Destined To Mirror……………..#170 (80’s)

A pair of outlaws

A pair of outlaws

Gary discovering although the two sibling were a year apart one would have thought they were destined to mirror the footsteps of the other in the pursuing their academic travel but not thus far in life. Roberts first introduction to school was abrasive,  he experienced a chastisement from his kindergarten teacher,  Sally Forester,  an involvement in a jostling action taking place in class.  The newly accredited students  in line for an activity,  finding a disturbance among the six-year olds,  Robert accused of the instigation,  the son of a local church minister making the acquisition,  a notification finding Jan traversing to the school,  the matter being resolved.   Sandi’s advent in her school debut not nearly as climactic as Roberts,  her luscious disposition, always amiable and attentive to those around her, finding a total acceptance from her classmates.

A Stateline Crafts visitor

A Stateline Crafts visitor

It was a normal winter Saturday afternoon,  the temperature finally accomplishing the 32 degree level,  the sun basking the south side of the residence with its warmth,  Jan having fired the large ceramic greenware kiln in the garage.   Gary stepping outside the craft shop door adjacent to the garage noticing a gray haze emitting from the garage aperture.   Approaching and opening the door,  he was immediately confronted with an intense blanket of smoke, a sensing of heat and a reflected glow of flames.   Hurrying back inside the house alerting  Jan to call the fire department,  the garage was on fire.  Returning and opening the  garage side door entrance, unable to observe because of the dense smoke, dropping to floor level he could perceive flames being emitted from burning boxes across the expanse on the far wall.   Without hesitation he traversed the distance to where a garden hose was connected to the side of the house,  a prayer that the hose was no longer frozen from the overnight temperature.  Addressing the gate valve and dragging the stiff outlay to the garage door, turning on the nozzle his prayers being answered, kneeling beneath the layer of smoke  he proceeded to spray the inflamed containers,  encapsulating them with a mist of water.  The sirens announcing the arrival of the Kiowa volunteer fire department, Roger Robinson evoking a large fire hose toward the open side door. Gary immediately arresting his entrance,  asserting him not to employ the high pressure hose as it would cause havoc with the stored ceramic greenware yet to be fired.  The smoke beginning to clear, Roger and several others of the fire department entering the scene of what could have been, accessing that the fire was out.  It was only then that Gary realized what he had done besides spraying the flames, he had unconsciously went over on a wet floor to the still firing 60 amp kiln and shut it off,  thankful he didn’t acquaint 240 volts.  On closer inspection it was decided that the kiln sparked the fire.  Its station in the garage was kept totally free from flammable items, apparently there was an electrical malfunction that provided a high energy arc, sending a charge across the width of the garage causing the boxes containing ceramic items stored there to ignite.  Gary discovering the tell-tale signs of an arcing heating element, a trip to Wichita for parts,  the kiln quandary soon found its production life back in operation.

Family life having adjudicated a quotient aptitude in the rural town,  the  epoch of the everyday having settled into a normalcy,  Robert and Sandi’s school attendance finding  the Willson residence during the day no longer burgeoning with young ones.   Jan’s Stateline Crafts having reached the pinnacle of success and the acquired Apostolic Christian Church housekeeping positions that Gary and Jan shared were catharsis applications.  The twice per week normal services and other attendance necessitated hours of engagement, Gary primarily responsible for the care of the sanctuary and  the total vacuuming of the remaining area of the church.  He was thankful for some forethought,  because besides a normal vacuum sweeper, the church having been constructed with two central closeted vacuum system with hose outlets stationed throughout. Marvin Ott,  the principal owner and president  of the Bank of Kiowa,  also a Brother in faith with the Apostolic Church, posting a notice in the Kiowa News for a bank teller position.  Jan reasoning, with both Robert and Sandi now in school, her job as a stay-at-home  mom  for the most part had come to a conclusion, deciding to enter the pool of applicants for the opening at the bank and welcomed as a new employee.

Bank of Kiowa

Bank of Kiowa

Gary’s completion of his fourth harvest season at Kiowa Service,  finding a meridian having been reached with the apex of combine sales starting to decline.   A surprising new developments was apprehended, Larry Foster the service manage being replaced, although portrayed as a mutual agreed upon resignation, it was questionable.  Larry wasn’t the only change to come about,  Gary being asked to recede from his parts management position,  Steve Miller soliciting an experienced parts person from the John Deere dealership in Wichita who resided in Wellington, the new person to have a dual purpose for the move to Kiowa.  Steve McCreary would assume the parts department managerial position and he and his wife Tudy were to open a Mexican restaurant in the recently closed Daylight Donuts building.   Gary finding Steve a very personable, good nature and laid back person, portraying himself not as a boss or supervisor, but a  fellow worker to help alleviate some of the  burden of the parts department.   Gary discovering working with Steve an acceptable experience, no longer having the responsibility of the lassitude of endless paperwork and oversight of the inventory.  His three years, two harvest tenures in management was an applicable learning experience and he didn’t feel slighted at being replaced, it was more of a promotion since there was no change in his pay check.

Conejo's in Kiowa

Conejo’s in Kiowa

The opening of Cornejos’ restaurant found it resembling a Taco establishment rather than a purveyor of Mexican cuisine.  Steve’s wife Tudy, a member of the Conejo family,  an implied prosperous  name in Wichita,  the owners of a very large and successful demolition and trash transporting concern, plus financing several family own Mexican restaurants.   Gary questioning his own perception of events,  it was well known that Steve Miller had financed the purchase of the house that Steve, Tudy and their two children  occupied, but in all likelihood it was part of the contract for their relocation.   Needless to say there were always those spreading  rumors of seeing Miller and Tudy together,  Gary chalking it up to small town residual chatter because of some of Steve Miller’s past notoriety and indiscretion .   The advent of  Cornejo’s  was an overnight success,  Tudy having a keen business sense having managed a family establishment in Wellington.  Conejo’s in their rise to prominence promoted a causality, having an undesirable effect on the Dairy Bar, the only other fast food endowment in Kiowa,  a concern being evoked that its operation would desist,  the rumor becoming fact,  its closure inevitable.  With the passing of time the real world persisted and the newness of Conejos tapered off,  returning  like a Phoenix, the Dairy Bar took flight again,  the hamburger and ice cream parlor opening with new management, Monty Blunk and Family, Gary concluding that the surrounding world wasn’t  changing, but evolving


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