Name Change! Tower Restoration! Minutes from the November 2014 Meeting

Waldo Tower Homes Association General Meeting Minutes

November 8, 2014, 10:00 a.m. Waldo Library, 204 E. 75th Street.

Attendance: 15

Board members present: Kurtis Marinez, Elizabeth Hollins, Karol O’Brien, Jeff Highfill, Garth Stocking, Mary Cary

Waldo Tower Restoration

The meeting was called to order by President Kurtis Marinez, who introduced speaker Bob Lawler, project manager with the City of Kansas City, MO. Mr. Lawler is managing the restoration of the Waldo Tower in Tower Park. After years of fundraising and PIAC funds from the City, the Phase I of the tower restoration was completed in 2014. Phase I included concrete repair, painting, and roof replacement, and historic lighting along the sidewalk.

Phase II is currently out for bid. Bids are expected by spring. Work will include cutting a door in the base of the tower, adding an interior ladder for maintenance that adheres to OSHA requirements, redoing the sidewalk, adding a wrought iron fence, and adding lighting at the top and base of the tower. The lighting was discussed extensively, including options for “pure white” lighting, as well as season color-changing LEDs. Kurtis said that fundraising is underway for the color-changing lighting package, which is an add-on to the other work up for bid.

Mr. Lawler answered numerous questions from the audience.

Merger of Tower Homes Association and Waldo Homes Association

Last spring, the Tower Homes Association (THA) board approved a merger with the Waldo Homes Association (WHA). After declining membership and no volunteers for officer positions, the Waldo Homes Association approached THA to merge the entities so that WHA residents would be represented by a homes association. Approximately 25 active members were added to the membership roles. The geography of Tower Homes now extends south, beyond the original 79th St. boundary to a new 85th Street boundary. Generally, WHA’s borders extended from Wornall to Oak, but includes one neighborhood east of Oak, extending to Holmes Rd.

Members in attendance were asked to vote a new name for the merged entity of THA and WHA. The names in consideration were:

  • Waldo Tower Neighbors
  • Waldo Tower Neighbors Association
  • Waldo Tower Homes
  • Waldo Tower Homes Association

There was discussion regarding perceptions related to “homes association,” as no one wanted to give the impression that only homeowners were involved. Renters are welcome. The term “community” was added to the discussion, as the neighboring association, Marlborough Community Coalition was noted as a positive term describing the work of THA/WHA. Garth Stocking moved to adopt the name “Waldo Tower Homes Association” to keep it simple and recognizable for all residents. Carol Gibson seconded. The motion passed unanimously.  Mike Lile will explore use of the web domain names “wtha.org” and “WaldoTowerHomes.org” so that these could redirect members to our current web address, www.TowerHomesAssociation.org

Upcoming Events

December 11, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Happy Hour, 75th Street Brewery. RSVP to info@TowerHomesAssociation.org

Holiday Decoration Contest: Residents are invited to nominate winners of a holiday decoration context by December 8. Nominations can be sent to info@TowerHomesAssociation.org The winner will be chosen at the December 9 WTHA board meeting. If the winner is not a member of WTHA, they will win a free membership for 2015 ($25 value) and a $25 gift card to the Well. If the winner is a member, they will win $50 in gift certificates for The Well.

Membership Drive for 2015

Mary Cary noted that membership invoices will be sent the week after Christmas. The documents are currently being designed and will include the new naming and website as discussed previously. The membership discount card still has two open slots for businesses, and suggestions were given.

There was a discussion of the 2015 meeting and event calendar. Attendees discussed the pros and cons of Saturday vs. week night events, and all agreed that it was good to continue a mix of the two.

Newsletter

Kurtis noted that Kathie Kerr, our long-time newsletter editor, would no longer be producing a hard-copy newsletter, but may be a contributor to an online blog. Kurtis asked if there were any volunteers for a new newsletter editor. Kathie would be willing to train the person. No meeting attendees volunteered. Kurtis asked for the opinion of members about doing a blog on the website vs. a hard copy newsletter.

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Join Us! Saturday, Nov. 8 10 a.m. Waldo Library

neighborhood meeting

Join us Saturday, November 8, 10 a.m. at the Waldo Library for the last neighborhood meeting of 2014!

Agenda:

  • Updates on Phase I of the Waldo Tower Renovations and plans for Phase II
  • Discussion of the merger of Tower Homes Association and Waldo Homes Association, including brainstorming on our new name and combined branding.

We will ask attendees to opine on possibilities for a new name for the combined Tower Homes Association and Waldo Homes Association:

  • Waldo Tower Neighbors
  • Waldo Tower Neighbors Association
  • Waldo Tower Homes
  • Waldo Tower Homes Association

We will also discuss a Holiday Decoration Contest! Anyone can nominate a home, but you must be a member to win $50 in gift certificates to The Well. Submissions must be emailed to info@towerhomesassociation.org by December 8, and judging will occur December 9.

