Sunday, March 30, 2008

Boogie Woogie!

Courtesy of Don Cox. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Amazing video

I was sent this streaming video this morning and just have to pass it on. It is long (18 minutes), but well worth the time. (After all, we senior citizens have a lot of that to spare!) Here it is:

Enjoy, and let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I was reading your experiences as a kid working on different farms.  It brought back memories of helping dad and Grandpa Henry haul hay.  I guess since dad didn't have a son, and needed an extra hand, I got talked into helping with some of those un-lady like chores.  I recall one time when I was about 14 or 15, he asked me to help with  plowing in a bottom field down by the river.  There was a real high bank that dropped straight down into Caney.  He plowed about 3 or 4 rounds to get everything laid out and get me away from the high bank somewhat.  He never had good equipment, everything had it's own little quirks to make it operate.  At this time he had an old John Deere tractor that we called the "Johnny Pop" because it made so much noise.  It only had hand brakes which were very difficult to pull, HE would have to take his hands off the steering wheel and use both hands to pull the brake on.  (Got the picture?)   After explaining a few basics;  the throttle, how to pull the plow out on the corners , how to keep the rows straight,etc., he took off for the barn lot to do other things, and said, "If you need to stop and you can't pull the brake, just pull the plow out of the ground, slow the throttle down and drive to the barn lot and I'll be there and will jump on the tractor with you and pull the brake on.  I'll be listening from the barn lot and I can tell by the sound of the tractor if you're having trouble."   Sure!  What does a tractor sound like going over a high bank into the river?    I plowed a long time and could see that the gas gauge was getting a little low, so I headed to the barn on the tractor.  He  heard me coming, and could tell that I hadn't turned the throttle down enough.  It sounded okay to me, I was going slower than when I had been plowing, but I guess he thought it sounded like it was going a little fast for him to run and manuever between the tractor and plow  As I came into the barn lot, I was looking to see if he was there, if not I would have to keep going through the barn lot onto the road and maybe up to the pasture, or just follow the road till the monster ran out of gas.  He had gone a distance into another field by the barn lot.   He came running through that field, waving both hands and yelling at the top of his voice.  I couldn't hear a word for the loud tractor and I was yelling that I couldn't stop the darn thing, but he couldn't hear me.  By the time he got to the barn lot, I was already headed up the road toward the pasture. He was able to jump on, but he had trouble pulling the hand brake also.  He finally got it stopped.  He gave me a tongue lashing and I hopped off that beast, headed to the house  and told him I wasn't going to help anymore unless he fixed that brake.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Hunt

Some of you when reading this title will immediately think of Gary White's "Hunt" for young persons of the opposite sex on the streets of Cedar Vale. If this is what you expect, you will be disappointed.

One nice Sunday afternoon when I was a lad of about twelve or thirteen, my Dad told me to get in the pick-up and bring a couple of clubs. Since the rumor was that he had been a member of the KKK in his misguided youth, I thought the request to bring clubs was fairly ominous. But, we drove up through town and on out the old highway leading toward Sedan. After two or three miles going east, we turned north for a mile or two, and met up with scores of men and boys and cars and pick-ups. Some of them had big dogs with them. Some man, and as I remember, it was Carl Steward, stood up on the back of his pick-up and shouted instructions to all the "hunters" that were milling around the road. Soon after, some started driving east along the section line, some west, and they all eventually ended up encircling the entire section boundary with their dogs and clubs.

No, dear reader, we were not hunting girls, or African Americans, we were hunting coyotes. No guns were allowed in the hunt as the purpose was for each line of men and dogs to move slowly toward the center of the section, where hopefully some of the marauding coyotes would be trapped between the advancing hunters. I suppose if guns were there, some of the marksmen would have ended up shooting their best friends, or perhaps their worst enemy. When the "beaters" had arrived at the center of the field, the poor coyotes had no chance against the dogs and the big game hunters.

At this time, I do not remember how successful that particular hunt was, but some coyotes were eliminated, and the perhaps made life more safe for a few chickens or baby calves. Looking back, I do not know how I really feel about this sort of sport, but I guess it was necessary, and it was rather exciting for a young boy to be part of the Great Hunt.

