Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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

May 16, 2016

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 an additional 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 to Kiowa from Anthony and at the same time 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.

602 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 that this house was her personal favorite,  one she would love to have as her own.

View from Walnut Street


Arriving at the unavailable house at 602 N. Springfield,  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 front 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 sun-room 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 later they found that 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 duct-work from the 3 humidity equipped central air and heating units probing upwards.


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.

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

May 14, 2016

A documented miracle

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 having indicated she had no knowledge of the N. Springfield properties disposition,  except that it was in the modus operandi of foreclosure, Gary attentively noticed  she had 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 to the Jim Gates Agency at 316 W. Main the name that the realty agent had  inadvertently mentioned, 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 their interest in the house.  Jim cordially explaining his concert with Railroad Saving & Loan, the foreclosing bank and as a CPA he was 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

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 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.

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

May 12, 2016

Hospitality accepted

The inaugural journey to the newly acquire property in Anthony was one to articulate the many attributes and deficiencies that might have been inconspicuous overlooked because of the memorizing wonders of the spacious 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  sidewalks and easement grass bordering Springfield Ave and Walnut St. needing attention, 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

Gary soon discovered  prospecting the property was educational,  the remnants of its history still viable,  the wooden ship-lap 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.  The garage’s electric source no longer cabled to the house, Gary noticing its originating source dictated by the ceramic knob fixtures visible under the third floor roof eves, Gary making note of another project, installing a line to the garage.   On the west side of the weathered cement driveway  two capped pipes visible, a closer examination discovered two abandoned underground fuel tanks another venture from the past.   Just behind the garage on the ground was 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 hose 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,  to the delighted Robert and Sandi,  a regulation sized pool table with cue sticks and balls. Its ubiquity was ascertained during the initial walk-thru with the reality representative,  but Gary was surprised that its presence would still be predicated.

The Yamaha’s new home

South porch entrance

The furnishing of the Dickinson Street residence in Kiowa 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-law 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 move.  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 sun-room  having  immediately announced her claim of the room.   Robert settling for the other south room of similar size,  but without addition of the sun-room and its enclosed windowed view.   The 14 x 16 ft. northeast master bedroom fulfilling Jan and Gary’s nocturnal excitation.

The east front door entrance

Dining room bay window

Gary’s early morning work day scheduled  was accelerated by 45 minutes,  allowing for the 30 mile country vista morning drive to Kiowa with the advent of the schools summer schedule,  adjusting his 10 hour school day,  starting at 7:00 a.m.,  concluding at 5:30 p.m., reducing  his lunch to 30 minutes.  The summer schedule provided a preview 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 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, 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 parts to endure, the first being to serve notice to the school administrator of his intentions, when informed Glen 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 hospitals decision.

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

May 10, 2016

Hospital District # 6 – 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 in the past 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 a retired City of Anthony engineer.

Hospital Administrator Jay Jolly


Acknowledged Past 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  housing all the environmental, utility and clinical  systems.   The hospital structure itself,  a unique solid concrete cold-war era designed building,  the concrete roof and walls integrity designated as an emergency fall-out and storm shelter.  The building constructed with a maze like  underground 4 x 4 ft. enclosed lighted labyrinth tunneling system allowing  passage beneath the hospital corridors and access to all plumbing and electrical utilities.  Because of the tunnels 4 ft. height, access was accomplished with what we’re designated as scooters,  small wheeled platforms to literally scoot thru the passageways.  Jim introducing the physical plants industrial equipment in the basement, Gary having experienced boiler operation during his five-year tenure at the Kiowa school,  but never acquainting such a presence as the two behemoth natural gas/ diesel backup Superior High Pressure Steam Boilers.   Besides 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 climate control for 48 bed acute hospital and adjoining Clinic.

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 that would be 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, he was familiarity was with E.R. and the patient care portals of the institutions but  not the environmental service and plant functioning aspect.

Roy Stein

 With the new employee prerequisites fulfilled, Gary soon discovered 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 with the hospital maintenance position came a responsibility 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. The weekend call required a clock documented 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

 Gary soon discovering that maintenance was an integral part of all departments, servicing the adjoining clinic and patient room clinical suction, oxygen, electric bed, 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 and likewise didn’t hesitate 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.

