Saturday, December 25, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I remember the Christmas we had at the church. Someone cut down a tree from Lookout Mountain. It graced our sanctuary. Baubles and bulbs be-dececked its branches. We gathered together. How I wish that we would do that, right now. We sang songs. We became one. I think, that people, other than Methodists, came to join in! We loved that time. We loved being together. We loved being in a special moment in our lives.
We loved Charlie Cable, encouraging us to sing the hymns of Christmas~! I will never forget Shirley and Bob Brown's son, playing "Silent Night," in a country-version, that will never be forgotten! I still see him. Still hear him play. God must have sat back and said, "All is well!"
I wish you a Merry Christmas. I wish you a time.....a time to sit back, relax, and know that Santa is still around....whether you've been naughty or nice....and he's leaving something under your tree...something that says, "Aren't you're glad you're CV?????!!!!! YESSSSSSSSSS!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
School had been in session for a couple of months. I remember being "sent" to school, my picture being taken of me in my new jeans, rolled up at the cuff, and looking like I had no idea of what was to become! I can not believe I was ever that young! I do remember hearing the cicadas singing their songs and knowing that school was not far along. Seems like I had a geography book...before school even started, and to tell you the truth, I have been trying to find myself ever since!
Looking back, as I often do, I wish I had added strength to all that was presented to me. As Brando once said, "I could have been a contender!" Well, Cedar Vale gave me the chance to be a "contender!" I often failed. Once in a while, I won the round. Just wish I could stir up that recipe that Cedar Vale gave me and come up with a menu that would nourish those who have had their pictures taken on their "first day of school," and know that you, my dear friend, have all of the world before you, but never forget the world from whence you came!
The day after tomorrow will be November! May it be the beginning of the best days of your life! In the meantime, say, at 10:00 p.m. at night, say a prayer of thanks to Cedar Vale, its beginning ....... that will never end.................
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Grass seemed to dry up. There was a smell in the air. A giving up......... and a going to.
Then, a scene, I remember, of ranchers coming to town, to the pump, to get water, for their livelihood. The pump was stationed in the middle of town. Between the lumber yard and Church of Christ Church. Pick-ups and other kinds of trucks would mosie up to the pump, get their fill and move off, to secure another day of meal and moisture for the cattle awaiting. Such a communal thing. Everyone was welcome to the water! Don't know whether they had to pay for the water. And, if that was a fact, it was worth paying for!
Octobers in Cedar Vale were special. A time to re-seed. A time to make more of what we were.
A time to remember merchants jaunting off their steps, to give to farmers, ranchers, and city-folk, all they wanted, and more.
I think that if I ever had the chance, to re-live a lifetime, I'd pick an October in Cedar Vale!
Friday, September 10, 2010
As wonderful as was the night, more wonderful the morning! Don't know when I became awake.
A beam of light from somewhere, I guess. No alarm clocks. You just knew it was time to get up!
You gathered up your sheet....and your cot, and headed for the house. A certain sadness filled that moment. It seemed that business as usual was beginning, when a business that was unusal was ending! Didn't want it to end! Yet, there it was...the sun, and the signal to begin!
Why am I writing this? Because I wish that I had slept more, out under the stars, with the cicadas rubbing their wings together, with all those I hold near and dear. Yes, a few camping trips accomplished this. But, it was being with my Dad, those Cedar Vale cicadas, the rustling sycamore leaves, and the shooting stars that crossed over in the night, that made THOSE NIGHTS SPECIAL!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
If you never knew Bob, you never knew Clarence! He would say, "Have you heard that boy play that horn? He's going to be somebody! " I can't describe the look, the posture in Clarence's eyes, as he extolled about Bob. His boy was special. Clarence knew it. Through him, we knew it.
Today, we smell the smells of a corner filling station. We feel the metal hitting metal as rims are loosed from their tires. You smell the little grinding motor, that sharpened the blades of your lawn mower. You saw a hoist, lifting up, yet another vehicle, in need of of soothing.
The sycamore trees shed their leaves, each year, I suppose. They were next to the "service station" that served us, in so many ways. That we should shed our leaves so easily.
So, Bob, as I write these words, I see you smiling! And, I hear you say, "It all started there, with a love that no one can comprehend. Yet, it was there....and you are here....and together, we will
be a band....a Beggs Band....and we will play wherever tunes need to be played!
Just wish I could hear those sycamore trees rustling. Just to feel the "pop" in my glove, when Kenny "threw it in." Just to smell the oil, that makes things run. Just to know that Bob is in a place where life returns to music....and know we are all the better for it!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
PEABODY — Robert Eugene Marshall, 63, of Peabody, died July 28, 2010.
Services will be 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Peabody United Methodist Church. Stephen Humber and the Rev. David Ragland will officiate. Arrangements are by Baker Funeral Home, 114 N. Sycamore St., Peabody, KS 66866.
A celebration of life will be held after the memorial service concludes at the Marshall Warehouse lawn on S. Walnut in Peabody. The family would like to extend an invitation to all family and friends to join them.
Memorials are to the Robert Marshall Music Scholarship administered by the Senseney Music Foundation, Peabody Main Street Association, Peabody, KS 66866.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Well, the beautiful ladies threw their shoes. I followed Jan's shoe to the heap before me. When the master of ceremonies said, "Go get their shoe,!" I raced to the exact spot where I knew Jan's shoe had fallen! I grabbed it up, curious that others had not seen the flight of her shoe! I proudly grabbed the shoe and took it to its owner!
