Posted by: patwogan | July 7, 2012

Grandma’s Fowls

Kathy asked me to write about the guineas.  Grandma had them and they served well as “watch dogs”. Whenever a car turned into the fairly long driveway leading up to Grandma’s house, they began making whatever the noise is called that they make.  It sounded like a bunch of old ladies ( I can now use that phrase without sounding like a hypocrite since I am now one) gossiping.  Each one speaking louder than the next in order to make sure their news or opinion was heard.  They were pretty birds, rather weirdly  built, but black and white striped.  Their feathers were very soft, not stiff like chicken feathers.  I don’t really remember whether or not they could fly, but they probably could.  I will have to look them up in Wikipedia and find out.  I really don’t know what purpose they served on the farm as I know we did not eat them.  Maybe their only purpose was to warn us of the approach of strangers.

Chickens were the main stay of the farm and Grandma tended her chickens faithfully.  This past Fourth of July brought to mind the fact that it was that holiday that signaled the beginning of the fried chicken season.  The baby chickens that were either hatched or purchased from the hatchery in the spring had now become big enough to be eaten.  Granted, the first ones were rather small, probably about the size we now get at KFC, but very tender and delicious.  Somehow, even as little children, we did not become attached to chickens.  They were to eat and the hens were to provide us with eggs.  

I have written previously that the whole family gathered at Grandma’s for dinner after church on Sunday. The summer Sunday’s dinner menu was always fried chicken.  We never seemed to tire of it.  There was quite a process to go through before the scrumptious chicken arrived on the platter on the table.  As I remember it, Grandma had a piece of clothesline wire about four feet long.  It had a U-shaped hook on one end and the other end was fashioned into a loop.  In the early evening on Saturday after the chickens had gone to roost, Grandma would go into the chicken house and visually select a young rooster who would become Sunday’s main dish.  I really am not sure how she decided which was the rooster, although I know their comb was larger than the pullets.  This was something Grandma’s knew, I guess.  Anyway, she would take this hook and reach out a put it around the selected chicken’s leg and quickly pull him from the roost.  She would then grab him by both legs and carry him out of the chicken house.  Of course, he would be squawking and waving his wings wildly.  Since one chicken would not feed all of us on Sunday, she repeated this process two or three times until she had the desired number of chickens to make a meal.  Sometimes I was “chosen” to hold the chickens after she had caught them while she got the next one.  I did not like live chickens!  Their wings were hard and hurt when they hit me.  My arms were not long enough to hold them far enough away to keep them from hitting me.  It  was especially bad when I had to hold two of them at a time.  This is probably why I didn’t mind the next part of the process, which was killing the chickens.  

There was a big stump by the cellar door in Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard.  It had a large machete stuck in it.  It also had two large…I imagine 16 penny nails..nailed about two inches apart.  Grandpa now took over the killing part….although Grandma did it after Grandpa died.  Grandpa took the chicken by  the feet and placed the chicken head between the two nails.  He then with one whack of the machete chopped off the head.  Then came the fun part. ( I say this even though it makes me sound terrible.

Posted by: patwogan | July 5, 2012

Miscellaneous Memories

I have written about my cousin George as he is very special to me, but I had other cousins, too.  One of the big events in our family was Sunday dinner at Grandma’s house.  Now I said Grandma’s house, but Grandpa was there, also.  He was a very important person in my life and I loved him dearly, however, it was Grandma’s house we went to every Sunday after church.  

Grandma and Grandpa didn’t go to church, but they were both believers in God and Bible readers.  Grandpa, in times of crisis, would open the Bible to a random page and look for the phrase, “it came to pass”.  If he found this phrase (which occurs often in the Bible) he would take it as a sign from God that whatever was happening in our lives would pass.  

While we were at church and Sunday school, Grandma would be preparing the Sunday dinner.  After church, my family and Aunt Bess and Uncle Dayton and their children came to Grandma’s house for dinner and after dinner activities.  As we got older Uncle Dayton, who loved softball, would organize ball games in the field south of the house.  Sometimes in the evenings, the older cousins and the aunts and uncles would play cards.  They especially loved to play pinochle.

Aunt Bess and Uncle Dayton had four children.  Their youngest, Elizabeth, was sixteen months older than I.  Charles was three years older than I and Margaret was two or three years older than Charles.  Naomi was the same age as George, ten years older than I.  As I have told earlier, George lived with Grandma and Grandpa.  

