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Saturday, September 25, 2010

High School at Plevna, Kansas with Grandma and Great Grandma!

Well, there is nothing more scary in the whole world of young people than the day they leave the secure little nest of Elementary School and venture onto the high school campus.  True it is only 7 blocks away and it is the same kids you have gone to school with all your life, but none-the-less, it was a real heart stopper for me.

I did not start High School in my Beloved Nickerson, I started in Plevna, Kansas.  The entire city population was 112.  There were outlying farms, but I lived in the city proper with Grandma Haas, age 71 and Great Grandma Hatfield, age 98.  Grandma was rather crippled up from a stroke and Great Grandma took care of her.  My job was to help.

Now, I don't know if you ever lived with 2 very old ladies when you were a delicate flower of 15, but there is a lot of adjusting that needs to be done and guess who is going to do it!  First was the sleeping arrangements.  They had a bedroom with a big bed. That was theirs.  Upstairs were 2 bedrooms with beds and all, but I could not sleep up there because I would be too far away and something might happen and what if some one came in and kidnapped me?  So I slept in the downstairs living room on the couch right by the front door, which was never locked.  Ok, Grandma's!

Next I must learn to crochet.  They had a radio, a big wooden thing with a round top.  That was for listening to the stock market and futures reports at noon.  For no other reason was it ever turned on.  It goes without saying that there was no television, so crochet it should be.  With my little hook and size 10 crochet thread I very quickly learned to make a "chain".  That was good enough for me, but not the grandma's. 

After my first chain was about 10 feet long I say the wisdom of learning other stitches.  I was taught the sc (single crochet, dc (double crochet), hdc (half double crochet), tr (treble crochet), dtr (double treble crochet), and then I was on my way.  Soon I had a round crocheted thingy to which I added chains and made loops.  At the end I crocheted around the outside with green thread and that was it.  I had made my first Pineapple Doily! Great Grandma then boiled sugar and water and put the doily in there.  It was then set to dry and the ruffle shaped.  It was a work of art and my first endeavor in the fine art of needlework.

Plevna had a bank, filling station, phone company, post office, mechanic, the school, and a General Store.  Hinshaw's General Store  was the hub of the metropolis, needless to say.  When Grandma sent me to the store she sent me with a handkerchief with the money tied in the corner.  After all it was almost a full block! It was always just the right amount.  I would walk in, tell Mr. or Mrs. Hinshaw that Grandma Hatfield had sent me, hand him the hanky and wait.  He would retrieve what ever it was, untie the hanky, take the money and had me the hanky and the item.  I was then trusted to walk home with both.

There was lots of stuff in that store. Light farm  equipment like rakes, shovels, towels, a few pairs of overalls, socks, beans and crackers in a barrel, and of course groceries.  I went one time with Aunt Mabel and she bought a towel for me to do textile painting on for momma for Christmas.  It had laid on the shelf so long it had lines that never came out, but it was new and it was for momma.  As I recall Aunt Mabel helped me paint a beautiful Iris.  Another form of needlework or crafts or something.

The most important part about the Hinshaws was their grandsons!  They were my age and they were twins and I would go to school with them when school started.  Dale was very light complected, with red hair and freckles and a little on the pudgy side.  Dean was  small and wiry, and darker complected with dark brown hair, very thin.  If you met them you would never dream they were related in any way.  First lesson on twins.  Also my first childhood crush, but I won't tell you which one it was! It actually lasted way over a week into the school year.

The highlight of the summer was when momma sent 2 friends of the family to pick me up and take me back to Nickerson for a few days before school started.  They roared into town on their Triumph Motorcycles and I was in Heaven!  I loved those bikes and the thought of the 20 mile trip to Nickerson was enough to make me walk on cloud 9 for weeks after.  There is just nothing like a Triumph.  Harley's are great and I love the rumble of the motor, which I understand is patented, and I own Harley stock today, but a Triumph was the sign of the times.  It symbolized youth, and freedom, and the open road.  Ah, I digress.

Next week I could start school!  And that will be tomorrow, so see you then. Be sure that my short time at Plevna High School is not at all what one would expect.  So see you then cause you are going to learn about my roots.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love to hear about all the glory days of school friendship and first crushes but one true thing is that you had something special with your grandma and g grandmother teaching you how to weave sew and all the most important things in life. What would life be without sweet memories