I would be interested in anyone else's memories of a coyote hunt in Chautauqua county. Maybe locals like Don Cox would remember more details and could elaborate on them.

From Bea Howell (Naomi Grunden)

My Mother, bless her heart, had to work so hard when she was growing up. She had to do chores and milk cows every morning before going to school and then again in the evening. Because of this she really spoiled my sister and me and did not make us do near enough around the farm. She wanted us to have it better than she did when she was growing up. My sister and I cringe now when we think how little we really did around the farm to help Mom.
We did do things like help harvest potatoes each year. How I hated that job! It was always hot with a lot of humidity and mosquites. The buckets of potatoes were heavy and a person would be covered with dirt. We pumped water for the livestock, carried in wood each night in the winter, helped with the dishes and stuff like that. A couple of times Dad told us he would give us so much a row of corn to cut all the weeds out. We would last only about three hours and give up. The weeds would be as tall as we were and we would get all itchy and sweaty. I think you are right when you said boys were expected to do more of the farm work. My poor Dad didn't have any boys to help him.
Bea Howell

Wayne Woodruff


By Phil Foust

Personal experiences shared by Wayne have perhaps inadvertently brought to our attention the regrets we all have after decisions of a lifetime. It seems to me that those raised in Kansas during our era were possibly taught to have everlasting guilt.

Many farmers could never admit to having a good crop or making a profit on an animal. Instead, a discounting of the positive situation was forthcoming. Parents were not always anxious to praise a child. Discipline was administered (sometimes rather harshly) for less than serious misbehavior. Perhaps it was taught us to not brag and to have difficulty in accepting compliments or in being able to enjoy real achievement.

Some of this regretful feeling could come from a lack of physical (or even emotional) love. In an occasional visit with others, I have found that the lack of ever a kiss from Mother or a hug from Father or either of them making assurance of their love was not that unusual. Even the revelation of family matters of this ilk can still impact a certain amount of uncertainty and/or guilt.

Those of us who were parented in this way are most likely not aware of the consequences. Our parents were busy attempting to survive a devastating depression and perhaps constant worry about a very severe world political situation. It was difficult for them to give full attention to their children and likely they were parenting in the way experience had taught. The generation of our parents was indeed exceptional and I'm not positive that a more "modern" way of thinking is actually a betterment.

At the same time, it took some years for me to understand that I wanted to change my parenting style. I'm still learning and it is difficult for me to properly express my love for my children and grandchildren. In reality, it wasn't just parenting that I wanted to change but instead a rather basic makeover. To be the man I should be (and want to be) is still my goal.

"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change." - Confucius

Monday, March 24, 2008


My apologies to Gary!
I was just re-reading Gary Metcalf's description of farm life in Hoosier during the '40's, and it reminded me that the way the farm boys were treated back then would now be classified as child abuse. And it certainly would not have been lawful now under the child labor laws. I don't know whether this abuse extended to the girls who grew up on the farms, I know my sister was not required to do any of the hard work.

When I was eleven and twelve, I was expected to put in a ten hour day hoeing the weeds out of a big field of corn, and usually the temperature and humidity made that a miserable job. But we were provided with a big, steel can of ice cold water to get us through the day.

Later, at age thirteen through sixteen, during the summers I was hired out to work for other farmers in the area. I don't remember getting paid, although I am sure that I did get six dollars a day for working in the hay barn for Ralph Snyder. It is hard to imagine now doing that kind of work, lifting bales of alfalfa, some of which would weigh one hundred pounds if the alfalfa had been baled green, for about ten or eleven hours, and then going to the ball field and playing a game of baseball. We must have been tough.

For Mr. Snyder, I also drove an ensilage truck, even though I probably did not have a drivers licence. But, as I remember, farm kids had some kind of special exemptions as far as driving farm equipment on the highways. That was the dirtiest job you could imagine, as the ensilage blower would often (probably on purpose) accidently blow a bit of the load into the driver's cab of the truck.

