocks we accessed Easton Avenue, passing by a Robert Hall storefront, and crossed Easton either in front of the Western Auto or Central Hardware. From there it was a straight shot to the Junior High (on the hill).  It seemed necessary to start out at least 45 minutes before school to get there on time. Not a lot of time for dilly-dallying!


     Page 7

                                                  FEBRUARY, 2012

Bill Voos (’48)
Sandy (Gibbons) LaRouche ’57
JoAnn (Williams) Croce ’60
Bea McBride '66

Mary Kay (Parker) Morse '56

Jim Shaw '45

Joe Hunter '54
Gloria (Schwenk) Turner '59
Larry Turner '60
JoAnn (Williams) Croce '60
Phyllis (Crouch) Russom '62

Buzz Book
Pat (Miner) Slatton '62

ClassMates Remembered
Carol (Beeman) Hathaway '60

WHS Alumni Club
P.O. Box 774
O'Fallon, MO 63366

Phone  636-696-4693


[email protected]


Email address are available online:

Reconnect to your class friends and neighborhood playmates.
If you would like to be listed send us a note!


Internet Funnies

A British passenger in a taxi in Dublin leaned over to ask the driver a question and tapped him on the shoulder. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb, and stopped just inches from the edge of the bridge over the Liffey River.

For a few moments everything was silent in the cab, and then the still-shaking driver said, "I'm sorry, but you scared the devil out of me."

The frightened Brit apologized to the driver and said he didn't realize a mere tap on the shoulder could frighten any one so much.

The driver replied, "Will the saints in Heaven forgive me -- it's entirely my fault. Today is my first day driving a cab. I've been driving a hearse for the last 25 years."       

Some of Life's Truths for Adults

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

There is great need for a sarcasm font.

Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

Bad decisions make good stories.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this - ever.

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Shoot!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

I would rather try to carry ten over-loaded plastic bags in each hand than take two trips to bring my groceries in.

How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

Send in Your Story! Let us know where you’ve been and what you’ve done with your life.  Everyone loves a good story – what better reading then about someone you know!! 

02/11/2012 06:19:00 AM