Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 2015 Meeting Notes

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Notes from today's meeting:

Communication - A thank you from Buddy Bags.

Sickness and distress - Maudean is receiving blood transfusions
Jim Schultze - colon cancer
Barb Burlison - broken arm among other problems, (please send cards to her at Lincoln Co Nursing Rehabilation, 1145 E. Cherrry St., Room 610, Troy)
Karen Haub - brain bleed
I'm sure all will appreciate cards and prayers.

Treasurer's Report - After 3 - $200 grants, the balance is $543.03
Fundraiser - Recipe book in the works. We will bring main dishes in March. If you haven't gotten your soup, or desserts to Debby, you can e-mail her or stop by Halo and Wings. She will collect any category you want to give her...
Another possible fundraiser is the concession stand at Hawk Point baseball park next summer. More info to come on that one.

Community service - Hours - 304 for November. Donations - $738 and Buddy Bags - $110. We collected for the crisis nursery today. Many items were taken to the Wentzville facility.

Legislative - Mark you calendars for February 17, 2016. I've already started a list, so let me know if you are planning on going...

Informative and Protective - Barbara Arnold suggested that we check a website from the Troy Chamber of Commerce called

Grant committee - We had three who volunteered to serve on the grant committee for next year. Becky Hoskins, Janet Finnerty, and Nancy Lenk. Thank you for volunteering and thanks to those who have served.
Our unit gave out 3 - $200 grants this year.

Publicity - Be sure to check out our blog at:
You can also get emails when new information is added by hitting subscribe on the website.

Capers/programs - We had a brainstorming session and came up with some interesting ideas for capers and programs for the upcoming year...if you have ideas, please forward them to me, Kathy, Jane, or Maudean.

Club updates -
Book club will meet at the home of Charla Jones on January 8, 2016 from 1-3 p.m. The book being discussed is THE RELUCTANT MIDWIFE.
Craft club will take a couple months off then meet at the home of Anne Bryant on March 1, 2016 at 10 a.m. We will be making receiving blankets for the Crisis Nursery. If you want to donate, you can see Debbie at Halo and Wings. We need flannel - 2 pieces that contrast (1 yd cut and 1 1/2 yd cut) or money always works!! If you are available and want to come help, we could use extra hands. We need sewers, cutters, get the idea...

If you know of any 3-5 year olds that would be available for literacy/story time, let Nancy Whys, Kathy Hardy, or Terry Elia know. They are working with the little guys at their church on Monday mornings at 10 a.m.

Wishing everyone a blessed holiday season.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ho! Ho! Ho! Painting With A Twist!

Several LCARSP members and guests enjoyed a fun morning recently at Painting With Twist (O'Fallon location).  
Here is our art guide.  He was so helpful and motivating!
You can see the artwork progress; can you guess what the subject is?
Margaret is giving us a hint!
Debby is quite the artist, don't you think?
Don't forget to paint the edges.
Jodi's finished piece!  So cute!!
More finished masterpieces!
Of course, there were delicious snacks to enjoy!
Everyone had a GREAT time painting, visiting, learning something new and getting into the Christmas spirit!  Thanks, Maudean, for setting up another fun get-together!

We're looking forward to our December meeting 10 a.m. Thursday, December 10 at the LC Health Department.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 2015 Meeting Notes

Notes from the president
November 12, 2015

November Program:
The November meeting of LCRSP met at the Lincoln County Health Department on November 12, 2015. Mr. George Conner and Mr. Mike Creech treated us to an interesting program about the Honor Flights that they were able to attend to Washington DC. They shared with us both information and gratitude for all those who contribute to making it possible for these veterans to experience what some of them didn't experience when the returned home after serving their country abroad.

Treasurer report:
Jane Allen reported $1142.03 in the treasury after all the bills were paid for the regional meeting*:) happy
Fundraiser: We have decided to move forward with the recipe book, hopefully, having it ready for sale next holiday season. Next month we will bring recipes for soups (and/or whatever you bring to the carry-in?)

MRTA has achieved the goal of 25,000 members, although many (as many as 10,000 out of 19,000 statewide) past members have not renewed their memberships this year. You should have gotten information in October reminding you to renew. Please check your checkbooks/bank accounts and make sure you have renewed yours!

Sickness and Distress: I'm sure a card would brighten their day...
We have several who are ill. Barb Burlison is home after a short stay in the hospital. Paula Burkemper's husband, Randy, and Dee Schaull are both battling cancer. Dee's address is 125 Northridge Drive, Crossville, TN 38558. Maudean Lee is again struggling with her blood counts.

Community Service:
We reported 400 volunteer hours, and $265 in donations. The Buddy Bags donation was $90. We donated $258.00 plus many items to the Robertson Center.

Legislative Committee:
MARK YOUR CALENDARS PLEASE!! February 17, 2016 is Legislative Day in Jefferson City!!
Let's fill a bus with LCARSP people! We are worth it!!

