Archive for December, 2010

Sequestering Vindictive Tirades….#207 (the 90’s)

December 27, 2010
Anthony Hospital Administrator Jay Jolly

Anthony Hospital Administrator Jay Jolly

The families first Anthony winter was in recession,  the only adversity the below freezing temperature exhibited in their new residence was in the downstairs bathroom, awakening to the first overnight single digit  weather  discovering  no water supply.   The first floor bathroom was not intrinsic to the original structure,  a later appendage added to the 1904 three-storied goliath.   To acquaint the addition to the downstairs level,  the floor required additional ground level height of 24 inches, therefore  generating a crawl space beneath the room.    The waste water disposal addressed the main sewer line beneath the surface,  but the incoming the source of hot and cold water was supplied with copper lines,  entering thru the wall beside the outside basement door entrance.   Upon his first crawl space journey beneath the bathroom,  Gary discovered remnants from past heating endeavors,  two small old electric heaters,  the remains of electrified insulating tape, and other insulating attempts.  Gary wrapping the copper lines with an up-to-date insulation  and with the a faucet left dripping at night seemed to remedied the pipe freezing aggravation most of the time,  with an exception in extreme conditions when the temperature hovered around zero.  Gary being the early morning riser was always the one to discover the downstairs bathrooms lack of hot water to address his shaving and thus began a search to find the iced culprit spot.   Trial and error found the spot of blockage,  it was where the copper line exited the basement thru the outside wall and a few minutes with a hair dryer aimed at the strategic point of the pipe would restore it, not an absolution, but a resolution.

Gary was en route to Jay Jolly’s office,  the hospital administrator having summoned him,  the maintenance personage pondering a reason for the audience,  a myriad of possible scenario giving question.   Arriving, he was asked to be seated,  Jay inaugurated the conversation with a notice that he was changing the organizational structure of the maintenance and housekeeping / linen control departments.   He was removing the current maintenance and housekeeping department heads and instituting a singular position of Plant Service Manager to oversee the physical and environmental elements of the hospital,  responsible for the three departments.   Gary nodded his understanding,  but was a gasped at what ensued,  the administrator continued,  promulgating his aspiration that Gary fulfill the newly commissioned position.   Gary was awe spoken,  Jays pronouncement was totally  unexpected, speechless when asked if he would accept the position,  his only reply was to accept.

Jay preseated to assert a list of  expectations,  compliance with the new regulations requiring MSDS records,  written policies and procedures and documentation for both Housekeeping and  Maintenance departments  including detailed logs for equipment inspections,  safety and an annual budget agenda incorporating plant utilities,  housekeeping supplies,  linen expenditures,  equipment replacement and repairs.   Gary listened to the administrators contemplations with gathering certainty,  owing to a significant perception,  his respect for Jay Jolly and his demonstrative confidence that Gary could accomplish the assignment.   The meeting concluding,  a monetary question never entering into Gary’s thought process until the administrator initiated the wage compensation,  acknowledging, he had reviewed the compensatory amount that similar facilities conferred for the position, and would commensurate accordingly.   Gary exiting the office, finding his maintenance assistant salary having just doubled.

Jan at the nurses station - Anthony Hospital

Jan at the nurses station – Anthony Hospital

Arriving home,  the news of his appointment bursting to be released,  his incitation rising as he revealed to Jan his meeting with Jay and his ascendancy to a new position and when he acknowledge his new compensatory wage,  expecting an enthusiastic congratulatory presence,  instead acrimony,  she went into a vindictive tirade.   Gary was totally taken aback, never in the fifteen years with Jan had he ever experienced this aspect of her personality.   Her reasoning was without logic,  erupting into a dissertation on the audacity that his new hourly wage now exceeded hers and that of  embarking nurses.  Gary immediate inclination was to abstain from the confrontation until a more phlegmatic disposition prevailed,  Jan’s perplexing response was now indelibly inscribed and her hidden clandestine cultivation forever exposed.

Frank Hodson

Frank Hodson

Gary experiencing Jan’s tirade prepared him for the inevitable one at work having to confront Roy, that he was no longer a department head and Ed, the Director of Housekeeping that he to would no longer be in charge of housekeeping.   The encounter with Ed  was the most difficult,  harboring a vindictive resentment of Gary similar to what he had heard at home,  only Ed’s concerned wasn’t about compensation but the loss of his supervisory position,  Gary assuring him a continuance of employment.  Another encounter from an unsuspecting source,  Frank Hodson, the Ambulance Director,  voicing a negative opinion of the change,  especially about Ed.   Franks objection was that Ed provided another function  as EMT on the ambulance service,  allowing him to take call during his hospital hours without any reservations,  his position as a supervisor not interrupting the housekeeping departments dispensation.  This would change with Ed’s new position as a scheduled staff member,  no longer endowed to leave his assigned tasks uncompleted upon returning from an ambulance run.   Gary’s quandary with Ed coming to resolution,  after three days,  Ed resigned his hospital employment.    Roy Stein presented a totally different circumstance,  his years of experience and knowledge of every nook and cranny of the building was invaluable.  Roy was elusive, his quiescence demeanor and non communicative disposition making it difficult to extract an assessment of his supposition about the abrupt developments.   Gary finally requesting him to sit down and listen to what he had to say,  clarifying the only change would be in Gary administering the required documentation,  relieving Roy of departmental representation  and embody accountability to the Hospital Administration.   Gary, strongly emphasizing,  Roy would remain in a perfunctory maintenance position,  his salary remaining the same,  but with a new job description and new title, that of Hospital Engineer.

The atmosphere in hospital seemed somewhat different, the change in plant and environmental management was meant with congratulatory acknowledgement by most of the  hospital staff,  Gary sensing his management skills and capability in the new position would be on trial.  Gary recalling an axiom apropos to his new position,  rank does not confer privilege or power,  it imposes responsibility.

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Years of Christmas Memories…#206 (80’S)

December 25, 2010

Gary and Roberts First Kiowa Christmas – Great Grandmother Martha and Grandmother Helen

The Christmas season having arrived,  the religious holiday steeped in tradition  with  Jan’s Family, her mom and dad, sister Gayle Robb & Husband Steve  from Iola,  Kiowa residing Lynne and Shawn Johnson, her  Aunt Esther & Uncle Charles Terry and the collective children of the Johnson, Willson, and Robb all customarily in attendance.  The location for the Christmas Eve Gift Exchange each year alternating between the  four Kiowa households, the occasional exception,  the Christmas Day dinner for the most part, the Murrow household retaining a predominance.

Sarah Johnson, Sandi, Robert, Jamie Johnson and the cookie house

Upon entering the Murrow residence thru the back door which was customary,  in addition to the Yuletide decorations and Christmas Tree,   situated magnanimously was  a traditional representation of Jan’s Mother‘s artistry,  a carefully constructed editable cookie house,  it presentation a focal point an outstanding delight for her Grandchildren.   The Christmas Eve’s family assembly partaking from a bountiful filled table,  a variety of homemade candies,  cookies,  bowls and plates of delicious snacking comestibles.   The evening hour for the gift exchange was about to commence,  when a sound of bells echoed from outside the front door  and a voice could be heard, a boisterous proclamation,   “Ho Ho Ho…Merry Christmas.   Entering thru the door,  a portly,  white bearded  bespectacled man dressed in a booted large buckled red suit and cap,  a large cloth sack positioned over his shoulder.   The youngest of the children,  enthusiastically exclaiming his name,  Santa Claus!!!,  as he reached into his mystical bag,  distributing gifts to the excited youths.   Bud Murrow,  once again successfully providing the essential quantum Christmas character, fulfilling the tradition for a Murrow Family Christmas.

A greeting from Santa

Gary’s benefaction was his Apostolic Christian Church Sunday School class’s participation in the Christmas Service’s.   In concert with the church’s traditional beliefs,  the sunday school classes  presentation before the congregation was not a costumed pageantry or surrogate performance,  but a class gathering,  each young disciple heralding their voices in song and reciting either from scripture,  an appropriate written Christmas accolade or poem,  in celebration of  the birth of Jesus.   With the completion of the Christmas service,  the three classes assembled for a gift exchange,  the names previously drawn,  the colloquium and their families remaining to fellowship with an abundant supply of suppliant treats enthralled in the dining room.

