A Chain Ranch Addition….191A


.  The addition of the Elliott kids at the Chain Ranch required some changes in Gary scheduled pickup, all the students on his rout up to this time resided north and west of highway 2 thru Hazelton, then jogging east to Anthony in Harper County.  The Chain Ranch location was the opposite direction, 10 miles due east of town and ¾ of a mile  south;  which was  in Harper County.  This led to a question, why were Elliott’s attending Barber County USD 2 fifty five in Kiowa and not a school in the Harper County school district.  Gary posed the question to school superintendent Piper, the explanation was reasonable, one of  accommodation, the distance of the Chain Ranch to Anthony was over 25 miles, to Kiowa 10. 

 Gary reasoned,  the order of his stops would remain the same,  he would pick up the student’s living north and west of town,  on return head east thru Hazelton and Corwin and south to the Chain Ranch, then due west to Kiowa.  He calculated the Elliott stop would add an additional 30 minutes to his rout,  informing all to be ready 30 minutes earlier than usual, except for the Girty’s, who after finding out they would be picked up first rather than last decided they didn’t need a ride.

. Gary beginning his new assignment picking up his north of town allotment then turning east at Hazelton on unfamiliar territory,  never having driven 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 an ambulance run from Kiowa, he now had an opportunity to observe what had been said about this relic of history town with its few remaining remnants.  Corwin getting its name from Oscar Corwin, it seems back in 1883,  when Oscar applied for a Postmaster Appointment for the area, many times it was  given the name of the person applying for the position.  The Missouri Pacific Railroad was in process of spider webbing Kansas with spur lines, the Corwin siding  inhaled opportunity,  and sprung to life.  The town becoming an agricultural hub,  with a bank, hotel, lumberyard, church, restaurants, school, blacksmith,  livery stables and with Carrie Nation threatening to visit, in all probability having a saloon. 

.  Gary’s wife Jan’s Uncle,  Charles Terry,  having retired from a life time of employment with Cities Service Petroleum and Gas Company pumping station at Corwin.  Cities Service  having completed the nation’s first long distance high pressure natural gas transportation system, a 24-inch pipeline,  stretching some 1,000 miles from Amarillo to Chicago.  Gary able to picture Corwin’s past,  remaining were the broad width of the streets,  where businesses once flourished, the vacant lots where homes once stood, the remains of the school and still in business,  the turn of the century grain elevators, adjoining the rail spur line that he knew were still in use, the BNSF locomotive and grain cars serving the Kiowa east grain elevators, with the  tracks that journeyed south from Corwin thru Kiowa into Oklahoma.

. It never ceased amaze the Suburban Driver of what mother nature had to offer, especially  on the river road morning Suburban rout,  having witnessed a variety of the animal husbandry readying themselves for the day.  A mother opossum with her little ones walking in the 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 mornings,  when ahead of schedule,  pausing to watch the opalescent kaleidoscope that adorned a Kansas sunrise.   

. Gary having developed a cordiality with David and Carol Sue Meyer, having visited with David on several occasions, discovering they shared more than just opinions in common,  their birthday’s,  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 2 fifty five.   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 nonscheduled basis throughout the year, not only visiting with the teachers and Administrative Hierarchy,  but with the non-certified personnel as well. 

Gary having admired Carol Sue’s driving expertise, piloting her car on her way to work at her mother’s,  DeAlva Clark’s Fabric Shop, actively traversing the mud endowed river road  to town.  David was from Cheney Kansas, the Meyers having retained a section of Carol Sue’s grandfather Reece Clark Senior’s  original land purchase of 18 83.  Gary on numerous occasions having to commence his Suburban school rout 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 to a breakfast roll and a hot cup of coffee. 

. Gary having discovered his rural suburban rout created a special bonding with the kids,  a respected cordiality from the parents, and was a God sent blessing. 


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