When happened next, will remain one of the low cycles of my life. Jan took the shoe, but her heart wasn't in it! I knew it. She knew it. We danced the first dance. That's about all there was to it.
To this day, I remember the valuable lesson I learned that day, "If the shoe fits, wear it....but if somebody doesn't want to wear that shoe.....leave it be!
Monday, July 19, 2010
One story turns into stories. Sliding down a hill, next to the carpenter's house, who lived on the hill. His first name was Lon. Anyone remember his last name?
In the winter, sliding down that hill, under the barbed wire, and into the field of beyond! I think it was the "getting up" that I remember, facing a long trek, back to to the top! But, what a ride on the way down! Ducking down to avoid the barbed wire! Ducking down to see how far I could go!
Well, I've ducked a few barbed wires. And, saw how far I could go! Yet, I never went further, than that "Cable-hill" run! That was it! How I loved the bumps and bruises. How I loved to see how far I could go into the Beuchles's (sp?) corn field~!!!!
Just one of many stories. Tell me yours. Time is short. Tell us yours!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Now comes this nostalgic menu from Iris. Did you ever get to voyage to Ark City, Winfield, Independence, or our nearby cities when you were youthful? Maybe you even got to order something at the Woolworth Lunch Counter.
"I'll have the Super Banana Split and a coffee please", that should leave tip money from a half dollar.
Friday, July 2, 2010
OK Don and Don, I’m taking the challenge to write about one of my pets as a child growing up in CV. His name was Tom and we called him Old Tom as he aged.
Tom was an orange tabby cat of the male persuasion. He had rough “targets” in orange against a white background on both sides. He was a big, strong cat that had never been neutered (we didn’t even think about such things in the 1940s).
Tom was the scourge of all the cats in the neighborhood. If one dared to enter his domain he or she would get a sound drubbing from Tom. Tom was a great hunter and we would be presented with dead birds or dead mice on our doorstep from time to time. These were his trophies and he was justly proud of them.
To say that he was MY cat would be to overstate the case. We were his humans and he let us live in his house so long as we provided a steady supply of food, water, and an occasional bowl of milk. Tom would jump up on our laps to be petted when it suited him, and otherwise he could be found napping most of the day in a spot of sunlight.
Tom needed his sleep because the nights were his prowling time. We never knew what he did or where he went at night. Gradually, over the years, he acquired more and more scars. His nose was a mass of healed scratches and his coat was threadbare in places where there had been more serious injuries. He limped on one front paw, which was missing two toes. He would sometimes be gone for several days at a time and we more than once gave him up for dead, only to find him lying outside the door too weak to make a sound.
I would nurse him back to health and he would return to his tomcat ways. Finally, there came the day when he was gone for nearly a week. When we found him outside the door he was barely breathing. I put him on his blanket and tried to get some water into him, but it was no use. Tom breathed his last and expired in peace. I wrapped him in his blanket and made a grave for him in the back yard. A small stone marked that spot and I would often look out there and remember my fearless friend.
I had other pets as I grew older, but none had quite the personality and zest for living dangerously as Old Tom. Perhaps that was a lesson that I learned from him. I’ve traveled far and wide over the world and consider myself more or less a nomad in my old age. I like to think that Tom would be proud.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Charlie Cable told my folks that a dog had appeared on his doorstep. Nice dog. Wondered if Don would like a dog. Of course, Don wanted a dog, that dog! Years before, Don had read a little "Bantam Book" entitled, Rusty. He was a red dog...and a fine one at that! I can still see the pictures of him, even the ones of him jumping over fences to goodness knows where! So, Rusty was my first dog's name. Loved that dog. Still do. He was kind of burnt orange all over, with a white patch on his chest! He had a face that needed no words to convey what he was thinking! Most of the time we thought the same things. Goin' runnin'. Goin' to the dam. Swimming in the river. Sharing many thoughts. Most of them too cerebral for me to understand.
He would greet me at the lumber yard, where my Dad worked, as I came home from school. They said he knew just when I'd be coming home....and he'd be there. God, what a friend!
Well, one day, we were walking to town, and a car came by. Why he was in the street, I'll never know. He was hit. He crawled to the front door of the pool hall. He crouched in pain. I reached to him. He snapped. Had never done that before. Shortly after that, he died. Several people surrounded us. I don't know who it was, maybe Woody Oliver, that picked him up, put him on his flat bed and took us home. I dug a hole in our backyard. Buried him there. Got a piece of lumber and carved his name on it. Drove it into the ground.
Never got another dog in Cedar Vale. My grief reached feelings I had never felt before and seldom since. It was like a whole chapter of my life had been torn away. And, it wasn't that I didn't want another dog, it was just that I didn't want anyone, or any dog, to be as close to me as Rusty had been.
Be it known that I've had many other dogs. Rusty was the first. Rusty was the best. Along with Jasper, Curtsey, Tallulah, Winston, A-Jay and Nellie!
Monday, June 21, 2010
It's what happened between his walk down the hill and back up the hill that intrigued me as a young lad. I would visit Harve, at his blacksmith shop. Watch him pump up the coals with a long, curved foot pedal, until they were white-hot! Into those coals, he would put horseshoes, plows, branding irons, and other ranch/farm implements. Those branding irons. Harve customed-made several! He stamped those brands on long 2x8 boards, nailed to the wall. I recall seeing "Rocking Chairs, Lazy 8's, Circles, Bars, and Horseshoe shapes. Wish I had taken a picture of them. Even better, wouldn't it be something to know what ranches/farms they represented? As a side note, I remember the "hissing" sound, as Harve put red-hot metal into that wooden water trough~~! Steam would rise! How wonderful! Horses would be "shoed" right there in the shop... Harve would drive those horseshoe nails right through the horses' hoofs, seldom getting a negative reation! Some of us kids would take horseshoe nails and fashion them into a ring, worn when we knew "an enemy" was approaching!