I also put in twelve hour days plowing for Rolla Holland. Thirteen year olds doing that kind of long days would certainly be the equivalent of the Chinese girls working in the "sweat shops" of Shanghai. Another job I had was working for Jim Buchele's dad, I think he was Paul. I don't remember now exactly what kind of work I was doing, but do remember the meals we were served at noon. His mom, Helen I think her name was, was a great cook and we had meals that were fit for a king. Fried chicken, potatoes and gravy ( probably why I had by-pass surgery at age 60)corn on the cob, kohlarabi, home-grown green beans cooked in lard and home made rolls with home made butter. But then came dessert. After those delicious meals, she served rhubarb pie!! To me, that was the worst tasting thing I ever had, even though one of my close girl friends at the time said she loved rhubarb pie.

Anyway, we abused farm lads did survive that hard work, and I think that it probably made much better people of us. Maybe the laws now are a little too protective. But I wonder whether in the back woods of the southern flint hills the farmers really pay too much attention to these new laws, now. ??

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Cottage Cheese

A number of bloggers have mentioned the cottage cheese made by parents and grandparents. Some have wondered how to prepare it in the old fashioned way. Here is an original recipe, courtesy of Ethel Montgomery. (You may have some trouble obtaining the proper ingredients and kitchen furniture.)

Schmierkase (cottage cheese) made the old fashioned way:

Put a large amount of sour milk in a large pan. A granite dish pan works best. The pan of milk is set on the back of a wood-burning cook stove which is still warm after cooking a meal. When the sour milk becomes tepid-warm the whey and milk solids separate.

After separation, the milk is poured into a muslin bag then tied to a wire clothes line and left to drain for several hours. (Whey can be fed to the pigs.) When the curd has drained dry it is removed from the bag and stored in a stone-block milk house in the coolest place available. To prepare it for eating it is crumbled, seasoned with salt, and a generous amount of separated cream added. 

Good luck with your preparations! Don't look in your local kitchen supply store for granite dish pans or wood-burning cook stoves. Also stone-block milk houses are currently in short supply.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Billy Bonnell

OK CV fans, your online researcher at work here. The first photo is the wedding photo of Billy (b. July 19, 1885, at Marysville, Kansas) and Mary (b. January 13, 1881, at Mineral, Illinois) Bonnell.

The second photo has the following caption: "W. S. Bonnell, when he broke the world's record at Cedar Vale, Kansas, August 30, 1909. Time 9.5 seconds." Also shown is his horse, Romeo. (The calf is unidentified.)

(Click on the photos to see an enlarged view.) Enjoy!


On reading Jay's comments of farm life in the 40's, triggered some supressed memories of my childhood. Our generation has probably witnessed as many changes in our way of living as any prior generation. As every generation, on our passing the things we have experienced and witnessed will be forgotten, expect what is in print or in pictutres. With that in mind I thought I would try and recall some of the things I experienced growing up on the farm.

On mentioning various things to my children, they think I came to Kansas in a covered wagon. At their stage in life they have not expressed much interest in learning about the "old days". I know as they grow older, they perhaps will want to know more about the ways things used to be.

I grew up on a farm one half mile north of the seven mile corner. It was the same farm that my father was raised. Seven-mile corner was west of CV on high 166. By going south would take you to Grainola and Shilder , OK.

At one time seven-mile corner consisted of a filling station, grocery store, dance area and some cabins. A lady named Cora Wallace operated it. I recall comments by my parents that made me believe real wild things happened there on Saturday nights. Probably dancing, alcohol beverages, etc. shame, shame, shame.

Hoosier has been mentioned a couple of times in various blogs. By going on back dirt roads approximately two and one half miles from our farm would take you to Hoosier. On the way, just of the road, was a metal marker. The marker was stuck in the ground and had an inscription on it. I don't recall what it said. My Dad called it "Half Way, USA". Supposedly half way, east coast, west coast, north Canada, south Mexico. I have no idea if their is any validity to the saying or not. I wonder if the marker is still there. I doubt that I could find it now as the roads have probably been gone for 50 years.

My earliest recollection of Hoosier is it had a large old school building where my father had gone to school. In my day it was used for storing hay. There was a house that Joe Westbrook lived in. Joe worked for the Meldrum brothers. I thought he looked, walked and talked like a real cowboy should. I wanted to be a cowboy like Joe.