 

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Minutes from the Oct. 2014 Board Meeting

Tower Homes Association

Board Meeting

October 28, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Home of Kurtis Marinez

Attendance:

Kurtis Marinez (President), John Bozarth, Catherine Dobson, Mary Cary (Administrator), Elizabeth Hollins (secretary), Cat Larrison, Damien McNeary, Karol O’Brien

Absent: Angie Lile, Cassi Neff, Jeff Highfill, Garth Stocking, Safia Gray

At the September 2014 General Meeting, attendees elected the following officers:

President: Kurtis Marinez

Vice President: Karol O’Brien

Secretary: Elizabeth Hollins

Treasurer: Jeff Highfill

 

  • Annual Membership Drive: Mary Cary spoke about our annual membership drive and discount card. She asked for input on businesses to approach for the discount card, including representation of businesses in the Waldo Homes boundaries (79th to 85th). Chelly’s, Garza’s Goodies, KC Bier Company, Tropical Snow, and others were mentioned. She suggested an initial targeted email to past members before a mass mailing. The board decided to create a postcard highlighting membership and the upcoming events for 2015. The board agreed to hold dues at $25 per year for now until we can gain greater visibility.

November 8 General Meeting Agenda: Provide more information about the merger and brainstorm on the benefits of membership. Kurtis suggested providing updates on Phase I of the Waldo Tower renovations and the plans for Phase II, which include year-round lighting for the Tower. Kurtis will invite a special speaker. Mary will send a meeting reminder along with a survey regarding our organization’s new name based on the merger with Waldo Homes Association approved by the board earlier in the year. We will ask attendees to opine on possibilities for a new name for the combined Tower Homes Association and Waldo Homes Association:

  • Waldo Tower Neighbors
  • Waldo Tower Neighbors Association
  • Waldo Tower Homes
  • Waldo Tower Homes Association

 

  • Holiday Decoration Contest: It was suggested that the organization host a Holiday decoration contest. Kurtis has 5 – $10 gift certificates to The Well for a prize. Any neighbor can nominate, but the decorated house must be a member to win. Entries must be in by December 8. Winners will be voted on by the board at the December board meeting.

 

  • Holmes Rd. Traffic Safety: Kurtis Marinez shared security footage from his home showing a severe auto accident at 75th and Holmes caused by fast speeds and reckless driving.

 

 

  • 2015 Scheduling:

Board meetings on the second Tuesdays: Dec. 9, Feb. 10, April 14, June 9, August 11, Oct. 13

General meetings on the second Saturdays: Jan. 10, March 14 (Local Election Special), no May meeting in lieu of Annual Picnic, July 11, September 12 (WTHA board elections), November 14

                Mayoral Forum w/ Marlborough and KCPT: TBD

                May Annual Picnic: May 30 2-5 p.m. Tower Park

                Movie Night in the Park: Saturday, June 20

 

                2015 Happy Hours to be determined

 

Thursday, December 11, 2014: Holiday Happy Hour, include a fun Christmas sweater contest

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Move out the old, make room for the new!

dumpster day photoIt’s that time again, time for the Annual Fall Dumpster Day this Saturday, October 25th, at the South Broadland Presbyterian Church. CLICK HERE to get more info- http://towerhomesassociation.org/?p=16

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Join us for another THA Happy Hour at the KC Bier Company

Happy_Hour2Tower Homes Association is hosting another fun Happy Hour at the KC Bier Company. The event is free to attend, but an RSVP is required. Please email info@towerhomesassociation.org to let us know you will be joining us!

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Tower Homes Association General Meeting Minutes

Big thanks to Cassi Neff for her service the past year as Secretary of Tower Homes Association. Cassi has done a great job of keeping our minutes among other really great works.

This last meeting was on Saturday 13 September 2014, at 10:00 AM in the Waldo Library

Angie Lile convening.

Announcements-

  • Waldo Fall Festival – Great success last year. Come join us at the THA table. WABA will be interviewing residents and recording their Waldo stories. There will be many activities.
  • Fall Dumpster Day – Saturday 25 Oct 2014 8:00 AM to noon
  • Rain Garden Work Cleanup – same day – in Tower Park on 75th Street side. Come help.
  • Happy Hour coming up Wednesday 15 October 2014 at KC Bier Co from 6:00 to 8:00 PM.

How you can volunteer – Sign up sheet in the back of the room.

Waldo Tower -

Kurtis Marinez introduced Frank Perez – CEO of Falcon Contracting: A pleasure to work on the project. Too often monuments are torn down. Tower was built in 1919 in 14 days (before Union Station). 134 feet tall, capacity over one million gallons. In use until 1957. Another company had repaired the concrete. Falcon cleaned, primed and painted. 10 10-­hour days, heat sometimes over 100 degrees F. Messy antennas removed, new roof. 100 gallons of primer, 200 gallons of paint. Same paint used on space shuttles. Compared significance to Mount Rushmore. The work was started by another contractor who did a little at the top but not a good job. Frank was not eager to clean up someone else’s mess, but Kurtis convinced him that it needed to be done and done right.

THA Elections-

President – Kurits Marinez
Vice-president – Karol O’Brien
Secretary – Elizabeth Hollins
Treasurer – Jeff Highfill
Carol Gibson moved, Larry Roth seconded slate be accepted. Motion carried.
Others wanting to be board members? No one came forward. Carol Gibson moved, Larry Roth seconded retaining other board members. Motion carried.

Help us pick a new name for combined Tower Homes Association and Waldo Homes Association.

Some possibilities:

  • Waldo Tower Neighbors
  • Waldo Tower Neighbors Association
  • Waldo Tower Homes
  • Waldo Tower Homes Association

We will need to revise bylaws to either add districts for former Waldo Homes Association residents, or do away with districts and go with committees instead.