Robert and Sandi – A very merry Christmas

Christmas Day at the Murrow residence,  a welcoming of Uncle Raymond Roth and Aunt Laverne the patriarch of the Roth family, with visits from the Guthrie’s and other long-standing friends.   The myriad of activity in the kitchen,  the women busy addressing Christmas Dinner,  the men,  their appetites boosted by the ambrosia of the dietary rewards absconding from kitchen.   The three seated areas for meal consumption,  the bench laden kitchen breakfast nook for the youngest,  a small table adjoining the dining room for the older children and Lynne and Shawn.  The Johnson’s the youngest parental family,  voicing their annual question,   “when can we sit at the big table with the rest of adults?” and the expansive dining room table set  to accomplished the seasoned adults.   The dinner prepared,  the recipients entering the kitchen,  its stature,  a host for a buffet style serving achievement.   The banquet celebration fulfilled,  the women, again attaining the kitchen to resolve the afflicted extent of the meals preparation.   The children finding activity outside or in the basement play area.   The men seeking retirement and solace in front of the television,  a football game providing the means to acquire a dozing state of dormancy,  another family holiday accomplished.

Garrett Christopher Denton a late Christmas gift

Garrett Christopher Denton a late Christmas gift

The first Christmas in Anthony was accomplished,  but a late Christmas present was yet to arrive,  the well packaged gift expected at anytime,  its delivery post, Oklahoma City.   The gift ,  a celebrated conception presented to the world on January 6, 1989,  the endowments appellation,  Garrett Christopher Denton,  a premier son born to Marlo and Chris and the transcendent Grandson of Gary and Marlo’s mother Kermece.   The event giving focus to the realization of heritage, Garrett’s introduction to the ambiance of life,  insuring a future of endearment for the inaugurated couple to adjoin in the future joys of his nurture,  a presence providing a common fulfilling ambition to sojourn together on a gifted guided life.

Hmmm…..who is he trying to impress

An Amiable Semblance……….#205 (the 80’s)

December 22, 2010
The Anthony House

The Anthony House

Gary found there was something about their new residence in Anthony that for some reason gave him cause to stop, look and listen when entering its domain.  It was a feeling that one gets when viewing a historical location or structure where its past over shadows it presence and one gets the feeling that it’s attempting to communicate.  It may have been the placard stone dated 1904 that gave raise to the haunted feeling, one would question why those constructing a private residence in a small rural town would reference the construction date unless there was a meaningful reason.  Gary surmising, that with its vacancy in the eclipse of the surroundings it had to endure months of prevailing hot and frigid air  finding abdication with the temporal tide.   An essentia of solace emerged within,  it’s stately character not of the bourgeois,  but an edifice to the perspicacity of the couturier,  the advent of the recent Anthony family opening another chapter in its log book of history.   With an introduction of acquaintance the monotheistic residence, its warmth giving station renewed, exhibited ubiquity,  no longer standing solitary or as an unfrequented monument,  but again a  enlivened benchmark in the plebeian community.   The Willson’s new pervade of occupancy providing an implication of vivacity,  an awakening of past memories from the tillage of time,  the palisade of it’s the walls bearing witness,  preserving a silent staunchness from an eminent past era.   The living residence at 602 N. Springfield again attaining its generational mission,  the newly established family having immersed themselves in its heritage.

The Anthony Swimming Public Pool

The Anthony Swimming Public Pool

It was a city sponsored endeavor and Robert was animated about participated,  a swimming team activity composed of elementary age student,  divided by age groups to compete with similar competition from adjoining towns.  Robert and Sandi having discovered the Anthony Pool’s daily availability,  a journey of 5 blocks  north on N. Springfield Ave,  a convivial summertime excursion.   Robert’s team association requiring the discipline of in structural authority, taken very serious by some,  but resolved as dalliance by others.   The competitive events taking place on weekends,  a host of parents and grandparents attending the community occurrence,  Robert doing exceeding well in his scheduled performances.   Jan first noticed the aggravation in the young boys eyes,  a slight swelling and redness prevailing,  the over-the-counter eye treatment finding little relief.   A visit to Dr. Bonds town office providing an answer,  Robert having an aversion caused by the chlorine in the water,  its aggravation being enhanced by his competitiveness exertion.   After completing two competitions, Robert having to concede to his medical condition,  his racing desires squelched,  but  normal pool activity was permissible .

Anthony Elementary School

Anthony Elementary School

Off to a new school

Off to a new school

A commencement of the school year was upon the two students, an enrollment in Anthony Elementary,  Robert enlisting the sixth grade and Sandra abetting the fifth,  the school within walking distance on S. Springfield,  two blocks across Main.   Gary finding the two tier schooling application in Anthony and Harper a compliment to the insight and integrity of the Harper County Board of Education.  It’s elementary schools,  The Harper and Anthony Cities K thru 8 grades and the mutually shared 1971 constructed Chaparral  High School,  grades 9 thru 12, the modern structure stationed on the highway,  halfway between the two communities.   The first day of school, Robert and Sandi expressing a slight indication of apprehension,  but understandable considering the circumstances, an inaugural day addressing an unfamiliar building,  a host of new teachers and assembling with numerous unknown classmates.  The premier accomplished, the two young  enrollees established,  the  Byzantine path of education with its continuance awaiting.

Jan and Gary having shared duties on the Kiowa ambulance, they were never on call at the same time and it was somewhat similar at the Anthony Hospital, Jan  working nights and Gary maintaining an eight hour day scheduled.  Jan having already established herself not hesitating to accept responsible, demonstrating a new source of assertiveness in the performance of her duties.  The Willson’s next door neighbor on the west was also a nurse working the night shift, Gary was a little concerned about the effect on their neighbor working with a just schooled and by the book nurse, but after visiting with her, discovering that at first appearance she seemed like only a nurse in name only, even a nurse can be airheads.  Gary’s realm of responsibility at work was beginning to advance,  Roy beginning to share his diagnosis ability and mechanical know-how,  the knowledge of the buildings facets and idiosyncrasies,  to Roy a subconscious reflection consummated from twenty plus years of experience in its environment.  Gary soon discovering there were some assigned task that Roy didn’t mind relinquishing, the weekly transporting of a mobile mammogram machine to the Harper Hospital,  the Anthony and Harper Hospitals sharing in its use.  First thing on Thursday mornings Gary would back the Hospitals Suburban, attach the specially designed trailer, pull up to the ER entrance and load the electric driven mammogram machine in the trailer for the 10 mile journey to Harper, the Harper Hospital reciprocating every Monday morning with its return.  It was Roy’s quietly almost methodical way of going about remedying the problems submitted by the  hospital staff, which  to them were dire and of an immediate response, but to Roy were mundane having seen them all before, his composer  impressing his assistant,  Gary’s observation of 65 year old Roy’s adroitness,  concluding that knowledge alone would never trump experience.   With a home established, their employment secured, the family settling in finding an amiable semblance in their new Anthony surroundings.