In the summertime, we always had homemade ice cream.  I remember sitting on the freezer on a gunny sack to keep it from moving when it got hard to turn.  There was such a great camaraderie among all of these relatives.  We were all very close.  

We caught lightning bugs in the summer and put them in jars.  We sat on the corn planter under the mulberry trees and ate mulberries (no, we didn’t wash them first).  

We played hide and seek and other games.  In fact, we were even allowed to play pinochle with the adults.   It was a carefree time for all of us cousins.  

I have often wondered if Grandma really wanted us all to come over every Sunday, but I think it might have been the highlight of the week for her.  

This post brought back such great memories that I think I will stop and have a dish of homemade ice cream! 

Posted by: patwogan | July 5, 2012

More Recent Times

The title “More Recent Times” may be a little misleading, but here goes.  I was married in June after graduating high school in May.  This was the norm for my times as only rich kids were able to go to college.  I always wanted more education than I had, and decided I would try to go to the Community College for a few credits at a time after Mike started to Kindergarten.  I went to the school to register and paid my tuition which wasn’t very much, but was enough.  I took an English class which was two hours credit.  Since it was one of the few two credit hour courses, and the time of it was early afternoon, it was extremely popular with the scholarship football players.  Now, they didn’t care diddly-squat about English poetry which was the first semester emphasis, they just wanted an afternoon class for two hours credit and the ethics class-another two hour class- was full.  The attendance the first day of class was forty-two students.

The teacher of this class was Myles Pember.  He had worked in Chicago for a large advertising agency.  He was a very intelligent man.  He had come to Parsons because he wanted to escape the rat race he was in and the cold weather in Chicago.  Our first class met on Tuesday.  Our assignment for Thursday was to memorize and be able to write a long Old English poem.  I think the name of it was Twa Corbies.  I worked very hard to memorize this poetry.  On Thursday, with sweaty palms, I came to class prepared to write.  Surprisingly, the number of people in the class had dwindled to about twelve.  I successfully wrote the poem and was ready for the next assignment which I expected would be equally as hard.

Mr. Pember announced that for some reason, there had been a large number of “drops” in this class.  From then on the class was very enjoyable and even though the work was difficult, it wasn’t nearly as hard as the first assignment.

I was impressed and made up my mind to take all the courses he taught at Labette.  I subsequently took Creative Writing from him and learned a lot.

He apparently was either impressed with me or realized I needed financial help….which was true.  He offered me a job which would pay half my tuition.  I accepted gratefully.  My job was to write press releases to send to the home town newspapers of the scholarship athletes.  Every time they did anything positive either athletically of scholastically, I wrote to their hometown newspapers.  I composed the press releases and after they were approved, or edited by Mr. Pember, I mailed them to the person in charge of sports.  Many of the athletes on basketball and football scholarships were from the Chicago area.  Their hometown newspaper wouldn’t be the big Chicago paper like the Tribune, but a smaller neighborhood paper.  There were also athletes from Pennsylvania.  They were from the Johnstown area.

It’s been a long time ago, but I remember typing hours and hours to do this job.  They really got their money’s worth, but I got a wealth of experience, and a special type of education from a man who was an expert in the newspaper field.  Although he didn’t say keep it simple, he did say be concise when you write.  Get the information out there in the least amounts of words.

He was probably one of  t he most influential teachers I had.  My Senior English teacher had stressed meter and rhythm in poetry.  Mr. Pember stressed content and voice.  I came to love poetry.  I still disagree when someone tells me what a poet meant when he made some obscure reference.  If we weren’t there and he didn’t tell us, I don’t think we should speculate.


Posted by: patwogan | February 1, 2012

Grandma’s Backyard

When I speak of grandma’s backyard, I am speaking of Grandma and Grandpa Hudiburg’s backyard.  I am surprised at the completeness of my visual memory of it.  So I will describe it for you.  Grandma’s house sat at the north side of their property.  Their farm was a triangular shaped twenty-seven acres with one corner cut off by the railroad.  I think it was the Missouri Pacific Railroad, although I am not really sure.  At the time they lived on the farm, steam locomotives were still running and  the black smoke they emitted was used by Grandpa to forecast the weather.  I don’t know exactly how he did it, but it had something to do with whether the smoke hung low to the ground or rose into the sky.  As an old farmer, Grandpa depended on observation of nature to predict what the coming weather would be.  He was usually right.