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

May 8, 2016

The Anthony House

Gary found there was something veiled about the three tiered monolith in Anthony and for some reason it gave him cause to stop, look and listen when entering.  It was a feeling that one gets when viewing a historical location or structure when its past over shadows it presence and that it’s trying to communicate with a silent voice.  It may have been the placard stone dated 1904 that gave rise to a sense of clairvoyance, 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 manor enduring months of both prevailing hot and frigid air finding abdication with the temporal tide.  An essentia of solace emerged within its walls, it’s stately character no longer of the bourgeois,  but an edifice  a victim of the couturier and with it’s recent purchase a new chapter was inaugurated in its log book of history. With the introduction of a new family, the monotheistic residence exhibited ubiquity,  no longer standing solitary or as an unfrequented monument, its warmth giving station renewed and once again became an enlivened benchmark in the plebeian community.  The living residence at 602 N. Springfield attaining its generational mission, the newly established family having immersed themselves in its heritage.

The Anthony swimming 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 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

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 two elementary schools,  The City of Harper and Anthony each having a K thru 8 grade and mutually sharing the 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 plus assembling with numerous unknown classmates.  The premier accomplished, the two young enrollees  established,  the  Byzantine path of education with its continuance  awaiting.

In the past, Jan and Gary having shared duties on the Kiowa ambulance, they were never on call at the same time and the situation was 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.   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 idiosyncrasies,  to Roy it was automatic, 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, 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 quiet almost methodical way of going about remedying the problems submitted by the  hospital staff expecting an immediate response, but to Roy it was all mundane, prioritizing the problem, having seen it all before, his composer  impressing his assistant.   Gary’s observation of 65 year old Roy’s adroitness coming to the conclusion 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.

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

May 6, 2016

Hmmm…..who is he trying to impress.          (Gary’s Grandson Garrett Denton)

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 kitchen back door which was customary,  situated magnanimously on the breakfast nook table 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.  in addition to the cookie house found the house an ornament of Yuletide decorations with the Christmas Tree in the living room.  The Christmas Eve’s family assembly able to partake from a bountiful filled table of variety of homemade candies,  cookies,  bowls and plates of delicious snacking comestibles.  With the evening hour for the gift exchange about to commence, 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 or 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. A 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.

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

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

May 4, 2016

Anthony Hospital Administrator Jay Jolly

The families first Anthony winter was in recession, the only adversity caused by the  below freezing temperature exhibited in their new residence was in the downstairs bathroom, Gary awakening in the morning discovering the results of  the  overnight single digit, no running water.   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 hot and cold water was supplied by  copper lines,  entering thru the wall of 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,  the exception being in extreme conditions when the temperature hovered around zero.  Gary being the early morning riser was always first to discover the downstairs bathrooms lack water when address his shaving and thus began a search to find the exact icing  spot.   Trial and error found the spot of blockage and a few minutes with a hair dryer aimed at the strategic point of the pipe would restore the flow in a few minutes.   It was where the copper line exited the basement thru the outside wall, 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 proceeded 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 to include 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 contemplation’s 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

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.  When acknowledging 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 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

Gary experiencing Jan’s tirade prepared him for the inevitable ones at work having to confront his supervisor Roy and the Director of Housekeeping Ed about the Jays decision.  The encounter with Ed was the most difficult,  harboring a vindictive resentment of Gary similar to what he had heard at home,  Ed’s concerned was wasn’t so much 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 asking him to sit down and listen to what he had to say,  clarifying the only changes would be in Gary administering the required documentation,  relieving Roy of departmental representation  and the 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,  recalling an axiom apropos to his new position,  rank does not confer privilege or power,  it imposes responsibility.

