Terry Lavy’s Pitsburg Memories

Written by Terry Lavy September 4, 2023

1947 Lavy Grain & Feed in Pitsburg, OH, on Jefferson Street

I am 87 year old Terry Lavy retired Arkansas University Professor of Weed Science living near Lowell Arkansas.  Much of this may be too detailed and too corny for your publication.  Feel free to shorten, delete some or discard.

My connection with Pitsburg began in 1946 when my dad Ezra Lavy bought half interest in the grain and feed elevator from Shorty Hammel, which they called it Hammel and Lavy.  A couple years later dad bought the remainder and called it Lavy Grain and Feed.  The hot spot in town was Ray Young’s Blue Top restaurant.  There you could get a good chocolate malt for a quarter and a cheeseburger for 30 cents.  Across the alley was Don and Dottie Eller’s grocery where you could buy everything from salt and pepper to T-Bone steaks.  As you approached Pitsburg from the east, on your left was a softball diamond with no backstop, that was often the site of many after-school pick-up games.

Continuing on towards the railroad you would pass Stutz’s Garage.  I think Herbie was also the town mayor, with good eyes, because you always knew to slow down when you passed by his garage.

A main Pitsburg event that happened in the summers of 1947-1950 was MYSTERY NIGHT.  A free outdoor cowboy movie was shown on the white side of a local general store.   Every Thursday night over 200 chairs were set up to watch the movie; at half-time, 5 door-prizes were given to the person holding the lucky ticket number they had gotten by shopping at one of the town merchants.


Bonnie Besecker Lavy and Terry Lavy

In the summer of 46, my dad took me to the elevator so I could meet Roger Flory the grandson of Shorty Hammel, since we would both be 5th graders.  Roger told me that there is a real cute girl in our class named Bonnie Sue Besecker.  His assessment was excellent! Very soon Bonnie Sue Besecker became MY steady girlfriend and at 19 she became Mrs. Terry Lavy.  I was very fortunate to have her for 66 years before she was welcomed into Heaven. When she was 16 she became Ohio’s first Miss Chick.  1953 was a very eventual year;  Franklin and Monroe schools combined to be called Franklin-Monroe; Bonnie was a cheerleader and I made the varsity basketball team.; she wrote the fight song for the Franklin Monroe Jets: the basketball team won the Darke County tournament and went on to the District Tournament in Springfield. Our first game ended in a tie; in those days tie games were decided by the first team to score two points.  The center for FM was Joyce North; I was fortunate that he tipped the ball to me.  I headed or our basket and about 25 feet away I tried a granny shot that didn’t come close because I got fouled for two shots.  (This next part has two important components; the second one I remember VERY WELL),   I was fortunate to make Both Shots that Won our first tournament game, but this next part I will Never forget!  About 10 seconds after the winning ball went through the net, I was attacked at the foul line by the best looking cheerleader in the whole county (MISS CHICK) who ran onto the floor, and planted a large kiss on me while I was still at the foul line. ( She was ready to run out because she knew I would make the two shots).  Among Bonnie’s many qualities, she was not timid!  I will list some others of hers.  She played her marimba at many events, including church orchestra and State 4-H Banquet.  When she was 13 she was the youngest player on a travelling softball team; She pitched softball until age 56; She was an excellent bridge player- the wife of the Dean of the College of Agriculture always wanted Bonnie as her partner; she was active in many church functions (Sunday school teacher, church board, she gave a couple sermons, played a major role in a Mom to Mom group for young mothers with babies (in addition to speaking on How To Keep Your Husband Happy, she always wanted to hold their babies). She was an excellent athlete; in high school when high jumping, she did the Fosburg Flop before Fosbury made it famous by winning gold in the Olympics. (the Flop continues to be the one used by all good high jumpers). In college she was too busy working to be play basketball; however, she won second place in a free throw shooting contest which was won by the best girl on the Manchester College basketball team.

When I moved to Pitsburg I didn’t know what a gem I would be getting, when Roger told me about this “real cute girl!”. 

NEXT IS A VERY TRUE STATEMENT!  As a 5th grader, the first time that I saw Bonnie Sue I prayed to God to help me get Bonnie as my wife!  As one of our old housecleaner’s once said to me “ain’t God Good”  Guess I’l close by saying Amen!!

This is way too long but use what you want .


Just had another thought that I must share.  I had given Bonnie a diamond ring at the close of our senior year.  I didn’t realize what a good investment that was.  As new students at Manchester College in the Fall, Bonnie and I walked around campus (we weren’t holding hands) as we looked at different buildings.  Three different times I was approached by older guys who tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to introduce my hot sister to them!  I was very pleased to say to them PLEASE LOOK AT HER RING FINGER:  they were very sad and said OH NO!; I was elated!

Please follow AWTHS blog guidelines. Credit is to be given to writer, Terry Lavy, and is part of the AWTHS archives. Photos used by permission.

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