Wednesday, March 28, 2007


A Tribute To My Dad - Mike Weaver

A tribute to my Dad ! I write this on Tuesday, March 27th, 2007 at 9:00 PM. My Dad died today. Just about four hours ago. He had just turned 84 three weeks ago. He fell down on St. Pats Day, 10 days ago and broke his neck. He also had bleeding in the brain. He was in Neuro ICU at KU Med Center. Surgery repaired the broken neck but the bleeding in the brain caused enough damage that he could not live without life support, which was removed yesterday. The immediate family had just completed a meeting with the representative from the Hospice center where Dad was to be moved within the next few hours, and we were actually leaving the hospital when the Hospice Rep caught up with us and told us that Dad had just stopped breathing. She asked if we wanted to come back up to his room to be with him. We immediately did a U-turn and were back in Dad’s room in just a minute. He was not breathing and his skin looked pale. I pulled the sheet down a little so I could see his chest and I grabbed hold of his lifeless hand, and remembered his firm handshake. He was not breathing. I saw his chest move and heard a small sigh - and then - nothing..... My brother and his wife stepped up beside me and we just stood there looking - looking for any sign - but ....nothing. Dad was dead. I held his hand. Tears came to my eyes. I felt my face smile and that didn’t seem right. But then I realized that I was happy for Dad....he was at peace now....the last ten days had been hell for him. And for the last nine years, since he had his stroke, he had fought the good fight, put on a good front, and always, no matter how gloomy things seemed, he whistled a happy tune and said, "Hey, It’s A Beautiful Day - we’re all just lucky to still be here." And that is who my father was - always the optimist - never a complainer - and eternally thankful. Dad was one who, no matter how gloomy things appeared on the surface, always saw the beauty of the day and was thankful for it...He took me many places and taught me many things. I shall truly miss him...He was more than my dad - he was my friend....

Monday, March 12, 2007



Click on the picture to enlarge....This should bring back a memory or two.
Frank Plas and The Silver Tones first record, written by Frank and originally called 'Westcoast Walk' first placed on KUDL's chart in position #40 on May 31st, 1960. By July 15th, in just six short weeks, Midnight Thunder moved into position #4. Amazing for four local teenagers - look at the listings and who they were competing against. The Silver Tones beat out 'BeBopALula' by The Everly Brothers, and songs by Duane Eddy, Hank Ballard, Paul Anka, Chubby Checker, The Ventures, and a whole list of other professionals. Quite an accomplisment, I would say.......
PS. You can hear a clip of Midnight Thunder on the Music Page at or you can listen to the whole song by scrolling 3/4 the way thru Dan Martin's website where he has a link to it This is a great site with lots of info about the old days and it is actually where I first got reconnected to the SOC HOP days after Googling 'The Silver Tones'. The World Wide Web is amazing indeed......

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Grand Opening - The New SOC HOP Country Club

SOC HOPpers Jensen and Landis made this poster with caricatures of The Fabulous Silver Tones announcing the Grand Opening on April 19th, 1962.

Note Roger Calkins' 'long' hair and Rich Stoy's sun glasses - both of which were 'copied' by future artists. Also, of course, is Frank Plas in the center of things and Mike Weakley on the drums. These guys were great.


The New SOC HOP Country Club

The SOC HOP Country Club - 1962 - located at 8940 Quivira Road, Lenexa, Kansas.
Of course, both of the SOC HOPs are all gone now - and have been for years - where the original barn on 95th street was there are now apartments and on this site on what is now called Marshall Drive, there is a lumber yard on part of the property, and the Quivira Road overpass goes over part of it - but when I drive by that area, I always look, and, strange as it seems, my mind still sees the place, just like it was. In this picture, I can see my car where I parked on off hours, on the walk by the front door. It was my first car actually - a brown '39 Pontiac sedan, with suicide doors and running boards. I loved that car - and I loved The SOC HOP.
Both of them...As I equally love both of my sons, both old and new SOC HOPs meant the very same thing to me - they were both very special places - Oh what fun was had there - by many. But then, nothing lasts forever - and while we can't go back, we can remember.. Do you remember dancing on this beautiful dance floor?