We need to get our achievements and activities in the spotlight. MRTA is on Instagram and Twitter. Please photograph your LCARSP activities/capers/programs. You can forward the photos to Linda Mc or me and we will get them on to Sarah Hoeller at the state office.

For you technology people (and those like me who are striving to stay up with the "kids")
If you are interested in Call to Action texts, please go to the internet on your phone. Go to the website and scroll down on the first page to the phone text section of that screen and follow the directions there. (I just did it, so I'll bet you can too...) Linda says there might be 4 texts a week during the legislative season.

Grant Committee:
Grants have been collected from the area high schools and the results will be announced at the December meeting.

Oats Trip:
Mary McCann reported on an OATS trip to Nashville, TN, May 2-6, 2016. Price is $620. For more information visit: Looks like fun!

Looking for possible capers...if you have ideas, please pass them along to me, Kathy Hardy, Jane Allen, or Maudean Lee.

Book Club will meet January 8, 2016 at the home of Charla Jones at 1 p.m. The book for discussion is The Reluctant Midwife, by Patricia Harman. This book follows the first which we discussed the last week, The Midwife of Hope River. I have a copy of the Hope River book if you are interested. I will gladly pass it on. So snag a copy of The Reluctant Midwife, and join us at Charla's.

Craft Club will meet December 1 at 10 a.m. at Debby Suchland's house. We will be decorating mason jars and plates for the winter season. Please plan to join us. The cost is $5 for supplies and please let Debby know if you are planning on coming by November 23, 2015.

December's meeting:
Mark your calendar for December 10, 2015 at 10 a.m. at the Health Department. It is a carry-in luncheon. Please make plans to join us and enjoy you school family in the holidays. Let me know if you want to bring something to the luncheon. Above all...COME!!
The sign-up looks like this:
Soup: Debby S, Carol W., Judy D., Diana G.,
Salad: Anne B., Terry E., Nancy W., Susan P., Charla J.,
Sandwiches: Barb G., Kathy H., Jeanette V.,
Desserts: Debbie C., Jane A. Lavon G., Carolyn C., Marilyn K., Melinda C., Barb A.,
Drinks: Janet F. (sweet/unsweetened tea)
Paper supplies: Linda Mc., Jane C., Candi A.,

Praying for everyone to have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving. Hope to see you at the December meeting.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

MRTA Region 13 Meeting

Over 70 MRTA members attended the 2015 Region 13 meeting October 27. The Lincoln County unit hosted the event with a WESTERN theme.    

Participants were welcomed with  goodie bags and breakfast snacks.

There were raffle baskets available that netted about $450 for the MRTA Foundation 

and LOTS of books for door prizes!

LCARSP kicked off the event with a sing-along of several old favorite songs.

Unit reports were given by the president of each local unit.
    Pike County President Frank Berlin

 Daniel Boone Area President Sherri Brandes

    St. Charles County President Barb Prideau

    Lincoln County President Diana Gough.

Region 13 Vice President Deborah Ingram led the meeting.  Here she is (in the hat) recognizing the Region 13 Retire Educator of the Year, Cheryl Ward of the Pike County Unit.  Cheryl also gave a report from the Legislative Committee.

Other committee reports that were given included the Service Committee, Linda McGlothlin and Jane Coose,

and the Membership Committee, Brenda Bryant and Betty Takashashi.

Forrest T. Jones representative, Tom Wales, was available to offer a variety of insurance opportunities to the retired educators.

Entertainment was provided by the Lincoln County Second Chance Choir.  Lincoln County Sheriff John Cottle shared how the choir started and how it has helped a number of inmates turn their lives around.
 Not only did these gentlemen share their gift of music but they also told how it has given them an opportunity to see new possibilities through faith and character building.  Their presentation was quite inspiring!

After a delicious meal of Monty's burgers and pulled pork, the meeting continued with reports from MRTA Foundation representative, Margaret Smith

and MRTA State President, Barb Self.

Finally, MRTA executive Director, Jim Kreider, shared that we were within 5 new members of reaching our BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) of increasing our membership to 25,000 members this year!  He also emphasized how important those memberships are in protecting our  pensions.  

Region 13 wants to thank the Lincoln County Area Retired School Personnel unit for hosting this fun get-together!  The 2016 meeting will be in Pike County, Missouri.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Painting With A Twist - Christmas Event

How would you like to create a beautiful masterpiece for the holidays while enjoying great company at the same time?  

Maudean Lee has organized another Painting With A Twist adventure for our group on Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at the O'Fallon location.  (3004 Winghaven Blvd., O'Fallon, MO)  This party is open to all ages and we're requesting NO ALCOHOL.  The cost is $35.  You can register online at:  
or call 636-492-1086.  The passcode is HOLIDAY.  

Everyone should bring a favorite Christmas goodie to share.