The floor of the blacksmith shop. It was black! Soot black! To my knowledge, Harve never once swept the floor! Then, there was the time when I found a piece of chalk and wrote "Harve Barger" on one of his storage cabinets. Later on, Harve once said, "Don, remember when you wrote my name on that cabinet? "Yes," I confessed! He said, "Well, you know, that's been very useful to me. When people come in and say, "How do you want your check to be made out?" I'd say, "See that name on the cabinet, THAT'LL DO!" I tell you, I still get a "chill" out of telling that story! It means so much to me because, I'd like to think, it meant a lot to Harve!
Harve was short in stature, yet he work ethic and kind words to a little red-headed kid, took the word, STATURE, to an entirely new dimension!
Thanks, Harve, for keeping the memory fires a'burning!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Once upon a "marching-band" time, I had selected excerpts from "1812" as part of our half-time show. Even had a bass drum next to the mike in the press box to heighten the sound of the cannon! And, at the suggestion of one of my stalwart band members, we decided to have a "small" fireworks display at the northeast corner of the field, during the "cannon firing!"
All was going well. The crowd oohed and aahed at the visual and the audio! However, the oohing and aahing suddenly stopped, as it became apparent that the northeast corner was ON FIRE! Hoses, fire extinguishers, and other water-emanating devices were used to douse the fire! At last, it was under control, just as the football team arrived on the field for the second half. To say the coaches were not pleased, would not totally capture this incendiary moment!
Conclusion to story: The coaches did not forget what had happened to their hallowed ground. On the following Monday, while the band was standing at attention, in block formation, for the roll count, the coaches turned on the entire sprinkling system!!!!! Yes, we were dampened....but not our spirits! However, in future performances of "1812," we used just the drum!!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I'll chime in just to let everyone know I'm "awake" in Panama. Please leave a comment about this and Gary or I will see, approve, and post it. Thanks, Jay (J.D.) Mills
Saturday, June 5, 2010
My Dad was a lumberman. He was more than that. I learn from him, to this very day. Our arrival was not euphoria. Mom wisted for her former home while Dad seemed to welcome our new home! I had my own bedroom! The folks had theirs! I remember that the only tub, was the one we had upstairs! (For those of you of poetic bent, notice the rhyme! :) ) Well, we lived there, opulence it seemed~! We even had a fireplace! And, a "spare" bedroom for those who might visit! I remember a Church of Christ Revival, and the evangelist, who stayed at our home. He was one of those fellows who became "family" real quick! I remember, when he left, my mom and I went into the room where he slept, and there, on the pillow, was a cardboard card. He had left a note for us. I'd give a dollar or two to have that card. I just remember that he said "THANK YOU," in words I still remember. He signed his name. Proof enough for me.
Well, I ambled on here long enough! I have tales to tell..and eventually, I'll tell those tales! Just know that when the cicadas begin to sing their song, I long to be where I belong,
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I remember words my dad wrote in my "little autograph book" when I was a young lad!: "I've read these pages o'r and o'r, to see what others have written before, and here upon this vacant spot, I write the words, "FORGET ME NOT!"
Space will not suffice for all the "forget-me-nots" that Cedar Vale has given to my life. Looking through my mother's old albums, caused memories to abound...and realizing again, how rich that life was. And so, I close with these words:
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Wife Nancy (Hankins) (also class of 56), along with classmates Linda Archer and Elizabeth Robinson attended Colorado Woman’s College in Denver. The second year Elizabeth transferred to KU, Nancy got a job working for Bell Telephone in Wichita and Linda attended Colorado Woman’s College.
A week after graduating from Juco in 58, Nancy and I were married. I got a clerical job working for a retail brick company at $1.25 and hour and after 30 days got a 5-cent an hour raise. I thought this corporate world is great, sure beats farming. The master plan was Nancy was going to continue working, I was going to work part time and go to Wichita University full time.
When it was time to enroll for the fall semester, I came home one evening and Nancy said, “I went to the doctor today and Daddy we better talk”. When I was 13 or 14 years old, baling hay on a Kansas hot, humid, suffocating, sweaty day, I vowed that I wasn’t going to be a farmer. I was going to go to college and learn to do something else. Not to be deterred from this vow, thus started five years of night school while working full time.
With Marvin Cable, (Cable Chevrolet) and Vera Sheldon (office manager) attesting to my “good character”, I went to work for General Motors Acceptance Corp. (GMAC) the auto financing division of General Motors. I had the “ highly respectable and stressful position” of being in charge of the mail and stock room. I picked up the mail each morning from the post office, opened, sorted and distributed it. In the afternoon I delivered the out going mail to the post office, but I had a company car I got to drive home, WOW.
In the 5+ years I worked for GMAC, I got “promoted” from being mail boy and did various other clerical jobs, however the greatest benefit was they had an educational program and which paid my college titution.
After five years and two daughters, I did get my BA degree, with an accounting major. Not desiring to sit behind a desk all day, I interviewed at Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita. The job was for someone with an accounting background to travel the US and assist Cessna Dealers with accounting and management problems. As a youth I had always thought by being a truck driver one could travel and see our great country, so this job sounded great to me and I would not be a “desk job.”
