Friday, May 30, 2008

Traveling post WW11

I remember our first big family trip it was in 1947. We were to visit my Mom's relatives in Oregon and Washington. On this trip the extended family included Mom's parents, Pearl and Webb Ward, her sister, Carolee(16), Nancy(10), Jeanette(7), Billie(5), and Mom and Dad all packed into a 1942 Chevrolet. Billie sat on a wooden box wedged between the seats. Dad put a hinged lid on it and inside we had our food items.

Dad poured over the maps for days, planning the trip because I made a big deal out of going to all the States west of Kansas, 11 in all. This was shortly after the war, and traveling cross country was still rare with few amenities available.

We tried to stay in places with kitchenettes, this was before the days of motels. Most of the accomodations were rustic cabins. We ate a picnic lunch alongside the road. We usually had bolonga sandwiches and fruit. Believe it or not, we thought bologna was a treat as we never got it at home.

I remember one night we had to sleep alongside the road as we couldn't find a place to stay. I know we were packed like sardines, but I don't remember anyone complaining about the heat or being crowded. I guess we were so excited about getting to go that it never entered our heads to complain. Dad drove hundreds of miles out of the way so I could say I had been to all the western States.

Dad had $500. in cash and Grandad Ward had $100. for emergencies. That was to take care of three meals a day, two rooms a night, gasoline from Kansas to Washington (via all the States) and back. Add to that souvenirs for four adults and four children. All for a whole month! Grandad came home with most of the emergency fund, Dad said he had to dip into it once or twice.

On our trip we were allowed to purchase only one souvenir. Jeanette and I bought Navajo dolls and Billie chose an Indian headress. These we bought from a little Indian girl along the road side. The dolls are called Skookum Dolls. Many years later I saw one in an antique shop for $300. I still have it!

Since we didn't have the money or space to buy any more souvenirs, I collected rocks from each State so I could have something from each one. At the petrified forest I picked up a piece of petrified wood. (It wasn't illegal then.) In Idaho I found a black rock flecked with gold. I was sure it was the real thing! Sometimes it was hard to find a good rock so Dad helped me look until I found a keeper. When we go home, I labeled each rock and kept them in a shoe box for years.

It really didn't take much to make us happy! I wish I knew what ever happened to my rock collection.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another New Blogger

Thank you Gary! Sorry has taken so long for me to post. I don't know how much, or how valuable anything I contribute would be, especially after reading some of the blogs posted from you and your fellow bloggers. You all are quite a distinguished and accomplished group of people and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs and comments. They are informative, as well as entertaining.
I have deep roots in Cedar Vale going back to when it was first settled. My gg-uncles, Ozmer & Socrates Hills arrived in the area in 1872 and were the younger brothers my gg grandfather, Col. F.M Hills, and his wife Annie (Proper) Hills came to Cedar Vale in early 1874. He was the first mayor of Cedar Vale and also was mayor 2 more times. Their sister, Elizabeth Hills Albright and her 2 boys came to the area at a later date.

My g-grandfather Newton, "Newt" and his brother Harvey, "Harve" Barger/Berger) had a blacksmith shop in CV, part of which is still standing behind the bank. Newt's son Harold Barger was my paternal grandfather and his son Harold "Hal" Barger is my Dad. I have other ggg etc...that also came around same time or shortly thereafter ....and most are buried in cemetery in CV. Some of my family surnames many of may recognize(grandparents and great, gg and ggg- grandparents) include, Barger, Hills, Phelps, Foudray, Guthrie, Latham, and more. This is on my paternal side of family. My maternal side includes my grandparents Ralph(RD) and Omeda Snyder. They moved to CV in the 40's. RD Snyder along with OD Mills and Fred Archer started the CV Sale Barn.
The area and history of CV and Ks along with my own genealogy has always held fascination for me. Along, with fact having traveled to most of the states with the exception of a handful, I still think the area is one of the most beautiful and scenic.

