In Memory


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03/09/10 06:33 PM #1    

Donald Kimmel

John Katzung was killed instantly when the Dodge Charger he was driving crashed head-on into a concrete bridge support on Highway 40 at the Vandeventer overpass in St. Louis - June 19,1975. John's wife, Donna, survived the accident.

John lived across the street from where my family built a new house in Bridgeton on Ludlow Ave. when we moved from St. Louis in 1956. His mother baked home-made bread almost every morning. After I moved in the neighborhood and became friends with John, she started baking an extra loaf for me. That bread was one of the highlights of my youth!

We became good friends - wish there was room to document all the crazy things that happened but here's an example:

John's father was an old-time German and still practiced old country life style - small farming with 2 plow horses, a cow, pigs, chickens and Blue Tick coon dogs.

He built a chariot-like cart with two wheels and long wooden post hitchs to be pulled by their donkey, Pedro. One day, John & I hitched Pedro up to the wagon and went for a long ride. Around 4:00pm, we were on St. Charles Rock Rd - right in front of Branneky's hardware store - when Pedro decided he had had enough and just "laid down" in the middle of the road. We tried for several minutes to get him going, without success. Then, the Bridgeton police show up and try to coax Pedro up but he wasn't having any of that! About a 30 minutes goes by and we hear on the squad car's radio that traffic is reported to be backed up almost to the St. Charles bridge - this was before I-70 was built! All of a sudden, Pedro springs to his feet - John & I jump in the wagon - and Pedro starts galloping for home. What a ride! We were 11 years old.

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