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From the archives: Lu Jaworsky's memories of Mark Twain Avenue


Photo by Mary Lou Montgomery

First published in the Hannibal Courier-Post January 2012. Lu Jaworsky died in January 2015.

Lu Jaworsky was born in 1945, and his family came to Hannibal in 1955 or 1956, with Western Printing. They lived for several years on Mark Twain Avenue, and when readers started sharing their memories and photos of "the avenue" in February 2012, he came forth with a verbal scrapbook of names and locations that made "the avenue" uniquely Hannibal.

A Mexican restaurant on Mark Twain Avenue, that's where Linda Riepe lived. I lived just to the west of her, at the corner. Our house, there's a little gas station there now. Two houses away, Mr. Bier sold little statuettes, like little windmills; things you would buy to put in your front yard. Today, an appliance store is where Cookie's Tire Shop used to be. Richard Klitz lived with his grandmother on Mark Twain Avenue. He was hit by car 1956 or 1957 when he ran across the street; he was in third grade. He was a nice little kid. Dennis Studer lived on R Street, he was always in the neighborhood. A house on the street next from my house belonged to a policeman named Grace, who had a son who was older than me. There was a liquor store on to the west, operated by Foley. His son was John Foley. Next to that was Johnny Draudt's market, a little grocery store. He had a step son named Ronnie McMillin, a lawyer in Jeff City, and his sister, Harlene who married Chuck McPheeters. Right next to Johnny Draudt's, there was a little store where you could buy a hamburger, it was only one room. It was the Moon Wink cafe. Does any one else remember the Moon Wink cafe? It was a mom and pop operation. When they cooked hamburger, it was like your mother cooking a hamburger in a pan. They turned their front room into a little place to sell candy bars. The alley was Webb Street. Across the street Joyce Sultzman (Browne) lived. Joyce Sultzman and her father used to sit on the porch, he was a very nice man, he worked in a bakery. I went to school with Joyce in fourth, fifth and sixth grades. I was one of the patrol boys at the bottom of Denkler's alley. At that time an old black lady lived in the Molly Brown house. There was no front step. I would help her carry groceries. We bought our first TV when we lived on Mark Twain Avenue - a Philco - from Mr. Compton. The first show I watched was Dragnet. Jimmy Walden lived on Webb Street. Linda Riepe's family lived on Mark Twain Avenue. She was a beautiful girl; her mother was Lillian. Our folks would play cards every night; nice people. Linda is in California now. I remember the teachers, Bessie Brown; Marian Fette; Emily Troupman Gracile King. I remember those teachers so well; those teachers changed my life. Mrs. Lyng, Elmer Meyers. A lot of new teachers aren't characters like the older ones were.

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