The back door of the house led to steps down to a brick courtyard.  I don’t know how wide it was, but it led to the wash house.  The wash house sat on top of the storm cellar, considered a necessity in Kansas, especially in the days before radar, etc.  There were two hinged doors to the cellar covering steps leading down to the dark damp interior which was lined with shelves, usually weighted down with jars of canned goods which Grandma and Mom had preserved during the growing season.  These jars were a point of pride among the ladies at the sewing circle, with the recitation of how many quarts, pints, etc. had been canned.  I must admit, we were never hungry!  The wash house itself had a gas hot plate for heating the water used for washing.  It also contained a wringer washer and three tubs on stands.  The wash board for removing stains and ground in dirt hung on one wall.  I will in a future blog tell what I remember about wash day….including the pot of ham and beans that was always the noon meal on wash day.

There was a large stump by the cellar door.  It was probably twenty inches in diameter and was used as a chopping block for killing chickens.  I guess I will tell about that memory in the future, too.

But today, we are on a visual tour.  The outhouse (yes, it was a real outhouse) was on the east side of the yard .  I assume the location was guided by the prevailing winds which in Kansas in the summertime are from the south and west.  I, of course, had no idea about that as a kid.  There was a tool “shed” quite a way south of the outhouse.  It was fairly large, probably fifteen by twenty feet.  There was lots of “stuff” in it.  I imagine most of it was very important “stuff”, but I didn’t know or care about that.  To the west (across a brick walk which led from the house to the back fence and gate) was a teeter-totter which had been fashioned from sections of telephone poles.  There were three of them.  Two tall ones and one shorter one.  The two tall ones had a pipe between them which served as an exercise bar.  The teeter totter was a two x twelve mounted by U-Bolts to the pipe.  There was a big tree in the  back yard and a tire swing was hung from one limb.  There was also a “sack” swing hung from another limb.  For those of you who may be unfamiliar with sack swings, they are straw filled gunny sacks tied to the end of a rope.  The yard was fenced with 4×4 woven wire and there was a gate in the back and on the side yard.  The gate in the back led to the barnyard.  The main thing I remember about the back gate, which was fixed with a weighted system so it would close on its own, was that Grandpa would yell at you if you swung on the gate.  And when I say yell, I mean YELL!  Somehow the side gate wasn’t as attractive to swing on and it led to the driveway on the west side of the house.  The driveway was lined with large elm trees.

The front yard, also fenced was like a formal living room.  The front porch was used for visiting,  and the front yard was used for Easter egg hunts, but the playing was done in the back yard.  There were two rows of large cedar trees in the front which led from the front door /porch to the fence at the road.  Star of Bethlehem plants defined the grass walkway between the trees.

The odd thing about these memories is that yesterday I had trouble remembering what order to put the ingredients in my bread machine, yet these childhood memories are so vivid…Go figure!

Posted by: patwogan | January 22, 2012

On the Inside Looking Back

I haven’t blogged for so long that I think I may have been forgotten, but my son reminded me that I started blogging to leave a record for my family.  Every day  something comes up in the present that triggers a memory of the past.  I think this is even more true this past year as I had a challenging year of loss and poor health.  I am now on the mend, but the loss of my son to cancer will be forever on my mind and in my heart.  It is his death that calls forward so many memories.  I remember special days, but I also remember everyday things that didn’t seem important at the time.  

But this blog isn’t going to be about Larry.  It is going to be about my memories of past events.  

I made an angelfood cake this week…in fact I made two of them…because of a fund raiser we were having in our community.  As I used my electric mixer to beat the egg whites, I could almost picture my Mom sitting in the kitchen, a bowl of egg whites in her lap as she used a wire whisk to beat them to the proper consistency.  My Mom had very strong wrists which were made even stronger by milking cows by hand.  She used to arm-wrestle with my uncle Dayton and she often won.  Anyway, angelfood was my favorite cake (I also liked chocolate) and every year for my birthday, I requested it for my birthday cake.  We had chickens and always had a lot of eggs, so that was no problem.  During the war, the lack of sugar was a problem, but the coupons were saved for special occasions like birthdays.  

One year Mom made me what she called a Sunshine Angelfood Cake.  I don’t know exactly where she got the recipe for it, and I think she made it up, but it was filled with a delicious cream filling that if I am correct had a vanilla pudding base with whipped cream folded into it.  It was absolutely scrumptious.

