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"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."

- George A. Moore

That Happy Holiday Season

As we near the end of November, all the stores and ads remind us that the holidays are upon us. The holiday season in Warson Woods is another time when our community really shines. It starts with runners trotting through the Woods while leaves change to amber and orange and then quickly transforms into lights twinkling on decorated homes and lawns, get-togethers with family and friends, and fireplaces emanating warmth that overcomes even the coldest nights. All these evoke memories of holidays past and stir a feeling of peace and gratefulness in our souls. Throw in some snowfall and the neighborhood looks like Bedford Falls or a Norman Rockwell painting. For a moment, car traffic on the streets gives way to children pulling sleds. The hill at Royal Oak Park is alive, transformed from a muddy slope to a miniature ski resort. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Even with the abounding good cheer, for some it can be a challenging time. November can be chilly and gloomy with the days getting shorter. The thought of springtime merely provides an ephemeral glimmer of future hope. For some, the cold darkness mixed with memories of lost loved ones or the lack of family to spend the holidays with, can be downright depressing. For that reason, we all need to make a point to remember our neighbors during the holidays. Check on them and include them on your Christmas card list or neighbor-gift giving. As an old Japanese proverb says, "One kind word can warm three winter months.”

As we gather, Thanksgiving reminds us to practice gratitude as we survey the many blessings we have and the loved ones who have enriched our lives. So, share a smile or a kind word and keep Warson Woods warm all winter!

Thank You To Our Military and Veteran Residents! 
For the last few months, we have asked residents to submit the names of Veterans from Warson Woods and we appreciate those who responded. We are very grateful for your service to our nation. This month during Veterans Day and throughout the year, we send you our appreciation and gratitude.
Rich Connors Air Force
Roftiel Constantine Air Force
Thomas H. Doll Air Force 
Ed Ewing Air Force
Douglas W. Felt Air Force
Brandon Porter Air Force
 Don Seese Air Force
Joe Sildo Air Force
   
Mark H. Petty Army
James Schmidt Army
John Schnoebelen Army
Ed Travis Army
   
John Halliday Navy
Sean Murphy  Navy
   
Louis Galli Marine Corps
Charlie Kohler Marine Corps
Brian Middendorf Marine Corps
Jim Newman Marine Corps
Resident Spotlight - Charlie Kohler
Charlie Kohler, World War II veteran and Warson Woods resident

What was your childhood like? My parents had 4 boys and 2 girls, and I was the oldest. I enjoyed most of my childhood playing sports from football to boxing and baseball. I was a pretty good baseball player (had a batting average of .510 at McBride High School). After graduating high school, the Brooklyn Dodgers signed me up to play professional baseball. But when WWII broke out, I volunteered to go from throwing baseballs for the Brooklyn Dodgers to throwing hand-grenades for our country.

When did you move to Warson Woods? I moved my family from Glendale to Warson Woods in 1963, as I had a beautiful home built on one of the largest lots in our community.

What are some differences, or similarities, in the neighborhood from when you moved in? When we first moved to Warson Woods, there were a lot of children in our neighborhood. In fact, our next door neighbors at the time had 5 girls and we had 3 boys ... and they're all still great friends to this day. We now have next door neighbors who have 3 wonderful boys, and they remind me so much of raising my own family.  

Any fond memories you would like to share? Since we have one of the largest backyards in the neighborhood, we would often host indian-ball and kickball games during the daytime and flashlight-tag games and firefly hunting at night.  

When and how did you meet your wife? My late wife, Juanita, and I met after I returned from WWII, and we were kind of set-up by her father. Crazy enough, Juanita was already engaged to be married to another man when we met. Juanita's father did not particularly want her to marry this other guy. Because her father and my father did business together, Juanita's father thought I may be a better suitor for his daughter, so he invited me to attend a sportswriters luncheon at the old Statler Hotel in downtown St. Louis (and he brought Juanita who just so happened to be seated next to me at that table). That's where we first met, and the rest is history.   

How many children do you have?  I have three sons, all who live in the St. Louis area. In fact my youngest son, Keith, bought his childhood home from me and moved back into our Warson Woods house after Juanita passed away ten years ago. Keith and I have been living together (once again) ever since, except instead of me caring for Keith as a young boy, Keith is looking after me as his 100-year-old father.