A Kansas State Fair Experience….#208 (the 90’s)

May 2, 2016

Kansas State Fair – Hutchinson

The Buick was navigational correct, headed due north on highway 14 towards Kingman, then 10 mile east on US 54 and back north on state highway 17, the destination, Hutchinson and the Kansas State Fair.  For some unknown reason Gary suspecting that the earth’s magnetic field was misaligned in Hutch, having no difficulty driving to the Fair Grounds, but always getting his sense of direction turned around when leaving, having to rely on Jan to address highway 17 south.  The late Saturday morning journey finding the Kansas weather for the third week of September most cooperative, this time of year a smorgasborg of conditions, choose your day and your temperature, thankful for the passing of the summer’s sweltering heat.  On arrival,  Gary having no problems parking, the directing attendants on South Main St. and the parking area giving no options, you parked where directed.  Disembarking, everyone thankful for the open-air-shuttle ride to one of the entrance gates.   Once inside the family having no problems addressing the midway, just follow the flow.

North American Midway Entertainment

Lake Talbott

Robert and Sandi, 13 and 12 years of age were given their freedom to roam the midway, but unbeknownst to them, dad when not accompanying them was keeping a watchful eye from a distance.  Gary having been acquainted with midway concessionaires years earlier in Oklahoma City was well aware of the means employed for them to show a profit.  He did capitalize on the barkers mistake at the target dartboard, the rule is to allow a customer only three darts at a time, the participant having to place three darts in the 50 cent size circle.  The concessionaire mistakenly giving Gary six darts, the added number allowing him to better align his aim with success, chalking up three hits and one large stuffed animal.  There were many permanent mainstays on the 280 acres of the Hutchinson State Fairgrounds, over twenty buildings, many open year round to provide for a variety of activities.  The grounds includes a small botanical garden and lake for rowing which was formed from a sand pit dug during the construction of the Fairgrounds Grandstand in 1928.  Lake Talbott, named for Joe Talbott, a pioneer teamster on the Medicine Lodge and Sun City cattle trails, who was appointed the first Fair superintendent on its inaugural opening in 1934.  Talbot went on to live until 1954, passing at the age of 101.  Gary finding the history of the Kansas Fair visualized by the exhibits, discovering the changes made thru the years and little known events such as the fair grounds landscaping and original buildings were built using prison labor and a portion of the ground was used as an internment camp for WWII German POW’s.

Miniature train provides a restful tour

Ye Old Mill – built in 191

Inside Ye Ole Mill gloomy cave

The two rides that Gary enjoyed were both permanent fixtures at the Fairgrounds.  The first being the miniature train that circled the large enclosed encampment.  The echoing sound of its whistle not only delighting the younger generation, but penetrating the memories of the older adults too.  The enjoyable ride not only furnishing a restful sit, but making it possible for the riders to view exhibits at the far ends of the grounds, enabling a decision whether to venture the distance.  The other exhibited ride remains the Fair’s oldest concession constructed in 1915, ” Ye Olde Mill “,  a water way boat trip thru a darkened cave like tunnel, the posted sign from the past written in the vernacular of the past, proclaiming  “A gloomy cave of gleesome gladness”.  Gary finding North American Midway entertainment pretty much the same every year, but this year a popular new exhibit, a swinging replica of a boat able to provide seating for forty people.  Jan and Sandi beaming to board ship and experience its pendulum progression.  Robert and Dad deciding to forgo the boat ride, opting for what they considered a more harrowing experience, the two person Wild Mouse.  An invitation extended, but Jan and Sandi declining to venture aboard this rickety looking contraption.

A pendulum boat ride

A pendulum boat ride

Can’t resist a funnel Cake

Gary and Jan when asked what was the best part of attending the Kansas State Fair, the answer was always the same, “the food”.   No hamburgers, hot dogs or french fries, not when you have Bavarian Smoked Sausage, a Hungarian Rhapsody on a toasted bun, deep-fried Vidalia Blooming Onions, funnel cakes,  a bounty list of delightful diligence, an array of substances never found in a restaurant.  A close second for focused enjoyment was the Grandstand entertainment, performers demonstrating their talent in concert, but the original purpose for the gathering still the biggest attraction of them all, the displaying of over 33,000 exhibits by people from every walk of life.  The ranchers and their animals, farmer and produce, the homemaker with their canning, the commercial exhibitors with a walk thru of RV’s, trailers, farming equipment, home products and business opportunities, as cornucopia of human endeavor.  Gary realizing why so many like his father-in-law,  stay in their travel trailer, spending up to a week encamped at the Fairgrounds.