On my second interview I was offered the position. Upon my acceptance, the gentleman that had offered me the job said, “By the way, since you will be traveling, we will teach you to fly our company airplanes, do you like to fly”?
Being a poor Kansas farm boy, I had never had aspirations of being a pilot and had never been in an airplane, but I responded, “ I love flying”. Thus started the opportunity to visit every state in the US as well as Canada and Mexico. The theory for the job was by assisting and hopefully helping the Dealers to be better managers, they would be more profitable and buy more airplanes. I can’t say in reality that this theory was ever proven to be valid. In the nine years I worked for Cessna, it did however give me the opportunity to work in a growing and exciting industry. It provided me the best education and training possible in being a Cessna Dealer for the next 24 years in Monterey, California. A book could be written on the experiences of those years.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
that we should use our blogspot to recount where we were and how it affected us etc. This could be as a comment to this entry or you could make a new entry.
June 1975--I was in Asia on my odyssey around the world, but the news reached me and of course I worried about the home folks. I stretched my budget to make and international phone call to confirm that my family was OK. I think I went into one of those phone offices which held several booths and a resident operator who would make the connection for you. I believe it was Manila. How things have changed!! When I returned to CV some months later I was saddened to see how the older trees had suffered.
Sooo--- where were you?
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
- Hot summer nights on the farm and everyone sleeping outside on mattresses thrown up on a flat wagons. I thought it was great fun when I was 4 or 5 years old.
- Cold winter days with snow that the team of mules had trouble pulling the feed wagon through to get to the cattle. But, making the snowman in the front yard was great fun when I was 5 or 6!
- Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners when grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins all got together and I thought that we had the best food of the year.
- Rationing of gasoline and many other items during WWII. I was so young that about all I remember is the coupon books with ration stamps.
- Riding out with real cowboys as they went out to round up or "work" cattle. And, going to the fields with the farm "hands" when they were planting and harvesting the crops.
- Swimming with the men in the creek after a hot day of harvesting in the summer - no suits needed.
- Unannounced, but always welcome visits from relatives and family friends. And, always neighbors helping neighbors.
- Complete and hardy dinners (lunch) served by my mother and helpers to the men in the fields, or miles away at the Hoosier railroad yard, so that the men could get right back to work.
- Studying the book of Revelations in Sunday School and being frightened "half-to-death" as a young lad. I was 6 or 7 I think.
- Visiting the one-room school on the hill at Round Mound before I was old enough to go to school. It was on the county-line road 3 or 4 miles ? north of the highway. Some of the older boys at the school made long white balloons our of something else. The school closed and I began my schooling in Cedar Vale instead.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I do remember a few days later, he had a cast on and was using crutches. Early one morning, looking at our hay meadow, I saw a least three teams, pulling hay mowers and cutting the grass in our meadow. One of the teams was our closest neighbor, Clarence Westbrook, (Norma Knowles father, Jolene Sartin, (Westbrook) grandfather) one team was mules, which would have been Earl Coil, (Maxine Coil’s, class of 56, Dad) and the other was probably Ed Foltz. Seeing neighbors willing to pitch in and help other neighbors in time of need, left a lasting impression on this young mind. They volunteered their help, expecting nothing in return. They and I am sure other neighbor’s helped, mowing the meadow, raking, bucking and stacking the hay. All this was done with horse and manpower.
As I recall my first job in the haying process, was bucking the hay. After the grass was mowed, it was left to dry (cure) for a few days. It was then raked into wind rows, a long line of raked dry grass. It would then be bucked to the haystack. The buck was configured different than most other horse drawn implements. The buck was probably 10 to 12 feet wide. It had wooden runners, sometimes with metal attachments on the tips. The runners were a few inches apart. On each side of the row of runners was a tongue that was attached to the harness of a horse. A seat was on the back and in the middle of the buck. The person sitting on the seat held a harness rein from each horse. By pulling on the left or right rein, would guide the horses in the direction you wanted to go.
By directing the horses down a wind row, the hay would accumulate as the runners sled along on the ground. Sometimes the runners would hit a partially imbedded rock, causing the back of the buck to flip up, unseating the person on the seat.
When there was a full load of hay on the buck, the horses would be driven to the place where they were stacking the hay. By backing the horse up, the load of hay would be left by the stack. The hay would be pitched up on the stack by using pitchforks. Someone on the stack would place the hay around the top of the stack, building it higher and higher, thus the name “hay stack”.
We switched from stacking hay to baling hay. The first hay baler was long and heavy. (Time has faded my memory of the names of many of the baler components.) It had iron wheels and horsepower was used to move and operate it. The baler was centrally located in the hay meadow. The iron wheels where removed with the baler setting on the axels. The front of the baler had a long metal guide that was low enough for horse to step over. Inside the guide was a long metal rod that was attached to a plunger that pushed the hay through the baler. A team of horses was hooked to a metal rod with the horses walking in a circle. The metal rod in the guide was geared so that the rod would go back and forth, pushing the plunger in and pulling it out.
My job was bucking hay to the baler. A pitchfork was used to pitch the hay into a wide funnel shaped opening. A “horse head shaped part” was geared and attached to the rod that pushed and pulled the plunger in and out. When the “horse head” went up, a pitchfork of hay was placed in the opening. When the “horse head” came down it pushed the hay in front of the plunger, which compressed and pushed the hay through the back of the baler. The placing of a wooden block separated the bales. The wooden block was placed in a holder. A part of the “horse head” was a v-shaped metal piece that when the “horse head” came down, if a block was in the holder, the block would be pushed down, dividing the hay into bales.