A New Road Of Expectations……………#204 (the 80’s)

December 19, 2010
Hospital District # 6 - The Anthony Hospital

Hospital District # 6 of Harper County – The Anthony Hospital

Gary’s juncture with the Anthony Hospital was about to be accomplished having received a phone call to attend a scheduled morning interview with the hospital administrator  regarding his employment as a maintenance assistant.   Entering the administration office,  the secretary cordially acknowledging his arrival,  ushering him into the Administrator’s office.  Gary somewhat  surprised to find a younger person attired in a three-piece suit seated at a desk, raising, shaking hands and with a smile introducing himself as Jay Jolly, Hospital Administrator.    Seated in attendance were two other persons,  a diminutive elderly man whom Gary apprised as abutting 60 plus years of age,  the other remaining person even more senior,  judging him to be in his seventies.  The Administrator introducing the younger of the two as Roy Stein  the maintenance facilitator,  the administrator asserting that Roy was present during the hospital’s  conception in 1967,  having participated in it construction,  returning later to preside in the maintenance department.   The introductions continuing, the eldest of the two introduced as Jim White, a retired mechanical and industrial  engineer who had been charged with the supervision of the City of  Anthony’s maintenance, road and public utilities department,  the Administrator adding that he relied upon Jim as the Hospital Plant Consultant.   Jay acknowledging Gary’s application,  stating  with Roy’s concurrence he was turning the interview process over to Jim White and that Jim would afford the tour of the building.  Gary was somewhat apprehensive, expecting a sit-down interview with an administrator and maintenance supervisor,  instead acquiring an audience and inquisition by the cities retired engineer.

Jim White Hospital Engineering Consultant

Acknowledged Anthony City Engineer Jim White

Gary’s trepidation was soon put to rest,  Jim White’s outward commodious personality setting Gary at ease.  The touring  excursion commencing with an introduction to the hospital’s equipment complex, a large basement center housing all the environmental, utility and clinical  systems.   The hospital building structure itself,  a unique solid concrete cold-war era designed building,  the concrete roof and walls structural integrity designated as an emergency fall-out and storm shelter.  The building constructed with a maze like  underground 4×4 ft. enclosed lighted labyrinth tunneling system allowing access to the plumbing and electrical utilities.  Passage beneath the hospital corridors, because of the tunnels 4 ft. height, accomplished with what we’re designated as scooters,  small wheeled platforms to literally scoot thru the passageways.     Jim introducing  Gary to the physical plants industrial equipment in the basement operations center,  the Maintenance Seeker having experienced boiler operation during his five-year tenure at the Kiowa Grade School,  but never acquainting such a presence as the two behemoth natural gas/ diesel backup Superior High-Pressure Steam Boilers.   Beside providing a heating exponent for the building, the boiler also provided steam used for autoclave sterilization  and laboratory sterilized water.  The basement complex also a station for the massive 100 ton Trane air conditioning compressor, its piping extending to the multiple bladed air circulating roof top condensers.  Another introduction, this time to  the impressive electric driven Ingersoll Rand vacuum pumps,  providing suction capabilities for surgery and in-room patient care.  Gary’s mechanical knowledge expanding as Jim explained the function of the various equipment, concluding with the  pumps for the multifarious zoned hydronic fan coil units that  provided the room climate control for the adjoining Clinic and 48 bed acute hospital.

The prerequisite walk-thru interview coming to a conclusion, a learning experience,  Gary having provided Jim with his logic based mechanical understanding of the physical plants integrated components ,  emphasizing,  with Roy Steins additional in-depth tutelage  he was thoroughly comfortable addressing the operation and maintenance of the equipment.  The interview concluding with Jim but before leaving it was conveyed to Gary his wasn’t the only applicant and interview rendered.  Returning home, the inevitable waiting for the decision commenced,  Gary earlier having informed school superintendent Glen Piper of his intended application endeavor asking if a two-week notice would be necessary not wanting to generate any difficulties, Glen’s reply was short and to the point, “don’t worry about it’.  The call he had been waiting for finally arriving,  requesting Gary to meet with the H.R. person the following Monday at 9:00 a.m. for employee orientation and physical.  Gary was no stranger to hospitals, the Kiowa ambulance having provided patient transfers to the major medical centers in Wichita, Enid and the smaller community hospitals, but his familiarity was with E.R. and the patient care portals of the institutions,  not the environmental service and plant functioning aspect.

Roy Stein

Roy Stein

 With the new employee prerequisites fulfilled,  Gary finally had the opportunity to meet and  know his supervisor.  64-year-old Roy Stein was a very quiet person, small in stature, soft-spoken, very direct never speaking more than a sentence.   A somewhat reclusive withdrawn person, having no interest in anybody’s  business,  his twenty years of hospital service finding a methodical dedication to his work and to a small farm that his father bequest to him and to his rumored mail-order bride Violet.   He accepted Gary’s presence not as a necessity or an expediency but as a acumen of the Administrator, something Gary understood and accepted.  It was soon realized  hospital maintenance was similar to that of the ambulance service, the maintenance department  on-call 24 hours,  7 days a week.  Like an ambulance service,  the on-call hospital responsibility was compensated,  a stipend $10 for weekday nights and $25 per Saturday and Sunday with a time clock documented weekend morning and afternoon walk-thru inspection required.  Roy in the past having singularly provided the on-call service, Gary sensing some displeasure from Roy when the Administrator suggested that Roy alternate his weekly on-call duties with his newly acquired maintenance assistant,  Roy having an  aversion to the idea,  Gary concluding that his aversion was because of a  financial rationale.

Large XL liquid Oxygen tanks weighing 90 lbs

Large XL liquid Oxygen tanks weighing 90 lbs

 Gary soon discovering that maintenance was an integral part of all the departments, servicing the adjoining clinic and patient room clinical suction, oxygen,  the electric bed and patient call light controls, as well as fire alarm systems. The work-order request system was the primary means of communication with the facility departments,  the staff either by hand or deposit, submitting a time dated work request document in person or the maintenance office reception box,  Gary or Roy addressing  the work order.  The quota of clinical responsibility for nursing services was in addition to dietary, the business office and maintaining the plant equipment,  besides a twice a day monitoring  of the hospital oxygen supply with a replacement of the online XL stainless steel liquid oxygen containers if needed, plus the continuous room painting, floor stripping and waxing and  the upkeep on acres of ground which hosted the hospital and the emergency service ambulances.

Kansas Hospital Association member

As an active member of the KHA ( Kansas Hospital Association),  Jay Jolly regularly traveling to attend the organizations programs to keep abreast of  current industry innovations and changes in state regulatory statutes affecting district hospitals.  Gary was surprised when Jay approached him with literature from the KHEA  (Kansas Hospital Engineers Association),  an affiliate of the KHA,  questioning if he would be interested in becoming a member representing the hospital.  Gary surmising that his active participation as the newly appointed maintenance representative to the Safety Committee may have induced the attention of the administrator,  Gary  having written and submitted the maintenance department’s  policies and procedures for the recently enacted Disaster Plan.   Jay disclosing,  although Roy was an excellent maintenance man, with his humble placid disposition he  never contributed or initiated an opinion as a Department Head at any of the mandatory meetings, always in attendance but remaining quiet as an observer.  Gary was appreciative of his recognition and welcomed an opportunity to expand his horizon and  educational contingency. Not hesitating in accepting Jays offer to participate in the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association with it educational seminars, concluding there was more to the designation Hospital Engineer than just a title.

Transubstantiated – Anthony Kansas….#203 (the 80’s)

December 16, 2010
welcome to anthony 2

Hospitality Accepted

The inaugural allodial journey to the newly acquire property in Anthony was one to articulate the many aspects,  attributes and deficiencies that might have been inconspicuous overlooked because of the memorizing wonder of the interior of the house.   The only peremptory problem discovered was a  lack of diligence in the winterizing  of the vacant house.  The basement water heater having succumbed to the freezing winter temperature,  the tank having sustained applicable damage from not being properly drained,  a replacement being required.   The remainder of the residence having bolstered the vacuity of a Kansas winter  in pertinacious condition.   Gary listing a first  initial task, the subduing of the yard,  the property consuming an expansive corner double lot,  the monolithic structure surrounded by lawns with sidewalks and easement grass bordering Springfield Ave and Walnut St..  The Jim Gates Agency having discontinued its sporadic yard maintenance provision.  Gary installing the new water heater having the utilities turned on, the task of expunging the vacancy year long residue next on the list, a good house cleaning needed before they could make the auspicious residential change.   It was a monumental undertaking  considering the temporal obligation of Gary and Jan’s employment.  Even with Jan’s mother and Aunt Ester volunteering to assist, there was a compelling decision to engage some local assistance being made, Jan commissioning two local ladies versed in-house cleaning to fulfill its entitlement.