The family thinks of Grandma Sumner as being an excellent pie maker, and that she was, using that same whisk to whip up the meringue for the cream pies.  But she was an excellent cake baker, too, and baked cakes for all the nieces and nephews on their birthdays.  She made a banana=-nut cake to die for.  It was a white cake frosted with a cooked fluffy brown sugar frosting…like a seven-minute frosting only using brown sugar.  I have tried to duplicate it, but couldn’t as this was another thing she made up without a recipe.  I remember it was a three layer cake with sliced bananas and pecans   on each layer of the cake before it was frosted, and then pecans on the top in a decorative placement.  

It sounds from this blog post that I am hungry.  That is not the case, but I wouldn’t mind having a slice of that banana nut cake again.  


Posted by: patwogan | December 6, 2010

A Special Friend

When I was going to high school in Independence, I met a girl who became my best friend.  I think she started attending the same church I attended.  I don’t remember whether she came with me, or whether someone else in the church brought her the first time.  I just know that the friendship that began at that time lasted a lifetime for her.  And it lasted for me until her death.

She was two years older than I and had a childhood much unlike mine.  Her father was an alcoholic and her mother was in a mental hospital.  She had just moved to Independence from a small town about forty miles north.  I know very little about her before I met her, but she was a special person who had had a hard life.  I now think that she had possibly been abused by her father, although she never said anything about that.

Her father worked in a beer joint in Independence he and she lived in a small apartment above the tavern.  She was a senior in high school when we became acquainted.  The apartment she lived in was about four blocks from the high school and we started going there for lunch daily.  I remember that we always had canned Campbell soup for lunch.  Our favorite was vegetable, but sometimes we had chicken noodle or tomato . We often had Twinkies for dessert.   Funny how those lunches tasted so great, but it was probably the companionship that made it so.

I remember also the smell of that apartment.  It smelled of stale beer and stale smoke. We entered the apartment by a door beside the tavern.  We would go up a dark stairway and into a dark smelly hallway.  The first door on the left was the door to their apartment.  I really don’t know how many apartments were in that hallway, but there were probably at least two more.  Hers was the one right above the tavern.

She kept the apartment immaculately clean.  She had a knack for doing great decorating with very little money.  She was also very talented at sewing, knitting, and other needlework… but not such a great cook. The apartment had her touches on everything, down to the hand-painted towels in the bathroom.  I know her father didn’t appreciate what she did, as he made her life miserable with criticism.  His lack of cooperation in keeping the apartment neat  also added to her work.  He also did nothing to help her and I don’t remember ever seeing him without a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other.  I don’t know enough of his or her past to know why he was the way he was, but there must have been a time when he was not that way.

After she graduated from high school, she got a job with a local law firm as a private legal secretary.  Her shorthand and typing skills were excellent and she was also very intelligent.  She saved her money and as soon as possible rented a small garage apartment of her own.  She was eighteen and was totally on her own.  Sometimes when her father was drinking heavily, he would come to her apartment and ask her for money.  She was afraid of him.  She began spending more and more time at our house with Mom and me.  Finally, Mom convinced her to move in with us.  She lived with us for at least a year.  Mom was somewhat formidable and her dad didn’t really want to mess with her, so he left my friend alone.

She finally gained the courage to go back on her own, and she made a home for herself again.  I visited her frequently at her apartment and she and I did a lot of things together socially.  I was also working and we would go shopping together and sometimes by matching outfits.  I was never as good at crafts as she was, but I tried, and we had a lot of fun doing them.  She learned how to knit argyle socks and sweaters, and I couldn’t even do a chain stitch.

She married my late husband’s best friend, and the four of us did a lot of things together.  She and her husband moved away, my husband died, I remarried, and our friendship became a long-distance thing.

I called her because I had been thinking about her one day, and got her answering machine.  Her husband called me later in the day and said she had been taken to the hospital and diagnosed with brain cancer.  I sent her flowers, and was able to talk with her the day before she died.  I know the connection we had was the reason I called when I did, and I am thankful to God for allowing me to say good-bye to her.

Friends like her don’t happen too often in a person’s life.  When they do, we need to cherish them.


Posted by: patwogan | December 5, 2010

Childhood Christmas Memories

This year is going difficult for a lot of people.  The economy is bad, many are unemployed or underemployed and yet the commercialism of Christmas continues unabated.  Children have expensive expectations as television touts the toys that merchants wish to unload on the holiday shopper.  Parents are made to feel they must not love their children if Santa doesn’t leave his whole bag full of stuff at their homes.  What a lot of pressure for a holiday that is supposed to be a Holy Day!