The SOC HOP Country Club

The year was 1962. The newspaper article was about the new General Motors parts building being built on the west frontage road south of 87th street on New 50 Highway (I-35) in Lenexa. Quivira Road can be seen in the upper right corner. After the curve, as the road heads west towards old downtown Lenexa, the road name changed to Santa Fe. Train tracks parallel the road. Within the drawn in triangle, is the property that had formerly been The Silver Spur Country Club, now the home of The new SOC HOP Country Club. It took several months to clean up and refurbish all the facilities there, which included adding on to the existing dining room a large dance hall. Visible in the close up picture is the parking lot (lower right), party barn to it's left, amphitheater behind the barn, dance hall just above the parking lot, and swimming pools just behind the dance hall. It not only provided me with many hours of entertainment, but many, many hours of labor in helping to keep it all up. Working at The SOC HOP was my first full time job. I remember climbing up on the roof of the dance hall one night, watching the cars go up and down the highway and listening to Roger & The Silver Tones play 'Up On The Roof'. Whenever I hear that song now, it brings that memory alive just like it was yesterday. My how time flies when we are having fun....


The Party Barn

It may have been only about a fourth as big, yet still, it was a reminder of our origins. The Party Barn at The Soc Hop Country Club was a remanent of the farm that had been located there. It was small, but just the right size for private parties and midweek dances. Like the orginal barn the SOC HOP occupied, this barn was decorated in a western motif, with wagon wheels, lantern lighting and several old cow skulls.


Partying In The Party Barn

Sometimes, like in the middle of a week when the crowds would be smaller, the band would set up and play in the Party Barn, located on the west end of the parking lot. Dancing was downstairs and the hayloft had picnic tables and a large opening where you could stand and look down upon the patrons. One picture shows Roger Calkins playing his guitar. Standing directly in front of Roger is Gary Heflin, long time SOC HOPper. Gary is dancing with Joni (Calkins) in the pick sweater. Also in this picture are Bob Hampton (behind Joni), Rod Clarke to Roger's left, Mike Hiatt is the SMWest letter jacket, Sharon Young in the dark coat behind Mike, and Fred (Alley Cat) Allison's future wife Terry Leach. In the other picture Fred and Terry move to the beat of Roger and The Holidays.


The outdoor amphitheater

Upon the occasion of a hot summer's night, it was not unusual for the band to set up and play on the large outdoor stage located to the west of the dance hall. There was a large concrete dancing area as well as a large area covered with picnic tables and benches. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I have of this western themed amphitheater. But we did have some fun times here under the stars...



Do you remember doing The Swim at The SOC HOP? There were actually two versions. One was done inside on the dance floor and required the participants to move their arms and pretend they were swimming. The other version was done outside in one of The SOC HOP’s two large swimming pools and required the participants to move their arms and actually swim. While many people remember The SOC HOP as a place to go at night to listen to music and dance, as you can tell by the picture below, there are a lot of people who remember it as the place where they went on a hot summer’s day to cool off in one of the two pools. The pool complex had a rectangular pool with a diving board and a 8-shaped pool which was shallow on both ends and deep in the middle. There was also a children’s play pool, lots of concrete decking, a four room cabana, a locker room with showers, and a basket room to store your street clothes. Both individual and family memberships were available and you got both an ID membership card and a patch to sew onto you swim suit. Ralph Pusey was the head lifeguard. When this photo was taken, it was to get a picture of my cousin Penny, (Ed Bowers daughter) and lifeguard Scott. They are in the right foreground and Penny has on a plaid swimsuit. Penny spent a lot of time working at the pools, but unfortunately for her, she had to stay home in the evenings to babysit her younger siblings, while everyone else was doing the swim on the dance floor. I always felt bad for her for that - she missed a lot of fun. I have recently reconnected with Penny - she is still a nurse and lives in Colorado

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