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Entering Junior High, El Dorado, KS.

Story ID:5868
Written by:Monte Leon Manka (bio, contact, other stories)
Organization:retired
Story type:Story
Location:Hemet CA. USA
Year:1940
Person:Junior High Chelsea Kansas Kid
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Entering Junior High, El Dorado, KS.

Yesterday I ---- Well Chad

After I graduated from District No. 10 I moved into Junior high school in El Dorado.

I would stay at the Hazlett ranch at John and Ruth Fox's home and Dad and Mom would come and get me on Friday. My Dad had an old "Olds" coupe, it wasn't the most reliable car in the country and if it wouldn't start I would sleep over.

I would ride my bicycle into the Junior High about three miles when the weather was good. I was made fun of because I was a farm boy and was not as polished as the city boys. Gym was one of my big things,

I never had undressed in front of any other strangers and I had trouble hiding myself until I finally figured how to get into that "chastity belt" known as a jock strap. Hell I had no idea what it was, my mom had gotten my gym clothes.

I survived that and then Ruth and John Fox moved into town at 418 South Atchinson, and I would stay there for the five school days and the folks would come in and get me on Friday night.

One cold evening in February of 1940 I was walking home to the Fox residence when Merwyn Sontag passed me in his car and didn't stop to pick me up. I thought this strange but I kept on toward home. When I got to the porch there was Merwyn talking to Mrs. Fox and when I walked up, they stopped talking.

I said to Merwyn you look like you just saw a dead person and walked into the house. Merwyn left and then Mrs. Fox told me that my Mother and little Brother had been killed in a train wreck and that my dad might not live through the night.

When I look back on this, I often wondered how Merwyn felt when I said what I did about seeing someone dead.

After the funeral and all I was called into the office of Mr. Schaffer the Math teacher, and was what you call it nowadays counseled about the traumatic effect this had on me. At 13 years old losing your only brother and only Mother
and your dad in the hospital in a coma for about three days your guess is as good as mine.

I remember the neighbor ladies coming over immediately at the farmhouse and doing the cooking and everything for about two days. Mrs. Lorraine Hodges, Mrs. Corfman, Mrs. Don Milbourn and others I don't recall were so nice to me and my Uncle Ves. Carter.

Finally after about a week my Dad got better and was told he couldn't carry a small pail of water because of the injury to his back. He was about forty years old at that time, he lived another forty some years, and his back got better all the time.

About this time, I was asked to come to 623 South Topeka in El Dorado to the home of Jay Lawrence. I met his mother Nina and his dad Hugh and two brothers Don and Harding, I was asked if I would like to stay there and go to school and My Dad and I agreed.

This is one of the nicest, no this word will not express what this family was, the greatest families that I had ever known. I lived there for about three years and Jay and I became the best of friends. Nina was like a mother to me and that was what I needed at that time. This is one of the best things that happened in my life until I met my wife Shirley.

At that time I could go to the "College Inn" across the street from the Junior High and get a hamburger, coke and a three musketeers candy bar for .25 cents. I finally made it through Junior High and then into the big building for the rest of high school.

I graduated from High School in 1944 after working part time at Mc Clellans store where I killed a mouse with the candy knife and made most of the personnel sick. Jack Thorns got me the job and I liked it.

Later I got a job with Walters Flower shop for .25 cents an hour.

I later went to work on the Santa Fe Railroad for .77 cents an hour.

I was drafted into the army and spent 23 months in different camps and Korea. It took us 31 days to cross the Pacific and our orders were to be in on the invasion of Japan. Harry Truman, the President, dropped an atom bomb and the Japs quit.

Upon returning home I started to Junior College, finished the course, and graduated. When I came back Jay Lawrence had been out earlier and had started new friends and I didn't see much of him. Dick Guinn, Harry Newsom, and Tom Day were my pals for a time.

While on a picnic with Dick I met his cousin and married her in about a month. Jay had got me on at Skelly Refinery for .77 cents an hour and I was in tall cotton.

I bought me a new car a 1950 Pontiac four door car with all the bells and whistles but no air conditioner. Only the Cadillacís, Lincolnís and Chryslers had air then. I was married on 9 July in 1950 and bought a home on North Arthur Avenue and that was where Scott my son and my daughter Lori were born.

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