The back of the baler had an upper and lower guide, the distance being the width of the bale. The length was the length of two to three bales. The compressed hay being pushed through the back was open on each side. The wooden block had two grooves on each side. A person sat on each side of the baler. Baling wire, with an eye on one end and cut to the length of a bale, came in a tube. The person (1) sitting on the left pulled the wire out of the tube, placing the end of the wire without the eye through the grooves in the wooden block. The person (2) on the other side placed and pushed the wire through the block grooves on the other end of the bale. Person (1) would place the wire end through the wire eye and wrap it around the wire “tying” the bale. The tied bales were pushed out the back of the baler and another person stacked the bales, which were placed on a horse drawn trailer and hauled to the barn. This haying process was as labor intensive as stacking but much more convenient for feeding.
The next haying method I recall was the transition from horsepower to tractor power. Many of the horse drawn implements were converted to be pulled by a tractor, The tongue was cut down to be shorter and attachments bolted to the tongue that would enable the implement to be hooked to the draw bar of the tractor. The hay mower and rake were adapted to be pulled by the tractor.
The major change was the tractor drawn hay baler would pick up the hay in the wind row. This eliminated the hay bucking process. The first tractor drawn baler I remember, still required two men sitting on seats on the rear of the baler, tying the bales. The bales coming out the back of the baler would be scattered around the meadow. Sometimes a wooden sled would be attached to the rear of the baler. A man would ride on the sled and stack the bales on the sled. The sled had an open space in the middle, running the length of the sled. When several bales were stacked on the sled, a crow bar would be stuck into the ground through the open sled space, causing the bales to be slid off the rear of the sled. The many small stacks of bales scattered around the meadow would be picked up with a trailer and hauled to the barn. I also recall a trailer being attached to the rear of the baler and the bales stacked on the trailer.
Near the end of my “haying days”, we acquired mowers; win row rakes and self-tying balers designed for tractors. In a time period of less than ten years the haying process drastically changed. From labor intensive to a one-man operation.
While growing up on a farm I never appreciated the farm life and my ambition was “not to be a farmer”. In retrospect I am very thankful that I was raised on a farm. During my farm youth, I had the honor of being in the presence and observing two great men. One was my Dad, Cecil Metcalf and my uncle Art Metcalf. (Father of Artie and Wayne). Together they rented farmland, purchased equipment, helped each other and had great respect for one another. I never heard a derogatory comment, a disagreement, or foul language. To my knowledge they never tried tobacco or alcohol. They were the most honest and moral men I have had the privilege to know. Great role models.
Monday, April 19, 2010
AT SEA, PHILIPPINES, 30 JUNE 1975
For 31 days now I have enjoyed hospitality Philippine style. To say the people are hospitable is an understatement. They are downright aggressive about it sometimes. Most of the populace instinctively like Americans (legacy from WWII) and English is one of the official languages.
Only a very churlish and rude recluse could avoid friendships here. If there is one out standing problem here, it is finding some solitude when you need it. It seems an insult to the national pride if any visitor is left alone. In this sense they are like the Thais, but at least there is usually a language barrier in Thailand which can be handy at times. Here one is engaged in conversation at street corners, restaurants, mens rooms, and even in the movies. By the second sentence they want to know your home, marital status, jobs, etc. More often than not the questioning will turn to politics- "What do you think of our country?, our martial law?. Do you like our women?, and from there to very personal prying which in rural Kansas you could accept from family or very long time friends. I've learned to expect it and I have my answers prepared. Some of them evasive and some outright falsehoods, but not malicious I hope.
I've also learned that when asked where I am staying it is best to lie unless I want unwanted telephone calls, or worse yet, people knocking unexpectedly at the door. I've had casual acquaintances wait for hours in the hotel lobby to catch me as I come in.
Much of this lavish and ego flattering attention no doubts stems from the urgent desire of more than half of the people-especially the young ones-to get to the U.S.A. Generally speaking they are very poor-really-and there is very little hope of a decent job for them here. As a result they want friends or sponsors in the States to help them enter. Lots of them are worthy and would be the lowliest type of menial servant for a ticket to USA, room, board and a some pocket money. Most of them know someone who has "made it" as a houseboy, nanny, or maid usually on a one o two year contract basis after which they are supposed to return home.
The Spanish era here has left a legacy of Catholicism with the exception of of the large Muslim minority mostly in the South, Mindanao and the Sula archipelago. The brown skinned, smiling people with their Christian heritage remind me a lot of Mexico. Of course in climate and physiognomy it is more like Thailand but Thailand is Buddhist with a Muslim minority.
My time here has been in Manila primarily, but I have made two side trips. The first was a bus trip of 7 hours to Baguio City in the mountains to the north of Luzon. The temperature is about 10 degrees cooler there and that was a VERY welcome change. The road up to the city is hairaising with switchbacks and sheer drops. It is an area of active mining, mostly copper. Also in the area are the famous rice terraces on the mountainsides-considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World. I had a decent but spartan room for 10 pesos ($1.40). Unfortunately I also had indigestion.
The wonder is not that I had the upset, but that I haven't had it sooner and more often. I have eaten so many so many new things in questionable places for the last 7months that I consider myself lucky for having had very little trouble. The upset moderated to simple diarrhea after 18 hours and with tetracycline and kaopectate finally disappeared after 4 days. I will say that the bus trip back to Manila was one I'd like to forget.
