Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Non Pariel Club

This just in from Pat Pate Molder:

In one of the blogs I read someone was asking about The Non Pariel Club in Cedar Vale. My Mother was a charter member of that club. They published a cook book (sorry I don't have the year). I have that cook book and use it often !! This a picture in the front of the book. 

I have them all correctly identified now:

    front row:  Nola Steward, Jane Cable, Gladys Napier, Vera Sheldon, Edna Bird

    middle row:  Helen Smith, Mary Bess Hankins, Viola "Albie" Ferguson, Melba Sartin, Catherine House, Virgie Buchele

    back row:  Marcella Cable, Mary Holland, Clara Marten, Nadine Pate, Mae Smith, Faxine Dunn

Twenty or so years ago I started going through the book writing my memories of the women who submitted recipes. Some of those writings I would share. Some I would not because they would be too personal.

For instance - On the first page for Beverages there is a poem written by Osa Webb and her recipe for Spiced Tea.......Osa and Faye Webb lived in Sedan, but drove to Cedar Vale to attend the Church of Christ. They were such elegant people to me. Helen Webb has a recipe for Spiced Tea. Helen and her husband, Ferdi, also members of the Church of Christ, were so special to me, as was the entire Webb family. Ferdi was such a funny man and teased all the time. Mrs. O.A. Hubbard has a recipe for Golden Ade. I worked in the bank with Owen - a great man. And, so my memories go.

Slumber Parties at Margaret's House


I wonder how many slumber parties we had at Margaret Robinson’s house during our high school days. It would start like this: on Thursday or Friday one of the senior girls would say to another “I wish we were having a slumber party Friday night.” This word would spread and we would either hint or just out right ask Margaret if we could have this party at her house, which was undoubtedly the best slumber party house ever! Many times Margaret volunteered her house which saved us from having to be so rude.

Our parties often followed a ball game, so our arrival was just whenever we could get there. Sometimes it provided a quick end to a date and other times we arrived in cars, either driving or getting dropped off.

We would have the run of the downstairs of this large, 14 room house full of interesting art and antiques plus books in every room. Our focus, however, was on the latest 45 rpm records, movie magazines, snacks and the latest gossip, and it was the perfect place to show off a new pair of baby doll pajamas. We packed our favorite snacks and always took too much. One favorite was ring bologna and crackers.

The ultimate goal was to stay awake all night, but the reality was in the wee hours when eating, dancing, singing and telling off color jokes got tiresome, most of us got cozy somewhere and fell soundly asleep. Naturally, at a sensible time, probably around midnight, Barbara (Woodruff) and Patsy (Kelly) would have gone to bed in the downstairs bedroom in order to get up on Saturday morning and drive to Winfield for their respective piano lessons. Such good girls!

The slumber parties of the girls of ’59 provided some lasting memories and a deep appreciation of Lincoln and May Robinson, who always made each of us feel welcome. Margaret was one of us but I wondered if she was ready for a slumber party each time. We were self-promoters, way ahead of our time.

Do any of the slumber party gals have a memory to add to this? I would love to hear how your story goes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

...happily ever after!

In anticipation of much more participation from all of you, this is a brief recounting of the wedding of Pat Oltjen and Phil Foust. We were scheduled to be married on June 12, 1955, but a scheduling problem because of a performance of our dance band on that date ... changed the wonderful day to May 29, 1955.

Don Shaffer was my best man and the other men in the wedding party were Bill Williams, Bill Marker (Dexter), and Thayne Douglas Oltjen. Pat's maid of honor was Donna Burch and the other ladies in the group were Janice Sartin, Nadine Oltjen (Cousin), and Betty Jean Foust. Don and I went to Winfield to pick up the wedding cake (as I remember) with only a small problem in that there was some slippage to the work of art on our way home.

The wedding was held at the Cedar Vale Methodist Church and the minister was Reverend Shuler. (It is believed that Shuler succeeded chinchilla raiser Whipple.) The wedding proceeded quite nicely with a reception in the basement following the formal ceremony. We had a bit of a problem in leaving Cedar Vale in that our beautiful 1950 cream colored Mercury had been jacked up and elevated on cement blocks inside the locked lumber yard of Clyde Shaffer. After this problem was addressed, we were ready to speed out of town when the City Marshall (M. White) stopped us for a warning. At some inopportune times (for instance) while stopping at traffic lights the car would slip out of gear . It was necessary to raise the hood to repair the problem. Fortunately, the stoppage by Marshall White didn't require repair and we finally headed out of town.

We spent our wedding night in Tulsa but came back to Cedar Vale and Dexter the next day to load up our vehicle for the trip back to our new home. We motored to New Orleans and then along the gulf coast toward Florida. A meal perhaps in Mississippi of grilled red snapper still lives in our memories as one of the best visits ever to an eatery. The cafe was rough and isolated and the delicious fish was served on some butcher paper with no accompanying foodstuffs. We were to meet the dance band, (The Starlighters), someplace on the Atlantic Coast of Florida for a reception and dance in honor of Miss America, (Lee Ann Meriweather). After the dance, we came home for some wonderful years in what was the lovely city of Savannah, Georgia. The end of the story is that we have lived happily ever after.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Second Attempt at a Blog!

