Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
Take a trip down memory lane as bloggers Danny Batson and Gary Thomas recollect their experiences while growing up in the Chillicothe area. We hope our discussion starters, pictures, and articles will evoke your personal recollections of Chillicothe; we invite you to share your stories with all of us. So, let us discuss the days gone by and have fun!
Lost Friend by Danny Batson
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About this blog
By Gary Thomas
Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state ...
Chillicothe: As We Remember

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state (except Hawaii and Maine), there is no place like home! I love taking pictures of old and unusual things and sharing them. There is beauty in everything, if we look for it. I have three Facebook pages filled with local pictures that may be of interest: “Where Has Danny Been,” Chillicothe Now,” and “Danny Batson”.

Hi, I am Gary Thomas and I was born just across from Central School in 1942. I graduated from CHS in 1960 and MU in 1964. After two years in Army, I completed a graduate degree at the University of Chicago in 1970. After working in software development for more than 40 years, I retired from Raytheon in 2007. I have an abiding interest in history and in researching past events, places, and people. My latest project is developing a history-based chronology for Livingston County from 1801-2000.

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Stanley Cook
Stanley Cook
Dec. 4, 2012 5:55 p.m.

As I grew up in Chillicothe, I made friends with guys that were picked on by others. I'm not sure exactly why; it may have been because I could feel their pain. We were either not good at sports, too fat, too dumb (others thought), or just too poor and not popular. Anyway, we supported one another.
One such example was Stanley Cook. Stanley was a great pal. Some would say he was overweight, but he was fun to be around. Stanley’s dad ran the gas station at the northwest corner of Washington and Calhoun. Stanley and I became very close; we did everything in town together.
Pinball machines were our thing in those days. Wherever there was a pinball machine, we found it. The pool hall and the bus stop were our favorite places to hang out. Marion or Fats (as we called him) would let us play pool together because we were too young to play with the adults.
We rode our bikes all over Chillicothe in those days. We didn’t miss a single street. We would even go out to the State Home on Third Street and taunt the girls until the officials ran us off. Yes, we were at the age of noticing girls. I remember we would go to his Dad’s station where Stanley had stashed a girly magazine; we would look and laugh. His dad found it one day and that was the end of that. Boys will be boys, and we were real boys. We had so much fun growing up together in Chillicothe.
Until the one day, he asked me to spend the night at his house. At this time in my life I still had the fear of wetting the bed, but I said I would. The reason for the overnight stay was because Stanley’s cousin had a Saint Joseph newspaper route that took him out Hwy 170 (called Hwy 190 now) to other towns and we were going to go with him. His route started very early in the morning so it was easier to spend the night. It was around midnight before we finally got to sleep. I remember it well because his mom yelled at us and told us how late it was. She said, “Get to sleep you two, before I have to come up there.”
It was about three o'clock in the morning that I woke up with a great sense of fear. All I could think about was going home. I got dressed and started down the stairs, it was pitched dark. I kept running into things and woke Mrs. Cook up. She came out of her room and hit the lights.
By this time I was almost in tears; I had to get home. She tried to get me to stay, but to no avail. My mind was made up. I did not want to go on the paper route that morning at five o'clock. She offered to take me home, but I said I could walk. It was about one mile through town so I walked south on Walnut Street until I came to the tracks. Crossing them, I was home. I made my way to my bed and went back to sleep.
Later that morning my mom woke me up. It was almost noon. She sat on my bed and told me that something had happened to Stanley. She told me that he and his cousin were in an accident on Hwy 170; they had collided with a beer truck. Responders had to cut them out of their Volkswagen that was pinned under the truck. Both were killed. I never got out of bed that day.
My mind had a hard time putting things together. It was my first death of a close friend. I was one of his pallbearers. To this day, I can still hear him say “Come on, I got some money. I'll beat you at the pinball game.”

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