Growing up, my parents loaded us up to head "up home" almost every weekend, every holiday and vacations, unless we had activities or tennis tournaments. Cedar Vale has always referred to as "up home" and Ponca "down home". My sister, Sandy, would always refer to CV as "up home" or 'down home", in reference to where we were at the time. So, it seemed the most natural thing to do in buying a few acres there a few years ago and we keep a fifth wheel in CV to stay in, although we still have relatives in CV. But, as much as we are there, do believe that would get quite old for them having us that much. CV has always felt more like home than Ponca. The last couple of years, have been quite hectic for us, but before that, we were staying in CV more than we were at our home in Ponca.
I have a lot more pics to add to my website and this blog of CV, along with more history and memories, if I can ever find time. Many, are pics that were given to me by my great grandmother and great aunt, grandparents, Dad, etc. Many are very old pics of CV, back to the horse and buggy days. Many years ago, I corresponded with a cousin, who was in his 80's at the time, who was the grandson of my gg-grandfather, Col. F.M. Hills. I will, as soon as time permits, post some of the stories he wrote to me about things he remembered from his youth about Cedar Vale.
I do think CV still has a lot to offer, and if a person is very organized in their shopping forays without a grocery store at the moment, it is a great place to be and live. It has a lot to offer, in way of hunting, rural life and more. I feel that as a town it needs to be looked at in that aspect,(several places in the area cater to the hunters now) and it can be revitalized. Maybe not to the extent it was in it's heyday, but at least to the point that it is quite a viable asset to it's citizens and community. The school has been getting quite the kudos in recent years and been a model for other school systems.

Again,....thank you so much. And, thank you for putting up such a fun, informative blogsite about Cedar Vale.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Decoration Day

As a young boy I remember "decoration day" as being special. Every Memorial Day my dad would gather up roses and other live flowers and prepare them for our trip to the Dexter cemetery.

My grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins along with others including the Wesbrook clan would all meet for decorating the graves. The kids would play and traverse the cemetery area for hours of fun while noting the sadness shown by our relatives at some of the grave sites.

A ceremony honoring the military dead would be observed. Picnic lunches would be shared for an enjoyable meal. Though it is supposed that some families still observe this special day as a family event ... it would be surmised that the holiday has pretty much changed for many (like other traditional family activities).

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just in from Ross McConaghy

Dear CVHS friends,

Sorry I have not advised you of my recovery progress before now. I laid off the internet for awhile. Now to update you. My quadruple by-pass surgery was 6 weeks ago tomorrow and my recovery has been fantastic. I've never felt one pain where they took a vein out of my leg. In fact I have had very little discomfort at all. I started rehab. last week and everything is going fine.

Would like to share something with you that I call my "WALK AND TALK WITH GOD". The day I had my heart catheterization, I was told that I had had a heart attack and stints were not an option, I would require by-pass surgery. That was not a good day! That night about bedtime I had an emotional breakdown, not believing this was happening to me since I have no family history of heart problems. I finally went to sleep, however at 4:00 am I woke up and talked with God. I asked for peace of mind, calmness and for Him to guide the surgeon through the surgery the next week. Almost immediately I was calm and at peace, which has been with me ever since. I realized then that God had been with me the whole time. Several doors were opened, such as, the speed in which I was scheduled through each phase of the experience. My doctor setting up a chemical stress test, calling a cardiologist he knew and setting up the heart cath. the next week, calming me down and the big one, the hospital accepting our insurance for which I was told by my company benefits office that the hospital would NOT accept my insurance.

The surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, April 9 and everything went just fine. The surgeon called me his “poster patient“. He was planning on releasing me the following Monday. Sunday night at midnight, I woke up and a nurse and tech. were in my room on the phone with a cardiologist, discussing something they saw on my monitor. I went back to sleep, waking up the next morning and for the first time was hungry and wanted a big breakfast. I ordered and they delivered this great breakfast and as I was starting to take my first bite the door opened and the nurse said "Mr. McConaghy have you eaten or drank anything this morning?“ Told her no, she said “DON'T“, grabbed my tray and it was gone. Later she and a doctor came in and told me that my heart was in a Atrial Fibrillation rhythm which could cause blood clots that could go to the brain and that would not be good. They told me at 2:00 pm they would take me to the operating room, place a scope down my throat and if everything looked OK they would shock me once or twice to try and bring my heart into its proper rhythm. They left and I talked to God again. I asked Him to continue to keep me calm and guide the doctors through the procedure. I then asked Him if He would correct my heart problem that I trusted Him more than I did the doctors. About thirty minutes later the nurse came back in with a look of disbelief on her face and told me that my heart was beating just fine. The doctors had looked at my monitor, had cancelled the procedure and were sending me home that afternoon. WOW!! Those who do not believe in the power of God have not had the experience that I have.

We wanted to attend the alumni banquet, however guess we will have to wait until next year.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Anyone who has lived in the Cedar Vale vicinity is familiar with the name Magnus. Many of us went to school with one or more of the Magnus clan. Those who have not followed the sport of rodeo may not know that two former CV youngsters, are well known and highly regarded in the rodeo world, especially in the event of team roping. Not only a noted professional team roper, Tyler is a recognized TV personality. Tyler and Leah are the children of Larry Magnus class of 1957. Tyler if think, graduated from CV high, I'm, not sure about Leah.

For those who are not familiar with team roping, it is the only rodeo event where two individuals participate, thus the word team. It consists of a "header" who ropes the steer's horns, turns the steer to the left and the "heeler" comes in behind the steer and ropes the back feet. It is a timed event, with the lowest, fastest time the winner.

As I have alway wanted to be a cowboy, I have attended many of the major rodeos in the west and have subscribed to several rodeo and team roping publications. Knowing that Tyler was from CV and the son of a fellow schoolmate, I followed his rodeo career through these publications. I used to regularly attend the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. I think it was 1988, I was there and that was the first year that Tyler qualified for the national finals. To qualify for the "Big Show" he had to be one of the top fifteen money earners for the year in his event. As we both were from CV, I wanted to meet Tyler. I located him warming up his horse and introduced myself. Of course he had no idea who I was, but he was very gracious and talked to me, even though in a few minutes he would be performing before thousands of people and for some big money.

In the early 90's, I was living in California and had a general aviation business on the Monterey airport. Salinas was 15 miles from Monterey and recognized in the rodeo world as having one of the prestige's rodeos in the US. All of the top cowboys participated in the Salinas rodeo. A prized possession was to win and have a Salinas belt buckle. Because there are to many participates for them all to perorm in the four afternoon rodeo performances, they have what is referred to as "slack" in the mornings. Salinas's slack starts a 7 o'clock in the morning. The scores are official as if they had performed in the main rodeo performance.

I always attended the slack team roping. I meet several of the "team ropers" and since I was in the flying business, I would fly a load of them to Naampa, Idaho for them to participate that night in the Nampa rodeo. After the rodeo we would fly back to Salinas, arriving in the early morning hours, so they would be there for the slack that morning. That's the way those young rodeo guys lived. But this old man couldn't take that way of life very long. As I flew Tyler a few times, it gave me an opportunity to become more acquainted with him. Since then our paths have crossed several times, to the point I feel I can call him a friend.

As a youth, Tyler qualified for the high school and college national finals, as a "header". He switched to heeling and qualified for the national rodeo finals eight times, winning the average one-year. He has also won other major roping events, competing against the best ropers in the world. While he can still compete with the best, he has not "gone hard" competing in the rodeo circuit for several years. Married with children, Tyler has changed courses and has made a recognized name for himself, as a roping instructor and a noted horseman by his peers.

Sister Leah, an accomplished header and heeler herself, has been instrumental in videoing and producing a weekly, thirty-minute TV show, called "The Roping Show". The show has segments of various ropings around the country and "Tyler Tips", which features Tyler instruciing aspiring ropers on habndling a rope and on their horsemanship skills. It is shown on RFD-TV, and airs on Thursdays at noon and 10 p.m.(CST) and 1:30 p.m. Sundays. It is carried by Dish (ch231) and Direct TV (ch379) satellite networks and maybe cable channels also.

