Rededication of Leo Beuerman plaque slated April 20

Lawrence, Kansas, April 13, 2013 – The rededication of the Leo Beuerman plaque will take place in downtown Lawrence, Kansas, outside Teller’s Restaurant, 746 Massachusetts Street, at 12:00 noon on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Other events are noted here. This bronze Leo Beuerman (BEER- muhn) plaque states, “Remember Me. I’m that little Man gone blind. I used to sell Pencils on the street Corner.” Leo’s plaque, created by Jim Patti in 1976, has been refurbished by goldsmith/sculptor Kim Tefft for this event. Speakers include Lawrence Mayor Mike Dever, and Leo’s great-great niece, Debra Kasson-Jones. The documentary video, “Leo Beuerman,” produced in 1969 by Centron Studios, Lawrence, and nominated for an Academy Award, will be playing inside Teller’s Restaurant. This week, the Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts Street, honors Leo in an exhibit that includes his beloved red cart.

Leo was an intelligent, resourceful man who was born with a genetic condition, osteogenesis imperfecta: his fragile bones did not develop; he was 36 inches tall, weighed 50 pounds, was deaf – and later blind – and unable to walk, but he refused to succumb to self-pity or fear. He was a fixture around Lawrence in the 1960s. He would drive his modified tractor into town, use a chain pulley system to lower himself to the ground, and with his little red wooden cart he would sit in front of the First National Bank (now Teller’s) or Woolworths to sell pencils. Leo died in 1974 at the age of 72. Many of Leo’s relatives will be attending this event and will be available to talk about Leo and their own lives. Also attending will be Craig Weinaug, Douglas County Administrator, who, as a teenager, befriended Leo, and whose mother, Catherine, had Leo over to their house several times and took him to church. Oak Hill Cemetery in East Lawrence will have small flags placed on the gravesites of Leo and his relatives who are buried there in Section 12 so those who want to may visit those gravesites. This is another short trailer for the Leo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXneISS3u48

Contact: Frank Janzen 1338 New Hampshire Street Apt B Lawrence, KS 66044 Tel. 785-840-7566 (mobile); fr.janzen@gmail.com

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