We are looking into yard signs to increase awareness of meetings.

Volunteer needed to put together a printed newsletter, while Kathie continues on the digital version.

Picnic was fun – combined with birthday celebration that was already set up in shelter we had reserved. Very neighborly.

Adjourned about 11:00 AM.

Board members in attendance
Kurtis Marinez – Vice-president / Tower restoration
Cassi Neff – Secretary
Garth Stocking
Karol O’Brien
Marty Hatten
Angie Lile

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7 September 2014 Board Meeting

Tower Homes Association Board Meeting
Saturday 7 September 2014
4:00 PM

7604 Mary Belle Lane

Letter needed from THA okaying zoning change to senior care for 7850 Holmes. We have already discussed this and agree, now just need to draft and send a letter.

General meeting next Saturday. Need officers / board members for elections. Things generally going well in neighborhood, so no specific issues to bring folks in. (Tower looking good – have dedication in spring when done?) Easier to be an officer when there are no big problems, but nothing to drive people to want to lead.

We need a president to be the point person to see that meetings are organized, receive contacts for neighborhood. Kurtis could be president if he gets lots of backup. He is still very involved with the restoration of the Tower. Damien offered to take phone calls. Elizabeth volunteered to be secretary and help with communications. Karol will be vice president. Angie will call Jeff to see if he will continue as treasurer.

We should contact other board members to see if they still want to be on the board.

Table at Waldo Fall Festival
all day: Kurtis
10 – 12: Cassi
12 – 2: Karol
3 – 5: Garth / Safia

September General Meeting:
Waldo Fall Festival Announcement
Waldo Tower Update
Elections
General suggestions on name for new association combined with Waldo Homes: Waldo Tower Neighbors or what other possibilities?
Circulate card to thank painters for their hard work on the Tower in the summer heat.

Upcoming happy hour: 15 October 2014

Communications: Do we want to do a phone call for elections and fall festival? Only three people on current list, so maybe not. Will do email and social media.

October board meeting:
Calendar for year.
Organize mailing for membership renewals.
May not need to have districts within neighborhood association, but need to have enough board members to make things happen.

How to encourage new members? Maybe a news story about what good neighborhood associations do in their areas? Get quotes from other neighborhood associations too. Get people to look for us. Put signs around neighborhood for general meetings?

Rain garden needs maintenance. We need a fall work day – same day as dumpster day? Pull some weeds, plant some new things? Will Chad still work on this? Garth will check with him on this and curb appeal grants.

Garth moved we budget $300 towards plants for rain garden. Elizabeth seconded. Motion carried. Other expenses coming up: October happy hour, dumpster day. Maybe collect money at fall festival for plants?

Kurtis moved THA reimburse the Tower Historical Society $200 (half the cost) for the table at the Southtown Council Beautification Awards. Garth seconded. Motion carried.

Maybe set up grants to reimburse people ($50) for setting up a block party.

Adjourned about 5:25 PM.

Board members in attendance
Josh Hemberger President
Kurtis Marinez x Vice-president / Tower restoration
Jeff Highfill Treasurer
Cassi Neff x Secretary
Elizabeth Hollins x
Charlotte McCloskey
Garth Stocking x
Karol O’Brien x
Marty Hatten
Chad Potter
Catherine Dobson Newsletter
Saphia Gray
Mary Cary Administrator
Angie Lile x
Michelle Bailey
John Bozarth x Dumpster day
Patrick Allen
Damien McNearney x

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Meeting this Saturday!

Dear Neighbors,

We’re excited to announce our upcoming Neighborhood Meeting this Saturday, September 13, at 10:00 a.m. in the Waldo Library, Room A.

Please join us for light refreshments, meet some of the folks responsible for sprucing up our beloved Tower, and find out more about the restoration process.

We’ll also be taking name suggestions for our new “association of neighbors” now that Waldo Homes Association and Tower Homes Association has merged.

Finally, we will be holding elections for the new Association’s Officers.  We are always looking for neighbors who would like to get more involved and this is the time to join a committee, or volunteer for a more serious role.

At this time the nominations for officers are as follows:

Kurtis Marinez for President

Karol O’Brien for Vice-President

Elizabeth Hollins for Secretary

Jeff Highfill for Treasurer

If you or someone you know would like to run for one of these positions, please email us so we can get your name on the unofficial ballot. We’ll hold the official election by show of hands during this meeting.

Please join us in giving our former President of Tower Homes Association, Josh Hemberger, much gratitude for his service over the past year. Josh is stepping down due to increased responsibilities in his personal life and will be greatly missed! Be sure to wish him well when you see him next!

Coming up on our Calendar of Events:

September 13, Neighborhood Meeting

September 20, Waldo Fall Festival

October 15, Neighborhood Happy Hour (TBA)

October 25, Fall Dumpster Day and Rain Garden Cleanup

Warmly,

Tower Homes Association

 

 

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Who was Bill Dooley?

Thanks to Dr. John Horner at the Kansas City Public Library, the mystery of Mr. William “Bill” Patrick Dooley is a little closer to being resolved. Many letters were written to Bill in 1935 and found in the attic of a Waldo home.  (See following post.) Dr. Horner writes, ” I have attached a PDF of page 46 of the 1933 edition of Southwest High School’s yearbook, the Sachem, which shows Bill posed with a group of several other students. He is in the front row, third from the left. You can see that he wore a uniform for the picture. He was in the ROTC program. In the 1934 yearbook I only found him mentioned once, as a member of the ROTC, with no picture of him in the senior section. It is very possible that he left school before graduating, based on what you wrote in your blog.”