Tyler and Leah have a wonderful training facility, near Lampass, TX, with indoor arena, horse accommodations and hook ups for living quarter trailers. He gives private lessons, conducts roping schools and puts on roping events. I can testify to his expertise in being able to readily spot problems and his ability to explain in understandabe terms how to correct the roping or horse problem. A couple of years ago I went o his place in Texas and spent a few days roping with him. He helped me a great deal and I would love to go back again.

In my op[inion, Tyler and Leah are a credit to that little town in Kansas called Cedar Vale.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

JT and Pat Molder

This photo just came in from Pat Pate Molder, showing her and her husband on their 25th anniversary. We can certainly use more of these up-to-date photos from all of us bloggers. Thanks, Pat, for sharing with us.

Our Town

As I read each posting a new aspect of our lives in Cedar Vale is revealed. Sometimes it is just remembering those terrible ice storms; other times long-dead characters come to life and I remember them as I saw them. Gradually we are recreating a fairly complete picture of our little town. For those who have not shared their memories with us, we need your input to complete the portrait.

If you have ever seen Thornton Wilder's Our Town you will see the resemblance with our postings and the comments. I truly understand Mrs. Gibbs comment in the third act, "My, wasn't life awful--and wonderful," It was wonderful, even the awful parts. Keep jogging our memories by posting your own. Together we are creating a more complete portrait of OUR little town.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Albert and Anna Pate

Albert Pate retired from his rural mail carrier job on December 1, 1942, after 37 years of service on Rural Route 3. He carried mail by horseback, buggy, wagon, bicycle and automobile. There are many stories about his years on the route. He always left a nickel for every new baby born, and he often had carried the mail to parents, children and grandchildren of the same family. My favorite story is about the time his wagon got stuck at a low water crossing. He didn't want to get his clothes wet and muddy so he took them off before he stepped into the water to pull the wagon out.When the wagon was free, the horses took off running with the clothes neatly folded on the seat of the wagon and Albert, in his birthday suit, running after the team.>>>>>Albert had many talents. Early in life he owned and operated a merry-go-round. If any of you knew him you will appreciate this story often told me by my Aunt Grace Comer Craig. My father was a nursing baby. My Grandma Pate (Anna Comer Pate) had a very pretty dress special made for nursing mothers ie two flaps in the chest area ! Aunt Grace borrowed that dress for a date one night. She and her date rode Albert's merry-go-round. I don't know how true the rest of the story is, but it was told that Albert took that merry-go-round as fast as it would go. Aunt Grace was hanging on with both hands to keep from falling off the horse, and the flaps on that dress were flapping up and down. Sounds like something Albert would do.>>>>More of his talents - he called square dances; was an auctioneer at country school box suppers; was a master working with cement and made tombstones for different people; was into Art Deco before the time, with the posts and pots he made for their yard; made a supberb outdoor bar-b-que pit out of petrified wood, long before they were popular; built a quality chimney and fireplace out of petrified wood at their cabin on Sunset Lake; helped make the memorial for Winter Green that is on the Baptist church lawn; and was Santa Claus in the annual Cedar Vale downtown Christmas parade year after year>>>>Albert was the first President of the Cedar Vale Lions Club; was City Clerk for Cedar Vale after his retirement from the post office and was an Agent for Modern Woodman. Many will remember Albert Pate for the naughty cards he liked to send to his friends. Albert NEVER left any of those cards laying around. In fact I don't remember ever seeing any of them. I just heard about them when I was older. Well, I guess I heard the pinochle players laughing about them if I was at their house during a party. The cards would probably be pretty tame in today's world.>>>>Anna Pate will be remembered as the flower lady of Cedar Vale, taking orders for any occasion and getting the flowers from Arkansas City or Sedan. She always knew the kids in school because her business picked up at Jr./Sr. Banquet time. Many might remember her dog collection for she had hundreds of them from all parts of the United States and the world.So many people always brought a dog back for her when they had traveled.>>>Anna and Albert had one child, Ernest, who died in 1938 from actinimycosis. Penacillan cures it now, but there was no cure then. Ernest was an avid golfer and played the course at Sim Park in Wichita. He always chewed on a straw, taken from the the golf course where cattle once grazed. It is believed he picked up the germ from the straws. Ernest gave Anna and Albert two grandchildren, Billy and Patricia and they gave five great grandchildren. I don't know of anyone who enjoyed their grandchildren anymore than did Anna and Albert. They were never too busy, or too tired to play with them, go to the park, go to the goat ropin', the ball game or to the river to swim and/or wash the car or to fish. Anna and Albert believed in making memories. When we are all together (Billy and her children and my children and me) we have such a good time telling Anna and Albert stories and all the good memories.>>>>>Anna and Albert celebrated 50 years of marriage. They had many years of happiness together; had traveled to the then 48 states; loved to play pinochle. Players that come to mind are the Jim Millers, the Orval Burketts, the Melvin Shraders and Bessie and Jimpy Lefler. Albert died July 17, 1955 at the age of 75. Anna died October 15, 1968 at the age of 86. Both are buried in the Cedar Vale Cemetery.

