Archive for March, 2016

A Citation For Honesty………….#234 (the 90’s)

March 10, 2016

Rob’s pride

The time having arrived,  Gary’s son Robert having attained the age of automotive responsibility,  satisfying the  vision and  written examination requirements,  receiving a state issued learners permit, the youth excited with the prospects.  Gary recalling at that age, his father insistence that the 1940 Chevrolet Pickups non synchromesh transmission four speed be the endeavor to acquire his first driving experience.  Gary’s Dad a Teamster by trade able to drive everything from a World War II  Army M-4 tank to a 500 series Caterpillar Road Scraper,  always emphasizing the use of the clutch as the most important exchange to extradite the performance of opportunity.   Gary insisting that Robert’s first learning experience would be in the 5-speed manual shifting 4-wheel drive Toyota Tercel Wagon.   Robert having no difficulty with the shifting of gears,  acquiring an immediate dexterity after two driving  sequences.  Dad allowing his son the helm of the Chevrolet Blazer Sport,  also being a manual shift,   Robert finding a natural comfort behind the wheel of motorized transportation.

The endeavor was orthodontist appointment,  Rogers, Duncan & Dillehay at 1821 North Rock Road in Wichita,  a dental establishment renowned for their expertise in frontal teeth alignment.  Robert fulfilling his scheduled sixth month check up,  wearing a correctional appliance retainer since 1993.  The Father and Son seated in the Blazer,  only this time Gary sat in the passenger’s seat,  imparting the driving to Robert.  Dad having total confidence, sitting back watching as Rob nonchalantly started the Blazer displaying a I’ve done this before deposition, ready to incur the 54 mile drive to Wichita.  Departing Anthony the hour-long journey consisted of rural highway 2 and 42 into Wichita,  the Blazer turning north on West St, then east on West Kellogg the main thoroughfare through Wichita.   Gary keeping a watchful eye because of the Saturday Traffic and the many stop lights, Robert progressing across town  his Dad impressed with his driving performance, the two arriving at Rogers, Duncan & Dillehay.  The appointment task completed, Gary opting to drive back, Robert’s first long distance drive a success, the only somewhat negative response was from his mother who apparently wouldn’t have entrusted him to make the drive.

Tom Farney

The day at the Kiowa Hospital started like most,  Gary fulfilling his normal routine when approached by a fellow Apostolic Christian Church brother and close family friend, Huber Farney.   The Farney’s,  a Kansas wheat farming family under the craftsmanship of Huber’s son Tom farmed sections of acreage spreading across the state line into Oklahoma.  The elder Farney disclosing that Gary’s son Robert,  whom Tom had employed for a summer job had endured an accident with the Blazer.  The accident occurring near the Stateline on the Burlington Road,  Huber firmly emphasizing that Robert wasn’t injured.   Gary questioning Huber about the damage,  his elderly friend hesitant about providing any information, only conveying that Gary needed to avail himself to the scene.   The weather not being congruous,  a very cogent thunderstorm blanketing Kiowa and the surrounding area,  Gary immediately giving notice at the hospital,  he was leaving to inquire about his son’s dilemma.

The wind-driven rain was coming down in torrents,  the lightning discharging from the towering cumulus, the thunder resonating with an earthshaking sound.  Gary arriving at the scene  finding he Blazer off the road, upright,  but the roof line was bent at an angle,  as if something had pulled the vertical post to one side  leaving the rest of the car intact.   It was apparent the car had been laid over on it side, sliding during its venture off the road before up-righting itself.   The left rear wheel having been literally ripped from the axle, but although bent at an angle, the rear window frame and glass remained intact.  Approaching his son who was seated in the inert vehicle,  the deluge of rain still persisting,  Gary joining him in the front seat.   Rob was shaken, almost to the point of tears, but holding his composure.  Gary assuring him that his only concern was that he wasn’t injured,  the damage to the car was of no immediate importance, circumstances happen.   The inevitable question had to be asked,  what happen?.  Robert slowly replying,  he  really didn’t know,  it all happen so fast,  only that it started to rain and suddenly  the Blazer was sideways in the curve, then an impact and a silence,  the vehicle coming to rest.