Other daytrips out of Manila were to Antipolo, a shrine and hill resort one hour from Manila, and to Pompanos State. I went to Pampanga at the invitation of two youngsters who had befriended me. Naturally they are are on the list of hopeful houseboys. I was very interested to visit their homes, one of which was little more than a Nipa hut (on stilts). I was served a lunch of fried rice and especially for the occasion they opened a can of pork and beans. The respective families were quite thrilled to host a foreigner, but I was embarrassed to accept their hospitality as they live at absolute poverty level. To serve iced Coke is a big thing for them but they did it. I was invited to spend the night, but instead caught the bus back to the city.
Not far from the hotel in Manila is a shop selling custom made shoes. I bought a pair and the shop manager (a fifty something widower with four sons)has adopted me. I must stop and visit there everyday at least once. I also was invited and accepted an invite to his birthday party in Marikina (a suburb). He has a tiny house of two rooms where five family members and two boarders stay. There were at least 50 guests at on time or another in the tiny place and I was the honored one. Everyone made sure I was served first, had the best chair, etc etc. Again I was embarrassed but couldn't change it. As there is a nationwide curfew of 1 A.M. it became too late for me to return to the city so I spent the night there. Two sons were relegated to the floor so I could have their bed. The bed was a plywood platform and that's it-no mattress only a mosquito net. I got very little sleep because of the heat and my hip bones were sore for days afterward from the hard slab. Such softies we westerners are!! I was invited repeatedly to move in there and save my hotel money. I'd love saving the money, but with those accommodations I might not survive long. I would judge them typical for lower middle class families.
Speaking of accommodations: Hotel prices in Manila have skyrocketed. The guide book I carry lists 1972 prices and in most cases they have tripled. I have tried three different hotels in Manila and find that the Merchants Hotel is the least I can accept. The rate is 50 pesos ($7.00) a day. In 1972 it was $2.50. It is listed as best value and I guess it still is although not the bargain a a few years back.
Other cheaper places are unsuitable for either cleanliness or facilities or both. Outside Manila the same category would be about 20 pesos or less than one half.
In the city walk and browse and I make a trip every other day to the American Express office to check for mail. There are many movies and they are cheap-50 to 75 cents-so I often go, as much to escape the midday heat as anything else. Though most of old Manila is crowded and dirty, there is a magnificent park just between old and new Manila with fountains, malls, and restaurants. I go there most nights to sit and watch the people and/or hear good outdoor concerts, or maybe watch the skaters. It seems like half the city goes there and I don't blame them as it is a beautiful place and it does get cool evening breezes and of course sometimes the evening rainstorm. I is wise to duck into one of the restaurants for coffee if you see those coming.
Food is not expensive if one stays out of the tourist hotels and restaurants. Native dishes which run to noodles, rice, fish and pork can be had for 4 or 5 pesos
(70cents). Soft drinks are a dime and San Miguel beer is 20 cents. I've discovered a hotel nearby where a lunchtime buffet is served for $1.40. For this you may choose from 25 or 30 meat and fish courses and other goodies-most of them delicious. On days I go there the other meals can be snacks. One local delicacy is "belote", embryonated duck eggs boiled in salt water. Though they are supposed to cure all ills, I still don't like eating that duck fetus inside.
One landmark (plural) is the Jeepney. Basically it is an elongated Jeep converted to a minibus. Each one is gaily and imaginatively painted and is loaded with dozens of chrome knicknacks and many painted slogans. They carry about 12 persons in extreme discomfort, but the cost to ride is 3 cents. They run on a pre-set routes. They are always crowded and in rush hour you can't get on one. Each is individually owned and run as a business. They are in every city, not only Manila.
As the Philippines is a nation of islands, large and small, they have a comprehensive network of shipping by sea. Some liners are primarily for passengers and others for freight, but most carry both. My most recent trip was a sea voyage to Zamboanga City on the southern tip of Mindanao island. It is 800 miles south of Manila and the voyage took two days and two nights, but I spent the third night on the ship because of the late arrival in Zamboanga and the curfew. The fare was 112 pesos, therefore the voyage, food, and bed was less then three nights in a Manila hotel. My particular ship was a large liner carrying lots of freight and about 150 passengers. My ticket was designated "first class without cabin" (there were no cabins on the ship). Bed was a canvas cot, sheets, and a pillow on the upper deck. 2nd class slept on the upper deck but had less protein with their meal. 3rd class were on a lower deck AND got less meat. Thank Providence for plenty of catsup which made the meals edible. Although there was little to do on board, the time passed pleasantly. We were usually in sight of verdant islands and some of the many soldiers on board had brought card decks and chess sets. I played Rummy and chess with them. The locals are chess nuts and I was no match for them, but I gave them
"what for" with the card games..
Mindanao Island and the Sula archipelago to the south are home to many of the Muslims and is the site of a revolt against the central govt. I think the Muslims want autonomy. The quarrel didn't affect me and I found both the Muslims and the Christians to be most hospitable. The city itself is a busy Market and Shipping center for all the surrounding area. The Market place is a joy, right on the waterfront with bounty from the sea and local gardeners that beggers discription. Fish of every size, shape, and hue straight from the sea, or huge sweet, juicy mangoes for a nickle. A good sized fish or 4 smaller ones sell for 30 cents. The vendors are a kaleidoscope of tribal origins and dress. When a fisherman/vendor runs low on stock the Muslim boys dive right into the sea and swim to the boat to bring new stock. I went browsing at the market at least once a day.
