Friday, March 20, 2009


Of all the memories I've had of Cedar Vale, one that sticks in my mind are the "nick-names" given to its inhabitants! I'll venture forth with one, cast on myself! I was known as "Big Clyde!, according to the yearbook! Makes me feel good that my Dad's name was included. And, the modest person I am, I did have a wicked basketball, "hook-shot," ala Clyde Lovellette, my K.U. hero! I might add that "it" was wicked in practice, but I never dared to take that shot in a game!

Well, here goes with some of the "nick-names" I remember!

"Jimpy" Lefler, barber
"Frog" Beaver, a jack of all trades
"Speedy" Harold Bohannan, who once ran down a sure touchdown!
"Earl, the Pearl," Vore, a great town-team basketball player....
I'm sure you have many more! Like to hear of them!
P.S. I once heard "Frog" Beaver say, "when my wife says, "Frog,!" I JUMP!!!!! True story!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The story of Frank M Hubbard moving to CedarVale

Picture of Samuel D Hubbard.

The last Christmas I spent with Nellie Walkinshaw was the Christmas of 1995. John was not able to make it back, as he was beginning his career has a Police Officer and was not able to get off work. Jock and Katrina and I made it there. I took my little blind dog with me. I had rescued her from the middle of a highway, literally. She was laying on the yellow line when I stopped an 18 wheeler, so I could grab her. My hair was long and blonde at the time, I just knew what that driver was thinking!! I never found her home, so I just had to keep her.

On this visit, I was smart and took paper and pen. I was ready. As I had Nellie retell the story of her parents, I wrote as fast as I could, and then later on just copied my notes as I had written them. I recently located the story and will share it here. After I had a computer and access to the internet, and I started work on her genealogy. The story she told and what I have found match. She would have loved to see these old census copies with her parents names.
1850/MI/Lenawee/Franklin, I first find Alonzo H Hubbard he was only 11 yrs old. Here is his family.
*Hubbard, Samuel A 51 farmer CT
Hubbard, Susan 50 NY
Hubbard, Ruth 22 NY
Hubbard, Samuel 21 NY
Hubbard, ?Austenchus? 19 NY( Austenchus)
Hubbard, Martha 16? NY
Hubbard, Alonzo 11 MI

*Samuel Dickinson Hubbard, a Representative from Connecticut; born in Middletown, Conn., August 10, 1799; pursued classical studies; was graduated from Yale College in 1819; studied law; was admitted to the bar and practiced in Middletown, Conn., 1823-1837; also engaged in manufacturing; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Congresses (March 4, 1845-March 3, 1849); served as Postmaster General of the United States in the Cabinet of President Fillmore from August 31, 1852, to March 7, 1853; died in Middletown, Conn., October 8, 1855; interment in Indian Hill Cemetery.
Kentucky Marriages 1851-1900, Name: A. H. HUBBARD &
Spouse: ELIZA E. BALL Marriage Date: 14 Aug 1865, County: Madison County, State: KY.
In 1870 Alonzo H Hubbard and wife are in Carthage, MO (which has a beautiful Court House
and square, for those of you who have not been there) Elizabeth's middle initial must
have been for Ellen, as that is what she named in each census.
1880 has Alzonzo and Ellen in Greene Co, MO at Center (Springfield is in Green county).
Their family has grown from 2 children to 6, Frank was 5 yrs old.
1900 Alonzo living in a home for soldiers in Leavenworth, KS . He is widowed.
His dob is listed as Feburary 1839.
He died 13 Apr 1904 and is buried at Leavenworth National Cemetery, section 18, row 11,
site 2.
Hubbard, Frank/boarder/Dec1874/25/MO MI KY/teacher
living with the Hornberger family
(Have Frank’s genealogy traced back to George Hubbard- born in Glastonbury, Somerset, England 1615- died in Guilford, New Haven, CT 23 May 1683.
His wife, Elizabeth Watts born 1618 Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut- died 6 Dec 1702 Middletown, Middlesex, Connecticut)

This is from Nellie (Hubbard) Walkinshaw as she told it to me in 1995. A bit of Cedar Vale History.
Nellie's father, Frank Merwin Hubbard (Dec 28, 1874 to July 24, 1944) went to Cedar Vale, KS in 1893 from Carthage, MO where he had been born. His mother's last name was Ball, she was from KY. Frank's father, Alanzo Hammand Hubbard,was from Michigan, he served with Sherman during the Civil War. Alanzo met his wife in the South while on the 'march to the sea'. After the war he returned to Lexington, KY, where they had met and were married.

Frank married (April 22, 1905) Addie M Owen ( Dec 25, 1872 to April 6, 1966) born in Des Moines, Iowa. Her father had served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Her father, Mr. Owen, had been shot in the lung during the war amd moved to Carthage, MO for his health, where the climate was move favorable.

Frank Merwin Hubbard, first went to Cedar Vale, KS in 1893, he had heard about the Oklahoma strip opening - he was 19 years old when he arrived in Cedar Vale. At that time, C V was the end of the Sante Fe line. He had to wait for the opening of the strip, and needed a job while he waited.
When he arrived in Cedar Vale, he left his bag at the station and walked out to find a job. He had no trouble finding a job, since he was well read - even though he had not finished school. He was encouraged to go back to finish school in Carthage, which he did. He finished the 3 or 4 years in one year. He was then associated with the L.C. Adam Mercantile in Cedar Vale. Frank taught 7 terms of school, then bought a store in Hooser, KS before he and Addie moved to Cedar Vale. He moved back to Cedar Vale after completing school and married (in Carthage, Mo) They moved into the house they built in Cedar Vale in 1915. (my note: Nellie lived in the Hubbard home on Caney St until her death. Nellie had a deep love for Cedar Vale, and wrote about it's history. (My note: I am in hopes my daughter, Katrina has Nellie’s notes and family pictures and will be able to unpack them when she and her family move back to the States. They have been in Germany for 6 years.)
My note:I have been unable to find information on either of the wives. I even have the name of Elizabeth Ellen Ball’s brother, and only have the one reference for him when he was living with the Hubbards in MO.