Stateline cement marker and the curve.

Oklahoma – Kansas Stateline cement marker and the curve.

The thunderstorm continuing, the deluge continuing, the rain cascading from the sky,  Gary surveying the situation amidst the downpour,  noticing how close his son had come to hitting the cement pillar that marked the boundary between Oklahoma and Kansas,  thanking the Lord for what could have been a desolating experience.   Gary entreating Huber to return to Kiowa to inform Keith Rathgeber at D & W Auto of the incident and ask him if he could retrieve the Blazer with his tow truck.  Gary visiting with his son  discovering that the Oklahoma Highway Patrol had been on the scene before his arrival,  writing Robert a citation for honesty,  asking him if he was wearing a seat belt and the young driver answering truthfully, no.

D & W - Kiowa

D & W  Body & Repair

The Blazer finding a new home for the next six weeks at D & W Body & Repair,  the extensive repairs a low priority on the shop’s schedule.  Scott Rathgeber giving assurance he could rend the top back to its normal position providing the window glass remained intact,  something Gary thought impossible.   The  torquing of the roof  post back to a vertical position  was a success,  a new rear left axle, wheel and  brakes fulfilling the remaining damaged parts and with touch-up paint,  a total cost of $1300 put the Blazer on the road,  Robert once again able to host his grandfather’s gift, the Blazer briefly down but not out.

A Denton Exclamation………..#235 (90’s)

March 8, 2016

Chaparral High School

It was Roberts senior year,  Gary trying to convince his son to drive the  82 Tercel wagon to school,  but Robert proclaiming he would rather ride the school bus to Chaparral than to be seen in the Toyota.  Gary having employed the 1984 Chevrolet Blazer for his daily 30 mile commute to the Kiowa Hospital,  weighing a decision,  but finally giving in to his son’s desire.   Robert was meticulous in maintaining a prestige’s image,  always appropriately dressed,  a stature fitted for all occasion,  the Blazer providing a transportation means in keeping with his character.   Gary accepting the downside of the Tercel Wagon,  especially the lack of air condoning, the unit having failed the past year,  but having spent most of his life without an AC appliance in his Vehicle’s,  driving the 50 Dodge pickup,  the Ford and Chevy Vans, remembering transporting the band equipment in “Old Blue” his 1966 Ford Pickup across hundreds of miles of West Texas in the August heat.  The 60 mile round trip to Kiowa during the heated Kansas weather was  child play.

82 Toyota SR-5 Wagon

Robert taking pride in his acquired transport,  the blazer kept pristine in appearance,  installing a high-powered 300 watt subwoofer system in the rear, able to shatter the atmosphere with its reverberating projection as he traveled down the road.   Gary and Jan borrowing the vehicle on a Saturday morning to attend a Amway meeting in Wichita.  Descending upon the parking area of the meeting accommodation,  members of his group,  including his upline sponsors Earl Carra and Don Ransom who were gathered awaiting their arrival.  Gary Switching on Roberts subwoofer system,  the resounding sound resonating off the buildings,  the Blazer Sport with its tape player presentation giving the Willson’s a booming and noticeable entrance.

Sandra having reached the age of auto mobility,  Gary again acquainting the five speed SR5 Toyota Wagon as the transport of learnable experience.   His youngest daughter not quite having the dexterity of her brother Robert,  but up front with the perseverance to master the shifting of the 5 speed manual transmission.   Dad starting her familiarity with a driving exercise on the dirt mile section roads east of Anthony,  explaining how one could downshift from 5th gear to 4th to slow the vehicle.   Sandra soon mastered the usage of the clutch and the shifting,  but on occasion because of the narrow proximity of the gear shift pattern,  she would shift from 5th gear, missing 4th  dropping the Toyota into 1st   gear,  Gary finding himself almost propelled thru the windshield with the sudden deceleration.   This event was more humorous than serious,  Sandra accomplishing her goal and obtaining her driver’s license without any difficulty.  Unlike Robert, she was convivial in accepting the Tercel Wagon as transportation.

