Thursday, April 30, 2015

Social Activities

This was my last quarter of classes and again they were directed at the finer points of teaching. One exception was my Industrial Arts class on boat building from Mr. Killin. The students actually constructed a fair size fishing boat. That was the first time I had worked with Alaskan Cedar that many of the boat parts were constructed of. I received an A in the class and enjoyed the project. One class titled “Social Disorganization” was a mystery to me as to how it would fit into teaching, but I received a B for my efforts so didn’t grumble. Philosophy of Education was a dry class no mater how much the professor tried to jazz it up. That was one of my two C grades in the quarter. The other was in Biology.

There was a surprise left for winter quarter. The “SNO-BALL” was a winter event preceding mid-terms and it provided a break before plunging into studies again. The dance was sponsored by the Sitzmark Ski Club. I was crowned as King for the event and Pat Duffy as Queen. I didn’t know Pat. She was a freshman and in a wheel chair. When we were presented to the crowd by Abe Poffenroth there was an awkward moment when I wasn’t sure if we should welcome everyone and invite them to dance. There wasn’t any way we could do that, so I stood there with a silly grin on my face and Pat sat in her wheel chair. She had an escort who eventually came to keep her company so I faded into the crowd as inconspicuously as possible.

 Dewey and I were both invited to join Alpha-Zeta Chapter of Epsilon Pi Tau, an international honor society in industrial arts. It promotes the ideals of high skills, social efficiency, and scholarly endeavor within the organization. The chapter sponsored a hunting clinic in the fall and a fishing clinic during spring quarter. I remembered Tom telling me I would be invited into the chapter when I had accomplished enough Industrial Arts course work to qualify.

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Basketball Finality

As basketball season approached Red worked to sharpen players for conference play.  Ellis and Enos had graduated and would be missed for their scoring and hustle.  Bill Ellis’s height and rebounding won him the “Inspirational Player” award while Earl Enos was voted “Honorary Captain” by the team.  He had functioned as the floor captain in many of the games.  The absence of Fletcher Frazer left me as the lone tall player from last years team.  Dick Edwards returned as last years top scorer.  Four other returning lettermen finalized the core. Several transfer players and a number of freshman ball players made up the rest of the team.

This was the last year of play for me as an Eastern Savage.  I wondered if 
 the college had received their money’s worth.  From my point of view the scholarship had made a new person of me.  I resolved to give the game every thing I could this season.  The lineup suggested I would have more playing time and I meant to make the most of it.  Looking back, I felt I could have done better with more experience.  It’s a puzzle; does experience make better play or does it take better play to lead to more experience?

The “Red” men as we were often referred to played ten preconference games starting on November 29 and ending December 23.  We won only four and lost six of these games This was disappointing to Red and the team.  The four wins we had were all against out-of-state teams.  We had three wins in a row and started to think we had found the magic answer, but it wasn’t until the last game of the preconference that we won again.  Two of our wins were back to back against Montana State.  That was an interesting trip in addition to winning again.  Red used the train to transport us to and from Bozeman.  By loading us on board after the last game he saved one night in a hotel.  We had dinner before we boarded and breakfast the next morning on the train.  I will always remember how flavorful the French toast tasted.

Conference play started January 6 against Central Washington and we lost by 23 points.  Our next game was against our rival Whitworth, and their big men.  We lost by one point.  That seemed like a victory to us.  Things didn’t go well for the next few games, but we did defeat Western and College of Puget Sound.    On February 8 we met Whitworth in a special Cage Bowl game in Spokane.  We came so close to defeating them earlier, we thought we had a chance this time.  We lost by 20 points.  We won several more games and as the season final we played Whitworth again on our campus.  Some would say the third try is a charm, but we were apprehensive because their big men controlled the boards most of the time.  This was my last game for Eastern and I decided to do everything I could to stop the big men.  I did capture a good share of the rebounds.  It seemed I would end up in the right position quite often to get the ball.  The one play of the game I will never forget started with Whitworth’s center getting the ball.  I was guarding him and I remember he gave a little fake to the left and then turned to the right.  I knew he was going for the basket, so I slid over in his path and set my feet.  He didn’t hesitate, but came right on, over the top of me.  I ended up on my back on the floor and he ended up with a foul.  I don’t recall if I made the free-throw, but it changed the tempo of the game and we won by four points.  I heard Red comment to the players on the bench while I was picking myself up, “That move”, he said, “set in the player’s path, was exactly what I want you to do”.  “If you are moving with the shooter you’ll be called on a foul.  You have to get there and set before he runs into you”.  I felt good about the complement Red gave me indirectly.  It was worth the bruises I received from the game.

