Milton “Uncle Milty” Ueleke

This photo of Milton W. “Uncle Milty” Ueleke is technically flawed, but I think it captures his body language and bemused expression perfectly. I’m not exactly sure when he left Central’s science department for SEMO, but he retired from the university in 1981.

Missourian stories mentioning Ueleke

  • May 27, 1931 –  Milton Ueleke was elected Reporter by the members of the Central High School Electrical Engineers Club.
  • June 2, 1932 – Central High Band to present first concert of the year in Court House Park, under the direction of W.A. Shivelbine. Milton Ueleke was listed in the band. In announcing the concert, Supt. J.A. Whitford said the public should recall that the band is re-organized every semester, the personnel changing as members graduate and new 0nes enter high school. [Editor’s note: that s0unds like Supt. Whitford had heard the band play and didn’t want to oversell it.]
  • Dad had a photo of the 1931 band in his scrapbook. Ueleke is in it.
  • Oct. 26, 1937 – Milton Ueleke has been elected vice president of the newly-formed Physics Club at the Teachers College.  (The same story mentioned that Tom O’Loughlin, business manager for the Sagamore, announced that photos for the 1938 yearbook were being taken at Kassel’s Studio.
  • Sept. 15, 1945 – Milton Ueleke, a member of the Central High School faculty, recently discharged from the Army Air Forces, spoke to the Kiwanis Club about his stay in India. Ueleke, a former lieutenant, was a navigator aboard a heavy bomber and a veteran of 47 mission in the China-Burma-India theater of operations.

{It’s interesting how many of the science teachers at Central had served in bombers in World War II. Howard Bock, who had been a B-26 engineer gunner, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, five air medals, the American Defense Medal and campaign ribbons (Battle of Europe, Battle of the Rhineland and Battle of Ardennes-The Bulge).

Tom O’Loughlin had been a bomber pilot. Maybe that made it possible for them to remain calm in the midst of classroom explosions and hijinks.]

Wayne Goddard’s Social Club

An invitation from assistant principal Wayne Goddard to join his Social Club – detention – was something no Central Student wanted. He played the bad cop to Principal Fred Wilferth’s good cop, although, truth be told, I never heard anybody speak ill of him.

Coach, Navy vet, All-American

The Class of 1965’s reunion booklet had a page in the back that read, “Not one student that attended Central while he was there as assistant principal, did not live in fear of ‘Big G.’ However, anyone who dealt with him on a one-to-one basis knew Mr. Goddard to be fair, without malice and always looking out for the students’ welfare and moral character.”

I guess I should have surmised from that that Big G must have moved his Social Club on to another plane, but it didn’t register. When I did a search of The Missourian’s archives, I was surprised to see that he had died Sept. 22, 1984, at the age of 70. He always seemed like one of those guys who would be around forever.

He was born June 9, 1914, in Anna, Ill. He graduated from SEMO in 1939, where he earned All-American honors in football in 1937 and participated in track. He was a Navy veteran, having served during World War II and the Korean War. Mr. Goddard was head football coach at SEMO from 1947 to 1951. The SEMO State University Goddard Football Award for the best offensive lineman is named each year in his honor.

His obit said he married Martha Male on Dec. 3, 1939. Survivors at the time included his wife, one son, Hal W. Goddard, Jackson; two daughters, Mrs. Helen Harris, St. Louis, and Mrs. Kathy Barry, Advance; two brothers, Craig Goddard, Chicago, Ill., and Byrl Goddard, Carbondale, Ill.; and two grandsons.

Wayne Goddard news stories

There were scores of clips about Mr. Goddard, but most of them were routine sports wraps. Here are some that rose above the average. I particularly like the first one. I can just hear him growling that comment.

  • Oct. 13, 1947 – When the State College Indians dropped their opening game against the Warrensburg Mules in 1947, “Coach Goddard’s curt comment on the game was to the effect that the Indians displayed about the poorest exhibition of blocking and tackling he had ever witnessed. He said the Mules’ line outplayed his line from start to finish. He intimated that he may start at least eight freshmen against the Kirksville College Bulldogs. ‘If I can’t get football out of the older boys, I might as well start building for the next season,’ he said.”
  • Oct. 27, 1947Mrs. Wayne Goddard and son, Hal Wayne, 2000 Thilenius Street, were dismissed from Southeast Missouri Hospital. The child was born Oct. 17.
  • Feb. 6, 1952 – Lt. Wayne Goddard, due to report for active Navy duty and assignment to Guam next month, announced today his resignation as coach of State College and his retirement from the coaching field. “I want to thank every football fan and Southeast Missouri State College for the cooperation and support of the team during my work at the college. I’m truly sorry that I’ve been unable to win more regularly than 41 per cent of my games, but the thoughtful consideration given me has made the work more enjoyable than the record indicates. I hope the new coach will never lose.”
  • Apr. 14, 1958 – 12 Records Fall as Cape State Beats Team from Arkansas: In the high jump, John Lorberg of Cape and Stegal of Jonesboro tied for first with a leap of 6 feet 1-1/8 inches, which broke the record of 6 feet 1-inch held by Wayne Goddard of Cape, since 1936.
  • Feb. 20, 1962 – Wayne Goddard, assistant principal at Central High School, said students heard the space shot [John Glenn’s flight] over radio. No, he didn’t want to be the next astronaut to the moon. “I’ve gone to sea too many times and got sick too many times.”
  • Apr. 27, 1962 – Hook, Line and Sinker column: Wayne Goddard and his son, Hal, had a trotline out on the Brockmeyer pond north of Cape. Their single catch was a whopper, a 14-pound cat that stretched 29 inches.

