By Jim Price
Construction on Lakeview Village
Part of its 50th anniversary celebration, a new, rich, and varied insight into Lakeview Village’s history is now on display in the Lakeview History Exhibit on the Lower Level of the Eastside Terrace.
The debut of the ongoing exhibit coincided with the birthday party yesterday that kicked off Lakeview’s months-long anniversary celebration.
The exhibit represents an enormous amount of research and coordination work, which primarily took place during the past several months, by a special committee of residents led by Alan Boley and Tom Porter.
“It’s quite an undertaking,” Boley said with a smile, “and we sometimes find ourselves wondering, ‘what in the world have we started?’ But we’re glad we could do what we’ve done, and will continue to do. It’s been very revealing and educational.”
Members of the committee are:
History & Archives Center: Margaret Davisson, Sharon Vojtko and Don Simmons. History Writers: Eldor Kaiser, Ken Smith, Mary Rhea Waller, Lucille Gille, Kay Goodnow and Jo Ann Brown.
History and Art Gallery Display: Tom Porter, Alan Boley, Kay Goodnow and Don Simmons.
Administration Representatives: Shellie Sullivan and Jamie Frazier.
The writers are coordinating their efforts with Margaret Dalke, editor of the Lakeview Journal, which will highlight historical stories in the issues ahead.
The first issue of the Journal in April will feature fascinating write-ups about the founders of Lakeview: Lucille Gille writes about U.S. Grant, and Mary Rhea Waller uncovers the real Kenneth Berg; Eldor Kaiser provides a fascinating look at some of the founders’ foibles, including Berg, and original board member Glen Lindell.
Kay Goodnow is writing an article about the Lakeview Pantry, which was established 30 years ago.
“I’ve enjoyed working on the display, and pulling together the information for these stories,” Goodnow said. “The Pantry has an interesting history too; I think it will make good reading.”
Jo Ann Brown rounds out the writers’ group; one of her topics will be the history of the What Not Shop, a secondhand store run by resident volunteers, one of the most popular venues at Lakeview.
There are more stories to come: Mary Rhea Waller is developing an article about the Lakeview Library, and Ken Smith is working on a variety of human interest stories.
“The stories and the exhibit really represent a celebration of life, and of the lives of the people who have worked to found, grow and improve Lakeview Village,” Smith said.
“There are interesting ties to Wyandotte County that go back even beyond the founding of Lakeview. The stories in the Journal will reveal a lot about the people who made Lakeview possible, and the people who have continued to invest and grow in this community.”
“This has been a relatively informal group of residents who want to help uncover, collect, restore and coordinate materials – pictures, artwork, maps, newspaper articles, materials from archived issues of Lakeview publications – and pull everything together and present a cogent and interesting presentation,” Boley said. “The one common thread is that everything we do is with the people in mind. The physical facilities are the evidence of the work of a lot of people, but for us, the real history is the story of the people and their experiences.”
Members of the group have invested uncounted hours in the project.
While Boley serves as the “ex officio” chair of the committee, Porter has been the group’s photographer and visual media “manipulator;” he’s “re-processed” and improved many very old photographs, and completed the mounting of all the illustrations and photos that are included in the Exhibit.
“Essentially I’ve been upgrading many of the old photos and pictures from the History Room, and then shooting new ones as well,” Porter said. “There’s a wealth of information and materials to work with. And as we roll out new sections of Lakeview history, all of the previous materials will stay up, so the Exhibit will continue to grow and expand as we add to it.”
Margaret Davisson, Sharon Vojtko and Don Simmons have been working to coordinate and categorize the formidable volume of historical materials.
“The range of historic materials is fascinating,” Davisson said. “Our job is to coordinate and organize everything we’ve found. Some of the articles are going into the first two sections of the History Exhibit, but there’s so much more to come. A lot of it will move into the Exhibit through the months ahead. And once materials come down, they’ll be organized and stored in the archives of the History Room we’ve set up in Heritage Place. At least we hope that’s how it will work, we’re doing our best.”
She emphasized, “we’ve had terrific help from Sharon Vojtka and Don Simmons, who have been helping organize and categorize everything, and [the photographer] Tom, and the writers. Alan Boley is guiding the project, and he’s very organized and has such good ideas. They all deserve a medal!”