There was a train depot, where the train stopped, coming from CV on the way to Dexter and Winfield. Some of the farm income came from selling cream. One of my duties was getting up before daylight and help milking the cows. The milk was put into a hand cranked, ( we later got one with electric motor) cream separator. The separator separated the cream from the milk. The milk we feed to the pigs and when we had a full five-gallon can of cream, we would take it to Hoosier and it would be put on the train.

There was also a house that had a room that served as the post office. George Prather lived in the house and he was the postmaster and mail carrier. ( He later move to CV) George would receive the mail, most of it coming on the train, sort it and put it into large leather pouches. He would then get into his automobile and deliver the mail to the farm familes mail boxes.

My Dad was substitute mail carrier. If George was gone, Dad would deliver the mail for him. If it rained and some roads were impassible by auto, Dad would deliver the mail on horseback. Seems like I recall him saying he sometimes had to ride 20 to 25 miles. I remember riding a horse and going with him. I doubt that I went all the way. I was probably 5 or 6 years old.

Hoosier was probably most noted for its stockyard. Cattle were shipped in and out by train. Mike and Brady Meldrum were the largest ranchers in the area. I remember, one or both would drive up in a Cadillac, chewing on a cigar, wearing a cowboy hat and pant legs tucked inside their boots. To me that was what success was all about.

The stockyard had scales and many pens for the cattle. It also had a "dip" with a ramp going down into and out of. The dip was probably 10 feet long and contained creosote or oil mixture. The cattle brought in from Texas or where ever, were driven down the ramp and had to swin to go up the other ramp. This was to kill ticks that could cause tick fever. They did not want it to spread to other cattle.

One time my cousins from Winfield were visiting. We rode horses up to the stockyard to play. A cousin was crawling over the dip, slipped and fell into the dip mixture. Needless to say no one wanted to ride a horse with him back to the house. To my knowledge he never got tick fever.

More later on going to school.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

After CV 6

A year after moving to Cheyenne, our fourth child, Gretchen, was born joining Lynne 6, Brad 3 and Laura 1.

Wyoming has a lot of outdoor recreation which appealed to us. We both came from close knit families and wanted the same for our own children so it was important to us to include them in nearly all of our activities. This included hiking, camping, skiing, sailing, tennis, canoeing, back packing, ice skating, fishing [ugh!] and golf [double ugh!]

We started camping when Laura and Gretchen were babies, to make it easier for me we would rent a fold down camper and day hike carrying the girls in backpacks for babies. We tried to fill each hike with 'kid' information inorder to teach them a love of nature and to enjoy it.

In the campgrounds we soon got tired of the loud TVs and stereos [some campers would hang speakers in the trees], motorcycles roaring in and out and the running of their air conditioners day and night.

As the little girls got older we would make them walk a while on each hike. We always carried crackers, cookies, candy, gum and their favorite 'backpackers grub' [M&Ms, raisins and peanuts] packed in ziplocks which helped a reluctant child along the trail.

By the time Gretchen was 3 she was capable of walking fairly long distances so we decided it was time to backpack and get away from the campgrounds. Before we left we practiced by hiking around town each carrying his own backpack loaded with canned goods and books to simulate the amount we would have to carry.

Our first trip was a 5 mile hike to a mountain lake we would stay at for 3 days. The little girls carried in their knapsacks their moccasins [we each wore these in camp instead of our hiking boots to prevent damage to the tent floor], one pair of extra socks and the snacks.

When you backpack you take only the necessities, this is not easy because you have to make sure you have everything you need. Besides what we wore we carried one change of clothes, moccasins, waterproof jacket, fleece jacket and a down vest. We also each wore a whistle around our necks for safety and fun.

Brad and Lynne had to carry their own sleeping bags, clothes and games etc. Walt carried about 50 lbs and I about 30 lbs. We divided up the stove, cooking and eating utensils, fishing poles, food, tent, sleeping bags, camera, flash light, lamp, first aid items etc.

After trial and error backpacking became our favorite 'sport' we frequently would hike 20 to 30 miles into a wilderness area. We would spend hours identifying the flora and fauna, taking pictures, enjoying the scenery, fishing for our dinner, telling ghost stories, trying to identify the stars, singing every song we knew and just enjoying being together away from all the cares of the world.