More History of Cedar Vale and area.

John is standing in front of our Caney St house, I do believe that is Nellie's house and Falcon in back ground.

John in front of Wee Kirk. I remember Mr Day had Shetland Ponies. My parents got John a Pony when he was abt 10.

Chiggers, lighting bugs and singing locust, and I might add Stereoscope.

DF Cox left a comment, to check a posting of 4-5 months back. I knew I was in trouble, big trouble. I can not just skim through the postings, I have to read them and then read all the comments to them. I can picture in my mind what they are talking about, even though it was all before my time, in more ways than one. I love the stories.
Several that got my memory going. #1 Don Hankins. There was a group of us talking, either at the store, which was now, Jock’s Walk-in-Shop or the drug store. I said something about the Stereoscopes that I enjoyed so much as a little child at the Library in Atchison. Don looked at me puzzled and asked what was I doing in Atchison. Surprised at his interest in Atchison, I told him I was born there, that my mother had grown up there. He said he had grown up in Atchison and gone to school there. We compared notes and learned there was a one year difference between him and my mother. They had attended high school there. And, we had lived across the street from the high school when I was in Kindergarten thru 2nd grade.
While I’m thinking of it, there is another connection regarding my dad. When Daddy had come to visit, he met Charley Cable. Come to find out they had known each other before. My daddy sold Fords first in Atchison and then in Pittsburg, he worked at Plattner Ford in Pittsburg. It use to be located on Broadway St. After his 5th heart attack summer of 1972, he had to retire. When we burying him in 1976, my brother, touched me on the shoulder and said to look across the street. In that period of time, The Ford Dealership, had built a new building in a new location, right across the street from the Cemetery. There is a great view of it from Dad’s grave. So fitting.
#2 I miss lighting bugs and singing locust of Kansas. I was at work one day in Jacksonville, Fl. I over heard a conversation going on behind me. Then one lady said rather loudly, there is no such thing as chiggers. That was NOT the thing to say in front of this Kansas girl. She did want to believe me, so I pulled up ‘chiggers’ on the internet and sent it to her. She shut up.
I did find the story of the family losing their lives in Cedar Vale. Also, while on the internet till 2 am last night I found a website that mentioned Cedar Vale Cemetery had a memorial for a family that lost their lives. Must be the same family. Such a sad story, but so glad to hear a baby survived and was taken in by a family.
A side noete. one of my favorite stories of the past, is the Orphan Train, I find stories of people who were on that train in my genealogy work. Some stories so wonderful, some so sad. But it is an interesting part of our history. I wish I had loved History when I was younger, I would have majored in it. Later in life, I found I would have loved to teach it. I even get great lesson plans in my imagination that I think students would enjoy doing.
Well, at least I can play History teacher on-line. I found this link: that I want to share about Otter Creek Cemetery. Since I have not gained permission to reproduce it, I will give the link.
This link is the one that kept me up last night, just could not quite reading. Their Biographical stories are lacking, you all (I do live in the South) have stories to contribute. I will include the one I have for Nellie, after I re-write it a little better. There is a lot of information to get off of this Website, including some land records, and even how Chautauqua is divided by townships.
In the June 22, 1906 Commercial, F. M. Hubbard reported in the Hoosier news items that "Mr. and Mrs. Rockwell lost their infant child, Saturday, (June 16) Mrs. Rockwell was very low for some days but is reported better now." No obituary concerning the baby was published.
This was Frank M Hubbard, Nellie’s father.
One of the posts I was going thru today had a comment about the Custer house. How does that relate to the above. Since I stayed up and kept reading last night, I now know "The Rest of the Story", in the words of the late, Paul Harvey.
Thomas Custer, wife and children lived next door to Frank Hubbard and the family he was staying with in the Sexton Twnshp in Dexter. Frank was teaching then. (I would teach in Dexter 70 yrs later). The Rockwell baby at Otter Creek, was the Grandchild of Thomas Hubbard and his wife Rachel Holman. Their daughter Clara married Rockwell. Their son, Frank Custer. The census has Mr Rockwell’s name as OA, Odus, and Ottis. I put him down as Ottis A in my records. Frank E Custer would be in in Cedar Vale with his wife Goldie and a son name, Frank J born abt 1915, 1930 and 1920 census. (1920 and 1930, Frank E Custer, lived on Willow Ave -one of those rare streets that is in aline with the world) Is that the house that was mentioned in the earlier post, where they referred to the Custer House? wish I had kept track of who wrote it.
WHO laid our the streets in Cedar Vale??
Frank had moved to Cedar Vale by 1910.
The 1910 census would have had me totally confused, however since I read so late, I knew about the Baird House. So I understood all the names in this "household". I remember Mr and Mrs Treadway living in a big house, wonder if that house had been the Baird house?? What street was it on?? I could not begin to tell you, seems like I drove past it on my way from Kingman St (the dirt road) to the high school. In all the time I lived there, never got my bearings. I saw a lot of the town, simply trying to find where I was going. I got so turned around I would go back to our house on Caney, and just start over.
Here is a list of the residents in the 1910 census of the Baird House.
Roch H Baird 41
Annie T Baird 65
Banana L Murphy 54
Millie Findley 36
Emma Findley 30
Addie Dimes 30
Zake Dimes 18
Leonard Dimes 8
Ida Dimes 7
Ada Dimes 7
Jessie M Dimes 4
Serma Shepherd 35
Net Thompson 20
John M Smith
Frank Custer 23
Francis Bishop 18
W McCoy 11
Earl Stepleton 39
Lucile Blackley 27
James Armstrong 22

Back to Otter Creek. Lars and Dorothy Magdelena were both born in Norway. She in 1820, he in 1814. The only place I found them was on 1900 census. But at least there is more info on them, I can add to that website.
There is something so sad about a baby’s grave without information. Now little Rockwell Infant at Otter Creek has a little story around her.
It is so interesting to find the connections.

