|Debbie Mitchell Gahah, MHS 66, served as|
the mayor of Perryville, Missouri.
We have wanted to visit Perryville for many years, because that is one location for the start of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Zion on the Mississippi describes that story in great detail, making me wonder if anyone has read the book.
The Loehe group organized first and asked the Perryville/St. Louis people to join them, which developed after talks.
Zach is a member of our church, so we get together with him from time to time. The last meeting was in scenic Joplin, Missouri. Since his mother lives in St. Louis, we discussed various nearby meetings. Cape Girardeau was on the list first, but Debbie offered to give us a guided tour of the historic sites on the date we selected. We scrapped Cape and the Limbaugh Shrine in favor of staying in Perryville at the Off Ramp Inn.
Chris' short-cut through the Mark Twain Forest Preserve slowed us down a bit, but we arrived Sunday night and had our big day on Monday.
Debbie arrived right on time and we started out in our new/old Voyager, 2002. I have known Debbie since we were in the flute section together at Calvin Coolidge Junior High. We were also in other classes, but those rosters are a blur to me, except Chem-Physics. We linked up on Facebook and met again at several Moline High reunions.
Chris has gone to all of my reunions and she has always been treated as one of the class members.
| We gave away books to the LCMS congregation in Perryville,|
and also to the historical museum in Altenburg.
Pastor Jackson, left, Chris Jackson, Anita Engleman, Zach Engleman.
Distinguished Mayor Emeritus Debbie Mitchell Gahan
is in the second row.
Lutherans should visit the sites around Perryville, because they involve a significant amount of history, which is well represented in the Frohna site and the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center.
We were leaving the Frohna site - the Saxon Lutheran Memorial - when Chris noticed the tail-light being gone, popped out on its own. We had been bragging about how new the car looked because of our Army Ranger neighbor fixing it up before selling it. All the parts were new. So we started off in a brief rainstorm and the windshield wipers began flying off and tangling.
The rain stopped and Debbie found us a place where they put new wipers on. We also had lunch with her, and everyone needed a nap afterwards.
We were especially graced by Debbie's work in the city, part of the tour. No one expects such a small town to have so much going for it. She described her efforts at getting businesses to work together and social agencies to maximize their service to various groups of people. Those things do not happen by accident, so Moline should be proud of their distinguished graduate.
|Anita Engleman, Pastor Jackson, Chris Jackson, Zach Engleman.|
CFW Walther is in the second row, Frohna.