Personalized Subway Art

We’ve picked up a new advertiser, Ken McMahan, who is an award-winning graphics designer and who just happens to be married to Jane Rudert, Central High School Class of 1966 and a buddy of Wife Lila.That’s Ken and Jane with with their granddaughters Averi and Arielle. The buildings in the background are downtown Sarasota, Fla.

Click on his ad on the page or follow this link to see his custom work.

Ken grew up in St. Louis and attended Southeast Missouri State College for about a semester. He marched with the Golden Eagles (played sousaphone); spent some time in the Florida Keys; married Jane; moved to the Vermont / Canada border; had Son Zachary; founded and was Creative Director of First Impressions, an advertising and graphics design firm in the Northeast in 1978, and semi-retired to Siesta Key on Florida’s west coast in 1997.

You can tell that Ken is a laconic guy who spits out facts in a Joe Friday fashion.

His First Impressions company worked with a wide variety of national and regional clients and hundreds of small businesses and individuals. It wracked up an impressive list of awards, including Best in Class in Financial World Annual Award competition 11 straight years; winner in the National Restaurant Association’s Great Menu contest; winner in the National Packaging Association’s International Letterhead Design contest, and picked up Best of Show in the Advertising Federation of the Suncoast.  He’s done some cool stuff.

 I remember Jane as Tiger Editor-in-Chief

I knew Jane as editor of The Tiger. Here’s a shot I took of the staff for the 1966 Girardot. Left to right, Claudia Modder, Mary Baker, Don Call, Jane Rudert, Nanci Cagann, Prudy Irvin and Gail Tibbles. First semester editor-in-chief was Jane Rudert, and serving as Co-Editors second semester were Claudia Modder and Nanci Cagann.

Jane wrote she met Ken when she was sitting on a picnic table in Capaha Park with the “7 Teens,” a folksinging group she was part of. The other members of the group were Vivian Walton, Gwen Beaudean, Cheryl Welter, Mary Tenkhoff (all CHS ’66) and Pam Beard and Carole Walton (both CHS ’67).

“We had a brief career playing a few gigs, including the talent show at Central in 1966, mostly just having fun in matching flowered suits.” She doesn’t think there are any photos to the “7 Teens” in existence.

Bob Wolfenkoehler’s Morris Minor

“Anyway, we are sitting around in Capaha Park waiting for something or someone to happen, and here comes Bob Wolfenkohler, CHS ’66, in his tiny Morris Minor with a lot of new friends from the Golden Eagles Band Camp stuffed inside. They were all very flirty except for Ken, who went and stood aloofly against a tree. Being that opposites attract, he was the antisocial renegade of my dreams, and the rest is history, as they say. We got married in Sarasota in 1968 (after I discovered he was not 22 years old as his driver’s license maintained, but only 19 years old!)

“Before he left SEMO, his favorite pastime was walking around campus with his shirttail untucked (those were definitely different days), always hoping President Mark Scully would spot him and give him grief over it, which happened fairly often; I guess this was one of Ken’s first attempts at “questioning authority,” and he actually hasn’t stopped since.”

See if you can spot Ken

“He does, however, swear that he had nothing to do with the water balloon tossing from the Marquette Hotel upper floors (where he lived – they housed some freshman boys there that year due to overcrowded dorms, can you imagine?) down on the 1966 Homecoming Parade.”

[Can you spot him in this photo I took of the 1966 Homecoming parade.]

 Beach Bum Prophesy comes true

The May 26, 1966, Tiger contained a class prophesy compiled by Barbara Hobbs and Linda Stone: “LOOK OUT for that garbage truck (driven by Shiela Blackwell and Mike Herron), they’re probably in a hurry to get down to the big party on the beach given by beach bums Margaret Ritter, Jane Rudert, Lila Perry, Elizabeth Ridings, and Allene Phillips.”

The Class of 1961’s reunion bulletin in 1991 said that Jane and Ken “made their dream come true with a place in Florida to get away from this cold Northern weather whenever possible!” Lila Perry Steinhoff was living in West Palm Beach, Fla, and Margaret Ritter Ueleke had logged beach time in Hawaii and South Carolina.

Jane is working at Sarasota Memorial Hospital as a Medical Transcription Editor. Son Zak lives in Colorado with his wife Desiree and their daughters, Arielle and Averi.

9 Replies to “Personalized Subway Art”

  1. I used to work at Landgraf Lumber back in 1973 with Bob Wolfenkohler and his father Dewey. Where are you now Bob? Is your dad still alive? What happened to Jerry Lee? Larry Kinkle? Mike Gotto? Bill Wilkening? Jeff Schultz? The Landgrafs? Roger Minton? Please let me know. My cell phone is 909-268-2126 and email is: If you’re still in Cape, I’m 2 hours ahead living in California.

    Tim Luckett

  2. Ken,
    Great picture and info on the Marquette Hotel with students living there in 1966. I thought Southeast’s current endeavor where they contracted last year to take over one complete floor of the CANDLEWOOD Hotel here in Cape.
    My Daughter Allison Evans is Sales and Marketing director there and she confided that the University is inquiring about taking yet a second complete floor for the coming school year.

  3. If Bob W’s Morris Minor was blue with worn red leather upholstery, it was the one I bought for $300 and my Dad sold for $50 when I was away in the army in ’68. Wish I had the gas mileage now that thing had then.

  4. It is a delight to catchup on Jane and Bob’s life. I am happy for your success and honors.

    I also enjoyed reading about Margaret Ritter Ueleke and Cheryl Welter.

    If I remember correctly, Margaret’s husband, John and I were in MYF, Sunday School, and Choir at Grace United Methodist Church from the time we were very little. Cheryl also attended there I believe and we used to spend time together paling around some.

    These are nice memories and thank for pricking them for me.

    Regarding the photo of the staff … I also thought it was one of my bad hair days 🙂 … but I still treasure it.

    The one I enjoyed the most is of the ladies with the Tigers. Thanks for sharing all the photos.

  5. catchup … thank

    Excuse these from a very sleep deprived student. 🙂 I am taking a study break with you.

  6. We received a piece of sad news this week. Jane Rudert McMahan posted this to her Facebook friends:

    It is with the utmost sadness that I tell you that my husband of almost 44 years, Ken, died suddenly early Sunday morning. [That would be June 10, 2012.]

    He was my soulmate, friend and partner, with a wicked sense of humor which he taught to me. He was a wonderful father and grandfather, brilliant graphic designer and copywriter.

    He will be missed.

    My son Zak will be here all week and my sister and family will be down later this week. No service, and cremation, respecting Ken’s wishes. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *