Posted by: patwogan | November 2, 2017

Some not So Pleasant Memories

In my last blog post I mentioned my folks divorce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my last blog I mentioned my parents divorce.  I had just completed the eighth grade at Peebler School.  I had taken the county test and scored high enough that I was named Salutatorian of Montgomery County.  I missed being Valedictorian by 2/5 of a point.  My parents were very proud of me and  I gave a speech at the eighth grade commencement exercises.

It was soon after that that I found out my parents were divorcing.  My father had fallen in love with a woman he worked with at Sinclair.  My mother was devastated. She had stayed at home a worked very hard raising a garden, milking the cows, raising chickens which she cleaned and sold to the little store in town.  In other words, she was not in the same league as the woman dad worked with.  Her self esteem was in shreds as a result of this situation.  As I look back on it I think dad always had a roving eye.  He was, however, deeply committed to the woman he had fallen in love with.  I think she was the love of his life.   He married her and they were happily married for many years.  She became my step-mother.  It took me many years to realize that my mother and dad should probably not have been married in the first place.  Mother was a very strong woman.  This is evident in the fact that she left home after the eighth grade and moved into Independence where she got a job as a housekeeper with a family for board and room so she could continue her education.  She graduated from high school and then went on to the junior college.  It was there that she ;met my dad.  They married and lived in a little house in the country..   After I was born she stayed home with me while dad went to work at Sinclair   She had as much education as he did, but at that time mothers stayed home and took care of the family.  I think they were happy while we lived in the little house across from Glencliff Dairy.

We lived there until Grandpa Hudiburg died.  Then we moved to the house across the road from Grandma so we could take care of her.  I think that when we moved there it put a strain on their marriage.  I know that at one time my mother’s Grandma moved in with us.  So we had my Dad’s Mother and my Mother’s Grandmother living basically with us.  That caused a little bit of controversy as both of these Matriarchs were used to being in their own homes and being in charge.  I would go over to Grandma’s house at night and sleep at her house so she wouldn’t be alone.  I became very close to Grandma because of this.  I just don’t think you can have three women in the same house without a few (or many) arguments.  My bedroom was above my parents and when I was home sleeping there, I would hear them quietly arguing.

I realize that I have really rambled in this blog post, but it was hard to write this and I promise I will have things better organized next time.

 

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Posted by: patwogan | November 1, 2017

It Has Been Too Long

For some reason or other I got lazy.  I have intended to write more than I have.  I need to get organized and start writing every day.  I don’t know what age my  memories stop on, but I know one I don’t think I have shared.

When we lived own the farm I had a calf of my very own.  That doesn’t mean I had to care for it, it just means that it was mine..  It was a little white-faced calf.  It was a heifer.  I used try to ride her and she always bucked me off.  She lived in the little pen that had a small shed on it.  It also had green grass which I think was wheat.  Anyway I really loved her but was never  as close to her as I was to the dogs and cats.

When the folks got a divorce, they had a farm sale and sold all the livestock.  My calf was sold to the man that used to haul cattle to Joplin to the stockyards.  I remember his first name was Dan.  Anyway when I found out that Dan had bought my calf, I just knew it was going to the stockyards to be butchered.  I had a bawling fit.  I just kept crying until Dad bought the calf back.  I know he had to pay three dollars more for it than Dan did..  I thought that was really nice of my dad.  To be honest, I don’t know what happened to the calf after that.  I am sure Dad sold it to someone else.  The thing that I now realize is that he not only had to pay three dollars more for it, but he had to pay the commission for having it sold the first time.  If I had used my head, I would have known that a heifer calf wouldn’t be sold for butchering.

The divorce was actually the end of my innocent childhood.  The sale of my calf was only  the beginning of a very difficult time in my life.

s.

Posted by: patwogan | February 20, 2017

On the Inside Looking Back

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Where have I been these last few months?  Why haven’t I been posting?  It’s because I couldn’t find my site.   Now that I have found it I want to tell you a story.

When I was eleven or so I’m not really sure of what my age was, Barnum and Bailey’s circus came to town.  At that time they traveled by train.  My Dad took me to the depot to see them unload.  First they unloaded the elephants because they used them to set up the tents.  I remember the elephants pulled on the ropes which were attached to the canvas tents.  There was a lot of yelling and general noise by their handlers.  I don’t believe they were abusing the animals but they did use long sticks with hooks on the end to move them. Maybe if I was the elephant, I would feel I was being abused.  After they set up the tents, they unloaded the other wild animals.  I especially remember tigers and lions.  I wasn’t too impressed with them as we had a zoo in Independence that had lions and tigers in it as well as monkeys and bears.

We couldn’t afford to go to the circus as it was very expensive.  We did go back that night and looked at the people who were going to perform in the side shows.  I was especially intrigued by the sword swallower.  The ladies all wore beautiful costumes and it was generally a glamorous scene.  I decided that when I grew up I would travel with the circus and become sword swallower.

The next day I practiced sword swallowing.  I got a dull kitchen knife and tipping my head back just like the circus sword swallower had done, I put the knife down my  throat;.  That is , I tried to put the knife down my throat.  I did just fine until my gag reflex kicked in.  That ended my career as a sword swallower.  What a disappointment!  No glamorous costumes, no traveling about the country, no circus career!  Another dream dashed because of my lack of ability.  At that age disappointment doesn’t last too long so I would just have to dream of some other occupation.

This year marked the end of Barnum and Bailey’s circus, but I believe the beginning of the end came when they no longer travelled by rail.  Kert and I took Kristen and Jacob to the circus when a company gave Kert tickets.  The elephants paraded by and the horse riders performed stunts, but I believe Jacob liked the motorcycles in the round cages.  That was a pretty good show by itself.

 

T

Posted by: patwogan | February 2, 2014

Civil Rights in the Forties

After I worked at Woolworth’s, I worked for a time at Wallgreen’s Drug Store in Independence.  I worked during the summer and I worked at the lunch counter.  I remember a customer who came in every morning for his breakfast.  He was some sort of “big shot” in Independence, but I don’t really know what he did.  I just remember that he always had scrambled eggs, toast, and coffee for breakfast.  He always left me a ten-cent tip.  When he died he left $80,000. to Independence for something very civic-minded.  Before you think he was a cheap-skate, just leaving me a ten-cent tip, remember I was making forty cents an hour.  

But I digress from civil rights.  While working at Walgreen’s lunch counter, I was told the store policy was not to seat negroes.  So if negroes came in for a sandwich or drink, we were to tell them that they would have to stand behind the stools to order and then I would pass their food to them there.  We also did not serve them on china or glass dishes/glasses, but on paper plates and in paper cups.   I thought nothing about this at the time as that was just the way it was.  No one ever challenged me on it.  

I lived through the Civil Rights Movement, but it was only when I watched that movie the other night that it dawned on me that I was a part of it.  I don’t know what I would have done had I been challenged like the people who staged a sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter.  I had attended integrated schools since Kindergarten.  Perhaps, just as it seemed perfectly natural to me, it must have seemed perfectly natural to the people I served.  

 

 

 

Posted by: patwogan | January 2, 2014

Carnival

Whenever a carnival came to town, it set up in a field somewhere on the west side of town.  I had a boyfriend and he asked me to go to the carnival with him.  I looked forward to going and figured we would ride on the rides, etc.  

Well, we did etc.  We went up to one of the games of chance.  If I remember correctly, it was the one where you throw the hoop over the prize you want to win.  We did that for a while and he won some dinky little prizes for me.  Then we went to the baseball pitch game.  This is the one where you knock over the milk bottles.  My boyfriend was a baseball player and thought this looked  easy.  He was in full show-off mode.  He started throwing and naturally since the game was rigged, couldn’t do it..  He kept trying and trying until he had “invested” about twelve dollars.  Now he, like me had a minimum wage part-time job as an usher at the movie theater.  I kept trying to get him to quit, but he knew he could knock those bottles down.  I really began to feel sorry for him and also thought he was a little bit dumb to spend all his money like that.  I finally told him I was leaving and I did.  I left him still trying to knock those stupid bottles down.  As I think back on it, I wasn’t very nice.  But, he was dumb!

Posted by: patwogan | January 2, 2014

New Beginnings

2014, another new year.  I wonder what it will bring.  Will this year be memorable?  Will it be better than 2013, which was pretty good…or will it be just an average year.  By the way, whatever happened to 2013.  It seems to have flown by as have the last several years.  

I once asked Old Grandpa Williams when he had turned 100, what that felt like.  He responded, ” It took a long time to get here, but as I look back, it was the blink of an eye.”  I now know what he meant.  I am 81,  and it took a long time to get here, but as I look back, it was the blink of an eye.  

It is funny what we remember of our lives.  We remember the big things, but the ones that stand out are the little mind pictures we have  of things that were seemingly unimportant.  I remember the lay-out of our house at Glencliff.  It had three windows facing the south and they had a window seat in front of them.  The kitchen was a kind of porch that was at one time screened in.  The screened in part was replaced with windows, which meant it had windows on two sides.  The back door came into the house from the south, and that was the door we used.  The central room of the house was a dining room and to the north of it was a living room.  My parents’ bedroom was off the living room.  My bedroom was east of the dining room.  I visited the house a couple of years ago, and although I did not go inside, I was somewhat surprised at how small it was.  It was the house I was born in and lived in until I was eight years old.  I know it did not have an indoor bathroom.  I know it did not have running water, unless you count the pump at the sink in the kitchen. I know we took baths in a number 2 washtub which was placed in the kitchen and filled with water heated on the stove.  We had a wood stove in the dining room and that was it for heat.  We were a little bit fancy in that we had a “government” toilet out back.  A government toilet was one that had a deep hole lined with concrete, a concrete floor and a built up seat.  It was like we see now in National Parks in the wilderness.  I do not remember using that toilet, although I am sure I did.  I do remember dropping something down it and only once did I do that, for it was “lost forever”.  There was a bucket of lime in the corner of the toilet and my parents frequently put lime in the toilet to help disintegrate the solid waste.  

A little aside here, my Mother did not have indoor plumbing until we moved to North Second Street when I was in the ninth grade.  She said she went into the bathroom, sat on the stool, and thanked God for modern plumbing.  

Perhaps this does not go with the title of new beginnings, but it was where I had my beginning.  There have been a lot of new beginnings in my life.  l went to Riley School in Independence through the third grade and then started to Peebler when my Mom and Dad moved to Great-Grandmother Hudiburg’s house across the road from Grandma.  Grandpa had died and we moved there to take care of Grandma.  That whole situation was another new beginning.  It was a great beginning of a whole new lifestyle.  It was a bigger house, a new school, and some new sleeping arrangements because I stayed the night at Grandma’s house.  It was because of this sleeping arrangement that I became very close to Grandma Hudiburg.  We slept under heavy wool comforters and on a feather bed.  Once you got into bed, there was no way you could turn over.  You were sunk in and heavily covered.  Grandma liked ghost stories, and to me the ones she told were true.  She also told me about a lot of murders that had happened in our area.  Those really were true.  I think I was really glad that I was hidden in that bed and had Grandma in there with me.

 Grandma had rheumatism….what we now call arthritis and she rubbed her joints with Absorbine Junior and Ben-Gay.  If she had a cold, she also used Vicks Vaporub.  Quite an assortments of smells.  I especially remember the Absorbine Junior.  If you, dear reader, ever get a chance to smell Absorbine Junior, you will understand why I remember it some seventy years later.  

Posted by: patwogan | November 21, 2013

Memories of Not So Long Ago

I don’t know if I have blogged about my best friend in Kindergarten or my Kindergarten experience, but here goes.  My best friend was Dion Schofield.  She lived across the street from the school in a small (most houses were small back in the day).  I thought it would be so neat to live in town.  Anyway, I do not remember ever visiting her in her house.  I honestly don’t know why she was my best friend.  I really liked her name.  At that time, I was Patty Jo.  It was a rather plain name and I thought the name Dion was glamorous.  (Now do you understand, Kathleen Dion.)

I attended Riley School even though we did not live in town.  I came to school every morning in my Daddy’s car as he went to work.  Also in the car being taken to HIgh School was a very handsome negro boy whose mother was the housekeeper for the big house at Glencliff.  She was a live-in servant and her son lived there, too.  I wish I could remember his name.  What I remember about him was that he was a star athlete in Track and Field.   I say he was Negro, but he may have been Native American.  All I remember was that he was brown.  Being a star athlete, he was also quite well built.  I had a big crush on him.  I also remember that one of the track events he participated in was the pole vault.   As far as I know, he never knew about my crush.  He was always nice to me, though, because that was who he was.

When I say I had a crush on him, I don’t mean that he was the only exclusive object of my affection.  I loved Danny Anzelmo.  He was the leader of our Kindergarten Rhythm Band.  He had a cape and a hat that had a feather on it.  He was so handsome in that uniform that it was no wonder I had a crush on him, too.  None of these crushes were significant because I was going to marry my Grandmother’s doctor, Doctor Bullock.  He had red hair and at that time I loved red hair. He had gone to school with my father but his age wasn’t a deterrent to me….neither was the fact that he was married.  As you can see, my Kindergarten romances were quite complicated, because I also loved Louie Warnock, my next door neighbor who could walk up and down stairs on his hands.  He was married, too, but I didn’t let a little thing like that stop my dreams of romance..I think I have written about his wife, Maxine, who wore high heeled Wedgies and ate argo starch.  I ate it with her.  She ate it because she was pregnant and that was something she craved…but I diverse….back to Kindergarten.

My teacher’s name was Miss Gladys Smith.  She wore her hair in a bun with finger waves in the front.  She was very business-like and I don’t recall her being very loving toward anyone in the class.  I don’t think she had a teacher’s pet, but if she did, I might have been it.  By the time school started, I had been waiting in the auditorium/gym/gathering room for quite a while.  Opening exercises consisted of Miss  Smith calling the roll, after which we said the Pledge of Allegiance. guided by the Principal over the intercom.  Then came our health inspection.  Did we have our handkerchief pinned to our clothing?  Were our fingernails clean?  Were our face and hands clean?  If it was Monday morning, we were asked if we had gone to Sunday School and church.  The answers to each of these questions were entered in the grade book.  I think the grade given was under the heading of Citizenship.  We did not necessarily learn to read in Kindergarten.  We learned the alphabet, the sounds of the letters.  Our math consisted of learning the numbers and learning to count to one hundred.  We also had story time which was slightly different from story time today.  We had to tell a story to the class, standing up in front and reciting it.  My first grade had a U for Unsatisfactory  in Story Telling.  This brought my mother to school to investigate why.  The reason was that I had not yet had an opportunity to tell a story.  My Mother got that grade changed to reflect that fact, and I soon got to tell my story and received an S for satisfactory on my grade card.  Yes, my Mother was one of “that kind of parents”.  I have mentioned that Danny Anzelmo was the leader of our rhythm band.  I played the triangle for a time and then was transferred to cymbals.  I liked the triangle, but I really liked the cymbals better.  Some people played the sticks which were hit together in rhythm if things went right.  We had uniforms with purple satin capes lined with white satin..   We wore white blouses/shirts and I know the girls wore skirts and the boys pants, but I don’t remember what color.  If my life depended on it, I would say white.. White shoes finished off our ensemble.  Oh, I forgot the hat.  It was purple and had a white feather sticking up in the front,

I remember the names of all the teachers at Riley School.  Kindergarten, Miss Smith; First Grade, Miss Lowery, Second Grade, Miss Street, Third grade, Miss Mibeck, Fourth Grade, Miss Greer, Fifth Grade, :Miss Slocum, Sixth Grade and also serving as Principal, Miss Pitts.  ( I must admit that some of the older children referred to their particular teachers as “Old Lady”. Had I ever done that, I would have been paddled at home.  We only went to school for half a day and had a rest period in that time.

At lunch time, Dad would pick me up and take me home.  I really envied Dion Schofield because she could just walk across the street and be home.

 

 

 

Posted by: patwogan | November 21, 2013

My Nieces

I had one brother who was younger than I.  I also had a sister who was much younger than I.  My little brother joined the Marine Corps after attending one year at the local community college.  He married a delightful girl and they had three children.  This blog is about two of their children, Dana Jo and Donna Joleen.

Linda came back to the town I lived in.  It was there that Dana was born.  I did the father duty of waiting in the hospital for her arrival.  Maybe that is why she is so special to me.  My son Larry couldn’t say Dana as he was about two years old, so he called her Damya.  One time Larry went to Neodesha with Grandma Sumner to spend the night.  It was a Friday and Mom was going to bring him back Saturday.  I got a call about nine o’clock Friday night.  Larry wanted to come home.  So I got in the car and drove the thirty-nine miles to Neodesha to get him.  He told me he didn’t miss me and he didn’t miss Nam ( his name for Linda) and he didn’t miss Damya but he was afraid he would miss the TV show, The Twilight Zone.

We had a cabinet in the kitchen that had a lazy susan and it was low.  If we wanted to get rid of something like cookies, or crackers, or other food, we would put it in that cabinet and the nieces would get it out and eat it.

One time Walter was home on leave and he was fixing something on the car.  He had this tarry stuff out and Joleen got into it.  She had it on her hands, her clothes, and in her hair.  They had to use kerosene or something to get it off.  I laughed at the sight and Linda informed me that it was not the least bit funny.  Dana and Joleen were at the age that they were into everything.  I remember especially that Walter kept saying Dana Dammit so much that a stranger would have thought that was her name.

My name for Dana is Dana Dearheart.  I don’t know when I started calling her that, but that is what she is to me.  Being part of a military family, they moved often.  Several times we went to visit them in various places.  I remember when Larry, Kathy, and I visited them at Quantico after Ray died.  We all went to Virginia Beach to go camping.  Linda and I wanted to camp right on the ocean, but Walter missed the turn and wouldn’t go back so we camped about a mile from the ocean.  That night we were caught in the tail end of Hurricane Agnes.  The storm lasted about four hours.  There was a lot of destruction at Quantico from that storm.  Luckily we sustained no damage.  I yelled out to Walter, did they want to come in the trailer to ride out the storm and he told me he was writing a letter to Montgomery Ward that he would send if the tent didn’t blow away.  Linda and the kids did come in the trailer to ride out the storm.  I don’t think any of us had ever been in a hurricane before.  That was quite an experience we shared.

We also shared the experience of hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The hike we took was the day after Larry’s birthday.  We had celebrated his birthday by the usual cake and ice cream plus we blew up balloons and tied them to a line we strung from two trees.  They looked quite festive.  The next morning we set out for Sky Pond.  It was a fairly long hike.  I took a wild flower book with me and whenever I wanted to rest, I would find a flower and say I had to find it in the book so I could classify it.  When we finally got to Sky Pond, Linda and I jokingly plotted that maybe one of us could break a leg and when the helicopter came to take the injured person down, the other one could go for comfort.  It was a beautiful hike.  When we came down, all the air had gone out of the balloons and they looked as droopy as we did.  By the time of this hike, I had married Kert and Kristen was a little baby.  We had set the playpen up at the campsite and she kept reaching out a getting the dusty dirt.  Her nickname at that time was Grubby Gertie.  Kert carried her up the mountain in a back pack like carrier.  Kathy got her feet wet in the snow at the top of the mountain and Kert had to carry her down.  Walter carried Kristen down.