When I look back at Christmas past in my life, I remember two years particularly.  One was the year all of us cousins received a baby doll.  There were four of us girls and as the youngest, I got first choice of the dolls.  They were identical except for the colors of their dresses and bonnets.  We were at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  After the evening Christmas meal was finished, the dishes were washed, and the house put back in order, only then were we allowed to open the drapes to the parlor and see the decorated Christmas tree .  The tree was a cedar tree that had been brought in from the pasture earlier in the day and decorated by the adults who were not involved with making the Christmas dinner.  The wrapped presents were under the tree…except for the dolls…they were in the branches of the tree.  I was three or four years old at the time, and I still, believe it or not, have a mind picture of that tree and those four dolls.  I chose the one dressed in yellow.  I do not remember anything else about that Christmas.  I don’t know what Santa brought to my house, if anything.  I only remember those dolls.  Many years later, I was told that Uncle Leo and Aunt Jean were responsible for the dolls.

Another Christmas I remember was the year that Montgomery Ward introduced Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  We went to the local Montgomery Ward store and were given a book containing the story of Santa’s new reindeer.  I vaguely remember that Santa was in attendance and handed out the books in the basement of the local store.

When I was twelve, I wanted a bride doll.  I had picked out one from the catalog and hinted about it a lot.  I got a kind of raggedy ann doll instead.  I remember the disappointment, but lived through it. I know now that my parents couldn’t afford a fancy bride doll, and the raggedy doll was the best they could do that year.

Today television lets children know what the most wanted toys should be.  It really was not much different when I was growing up as Sears and Montgomery Ward both put out Toy Catalogs.  These catalogs were full of toys of all kinds.  One of the games my cousin and I liked to play was to go through the catalog and pick a toy from each page.  We made our lists for Santa by looking in the catalog.  We never got everything on the list and , in fact, we got very few of the things….usually one major gift…and by major, I don’t mean expensive.  Sometimes a gift might be something someone had made for us.  It was also something we needed.  I do remember that every year there was a really big orange in my sock and usually some nuts and candy.  I loved the really big orange as that was the only time in the year that we had them.

I do remember getting roller skates one year.  They were metal, with metal wheels and clamps that attached them to shoes.  These skates were held on by tightening the clamps with a skate key.  I also remember getting a red bicycle one year.  This was during the war and the only bicycle available was a boy’s bike.  I learned to ride it with difficulty as it was really too big.  Lots of skinned knees from falling over learning to ride.  It was a 26 inch bike and the only one I ever had.  It lasted forever!

Christmas is important to children.  It is also important to parents.  Hopefully, the pressure  of the economy won’t diminish the joy of the holiday this year.  We have all had times when we couldn’t afford to do what we really wanted to do at Christmas. By being creative, maybe we can all make this year a Merry one and one when the joy of the season and what it really stands for will take the forefront of our celebration!  Merry Christmas to all!

Posted by: patwogan | October 28, 2010

Plastic or Paper

Back when I was growing up, plastic was not an option.  When you bought meat at the market, it was cut at the time you ordered it.  It was also wrapped in paper and tied with string.  Not plastic lined paper, just brown…actually white butcher paper.  When you got to the counter to pay for your items, or put it on your charge ticket, the only choice for a bag was paper.

Toys were also wooden, or metal.  No plastic.  Oh, there was celluloid which was a teeny bit like plastic.  The main things I remember that were celluloid were cupie dolls.  Cupie dolls were little dolls with feathers on their heads and also on their teeny little costumes.    I don’t know why they were named cupie dolls.  I just researched then on the internet and found they were also called kewpie dolls.  And they were nude!  Not anatomically correct, though, as that was unheard of back then for dolls.  They looked a bit like “Betty Boop” who was a cartoon character.

Back to plastic or paper.  If you can, try to imagine your world today without plastic.  No Tupperware or imitations.  No plastic bottles for soda, water, or milk. Everything was glass.  The glass soda bottles required a deposit and were returnable.  A good way to get money to go to the movies was to gather up soda bottles and turn them in.   Glass containers with lids, stackable to fit in the refrigerator for leftovers.  Glass milk bottles which were delivered to your house in the city full of non-homogenized milk complete with the cream which had risen to the top.  Cardboard egg cartons in the store which were collapsible.  Then there were metal containers.  Ice cube trays…where electric or gas refrigerators were available…were made of metal.  An exception to this was a rubber ice cube tray put in Frigidaire refrigerators.  Yes, the ice had a rubber taste.