My basketball career was over at Eastern and there would be free time which I could certainly use.  Sometimes I felt my play was just coming together as my time ran out.  I had no regrets however, as I was able to put basketball in its place and get on with my life.  Many pages in this book have been devoted to basketball as it was an important aspect of my life at that time, but there were many interesting and exciting events still ahead for me.

Each year Scarlet Arrow, a college honor organization, acknowledges Eastern athletes.  Local news and notation in the college annual concerning the ceremony used the following words:  Basketball flash, Dick Edwards clutches his “Honorary Captain” and “Outstanding Player” awards; Ed Hill, popular hoop player, holds his “Inspirational Player” award; and grid star, Willard Julum, appears overwhelmed by his three honors-“Honorary Captain”, “Inspirational Player” and “Outstanding Player”.

Football coach, Ed Chissus and basketball coach W. B.Reese smile their approval.  We each received a hansom mantel clock with a bronze sports figure and plaque naming the award, mounted beside the clock.  I still have my clock however it stopped running soon after I placed it at home. This award was important to me as it was determined by a vote of the team.

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.                                                      

Sunday, April 26, 2015

What's New?

The sun was warm, but a slight breeze kept it comfaortable as I walked up the street to the college.  I recalled how many times this trip up the hill signaled the start of a new year, a different quarter, or the start of a new chapter in my life.  Everything usually looked familiar with hardly a noticeable change, but this time it was different.  I think the change was in me rather than the campus.  My recent September Experience at Custer County High School had impacted me more than I ever would have guessed.  It was a glimpse into what lay ahead for me when I finished the Eastern program of study.  I had kept my head down, thinking of one quarter at a time.  This was my home stretch. 

This was just a start of changes that became evident, as I checked into Sutton Hall.  My room mates had deserted me.   Les was still in the service and after his graduation last spring, Tom also joined the service.  Jerry had dropped out to work, but after thinking it over he went into the service also.  I was able to locate Dewey and asked him if he’d like to room with me.  That was the start of an even deeper friendship that lasted long past college and teaching jobs.  We had so much in common including our teaching Industrial Arts.  We chose a two man room with a study area across the hall used by several other two man rooms.  This arrangement became a meeting hall and useless as a study space, so we set up study tables in our room.  It was crowded, but provided the quiet study space.  The other option would have been to go back to a four man room with a self contained study space, but neither of us wanted to start with two new roommates.               

Dewey pretending to study for the photo.   He’s not near sighted                                                                                                                                                       
The college hired a new president that year.                                  
The college annual described this change as:
                                                                                                                                            A new president . . .
A new administration . . .
A new fresh outlook and spirit at Eastern.
The annual was dedicated to him as:

To Dr. Don S. Patterson:                                                                           .     
          The new president of the college who brings to his position a wealth of experience in the field to which this institution is devoted—education, and who has injected into the atmosphere of the college the fresh, impartial qualities of his own success . . .                                                                                                                                                          

We respectfully dedicate the 1955 Kinnikinick.


                    Dr Don S. Patterson

I’m not sure if he was credited for the emphasis on education in the college name.   Previously, it had been Eastern Washington College, but it appeared this year as Eastern Washington College of Education on all college materials.  It seemed like a good change to me, as that is what we studied here, and I was proud to be a part of that profession.  I supported the idea that a new attitude and spirit had invaded the campus.  As one person put it, "this new spirit is often seen and even more often felt.”  Among things that changed this year was the name for “New Dorm”.  You have to admit New Dorm isn’t much of a name for such a major building.  It sounded so temporary.  What happens if another dorm is built which would be newer?  The Eastern Board of Trustees, honoring Louise Anderson, college instructor since 1915, changed the New Dorm name to Louise Anderson Hall.

Louise Anderson Hall remained a women’s dorm and campus cafeteria.  I wondered if after I taught for forty years a building would be named after me.  Starting in 1956, I would have to teach until 1996.  I don’t think that will happen.  There are many ways I can advance and move to other educational responsibility.  Ms. Anderson is to be congratulated for her years of service and having a major college building named after her is appropriate and fitting.

The new faculty on campus brought youth and vigor into classrooms and social halls.  They enhance interest and study through their recent professional outlook.  Their intent to assist and guide the student body contributed a new note to campus life.  There was a new spirit at Eastern Washington College of Education.  It was exciting to be a part of it and proud of my college.