I titled this post My Nieces and it is mostly about memories I have of times with them and the rest of the family.  I will write another post about our experience tubing in Colorado with my brother’s family.  I know I have rambled in this post, but these are some of the memories that came to me as I wrote.  Please forgive the rambling.

Posted by: patwogan | November 21, 2013

Cows

I know I have written about building a sod house in the pasture. It was a good project until the cows came and “chased” us out. I may also have written about milking the cows. I don’t think I have written about my very own calf.
My very own calf was a hereford heifer. She was kept in a pen in the barn lot. I don’t know why, but I do know that a small building in the pen was used by me as a playhouse. Frequently I would try to ride her as at that time I was preparing to be a rodeo rider. She must not have known how important it was for her to at least stand still until I had mounted her. Every time I tried to get on, she would move away from me. I finally succeeded in getting on only to have her buck me off. l didn’t give up, tho’ and tried and tried again. If I did succeed in getting on, she bucked me off again. I did finally give up because Dad saw what I was doing and put a stop to it. I think he stopped it for the sake of the calf and not me.
When my Mom and Dad got their divorce, they had a sale of all the cattle, equipment, and everything to do with farming. My calf was on the list of cattle to be sold. I understood this had to be done and I was kind of okay with it; however, when she was sold to the man who transported dad’s cattle to the stockyards in Parsons, I was not okay with it. I know now that a hereford heifer calf would not be killed for meat. I didn’t know that at the time and I cried so much over it that Dad had to buy her back from him. He had to pay three dollars more to get her black than the man had paid for her. I honestly do not know who finally bought her, but I realize that Dad had to pay auctioneer fees twice plus the extra money to buy her back. I was satisfied with the second buyer apparently because that is all I remember about the sale.

Posted by: patwogan | August 17, 2012

Our Injustice System

I just finished reading Alice Sebold’s book, Lucky.  It made me want to read more, so I also read “Lovely Bones”.  These books jogged my memory of an “incident” when I was in high school.  

  The sister of one of my friends brought rape charges against one of the popular jocks in the senior class.  He came from money and she did not.  He was popular and she was average.  He was good-looking and she was, too.  He was a star football player who had his own car…something a little bit unusual at that time. 

  I don’t remember all the particulars of the when and where although I think it had something to do with a dark make-out area in Riverside Park.  My imagination put the rape at the Lone Chief Cabin, an area far from the more public area of the park.  

  The main thing I remember of the story is that my friend was ostracized because of his sister’s supposed guilt of lying about Mr. Popular Jock.  Of course, the strategy at the time was to shred the reputation of the so-called victim.  The gossip mills soon made the jock the victim.  He got his friends to testify for him at the trial.  They testified that she was an easy mark and undoubtedly asked for it.  I know now that even if it were true that she was easy and even if she had had sexual intercourse with the whole football team, she was allowed to say “No” to Mr. Jock.  I don’t believe she was “easy”.  I believe the cards were stacked against her.  

  Probably you have already guessed that he was found not guilty.  He continued going to school at the Community College and his distinctive car was in evidence around town.  He later went to a prestigious college.  She and her family moved away.  

I have no idea what happened to either of them as I also moved away from my home town after graduation.  I have often wondered what happened to both of them and having read Mrs. Sebold’s book, Lucky.  I wonder if the girl had any after effects of the incident.

  In Mrs. Sebold’s book, the rapist is finally brought to justice, but only after a very traumatic trial and an almost total destruction of the victim.  The mention of PTSD in the book reminds the reader that combat is not the only traumatic event. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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