Living room fireplace

Living room fireplace

Gary soon discovered  prospecting the property was educational,  the remnants of its history still viable,  the wooden shiplap garage at one time having electricity, still possessing the old knob and tube wiring mounted on the studs and joist,  a likewise presence in the basement of the house,  but the garage’s electric source no longer cabled to the house.   A glance at the house found its originating source dictated by the ceramic knob fixtures visible under the third floor roof eves, Gary making note of another project, a line to the garage.   On the west side of the weathered cement driveway  two capped pipes visible, closer examination discovered two abandoned underground fuel tanks another venture from the past.   Just behind the garage on the ground found a large round slab of cement,  a covering for what appears to be the remains of a turn of the century septic.  The far northwest corner of the double lot provided another find,  upon examining a 4 x 6 ft.  slab of concrete, was a 16 x 8 inch opening in its center,  shielded with a board.   A drop light investigation,  discovering a hand dug well,  its circumference wall fashioned with laboriously laid bricks.  Gary curious about its depth, ingenuity manifested dropping a 50 ft. garden hose down the opening to measure its depth,  the hose descending to 40 feet before halting, the water level of the well measured by its present on the house stopped at 27 feet.   Surmising the concrete slab in all likelihood was a foundation of a by-gone era well house .   In the front yard to the north, a garnishing outline of a once proud fish pond,  its cement remains still visible,  again, another fixture that graced the magnificent residence.   The crowning discovery was found not in the expansive landscape with its towering elms,  but in the house  in the third floor ballroom,  not a relic of the past,  but a appurtenant that delighted Robert and Sandi,  its ubiquity was ascertained during the initial walk-thru with the reality representative,  Gary surprised that its presence would still be predicated,  but it remained, the regulation sized pool table with cue sticks and balls.

The Yamaha's new home

The Yamaha’s new home

South porch entrance

South porch entrance

The furnishing of the Dickinson Street residence were in transit,  the Yamaha console piano,  kitchen appliances and larger furnishings finding transport in a borrowed horse trailer belonging to Mark Yazel,  whose cattle brokerage business leased  a portion of Gary’s father-in-laws Bud Murrow’s farming land.  The many boxes of smaller sundry items finding carriage in the bed of the Murrow family wheat truck.   Jan’s family, mother and father, Shawn and Lynne, Ester and Charles Terry all present and helping with the  weekend.  The bedroom assignments were never formally allocated,  but  the firm voice of the youngest member in the family,  Sandi,  whom on her first encounter with the south bedroom,  with its chandelier light fixture and  glass French door giving passage to the sunroom, having  immediately announced her claim of the room.   Robert settling for the other south room of similar size,  but without addition of the sunroom and its enclosed windowed view.   The 14 x 16 ft. northeast master bedroom fulfilling Jan and Gary’s nocturnal exercitation.

The east front door entrance

The east front door entrance

Dining room bay window

Dining room bay window

Gary’s early morning wakening  scheduled  was accelerated by 45 minutes,  allowing for the 30 mile country vista morning drive to Kiowa and the advent of the schools summer schedule,  adjusting his 10 hour school work day,  starting at 7:00 a.m.,  concluding at 5:30 p.m., a reducing  his lunch to 30 minutes.  The summer schedule provided a  prognostication of the inevitable fall semester and the 12 hour work day, because of the travel distance his duties would require adherent punctuality and a regimental appearance even during inclement weather.   A paradox beginning to muster,  his proclivity beginning to wane for the ebullience of the school employment,  the  adversity of the upcoming 12 hour day,  aggrandized  by the commute from Anthony.   A pondering to seek local employment was beginning to emerge, Gary making an inquiry at the Harper County School District,  finding they had already fulfilled their employment agenda.   The Anthony John Deere Dealership another possible alternative,  then a deliverance of opportunity, the messenger being the same emissary whom had imparted the grade school employment opening.  The Angel of dispatch was his wife Jan relating a workplace announcement at the Anthony Hospital, an employment posting,  the Anthony Hospital was seeking a full-time maintenance assistant.   Gary’s ponderous thoughts no longer rampant,  his decision solidified about seeking employment in Anthony.  Then the difficult part to endure, the first being to serve notice to Glen, not resigning, but of his intentions, the District School Administrator smiling, acknowledging that it was no surprise and was to be expected.  Gary without hesitation submitting an application for the Anthony Hospital maintenance assistant position, discovering the second part to endure also difficult, the arresting wait for the decision.

Always Believe In Miracles……#202 (The 80’s)

December 13, 2010
loan

A Documented Miracle
(click to enlarge)

The residence searching journey from Anthony to Kiowa found a colloquy of aspirations, the house on N. Springfield’s emergence presenting an illustrious canon, a definite contrast to the housing corporeality thus far having been displayed to the couple.   Gary having never  witness Jan’s enthusiasm for something elevated to such a degree.   The Bird Reality representative,  although indicating she had no knowledge of the N. Springfield properties disposition,  except it was in the modus operandi of foreclosure, but Gary attentively noticed  she inadvertently mentioned the name of the person who garnered  the house’s backdoor key.   Gary relating his attentiveness to Jan,  asserting he would further his inquiry about the house to  the person she  mentioned and with a ray of optimism hopeful that the results would be encouraging, quelling some of Jan’s receptive disappointment.

A Saturday morning Gary again traversing the highway to Anthony, an inquisitive quest to the name inadvertently mentioned by the reality agent,  the Jim Gates Agency at 316 W. Main St..   Gary trusting he could acquire more information on the complexion and disposition of the house on N. Springfield.   Gary introducing himself with an explanation of how he and his wife arrived at discovering an interest in the house.  Jim cordially explaining his concert with Railroad Saving & Loan the foreclosing bank as a CPA and their local representative.   His cardinal concern beside allowing an occasional display by a reality agency, was the properties security and his ongoing attempt to contact the responsible party holding the mortgage which had falling into default.  Unfamiliar with the financial world of mortgages, Gary questioning Jim about assuming the current loan, and the difficulty he would encounter.  Jim responded, once in foreclosure, it would be impossible for an assumption until the bank took possession.  Gary again questioned, under what circumstances could the proceedings be halted?  Jim acknowledging it was not probable but possible if the defaulting owners came forward and relinquished the property.  Gary not conceding defeat, quarried Jim  about the owner, their current address and phone number, Gates replying, he had both an address and phone number, but the person refused to return his correspondence or calls, adding that he was well acquainted with the departed party because when living here he also was a CPA..

A stately structure

A stately structure

Gary leaving Anthony with LaVerne and Wilmetta Miller.s  address and phone number,  the default mortgage holder now residing in Colorado Springs.  Jim Gates giving an assurance,  if the Millers in Colorado were willing to sign a release for Gary to assume the loan,  Jim would notify the bank of the impeding action and would help administer the contractual paperwork.  The return drive to Kiowa,  Gary reviewing in his head the uplifting conversation with Jim, a message of encouragement not only for him but also for Jan.   A letter was immediately dispatched to the Colorado address,  expounding the Willson desire to purchase the N. Springfield property, willing to secure the mortgage holder’s obligation by assuming their loan.   A week having passed with no answer,  the time having arrived to place a phone call to Colorado Springs.  To Gary’s astonishment,  it was answered,  the conversation with the Miller’s confirming their interest in the Willson’s proposal.   A return visit with Jim Gates ensued, and the negotiations between the litigants began, but finding complications.  Ten years of the original 30 year mortgage having been indemnified,  Railroad Savings not wanting to yielding to a loan assumption,  requiring Gary to obtain a new mortgage to meet the outstanding balance for the property.