The majority of my classes that fall quarter were serious education methods courses again.  Even the Industrial Art courses were focused on curriculum and the history of Industrial Arts.  My P.E. course dealt with the organization and administration of physical education.   The only light hearted offering I had was Furniture Construction- Two with Mr. Killin.                  

Each year the senior class chooses a senior girl to fill the role of Eastern’s
official hostess, Sacajawea.  This year we chose JoAnn Holladay whose       appearance and warm personality complemented the role of hostess at many events throughout the year.            
As basketball season approached Red worked to sharpen players for conference play.  Ellis and Enos had graduated and would be missed for their scoring and hustle.  Bill Ellis’s height and rebounding won him the “Inspirational Player” award while Earl Enos was voted “Honorary Captain” by the team.  He had functioned as the floor captain in many of the games.  The absence of Fletcher Frazer left me as the lone tall player from last years team.  Dick Edwards returned as last years top scorer.  Four other returning lettermen finalized the core. Several transfer players and a number of freshman ball players made up the rest of the team.

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Testing the Teacher

My last year of college was a year of testing.  An example was, September Experience, which consisted of time scheduled at a public school as the year started.  It was intended to give a sense of the start-up activity, first hand.  There was a varying amount of participation, dependent on the supervising teachers.  It could be a reality check for the want-a-be teacher, though I hadn’t heard of any one changing majors at this late date as a result of September Experience.  I think it would be better to graduate and try teaching on a real assignment before making a decision like that.

My September Experience had been arranged with Custer County High School and the Vice Principal was to be my supervisor.  I was surprised the automotive program would be the area I would observe with several short visitations to academic classes.   I appreciated the opportunity to stay at home and work with Custer County High School during these start-up days, but would have felt more at ease in the farm shop.  Maybe that was part of the stratagem; to use an unfamiliar situation rather than a “home coming” type of placement.

It felt odd to walk into the initial meeting with teachers I had studied under just three years before.  The meeting provided an opportunity for introductions of new faculty and staff.  My reason for being there was also explained to everyone.  I received a warm welcome for joining the education community and a number of the faculty offered to meet with me if I had questions.  There were several new faculty members, but none in the area I would be observing.  The Principal covered changes in procedures as well as a quick review of the first semester’s activities.  This brought back memories of that first semester I attended Custer County High School.

 When all the general house keeping items had been covered, the faculty, staff and I adjourned to department meetings.  This was where details of the department’s start-up were discussed, and I felt this was where my learning was taking place.  In an earlier meeting with my supervisor, the Vice Principal, I was advised to keep a journal as the days of my experience progressed.  This as well as several other evaluation pieces would be collected at the end of the experience to constitute the evaluation of my September Experience,

Department meetings were used to identify things that had to be done during the first week.  I was assigned to help with an inventory of tools and order missing or broken units.  The department chairman then went over my order and correlated it with the subject matter to be covered and projected the enrollment in each class.  I was impressed by this procedure and never suspected this type of detail planning took place before school started. It made sense to be as ready as possible for the students when they would arrive the next week.  This type of preparation filled the rest of the week providing an excellent opportunity to get to know the department faculty.

The next week was the start of first semester and students found their way to the automotive shop, ready and eager to start class.  The instructors were ready to teach and school was on and operating in good spirit and excitement.  The planning and preparation were essential for a positive start.

I had opportunity to work directly with some students in one class and corrected papers for another instructor.  One day I sat in on several academic classes.  It was interesting to compare the varied types of classes and how the students reacted to the subject matter.  Before I realized it my September experience was over.  I had an exit interview with my supervisor, answered an open-ended set of questions and turned in my journal.  Late in the day I dropped by the auto shop and thanked the faculty for their tolerance in putting up with me and answering my questions.  Several asked what my plans were.  Upon learning of my desire to teach some where in the state as close to Miles City as possible, they indicated I should come back.  They had plenty of work for me.  That was good for my ego.  I walked the familiar street back to Mom’s place.

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Family Expansion

It was an exciting time.  The whole family was talking about it and I was about to become an uncle.  That status hadn’t sunk in yet, so I wasn’t sure how to react to this new role.  Mary and John were going to have a baby!

That meant that Mom would become a grandma and our Grandma would become a great grandma.  The addition of a baby can affect the whole family.  Then I started to wonder what it would be like to be a grandpa or even a great grandpa.  There’s plenty of time to think about that later.  I did want to get married and have kids.