And Welcome, Cecilia

Cecilia Metcalf Nelson just joined our blog. Please welcome her and give her some encouragement to send along her memories for our enjoyment. She tells me that she joined to keep her brother honest, so Gary, you are officially "on notice!"

I responded that we are all just as honest on the blog as we were when we were all together at CVHS (except for our failing memory, of course.)

Anyway, welcome, Cecilia.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Welcome Pat

CV Bloggers, please give Pat Pate Molder a hearty welcome to our blog. She has been reading our writings and I've encouraged her to put up some of the writings she has already done on her family. If you want to read her writings, give her some encouragement!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

From Pat Pate Molder

What a plethora of good memories. I discovered the blog a couple of days ago and have done nothing much since except to read every word. Even though most of the "kids" are 9 years (??) younger than I am, so many of the things written are the same as when I was growing up in CV from age 8, and of course, I remember most of them as little.

Memories of the Cedar Vale Village in Zimmerman's yard, the Pool Hall, Hewins Park, Herb's,etc. etc. My Grandpa, Albert Pate, played pinochle in the Pool Hall. Many is the time Grandma would send me to get him because dinner (the noon meal, of course) was ready. I would stand outside and knock on the window until someone would hear/see me and Grandpa would come out. Mother was on a bowling team one time. I remember how excited that I was allowed to go inside the Pool Hall when she played. BUT, I was not allowed to wander into any other part of the building.

Do you remember the posts Albert had for a fence? When they sold their house on the highway to Chuck Fields (I'm not over that mad yet) Grandpa moved them to the house they bought west (I guess it is west) of the Episcopal church building. I've often wondered who and how he moved them. We now have several of those posts in our back yard. I'm going to send you a picture. Kids vandalized them when the house stood empty for so many years and the pots were broken off. We also have a number of the pots. The "hen and chickens" plant growing in one of them is the same plant Grandma had growing. I understand the house on the highway has been bulldozed down. Not any too soon because it was so sad to see it falling down.

I had such a GREAT childhood. JT (my husband) loves hearing about it.

We had thought we would be attending the Alumni Banquet this year. However, we're leaving for an Alaskan Cruise May 29th. We'll have to plan to go next year.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Kale Williams Family in 1965

Kale A Williams Family

Sometime last year, Phil suggested that I write a post about my siblings. As you can see, I jumped right on it. Anyway, here goes.