The problem arising was the bank couldn’t loan the money for a house not yet  contracted for.   At a loss, not wanting to inform the Millers, that the bank would not let him assume the loan,  Gary turned to Jim Gates,  who had a slide of hand solution.  The current Colorado owner could relinquishing the property to the Willson’s with a quick claims deed for one dollar and Gary would obtain a mortgage on the house for the balance owed on the original contract,  contractually satisfying all concerned.
The acquisition was transpiring,  a loan approval needed,  an interest rate to be agreed upon for a 30 year loan in the amount of $46,000.  Gary visiting on the phone with a member of the banks loan committee for the first time,  expressing he would only consider a monthly payment of less than $400 dollars,  with the insurance premium and property tax included,  the loan officer was taken aback,  replying he would have to confer with the committee at their next conference.   Another temporal waiting,  then a call from Jim Gates,  the bank in order to keep the monthly payment down as Gary requested,  agreed to a variable interest of 3% above the federal discount rate  which was the rate that banks paid the Feds when borrowing money.  This was more than acceptable to Gary, considering the current conventional mortgage rate on thirty year mortgage was over 10%.   A second call from Jim Gates, espousing another major problem,  the bank somehow failing to notice that the Millers had secured a second loan for $25,000, the equity in the house serving as collateral,  a balance of $5,000 still remaining.  The earthshaking news bringing the N. Springfield transaction to standstill.

A neighborhood throwback to another era.

A neighborhood throwback to an earlier era.

The news was devastating, coming so close to completion, the time and effort, the hopes and dreams,  all seemed for not,  an aura of despondency hovering over the family.   Another conversation with Jim Gates, once again Gary asking his advice.   Jim suggestion that they  contact La Verne Miller and simply ask if he would renew the balance of the note as an unsecured loan,  removing the house as collateral.  Gary always believed in miracles, but the past months of events confirming his faith in prayer and confirmation of his conviction, Railroad Savings & Loan accepting the Millers renewal of the note without collateral.   A signing ceremony was held at the Jim Gates Agency, Gary very conscious of Jim Gates role in the acquisition of the property,  his undertaking and guidance forever an unpayable gift.  With their signatures,  Gary and Jan Willson ,  now title holders of the stately monolithic structure at 602 N. Springfield Ave,  its infinity having stood dormant thru a winter and spring would once again thrive with the presence of vivacity.

A Moving Overture…………….#201 (the 80’s)

December 11, 2010
Kiowa School Board - (L to R) Glen Piper, Bert Gillig, Tom Farney, Ron Allenbach, Walter Fry, Kathy Grant, Wanda Eckert, David Wolgamont, Larry Mc Cart6y, David Meyer

Kiowa School Board – (L to R) Glen Piper, Bert Gillig, Tom Farney, Ron Allenbach, Walter Fry, Kathy Grant, Wanda Eckert, David Wolgamont, Larry Mc Cart6y, David Meyer

An  influential ingredient inaugurated life’s equation,  Jan having recently obtained a full time RN position at Hospital District #6 of Harper County better known as the Anthony Hospital and with it came a prospect of the family relocating the thirty miles to Anthony.  Gary in a quandary, a long existing Board of Education policy was relevant  to the family moving,  all non-certified employees must reside in the school district.   A decision to confer his dilemma with the school superintendent Glen Piper,  expressing his ardent desire to remain as an employee of USD 255,  questioning the possibility of the School Board making an exception on his behalf to their long standing protocol.   Leaving the Central Office meeting demarcating his possibility but never having to discover the colloquy,  Glen notifying Gary of the board’s approval to his out of district employment at the Grade School.

Jan's 87 Buick Skylark - a new ride to Anthony

Jan’s 87 Buick Skylark

 Jan’s Toyota Tercel Wagon having acquired over 30,000 miles during her daily 2 year journey to Pratt Community college in pursuit of her nursing degree demonstrated its reliability but Gary’s Isuzu Pickup with its 100,000 plus odometer reading wasn’t as trustworthy.  Gary very much aware of a possible 60 mile daily commute from Anthony and at the same time he would like to to find Jan more suitable transportation.   Accessing Bill Bogner’s Chevrolet-Buick Dealership, the couple abridging the multiple selection of Bill’s inventory down to two.  A decision between a 1987,  blue,  six cylinder Buick Skylark or a white 88 Chevrolet Celebrity, Gary finding his proclivity for the newer model Chevrolet being overridden,  not by year, not by price or model,  but by the color blue,  a decision espoused by his wife.  The bartering trade-in, the 4-wheel drive Isuzu now a historical remembrance,  Gary inheriting Jan’s well traveled 4-wheel drive SR5 Toyota,  the newly acquired 1987 Buick to fill Jan’s highway peregrinations.

601 N. Springfield Ave. Anthony Ks.

601 N. Springfield Ave. Anthony Ks.

Gary’s knowledge of Anthony Kansas was limited to the location of the John Deere Dealership and the Anthony Municipal Hall.   The muni-halls carriage the host of an ambitious craft expositions twice a year, an experience from Jan’s past ceramic business labors.   The prospects of a move to Anthony becoming more probable with Jan’s avocation at the Hospital and her circadian commute to the Anthony.   Gary finding the Anthony moving overture more prominent,  Jan taking the initiative,  arranging  a weekend appointment with a representative of The Dan Bird Realty,  the agent to acquaint the inquiring family to the available realty prospects their agency represented.   The excursions were not with Dan, but with a lady representative,  discovering most of the prospective metropolitan residency’s unsuitable. The itinerary  included an introduction to rural property north of town and  to the availability of several small homes addressing the Anthony City Lake,  but to their disappointment all retaining an absence of approbation.  An afternoons quest for a applicable home was about to conclude when the Reality Agent acknowledged a vacant residence on North Springfield that wasn’t on the market because of an ongoing foreclosure proceeding,  the Lady volunteering this house was her personal favorite,  one she would love to have as her own.

Back door southside

View from Walnut Street

Arriving at the unavailable house,  a revelation was discovered,  it was the second largest in Anthony,  a historic residence,  a placard stone embedded in the outside brick chimney-rise  dating 1904.   The couple waiting on the front porch to enter, the realty lady possessing only a back door key.  The entry door opening to a large foyer and a wide carpeted staircase with solid oak banister pavilion to the second and third floors.  The three-storied structure presenting six gables,  1500 sq. ft. addressing each of the three levels,  with the second floor bedroom providing an added  large window enclosed sunroom above the south entrance portal porch.   A total of 4500 sq. ft. of living area,  composed of six upstairs bedrooms,  4 on the second floor,  the largest a master bedroom, 16 x 14.,  two others,  12 x 14, and a smaller bedroom off the hall  to a second staircase leading down to the kitchen.   The second floor was accommodated with a full bath, a tub and a laundry-chute to the basement.  The remaining bathroom with a shower,  a first floor addition to the original structure.  The third floor having two small bedrooms and what the elderly residence of the city referred to as   ‘The Ballroom‘,  a very large one room pavilion where in a previous era,  dances were held.  Another unexpected discovery, a regulation size pool table homesteading in the third floor Ballroom, apparently to difficult to move and left by the previous owners.   The final architectural surprises, a rear door entry back porch adjoining the kitchen with a long pantry hall leading to the dining room, and from the kitchen an entry downstairs to  a open full semi-finished 1500 sq. ft. basement,  its ceiling displaying the 2 x 12 floor joist and the eight inch zoned metal ductwork from the 3 humidity equipped central air and heating units probing upwards.

Stately

A Stately Presence

Jan was overwhelmed and impassioned,  Gary too,  having never experience the bounteous impression of the structure,  the first floor speciousness,  a fire-place,  the once designated music room to the north of the capacious entrance  foyer,  the anointed commanding wide oak endowed staircase.   The living and dining room accentuated with built-in beveled glass enclosed china cabinets,  the downstairs openness encompassed with colonnades,  a bay window addressing the dining room area,  the residence an empyrean domain.   The walk-thru acquaintance concluding, leaving the realm of this bounteous structure appraised as inaccessible,  Gary finding the words of a meaningful song resonating within,  “to dream the impossible dream” and the verse,  “this my quest,  to follow the star,  no matter how hopeless,  no matter how far”.   Seeing the expression on Jan’s face,  the coveting glow in her eyes,  the N. Springfield house was her desire,  Gary realizing his quest,  the acquisition gauntlet having been raised.