Can you tell us about any special people you met while serving in World War II? Anyone and everyone who had the courage to defend our country in WWII is special. I was lucky to be surrounded by such great heroes, especially those who never made it home as they were killed-in-action (including my younger brother, Eddie). To honor my brother Eddie who died beside me at Iwo Jima, I fly my brother's burial flag on special occasions at our Warson Woods home.

What did you miss most about home while you were fighting abroad? When I was on the battlefield, the one thing I really missed was dry socks. As combat Marines, our feet were constantly wet from trudging onto the beachheads during each invasion... and we could never really dry out our socks during the ensuing battle. It may seem like a little thing, but boy did I ever long for dry socks.

Are there any traditions you had while there, that you kept after returning home?  There were 193 of us in our Marine Corps Company (the 23rd Regimental Weapons Company) ... before we left training at Camp Pendleton, we all swore to a covenant that the last two of us guys alive would somehow find each other later in life and share a bottle of wine in tribute to all of our fellow Marines who passed away before us. Sadly, the only other Marine alive besides me died earlier this year, leaving me as the sole survivor. So on my 100th birthday, my son (Keith) orchestrated a special toast conducted over Facebook Live with many of the families of my fellow Marines ... and the son of the Marine who saved my life on Iwo Jima actually came from Cleveland to be the one who cheered with me in-person. It was a very special moment. 

We're curious to hear about the pride that comes along with your accomplishments. What have they meant to you and your family? I'm proud to say I tried hard and that resulted in being successful from my baseball career to commanding the top rated anti-tank gun crew in the Marine Corps to growing one of the most renowned printing companies in St. Louis and to raising a family who I am immensely proud of. What more can a father ask for when his sons say, "Papa, I'm proud of you."?

To learn more about Charlie's story and his experience in World War II, watch his PBS Living St. Louis special: Brothers in Arms

Neighborhood Directory Update!
One of our committee's goals for this year was to create a neighborhood directory. We originally had hoped to build it ourselves, but we found out that 900 of our neighbors are on the Warson Woods NextDoor site, which has a wonderful directory and map, so we have decided to double down on using NextDoor for our directory. You can join the Warson Woods NextDoor site here. Once you are enrolled, you can view the WW directory here.

The biggest benefit to NextDoor is that it handles the verification process for free and manages the logins, so you can feel confident your information is safe and only verified residents can view it.

Other fun features include:
Fun Post from In the Woods Facebook Group!
2021 Trot Thru The Woods 

This year's Trot Thru the Woods will be held on Saturday November 20th, starting at at Royal Oak Park. The 5k starts at 8:00am followed by the kids fun run at 9:00. 

Parking is available on race day morning at Royal Oaks Park and there is also parking available up the hill at the parking lot by Warson Woods City Hall. Please arrive early as parking is limited.

The 5k registration fee is $15 from 10/13 through 11/18 and $20 on race day. Fun run registration is free through October 31st and $5 thereafter.

All kid fun run participants will receive a medal! More information is available here and race registration is available here

Warson Woods Business Spotlight: 
Silver Pancake House
Silver Pancake House moved into the former Wasabi space in the front of the neighborhood and we encourage you to check out their breakfast and lunch options. They are open from 6am-2pm every day but Monday. Their menu and photos of their delicious food can be found on Yelp.
City Council Candidate Filing Deadline

Candidate Filing for the April 5, 2022 Elections opens on Tuesday December 7th at 8:00 a.m. and will close on Tuesday December 28th at 3:00 p.m.  You may file Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during these dates.

Open Offices are as follows: Mayor-2 year term; Alderman Ward 1–2 year term; Alderman Ward 2-2 year term; Alderman Ward 3-2 year term and Alderman Ward 4-2 year term.

If you are planning on filing on either Monday December 27th or Tuesday December 28th you must call and make an appointment prior to December 24th as our City Clerk will be on Vacation from December 24th – January 3rd.

From The Archives
Warson Woods was mostly bucolic farmland in 1937. Besides Woodlawn, Bennett, Andrew, Dearborn and Forest View, there aren't many landmarks that are still around today. See if you can find where your house would be located if it was around in 84 years ago! 
UPCOMING EVENTS: 
City Council Meeting: November 16 - 7:00pm
Trot Thru The Woods: November 20 - 8:00am - Fun Run 9:00am
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