1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Gary discovering a requirement for another vehicle, Robert and the elder Willson journeying to Wichita in the Blazer, once again acquainting East Kellogg and automobile row.   Gary in search of a reliable used vehicle that would transact his weekday 60 mile round trip from Anthony to Kansas.   Once again returning to the Davis Moore dealership where he had purchased Jan’s Dodge Shadow Convertible,  but this time at their East Kellogg Oldsmobile facility.  Gary not a person to dicker about specifics found what he was looking for on the sales lot,  the salesperson perplex that his sales pitch was not needed and within an hour Gary was returning to Kiowa in a 1989 blue Oldsmobile Cutlass.   Gary pleased at his selection,  the automobile heredity of the Willson’s fulfilled.   Jan with her Shadow Convertible,  Rob with the Chevrolet Blazer,  Sandra with the Toyota Tercel and Gary more than satisfied with the newly acquired Oldsmobile Cutlass.

An expectant Marlo and Garrett

An expectant Marlo and Garrett

Gary and Jan journeying to  Oklahoma City stopping at Gary’s daughter Marlo’s home, his daughter in an expectant manner .   The couple arriving at the residence finding a note on the door,  the written message  acknowledging they were expected,  but were called away to their recent acquired business opportunity, the note posted with the address.   Their recent acquired enterprise a result of Marlo’s mother’s friend Jim marketing his business,  a graphic LWD  (logging while drilling) operation.   The endeavor evolving from oil companies and speculators engendering their menstruation’s from the drilling sites,  measuring the porosity,  resistivity and acoustic wave fronts of the drilling process.   Transferring the analysis to a paper graph  presentable for the oil rig roustabouts,  engineers and various enfolding invested constabulary for contemplation of the drilling progress.  Gary well aware of  Oklahoma’s oil rich endowment and its contribution to the state’s overall economy, and was ardent about his daughter and son-in-law’s new found opportunity.

Marlo’s mother good friend Jim

LWD Graph

The new year welcoming  a new arrival to bless the heritage of the Denton’s and Willson’s on January 3 1995,  Allison Elaine Denton,  a 5 lb,  13 oz. arrived.  Gary a grandfather once again, luxuriating in the acknowledgment of his granddaughters arrival,  the aura of viability once again being proclaimed.  A brief Oklahoma City visit to acquaint the new born, noticing how enthusiastic a young Garrett celebrated the arrival of a baby sister,  Gary looking forward to Chris and Marlo visiting Anthony.

Gary and the new arrival

Grampa and Allison

Grandfather and Allison

The Dentons visiting Anthony

Inauguration Of Responsibility…….#236 (the 90’s)

March 6, 2016

A celebrated occasion that beholds the beginning of progressive events in a young mans life.   A commencement and inauguration of responsibility,  the family members no longer an exponent of parental supervision,  relinquishing their authority and decreed decision-making in their son’s behalf,  Robert Willson was graduating from high school.   The Chaparral High School event finding Robert’s parents,  sister, and grandparents all present for the occasion, his Grandmother Willson flying from California to be present for the celebrated event.  Gary discovering the ceremony much like most graduations,  having attended his daughter Marlo’s in Oklahoma City,  but what really impressed him about this one was the closing song.   Gary never a musician to be impressed with lyrics,  but  the lyrics of   “A Irish Blessing”  a choral presentation would forever remain an  ardent part of his son’s graduation.   “May the road rise to meet you.   May the wind be ever at your back.   May the sunshine warm upon your face and the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again.   May God hold you,  May God hold you ever in the palm of his hands. “