Grand Stand performance - The Oak Ridge Boys

Grandstand performance – The Oak Ridge Boys

A last look before leaving

Gary noticing the midway crowd beginning to thin, it was nearing show time at the grandstand, the popular Oak Ridge Boys performing.  The rural Kansas family having determined which Grandstand feature they would enjoy.  The entertainment chosen on a rotating family basis, everyone in agreement with this year’s selection decided by Jan, The Oak Ridge Boys.  Gary in previous years discovering not everyone agreed with some of his choices, opting for Red Skelton and even television impressionist Rich Little, but one couldn’t go wrong with a Country & Western entertainer, Bud Murrow’s favorite, fiddle playing Charlie Daniels and the Charlie Daniels Band.  The evening concert beginning, Gary discovering another new addition to the Grandstand, two large projection screens on either side of the stage enabling a closer view for those sitting in the upper sections.  With darkness prevailing, The Oak Ridge Boys presentation coming to a conclusion, a tired family filing out, once again participating as members of the flow only this time exiting the State Fair and with no shuttle ride provided to the parking areas, a slow but tedious walk, concluding a fast but tenacious day.

Two Lawn-Boys And A Snapper…..#209 (the 90’s)

April 30, 2016

DP Airgometer

An early spring blossomed,  a clear blue sky providing a comforting canopy,  capturing the aura of the morning dew within its sheltering glaze, the dormant grass giving hint of rebounding from its winter slumber,  announcing the arrival of a new day.   A Monday morning, the kids off to school,  Gary and Jan attaining their responsibilities at the Hospital,  Jan having been elevated to a Charge Nurse position,  obtaining a nursing status and a laudable salary increase.  The Anthony Hospital expanding their clinic services,  the addition of another doctor,  Dr. Jeff Bond making a decision to close his N. Jefferson Ave. private practice and move his vocation to the hospital clinic.   Gary having the responsibility to move his accumulated minor equipment and what seemed like a never-ending amount of boxes filled with patient medical records.  With the move a new expediency,  the doctor no longer having a need for  his ancient x-ray machine and the person to shuttle the patients x-rays to the hospital for their development.

Twice a day workout

Twice a day workout

It was March 18th,  Gary’s birthday,  an observance of a half of century  endurance, the 50 year old reaching a milestone, not in years but accomplishing a goal in physical achievement. His daily morning discipline starting at 6:15 a.m.,  addressing the two flight of stairs from his bedroom to the 1500 sq. ft. basement, its southwest corner hosting a large section of carpet providing an area for the objects of his morning regimen.   A resolution having been made the previous year to invest in his long neglected physical tendon structure, starting with an introduction to a lifting bench, weights and a DP Airgometer stationary bike, endowed with a determination to initiate a 30-40 minute morning and evening routine.  His ambition wasn’t to achieve any body building proportions but to elevate his stamina and accomplish certain objectives.  Besides the Airgometer he endeavored to  lift and bench press his physical weight of 150 pounds and perform 50 pushups by his 50th birthday.   The year-long discipline providing results,  although not physically visibly to most having achieved his goals but more fulfilling was the inner sense of accomplishment that one feels when crossing the finish line.   An attempt to interest his young son Robert in applying himself to the rigors of a weight lifting discipline was to no avail, but this didn’t surprise the Father,  the interest of a 13-year-old were more in keeping abreast with his school activities,  friends, and the inherent youthful rage of the day, skateboarding.

A birthday celebration was in order but the cardinal day wasn’t the 18th of March,  but the 17th..   St. Patrick would also have to relinquish an acknowledge day for it was Jan’s Mother Helen birthday.   Gary concurring her seniority should always take precedence,  having accepted the Murrow annual family event through the years as reality and pinion of life. His birthday was distinctive,  sharing a common bond with his Father,  both born on the 18th of March.  But a curiosity always lingered, an elevation of Kismet, Gary having remembrances of his birthdays during his youthful East Oakland ascendancy but never recalling a commemorative ceremony for his Dad.  The day was not without recognition on the 18th,  his wife preparing a birthday cake and gifts to mark the occasion,  Gary’s mother always acknowledging the historic day in her life with a telephone call from California and a perfunctory birthday greeting from Jan’s family.