From Left to right in the back row:
Bill; Lives in Hutchinson where he has lived most of his adult life. His wife Jeanne died of Alzheimer’s a few years ago. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
Joan; Lives in Winfield where she retired from the State Home. She has four children, all girls, one of whom died from an automobile accident after her senior year in high school.
Mom and Dad were both born in 1899. As with most families back then, Dad took care of the business and Mom raised the family. Dad died in 1967 and Mom in 1987.
Barbara; Lives in Storey, Arkansas where she and her husband retired. Ross died a few years ago. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
Kale Jr.; Lives in Chicago where he went to college and spent most of his adult life. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Front row:
Pat; lived in Bartlesville and worked for Phillips for over forty years. She retired in 2000, and died of a stroke six months later. They had one child.
Dick; has lived in the Houston area for the past thirty years. He retired in 2002 after a career in accounting and property management. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Nancy; lives in Wichita and works for United Way. They have three children and no grandchildren yet, much to their dismay.
It occurs to me that most of you were an only child or had one or two siblings. You can not imagine what it was like to live in a four bedroom house with this many kids and only one bathroom. Needless to say, we learned to manage our time very well. I don’t know how my parents afforded to feed and clothe that many children, especially since we were all big eaters. We did raise a lot of our own food and usually had a cow that I enjoyed (not) milking twice a day. Dad also took in livestock as payment from some of the farmers in the area. If you wonder if I would change it, the answer is no. We are still close and other than Bill and I fighting a lot when we were young, we all got along and helped each other when they needed it.
All three of the boys have had by-pass surgery, Pat died of a stroke and Joan and Barbara have either had by-pass or had stents inserted. Nancy is the only one who has not had any kind of heart problem. She didn’t grow up in Cedar Vale though so she may have escaped the curse. There must have been something in the water.

The Mikado Photos

Many thanks to Dick Williams for supplying this scan from the CVHS yearbook. Shown are both casts and the names of the principals in each. Click on the photo to see a larger image.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I am sure it was an exciting September day 1943 for this 5 year old freckled faced lad. Hair slicked down with hair oil, combed, wearing bib overalls, a new pair of shoes and carrying a metal lunch pail, it was my first day of school. Little did I know that for the next 19 years school would be a part of my life.

The country school was called Prairie View. It was located one mile south of the seven-mile corner on highway 166. It was a large, one room building with a bell in the alcove, that was used to signal the start of the school day and when recess was over. A rather tall round coal stove heated the room. Other buildingss were a coal shed for storing the dusty black coal and a horse shed. A merry-go-round and tetter totter made up the playground equipment.

The teacher was my aunt, Lucille Metcalf. There were six students, my sister Cecilia, my clusin Wayne and the Coil children, Lester, Robert and Maxine. These student ranged from the first through the eighth grades.

Prairie View school was one and one half mile from our house. One of my parents usually took us to school and most of the time we walked home ubnless the weather was bad. I do remember riding a horse to school. Some times I would tie old Nellie up in the horse shed and ride her home. Ocasionally I would turn her loose and she would go back to the farm. She had to cross the hiway, but in those daays there wasn't a lot of traffic. The Coil's farm was probably one to two miles east and they normally walked through the pastures to and from school.

School started a eight o'clock, fifteen-minute recess at ten, one-hour lunch break, andother recess at two and school out at four o'clock. The teacher had to get to school a little earlier, get the fire started in the stove to take the chill off. In colder weather we wore our jackets until tthe room warmed up enough to take them off. One of the duties of the older boys was to fill the coal buckets from the coal shed.

In the second grade, there were three students. Lester had graduated, cousin Wayne went to a different school, sister Cecilia was sick, so the students were Robert, Maxine and myself. The teacher was Iola Gordon, daughter of Curly Gordon, who I think worked for Jarvis. She stayed with Joe Westbrook and wife, who then lived one-fouth mile west of the school. Unknowing to we students, romance took root from the school. Harold Pettigrew, son of Ray Pettigrew, (who lived southwest of CV) was back from the service and bought a farm that joined the school property. Iola and Harold later married. Harold died at a fairly young age and Iola I think still lives by herself on the farm today.