Cars were made of metal and glass.  Glass windshields and windows and metal bodies and parts.  This may be why some of the early cars are still around today as antiques.  They had to be very heavy, no doubt.  They were not streamlined looking like they are today.  Plastic can be molded into more streamlined shapes.

We lived “green” and didn’t even know it.  To tell you the truth, when they give me a choice between paper and plastic, I’ll take plastic every time!  Shame on me!

Posted by: patwogan | August 7, 2010

Sophisticated Dining

My daughter, Kristen, who many of my readers know from her blog, “Dine & Dish”, is in New York.  She was interviewed on Martha Stewart’s radio show yesterday.  She is a “foodie” as many of the food bloggers are called.  Her blog is fun and educational at the same time.  She is a full time Mom, a part-time worker from home, and a free-lance writer.  She has a wonderful husband who is a great support system and enables her to take advantage of the opportunities that come her way.  Right now, he and his parents are taking care of the four children so Kristen can be in New York.

In thinking of Kristen, I was reminded of my Aunt Jean.  My Uncle Leo, George’s Dad, was a professor at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.  After the death of George’s Mother, Leo later married again.  Aunt Jean was a school teacher.  I was very much in awe of their lifestyle.  We visited them a couple of times if I remember correctly.  I loved their house.  It was cute.  I was about six or seven at this time, so keep that in mind as you read this.  Aunt Jean subscribed to Better Homes and Gardens.  My mother read Capper’s Weekly.  I couldn’t help but notice the difference in everything about Aunt Jean’s house compared to ours.  Aunt Jean’s house was in town and ours was in the country.  Aunt Jean’s house had a bathroom.  Our house had an outhouse.

My Mother was a great cook.  She had an old Lighthouse Cookbook and used recipes from it for special occasions.  I remember one I liked particularly well was called City Chicken.  It was made of cubes of pork on skewers which were then dipped in egg and bread crumbs and then cooked.  She also made Egg a la Goldenrod.  It was made with hard boiled eggs.  The whites were added to a cream sauce .  This was served over toast with the grated egg yolk sprinkled on top.  I loved it.!  But usually Mom made plain food.  Roast beef, round steak, pork chops, chicken..both fried and made into chicken and noodles.  Our vegetables were those we grew in the garden..peas, green beans, corn, crowder peas, tomatoes,  cabbage, and once in a while, okra.  For her plain cooking, she didn’t use recipes.

When we visited Aunt Jean, she cooked sophisticated recipes from the Better Homes and Garden Magazine.  I remember that I ate broccoli for the first time at Aunt Jean’s.  I loved her cooking and everything was served in little individual dishes.  She even had salad bowls for the salad.  At home, we just put the salad on our plate with the rest of the food.  The dessert was in  little bowls or on smaller plates.  Very  fancy.

When we got back home, Dad would always praise Mom’s cooking and remark that at Jean’s half the time you didn’t even know what you were eating.

I now wonder if she always cooked like that or if she used the fact that her in-law’s were visiting to cook a little fancier than usual.  I would imagine that might be true.  I know that I, for one, was very impressed!  I have been a subscriber to  Better Homes and Garden magazine for about forty years now.  I cook with recipes from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but my favorites are the recipes I have in my head that have been handed down to me from my Mom and my Grandmother.  Not necessarily fancy or sophisticated, but very tasty!

Posted by: patwogan | June 8, 2010

Coronado Celebration Days

Francisco Coronado came to Kansas in 1541. He was looking for the Seven Cities of Gold that were supposedly in Kansas.  I guess he didn’t find them because he left.  But just the fact that he came gave Kansans a reason to have a celebration.  So in 1941 in Independence, Kansas, there was a big Coronado Days celebration 500 years after he had visited the state.

My father’s friend was in the social swing of things and attended the big party that was held in the Civic Auditorium.  It was a costume party  and  she invited me to attend.  Apparently she had two girl’s costumes and we were supposed to be twins.  I think there was some contest or something involved.   The costumes were period costumes of the 1500’s.  I really don’t remember much about the costumes  but that they were fancy and I had to wear a mask.  I know my folks didn’t go to the party and I attended with Dad’s friend from work.

I wish I remembered more about the party, but I think I was completely out of my element.  I do know I was not comfortable there.  It made a little bit of an impression on me and I felt scared because everyone was masked.  I might enjoy a party now like that… I doubt it…but I sure didn’t then.  I liked to play dress-up, but in the safety of my own home.  I didn’t like playing dress-up with people I didn’t know.

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