Some things were not in the guide books, such as the time a raccoon ate the tops of Walts and my expensive hiking boots, we had left them outside the tent because they were very wet. The park ranger said the raccoon was after the salt that had soaked into the leather from sweat. Having a bear come into our camp area, we abandoned camp and jumped into our canoes and paddled to the middle of the lake. This one is my favorite as I hate to fish!! Catching a trout in the coffee pot as I was washing it in the stream.

When the children were young we also discovered Mexico where we bought a condo on the Sea of Cortez. We spent every spring break there even after the kids were in college. We enjoyed snorkling, collecting shells, studying the sea life, sailing our hobie cat and then graduating to a 30 ft. sleep on boat which then meant deep sea fishing.

As I type this it brings back many wonderful memories of the childrens growing up years but it also reminds me of probably the worse too. First Lynne and then 5 years later Gretchen were both diagnosised with Atrial Septal Defect, hole in the heart. For me there has never been anything more frightening than having a child have open heart surgery!!! They are both healthy now.

Lynne is a Rheumatologist, Brad is in education administration for the US Army in Germany, Laura has her masters in social work and Gretchen is a Veternarian. We have 11 grandchildren.

Monday, March 17, 2008


This past weekend, while driving to a roping event in Laughlin, NV, Nancy was driving and I was surfing the Sirius radio channels. This caught my attention. "Shot from guns, Quaker puffed wheat and Quaker puffed rice brings you Sargent Preston of the Yukon and his dog King" I recall as a young ignorant farm boy,how and why did they shoot puffed rice and wheat fromn guns. Now...that I am certainly older and supposedly wiser, I still don't know how and why they shoot puffed rice and wheat from guns.

Oh well, to continue...By sending 35 cents and a box top from Quaker puffed rice or Quaker puffed wheat, you can receive a 14 carat gold plated whistle with braided necklace, just like Sargent Preston has. Heck...35 cents wouldn't even pay the postage now. Anyway Sargent Preston and King still have it. In the midst of a blizzard they captured the thief"s holed up in an abandon cabin.

Other episodes where Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny with Frankie Frontain, Bob Hope with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and Dragnet was coming on..and I was going out. You know you are getting old when "Happy Hour" is a nap. Perhaps some of you may relate to that.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


For those who may remember Donna Jean (Hill) Shanks, her husband Bob died yesterday. They were driving from their home in Longmont Colo. into the mountains to see their daughter when Bob complained of feeling ill. He pulled to the side of the road and expired almost immediately of a massive heart attack. He has been cremated and services will be April 4th. Grandchildren are scattered around the world.

Donna Jean was CVHS class of 1948--you may remember her younger brother Jim Hill who was Class of '52 (I think)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

CV medical

Margaret and I will get together a blogography of Lincoln Robinson. But meanwhile I wanted to post a comment about his final years.
Lincoln had a big stroke in 1999. Dr. McDermott saved his life that time, as he had at least a couple of times before. McDermott managed this not only from good diagnosis, but also because Lincoln believed that he had good judgment, and acted accordingly. It seems to me that doctors do not often enough judge themselves on how their patients wind up behaving, and too often disassociate themselves from the good (and bad) results that they have actually achieved. By this standard, I think Cedar Vale has been pretty lucky in recent years.
Lincoln wound up toddling around town on his walker for another year, and had a pretty good time during that year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More Farm Life in the '40s

Jay Mills - 12 March 2008 Volcan, Panama

One of the big events on the farm in the early 1940s was the grain harvest that involved a “threshing machine”. *Always spelled ‘threshing’, although ‘thrashing’ makes more sense to me. This was in “olden times” before combines that now take grain from standing in the field to bushels of grain in one continuous operation.

The threshing machine was a huge machine, maybe 6 feet wide by 30 feet long. They had large iron wheels, or sometimes rubber tires, and were pulled to the field by a team of mules or a tractor. Once in place it was powered by a long, wide power belt from a small power “pulley” on the side of a tractor. Originally a threshing machine would have been powered by a steam engine, but we lived in “modern times” with gasoline power.

The grain, wheat or oats, was first cut by a horse or tractor-drawn mower with a long, flat “sickle”. Triangular teeth on the sickle moved past fixed, pointed guards that bunched the stalks. Once the grain stalks were on the ground, they were raked into piles with a horse-drawn rake with large steel tines so that they could be bundled and stacked in “shocks” or teepee like groups. Each shock was then picked up and loaded onto a horse drawn wagon.