We’re In Kansas, Toto…….#200 (the 80’s)

December 6, 2010
Kansas snow drift

Kansas snow drift

 Dorothy was right when she said “we’re not in Kansas Toto”.  The weather in Oz never resembled the  heterogeneity and vicissitude of the atmospheric prevalence of Kansas. The winter snow blanketed southwest Kansas,  its display presenting a panoramic cleansing,  its achlorophyllaceous covering brushing the landscape,  an artistry to behold,  but an arduous venture for enraptured farmers having to champion a nurture for their cattle enterprise.  In their labors finding the mile sections excitations for their task closed,  the encumbered snow fulfilling it wind-driven drifting appointment.   Gary awoke to the celebrated presentation,  the accumulated snow giving question to his once designated Suburban school mud route,  having evolved into a snowbound challenge.   The school superintendent yet to make his calling,  a school day,  or a snow day,  Gary would soon discern his decision, the 4-wheel drive Isuzu having no difficulty traversing the snow-covered road and accessing the high school bus enclosure.   Glen Piper, the superintendent  having disclosed a means of non scheduled notification for an unexpected school snow day,  “if my car tracks go to the bus enclosure gate, it signifies a school day, and I’ll be at the Central Office if you have any problems.   Gary’s 5:00 a.m. arrival at the high school,  finding Glen’s school Chevrolet having left its footprints.

Gary Willson - School Suburban Chauffeur

Gary Willson – School Suburban Chauffeur

The school’s 4-wheel drive Suburban having no problems tracking the snow-covered blacktop to the Grade School,  Gary’s intuition expressed him to commence his suburban route 45 minutes early.  Before leaving placing a call to the David Meyer farm,  his first miring rural road stop,  a query about the snow conditions addressing the road to farm.   David confirming what Gary suspected,  the north and south tributaries were passable, but because of the north wind and heavy drifting,  the west arteries branching from the highway  blacktop might have a possible 2 to 3 foot drifts.  David relating  the ¾ mile east access to his farm from the northern trek of the river road was normally passable.  With the snow coming down the Suburban accomplishing the 2 ½ north-east blacktop crossing the Medicine River Bridge without difficulties,  turning west at the Girty residence onto the rut defined mile section paralleling the Medicine River,  the 8 inches of snow,  now canopied with 16 inch drifts,  the twelve passenger Suburban,  its four actuating wheels  accomplishing the rising snow deposits.

Loretta and Sherrill Meyer - Gary's first stop

Loretta Lynn and Sherrill Elisa Meyer – Gary’s first stop

The westward river road now curving north, the drifts having diminished,  the accumulated snow now a cushion,  Gary alert and steadfast in the darken morning achieving 10 mph.  No problems on the snow covered road journeying the two miles remaining before having to turn back east.   Gary’s concern heighten, the east avenue to the Meyers far was flat and opened,  the north wind having total access to the graded path called a road.  Turning onto the easterly ¾ mile section, immediate encountering formidable drifts,  the 4-wheel drive transport having difficulty, losing traction its movement more lateral than  forward, the visibility marginal  finally its proscenium burrowing into a 3 foot drift,  its forward dispatch coming to a halt. The lights of the Meyers residence could be seen glowing,  Gary hesitating, about to notified  Glen to call David that he was within walking distance if they had snowshoes,  when the lights of a tractor snapped to attention.  David,  displaying equanimity, surveyed the road situation,  having his John Deere tractor made ready to transport his daughter Loretta and the eldest daughter Sherrill to the drift halted vehicle, Gary reversing course back to the lightly drifted north and south road.

Cassie Luthi -

Cassie Luthi – Always ready with a smile

Dan and Susan Luthi

Dan and Susan Luthi

Upon leaving the Meyer’s , Gary’s Suburban  returning to the snow covered northern, 3 1/2 miles to the reaches of the black top pavement of  Gerlane Road still decorated with snow, turning east his second stop, the Luthi Farm.   Gary pulling up to the house,  recognizing the presence of an  old friend having found employment running fence on the country spread,  his 1950 Dodge Pickup, Gary having sold it to Dan Luthi years earlier.  Cassie Luthi was always ready, not just on time for her ride to school, but with a beaming attitude to greet each day.  Dannie Gene Luthi  from Perryton, Ochiltree County in the northeast panhandle of Texas was attending Northwest Oklahoma State College in Alva Oklahoma when he met Susan Beth Spicer from Hazelton Kansas.  Dan and Susan wed and moved to Robbins Tennessee when Cassie Elizabeth entered the world in Knoxville.  Dan was farming and raising cattle,  Susan was teaching school for the Scott County Independent School District when Cassie’s Grandfather George Spicer convinced them it was time to resettle back in Kansas.

Madison Tyrell and Zachariah Odell

Madison Tyrell and Zachariah Odell

Dan Girty & Holly Domnick

Dan Girty & Holly Domnick

Railroad crossing to the Domnick Farm

Railroad crossing to the Domnick Farm

With an ever smiling Cassie joining the more serious Sherrill and Loretta,  the chauffeur driven school suburban continued east on the snow packed Gerlane Road,  turning left onto the black top road enabling the 8 miles to Sharon Kansas, the first mile section cross-road discovering the farming home of Zachariah and Madison Tyrell Odell.   The two brothers, the son’s of Brenda Lea (Spicer) Odell, the daughter of Don Spicer.  Gary discovering another Spicer family having acquired and settled in this part of Barber County.  The Odell brothers, like their cousin Cassie were pillars of exuberance, projecting a non serious carefree world, enjoying the momentary events of  their surroundings.   The two boys reminding Gary of himself at that age, discovering the meaning of life in a single word, adventure.  The boys relating on their search for a coyotes den,  the time they let a skunk in the house, and their discovery of the  unforgettable Hot Rock tree.  The morning finding the boys ready as usual, the driver mentioning  “It’s too bad it’s not a school snow day”.  The Suburban continuing on  another 2 1/2 miles stopping at the Gene Pollock farm to pick up his oldest daughter before traversing onto highway 2  for the final two student stops and the 12 mile return  to Kiowa.  Gary was very cautious crossing the railroad tracks approaching Floyd (Junior) and Vanda Domnick’s farm to gather their daughter Holly, but even more so when crossing back as the terrain has a blind spot and the passing train from the north can suddenly appear.  With the gathering of Holly, the last stop normally just a mile from town, the Girty residence, Dan and his younger sister Janelle Girty just living far enough out-of-town to warrant a ride to school, but this was subject to change with the Elliott family at the Chain Ranch.

The Chain Ranch

The Chain Ranch

 

Angela, Jessie & Jennifer Elliott

Angela, Jessie & Jennifer Elliott

The addition of the Elliott kids at the Chain Ranch required some changes in Gary scheduled, all the students on his route residing north and west of highway #2 that journeyed thru Hazelton before it jogged east towards Anthony in Harper County.  The Chain Ranch location was the opposite direction, 10 miles due east and 1 1/2 south of Kiowa in Harper County, which lead to another question, why were Elliotts attending Barber County USD 255 in Kiowa and not a school in the Harper County school district.  Gary posed the question to Glen, the explanation was reasonable, one of  accommodation,  the distance of the Chain Ranch to Anthony was over 25 miles.  Gary reasoned the order of his stops would remain the same,  he would pick up the student’s living north and west of town first before heading east thru Hazelton and Corwin to the Chain Ranch.  He calculated the Elliott stop would add an additional 30 minutes to his route informing all to be ready 30 minutes earlier than usual, except for Girty, who after finding out he would be picked up first rather than last decided he didn’t need a ride.