Hello, C.V. friends, neighbors and countrymen and women!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mr. Beggs Letter in his hand

I had a sudden inspiration that you might like to see Mr. Beggs letter as he has written it. Here it is. If you click on the pages they should come up greater than life size. Enjoy

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mr. Beggs Letter, part II

I just spent a wonderful half hour talking with Mr. Beggs. We went over the old times and he even added names of several other of his CV students that he remembered. I asked him if I could put up his address and phone number on the blog and he gave me permission. Here it is, followed by the second half of his letter.

George Beggs
227 N. 7th Street
Fredonia, KS 66736-1313

(620) 378-3118

BTW, George's birthday is in August—a good time to shower him with birthday cards!

(continued . . .)

Facilities were terrible and we had no budget to buy anything, in fact they used to go to Topeka and bring home old army surplus instruments.

Clubs got together and bought 50 purple and gold uniforms. Parents bought instruments and we became one of the top class B bands in the state. I was at Cedar Vale 12 years. We competed in state contests 10 years and had 8 one ratings. We played Egmont Overture by Beethoven our last year.

I do remember well our trio playing at Bill Leonard’s funeral in the theater.

We had a lot of excellent talent at C.V. I think of Gary White, Don Shaffer, Tom Gordon, Reece Bohannan, Barbara Woodruff, Diane Archer, Patsy Kelly, Lesta and Judy Johnson, Don & Ron Warren, Don Cox, Joan Stone, Phil Foust, and Bob Marshall (and others).

Bob became an outstanding band teacher at Peabody High School. Has retired from teaching and is manager of the music department at Senseney Music in Wichita.

Don Shaffer retired from teaching and the last I knew was working for Hallmark in K. C. and directing the Hallmark employee band.

I’m extremely proud of all my past students and especially your success and major accomplishments.

I enjoyed the account of your growing up in Cedar Vale and many thanks for the book.

I used to visit often with your dad at Clarence Marshall’s station and remember well seeing your folks and you riding in the big red gasoline truck.

They’ve just hired their 5th band director here since I retired in 1981.

I think one of the most exciting things I remember about C.V. was the turkey toss off the roof of the L. C. Adam store. I caught a turkey and Reece Vandruff, standing near, caught the poop on his hat.

George Beggs

PS: I’ll be 87 in August and Madge will be 85 in November. I’m in good health—Madge has R. Arthritis but still takes care of all her home work well.

A. Beggs Letter, part I

The following is the first half of the letter from Mr. Beggs that I received yesterday. I've talked with Madge and she gave me permission to quote his letter.

July 4, 2008

Dear Gary:

What a surprise to receive your book, Pebbles. I am very grateful to receive it and it has revived many memories of Cedar Vale.

We moved to Cedar Vale after I finished my last year of college at Pittsburg State in 1947. It was a complete little town with many stores and lots of friendly people. They wanted a school band and were very supportive of my efforts. They had 8 students in the band and just a box of old music from past city bands. I found enough Bennett band books to start the band. You mentioned Bill Leonard. He was a good supporter and we visited a lot about the band along with Dr. Josh Stone. Lincoln Robinson was probably my best supporter.

About all we had were two old single tension snare drums and a wooden single tension bass drum. I remember some old brass instruments and an old Helican bass horn.

I talked to Bill about getting Cedar Vale painted on the bass drum and he volunteered to do it. At the bottom he painted “Bill done it.”

I had contracted to teach for $2,700.00 for the term and the Lions Club had agreed to pay $300.00 of it if I would give free lessons for the 3 summer months. I did and the response was tremendous.

We used to have band practice on the stage in the old auditorium. That meant setting up and tearing down each day. I remember the kids would be so excited that they would say, “Let's skip lunch” and we would practice through the lunch hour. We had band scheduled just before lunch.

My schedule was pretty hectic because my first contract called for band in both schools, vocal in both schools, 9th grade general science, study hall, class sponsor, and working gates at ball games and other activities. We had a seven period schedule.

Mr. Vandruff, our superintendent, could see I wasn’t very interested in vocal music, especially the elementary and eventually I ended up with just band.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

G. A. Beggs

I just received a four-page letter from G. A. Beggs. I had sent him a copy of my book, Pebbles and he responded with many memories of his time in CV. I'll call him and ask to put it up here on the CV blog. It is a treasure trove of information of our early years told from an adult perspective. Mr. Beggs is 87 years of age and still writes with a remarkably firm and steady hand. His wife, Madge is also still active at age 84.