Wagon loads of grain stalks with their grain heads, were taken to the threshing machine and fed onto the conveyor belt chute at the front. After a series of oscillating thrashings inside the machine, the separated grain was fed into a large pipe with an auger that delivered it to a waiting wagon, or into bags. The straw came out of a pipe at the back of the machine into a pile to be hauled away.

Speaking of food, in the 1940’s we grew potatoes at one end of a field near the coral and behind the barn. I remember the men using a mule-drawn, single bottom plow to turn up the soil so we could collect the potatoes. I also remember my mother growing a vegetable garden about 300 yards behind the house and down the hill, in the rich soil near Otter Creek. Ears of field or garden corn were always a treat, either as “roasting ears” or freshly cut from the cob and cooked. Fresh, ripe tomatoes were one of my favorites and often during the summer my mother almost lived on fresh tomatoes and buttered bread. Mother made butter from our own cream, separated from the fresh milk with a hand-cranked “separator”.

My best food memory by far is of my mother’s homemade cottage cheese. It had a remarkable rich, tangy flavor. I still love cottage cheese, however I have only had good cottage cheese once since leaving the farm in 1948. This was in the 1970’s, and it was homemade by a lady on a farm near Stillwater, Oklahoma. The best cheese here in my area of Panama comes from an old colony of Quakers in Costa Rica. If I can find the time in my busy (retired !!) schedule, I plan to try making some myself. Cottage cheese is supposed to be the easiest cheese to make. Anyone have a favorite recipe?

We had a grove of tall black walnut and pecan trees just across the creek, below the barns. It was great in the fall to go down and pick up the pecans and walnuts. They made great treats if you could get past the tough shells. Fresh walnuts in cakes are delicious, and fresh Pecan pies are the best – except for Cherry, or Pumpkin, or Mincemeat, or Apple, or …. Dinner time! – 30 -

News from Judy Huddle/French

This just in from Judy:

Everything is going fine, slow but okay. I was released from the surgeon on Jan. 30th to do what ever I felt up to doing which isn't much. I went back to work the first of February but that isn't very taxing until you get to the last day of the month and getting all the government's papers to balance out with each other.

Nothing exciting happens around here. In this kind of weather Lowell has a pretty set routine of feeding the animals and I don't do much but go to work for a short time each day and do as little as possible around the house. I have a lady that comes in once a week and does the things that I cannot do and the rest we do as necessary. I am back to cooking most of the time, sometimes I need help in getting hot dishes out of the oven or microwave and I have to sit down a lot in between but eventually it gets done.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Religious Education

My contact with religion while I was growing up in Cedar Vale could best be described as “shopping around.” I was not encouraged or discouraged from church attendance by my parents. I would not describe them as atheists or even agnostics, they were just not interested in church attendance. I never knew of my grandparents attending church. My grandfather Call was what I would call an active agnostic and a humanist. My parents, on the other hand, simply thought that churches were social institutions where people seemed to fight as often as pray.

I was very interested in religion from the time I was eight or nine years of age. I periodically attended Sunday school at both the Methodist church and the Baptist church in Cedar Vale. I went to vacation bible school at the local Assembly of God church, which was not far from my home, and, at least once, went to the Baptist bible school. When I was older I was a regular member of the Baptist Youth Fellowship (BYF) and actually was baptized in that church sometime during my high school years.

I was interested in the bible and, at one point when I was ten or eleven started to copy the entire King James Bible on a scroll, so it would be more like I imagined the original might have been. I didn’t make it very far into Genesis before the size of that task overwhelmed me. The unfinished scroll remained in my bedroom for years thereafter.

I participated in the other protestant churches in Cedar Vale to a lesser extent. I remember being invited to activities at the Church of Christ, perhaps by Marilyn Holroyd, who was a good friend of mine. I knew that there were also a Catholic church and an Episcopal church in the town, but they seemed to be little attended. The buildings always struck me as nearly abandoned, even though they were kept up as well as the other churches.

My “shopping” among the churches was more a matter of which of my friends went there than any theological consideration. I enjoyed singing and liked to sing the hymns when I attended church services. I was far from a regular church attender, but I did attend services at all the protestant churches in town.