Bill Dooley junion class0001

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Letters in the Attic

By Kathie Kerr, Editor “Tower Talk”

(Some examples of photos and letters found in our attic are interwoven in this article and at the bottom of the article.)

If only the walls in these old Waldo houses could talk, what secrets they might share. In our case, it wasn’t the walls, but letters from the attic that told a tale of the Great Depression and the hopefulness of youth.
Shortly after we started renovating our almost 90-year-old home near 75th & Oak, we found letters from around 1935 tucked hazardously between the attic rafters and covered with insulation. They are yellowed and crumbling memories of a young man who used to live here, William “Bill” Patrick Dooley.

Thanks to Dr. John Horner, researcher/writer at the Kansas City Public Library, we know that Bill was the son of William and Florence Dooley, and was three years old during the 1920 census. His sister, whose name was Florence, was 9.  In 1935 when most of the letters were written, Bill would have been 18 years old. Bill Jr. would be about 97 today if he is still alive. I don’t know how to reach any surviving family members, so maybe this article and the names it mentions will ring a bell with someone.

The letters reference the Great Depression and how hard it was for these young folks just graduating from Southwest High School to find work and how their families were getting along. The letters also vibrantly pictured teenagers who were still being kids—going to dances, going on dates, gossiping, and attending events in places in Waldo long ago gone.

Letter after letter written to Bill was, with a few exceptions, from teenagers from Southwest High School, and from young people attending the new St. Elizabeth Parish Church. For this reason, I believe Bill was a recent graduate himself. Our house was built in 1925; if Bill had indeed been living here since childhood, he would have been 8 years old when he and his family built the house and moved in.

The profile of Bill Dooley isn’t hard to piece together from his letters. And, I will call him Bill because the man I see in my head is young, handsome and self-assured. Bill doesn’t seem like a typical teenager, after all, he took the time to saved all these many letters from his days in New Mexico.

From the dates on the letters, he appeared to have left Kansas City sometime in the winter of 1934 and ended up in Artesia, New Mexico, a very tiny town.  We don’t know why. A letter dated Feb. 21, 1930, presumably addressed to Mr. Dooley Sr., mentioned  mineral rights in Artesia, so there might have been a family business or connection to the town in that regard. We do know from the letters that Bill Jr. was active in leading a Boy Scout Troop there.

We also know from the letters that Bill was missed when he left Kansas City to go out West. From the gentle chiding of his friends back in Kansas City to some rather insistent young ladies begging him to come home and go to dances, you get a sense of an easy-going, trusted confidante who didn’t let the nation’s economic disaster knock him down. In fact, all the letters from these young people were bright and sassy and filled with hope.
Could this be Bill? This photograph was found with the letters.

could this be bill0001croppThe first letter Bill received while in New Mexico was dated December 10, 1934 from Josephine “Jo” Hecht whose returned address was 7345 Walnut. “I went to the Waldo on Sunday and saw The Count of Monte Cristo,” she wrote. “I think that was its name but anyhow it wasn’t any good.”

1934_Count_of_Monte_Cristo*Picture of movie poster found on Wikipedia.org.

She probably saw the movie at what was then called the Westmoreland Theater at 7428 Washington Street. When it opened in 1924, the theater offered silent films, vaudeville and burlesque during its first 15 years in business. By 1939, the theater was solely a movie house and had changed its name to the Waldo Theater. It remained a movie house until it closed in 1972.

Ms. Hecht went on to write in that same letter, “I think the church dinner was a success, at least Father Kennedy hasn’t asked for money again.” This reference is to Father Peter Kennedy, who served as pastor at St. Elizabeth from 1924-1957. He passed away in 1958, shortly after his retirement.

One of the most entertaining letters is not signed, but was written on Jan. 8, 1934. “The Nash still eats as much gas as ever. We ran out of gas yesterday at 51st and Ward Parkway and pushed the car to 48th Street where we forged Brush Creek by foot and bought some gas. Neil and I are seriously considering buying or trading for a Austin. … We asked Mr. Taylor the code price on a ‘31 Austin and he said $81 sounds like a good buy. They get 48 miles to a gallon of gas.”

1931-american-austin*Picture of 1931 Austin found on Wikipedia.org.

According to a description in Wikipedia, they really did get that much per gallon, but I can’t believe it. That’s better than some hybrids today! The coupe was billed as a sedan, and sold for $445, slightly less than a Ford V8 roadster. The Great Depression made the cheaper secondhand cars more appealing, so sales dropped off.

A final piece of correspondence in 1934 was a postcard picture of two ladies in hats. The names appear to be Mrs. Hepworth and Doris, according to the back of the postcard.
two ladies0001

Bill received his first letter in 1935 on Jan. 9 from Lois. She wrote: “I suppose you are having a grand time in New Mexico. But I hope you’ll come back to K.C. once in a while as I really miss your cheerful telephone calls. I was surprised to hear that you’ve become a “Boy Sprout” leader. I just can’t imagine it. Do you blush when you have to give orders to the boys?”

Ms. Josephine Hecht wrote to Bill again on May 23, 1935 with news that “The towers are now on St. Elizabeth Church only there are no bells in them. They had a real nice dedication and Father Kennedy didn’t get mad at someone in the middle of mass. Your sister sang.”