Attaching a 1920 Census, can anyone read the names of streets (left edge of sheet), Monroe I could make out, but what should be Caney (Hubbards are there) does not look like it. Did Streets have different names then??

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wish I knew then, what I know now.

John helped Grandma Nellie with her leaves.
After the wedding in May 1970.

This guy's carefree days are over.

Stories of our houses.
One of the things I learned, which was a new experience for me, that homes had names. It made it very easy, you did not have to give directions to your house, just give the name of your house.
One day while visiting Nellie, she lived in the Hubbard House, I noticed a for sale sign in front of the house just 2 doors away. The house between the 2 was the home of Mr and Mrs Montgomery. I ‘suggested’ to Jock, this would be a great house in which to raise a boy. It’s name was the Cox House. When I went back to visit Cox House in the 80's, I was so happy to see how they had fixed up Cox House just the way I had wanted to. The lady told me the Walkinshaw’s use to live there, but don’t think it ever had the Walkinshaw name. What a wonderful place it was. So much room. That big wrap around porch, was a great place for boys to play on rainy days and after I added an old wrought Iron Bed (purchased for a couple of bucks), it made a great place for boys to ‘camp out’.
Frank Hubbard built (or had built) their home in 1915.
I pulled up the original copy of the 1920 Census. Owen Lavely and his mother, Susie, is living next door to Nellie (age 11) Hubbard Walkinshaw. She was a neighbor to my great Uncle’s mother-in-law. My world is getting smaller. I would give anything to have know that then. She may have met my Uncle!
One of the funniest stories regarding the imagination of children came from Nellie. Seems Owen was to keep on eye on his baby sister while his parents were away for a while. When they came home, the little sister was sitting in middle of the floor, Owen had nailed her skirt to the floor so it would be easy to watch her.
One of the saddest stories came from Nellie. When she was a child, there had been a torrential downpour. A man and his family were crossing a creek (I guess it was) west to town. The current was too strong and the current swept the wagon with his family in it away. They all died. She said he was brought to the Cox House. He was out on the porch and Nellie heard the most awful cry she had ever heard. A sound that only Grief can create. She did not know his name. Wonder if any one else had heard that story.

Blackjack League Champs!

One of the best basketball teams to come out of Cedar Vale was reported to be the state tournament team featuring Dr. Herb Stone's younger brother. The best team (in my opinion) that I watched was the squad of 1949/1950. They were ranked #1 in the state for a number of weeks and had newspaper publicity from Wichita and other area publications. Their only loss was in the first round of the state tournament at Hutchinson. Earlier blogs have made mention of the team and some of the athletes. It is felt that they are deserving of their own blog.

The team's uniforms were unique featuring tee shirts rather than the type more traditional. (Some of you might remember the Evansville Purple Aces wearing similar uniforms for many years.) One set of the Bronco uniforms was gold and the other was purple. They had a rather sheen appearance while the warmups were white with more of a wool look. I believe that the most popular high top basketball shoes of the era were the white canvas shoes of choice. (Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars)

The Blackjack League included Cedar Vale, Elk City, Grenola, Howard, Moline, Peru, and Sedan if my memory serves me correctly. (You may recall that blackjack trees are the small oaks predominate to the east of Cedar Vale.) I believe the Chilocco Indian School along with St. John's Academy from Winfield were among the non-league games scheduled. Pregame warm ups featured dunks by some of the players and the attitude of the team was proud and aggressive. The twelve members of the team are listed below. More than likely I have forgotten some players while naming others that were not part of this outstanding group. Perhaps you can refresh my memory.

Bob Bailey: A transfer his senior year from Dodge City. Bob was as smooth as a freshly planed piece of wood and he shot even his free throws with a bit of a flip of the wrist from above his head. Bob carried himself with much poise and might have been classified as the star of the team.

Charles Beachler: A tremendous natural athlete talented in both football and basketball. Unfortunately, Charles was bedeviled with injuries. Charles was a powerful runner in football and had great bursts of energy and ability in basketball.

Kenny Bennett: Kenny was quick! Most usually he fearlessly drove to the basket and would score or be fouled. He was somewhat a master of stealing the ball from an opponent and quickly turned the situation into two points. Kenny gave the team much determination and leadership and was one of the better defensive players.

Reece Bohannon: Reece was a leaper and a scorer of outstanding talent. His brother Don was a previous star at Cedar Vale and Reece later played at Ark City Jr. College (Cowley College) and Emporia State.

Bob Brown: A tough competitor and rebounder.

Joe Ellis: An enthusiastic and fierce competitor.

Jim Hill: One of Cedar Vale's all-time fine athletes who had tremendous jumping ability. Jimmy won state titles in long jump and high jump and received a football scholarship at Wichita State. He was a good post player and had the strength and mobility to match up well with taller individuals.

W. B. Johnston: Dub was perhaps smoother but a competitor much in the mode of Joe Ellis.

Bernard Lemert: Bernard was a quiet contributor.

Bob McGlasson: A major contributor and another smooth player. Bob didn't make waves but his athletic ability allowed him to quietly perform with excellence. A good rebounder was Bob and he was one of the most popular students in school.