When I went away to college I pretty much left the churches behind, except for the times I visited my parents. They had moved to Minneapolis, Kansas, the summer after my high-school graduation and bought a house next door to the local Baptist church. The minister at that church was a cornet player, and I arranged duets for us to play at church when I was home from college. It was at his suggestion that I began to date a young member of that church. She became my first wife. Joan and I were married in a country Methodist church near her father’s farm.

Religion was always a matter of personal choice for me, and I gradually moved away from any church affiliation. When I was teaching in the public schools in Dolores, Colorado, I made great friends with the local Methodist minister and did attend his church regularly. His religious views were very liberal and humanist, and I felt right at home in his church. It was only when my own children came along that I began to consider their religious education. That brought me to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ames, Iowa, where I found a congenial church home for the years when my children were growing up. It was in that fellowship that I met my beloved second wife, Elyn. She was a lifelong member of the Unitarian Fellowship, which her parents had helped to found. We attended the fellowship until we moved to Denver, Colorado, where Elyn was studying to become a Unitarian Universalist minister. While in Denver, we attended the Universalist church that Elyn served, along with periodic visits to other churches that Elyn was interested in.

For the majority of my life I described myself as an agnostic, like my grandfather Call, but I have gradually come to see more and more that is not explainable using my five senses or science. I have come to embrace the “mystery” and am seeking to work with it in every way I can. Retreats, meditation practices, body work have all opened me up to a deeper appreciation of the realm of spirit. Organized religion, to me, is still much more about human power and control, in spite of all protestations to the contrary. I would describe myself as a spiritual person, but not as a religious person.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Back to the trumpet

Last week when I was seeing the Cranial Osteopathist I'm working with, he said he had seen me playing a trumpet in his visualizations during the last two sessions. I had never told this man that I had ever played the trumpet, but he is very intuitive. He said he thought it would be good for my lungs and heart to play the trumpet, so I went online to eBay and found a used Yamaha trumpet and put a bid on it. Well, the trumpet is on its way to me today and I'll see what happens when I try to play after 45 years of never putting a mouthpiece to my lips. Soon, perhaps, the sweet strains of "Sugar Blues" will be wafting from our house!

I know that my preference for alternative medical care will probably be laughed at by some allopathic types on the blog, but I find that I get excellent results from the likes of homeopathy, cranial sacral, acupuncture and the like. Anyone else have opinions on the subject?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Answer!!

A few days ago I wrote a blog concerning "Why do men lose their butts". So far I haven't received a satisfactory answer. A few people responded, but offered lame explanations about the human anatomy or they didn't have that problem.

Tonight, as I was walking down the hall, my wife told me to pull up my britches. I don't know why, but it was like a bolt of lightning, I knew the answer.

As most of you know, men work their butts off most of their lives. When they retire, guess what, it is gone. Enough said!

For the men who haven't had this anomaly happen to them, you know what they have or haven't done all of their lives.

As far as the women go, draw your own conclusions.

God I'm good!!!!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Lynne our 2 year old and I had to stay in Germany and extra week as Walt returned on a troop ship, I was not eligible for that transportion. His trip was to take 10 days but a hurricane formed across their route and trying to out maneuver it caused the ship to be delayed 3 more days.

He and another doctor who was also a returnee were the ship doctors. They held sick call and covered the infirmary they both were internists not surgeons. About a week out a GI developed appendicitis, under normal conditions he would have been transferred to a navy ship equipped with a surgeon but because of the rough seas this couldn't be done. The navy surgeon on the other ship talked them through the surgery by way of the radio.

After he arrived in New York we picked up our VW and drove back to Rochester, Minn. where he restarted his medicine residency. His stipend was $200 a month I worked at Mayo as a surgical nurse 3 days a week.

No more 3 day passes, his time was no longer his own he was very busy at work and the in the evening he studied. On rare days off we had to do it on the cheap. We rode our bikes, hiked trails in the woods, learned to ice skate, played bridge, went on picnics and as a rare treat we would get ice cream cones at Dairy Queen. Lynne was over 2 years old before she ever tasted ice cream because pasteurization was not done in Germany at that time we were told to only to buy dairy products on the military base.

