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  Mary Rickman Simmons

Hi Classmates, after leaving my less than studious High School years, I went to work at McDonnell Douglas in the electrical department of the factory working on the front fuselage of the Phantom jet. That long career ended in 6 weeks after hearing my boss tell a female coworker to climb the shelf to drag down a wire bundle for us to work on. She asked for help and he politely told her that in his eyes we were men, we had signed a contract to do a manís job. All five feet of me worked up the nerve to tell him I was not a man and that I quit! (Cried all the way home) Funny how things change, now that would be considered sexual harassment and a probable lawsuit.

I then worked at Brown Shoe Company for 9 years the last 5 being the assistant managers assistant making probably ľ of what I made at Mac. (No rats or dirty old men though) ha!

Next traveled a lot with friends and did the bar scene. Anybody remember The Grainery? In Feb. 1976 had a very bad experience, which to this day has changed my life. I had just bought a brand new Starfire GT 4 speed stick (never drove a stick in my life!) I had only had the car a few days and was still killing the engine at times, when, on my way home from friends, a man ran me off the road. My life was threatened. Godís Angels were with me & I got away. The months that followed were a nightmare. They never caught him. Years later my mom read where they had caught a man on the highway doing much the same to women and she wondered if it was him. So Iím very glad to be here for the 40th and not on the deceased list. So please ladies, tell your daughters and you remember lock your doors. They also said trust your intuition when something doesnít feel right go with it because you are probably right. A few months after this I met my husband and best friend Stu, (a Ritenour alum) boo. We married in December 1976 and had a beautiful daughter named Kerry in 1978. She is also a Pattonville alum class of í97.

A self-taught cake decorator, I did wedding cakes for a while until the carpal tunnel surgery took away the strength to squeeze the icing bags. Iím also an avid crafter, wood, silk flowers and whatever else. I usually drag Stu in on these projects. Without him the towering cakes would not have been delivered.

I stayed home with Kerry until 1996 and then went to work for Hueyís Honda in the office. Stu has been there since 1978, first as a mechanic, then service advisor, and for the last 17 years he has been the service director.

Kerry did all the things her mom regrets not doing, good grades all through school, was in the gifted program in junior high and high school. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology from St. Louis University. She is currently a CIBA Vision rep for Novartis. At 28 she is in the process of buying her second house all by herself. She has a huge group of friends that are just like our kids and poor Stu stays busy finding cars and helping the kids with anything they need, but they reciprocate. Iím the cook and the mom. We love it. We also have two miniature schnauzers, one male mild mannered laid back Murphy. The other is our little girl. She is a 10-pound ball of fire named Cookie, she really needs to be on Ritalin. Ha

I feel like I just wrote a novel. Hope I didnít put you to sleep and I canít wait to see you all!!!


Mary Rickman Simmons


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