The timing would have been right. By the time the church was dedicated on April 22, 1935, the exterior also had two stone towers (one with bells) added, and the faith community had grown to 265 families. It was a vibrant part of the Waldo community.

Several letters were sent to Bill in May, 1935. Ms. Flynn (no first name that I could find) lived at 5730 Forest Ave. She sent Bill homemade fudge with her letter. In her letter dated May 27, 1935, we get a glimpse of how hard the times were back then as she described a special dinner with guests.

“We had stewed chicken, noodles, Popeye’s favorite dish, salad, and ice cream. Best we’ve had since the depression!”

Ms. Flynn mentions that Kansas City had been caught up in the “dime chain letter gang.” “Golly, KC certainly went crazy! At least it was a change from the everlasting talk about the depression. I got in on one of them, and so far all I’ve gotten is 50 cents.”
Chain letters began to circulate in 1935 promising the poor that they could become rich quickly.

The origin of the chain letters is still not known. But the post offices of that time had to hire people to get extra help as the chain letters were too many in number to handle by the normal staff.
This chain letter below was found among Bill’s letters. It is a typical Send-a-Dime money chain letter.

chain letter jpeg0001Also on May 27, 1935, Bill received a letter from Leroy. Leroy was hopeful that he would be getting a job with American Products in Cincinnati, although he wanted the Kansas City dealership. “If I get the agency I should make about $40 a week; but if I could have gotten the dealership, I could have made $60 and up (not too bad).” It is an excellent possibility that this is same Leroy F. Magee who later that summer sent Bill an invitation to attend his high school graduation at Southwest High School on June 5, 1935.

southwest hs0001 croppedfin

Some letters raised some intriguing questions, like the unsigned letter dated June 6, 1935, presumably from a young woman that reads, “Dearest Bill, I want to tell you that I had a wonderful time last night and I am honest and truly sorry for the way I acted … ”

Ken “Dagger” Davis from 7128 Jefferson typed a letter to Bill on June 21, 1935, addressing him comically as “Senore William.” Mr. Davis talked about his romantic conquests on the dance floor, and then the dialogue turned a little sad.

“Say old pal do you think that if I come down there I could find something to do. As you probably know there is nothing doing here. I have been going out on the road with my cousin while he sells shoes. In fact I just got back from Atchinson with him. … My birthday is next month you know and I was just wondering where in the devil I’ll be. I might try to come down to New Mexico there if you think I could find anything to do. Do you?”

It’s interesting to me how many young men wrote Bill as well as young ladies. One unsigned letter from a young man confesses to Bill, “I had another enjoyable evening and this time brought her home (in cousin’s truck). I did not kiss good night maybe because I am too bashful or perhaps I thought it better to be a gentleman. I told her to be sure to wash behind her ears and she told me to be sure and changed my socks.”

One letter is from Des Moines in August, 1935 from Ruth who is on her way to California to find work. “I’ll have an address when we get there so you can write to me then.”

Sometime in the summer of 1935, Bill moved back to Kansas City from New Mexico. It seemed as though Bill left a string of broken hearts wherever he lived. One letter dated August 1935 has “Avis” writing, “I miss your bright and smiling face. Why don’t you take another sudden notion and rush back to this beautiful city of Artesia—no, don’t. I like you too much to wish that misery upon you even for selfish reasons.”

So many references in the letters were about dancing and going to dances. The letters didn’t mention dance marathons by name, but it would have been the right time in history. Dance marathons spread from New Orleans to Chicago to Kansas City to Harlem. Dance marathons (also called Walkathons), an American phenomenon of the 1920s and 1930s, were human endurance contests in which couples danced almost non-stop for hundreds of hours (as long as a month or two), competing for prize money.

And, Bill must have been a very good dancer.

Ruth writes on Aug. 4, 1935, “If you go to a dance tomorrow night I’ll pretend that I’m dancing with you every dance!”

A few things strike you about these letters. They are beautifully written and they are long. Thank goodness there was no 140-character Twitter max back in those days. Another is just the feeling you get from those youthful voices who are talking about going to business school, or becoming hair stylists and secretaries.

I don’t know how long the Dooleys lived in our house, but I can say one thing. Sometimes I smell cologne and can imagine a handsome young man shining his shoes and whistling, combing his hair and smiling, getting ready to trip the light fantastic with a bevy of Waldo beauties.

Did Bill marry Lois or Ruth or Jo?  Do they have grandchildren still living in Kansas City?  If anyone reading this knows of this family or any of the others mentioned here, please let me know at towertalkwaldo@gmail.com.  And, if you, too, have found treasures in your attic, I would like to feature your finds.
Kathie Kerr

Here’s a postcard we found with the letters.

old car postcard0001back of car postcard0001

Wonder who these children were?  Photo found with letters.

group shot of kids0001

motor vehicle0001 Traffic code booklet from 1932

Letter from Lois0001

 

Lois letter 2 & 30001

Letter from Ms. Flynn0001

dickinson secretarial school 20001Dickinson secretarial school0001

letter spread 20001

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What would you do with $250?

THA-cag_FBimageFour lucky Tower Homes Association members will soon find out as it is that time of year again for our Curbside Appeal Grant drawing. Now is the time to submit your applications for your outdoor projects and on July 16th, we’ll draw out 4 lucky winners to receive $250 reimbursements towards an outdoor project.