Celebrated Willson family

Robert and Grandma Willson

Graduation fulfilled,  Robert venturing in the 84 Chevrolet Blazer journeying westward,  his wayward travel  taking him to California.   His ambition, to visit his west coast family,  arriving at his Aunt Nancy’s and his grandmother’s residence in Columbia,  five miles north of Sonora.   All was not pretense,  the youth finding he was called upon to avail his cousin Sarah,  her husband Randy having injured his back in a work related incident.   With new carpet being installed in their residence,  Robert called upon to provide the muscle for moving furniture.   His journey was not without substance, taking time to explore the pacific coast,  the youth now proclaiming  “ surf’s up”,  a Kansas youth able to experience the realm of the wave driven pacific ocean,   a vast difference from the land-locked patronage of Kansas, viewing the world  thru the eyes of a young person fining responsibility.

Man of La Mancha set

The full-page ad in the Wichita Eagle Beacon certainly received Gary attention,  The Man of La Mancha was being presented at Century II.   What caught his engrossment was the production company having acquired the actual stage setting used for the Broadway production,  the paper displaying in full color the majesty of the set.   Gary knowledgeable of the musical,  especially its characterization of Don Quixote and having been well acquainted with the story and composers whom have written musical depictions.   Gary’s favorite, Richard Strauss,  having composed orchestrated tone poems about Don Quixote, Don Juan,  Ein Heldenleben ( a hero’s life),  Gary  admiring the suite from the opera Der Rosenkavalier and of course Strauss’s most recognizable theme,  “Also Sprach Zarathustra”,  better known to the American Public as the opening theme from the movie “A 2001 Space Odyssey”.     Gary asking his wife Jan if she would like to accompany him for the Saturday afternoon presentation,  but her knowledge and interest in the arts reflected her Murrow family upbringing in Kiowa,  a salt of the earth family, but rather lacking in recognition of the artistic expressions of the world.   His enthusiasm was building as He journeyed to Wichita’s Century II,  knowing that the Mitch Leigh’s musical composition would be an imminent presentation highlighted by the song  “The Impossible Dream” ,  its stature  a prominent display in the world of music.   Arrival at the Century II Concert Hall, an abundance in attendance,  Gary discovering that the only available seating was in the balcony.   As customary when  attending the symphony or concert performances his attire was always fitting for the occasion,  a suit or sport coat with tie.   Standing in line to acquire a balcony admission,  a lady with a young girl approached him,  asserting that they had an extra ticket in the orchestra section,  her husband unable to attend, asking Gary if would he be interested in purchasing it.   Gary inquired as to the price, the lady acknowledge she would accept the same amount as the $13.00  balcony admission.   Joining this newfound acquaintance and her daughter,  Gary was astonished to find himself in the season ticket holders reserved section,  seated 15 rows,  center stage from the performance,  miraculous seating for a musical dream about to come true.  With its conclusion, the performance of The  Man From LaMancha  exceeding all expectations.

The Orpheum Theatre before renovation

The Orpheum Theatre before renovation

Keeping abreast with other activities in Wichita,  Gary again noticing a presentation in the Wichita Paper,  a subject of interest aroused.  For many years vacant,  the Orpheum Theater at 200 N. Broadway was attempting a resurrection.   A Theatrical Enterprise was trying to raise money to revive its longevity,  the Wichita Community Theater and Center for the Arts actively involved in the project.   The paper announcing a musical production to be presented in the once prestigious but long abandoned structure,  a musical written by Wichita’s David and Kenneth Gale,  featuring local cast member,  entitled  “ Frankenstein The Musical“.   Gary taking notice to an highlighted addition to the newspaper announcement,  “Due to the ongoing construction, it is advised that you bring a coat as the building is without heat” ,  an intruding dissemination to put in the newspaper.   Arriving , Gary was impressed with the aged structure,  the theater built in 1922 an endowment of the past heritage of the city.   Entering the lobby was analogous to stepping back in time, the cold building showing remnants of its historic past.  The presence of a once proud theater organ sitting in the foyer, removed from its prominent stature inside,  the once snack amenities counter still in disrepair,  the building having a chilling effect in concert of keeping with the title of the present musical presentation.   The theaters spacious 1300 seating capacity,  a proud stage looking down on the lower level orchestra pit, the balconies with their ornamental statues showing their age,  the figurines still symbolizing the decor of a colorful past era.