Time saving Snapper Mower

The arrival spring having set forth the greening of nature in full bloom, another Kansas winter now a historic precedent.  The double corner lot hosting the residence,  its capacious area of lawn requiring weekly attention,  Gary’s 26 inch deck riding Snapper Lawn Mower accorded to him by his father-in-law,  having seen better days and was in need of replacement.   A decision being made to call upon Denny Callison,  a diesel mechanic friend at Kiowa Service Company,  the John Deere Dealership which inaugurated  Gary’s first Kansas employment.   The Kiowa resident maintaining a small assembled  inventory in his sideline business of refurbishing riding lawn mowers.  A telephone call to the mower entrepreneur,  Gary finding Denny was about to conclude work on a Snapper with a larger 32 inch deck and was willing to accept Gary’s well worn mower in trade.   A complication of transporting the mower presenting a dilemma,  not wanting to impose on his father-in-law for use of his pickup, Gary having already made a decision to acquire a trailer for the purpose of cutting and hauling his own firewood for the coming winter, it would also fulfill his mower transportation agenda.

The trailer search beginning,  Gary first approached Harold Madsen,  the owner of Madsen Automotive to have a trailer hitch installed on the 87 Buick and having noticed on one occasion a trailer displayed on Harold’s used car lot, inquired about them.  Harold asserting because of the farming community, the demand for trailers was high and adding that they were seldom part of a trade.   Gary left with one local option the classified section of the Anthony Republican newspaper and to his amazement  asserted  a one line ad,   “For Sale – 2 wheel trailer, $250.00” with a phone number.  Gary immediately directing a call of inquiry to the local number,  an elderly sounding gentlemen answering.   Gary’s first questions after inquiring about its availability was pertaining to its size and condition,  but instead any descriptive information about the trailer, the person on the other end of the line began a dissertation and explanation of its prior use in his  lawn mowing business.   Finally,  prodding the slow talking individual on the other end of the line,  being somewhat blunt, Gary asking again about its size adding the word dimensions.  The hesitant answer finally coming back   “Well I don’t know how big it is,  but it holds two Lawn Boys and a Snapper”.   Gary’s response was a simple okay, I’ll be right over,  asking for the address. which happened to be just across Main St on the south side of town.  The brief drive fulfilled,  he introduced himself to an elderly couple as the person who had called about the trailer.  The owner continuing where he had left off on the phone about his past lawn service, retirement and that the trailer was still in fairly good shape but he no longer had a need for it.   The trailer was of a home-made heavy metal welded frame construction, approximately  8 ft. in length and 5 ft. wide.   The flooring was weathered and worn 3/4 inch plywood, boxed-in with ¼ inch thick metal rails, all sitting on a metal frame that fastened to a rear axle with 16 inch wheels, apparently from a vintage automobile.  It did have two tail lights that resembled those on Gary’s traded 1950 Dodge pickup, the wiring frayed long ago and neglected.   Gary was satisfied but did question the elderly owner if the price was negotiable, receiving a one word answer,  “nope” .   The hitch ball fit and with its coupling the trailer found a new home at 602 N. Springfield.

Roberts Day Of Sports Acclaim……..#210 (the 90’s)

April 28, 2016



The game of basketball was conceived in 1891 for the YMCA in Springfield Massachusetts by James Neismith,  and has been transformed thru the years, but the objectivity remains the Same.   it’s annotation of Character an arena for Participation,  a platform of resolve for  the exemplars of integrity and skill which demonstrates the contestants caliber of accomplishments.  A 94 by 50 foot designated placard portrayed on the mezzanine  with a 18 inch diameter metal copula besieged with a lattice,  posted 10 feet in height on a raised  6  by 3 and 1/2 lath addressing both ends of a playing concourse.   The attending aficionado accomplished on elevated staging,  enabling one to view the court to observe the event that was about to unfold.  the contesting designates,  each a five member contingency, to place a 9 point 3 inch diameter inflated sphere thru the opposing teams guarded hoop. Let the game Begin.


