Monday, March 9, 2015

Class of 46 from Grainola

front row
Clarence Kennedy
Roy Richardson
Carl McConaghy
Pete Kitterman
Opal Lane Olson
"Corky" Gene Mains

back row
Warren Custer
Charles Austin

Now I would have to say this group (many of who are already gone) could really tell some stories.  I really don't know how many but I believe all of these were in the same or very close to the same class as they all grew up together in Grainola.  Of course Warren Custer and Carl McConaghy never got too far away from home.  Warney as we always called him stopped by now and then to say hi and Carl lived right down the creek from us on Beaver.

The persons I knew the best was Carl and Aladayne (bet I spelled that wrong) and what I always remember best was what a hard working bunch they were and that Carl played the fiddle.  Alidane was a darn good cook and I liked going over there to hang/play with Glen and Marvin.  Neal was about 3 years older and of course he was not too interested in playing with us kids.  Now the youngest was Carla, the only girl, and she wanted to play with us but that was not in the cards too often.  She was a lot cuter (is that a word?  - definition: cute and if you are better looking you would be cuter) than the boys.  I am not sure but I think all the boys had hair like Carl, real thick and dark.  Just kidding as you can see.

Now Glen was one year older and he was in the same class as Dee Johnson, Debbie Jones, my sister Debbie, and Eddie Harris.  But Glen and I hung around now and then but most of all we worked on our respective farms.  I would have to admit that Glen was not a trouble maker or mischievous like Eddie and I but he was a easy going guy.

Of course basketball was king in Grainola and all 8 grades played.  The 7th and 8th had a team and the 4th, 5th and 6th grade had a team.  So you can see I was on the team with Glen about 3 out of 5 years.  I hate to say it but we were never a great team as we lost a lot of games over the years.  In fact I would bet we never had a winning season while I was at Grainola.  We basically had one strategy and that was to shoot it or get it to the tallest guy on the court which was me.  The problem is I could neither make successful shots or jump.  I will have to say that I was so tall during those years I never really had to jump but the fact is I never could jump, even in high school.  In fact I was never a good shot.  The only thing I was good at in basketball was rebounding and defense.  Defense was really good for me because I could push anyone around and I liked it.  Honestly we probably would have had a better team if the coach, Mr. Lewis Morris, would have let someone faster and a better shot than me to play.  That was sure off the subject, Huh?

Since we did not win much you might ask why I liked the sport.  Well I liked the intensity of the game running up and down the court and I liked being part of a team with guys I liked.  I also believe it kept me out of a lot of trouble and probably most of my friends would say the same thing.  I really don't think Glen had ADD (attention deficit) but I am sure Eddie, Jon Tanny, Hugh Allen and I all had ADD and it might have been times two.  So the moral of the situation is that we ran off so much of that loose energy that we stayed out of trouble, most of the time.  Off the subject again.

Well, back to the class of 1945.  Have you ever wondered about what they were like when they were kids?  Have you ever asked what they did for fun?  Did they ever get in trouble?  What was it like when they were young?  Did they just work like we were led to believe?  NOT!  The real story is not really known.  I have heard a few stories.  My guess is they got in plenty of mischief as well.

I asked my Mom these questions and it was quit fun.  She told me about going to ball games and piling all the team into one vehicle or two and traveling to games.  She said that all of them worked hard at home so going to school was a relief in many ways.  They did not bring homework home because there was work to do at home.  When they did get together they played games and they were not electronic games.  They played checkers, cards and outdoor games.  They fished and hunted together and the girls many times would sew clothes or cook.  But when the boys and girls were together there was music but not on the radio but mostly what they made themselves or it was card games.  There always seemed to be a real closeness amongst this group when they got together.

So what do we learn in the Osage?

  • Parents were kids once and they have stories to tell if you will sit down and listen
  • ADD (attention deficit) is not such a bad thing and in fact I contend it is a good thing in the long run.  Please forgive me if you  are a teacher and have to manage some kids like me.
  • The great thing about Shidler and Grainola and probably any small school is that you are friends with everyone and everyone gets a better shot at participating in sports.
Thanks for your time,

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