Stay tuned. You are in for a treat!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Patricia Rae Oltjen

Pat was born on March 16, 1936 in Clay Center, Kansas. Her parents were Raymond Dietrich Oltjen and Elsie Marie Fiechter of the Robinson, Kansas area. At the time of her birth, Ray and Elsie lived in Linn, Kansas where Ray worked for a bank. While living in Linn a brother was born ... Thayne Douglas Oltjen.

Pat's grandparents Oltjen both came to the United States from Germany ... but met in Kansas. Pat's grandfather was said to have come as far west on the train as funds allowed. He worked for farmers and saved each dollar earned and invested in land until he was quite wealthy at the time of his death. He set up his sons in farming except Raymond who contracted polio as a quite young boy which made banking a more realistic occupation. Ray's twin sister died from the disease and Ray was cared for during his long recovery by a Mrs. Foust of the Robinson area. Elsie's parents were farmers in the same area. Mr. Fiechter was of German heritage and Mrs. Fiechter had Swiss lineage.

In early years the Oltjen's moved to Florence where Ray and a partner purchased the bank at a discount to be closed for a profit. They were only there for a short time and decided to do the same thing at Cedar Vale. Elsie cried when she saw the Cedar Vale area but they both came to love the community and Ray decided to retain his holdings in the financial institution. Pat was in the second grade in Cedar Vale and attended all of her grade/high school years in the community. Pat was a popular girl and a good student and a good clarinetist in the band. She would have been a good athlete but the administrators of the school felt that females should not participate in sports. She worked at Whitney's Drug Store. Some of her better friends during her high school years were Donna Burch, Janice Sartin, and Nadine Stanhope.

After high school she attended Kansas University until she was engaged to Phil Foust of Dexter/Cedar Vale. They were married on May 29, 1955 and their first home was in Savannah, Georgia as Phil was a trombonist in an Air Force dance band. Son Graham was born in Savannah on November 07, 1956. The three Fousts moved back to Cedar Vale in November of 1957 where Phil was employed at the Cedar Vale National Bank. Vince was born on July 05, 1959 while we were living in a rental house of Dr. L. Claire Hays.

After Cedar Vale, Pat and her growing family moved to northern Kansas where Phil worked in banks prior to purchasing the Bremen State Bank of Bremen/Marysville. Prior to that, Gretchen was born on December 21, 1968 at Marysville, Kansas. During the years that she was a full time mother, Pat was proficient at a full range of activities. She was a wonderful cook, seamstress, quilter, flower gardener, landscaper, and in my opinion a most perfect wife and mother.

Later, she worked as a salesperson at Harvey's Fashions in Arkansas City where we spent some rather semi-retirement years. During this time, she honed her grandmotherly skills and enjoyed being of help to many interesting folks of the Ark City area.

The last five years we have lived in Marion, Kansas as retired folks. Her mobility has declined dramatically through the years and (like many that are fortunate to live awhile) is beginning to exhibit a reduced quality of life. She had knee replacement surgery on June 17, 2008 and is progressing remarkably well showing her strength and resolve. Pat is a fair minded individual who does not mind "telling it like it is" in her approach to human relationships.

This is a rather simple account of a remarkable person's complex life. She has known many difficulties during the years ... difficulties of which many were not aware ... but she has never shown much negativity concerning the fates that tend to occur to everyone. She is a person of whom I am very proud and have been so blessed to have spent with her ... these precious years.

Monday, July 7, 2008

TV in Cedar Vale

A comment by Phil jogs my memory about the first times I saw television. Bohanan Electric had the first TVs for sale in Cedar Vale. They had one set up in their showroom and there were many folding chairs set up like theater seating for the locals to try out the new medium. The screen was inside the console pointing in an upward direction. You raised the top of the console, which swung upward on hinges at the back, revealing a mirror through which you could view the screen.

Cedar Vale was far from any station so the signal was quite weak. The first TV station was in Tulsa later followed by a station in Wichita. To receive any signal at all required a fairly tall antenna tower and the antenna had to be turned very precisely in the direction of the station, requiring a motorized antenna rotator if you wanted to be able to tune in to both Tulsa and Wichita.

Early programs I remember were Milton Berle and Kookla Fran and Ollie. Of course, there were sporting events such as baseball and wrestling. If it was a good night and the atmosphere was cooperating you could get a picture that was recognizable through the constant snow. On a bad day it was just shadows moving in a blizzard.

It was quite some time before we had a TV in our home. Those who had television sets early on had nightly company as neighbors and friends came to watch. By the time we had a TV they were plentiful enough so that we were not the local theater.

For those of us who are old enough to remember our first TV experiences write in with your comments. What was your first experience with the new medium? When did you get a TV at home? What was it like being the local theater every evening?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Donna Burch Stanton

I just heard from Donna Burch Stanton and her daughter sent me this photo of her with her grandchildren. (Now don't be angry Donna, your old classmates want to see how you look these days.) Donna was my first playmate at age 4 or 5. We were neighbors in the southwest (straight) corner of CV. Welcome, Donna. We hope to hear from you.