Challenges Growing Up
That Made Me Stronger

In the second grade our class was in a test group to see if we could learn to read by memorizing words instead of phonics. It didn’t work. Our whole class was held back a year, so we had to repeat the second grade. It was an advantage being a year older—I was able to drive a car in Junior High in the 9th grade. I still hear some coaches talking about “that kid” in junior high driving to the games.

I had another challenge, every summer in Junior High and High School I would go to Clinton and work on my grandfather’s farm. We did not have electricity—just kerosene lanterns, potbelly stoves, water from the roof to the cistern, no TV, no phone, no air conditioning and not even an outhouse—but we were not poor by any means. We had lots of equipment; tractors, combines, and trucks to kept running in good repair to farm our 900 acres of land. We even had an airplane to chase cattle and coyotes, and joy riding on Sundays. From cutting/shoveling/sowing wheat, to plowing the fields at least twice each summer, bailing/loading hay, and a cattle ranch, we kept busy all the time—except on Sundays, or when it rained. It was very isolated except for the jack rabbits.

It made me Stronger. In the fall when I came back to school in Oklahoma City I was in shape for sports from day one. Running stairs/tires, weights, football, basketball, track and being a year older made me stronger than most other city kids who had a pretty easy summer. I enjoyed school, and sports put me through college.


1953 06-01 Farming.jpg (266983 bytes)

Trackor.jpg (440520 bytes) 1968 Cesna 120 Plain.jpg (143199 bytes)
1983 airal Farm.jpg (129665 bytes) 1983 Oil Well.jpg (172213 bytes)

1968 Captial Hill Football.jpg (301326 bytes)

1971 OSU Football.jpg (241052 bytes)

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