Senor Dan Moore

Barbara Nunnelly Adler posed a question in her comments on my story about high school clubs and activities: BTW does any know what ever happened to Mr. Dan Moore who taught Spanish and also sponsored Spanish Club. I would love to be in touch with him to let him know what a big influence Spanish has been in my life. . . now with a son working and living in Spain!

I can’t help you with where he is today. I Googled his name and saw some links that MIGHT have been him, but I couldn’t be sure.

Which language should I take in high school?

I thought about Latin, but figured the odds were slim that I’d ever run into any Romans. France didn’t seem to be in my future, either. “I might actually go to Mexico,” I thought, “I’ll sign up for Spanish.”

It never dawned on me that I wouldn’t need to GO to Mexico. It and Cuba and much of Central and South America came to me. We moved to South Florida where Wife Lila and I are frequently one of only two English-speaking families in our immediate neighborhood. I wish I had studied a little harder at Central.

I remember the language lab pictured above. You’d sit in a tiny cubicle with a headphone and mouthpiece listening to questions or dialog that you were supposed to respond to. The instructor would sit in front of the classroom listening to each student in turn. I learned early on that there was always a “click” in the headphones when Senor Moore switched to me, so that’s when I’d start talking into the mike.

Are you an American citizen?

Senor Moore spent one of his summer breaks living with a family in Mexico so he could become fluent in Spanish. When it came time to come back home, he was in the back seat asleep when they came to the border crossing. He awoke to hear a Border Patrol officer ask, “Are you an American citizen?” His response, “Si”

Starring in Scarface

I had my own version of total immersion Spanish class. I spent a day short of a month in Key West covering the Cuban Boatlift in 1980. I was surprised to see myself in the opening credits of the movie Scarface (I’m the one with a camera and a Cat hat). I knew enough Spanish to be able to say that I was from a newspaper, to ask their name and ages and to ask if any kids present were their children. As long as I stuck to nouns and verbs (and darned few of them), I was OK.

A few years later, the paper offered in-house Spanish lessons. Once we got beyond nouns and verbs and into stuff I never understood when I was in English class, I bailed. I DID ask one last question, “How do I say, ‘Don’t shoot, please.’?”

I never needed to use it, which is probably a good thing. The instructor probably gave me a phrase that said something like, “Your mother is as ugly as a pig, but I’d kiss her anyway.”

Language teachers at Central High School

Here’s a photo from the 1964 Girardot.

It identifies the teachers, left to right, as Charlotte Malahy (Latin and English); Mary E. Sivia (French), Dan Moore (Spanish) and Bessie Sheppard (French and English).

I ran photos of Miss Krueger’s retirement party in 1963 here. She taught Latin before it became a dead language. She was one of six teachers who were in my Dad’s 1931 yearbook and still at Central when we were there.

“General O,” Tom O’Loughlin

I was going to do a bunch of research about Central High School chemistry teacher Tom O’Loughlin, better known to his students as “General O,” but I figured you folks could contribute better stories than I could dredge up.

Mercury and explosions

Back in the good old days, there was a ready supply of mercury in the chemistry room that you could play with. It was neat how it would form into tight little globules that you could chase around. A penny dipped in it immediately turned shiny silver like a new dime. If we were warned not to play with it, it was more so it wouldn’t be wasted than it was considered hazardous.

Today, mercury is banned from classrooms. Not too long ago, someone spilled a small quantity that had been overlooked; the school was evacuated and the guys in moon suits showed up to decontaminate the place.

Nothing ever exploded or caught in fire when I was in his class, but others were luckier.

General O supported his students

When Jim Stone decided to build a laser for the science fair, way back before you could buy them in every Staples store, Gen. O found money to help subsidize the construction. I’ve been bugging Jim for months to send me information about that project, but he keeps begging off. Maybe this will get him going.

Here they are picking up some contraption or another in St. Louis. All I remember is freezing on a hay bale in the back of Gen. O’s pickup to keep the thing from jostling around while Jim was up front where it was warm. I guess that’s a good indicator of who was the rocket scientist.

I didn’t know until Ernie Chiles told me that Gen. O had been a bomber pilot in World War II (maybe that’s why he was able to maintain his calm in the midst of classroom explosions and hijinks)  and a farmer who recruited students for hard labor.

He and Alene Sadler were the kind of teachers that students remember the rest of their lives.

OK, folks, let the stories roll.