Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tomorrow is Memorial Day

It's after 10:00 p.m. Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Florists have been called. "Same placement as last year?", they said. "Yes, that would be fine and thanks for taking care of them and me, once again," came the reply. And I added, "Could you use yellow flowers this year, as last year I think it was red?" Somehow, the flowers didn't seem enough. I put down the phone and thought of my parents, the memories of them, the "forget-me-nots" they left.

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:

"I've been places, some o'r and o'r, to see what others have done before,
Yet, Cedar Vale, here, on your special lot, none can compare to your "forget-me-nots!"
Tomorrow, Memorial Day will be commemorated in many different ways. Yet, the words from "TAPS" brings it all home....
"Day is done...gone the sun..from the hills, from the lakes, from the skies,
All is well, safely rest. God is nigh............"
May all of you be well and may rest fill your soul until we meet again...

Sunday, May 23, 2010


After graduating with the CV class of 1956 I attended Arkansas City Junior College (Juco). The first year of Juco, classmates Gordon Thompson, Maurice White and I shared an apartment over a garage a few blocks from the college. My second year my folks sold the farm and moved to Ark City and I stayed with them.
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


Susan Shaff has reminded us that next month will mark the 35th anniversary of the tornado that caused devastation and injuries in Cedar Vale. She thinks (and I agree)
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

Random Memories of a Young Boy from 40's

As a very young farm lad I remember:
  • 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.
These really were the "good old days"! I'll post more later, but what do you remember ?? Don't be shy! And please, enjoy every day.