Aside from poking around the town I went to a small offshore island or reef for swimming. The water was crystal clear and there were coral reefs and and fish aplenty. The beach was almost deserted except for some naked Muslim urchins. I also took a Jeepney to the outskirts of the little city and continued by foot into the hills on one of many footpaths. There were clean streams and dozens of washerwomen; lots of thatched huts, caribou, tropical flowers, and some of the largest and most brilliantly colored birds and insects I have ever seen. The natives were amazed to see a tourist trekking back in the hills, but uniformly friendly. At one point I traversed a swinging, trembling, suspension footbridge over a stream. The local kids were jumping and scampering on the bridge and howling with glee at my attempts to keep my balance.
Zamboanga more than any other place seems a tropical,southseas paradise. The prices are minuscule and as yet not discovered. I highly recommend it to anyone who need a change of pace. I did see some Americans who were at the local 1st class hotel with Unitours so you better hurry.
On my trip back to Manila I took the ship "Sweet Home", a fine vessel with a set schedule and a varying range of accommodations. It is mostly a passenger ship, but carries some cargo. I left on Friday night and got back to Manila on Monday afternoon. The vessel spent 16 hours in Cebu City so I explored there a bit. I had a proper cabin this time with a good bunk, four bunks to a cabin. It was air conditioned and we had meals in a real dining room. The fare was 140 pesos-still less than spending that time in Manila.
WELL THAT IS IT FOR THIS LETTER, SOME OF THESE THINGS ONE COULDN'T OR SHOULDN'T DO NOW. WHAT GREAT MEMORIES I CARRY FROM MY ADVENTURES IN THE PHILIPPINES !!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Someone in the Patteson family has come up with another photo of the little store. This looks like it could be in an anthology of America in the 30s. Nora, Walker, and young Floyd are here in the spot where the little Icehouse stood in the previous pic. I would guess this to be older--perhaps about 1939--since Floyd was born in '29. The old trumpet vine is flourishing and the quality of this pic is good enough to read some of the ads. e.g. George Washington, a grand pipe tobacco, 10 cents; or Tops cigarette papers a nickle. We see also that Cabins were available and I remember them on the downhill slope behind. Tourist "cabins" were available in those days along the nations highways--Remember them? Note the bushel basket of melons in front. Can you find other things of interest?
Sunday, March 21, 2010
I attended two universities, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. I finally received a B.S. in Radio/TV (journalism) from O.S.U. After working the the TV/radio news business for a few years I opened a retail stereo shop and then went on to start an advertising business in Stillwater, OK.
After I sold the ad business I studied professional interpersonal communication techniques and taught seminars for 3 or 4 years for direct sales organizations. I then moved to the San Francisco bay area and ended up working for 10 years in the computer industry in "Silicon Valley". I never got rich like some of the techies, but it did help my retirement savings.
In 2001 I moved to Nashville, TN to be near my daughter, her husband and their triplets who were born in January that year. In 2007 I moved to Panama and never looked back, except for family... I'm coming to that.
During those years I was married, had one child, divorced and had the same girlfriend in California for 15 + years.
Now, about living outside of the U.S. Just like old age, it ain't for sissies! If you like a set routine and expect people to behave in certain ways that you are familiar with, then you should not even consider moving outside of the states. No other culture, anywhere in the world is the same as ours. People are different, business is different and government offices are different.
However, if you like adventure and having new experiences while learning and accepting cultural differences, then living abroad can have many advantages. One of the most important reasons to live in another country to many of us is that your money goes much farther! Another can be the challenge of meeting new friends. And in my case Panama is an excellent place to pursue my two main interests, photography and ham radio.
The variety of beautiful scenes, birds and people always gives me something to take pictures of in the western highlands. And ham radio is fantastic because of the physical location of the country near both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans.
Because of the lack of "age difference" perception in couples here, many Gringos have Panamanian girl/boyfriends or wives/husbands. For me, all I want/need is a few good friends; local, gringo and in the U.S. I have posted more of my thoughts about this area of Panama on my web site, www.paradisepanama.net.
E-mail is welcome: jay (at) jaymills (dot) org
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Mary Patterson found this pic of the old "candy store" As you see, it is from the uphill side with the old High School in the middle distance. Look closely and you will see the two pumps that stood at the edge of the sidewalk and a more modern pump back against the store. I had forgotten about the little storage bldg/ice house on the uphill side til I saw this pic.
I wish we had a head on view, but this is all we could find. dfc
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I guess they also sold grocery items but I don't remember them, I must of only been interested in the candy.
A picture of the store would really be great.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Reva Sawyer just emailed me a link to this photo, which some of you may remember. We wonder where it has been all these years and who took such good care of it. Anybody know anything about the 1936 CV Firetruck? It seems to have been for sale in Wichita for around $17,000.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
R. Wayne Woodruff, M.D., 72, of Las Cruces, N.M., died of an apparent heart attack Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010, at his home in Cortland.
He was born Sept. 29, 1937, in Winfield, Kan., a son of Joseph Duane and Ina Neill Woodruff.
Wayne served as a captain in the Army medical corps during the Vietnam War.
He retired from private practice in urology in Las Cruces and was a member of United Methodist Church in Las Cruces.
Survivors include one daughter, Deborah S. Woodruff of Las Cruces; two sons, Robert W. Woodruff Jr. M.D. of Cortland and David S. Woodruff of Englewood, Colo.; six grandchildren; and one sister, Barbara Johnson of Scottsdale, Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Diana May Scott Woodruff.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at United Methodist Church in Las Cruces. Cremation was held.