Corwin, but a remnant from the past

Corwin, but a remnant of the past

Gary beginning his new assignment picking  up his north of town allotment turning east at Hazelton on unfamiliar territory, never having driving on the well pocketed on and off again black top of what was known as The Corwin Road.   Although having been to Corwin twice, but approaching from the south on a ambulance run from Kiowa, he now had an opportunity to observe what he had been said about this relic of history town with its little remaining remnants.  Corwin getting its name from Oscar Corwin, it seems back in 1883 when Oscar applied for a Postmaster Appointment for the area, it was given the name of the person applying.  The Missouri Pacific Railroad who was in process of spider webbing Kansas with spur lines, the siding way-stop inhaled opportunity and sprung to life.  The town becoming a agricultural hub with a bank, hotel, lumberyard, church, restaurants, a 2 story school, blacksmith and livery stables and with Carrie Nation threatening to visit, it probably had a saloon.   Jan’s Uncle,  Charles Terry having retired from a life time of employment with Cities Service Petroleum and Gas had been in charge of the Corwin pumping station,  Cities Service  having completed the nation’s first long-distance high pressure natural gas transportation system, a 24-inch pipeline stretching some 1,000 of miles from Amarillo to Chicago.  Gary able to picture Corwin’s past, the broad width of the streets where businesses once flourished, the vacant lots where homes once stood, the remains of the school, but still in business the turn of the century grain elevators adjoining the rail spur line that he knew were still in use, having witnessed the locomotive and grain cars serving the grain elevators when living on N.11th St. in Kiowa., arriving on the same tracks that journeyed thru Kiowa into Oklahoma

A Kansas Sunrise

A Kansas Sunrise

  Returning over the miles of open prairie from the Chain Ranch during a fall,  Gary witness a scene out of a Howard Hawks western movie, the wind was gusting  out of the southeast, which to start with never happens in Kansas.  Where they came from remains unknown, but they were there traveling at almost the speed of the Suburban, bounding across the road in their northwest flight.  Not just a few but more than one could count at a glance, Gary having seen their appearance in southwest Oklahoma and in the Panhandle of Texas but not that numerous.  Behold tumbleweeds, measuring upwards of four feet in diameter racing with the wind.  It never ceased amaze the Suburban Driver of the what mother nature had to offer on a river road morning Suburban route,  having witnessed a variety of the animal husbandry readying themselves for the day.  A mother opossum with her four little ones walking in center of the road after a night of scurrying for food, a doe running up an incline with two coyotes in pursuit, and on some morning when ahead of schedule pausing to watch the opalescent kaleidoscope that adorned a Kansas sunrise.

David Meyer

David Meyer

 Gary having developed a cordiality with David and Carol Sue Meyer, having visited with David on several occasions, discovering that they shared more than just opinions in common,  their birthday,  the same month, day and year and both entering the military in the spring of 1959.   David having a reputation as a community activist participating in Public Service,  serving as Moore Township trustee,  attending  City Council and Hospital Board meetings and having been elected to the school board of USD 255.   Gary found that David was an inquisitive school board member,  instilling a concerned credibility to the position,  the only board member to actively visit the three schools on a regular non scheduled basis throughout the year, not only visiting with the teachers and Administrative Hierarchy but with the non-certified personnel as well.  Having elucidated to Gary,  he felt he could never get a completely honest answer about the school from a teacher,  recognizing their apprehension to be critical,  a complaint or suggested might ascend to the superintendent and cause a reflection on their performance, thus his tarrance with members of the non-degree decumbent echelon.   Gary having admired Carol Sue’s driving expertise piloting her car to assisting her mother, DeAlva Clark’s business calling in Kiowa at Clark’s Fabric Shop, actively traversing the mud endowed river road  to town.  David from Cheney Kansas and Carol Sue both having  farming expertise from childhood, the Meyers having retained a section of Carol Sue’s grandfather Reece Clark Sr. original land purchase of 1883.    Gary on numerous occasions having to commence his Suburban school route early when expecting weather adversity,  but when not encountering it would summarily arrive ahead of time at the Meyer’s farm.  Carol Sue noticing the unexpected early event extending Gary an invitation and introduction to a breakfast roll and a hot cup of coffee.

Encompassing Tranquil Surroundings..#199 (the 80’s)

December 4, 2010
Otts Pond

Ott’s Pond

It was early evening, the summer sun still hours away before the consumption of its effervescent rays,  giving way to the seraphic starlit Cimmerian,  the celestial sphere of the rural Kansas night sky.  Seated beside Gary in the Isuzu Pickup his two confederate youngsters Robert and Sandi,  their expedition fishing paraphernalia stationed in the bed of the picayune transport.  This journey in all probability a last foray to the paramount aquatic basin of a family friend and church brother, Marvin Ott.   The elder Ott after the closing the Bank of Kiowa finding it would be in his best interest to transfer the ownership of the illustrious fishing location property to his son Jon who was employed with The First State Bank.   Gary politely phoning Jon to acquire permission for he and his two siblings to acquaint the Ott’s fishing arena as in the past.   Jon in an antagonistic voice agreeing,  but his affirmation having a reluctant tone which wasn’t surprising to the prospective anglers,  Jon’s reputation was one of antipathy,  unlike his father’s,  who banking presence for years was a pillar to the farming community.

Ideal fishing platform

A journey thru Hazelton, turning west on Gerlane Rd., then turning north at Dan Luthi’s Farm,  passing the Powell’s,  the abstracted Chevrolet pickup fulfilling the last 2 miles on the dirt entrenched roadway.  Coming into  view of a familiar sight,  a 100 yards down the sloping terrain, a small unpretentious lodging adjoining the first of two ponds.  The lower pond, a bass enriched dominion with its diminutive water landing dock sporting a  yellow paddle boat secured to its wooden scaffolding.   Disembarking, the three novice fisherman anxiously anticipating the challenge of the bass filled aquarium,  the paddle boat their perfect platform of dispatch,  providing an oracle for their venery.   Robert, pole in-hand casting off the right side of the paddled endowed vessel,  Sandi,  non au courant when regarding casting, her line with hooked worm and bobber attached trolling from the aft quarters of the mobile platform.   The pond waters providing a respectable collection of bass, each of the three having success producing a sufficient product of quantity for their efforts, enjoying the quiet serenity of the gentle waters and the encompassing tranquil surroundings.

The aura of solitude was broken,  Gary distinguishing a pickup truck on the crest of a nearby hill,  a person at its forefront peering at them.  The person with the prying eyes was recognized,  it was Jon Ott,  participating in a surveillance from a distance,  his conspicuous actions, traveling off-road across open fields to scrutinize the Willson family pleasure,  his veiled   appearance projecting  an impression of distrust.   Gary’s benefit of the doubt towards Jon’s credibility vanishing,  a sense of disdain beginning to subsist, Jon verisimilitude of character would  forever be questioned.

A fisherman’s catch

More than one fisherman in the family

More than one fisherman in the family

The fishing venture coming to a conclusion,  Gary keeping his observance to himself,  the sun beginning to wane in the west,  highlighting the exiguous cirrus clouds with shades of pink and ribbons of purple, giving a credulous to Kansas,  the land of opulent sunrise’s and sunsets. Robert and Sandi returning with an auspicious display,  their fishing expedition another joyous experience.

A Kansas Sunset

A Kansas Sunset

Scientifically speaking,  the 130 mm. cannulae embodiment was a deception,  in reality it’s verisimilitude was an aurora coruscation conduit,  aggregating the wondrous effulgence dispatched from a boundless infinite realm.   Its presence,  a stature of prominence in the chronicles of revelation, introducing an acuity of knowledge,  a prescription for discovery, and a gifted glimpse of the community tenants populating the vastness of the universe.   In other words, in plain english,  the 5.12 inch Celestron reflector telescope  having found a place of honor and lodging with Gary.   His youthful excursions to the Chabot Observatory with his librarian sponsor Mrs. Ruth Silo,  the telescope viewing of the planet Saturn with its majestic yellow rings and a dwelling into the realm of authors Robert Heinlein,  Isaac Asimov culminating with a monthly in person acquaintance with Poul Anderson and Rog Phillips,  at the Elves, Gnomes’ and Little Men’s Science Fiction, Chowder and Marching Society monthly meetings in a Telegraph Ave private library in Berkeley,  all contributed to Gary’s propensity for the nocturnal sky and its celestial  inhabitants.