The Orpheum Theatre

The Orpheum Theatre

       The musical was without orchestration, but utilizing a choral group with recorded effects,  the format not a matter of substance,  but a disquisition of the individual.   The audience receiving a critique pamphlet to be deposited upon leaving, Gary finding this first production somewhat lacking in structure,  but the rationale was warranted.  This first production  a journey’s start with endless possibilities, the attendance marking  support for a restoration of a once proud land mark and prominent icon of Wichita’s theater history.  The Journey home, Gary realizing he had attended the reincarnation of a living entity, a once proud theater destined for destruction brought back to life to live again.

A Presidential Election………………#237 (the 90’s)

March 4, 2016

The daily Alva Oklahoma Review-Courier

The 1995 fall meeting and Vendor Exhibition for the Kansas Hospital Engineers Association was being held at the 10,000 sq. ft. Ramada Inn Conference Center on W. Crawford, in Salina Kansas.  Gary having represented District #4 which included Wichita on the Board of Directors and in addition served as  Treasurer for the KHEA for the past three years.   Larry Dunn the current Hospital Engineers Association president was supervising plant operation manager for the 760 bed HCA Wesley Medical Center on North Hillside in Wichita prevailing upon Gary  that he should submit his name for the upcoming Board of Directors presidential election.   Gary having no ambition to enter the contention for the presidency,  satisfied with his contribution of representing District 4 on the board of directors and serving as Treasurer, but Larry was persistent, Gary reluctantly giving into the prestigious engineers persuasion.   The names of  members placed in nomination were taken under advisement, the membership voting, descending the number down to two very contrasting constituents.  Gary with his small community rural hospital experience finding himself placed on the ballot, the other nominee was the Executive Vice President in charge of maintenance at the 353 bed Salina Regional Medical Center and like Larry wore a white shirt and tie to work and also was the Kansas representative to the national America Society Of Hospital Engineers (ASHE)  with a degree in engineering.

Salina Ramada Conference Center

The time of reckoning was at hand,  a 150 plus number of representative members from the hospitals throughout the state of Kansas in attendance,  the two candidates  standing  before the group according their qualifications and  reason for seeking the office.  Gary beginning his electoral presentation very much aware that the majority of the membership were from small rural hospitals, acknowledging  he was a singular maintenance operative like many of them,  working in a small community hospital,  solely responsibility for all the mechanical, physical and ground keeping commitments, logging and fulfilling all the regulatory compliant paperwork for the facility.  His qualification for KHEA president was his years of experience and prior 3 years of service as a representative of district 4 on the Board of Directors,  his service as Treasurer of the organization and editor of the monthly KHEA newsletter,  but more important  he could identify and was  representative of their working environment.   The two nominees were asked to remove themselves to the Conference Center foyer while the voting took place.  The perspectives visiting with each other during the electoral process,  Gary acknowledging that this would be a defining moment for his ideological repertoire and future envisioned plans that he had conceived for the organization.  Upon returning inside to the convention hall it was announced he was the Kansas Hospital Engineers president-elect, Gary surmising in all probability it was the support of the small rural hospital delegates that championed his election.