On our first vacation the three of us rented a small boat and motored into the 'boundary waters' between Minnesota and Canada. We camped on a different island every day it was beautiful but very isolated. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant so getting in and out of the boat was difficult. We went north until we reached a RC Mountie post, a little log cabin on an island, then turned around. Two weeks later I delivered our son, Brad, who was 2 months premature.

That fall, Walt, acquired one of the Gastroenterology Fellowships which added 2 more years to our stay. There were a lot of activities hosted by the staff for the fellows and their families. All the Kansans would get together for Thanksgiving and summer barbecues but for the most part for the fellows it was a time of drudgery and they were always under the microscope.

During his final year we were wined and dined by recruiters wanting a Gastroenterologist for their community. That summer vacation the 4 of us traveled to the places that interested us. We were expecially interested in the west.

He seemed to fit well with an internal medicine practice in Cheyenne, Wy. We especially liked the people, the city, its area and its history. So we moved 6 days before Christmas, our family consisted of Lynne 5, Brad 2, and Laura 5 days old. Walt was the second Gastroenterologist in the state.

Marilyn Holroyd

Does anyone have an update on Marilyn? We'd love to hear any progress report you have.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Book-CV History

I've decided to take the time and see if I can figure out how I can be a contributor to Gary's CV blog. So this is a test run. While I didn't grow in CV, I grew up in what I would consider the extended CV community. Wife Nancy (Hankins) certainly has deep CV roots so perhaps I can be grand fathered into the CV bloggers group based on her childhood.

Upon reading the "Dating and Parking" confession's of CV own "Don Juan White", I was curious to see if I could guess who the individuals were. Alas...John, Maxine and Jane who apparently were very proficient in assisting Don Juan White in steaming up the car windows.

Anyway I started a search for a 50"s CV Log yearbook. I haven't found one yet. Probably in boxes we have not unpacked from our last move four years ago, or at our Colorado place. In my search however I did find a book that I had forgotten we had. It is a hardbound book an on the front cover it has "CV". On the inside it states "A History of Cedar Vale, Kansas. Published by the Cedar Vale Historical Society during the city's 105th anniversary, with partial funding by the Kansas Bicentennial Commission. Printed by Color, Inc. Wichita, Kansas - 1975.

I assume many blog readers have a copy of this book. However I thought their may be some who moved away and did not have any family connections in CV when this book was published and do not know of its existence. It contains early day history on the establishment of Cedar Vale; bio's of early old timers and many who have been mentioned in various blogs; short stories by many different authors, many that the blog readers would recognize. Lincoln Robinson was apparently the driving force in the production of this very interesting book.

I have no idea if they're any available copies. Perhaps some one associated with the CV museum might know.

OK..if this works, I would like to tag on to Jay's interesting comments about growing up on a farm in the 1940's.


I have a question for all of the Doctors in our group. They can be medical, physical, animal, philosophy, witch or voodoo. I don't care, as long as they can provide an answer.

My body has changed in the past few years, and it has caused me to wonder why. It is not only me; I have noticed that other men have the same affliction and probably some of you that I haven't seen in 50 years. Women, however, seem to have escaped this malady.

My weight and waist size have pretty much remained the same (big) during this experience. It doesn't seem to improve with age, nor does it get any worse.

My question to the extinguished doctors is this, what happened to my butt? My wife used to tell me that I had a cute butt, but now she says pull up your pants and where is your butt. I am not alone in this, if you see a man our age walking into Wal-Mart pulling up his pants; you can bet he has lost his ass. The younger generation looks like they have the same problem, but they wear their pants so low on purpose and I don't know how they keep them up. They must pin the pants to their shirts or keep their hands in their pockets to keep them from falling.

This has the potential of being very embarrassing or maybe illegal. The other day, I was working in our garden and when I stood up, my pants went down around my ankles. Now this was in a fenced in backyard, so nobody saw me, but think what the result would be if that had happened in public. I would have scared the hell out of everybody around me and then been arrested for decent exposure.

So please everybody tell me, what happened to my butt, and is there anything I can do to reverse this. I don't like suspenders and I tighten my belt as much as possible, but my pants keep slipping down. I will gladly try any solution you give me.