Elman McGlasson: A glue type team player with rebounding prowess.

Don Shaffer: A dedicated, determined, and quite good athlete hampered with knee problems.

Some of you may have memories of this season. It would be good if you and others (including members of the team) would allow us your recollections. Cecil Humphries was the previous year's coach and perhaps in retrospect was responsible for much of the team's success. The new coach came from Rosalia and was not rehired after just this one year. It seems that folks felt that the coach had under achieved with the team and that another coach would have achieved even more success. I do remember that the coach would substitute five players at a time with very little drop off in ability or performance. The team ran with abandon and produced some quite high scores. It was not unusual to see them score 25 points in a quarter. The second floor gym was usually (literally) packed to the rafters and most likely at times structurally challenged. The atmosphere was further charged with an outstanding (and loud) pep band. As I remember the cheerleaders weren't gymnastic but attractive and included Delores Hall, Pat Williams, and Janice Stone.

Clyde and Louise Shaffer joined a huge throng of fans and drove a carload of folks to Hutchinson to the tournament. An unusual aspect of the trip was that Clyde ventured a bit far into the railroad track area at the west edge of Winfield and the cross bars came down upon the hood of his vehicle. As I remember the incident allowed Louise to be a bit critical of one of my favorite men of the town. I believe Cedar Vale played Carbondale and the game was not close going into the final quarter. The Broncos caught fire in the last quarter but were too far behind to catch the Topeka area team. In retrospect, I suspect that the team had not enough regular season competition to develop the mental toughness necessary for state tournament play. Also, through the years I have noticed that the more successful teams stress defense possibly a bit more than this version of the "Purple and Gold".

It was rumored that the team stayed at a hotel the night before the game and enjoyed the evening a bit more than some other coaches might have preferred. Nevertheless, it was a magical season!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I have a Historical Connection to Cedar Vale

Life never ceases to give surprises. Tonight I just had another. I found Thomas Elijah Ford and Mable Maud (Lavely) Ford in the Cedar Vale Cemetery. The Ford family had lived in Marshfield, Mo since at least 1844, they had come from North Carolina.
You are thinking, there is a story behind this. Yes, there is. Though genealogy work, my cousin Russell Ford found me. Our grandparents were brother and sister. Not long after we started e-mailing each other and sharing information, he and another cousin, Chuck Ford came to visit me. Russell and I live about 4 hours apart, both of us in GA. While discussing family history, I learned that Chuck had stories of Cedar Vale, his grandfather lived in Cedar Vale and his Dad was born there. His father was born close to where Nellie’s house is. I was shocked. Small world.
The family had moved to Oklahoma by the 1920's. Thomas and Mabel both died in OK. Tonight I got on and I found them. Evidently, the family had them buried. Mabel was born in Cedar Vale, I have not looked for her parents’ graves yet.
My Grandmother’s brother, Thomas Elijah Ford lived in Chautauqua Co. He and his family were listed int the 1910 & 1920 Federal census, taken in Harrison, Chautauqua Co. The Kansas State census of 1905 had them listed in Jefferson, Chautauqua, Co. His wife, Mable Maud Lavely was born in Chautauqua Co to Jacob & Susan Lavely in 1882.
Thomas and Mable had 3 children born to them at that time. The oldest, Maita born 1905, may have gone to School with Nellie. I do not know where the schools were located in the County then, and no idea where Harrison and Jefferson would have been. They had 2 sons born in Cedar Vale; Thomas Wayne born in 1909, Lyle in 1915.
In 1917, Doss Floyd Ford, born in 1898, was in living in Cedar Vale, R 3, per his WWI Draft Registration Card. He was farming for R A Williamson. Is that name familiar to anyone? I have not found a 1920 census with for Doss. He was a nephew of Thomas.
But, my ‘historical’ connection to CedarVale does not end there. I found Thompson, on my mother’s side, in CedarVale. I will have to look them up again.
So now, I have another connection, I have relatives buried in Cedar Vale. I was fascinated when Chuck and Russell told me of their fathers living there. The fact that they are buried there, really gets to me. I am one of those people who likes to tread through cemeteries reading headstones. I walked through the Cedar Vale Cemetery once, had no idea my great uncle was there.
Does the name Lavely ring a bell with anyone? Where would R3 be and Jefferson and Harrison?
My Daddy never knew this. Wish I could share it with him.

First year teaching - the OOPS, the exhaustion, and the fun.

Part 2, John and start our new life in our little house on the dirt road. It did have a name, which I do not recall, we were not in the city limits. John and Lori Boone, on left. Don & I at the prom. My Big Brother.

Things to get done before first day of school in our new town included a hair cut for John. Off to the barbershop we went. There was one rule when we left the house, have a book in your hand. We settled in at the barbershop to wait our turn. We opened our books to read. Actually, look at pictures for John, mostly. I did not noticed when John switched reading material. My reading was interrupted by a sweet innocent child’s voice , Mommy, this lady looks just like you ! He was holding up the centerfold of Playboy magazine. The words were loud enough for every one to hear. Oh, how I wished the floor would open up and swallow me, as the men in the shop were chuckling. John was a master of creating embarrassing moments for me. It was not the first, and it certainly would not be the last.
John, a boy full of personality, fun loving, and absolutely no fear. Never knew what he would do or say next. I had to stifle a lot of laughs over the years. If ever there was a mother who had fun raising a boy and enjoying every moment of it, it was me. I felt so blessed to have this beautiful, healthy child to raise. The embarrassing moments were all part of the package God had entrusted to me.
I am so happy that we got to travel without seat belts back then. The sights John would have missed out on had he not got to ride in the car on his knees looking out the back window. Mom would have missed out on the workings of a child’s mind. Our first trip to Arkansas City. He was looking out the back window, then very casually said. Mom, Jesus is following us. Looking in the rear view mirror, sure enough. It was a young man with hair down to his shoulders. It just did not seem odd to him that Jesus would be driving a car.
Our house on the dirt road had windows in the upstairs bedroom that you could sit in. I think they are called dormer windows. Every morning we would sit in the window and I would read John a book. It was such a relaxing way to start a day. We were getting our new morning routines all mapped out before school began. Starting a day rushed, is not good. I love Reading time, breakfast time, and getting dressed time, all done without hurrying.