The school term was eight months. In those days the boys were expected to help prepare the farm for spring crop planting, so school was out the last of April. For the last day of school we had a picnic which was attended by students and parents. I received a $25 war bond , donated by Cora Wallace, proprietor of the seven-mile corner business. It cost $18 and matured in twenty years. What a greaat rate of interest. I remember thinking I would much rather have the money now. When the bond matured I would be 27, which seemed like forever.

Because of the lack of students, three country schools, Prairie View, Prairie Flower and Prairie Eagle, consolidated with students from these going to Prairie Eagle. (ie CV and Dexter consolidating now). School was now approximately five miles from home, so we had to ride the school bus. The school bus was my Dad's 1940 two door Ford. He picked up kids on the northern route, dumped them at school and went another route and picked up more kids. Someone else picked up the kids on the southern route.

From three students, now there were thirty-two. What a cultural shock that was. For the next four years the teacher was Carrie Johnston. Her home was in Burden, she didn't drive and she stayed with a farm couple about a mile from school. She walked to and from every day, regardless of the weather. Looking back, what an amazing woman she was. She had over thirty students, from the first through eigth grades. She was strict, dedicated and wanted her students to llearn. In my eight years of going to country schools, probably none of the teachers had a college degree. They probably had teaching dertificates, which I have no idea what education they had to have to qualify for one. The ability to teach a first grade student to read and write, while teaching other grades math, english, geography, history, spelling etc. all in one room. They were indeed amazing people,.

Recreatiobn was playing softbll, if we could get the girls to play. Some of our dad's put up two poles, made board backboards with iron hoops, no nets, so we could play basketball; anti-over the school building; red rover; tag and if it snowed, we would make a large circle in the snow, with spokes going into the center. The center was the free spot. Some one would be "it" and chase the other players around the circle or in the spokes and try and touch them before they got to the center. I don't remember what that game was called. During cold and bad weather we had to stay inside. I remember playing clue, rook, monopoly and other card games.

At Christmas we had a Christmas play. All students participated in the play, or recited poems or other readings.

Other students that I can recall that went to this country school and then to CV high, who might be remember by some of the blog readers were; JD Sanders, Dale Wolfe, Bonnie, Maxine, Kenneth, Louise and Chester Campbell; Carole Riley; Virginia and Steve Nellis; Steve, Tom and brother Shorter and my sister Patricia.

In looking back, while it is intriguing to have been part of a by gone era, educational wise it probably was not the best. By having one teacher that would teach only one grade, I think would give a broader and more in depth knowledge of the various subjects. Something that has affected me all of my life, which I think stems from going to school with few classmates, is the inter action social skills. High school was a scary and whole new world to me. Being somewhat introverted, I have never felt comfortable in groups. At one stage of my business career, I gave speeches and conducted seminars. While it was a terrifying experience each time, I gradually felt more at ease in groups and gained more confidence, which helped me in later years.


This was posted months ago, but is appropriate again, given our new topic.

When I was six or seven years old I was given a bunch of waterproof matches. They must have been “war surplus” because I remember also being given either K or C rations. Remember C rations? I just checked into them and did you know that the C rations were manufactured by the makers of Cracker Jack? Interesting.

Anyway, these fireproof matches could be soaked in water and they would light just as if they were dry. To my seven year old mind that was miraculous. I was showing one of my friends, perhaps Donna Burch, how these matches worked. We were playing at a ditch near our house and I was dipping a match into the water in the ditch and then lighting it. I hit upon the idea of burning a little of the dry grass nearby, just to see what would happen. Well, the grass took off burning and I couldn’t stop it. I ran home and my mother called the fire department to come and put out the blaze.

I felt sure that I would never be able to show my face in Cedar Vale after such a crime. Embarrassment kept me at home for most of a day. When I finally went out with my dad to Clarence Marshall’s service station I was greeted with, “There’s the firebug!” The fire in the grass was nothing to the fire on my face. After that I became known as “firebug” for what seemed like a long time. Finally the joke played itself out and I wasn’t reminded any more of my transgression. However, I never forgot the lesson about fire that I learned that day.