From the archives of Liberal’s hometown newspaper since 1886.
Researched and compiled by Amira Coleman, L&T Reporter
Area busy with Pancake Day, bank robbers, break-ins
The City of Liberal was all abuzz with excitement for the 1964 Pancake Day, and the paper was full of stories on various aspects of the day.
The activities began the day before, with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Liberal Country Club, for dignitaries, Pancake Partners, contestants and press. There was a dance immediately following in the Agriculture Building, with visiting dignitaries making an appearance during the intermission.
The morning would come early on Tuesday with a pancake breakfast at the Armory, at 6:30, where the mayor of Liberal, Charles Brisendine, temporarily handed over his duties to the Jaycee president, Dick Salley, who was to be acting mayor all day.
The races began at 10:30, when the children’s races were run, and a special recorded message from Vicar Ronald Collins of Olney was to be played. Following the kids’ races was the Pacers’ Race, wherein the women’s coats were carried from start to finish line.
The International Race was to begin at 11:55, where Liberal women would be attempting to break the 7-7 tie with Olney in Liberal’s favor.
The first place winner in the International Race would receive the traditional “Kiss of Peace” from the British Consul, N.M. Hallet, a prayer book given by the Vicar of Olney, a $175 cash prize, a griddle from the Jaycees, souvenir apron from the Jaycee Jaynes, and numerous other merchandise prizes from the Jaycees and Liberal merchants.
Despite all efforts, hard work and preparation, Olney broke the 7-7 tie with Liberal in their favor. Liberal’s fastest time was one minute, 10 and one-tenth seconds, and was just shy of Olney’s, which was one minute, six and four-tenths of a second.
British Consul, N.M. Hallet stated that he was looking forward to returning to Liberal in a year’s time.
Forgan Okla. had been shaken to the core with a bank holdup by three Oklahoma boys, Gary David Hall, 21, Connie Wayne, 21, and Ronnie Partridge, also 21.
“I don’t believe I got really scared until I noticed that tough-looking boy holding the gun on me was more scared than I was,” Mrs. Margaret Phelps told a Times reporter, shortly after the stickup took place.
Fortunately, law enforcement was able to catch the three robbers and recover all of the cash, which amounted to $17,769. Trooper Harley Kruse of Liberal and his division captain, Kenneth Nelson, of Garden City, arrested the three young men just as they entered Kansas on Kighway K-23.
The Cedar Lounge on west US-54 highway was robbed late at night. $122.80 in cash had been taken from the cash box and vending machines, the police reported.
The break-in had been discovered at around 7:15 the morning after, when Officer Robert Faulkner of the police department observed that the east door had been forced open in order for the burglars to gain entry. The lounge’s proprietor was Robert Freshour. Unfortunately, the burglars were not apprehended.
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