Our Big day finally arrived. It was my son’s first day of Kindergarten and my first day of teaching. My girlhood mentor had 5 sons. The first day of school, over the years, Louise had her boys dressed in black slacks and white shirts. How scrubbed and shinny they looked. So I followed suit.
I stood in front of the High School, on the highest spot I could find to watch my child in his new white shirt and black slacks, bravely walk to school alone. That was his wish, he never wanted to appear as a Mommy’s boy ever since he was 3. Independent he was, or at least tried to be. He was so anxious to start school. Mom tried her best to be brave, too. I was standing there as students were going into the school, fighting back my tears. I just could not start my first day with a tear streaked face. A boy appeared beside John. They stood there talking, then John pointed to me. The boy, clearly several years older, turned to me and yelled across the highway, "I’ll take your little boy to school, lady". The preciousness of the moment was only observed by me. This young man clearly had Native American blood in him, and his black hair in sharp contrast to my little blonde guy with the corn silk hair. What a darling picture to carry in my heart for all these years. John had a new friend, one that would be a visitor to our home many times, later on . I asked one of the students his name, Ricky Cable. I loved that kid from that moment on, even though I there would be times, through the years, when I would have to send him home. I would see Ricky as an adult, years later, and he would remind me. He was such a cute kid.
John was out of my sight now, I took a deep breath, and walked to the Home Economics classroom. Had to switch from Mommy to Teacher. The first hour students were coming in and taking their seats at the long tables. They soon would be placing pattern pieces on their newly purchased material, on those tables, excited to make their first garments. That would come later, but for today, I had lots of names to learn, and faces to put with those names. That terrified me. So simple, yet so terrifying at the same time. And this was only the first hour, by the end of the day, it was just plain over whelming. I studied the names that evening at home, and tried to recall the face that went with it. The test would be the next morning. Yikes. Oh, to be back in college cramming for one of those dreaded Economics exams ! !
Here I was, standing in front of my first class. I had been so busy with school, studying, and fixing meals that I had not really thought of this first moment. I recall looking at all those students, thinking off all this information I had crammed into my mind. Now it was time to take that information and present it to them. One problem, even though we had been in the lab school, and then did student teaching, no one ever taught us HOW to teach. They told us what we had to have prepared for the next day. YANKEE ingenuity, that will be what I use, and a lot of prayers for guidance, that is what I will need.
There was a draw back to this career. On nice days you had to be inside. This was not working, not for this tree climbing, ‘sneaking off’ to the river, running girl who could pogo stick a city block and back and ride her bike with 2 brothers on it. I had to do something. I spied that stone wall out at the corner of the property. That will be my salvation, just need to get permission, I bet. To my surprise, it was okay!! So the classes that was mostly discussion, to the wall we would go. One day, Mr Cox would come by. He introduced himself to me and told us that is what his class use to do. Heck, I was continuing a tradition. Mr Cox and I would meet again, under different circumstances.
There are a lot of extra curricular activities involved in teaching. I learned that in no time. (Again, something they did not tell us in school)
Cheerleader sponsor, translates into: Go to every game, in town and out of town, ride school bus, hold sleeping child in arms for hours, be cold, get caught in snow storms on way home, very little sleep for the next day.
Junior class sponsor, translates to: raise money, work in concession stand at games, money raising projects, Prom, decorate gym, Banquet. In other words, if you are not an organized person, it’s all over for you, mentally.
Future Homemakers of America, FHA, incredible amount of forms, following rules, getting the right forms into the mail at the right time. Then there are the trips. Mrs Potter, my Home Ec teacher in Jr High and High School, did all this with such calmness. How, did she do that??
Homecoming game, translates into: fine time to make an OOPS.
Homecoming, to me - people of the community and the students in the classes who were voted class queen and king to ride on the back of convertibles. I learned after I had it all lined up, that it had never been done before, we (meaning the people of CedarVale) did not do it that way. Oops. Well, I enjoyed parts of it. One was that John was selected to be the crown Barer. After all, the students all knew him, as he attended everyone of those games with me.
The Prom, I do not even want to remember all the work that was. My big brother visited me, at this time, and he was there the night of the dance. What a treat, to have my big brother as my date.
Me, I have absolutely no sense of direction. Cedar Vale proved to be my big challenge. The first time John and I went to Pittsburg for the weekend, we got back into CedarVale after dark. The minute I came over the bridge I knew I was in trouble, but I was not going to wake up my sleeping child. But when I found my self down by the rodeo grounds, I had no choice. I woke my 5 year old, he rubbed his eyes, looked around, and knew immediately the situation. Mom, you are lost. And so started another new adventure together, help Mommy find where we live. He was born with the same instincts as my Dad and brothers, and I was so thankful. He just some how knew which way to go, and he would always guide me there. I got a wonderful laugh when my big brother came to town. He got lost in Cedar Vale!! He said it was the first and only time he had ever been lost.
We had some type of social gathering in the Home Economics room, probably a lesson in Planning a social function. There was the most beautiful young man I had ever seen, had not seen him before. I asked who he was, Perry Fulsom. He was going to be a part of my life, later on. I have not ever seen him as an adult, but he certainly was one of the finest young men one could know.
I always asked the students what they wanted to learn, no disappointments allowed in my classrooms. That is really ‘living on the edge’, to do that. Of all things, they wanted to know how to cut up a chicken. WHAT? I had never cut up a chicken in my life (we do not learn that in college, you know). But, I had seen Jock do it at Smith’s Grocery Store. So I asked him if he would, he did. I was saved, or was it, I managed to saved face.
Of course, there is the duty of going to the grocery store to get the supplies needed for cooking classes, and staying within a budget. Budget ? ! - again, did I miss that class in college?
Another, Oops. I was called into the office, another session with Mr Treadway, and reminded that I had to divide my time MORE between Call’s and Smith’s. But, I liked the 1st class, AAA service I got at Smith’s. Do not know why I got such great service (Ha).
One day Jock asked me if I liked Mexican Food. I had it only once, at the Seattle World’s Fair. That was my "graduation from high school" gift. My big brother lived in Seattle then, so I got to visit him and see the fair. I grew up in an Italian town, Mexican was not something we ever saw there, at that time. Jock introduced me to the wonderful world of the Green Door. I loved the place. Sitting at a table with people you had not known 2 minutes before, eating great food. And to top it off, he had an 8-track in his Mustang. Wow, I had never experienced an 8-track before. Bobby Gentry and her ode to Billy Joe, all the way to Arkansas City, or was it Winfield? I have to admit, it took 3 dates to remember his last name. I am a visual learner, if I do not see it written, I have a hard time remembering.
I made a big boo boo, as a mother. It probably was not my first or last. I forgot to tell John about the Tooth Fairy time of his life. I picked him up at Doris Boone’s home one day. Doris had given me the heads up of the days’ happenings. He ran to me. Mommy, I am falling apart, big tears running down his face. He was so worried and I just could not laugh in front of him. John an Laurie were good friends, and would share center stage the coming summer. They would be King and Queen, and ride in a parade. But now, he was one scared child, he just knew he was falling apart. He was not buying that Tooth Fairy thing.
Thanksgiving. I had a plan. Instead of going home for my Dad’s wonderful oyster dressing, I wanted John and I to have our own Thanksgiving. We were going to build a fire in our yard and have hotdogs and marshmallows. I was excited about it. Then Jock said his mother had invited us to their home for Thanksgiving. I was torn. It was kind of her, and I did not want to appear rude, so of course I accepted. I was immediately taken with her books. I love to read. John loved to be read to, so we were quite happy to have books around us.