Local arrangements were handled by Shafer-Winans Funeral Chapel in Cortland.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Saturday, January 2, 2010
I have put off writing this. The story of the kindness and caring of Cedar Vale people. I did not know how to start it, and I have such a difficult time typing with tears. 36 yrs later, and still it gets to me.
I have quirk. that I have found, irritates people around me. For no apparent reason, I will have an ‘urge’ to accomplish some task. It just comes over me. This feeling of something that needs to be done now, and nothing can stop me from getting it done. It started when I was young and is with me today. It always turns out that there was a reason to get that task done, then and there.
It was summer, 1972. The only future plan we had was to head to Pittsburg in August for my 10 year High School Reunion. It would be so much fun, and my parents were looking forward to having John stay with them.
On this particular day, I had nothing pressing to do. I was at the store, hanging out. Then suddenly out of no where, this ‘drive’ to get home and get the laundry done and clean and straighten the house. There was nothing pressing going on in our life that this had to be done, only my ‘feeling’ that it had to be done. I went home. I felt so silly doing all this work as if I was on a time table, I was rushing around, cleaning between loads of laundry washing and drying .. Just as I walked into the dinning room from the laundry room, the phone was ringing - I did not want to answer it, had a feeling that it was not good. I stood there frozen. Finally, I reached for the phone, I heard my Mother say in a soft voice, “Sissy Girl”. Oops, now I knew it was not good. The soft voice, the Sissy Girl, gave it away. The next words, “your Daddy’s gong to be okay”. Ok, I knew that line, it was the cover-up my Mother would use. The next line. “You and Jock need to get here as soon as possible.”
I hurried back to the store. People were standing around talking. I can not speak when I am upset, words will not come out of me. I stood there needing to tell Jock, but I couldn’t.
Doris Boone noticed me standing there. She asked me what was wrong. I burst our crying (that is what I do when I am upset, my usual pattern).
We had to get to the hospital, now. Dad was in intensive care, was all we knew at the time. But what about the store? As anyone who owns their own business knows, there are no personal days with pay. Everything around me was like I was there, yet I was not participating. I heard that Mr Goss would cut the meat, I heard the Hankins saying how they would help. Of course Doris and Perry would be there. Jock’s Aunt Stella and Nellie were there. I was hearing these people who just seem to appear at the store saying how each could help to keep the store open. Somebody was going to look after the dogs and cat.
We had clean clothes waiting for us at the house. In no time we were packed and headed for Pittsburg. While we had been at the store with everyone, my mother was on her way to the hospital after calling me, but she had a stop to make on the way; to see a couple she had known for years and went to the same church we did. Mother knocked on their door, when they answered, she told them, “I need for you to pray with me”. She told me later, that right there in their living room, the 3 of them were on their knees praying.
What we learned later, was that Daddy died in the Emergency room. Dad never told us kids, only Mother and his Doctor, that he saw what was going on in the Emergency room. He was even able to tell his Doctor what he heard the Doctor and nurses saying. He heard; “you have to go back”. Dad and his doctor were good friends, they had known each other for years and this was Daddy’s 5th heart attack. The first was in ‘57. That was a bad day in Nov for 3 little kids. My precious Auntie Florence had been staying with us while Mother was in Research Hospital for a week or so awaiting the arrival of a baby. She sat us down on Nov 7, to gently tell us, we had a baby brother, our Mother may not make it home, and Daddy had a heart attack and was at the Hospital. Mother had been preparing us, or trying, for the possibility she may not live through the pregnancy. However, the fear that went through this 13 year old child at that moment hit like a bolt of lightning. How were we going to get our baby brother back to Pittsburg, how are we going to stay together, no body was going to separate us, I pledged to myself.
Now it was 15 years later, and that fear hit me again. That baby brother was now in school. I wanted him to have his Dad longer.
Jock and I slept in the intensive care waiting room. We were allowed to see Dad for just minutes at a time. The first words Dad said, while he was still drugged, “where is my son, Jock. I want my son, Jock.” Daddy loved Jock, as much has he did his own sons. Then Daddy asked, demanded, to see John. That was a terrible decision to make. Daddy was literally fighting the staff. He wanted his grandson. John adored his Grandpa, but for an 8 year old to see his Grandpa like this would be so hard on him. It was the first time they had ever let a child go into the intensive care area. It did calm Daddy. It did leave a terrible memory for my son.
I do not remember how many days all this took place. After we were sure Daddy would be okay, we headed back to Cedar Vale.
The store stayed opened all this time with the help of Cedar Vale friends. I wish I could recall who did what, but that is no longer in my memory bank. They made what was a nightmare situation to us, better. It was such a beautiful experience. I have told people about this story in Denver, in Arkansas, in Kansas, in Florida, and in Georgia. People in 5 states know of the kindness of the people of Cedar Vale, Kansas.
My Mother’s prayers were answered. My heart was filled with joy, I had chosen the best place in the world to live. I was surrounded by wonderful people.
Friday, January 1, 2010
Names on this: N A Baker, E Z Bennett, and C W Sneed.
Susan was the wife of Jacob Lavely. Born in Ohio in 1846. Do not know her maiden name. She had 8 children between the yrs 1866 - 1884.
The first 2 were born in Iowa & Indiana respectively. The 3rd child, Florence H (Flora) was born in Cedar Vale 1872.
Maita was writing to her Nephew, Chuck Ford, on the envelope.