David Menke is a retired teacher and school administrator who spent 31 years in education. He graduated from New Haven High School and holds degrees from Southeast Missouri State University and the University of Missouri. Menke taught in the Washington School District and was a principal in New Haven. He has written numerous articles and books on local history. He is current president of the New Haven Preservation Society and the New Haven German-American Club, an elder in his church and is on the board of directors of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce. He said his greatest accomplishment was marrying his high school sweetheart, Joan. Married for 57 years now, they have four children, twelve grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  They live on a farm near Etlah.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be … a Major League Baseball player.

What would you rather be doing right now?  Traveling with family.

Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone that … my wife is always right, most of the time.

Other than your wedding day and/or the birth of your children, what was your proudest moment? Observing our 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends (now nearly 58 years).

It really stinks when … my lawn mower breaks down.

What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Persistence.

I always laugh … when my grandkids or great grand kids tell me a joke.

Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? What would you serve? My great grandparents and grandfather who immigrated from Germany in 1860.  We would have bratwurst and beer.

At the end of a really long day at work, I like to … who works — I’m retired!  An easy chair and a glass of wine.

People who knew me in high school thought I was … very quiet. Boy, did I fool them ... 

My most unforgettable brush with greatness was … when I got Minnie Pearl’s autograph at the Grand Ole Opry in 1961. 

I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to … fly to Germany to visit our many friends in our sister-city Borgholzhausen.

If someone gave me a million dollars, there is still no way I would … buy stock in Victoria’s Secret.

America should be more concerned about … the decline in morality and breakdown of the family unit.

I’m OK if there’s ever a national shortage of … beets and rhubarb.

When I’m in a bookstore, I always go to this section first … historic biographies.

What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? When you’re being chased by a bull, don’t look back. Run!

When I’m cruising down the road, I’m likely listening to … news or classic pop.

I always get sentimental when … I hear music that takes me back to my high school or college days.

The older I get, the more I realize … life is short – as the cable guy says, “Getter done.”

If I had one “do-over” I would … have studied more in high school.

My favorite item of clothing is … my baseball cap.

If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s that … knowledge in itself doesn’t make you smart. 

What do you wish Washington or Franklin County had to offer? A four -lane highway between Washington and Union.

Who is your personal hero or mentor? Here’s two – a middle school teacher, E.O. Mann, and a teaching colleague at Washington High School, James Jackson.

A historical figure I’d like to meet is: Abraham Lincoln.

In my opinion there is no more beautiful place on Earth than … the view off my back porch.

I’ll watch the movie anytime it is on television … “Dances With Wolves.”

What’s your superpower? My faith.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask? When is Christ returning?  Hurry, times are a bit crazy down here on Earth!