Kansas Hospital Engineers Association Logo

Realizing with his new position came the commitment of responsible leadership in exercising  his posture as president including introducing innovating new programs to the Board.   While serving as treasurer he became aware of several thousands of dollar instilled by contributors and vendors to the KHEA’s financial account which steadily continued to grow serving no purpose but to accumulate interest.    Gary having given thought about the unheralded dedication of hospital  maintenance employees,  proposing to the Board  a scholarship program for the membership including the immediate members of their family.  The program would provide two $250.00  scholarship awards twice per year to further  their education.  The applicants required to submit a written essay  expanding on the statement,    “the meaning of education to me” or a suitable healthcare subject.  The  Board of Directors to select a winner and as a safeguard to remove any suspicion of favoritism on selection,  the submitting applicants name would be removed from each essay and known only to the President.    The enacted program was a total success and out of a sense of curiously Gary entered the competition submitted an essay,  sustaining from the vote by the board of directors,  discovering his essay winning.  Gary not accepting but  acceding his achievement to the  second place essay competitor, the daughter of Stan Murphy the maintenance supervisor at Nemaha Valley Community Hospital in Seneca.

During Gary’s tenure as president the Hospital Engineer Association board determined that to be inline with the parent group,  their state affiliate,  the KHA  (Kansas Hospital Association),  a by-law and name change was suggested from Hospital Engineers to Healthcare Engineers Association allowing the organization to include Nursing Facilities.  Gary disagreeing with the Board of Directors,  denoting that a nursing home facilities and their maintenance program in many regards was differed from that of an acute hospital,  pointing out that many Care Centers were not a equipped with the required medicinal and surgical resources that were found in an acute hospital requiring a higher degree of discipline. His protest in vain,  losing his argument, the name change being enacted.

JCAHO_LOGO

The propitious of his presidency enabled a continuation of other envisioned plans, foremost was  a union with the Michigan Hospital Association,  the only State  Healthcare Engineers Organization accredited by JCAHO  (the Joint Commission on Accreditation  of Healthcare Organization) .  It was an industry standard that a qualified membership and certification by JCAHO exempted a facility from  federal medicare inspection,  because  the “Joint Commission ” evaluation standards surpassed all federal regulations.  The Michigan Healthcare Association  with its comprehensive testing program and JCAHO recognition was able to certify a person as a State Certified Hospital Engineer.   The  Kansas Engineers the first to adopt Michigan’s program, but soon joined by the state of California and Wisconsin.   Gary’s vision of  providing the members of the KHEA with a state recognized hospital engineers certification program coming to fruition and giving him the opportunity to experience the ardent extensive written engineers test,   Gary now documented and recognized as Certified Hospital Engineer.

Blameless Fortuity………#238 (the 90’s)

March 2, 2016

Sandra Willson as Kendra Star

From the day she was born Gary called his daughter Sandra,  Princess,  a namesake suited to her countenance, a beacon of satiation to everyone.   Sandra attaining her senior year at Chaparral High School in Anthony,  an outstanding academic student,  surmounting her older brother Robert in many respects.   A social protector,  in that she was an advocate for her friends defalcations, always projecting a caring beam of aspiration to those whom surrounded her.   As an after school activity continuing her cheerleading ambition acquired in Grammar School, becoming a  member of the Anthony High School Cheerleading team, but  discovering she was not always in favor with the high school sponsor,  the facility member citing her for smoking off campus.   Before a Friday Night school football game, the facility sponsor excluded Sandra from participating with the Cheerleading team.  Her Mother affronting Kris Kastler the principal of the school before the start of the  game,   Jan demanding an explanation for Sandra’s non participation, forcefully stating that her infraction was off campus and shouldn’t have any application to her appearance.  The principal agreeing with Jan, reprimanding the faculty sponsor for her indiscretion,  Sandra making her cheerleading presence known.

