Vicki Barnett

Bryan, Tara & Toler Terrell


Thanksgiving-2004 (my family)
Sitting on floor: Toler, Bryan & Tara Terrell
Back row: Casey & Kyle Leslie(nephews), Ricky Toler (better-half), Debbie Leslie (sister-in-law), Imogene Lovelace (mother-in-law) & me.


Hello! I am Vicki Barnett Toler and I graduated from Cairo High School in 1967. After graduation, I entered the college world at Southeast Missouri State majoring in secretarial science. One year was all I needed, or so I thought! I didn't return to college and entered the business world...working for my father at the insurance business he managed in Cairo as assistant to his secretary. It was during this time that I met my future husband. Construction of the Westvaco Paper Mill in Wickliffe was just taking off, so I managed to obtain employment with an electrical contractor there as secretary and time keeper. After a courtship of two years, John Ricky Toler and I were married on May 2, 1970. I continued working for Edenfield Electric at Westvaco until their contract ended. At this time, Edenfield was also doing work in Murray, Kentucky, at the Vanderbilt Chemical Company and at Murray State University. I was asked to work for them there. When I arrived at my office at the site of the chemical company on the first day, the entire construction crew threatened to walk off the job. It seems I was the only female employee on the site and did not have access to potty facilities...anything to get out of work! I left and returned the next day to my very own personal Kit-Mo with lock and key.

Tara Lynn Toler, our only child, was born on August 26, 1971, and I was now unemployed. My in- laws owned the local grocery in Barlow and were planning a trip over-seas the summer of 1972. Because they had no one to run the store while they were gone, I was asked to work for them. After twenty five years and a different owner, I decided to retire.

Our daughter married Bryan Terrell and produced our pride and joy...Toler O'Bryan Terrell on November 5, 1996. We are also privileged to have an eight year old step-granddaughter, Brianna Kay Terrell. I am now "Mammy" and proud to be a grandmother, as others who have experienced grand-parenting know. My Tuesdays and Thursdays are now devoted to Toler or Boudreaux (as I call him).

My husband and I live about one mile out of Barlow on a small farm we purchased in 1984. We lease the farm land, but raise a HUGE garden every year. We have in the past, raised small livestock such as rabbits, chickens, and catfish. Thank goodness that phase is over! We are HUGE collectors. You name it and we probably collect it. Our home looks like a cross between a junk store and a museum. If it's old and primitive, we've probably got one. Our soda bottle collection was featured in a country collectible magazine a few years ago. We enjoy going to auctions around the tri-state area, always looking for something to add to our collections and we hardly ever go home empty handed. Other than collecting, gardening, fishing, and enjoying time with our grandson, I guess we live a boring, but enjoyable leisurely life.

In February of 2000, my husband bought me a computer. Not being the one who likes to surf or chat in the chat rooms, I decided to try and locate some of my `67 classmates. I remembered I had one of my classmate's email addresses, so I wrote to him and told him that I wanted to start some kind of newsletter for our class. He wrote back and sent me three other email addresses he had. The next thing I know, I have managed to gather several and started sending a newsletter via email. One thing led to another and that's where we are today. "Pilot Light 2000" was created and all I can say is...WOW!

I simply cannot imagine growing up anywhere else but in Cairo, Illinois. I am so thankful that I have been able to bring back the flood of memories and rehash them with classmates and friends that were long lost.