From first through sixth grade, I went to school in a two-room country schoolhouse. At recess, we played games like "Kick the Can" and "Red Rover, Red Rover." The ringing of a hand bell told us it was time to return to the classroom.
H. H. & C was second home to about thirty-five farm kids, in grades 1 through 8. Our teachers were wonderful and memorable. There was Miss Griffin, the stern red-head who put up with no nonsense, but laid a firm foundation for future learning; Mrs. Bradley, the music teacher, who taught singing, rhythm and fun; and Mr. Donaldson, who opened our minds to books and history. At H. H. & C we looked forward to school lunches! Our school cooks made everything from scratch and fried up the best homemade doughnuts in all of Kansas!
In seventh grade, I rode the school bus into Kingman where I attended junior high and later high school. I went on to study English Literature at Kansas State University, but I never envisioned becoming a writer. As a child I loved to read, but I didn't relate to the fact that there was someone writing the books I loved. Writers? Surely they were beings from a far-off galaxy, magical spirits very different from myself. It was only as an adult that I truly understood that writers are people just like you and me. They work hard at their craft and sometimes are inspired to create art.
At Kansas State, I met Fred Arnold, a young basketball player. His coach was Tex Winter, who later became assistant coach for the L.A. Lakers and was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame. Tex led Fred's team to the Big 8 Championship during Fred's senior year! Years later, my son Calvin played college basketball at Dartmouth. We are a basketball family!