Gary having recognized Sandra’s enactment talent as early as Norma Feaster’s 2nd grade class in Kiowa ten years earlier.  Her senior year, Sandra performing the featured role of Kendra Star in the Jerome McDonough Play “The Addict”  a presentation by The Performing Artists of Chaparral.    The production portraying  the detriments of  youth’s in a community and their adherence to the addiction of drugs.   Gary and Jan traveling to Wichita to witness Sandra and the members of the performing Chaparral ensemble present a celebrated presentation for the members of the Kansas Congressional body, including the state’s Lieutenant Governor.

1992 Buick Skylark

1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass

Sandra was impressive in her use of the 1982 Toyota, a natural with the manual five speed transmission and never complaining about the family transportation heirloom.   Gary coming to the conclusion that his Princess’s  transportation needed to be upgraded making decision to relinquish his cherished 89 Oldsmobile Cutlass to her,  retiring the Tercel Wagon.  A visit to Bogner Chevrolet in Kiowa finding Gary bargaining with Bill,  the reliable Toyota Tercel Wagon having chauffeured his wife to Pratt during her college years,  as a trade in.   Gary deciding that a 1992 Buick Skylark would serve his needs for the time being  presenting his daughter with the Oldsmobile for her discretionary drive to school.

Gary awoke early on a Saturday morning, the first weekend after entrusting Sandra with the Oldsmobile Cutlass expecting to find its presence outside the home,  but discovering that it was nowhere to be found.   Going upstairs to Sandra’s room finding her responsive to his inquisition about the absence of her car, Sandra looking puzzled asserting she had  parked it out front.  Hearing voices admitting from the third floor above, discovering  that two of her friends whom apparently had been playing pool during the past night concurrently were still present upstairs.  As they descended they gave an explanation that they had fallen asleep and spent the night on the third floor.   Gary once again checking for the presence of the car, to no avail,  turning on his scanner to the Anthony Police Channel, hearing there was activity about an overturned car on rural NE 10th Avenue,  an unimproved road paralleling Highway 2 north to Harper.  The police on the scene transmitting an automotive description,  Gary immediately proceeding north to the location, finding no sign of law enforcement but the 89 Cutlass overturned in a ditch,  the keys still in the ignition.   His emotion was without description,  a wonderment to see an exponent of his material life destroyed without explanation.

Anthony Chief of Police John Blevins

Returning home Gary questioning  the two boys, the two remaining adamant that they had no idea of what could have transpired about the missing car, still maintaining they had fallen asleep upstairs as John Blevins,  the Anthony Chief of Police arrived.  John an acquaintance of Gary and more so of wife Jan,  a classmate of her Kiowa High School Graduation Class.   John Blevins was a professional,  having spent twenty years as a police officer  in Wichita, retiring from the larger city force to take a leadership position in Anthony.   Interviewing the two boys with a skeptical look on his face,  asking Gary to take him to the third floor where the boys had spent the night.   Gary was shocked at what he saw as they entered the large third floor ballroom, home to the pool table. The room disheveled, almost a remnant of a bar, empty bottles and cans including  alcoholic beverages spewed about, a perplexed look on Johns face, Blevins questioning about its appearance.  Gary was truthful in his answer,  stating it had been more than a week since he had ventured to the  third floor adding that he never bought or would provide any alcoholic beverage to his children or anyone underage, hesitating then adding that his Kiowa High School classmate may know more about that subject than he does.   Returning to the main floor, Chief Blevins took both youths to his patrol car, returning a short time later,  stating  the car theft mystery was solved.   The youth admitting that they found Sandra’s car keys, drove to Harper to buy more liquor  and on the way home wrecked the car  and walked back to Anthony, resuming their presence on the third floor of the house.