We were also introduced to Sinbad. He was their Hugh Siamese cat. Sinbad had a funny habit, he brought kittens to Nellie. I would learn over the years to come, that Nellie’s porch would always have kittens on it. This made John happy. He loved cats and dogs. What Sinbad did not know, was that someday he would have to share the neighbor hood with another big cat, Sugar. They never did become friends, they snarled a lot at each other.
Well, Christmas time came along. That means lots of baking. I had been teaching the students a lot of the principles of cooking and the chemistry behind the ingredients. And yes, kids, you can make pudding from scratch. The world had pudding long before Jell-O came along. But now we were going to have fun. What did they want to make, Bourbon Balls of course !! I knew they were ‘testing’ me. But every day of life is a test, there was nothing they could come up with that life had not given me already. Bourbon was not in the school budget, so I would get that on my own. I went to Mr Treadway to get his permission to make the Bourbon Balls and bring the amount we would need into the school. I really tried to play by the rules, really. He said it was ok, after all, I had already proven myself to be responsible. I had not let any student escape the wall teaching and run off to town (like there was so much to do there). I had held it all together during the Homecoming, except for the Cars episode. Mr Treadway was a very fair man, I felt he was looking out after me at times. I was rather like the "Poor little Lamb who had lost its way". I may have grown up in a town of 2 thousand, but it was Italian, and much different. Only town in Kansas to close down a state road for a yearly dance and beer drinking. Oh, it was different. And Cedar Vale did not have stip pits either. I was in a new world, and he knew it. Mr Treadway told me I should have Jock go to the liquor store for me. I popped up and said, I already got it. He had that, oh no, look. He slowly asked me, where did you buy it. Down at that liquor store on the corner I replied. Now he had that very sick look. You mean YOU went into a liquor store? Yes, sir, I am 25 and that is the only place one can get Bourbon. Made perfect sense to me. I left a very sick looking man in his office. Another Oops under my belt.
Spring came. John would go out to Jolenne Sanders after school each day to play with her boys. What a great place it was for growing boys. I would drive my Galaxy 500 carefully down the dirt road and pick him up. One day, just as I was approaching the house, I stopped to laugh. A Walt Disney movie was being played out right before my eyes. There were Doug and John leading the parade of the smaller boys and the biggest, shaggiest dog I had ever seen, right on the behind of the littlest guy. When I finally pulled up and parked, I asked Jolenne where that dog came from. He had been showing up lately to be with the boys, and his paws showed that he had walked a long distance to be there. I told her, I would take that dog if he did not have a home. Any dog who would go to such extremes to be with kids, was a dog to be respected. So Jolenne had her assignment. She found out who he belonged too, that his owner was moving to Coffeyville and would not be able to take him, and that the dog was an Airedale. The man would bring the dog to me, he wanted to make sure I would give him a good home. So now, we had Greta, the toy spitz from Wichita Humane, Sugar Cat, a cat John had to have from Jolenne’s house, and Mud, the Airedale. John’s cup was over flowing. The man brought me Muds Chain, collar, and the thing you put in the ground. We were set. All the animals would learn to like each other, eventually, I was sure. And I had the Big dog I wanted. Later in life, there would be more Airedales in our life, and then when my children were grown I would have St Bernards. Yes, I love big Dogs.
Mud was a people dog, he wanted to be with a human, heck with that little Spitz dog and that cat. I have no idea how Mud knew where I was during the day. But he knew. One day I heard screaming out in the hallway and kids in a group looking out the front door. The I heard a voice, Mr Treadway’s voice. Whose dog is this? The students turned and looked at me. They knew I had adopted Mud. Mud was so happy to see me. But I had to take him home. Then another day, I was called into the office to take a phone call, it was the town sheriff. Mud was at the town’s beer tavern, I don’t remember if it was called Dolly’s then. Mud, I learned the hard way, liked beer. He advised me I would get a ticket the next time this happened. I saw humor in it, guess he didn’t. I was conducting class, when a man walks in, handed me a ticket with a monetary amount on it that I owed to the City of Cedar Vale. My dog had gotten thirsty for beer, again. Well, there was a second time Mud came to school, but it was during class time, and no one saw him in the hall but me. I took him out side and told him to go home. He was one smart dog. But that leash and chain and thing in the ground meant nothing to him. He was strong. I went down to Pay the find. There was Mr Cox, he was so wonderful. He apologized for the fact that I was given the ticket. I could only see the humor in it, I had a beer drinkin’ dog. Now I needed a pickup and a pair of jeans. I was starting to feel like a country girl, in mini skirts. Little did I know, the pickup, and jeans were just around the corner.
Daddy came to visit John and I. Dad was in the car with me while John and Mud were walking in front of us. We had to go get the run-a-way dog after he got loose when I went to pick up Daddy at the bus stop. John had his arm over Muds shoulders, as they walked along the dirt road that led to our house. Dad, said if he died that moment, he would be happy, just to have lived to see his grandson and his big old dog. Daddy, was so happy I had been willing to live in a small town for John. He had grown up in Fredonia and Benedict, KS.
Children’s lives expand so much when they start school. One of the things John now started noticing was that other kids had brothers and sisters, and that he did not. So he asked me to get him a brother. I had a simple answer. We have to have a daddy, that is the way God planned it. He bought that simple explanation. Can’t argue with God. I heard nothing more about enlarging our family, relief!! But I knew he had a steel trap memory, he was going to hit me up again.
The school year was coming to a close. It had been quite a year, for me anyway. John had made friends. I had survived the Child Development lab that the students conducted. People think of Cooking and Sewing when it comes to Home Economics, when it actually has 9 areas to teach. The amount of prepartion for each class makes you wish you had studied to teach English, or History. The next year, I would be teaching at Dexter. They offered more money, 1 less class a day, and less extra curricular activities. I would be there for 3 years.
Through the years I learned what made Cedar Vale special. It was the type of people there.
I did not realize at the time, after all I had not been to many places in the world at age 25. One of the things I found later on in Denver, Florida, and now here in Southern Georgia (2 miles from the Florida line), people can treat you as though you are invisible. Just yesterday, I stopped at a diner that has been in business here since the mid 40's. The waitress never looked at me, even when I spoke to her. But Cedar Vale, that was different. People enjoyed knowing each other. And they did not mind accepting a ‘stranger’ in town. They were friendly. There was only one incident were I was pretty much ‘not accepted’. No big deal.
John and I were happy to be a part of a wonderful community. I knew when my boy was out of my sight he would be safe. He did not have to know fear, he could be free to be himself.
The days of just being the two of us were coming to an end. I would cherish those days forever. There was a specialness to it that I find hard to describe. Our family was going to change, step one of getting a sibling, was going to take place. The guy sitting at a bar at the Hill Top, requested our presence as his family.
Who did I have to thank for this wonderful opportunity to be a teacher? My parents. They impressed up on their children the importance of a college education. Mother would take us on walks to the campus at Lawrence, Ks. She would point out students walking across the campus and imprint on us that that would be us someday. We each got our education, without financial help from our parents. If it had not been for them, John and I would have not had this wonderful life of living here. My Daddy would have lost out on seeing his Grandson walking down a dirt road with his arm around a big shaggy dog. All the sleeping and partying I had missed out on over the years had been well worth it.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The prettiest place in Kansas