Gary mounting a mid-court  third row seat in the gymnasium bleachers at the Anthony K thru 8  School,  a familiar setting,  having attended the Hornets basketball games in the past,  his son Robert a member of the team.   Gary was never critical of his son’s basketball prowess,  having established a pole-mounted backboard and hoop beside the driveway at their home,  shooting baskets with the youngster,  encouraging him to practice.   Gary having spent his youthful days in high school as  sports editor on the school paper, attending and writing about almost every school sporting event for a year and a half and was well acquainted with the ascribed outstanding school athletes and was very much aware that some team members lacked the natural athletic ability of the others.   It wasn’t Roberts  lack of physical attributes,  his stature was equitable to those his age, but the absence of a focused desire for competitive athletics, something which is paramount in those who excel in aggressive sports activities.


Today’s game was one of special interest,  Anthony was playing Kiowa,   Gary familiar with all the Kiowa South Barber Tornado team members, having worked at the Kiowa school for  five years before the family moved to Anthony and most were past classmates of Roberts.    Robert’s game time was negligible,  as in most school sporting events,  the starters playing most of the game time,  the less proficient members of the team activated for an obligatory period.


The game was in progress, the two teams keeping pace with each other with Brad Rathgeber and Mark Zimmerman making outstanding baskets for Kiowa.  Roberts playing time against his previous alumni was very minimal, the game progressing each team trading baskets,  the scoring was equitable,  the clock winding down to less than a minute,  Kiowa seizing a one point lead,  the Anthony Coach calling a timeout.


With the team returning to the floor  to Gary’s and the assembled arrays amazement,  Robert,  a non-starter taking to the court and more astonishing,  the ball was in-bounded to him.   Robert slowly dribbling the ball up the court,  a grin on his face,  the Kiowa team,  his old classmates  waiting for him to cross the mid court line before ambushing his forward progress.   Stepping up his dribble,  zeroing in towards the Kiowa goal,  the clock down to less than ten seconds and about to expire,  Robert launching the ball,  its path off its mark,  missing the hoop,  a disappointment,  but at the same time the sound of the referee’s whistle echoing in the Gym.  The referee pointing to Kiowa,  during the attempt to block the shot Robert was fouled,  two attempts at free throws to ensue.


A hushed silence fell over the gym,  the crowd silenced with the turn of events,  the Anthony Hornets Coach  standing smugly with his arms folded.   Jim Jacobs,  the Kiowa Coach was pacing,  the remainder of the Kiowa bench sitting in silence,  the Anthony team,  enlivening confidence to Robert that he could make the baskets.   The referee handing Robert the ball,  both teams lining up on the key in anticipation for the first free throw attempt.   Standing at the free-throw line,  the young man dribbled the ball in place several times,  raised the ball,  sending it soaring towards the hoop,  rebounding off the backboard,  a banked shot addressing the hoop,  the basket tying the score,  with another free throw remaining.  The ball once again in Robert’s hands,  this time a concentrated effort could be fathomed from the expression on his face.   Gary wondering if his son remembered a past demonstration of concentration with a basketball,  it was in the Kiowa gym,  an after school exhibition for Robert,  the father validating  a consolidation of effort,  a backwards,  over-your-head,  half court basket,  not once but twice in a row.  All eyes were on Robert,  bouncing the ball just one time,  his hands grasping it,  giving the push shot its rotation,  sending the possible game winning sphere arching towards the hoop.

The Anthony team


Gary questioned the coaches decision to insert Robert into the game,  down by one point and with less than a minute remaining,  was the coach proclaiming a confidence in the boy’s  ability or just maybe a psychological reason,  knowing the relationship between Robert and the opposing team,  conjecturing that the youth would be emboldened to rise to the occasion, only the coach knew.  The Kiowa team was stunned,  the crowd exuberant,  Gary experiencing a spine-tingling perception of pride, as he watched the ball swishing thru the net, a contest winner for  the Hornets and Roberts day of sports acclaim.