Friday, June 5, 2015

DeVeaux School Classmates – 54 Years Later!

Although I was from Michigan, I attended high school at an all-boys Episcopalian college preparatory school in Niagara Falls New York.  DeVeaux School had a long history that stretched back to the early 1850s.  For about 100 years, it was a military prep school but by the time that I joined the student ranks in 1957, our ‘uniform’ was a suit or sport jacket and tie. 

The class of 1961 consisted of 27 students.  While most of my classmates were from New York, (some were day students, not boarders), we also had others from my home state of Michigan as well as from Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio.  After graduation, we scattered to the wind as we set forth on our life journeys.  DeVeaux was closed in 1972 and the core of our high school experience…the touch point…was gone for good.

However, I’d posted a blog in memory of DeVeaux School back in February of 2013.  In late 2014 I was contacted by a member of my class!  Bill Dunn had found my blog posting… He and I talked at length and I discovered that another classmate, also originally from Michigan, had retired to somewhere in East Tennessee.  My better half checked the directory…and I discovered that Jere Krieg lived only 9 miles from us.  Since then Jere and I have gotten together and exchanged stories a few times...

Bill and I had talked on the phone and via email several times and we’d agreed that the next time that we headed for St. Louis to visit Laurie’s family via western Kentucky we would stop and have lunch with Bill and his wife, Cheryl. 

In May we headed west from East Tennessee and Bill had chosen a restaurant in Grand Rivers Kentucky.  This is the back entrance to Patti’s 1880's Settlement Restaurant.  By the time I got around to taking a photo of the front it was pouring rain…so this is the only ‘entrance’ photo.

Patti’s 1880's Settlement is a very popular tourist stop with 2 restaurants in Western Kentucky close to Kentucky Lake.  There are extensive gardens, miniature golf, an animal park, playground and remote controlled boats as well as special events throughout the year.
Grand Rivers Kentucky has a population of about 350 but the restaurants serve over 350,000 guests each year!  Locals from the area to include Paducah Kentucky regard this location as one of the best restaurants in this part of the state. 

This is what Bill and I looked like when we graduated from DeVeaux School back in 1961…54 years ago this month!

…and this is what we look like today.  Two retired guys, one from trucking and transportation and one from retailing.  I’m a bit jealous as Bill still has his full head of hair!

It was a 2 hour lunch… After all, we had a lot of catching up to do after all the ensuing years!  We talked about family, careers, and life experiences.  Plus of course, we told lots of stories about our years at DeVeaux School.

Patti’s 1880's Restaurant is a big place and it is decorated with a plethora of odds and ends, lights, etc.  From what Bill told us, during the Christmas season, the decorations are truly over the top!

In reality, there are 2 restaurants at Patti’s 1880's Settlement.  The second one is Mr. Bill’s.  It serves the same food but it’s designed to handle large groups and tour buses.

These are Patti’s Loaded Potato Chips… The homemade chips are smothered with chili, bacon, cheeses, diced tomatoes, green onions and red peppers and served with sour cream.  Cheryl ordered these as they’re one of her favorites.

This was Bill’s ‘Patti Brown’.  This version of a Kentucky Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich made with toasted homemade bread, topped with a half-pound charbroiled hamburger patty and sautéed mushrooms all smothered in homemade cheese sauce.  Then it’s baked and topped with Patti’s potato chips.  Looks good!

I ordered the Turkey Club sandwich… Its homemade toast with lettuce and tomato, hickory smoked bacon and mesquite smoked turkey. This sandwich is served with mayonnaise and Patti’s special hot and sweet mustard on the side along with chips and coleslaw.  I skipped the chips…sharing Laurie’s instead.  I thought that the club sandwich was very good.

Laurie decided on Anthony's Artichoke Chicken Spinach Wrap.  This creation consists of grilled chicken, fresh spinach and tomato, rolled up in a spinach tortilla with Anthony’s artichoke spread.  It was served with chips and coleslaw.  Laurie liked her lunch a lot!

Note to Self: Patti’s is renowned for its pies!  There are no less than 15 varieties listed on the menu… The next time we pass through Eastern Kentucky, it will be pie for lunch!

Laurie took this photo of Bill and his wife Cheryl as we were getting ready to continue on our journey… It was fun catching up with Bill!  We plan on seeing them both again this fall when the Class of 1961 has a reunion in East Tennessee.

Patti’s 1880’s Settlement and Restaurant is located at 1793 J. H. O'Bryan Avenue in Grand Rivers Kentucky.  This is a good stopover in this part of Kentucky.  Patti’s is just a few blocks from Kentucky Lake to the west and the Cumberland River reservoir to the east.  Phone: 270-362-8844.  Website:

That’s about it for now.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

1 comment:

  1. Great that you have been able to meet up with a couple of classmates. I believe we ate at Patti's at some point several years ago but don't remember it but food all looks good.