Gary had no affection over the event,  more of a disappointment in his daughter for her lack of discretion in acquiring friends. The  loss of the Cutlass,  plus a balance still owed after insurance remuneration of $1300,  the underage boys taken into custody would be tried in juvenile court, Gary not expecting any monetary restitution.   The event finding Sandra in need of an automotive replacement, Gary noticing a television commercial of an auto auction at Century II, the ad finding him on his way to Wichita.  The auction was unique, the elder Willson discovering a 1956 Oldsmobile StarFire at reasonable price,  a dream of a car, but it was his dream not Sandra’s, so practicality prevailed.  A 1993 Mercury Topaz under warranty was offered,  although a stick shift, the price was right and the decision was made to buy, Gary deciding to leave his Buick at Century II,  driving the Topaz back to Anthony.   Upon arrival at home, presented Sandra with the Topaz and after spending the day in Wichita didn’t feel up to making another 110  mile round trip to get the Buick,  asking Sandra if she and her friend September Porter would return to Wichita in the Mercury and have  September drive Gary’s Buick back to Anthony.

Damage Mercury Topaz

Gary waiting patiently for Sandra and September’s return from Wichita when the phone rang.   It was Sandra explaining they were still in Wichita and there had been an accident, she had rear ended her dads Buick with the Topaz, adding the front of the Topaz had been damaged and water was coming from underneath the front,  but the Buick seemed alright.  Gary weary of the events, telling the girls to find a convenience store and park the Topaz and drive the Buick home.  The girls having arrived Gary deciding t0 return to Wichita to survey the damage to the car he had just bought. Once in Wichita he found the damaged Topaz not parked at a location that was on the way back to Anthony but on the other side of town.  Gary deciding not to make an issue of it as his daughter was already to the point of tears considering the loss of two cars in two weeks.  The good news was that the damage looked to be minimal, mostly to the front grill and the radiator.  The next morning a Sunday, Gary approached Harold Madsen at his home located behind  his Automotive Repair establishment to see about transporting the car from Wichita.   Harold telling Gary the family had plans and he couldn’t retrieve it till tomorrow,  but he would be more than happy to loan Gary his pickup and auto trailer if he thought it necessary.   Taking advantage of the opportunity,  Gary was soon on the highway in Harold pickup and trailer making his third trip to Wichita in two days.  The Topaz loaded and arriving back in  Anthony he parked the pickup and trailer with the car still on it to await Harold’s attention.

The cattle won, Jan’s Dodge Shadow lost

Every Wednesday night was reserved for services at the Apostolic Christian Church,  Gary driving from Anthony,  Jan often saying she would bee working late, meeting him at the church when returning from Share Medical Center in Alva. The church service having concluded, Gary proceeding back to Anthony, Jan saying she would be following right behind him.  Gary arriving in Anthony deciding to stop at Larry’s Home Town Market to pick up a few things when he heard the wailing of the ambulance siren heading west out-of-town and for some reason he had a premonition, a feeling something was wrong.  Once home he turned on the scanner,  discovering the ambulance had been dispatched to an accident a mile west of town, the feeling continuing, he had to go, deciding to drive to the area.   Arriving at the scene, immediately recognizing Jan’s Dodge Shadow convertible with a crumpled front end,  noticing that the airbag having been deployed, Jan was nowhere to be seen, the ambulance that had been called having left for the hospital.  Gary hastily driving to the Hospital finding his wife up and about in E.R. very much shaken but apparently not incurring any major physical damage except the trauma of the airbag deploying.  Jan relating that coming downhill off a raise a mile west of town,  the cars headlights failed to pick up a herd of cattle that had wandered thru a broken fence onto the highway, the Dodge Shadow plowing into the herd with  brakes locked, several of the herd being struck and  not surviving.  From the looks of the car and impact, Gary very much thankful someone above was watching over his wife as the results could have been far worse..

Gary questioned the responsibility outcome of the accident, the sheriff’s department report stating that there were several reports of cattle being out at this location, but the rancher claiming that the fence was intact and that a reported mountain lion in the area spooked the cattle causing them to break the fence.   Gary coming to the conclusion that events that unfold in one’s life have a meaningful purpose,  giving one a residual of patience and understanding not always acquired by self, but sometimes its implication were fleeting.