If you're not familiar with Painting With A Twist, it's a premier studio offering you a chance to try your hand at painting while hanging out with your friends and having a great time. We are the perfect place to relax, let your hair down, and just be you.  This is not your average painting class. No painting or drawing experience is needed! Simply come with an open mind and paint along with our artist to create your very own work of art that you will take home at the end of the evening. Who knows? You may just discover your inner artist!  

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Trip To The Big House

About 20 LCARSP members and guests traveled to Jefferson City to tour the Missouri State Penitentiary October 16, 2015.

Our tour guide, Mike Groose, had worked at this penitentiary for over 45 years and was the warden from the early to mid 1990s.  Everyone enjoyed his presentation of facts and stories of the prison.

Interesting Missouri State Penitentiary Facts:
  • Oldest prison west of the Mississippi, opening in 1836, the same month as the fall of the Alamo in Texas.

  • Largest of all American Penitentiaries - 
    • When people were convicted of crimes on the frontier, they would be transferred to this prison as there were no prisons in many areas of the newly settled West. 
  • Both men and women were housed in the prison.

  • Its maximum capacity was 5,000 inmates, the most of any prison in the United States.

  • Decommissioned in 2004. 
 Cell blocks and prison walls that were made of limestone, like the building above, were constructed by inmates.  The limestone was quarried onsite.  This building, A Hall, is the oldest existing building constructed in 1868 and was in continual use until 2004.  It was built before electricity, plumbing and heat were available and had to be retrofitted as they became available.

The interior is quite stark and sobering. 
There were four levels of cells in each building.  Cells were on display that showed what life was like during different time periods.  From the mid 1800s - 1900, these rooms held 6 prisoners at one time.
The door was about five feet tall.
Can you imagine living in this small space with five other people?  Our guide mentioned that a study showed the Missouri State Penitentiary was the 'Bloodiest 47 Acres in America.'  Looking at these conditions, one can understand how that infamous saying might be true.

During the mid-1900s, four-man cells became the norm and then in the 1970s, a law was passed to restrict cell occupancy to two.
 These were the showers.
There was even a 'dungeon' area, used in the 1800s, for incorrigible prisoners with no windows and no lights.

We toured another cell block which was constructed after the amenities of electricity, plumbing and heat were available.  Although it appeared modern in comparison, it was certainly not inviting.
Some infamous inmates at the MO State Penitentiary were Pretty Boy Floyd, George "Tiny" Mercer (who was executed in the gas chamber) and James Earl Ray.  Ray observed a specific guard as he inspected outgoing vehicles and noticed he never looked in one particular part of each vehicle.  One day he made it to the delivery area and hid in that part of an outgoing vehicle and escaped.  He was WANTED by the Missouri Department of Corrections the day he assassinated Martin Luther King.
This newer building house twice as many prisoners as the entire prison of Alcatraz.  Prisoners who assaulted other prisoners or correction staff were housed in isolation in the basement.  They were allowed out of there cells one hour each day.  Every other day, these inmates were allowed out of their confinement to shower and clean their cells.  The other day, they were led to these outside cages and spent their hour in the fresh air.
Here are some other shots around the prison yard.
The women prisoners were housed on the upper floors of this building.
The entire penitentiary complex was around 40 acres in size.  Besides the cell block buildings, there was an onsite quarry.  Once excavated, the old quarry was turned into useful space for the prisoners.
This area was used for exercise, including a baseball field and walking track.
The penitentiary had onsite factories or workshops where inmates made everything from clothing to furniture and even harnesses for pioneers heading West.  These workshops were located in this part of the yard.  They had become dilapidated and were removed several years ago. 

The wall, pictured beyond, was built with prison labor using the limestone from the quarry.  The darker stones were from the previous wall.  It was torn down and reused.

One of the expensive and inefficient parts of operating a penitentiary like this one was having to man the lookout towers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  Newer, more modern prisons use electric 'Kill Fences' as effective perimeters.  (In fact, no one has escaped in the state of Missouri from one of these new 'Kill' perimeter fences.)  This new design saves money and increases safety.

Our last stop was the Gas Chamber.
This building was located between the exercise yard and the workshops.
As you can see, the building is small.  There was just enough room for the chamber, small viewing benches for witnesses, a holding cell, two small viewing rooms, one for the inmate's family and one for the victim's family and a cleanup room.
Here is a photo record of those inmates executed at the Missouri State Penitentiary.  These included one woman and a man who was convicted of raping an eight year old girl in the 1950s in Lincoln County. 
One our LCARSP members, Janie Kiensy is pictured along side the photo gallery.

This was a very interesting and informative tour.
Our unit president, Diana Gough, is shown holding the keys to The Big House along with all those who attended the tour from Lincoln County.

The group enjoyed a delightful outdoor lunch at Prison Brews before heading back to Lincoln County.