YOU MUST BE A MEMBER TO WIN

THA invites you to join us from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 16 at District Pour House + Kitchen, 7122 Wornall Road for the drawing. This event is your final opportunity to apply for a Curb Appeal Grant. Be present for the drawing that evening and you could win up to $250 toward a project that improves your home’s curb appeal! Appetizers will be provided.

PLEASE RSVP to info@towerhomesassociation.org so we have enough snacks for everyo0ne.  CLICK HERE to learn about the Curb Appeal Grants and fill out your application online.

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THA Garden Tour this Saturday

garden tourSaturday, June 28, is the Tower Home Association Garden Tour. This is a free event so invite your neighbors. There are four gardens that will be on the tour and are listed below. The tour will run from 10 a.m. to noon followed by lunch at St Elizabeth’s community garden from noon to 1 p.m.

10:00 – 12:00 Garden Tour Stops

New Reform Temple Community Garden
7100 Main Street

Kathy Stockard Residence
7318 Walnut Street

John Bozarth Residence
617 E 77th Street

St Elizabeth Community Garden
74th and Main

Noon – 1:00 Lunch at St Elizabeth Community Garden
74th and Main
THA will provide burgers and lemonade come join us in the garden.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Joshua Hemberger at 913.752.7103 or by e-mail at info@towerhomesassociation.org

 

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Rain Didn’t Dampen Spirits at Dumpster Day

dumpster day photoThanks to everyone who made Tower Homes Association Spring dumpster day a success today! The final tally on how many members participated isn’t in yet; but, despite the rain, we had a good turn-out and dumpsters were more than half full. John Bozarth is chairperson of dumpster day and has been for years. He organizes the delivery and pick-up of the dumpsters and makes sure volunteers are there to check members in and to help upload. Say hello and “thank you” to John next time you run into him working at Soil Service. Volunteers for the day were Angie Lile, Kathie Kerr, Karol O’Brien, Cassi Neff, Safia Grey, Kurtis Marinez and Rick Yarnell.

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23 April 2014 Board Meeting

Tower Homes Association Board Meeting

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

 7:00 PM

7521 Main

Josh Hemberger presiding

 

Catherine: Social at gym – a few families came, but she thinks she’ll stick to restaurants from now on.

 

Josh: Upcoming:

April 26th – Dumpster Day this weekend. Need folks to work 8 – 10 or 10 – 12. Limit people to 2 loads, unless room left in dumpsters close to the end. Please get contact info for new members.

May 3rd – walking tour on schedule, but has anything been done? It is intended to be an informal walk on the trolly trail. Elizabeth will pick starting place and time and get email out.

May 31st – Picnic in the park. 2 – 5. Garth will do food. Burgers and hot dogs. Need dedicated person for lemonade. Angie usually orgaizes kids’ stuff, maybe ask WABA for door prizes. Answer 3 questions about Tower Homes to qualify? Safia will donate a blanket. THA membership for next year? Ask Marty about library books? Subject to approval by Jeff, Josh made a motion to budget $400 for food, motion carried.

June 11th – Next board meeting at John’s.

June 28th 2 – 5 THA garden tour and curb appeal grants. Kansas City Academy, St Elizabeth, Stoney Crest might be approached to be part of tour. Elizabeth, John will work on this.

August 30th maybe later in the day – Jam for neighborhood musicians. Damien will look into this. Park shelter has been reserved for this, or maybe Beer Garden?

 

Postcard to remind membership of upcoming events.

 

Garth moved, Damien seconded no general meeting in May. Catherine checking to see if already announced – it was. Elizabeth will check to see if library has been reserved – it has. Probably need to have meeting. Something related to gardening?

 

Kathy – is newsletter being read? Maybe a blog on the website would be better. Garth agrees. Josh will check with Angie about having blog on website. Mary will check to see how many receive hard copy newsletter. Karol will poll people over time to ask their preferences.

 

 Tower Homes Association / Waldo Homes Merger progress – none to report. Josh will follow up.

 

Chad (having baby in a couple of weeks): Rain gardens in tower park – eastern one has been having trouble with droughts. Bill of Parks and Rec will have work done on them in the next few weeks: clean, mulch, add plants? Maybe we could chip in too.

 

Adjourned about 9:00 PM.

Board members in attendance

Josh Hemberger x

Kurtis Marinez

Jeff Highfill

Cassi Neff x

Elizabeth Hollins x

Charlotte McCloskey

Garth Stocking x

Karol O’Brien x

Marty Hatten

Chad Potter x

Catherine Dobson x

Saphia Gray x

Mary Cary x

Angie Lile

Teresa Bolton

Michelle Bailey

John Bozarth x

Patrick Allen

Damien McNearney x

Kathy Kirk x

Simon of Waldo Homes

Martha Dromey of Waldo Homes

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2014 Spring E-Newsletter Tower Talk

Click here or on the headline above to view the spring 2014 edition of the Tower Homes Association newsletter, Tower Talk. Inside are features on a Waldo bagpiper, new businesses moving in and out, upcoming dumpster days and much more!

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Waldo-Area Bar & Restaurant Guide

Waldo area restaurantsMarc14Final

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8 March 2014 General Meeting

Tower Homes Association General Meeting

Saturday, 8 March 2014

10:00 AM  Waldo Library

Josh Hemberger, presiding

Ashley Hand: Friends of Hale Cook School. Pre-K through 2nd grade opening fall 2014. Tours coming up (facility still under constructin), enrollment is under way.

