Submitted December, 2002
August 17, 1933 Bainbridge, N.Y.
GRADE SCHOOL Harveys Point School near
Cartter Ill. One room school with Eight grades, one teacher and 18 kids,
max. School was named for a Mr. Harvey, who was killed by Indians. I remember
his headstone back in the woods, with a simple 'Harvey, killed by Indians',
on it. No date. The school was in a deep woods. I would sometimes ride
a horse to school. We only had to go to school for eight months of the
year, September thru April.
We ran our Grandmothers farm for her during
the WWII years. She had been a railroad telegraph operator and this was
vital to the war effort so, at about 55 years of age, the government talked
her into moving into a one-man RR station at Texico, Illinois for the duration
of the war. She had a 300 acre pasture and ran beef cattle, plus she had
the assorted hayfields etc. and a 70 acre pear orchard. The neighbors always
said we boys were ` wild and wooly and full of fleas', and I imagine they
For some strange reason, I went from 4th grade to 6th grade then to 8th grade then back to the 7th grade where I graduated from Grade School in the spring of 1946 at the ripe old age of 12. The menfolk were coming home from the war then, so we moved back down to our 40 acre farm about 90 miles south, in the Ozarks of Southern Illinois, just outside of Carbondale, Ill. This farm, being about 1/2 mile from the road, in the Shawnee
National Forest didn't have electricity
so we heated and cooked with wood and used kerosene lamps. We boys got
to be very good with a double bit axe and a two-man saw. And we didn't
even have to join an exercise club!
Just after I turned 16, a local politician
had the revelation that our 1/2 mile driveway was still a State Highway,
because the State hadn't deeded the road back to us when they straightened
the highway, leaving us 1/2 mile back in the woods. Thusly, the State had
to run poles and wire back to our house, which was a very expensive proposition,
At that time, I had an old John Deere
tractor with which I did custom plowing and fitting for local farmers at
$2.00 an hour. This was considered big money at that time, as the old tractor
burned kerosene at 12 cents a gallon and used a gallon an hour wide open.
I had so much work, with going to school and chores, I put electric and
lights on the old tractor from a 1936 Plymouth. It looked pretty ugly,
but it worked and I could work most of the night.
Since I had electrified my tractor, I
must have thought I knew just about every thing there was to know about
electricity So I bought a book from Sears, Roebuck and Co. telling how
to wire up a house. I checked for shorts using the battery power from the
tractor. Miraculously, the house didn't burn down and was still standing
in the early 60's when the college bought the farm from my parents.
I graduated from Carbondale Community
High School on June 2, 1950. Since I was only 16, I was too young to get
a job, I went to Southern Illinois University for a year to be a Forest
Ranger, which was the only professional I had ever had much contact with.
In the early summer of 1951, after a year of college, I was still only
17 and still doing custom plowing all my spare time. My Uncle, from Weymouth
Ohio, who was Secretary-Treasurer of the Steelworkers Union at J&L
Steel in Cleveland, came down for a vacation. He loved it down there in
the Ozarks and visited every chance he could. He told me 'as soon as you're
18, come up and stay with us and I'll get you a job in the steel mill'.
I was 18 on August 17, 1951, and on September 4, 1951, I was working in
the mill. Counting my 2 years in the Army, I spent 6-1/2 years in the mill,
until they closed down the plate mill and sent it to Pittsburgh.
With the Korean War going on, I was drafted
June 19, 1953. I spent my time as fire direction in the Armored Artillery
in the French Zone in Germany, coming back home May 10, 1955. In 1956,
I met the proverbial farmers daughter from Lafayette. I had no knowledge
at all of Lafayette, so when she told me she lived on a dirt road, I told
her she would have to meet me in Medina, as I wasn't going to drive my
new 1956 Chevy on a dirt road. We were married on December 8, 1956. We
started building our new house in the spring of 1957 on one acre and we
still live in the same house, only expanded and with 15 acres as a buffer
On February 23, 1958, our son, Gary was
born. At about this time, I was laid off from the steel mill and I went
to work for the Ford dealer, Frank Feckley, in Medina. On February 19,
1959, our daughter, Diane was born. On June 1, 1959, I started work as
a city mail carrier for $2.00 an hour or $4035 a year, which was a raise
from Feckley's. I delivered mail for 8-1/2 years, most of the time working
two jobs, because of the low pay. I did everything, from driving dump truck,
beer truck, night gas station operator for Sohio, to night camera operator
for Gowe Printing. On January 5, 1961, our daughter Sharon was born.
In the mid 60's, I was taking correspondence
courses in electronics to get my A&E radio license so I could go to
work for the airlines. My second boss at the time, Neil Gowe, for whom
I was doing some repair and acting as camera operator, told me he would
pay me whatever the airlines would pay to go to work for him as a machine
repairman. This was too good to pass up so I quit the Post Office at the
end of 1967, just before the Christmas rush. We took the retirement money
I had paid into the Post Office and paid off our house in 1968. Some doubted
our wisdom, but it was a very good move. Since January 1, 1968, this has
been my profession. I retired 6 Years ago on January 5, 1996, as a Journeyman
Machine Repairman. My wife, Bev, also retired at the same time. My title
was Electronic Technician. I found a job I enjoyed and found that people
would pay me well to do it. This is also my hobby. I have a 40 X 44 ft.
shop with woodworking, welding, metal lathes, and painting equipment, so
I can do whatever pleases me.
Our son, Gary, graduated from Kent State
as an Industrial Designer. Since 1995, he has been President and chief
operating officer of MCA Sign Co., in Massillon, O., the first company
he went to when he got out of college. Our older daughter, Diane, became
a Court Recorder, then she went to work for Highland High School, where
her two kids went. She has been there in the Guidance Office for 13 years
now, in 2002. Her two children, Kristen and Mike, are both attending Akron
Our youngest daughter, Sharon has been
in working in Physical Therapy at Medina Hospital for many years now, she
seems to enjoy it. Her youngest son, Bret, is in grade school in Seville
now and her oldest son, Kyle, Is in junior high.
This has been an interesting ride, but I'm not done yet.