Moon taken with 35mm camera mount

Taken with 35mm camera mount on a 5.12 inch Celestrom telescope

A surface photo using a stronger viewing lens

A surface photo using a stronger viewing lens

The brilliance of the moon casting earthen shadows, silhouetting the landscape with a metamorphosis of symmetry, Gary acquainting the telescope to a  family gathering at the Bud Murrow residence.  The astronomer organizing a viewing order, first Jan and her sister Lynne, and Brother-in-Law Shawn,  the children, Robert, Sandi, the Johnson girls,  Sarah and Jamie the youngest.   Finally with some encouragement,  Jan’s mother Helen,  and her Aunt Esther and Uncle Charles Terry,  Bud remaining contentious, an inherent demeanor,  above placing his eye to a magnifying lens.  The elder Murrow missing an opportunity to inhale the breathtaking view of the Moon,  Jupiter and its ever-increasing number of discovered satellites, but Gary understood,  that was just Bud expressing his congenital aestheticism.   Gary asseverations was a lifelong desire,  a camera mount for a telescope to envision his own photographs of the celestial essence found in the nocturnal sky, but discovering that his Minolta 35 mm. camera’s aperture wasn’t conducive for the undertaking.  When mentioning a camera he noticed an immediate accession in his Buds interest suddenly was exhibited.   Bud a camera enthusiast offering to loan his expensive but authoritative Cannon 35 mm. camera to accommodate Gary’s purpose.   The event exposing the eldest Murrow’s hidden but true interest in photography, not the end results, but the challenge in obtaining them,  exhibiting the nature  of  a  true construction engineer..

A Contemptuous Attitude….#198 (the 80’s)

December 1, 2010
Shawn & Pam

Shawn & Pam

Another Kiowa Grade School fall semester  commencing,  Pam Cooper,  Gary’s custodial co-worker having a work related adversity,  Pam once again complaining about difficulty utilizing the backpack vacuum on the carpet installed the previous year in the first thru third grade classrooms,  preferring to use a floor push vacuum sweeper, but having to move every desk to accommodate its employment.   The floor sweeper, a remnant from the past, was basically used by Gary in the downstairs library and in Sally Foresters kindergarten room.   Mrs. Forester’s room having been the only prior carpeted room in the building with the exception of the office and library.   Gary suggesting Pam approach Juanita Smith the Grade School Principal requesting a new floor vacuum sweeper, explaining her difficulties with the backpack and mention the age of the floor sweeper.  Pam’s rapport with the Principal was questionable, the school custodian previously having been discovered making direct undisclosed out-of-state long distance calls at 6:00 a.m. on the school’s telephone to her ex-husband in Michigan failing to disclose her actions to administration.

Judy Rocket - Grade School Secretary

Judy Rocket – Grade School Secretary

Gary by happenstance waiting for his bus route to commence  was in  school secretary Judy Rocket’s office which adjoined the Principal’s when  Pam entered Juanita’s office,  accosting the Principal about acquiring a new floor sweeper for her custodial duties.   Juanita was patient,  acknowledging her requesting,  but illustrating that all the custodian in the district utilized the more efficient backpack appliance and it would be questionable if Glen Piper  the school superintendent would approve the request.   Gary and Judy could hear Pam getting belligerent,  ranting about the discomfort,  her preference for a floor machines and in a threaten voice,  rebuked the Principals logic.   Juanita,  remaining composed,  replying,  Pam would have to make do with the backpack.   Pam in a sudden burst,  slammed her school keys on Juanita’s desk and exited the building, the Principal looked up noticing that Judy and Gary had witnessed the incident.   Gary’s first thoughts was of  Pam’s scheduled bus route,  immediately suggesting to Juanita that he would  ask Cathy Cox’s  if she would accommodate Pam’s after school student delivery duty.  Gary returning after securing Cathy’s availability, finding  Juanita clasping a purse,  it was Pam’s,  who in her haste to leave had left it behind.   Gary offering to return it, knowing that Pam had moved into an apartment across the street from the school.  Crossing  south of the school,  Gary approached Pam’s place of residence,  able to see her thru the screen door  sitting in a rocker,  her actions giving concern,  she was rocking back and forth with a look of asperity on her face.   Returning the purse,  Gary concurred with her litigations,  soliciting her to apologize to Juanita and return to her school duties, but it was to no avail, her temperament abounding.

Wanda Eckert - USD 255 Secretary

Wanda Eckert – USD 255 Secretary

Gary now the schools solitary custodian accepting Pam’s classroom assignments,  not a new experience,  having accorded the responsibility during Pam’s sick day absences’, but recognizing the custodial vacancy annunciation was in need of  immediate attention,  an available person coming to mind, his brother-in-law,  Shawn Johnson.    Shawn was currently employed by their father-in-law’s business,  Murrow Construction.  Bud having let some of the family know that he wasn’t to enthusiastic about hiring Shawn,  but acknowledge his employment as a succor for his household until Shawn could find other employment. Gary informing the Johnson family of the school custodial vacancy,  Shawn without hesitation retaining and submitting an employment application to the School District’s Central Office.  Gary being privileged to a discerning relevance by Wanda Eckert,  the superintendent’s secretary divulging that Juanita Smith upon hearing about Shawn’s application  was very detrimental to his employment,  questioning his character,  having experienced the rumors of his antics from fellow educators during his prior South Barber school years.  Gary deciding to talk to Glen, approaching the Superintendent’s office on a deliberate mission to affirm his brother-in-laws qualifications.  Glen acknowledging  Gary’s approbation for his brother-in-law’s employment and mentioned that he respected Gary‘s advocacy.   The conversation turning,  the superintendent directing a response from Gary with a question,  if Shawn was hired, he wanted assurance that Gary would administer a degree of awareness to Shawn’s propriety,  Gary understanding  the reality of what was not being  said, in other words keep an eye on him.

Gary,  for the first time in five years of maintaining two-thirds of the custodial assignments for the school finding relief with the accession of Shawn,  some of the workload responsibility being lifted.   Gary no longer singularly responsible for the two most time consuming projects,  the mowing and the never accomplished continuing floor maintenance of the  gymnasium.   Shawn volunteering to dust mop the gym floor, before,  during and after school,  Gary still involved with the care of the stage,  dressing rooms and bleachers.   The school year continuing, Gary maintaining his 12 hour school working schedule arriving and unlocking the gate to the fenced High School bus security area at 5:00 a.m..    Shawn arriving about the same time,  their schedule coinciding at the beginning of the day,  but differing in the afternoon,  Gary accomplishing an hour for lunch,  working till 6:00 p.m.,  Shawn taking a thirty minute lunch and finishing his day at 5:30 p.m..    As the year progress,  Gary noticed an abridgement in his brother-in-law starting time,  it wasn’t consistent,  some mornings arriving at the school as late as 6:00 a.m.,  nevertheless,  finding him staying later in the day to maintain his required hours,  but soon that too was displaced,  entertaining an earlier departure time.   Gary reasoned it was none of his business considering the work was being accomplished,  the only impropriety of gravity was Shawn’s fallacious documentation.   It was Gary’s responsibility to delivery the Grade Schools custodians self indorsed handwritten time cards to the Central Office, the custodians were district employees under the supervision of the Superintendent,  not the principal of the school as most of the public assumed.   Gary couldn’t help but notice Shawn’s late morning appearance and his early departures, but his hourly written record  didn’t reflect actuality,  Shawn’s time card always proclaiming a 12 hour day and a 60 hour week.

Gary remaining aphonic about his brother-in-law temporal solecism,  recalling a bible verse he ministered to his Apostolic Christian Church  Sunday school class,  Galatians 6:7,   Be not deceived for whatsoever a man soweth,  that shall he also reap.  Gary having a sense that Shawn’s school employment would not be one of longevity,  but at a loss on how to intervene considering Shawn’s contemptuous attitude, making a decision to stand idle and wait for the inevitable and destiny to come to fruition.