Brenda Thomas, Board Member of the Marlborough Community Coalition. Our organizations share Troost Ave. as the border. Learn about MCC’s exciting Catalyst Project!

6,000 houses, 80% rentals. Some undeveloped land. 5 neighborhoods. Mix of cultures: 75% african american, 10% caucasian, also hispanic, asian, etc. South side of KC has suffered from neglect: sidewalks, water tower. Not everything east of Troost is bad – lots of good thinkers and involved people. Need to make sure that city hall hears, understands, and respects us. Housing crisis contributed to neighborhood deterioration. Catalyst Project: MARC award + city money + garage sales, bake sales, lawn mowing they do to earn money. Contracted with BNIM to plan projects, do documention, analysis, reporting, help find grant-writers (students at Avila helped). Committees for: visioning group, increase neighborhood participation (teenagers helped with walkabout), housing… surveyed neighborhood, etc. Imaging and branding: want to overcome “east of Troost” negative perception. Now “We are Marlborough”. Four main projects are Marlborough Village commercial area; redevelopment of Marlborough School (501(c)3s, alternative medicine, greenhouse, art…) (school has been closed since 2007); Target Green; Coalition capacity building. Had to do fund-raising: another thing BNIM helped them organize. Added 60 or 65 additional active neighbors, including local artists.

Ravin Graham, Southtown Council, will speak about the new Troost Community Improvement District and answer any questions you might have about Waldo businesses and the Wornall corridor. Ravin had to step out, so Angie Lile spoke about Waldo CID: paid for by extra sales tax and pays for extra security, trash pickup etc. New Troost CID will be doing the same in their area. She left some handouts for us.

Josh Hemberger, Tower Homes Association President, will announce information regarding the recent vote to merge the Waldo Homes Association with the Tower Homes Association. 

THA boundary was down to about 79th; combined boundary will be to 85th. 900 more homes will now be included. Call ourselves Waldo Tower Neighbors. THA board voted to begin 9-month plan to look into this. Homes dues paid for either organization count for new merged group. Pros: better clarify our geographical zone; Waldo Homes was losing structure; be able to provide our services (Dumpster Days etc) to Waldo Homes and benefit from their active members. Con: don’t want to lose Waldo’s focus on park maintenance etc. How will leadership and financials merge? THA board continues and we hope Waldo Homes members will join in (most recent Waldo Homes election drew no candidates). We will be adding 4 districts. Waldo Homes has banners that they will have taken down from light poles.

Country Club Right-of-Way has been selected for study as possible extension of trolly system. Currently no plans to demolish any homes.

About 15 people in attendance

Adjourned about 11:15 AM.

Board members            in attendance
Josh Hemberger x

Kurtis Marinez x

Jeff Highfill

Cassi Neff x

Elizabeth Hollins x

Charlotte McCloskey

Garth Stocking

Karol O’Brien x

Marty Hatten x

Chad Potter

Catherine Dobson

Saphia Gray

Mary Cary

Angie Lile x

Teresa Bolton

Michelle Bailey

John Bozarth

Patrick Allen

Damien McNearney

Simon of Waldo Homes

Martha Dromey of Waldo Homes x

 

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12 February 2014 Board Meeting

 

THA February Board Meeting

 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

 

Location: 7567 Grand

 

Time: 7:00 pm

 

 

Angie: Neighborhood Improvement District

 

How big would we want the boundaries to be? A lot of work up front to get it set up, but big benefits. 60% of people in the area should agree. It would add a line item to everyone in the district’s property tax that would support projects in the district. It could be used for sidewalk repair / construction, lights, etc. Can set it as dollar amount or percentage of home value. Need a lawyer to set it all up. It would be nice to have Greenway Fields (a neighborhood that has set up a NID) and the city council members (Councilmembers Taylor and Sharp for Districts 5 and 6), for this area come to a board meeting to talk to us about their experiences. Could cost $15,000 for legal fees to set it up. We are investigating the details of what a Neighborhood Improvement District would be for THA and there are no plans yet to move forward with implementation.

 

 

Some objection to new brewery at 79th and Wornall across from the ReStore. One person is upset that she wasn’t consulted ahead of time, but she had been at meetings where it was discussed.

 

Elizabeth: “I know we like beer, but we’re still reasonable people.”

 

 

Possible merger with Waldo Homes. Fewer people in Waldo Homes object than formerly – they voted to merge. South Oak Park must not be forgotten, like honeysuckle cleanup once or twice a year. We would need to change our registration with city and state. They have no debt, and not much capitol. It will cost about $50 per pole to remove their banners (about 20 of them). Membership is 65 (about half last year’s number). About 900 homes. Tower Homes is is about 2200 homes. They have 5 districts; most of the active folks are in two of them. We need to ask Jeff about merging finance. Call ourselves Waldo Tower Neighborhood Association, or Waldo Tower Neighbors.

 

 

Tower Homes has already sent renewal notices out; Waldo Homes will do the same.

 

 

Elizabeth moved that Waldo Homes Association and Tower Homes Association work on an approximately 9 month merger transition plan including the rebranding as Waldo Tower Neighbors.

 

Safia seconded.

 

All in favor.

