Courting in Lansing
Sixty years ago this month, on Nov. 19, 1949, Ada and I became engaged. It is fun to think back to what Lansing was like at that time. I was working at Milk Producers Marketing Company in the Fairfax District in Kansas City and she was a stenographer at the Welfare Office, which was then in the basement of the Leavenworth County Courthouse. I was able to purchase my first car, a 1949 green Ford. Before that I rode the Kansas City-Leavenworth Bus back and forth to work. Campbell’s grocery store was on the corner next to Kendall’s Drug Store, with Noll’s Café up a couple of steps south. There was a coffee shop next to the Hotel that was later turned into three apartments and still exists today.
My dad was still working in the machine shop at the state prison; the mine had closed two years earlier. He was busy making the hardware for the gallows in that machine shop but it wasn’t something he talked about very much. The Zoll Dairy and Pulley’s Farm Dairy were in operation, and Krohne’s Skelly Gas station was a busy place, operated by Leo and Mahala Seymour. Jameson’s had a feed store on the corner. where Kindercare is now. Lansing Lumber was then called Long Bell.
I was playing softball at every opportunity at the ball field where the fire station is now. Most of our dates were at the local drive-in movies or at the ball field, which Ada seemed to enjoy. Of course we had to go to all of my brother Bill’s basketball games that included a family trip to Hutchinson for Lansing’s second opportunity to play at state in 1950. That was real excitement and the whole town was there.
The Zinser Apartment building was still the grade school and that wall you see now held many a softball player and student to sit on and talk about the games and anything else that came to mind. The war had been over four years already and the Korean War had not started. One thing that never will change is the discussions groups can get into to solve the world’s problems.
Our first date was a movie at the Hollywood Theatre, then a stop at Homer’s Drive In. We double dated with Bill and Marilyn Wenzel. The big event would be in June the following year. June of 1950 was a big month for weddings. Gene and Ada on the third, Bill and Marilyn Wenzel on the 10th, Ben and Mary Ann Sanderson on the 17th and John and Mary Jackson the following Saturday. It was a whirlwind of bridal showers and wedding gifts.
We’ve seen a lot of changes over the years and are thankful for each year that we have had together.