John & I at our first house, On Kingman Rd,(dirt road) Greta, Dog from Humane soc Wichita

The beginning of 1969 I had never heard of Cedar Vale, did not have my college diploma yet, but I did have a 4 year old son, and a husband who had left and a new car that left with him. But I had been bless with stubbornness, and tenacity.
I had just enough in the way of finances to get me through the last 2 semesters of college and pay for a really inexpensive apartment for John and I. If John had not been the type of child who could entertain himself, I doubt I would have gone back to college. The past year and half he and I had the "Mommy needs to study" routine down to a fine science. This time we would just be in tighter quarters, and that was just fine with us. He had been sitting by my feet building great things with his blocks, match box cars, and army men for quite a while, now. I consoled him with the loss of his dad by promising him that we would have a home and a dog soon.

Now I just had to get that teaching certificate, and find a job somewhere. Now that I was alone, I had only one big desire, to raise my son in a small town like the one I grew up in. A place where he could run free and be safe, like my brothers and I and our big dog got to do.

To the placement office I would go every week and check out the job openings in Kansas and look them up on the old yellowed Kansas map on the wall. I had one other requisite, I wanted us to be close enough to drive home to see my parents on weekends. One day there was a card with the name of Cedar Vale in that wooden box. What a relaxing sounding place. Relaxing was something that had not been in my vocabulary for several years now. Two to three hours of sleep, an armful of books that weighed more than me, and walking 10 miles a day (I am sure) across a campus was my life. One problem, there was NO Cedar Vale on the map. No one knew where it was. Now was the time for serendipity to enter my life, and it would.

