Growing up

Concentric circles in Scotland

Like Dorothy, growing up in Kansas in the 1930s and 1940s offered both dream-like and frightening qualities. The small towns, the great people, and the four seasons were everything any kid could want. The following stories are the highlights of one kid’s recollections of growing up during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  A bonus collection of stories is included in the menu item called Other Kids.  They are all true stories by and about real kids from 1930 to 2016.   Each title links to the story about the way things used to be.    Enjoy!!

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Hung Competing with his older sister, little Bobby is an accident in progress, yet he survives all mishaps until one fateful day.
The Ice Cream Store Older cousin, Robert, puts a whole new meaning on what it means to hang out at the ice cream store on a hot day.
A Little Bit Crooked Little Bobby worries about his older cousin leading him astray on a midnight escapade, but then cousin Robert has always been a little bit crooked.
While Skinny Dipping In the second grade, Bobby learns first hand about meat eaters and other creatures, seen and unseen, while skinny dipping. This is his first intimate contact with cows.
Thar She Blows This high-risk story details the inevitable childhood experiments with physics and flatulence while the parents are away.
The Lady in Black In preparation for a costume party, the lady in black prepares for many responses as a cross-dresser in a small town culture. A girl friend blows the whistle on the charade.
Tassels and G-Strings Acquiring a gender identity before television is an uphill battle. The girlie show at the county fair is no exception, a complete bummer.
Victory Through de-Fall While racing Whizzer bicycles, every trick at winning fails except on one very tricky stretch of road out of town.
Hottest Little Schoolhouse in Kansas On returning from an out-of-town football game, Wakefield’s old three-story schoolhouse is ablaze. What had been a sorry schoolhouse produces a magnificent bonfire.
Where the Band Played After relocating school in ten different temporary sites, lightening strikes a second time exactly where the band played
One Pedal Too Many Skipping class one beautiful spring day, and driving a Model-T with one pedal too many produces some startling downsides. Two fourteen year olds learn a lesson.
High Degree of Difficulty The Keener brothers, with contrasting styles known throughout school, entertain their classmates through John’s novel way to enter shop class late. Even John could not have planned this entrance, with its high degree of difficulty.
The Perfect Distraction Learning to drive on country roads produces wisdom in the face of all distractions, except for one, the perfect distraction.
Bribing Blackie Wakefield’s Board of Education plans the perfect inducement to attract a top-notch coach to our fair little city when bribing Blackie.
Level in Longford Football games in Longford in 1948 provide an exhilarating experience for all in attendance. The necessity of a level playing field in Longford was a foreign concept, and is greatly exaggerated in importance.
Blackie’s Revenge “Blackie”, our football coach, plans and executes perfect revenge on a team of skunks, who refuse to follow the rules of combat in sports.
Blackie’s Brainstorm Blackie’s Brainstorm works magic on the football field until one day a fatal flaw is discovered.
Magnificent Recharge According to selected girlfriends, some very special services turn little Milford, Kansas into a secret retreat for the rich, the famous, and others in need of a somewhat personal recharge.
Home-Grown Goblins So many homegrown goblins, so little time on the night the spooks arrive in Wakefield.
Wylie Walno: Wonder Pilot Going for a spin in a Funk on Sunday morning brushes with disaster, and reveals a few of the talents of Wylie Walno, Wonder Pilot.
The Third Watering Hole High school boys conduct a behavioral experiment on the town drunk, and are out-foxed when they discover the town’s third watering hole.
You Can’t Do That Wakefield’s notorious basketball court gives rise to both the three-point and four-point field goals, and are told you can’t do that.

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