The group’s hard works lays the groundwork for comprehensive and ongoing Lakeview History Exhibit displays of Lakeview’s history. The materials on display now represent only the first part of collected historical materials that will be revealed in “sections” throughout the next several months.
The first two exhibit sections trace Lakeview’s history, from 1960, to its founding in 1964, and on through 1980. This period covers all the people involved – the founding fathers and members of the early administration – and showcases many maps, pictures and memorabilia of the first physical part of the village, Heritage Place, and through the development of the Lakeview cottages.
The debut of the History Exhibit coincided with the 50th anniversary kickoff party in Heritage Hall. On hand for the event, in addition to the sizable crowd of Lakeview residents and staff were the Board of Directors and several members of the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce.
President and CEO Jamie Frazier spoke briefly at the party about Lakeview’s first 50 years and about the excitement surrounding this special milestone. Jamie reminded everyone of Lakeview’s vision; that Lakeview is “the best place to live, work and grow.”
For Lakeview, there is a lot more celebrating of Lakeview’s Golden Jubilee in the months ahead.
Later this year, on Tuesday, April 29, the What Not Shop will sponsor a “50 Years of Fun” Fashion Show with music and movies highlighting the past five decades.
A gala event, with a live band, dancing, food and fun on Tuesday, October 21, will mark the conclusion of Lakeview’s 50th Golden Jubilee celebration.
Each month from April through October, the historical Committee members will be adding new and exciting elements to the History Exhibit on the Lower Level of the East Side Terrace, as well as providing new historical perspectives in each monthly issue of the Lakeview Journal.
1964: Lakeview, and a whole lot more!
A lot of major events had passed through the pages and TV screens of the media during 1964, the year Lakeview Village became a reality.
Here a just a few of the highlights:
Lyndon B. Johnson became president in January, after winning a landslide victory over Barry Goldwater, 43 million to 27 million.
The population was just shy of 192 million, and life expectancy was pegged at 70.2 years.
A first-class stamp cost 5 cents, and unemployment stood at a (comparatively) mere 5.7 percent.
Notable deaths that year were Herbert Hoover, Douglas MacArthur and Harpo Marx.
The first prime-time soap opera, “Peyton Place,” debuted on ABC, and the Beatles appeared for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show, launching the “British invasion.” Interestingly, not a single juvenile crime was reported in New York City the night of the group’s appearance.
The Record of the Year and the Song of the Year was “The Days of Wine and Roses” by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer. Top movies that year were “My Fair Lady” (best picture of the Academy Awards), “Seven Days in May,” and “Dr. Strangelove.” The most popular book (fiction) was “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold” by John LeCarre. Charles M. Schultz’s “I Need All The Friends I Can Get” was the most popular in nonfiction.
In sports, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Yankees 4-1 in the World Series, Northern Dancer won the Kentucky Derby, and UCLA and Alabama were the top teams in basketball and football, respectively (UCLA went 30-0 that year!). Arnold Palmer won his fourth Masters title. The 1964 Summer Olympics were in Tokyo, Japan, and the Winter Games were in Innsbruck, Austria. Kansas’ own Jim Ryun ran a 3.5 minute mile at the age of 17, foretelling a world-class athletic career.
The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy issues the Warren Report, which concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Jack Ruby is convicted of murder in the slaying of Oswald.
Jimmy Hoffa receives an eight-year sentence for fraud, conspiracy and jury tampering.
The Supreme Court upholds the Civil Rights Act.
The Dow Jones average hits a high of 891; its low as 776. The inflation rate is 1.28 percent.
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev falls from power and is ultimately replaced by Leonid Brezhnev.
Anchorage, Alaska, is hit by a massive 9.2 earthquake.
President Johnson signs the Medicare bill.
The Soviet Union begins using spy satellites.
The World’s Fair is held in New York.
Ford introduces one of its most popular models ever, the Mustang.
Britain and France announce their intention to build a tunnel under the English Channel.
The Surgeon General announces that smoking may lead to major health problems, including lung cancer.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. receives the Nobel Peace Prize.
Washington, D.C. residents vote in a presidential election for the first time.
And at the end of the year, Lakeview became a reality. 1964 . . . what a year!
Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice in Lenexa, Kan.–by visiting our website, or checking us out on Facebook.