Since it was just the 2 of us, we were free to travel, so we did. We would take trips every now and then with a girl friend from school to Kingman to see my Uncle Jack, who was the Game Warren for Kingman County. She would then pick us up Sunday afternoon and head back to Pittsburg. One weekend, after I got a car, John and I drove out to see Uncle Jack by ourselves. When it came time to leave, Uncle Jack told me I had to take a different route to see the prettiest part of Kansas he had ever seen. He laid the map out on the kitchen table and started showing me the route south, then east . . . just then I saw the area marked CedarVale!! Now it was settled, I would take that route through Winfield, then Arkansas City and turn east. I was enjoying the scenery, that was for sure. I saw a sign that let me know Cedar Vale would be coming up. I will never forget that moment I was a top a hill and looking down at this little town. I woke John from his sleep in the back seat. I told him that was the town we were going to live in. He rubbed his eyes and asked if we would get his dog then. He was not going to let me forget.

The next day, I headed for the placement office to get the information from the Cedar Vale card. I wrote a letter that day to Ed Treadway, superintendent. It was probably 2 to 3 weeks later that I met Mr Treadway. I remember wearing my very best black mini skirt (minis were all I had, it was the style). It was a beautiful spring day. After he and I talked, he took me around town to meet some of the board members. He said we would run into them. Nothing formal, I liked that just fine. I met Mr and Mrs Snyder, that they were the cutest couple I had ever seen. She was so small, he was so tall. We went to the Hill Top (I think that was the name) and met people who were there. There was a guy about my age at the bar eating, I noticed he turned to look at me. The thought that went through my mind, at least there is someone my age here, had not seen any yet. Then Mr Treadway showed me some houses that were available. I had always loved cape cod houses, and there was one. It was on a dirt road, a road that actually went north and south. I headed back that afternoon to Pittsburg, could not wait to tell John. We had a house, a job, and a town to live in. All in a days work.

We moved into the house in August of 1969, adopted a dog in Wichita, and unpacked. We were ready to start a new life. We were ready to make new friends. We on our way to make memories that would last us a life time. We would leave Cedar Vale, eventually, with sadness, with a new last name, and a new baby sister. The time in between, was priceless. The people we came to know where wonderful. My little boy ran free and safe, and grew, in a little town that was hard to find on a map, but was found by the love my Uncle had for Kansas, and I firmly believe the love of a high power. We would not change it or want to. We can tell people, we lived in Cedar Vale, Kansas. The prettiest place in Kansas.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Have You Ever Been Lonely? Really lonely? As I have lived most of my life as a single man, I've had plenty of chances to feel lonely. Usually I've had friends or family around and I'm not a negative complainer (my analysis).

In 1975 I made a solo trip around the world and it was a wonderful experience overall, but a couple of times I found myself wondering--"Why am I here" or "This is an awful situation" I arrived in Istanbul, Turkey mid winter, icy cold, and snow swirling. I stayed in a cheap hotel (of course) with very little heat. I could not identify with the natives and the language barrier was formidable. "This is an awful situation". Later that year I landed in Seoul, Korea. All over Asia--Thailand, Phillipines, Burma, Hong Kong, Japan, and Rep. of China--I got lots of smiles and interest, but not Korea. Maybe it is because the G Is were there in great numbers a decade before. Anyway the only very friendly people were shills trying to run some con on a tourist. "What am I doing here?"

These times were candidates for most lonesome, but another time and place was the obvious winner. My lonesomest time was New Years Eve in 1956. The Place--Paris, France. Uncle Sam had called me to active duty in the Air Force earlier in the year after my graduation from Vet School. I was shipped to my duty station in Chateauroux, France. I made friends, and was enjoying this new place--just having a ball. Then Christmas came. The first one that must spend away from home. It was tough, I had friends but I needed family. A few days later here came the New Year. I resolved to go to Paris and live it up. Just me--I'd make the Frenchmen like me. I settled on the left bank and started circulating, trying to find an interesting venue. I still don't know how the French celebrate the new year, I only know when the countdown came I was in a dismal tavern, knew nobody, and no one cared. I just went back to my hotel defeated and head bowed. A very low point for sure. From then on things looked up. I thoroughly enjoyed my three years in France and my year in Paris.

Now I've let you into a private place in my life (defeat isn't easy to admit)so now let me hear a few comments about your low point/lonely time.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

K.U./M.U. Basketball...and Football

Having seen K.U. trounce the "terrible" basketball M.U. Tigers today, memories surface on past basketball games! I remember sitting with Phil and Pat Foust, in their kitchen, listening to a K-State/K.U. game. It went down to the "wire!" Can't remember who won, but I was exhausted at the end of the game! We were playing some kind of cards. Can't remember if the cards were "kind" or not! Knowing Phil and Pat, I know they must have been "kind!"

I remember Hubert Cox listening to the K.U. football games in the "hardware store" at Adams Mercantile Company. Passing by the radio, I would hear the roar of the crowd, letting me know that someone had done something! And, who was the guy that worked in the hardware store, who was a former truck driver... a relative of Virgil Hill! And, what was Virgil's "nickname?" Oh, I remember. It was "Squirrelly!" He sold cars, didn't he? I just remember that this "former truck driver/owner" was a fine singer! He would sing along with the radio when the business was slow! (This guy and Jess Foster owned trucking companies.)

Talked long enough. A K.U. win will do that for me! And you know what, I would love to see the Cedar Vale Broncos play a game! Just to put on the "purple and gold" again would be next best thing to putting it on "the colors" and shooting some hoops!! That would be special!!!!!