 

 

Josh will get with Jeff about renewal with city.

 

Simon will start on letter to Waldo Homes membership.

 

 

Angie: Some concerns with getting database online so there is just one, and so Mary is not updating a separate document from the master list. The one Mary has does not have phone numbers.

 

 

Adjourned at 9:00 PM.

 

 

 

Board members in attendance

 

Josh Hemberger x

 

Kurtis Marinez x

 

Jeff Highfill

 

Cassi Neff x

 

Elizabeth Hollins x

 

Charlotte McCloskey

 

Garth Stocking

 

Karol O’Brien x

 

Marty Hatten

 

Chad Potter

 

Catherine Dobson x

 

Saphia Gray x

 

Mary Cary

 

Angie Lile x

 

Teresa Bolton

 

Michelle Bailey

 

John Bozarth x

 

Patrick Allen

 

Damien McNearney

 

Simon of Waldo Homes x

 

Colleen of Waldo Homes x

 

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16 December 2013 Board Meeting Minutes

 

THA December Board Meeting Agenda Tuesday, December 16, 2013

 

Location: 707 East Gregory

 

Time: 7:00 pm

 

Chris and AndyLewellen – owners of The Well and Lew’s

 

-always come to neighborhood association before making changes

 

-live in neighborhood

 

-Opened Lew’s 10 years ago

 

-5 years later thinking about opening a second Lew’s location, decided on another Waldo business instead: The Well

 

-Over 100 employees, most live in Waldo

 

-Currently liquor license only allows them to stay open until 1:30 AM

 

-They have a temporary 3:00 license – can stay open 6 times a year. They want a permanent 3:00 license.

 

-A liquor license stays with the building when it is sold.

 

-Josh: What about noise, so late at night? They close doors and windows at 10:00 PM.

 

-They need a letter of endorsement from us to take to the city council. It will probably take a year to get the license change.

 

 

2013 goals and events

 

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH

 

  • Involve more people

  • Build enthusiasm

  • Increase neighborhood’s profile

  • Walk about in districts to talk with residents about involvement

  • Revenue growth through membership in order to have more visible activities

  • New neighbor bags Did a good job with this

  • Provide additional benefits to our association

  • Online survey of membership to learn more about needs/ideas

  • Raffle gift cards to local businesses at general meetings

  • Themed general meetings (environmental, volunteer opportunities, health and wellness)

  • Membership much the same as last year

  • Crime pretty low this year

  • Police would like to work with block captains to encourage neighbors to work together, look out for each other

 

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SOCIAL INTERACTION

 

  • More social events

  • Educational activities

  • One big event (May Day in Tower Park)

  • Social networking events

  • Increased participation from general membership (committee involvement and

 

more interactive meetings, circular seating)

 

  • Collaboration with surrounding neighborhood groups

  • Pilots of different kinds of general meetings (e.g. with other organizations)

  • Yoga at the Tower

  • Trail walk (Dog walk: “Tails on Trails”)

 

NEIGHBORHOOD BEAUTIFICATION – Didn’t do much this year – be nice to get grant money to do things like restore library walls

 

  • Community development

  • Community gardens

  • Household hazardous waste collection event (ABOP) to supplement Dumpster

 

Days

 

IMPROVED COMMUNICATION – No one is complaining. Maybe yard signs before general meetings? Maybe move THA membership database to google docs

 

  • Build solidarity

  • Utilize all channels of communication (email, phone, Yahoo group)

 

NEIGHBORHOOD SAFETY -

 

  • Provide resources to residents about safety

  • Ensure Tower Park is safe

 

BOARD DEVELOPMENT

 

  • More knowledge amongst Board of “behind the scenes” operations so we can all help each other (i.e. website, Facebook, membership list)

 

 

Upcoming 2014 events:

 

May 31st picnic

 

2nd saturdays at the library: Jan, Mar, not May, not July, again in Sept and Nov

 

January general meeting focused on education

 

Dumpster days – last sat in April, Oct

 

 

THA garden tour? Connected with curb appeal grant? Mid to late June, with rain date.

 

Trail event – trolly trail? In August?

 

Jam sessions? Aug 30? Late afternoon?

 

Jan 15th social event? Once / quarter on Waldo Wednesdays

 

Blanket winner – Josh

 

Detailing business at 79th and Wornell has events, wants liquor license

 

 

Adjourned after 9:00 PM.

 

 

 

Board members in attendance

 

Josh Hemberger x

 

Kurtis Marinez x

 

Jeff Highfill

 

Cassi Neff x

 

Elizabeth Hollins x

 

Charlotte McCloskey

 

Garth Stocking x

 

Karol O’Brien x

 

Marty Hatten

 

Chad Potter

 

Catherine Dobson x

 

Saphia Gray x

 

Mary Cary x

 

Angie Lile x

 

Teresa Bolton

 

Michelle Bailey

 

John Bozarth x

 

Patrick Allen

 

Damien McNearney x

 

Colleen of Waldo Homes x

 

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You’re Invited: THA Neighborhood Happy Hour January 15th

Happy_Hour_JanuaryNow that the temperature has jumped above 0 degrees, venture out for a Tower Homes Association Happy Hour!

Join us from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, January 15 at the Waldo Pizza Tap Room, 7433 Broadway.

THA will provide appetizers, and Boulevard Wheat is on special for $2. RSVP to info@towerhomesassociation.org.

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