I hoped Mary’s baby would arrive before I had to leave for college.  I hadn’t been around little babies, so I looked forward to this big occasion.  Mark Pfaff obliged me and was born August 6, 1954 in the Miles City hospital.  I don’t imagine my wishes had anything to do with the timing of his arrival, but I thanked him anyway.  When we visited Mary and Mark in the hospital I was surprised at how small he looked.  John advised me he was going to grow to be a tall man that could help around the ranch.  You could tell John was proud of his new Son.  He was right too, as Mark grew to be a tall fellow and is running the ranch now.

I haven’t been comfortable in hospitals so didn’t stay too long.  At this point my time in hospital stay’s had been limited to when I had the mumps and that was the college infirmary, but I still wasn’t comfortable with nurses flitting about and people in bed.  I always wondered how sick they were.  Mary looked great despite the trauma of child birth.  We joked a bit about my role as an uncle and then I was out. 

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.

Home with Tom

Easter was coming and time for spring break.  Tom had invited me to his home and I had accepted.  I was interested to see his part of Washington State before my college days were completed.  Tom was giving several students a ride over the mountains to their homes.  We all contributed to gas money which made it easy for everyone to afford the trip.

One of the students was a girl that Tom must have known quite well as he teased her all the way.  She was a good sport about it and got back at him.  The conversation was lively, so time went quickly.  I recognized the landscape over the Cascade Mountains by way of Snoqualmie Pass.  There was snow on the mountains and along the highway on top of the pass.  When we reached the summit everyone required a rest stop and a snow ball fight ensued.  The exercise and cold snow alerted us for the rest of the trip.

Descending the pass and approaching Seattle brought us to where Tom had turned south and let me off to hitch hike the previous year.  It all seemed familiar, but I was glad I wasn’t getting out there this year. The highway ran along the low land between the mountains and the ocean.  We were too far inland to see the ocean, but the Puget Sound cut inland at Seattle and was insight as we drove down highway 99 past Tacoma.  The Sound ends in the area of Olympia which I recall from my Washington State History class, is the state capitol.  We got magnificent views of several major mountain peaks along this stretch of road.  The most spectacular and closest to us was Mt. Rainier and the others, Mt, St Helens, Mt Hood, and Mt. Baker, all visible as it was a clear, sunny day.  They were all dormant volcanoes.  As we traveled south from Olympia, Mt. St Helens became closer.  We looked intently to see if we could detect steam coming from the mountain.  If we looked hard enough our eyes would manufacture make-believe steam.  It was evident that the mountain had been a volcano.  It had the cone shaped outline with an open crater at the top.

We traveled further south passing Centralia where Tom said he attended the junior college. My Washington State history book said it was one of the oldest junior colleges in the state. The next town, just a few miles down the road was Chehalis and not much further we turned off the main highway and drove back into the wooded hills past Mosyrock to Silver Creek.  A beautiful lake stretched around between hills creating what looked like a popular recreation area.  A dirt mountain road led to Tom’s home.  It was an older house with a number of out buildings.  His mom, a pleasant woman of around fifty welcomed us in and after introductions, invited us to come to the table for supper as she called it.  I hadn’t heard that term for some time.

Tom asked where his Dad was and was told he was doing repair on the tractor.  We went ahead with supper.  I could see Tom was upset that his father hadn’t welcomed us.  When his Dad did come in, he seemed unaware that supper had been called and he was late.  He was a good sized man, slightly bent from hard work.  Salem was his name. He gave the impression he wouldn’t take any back-talk from anyone.  He acknowledged my presence and commented on my height.  The rest of the evening passed with generic conversation.  Tom tried to tell his father about the things he was doing at college, but got minimal response.  Tom tried to drag me into the conversation and I made several attempts to visit. At one point Salem began a discussion about how the tourists were ruining the country around the lake.  Eventually we all decided it was time for bed.  I felt relieved for a break from the forced conversation and gladly followed Tom to my bunk for the night.

Tom seemed cheerful at breakfast and proceeded to lay out a plan for the day.  Mrs. Plant had a large farm breakfast ready for us and we approached it with gusto.  Tom wanted to show me around.  It had been raining during the night, so Tom decided to use the four wheel drive pick up.  He got the keys from where they hung next to the cook stove and we climbed on board.  The property was beautiful with huge evergreen trees scattered liberally across the landscape. Some of the more open areas were being farmed.  Tom was obviously proud of the place and he told of the many hours he had spent helping his Dad clear and work the soil.  Tom had lost half of his middle finger on the right hand in an accident with a piece of machinery.  He loved to joke about it and used the stub to jab people when he wanted to emphasize a point.  You can imagine other unique finger signals he always introduced in a conversation.  Tom told me he had plans for the property when he inherited it.  Tom was an only child, so it was likely he would receive the property.  He said he wanted to develop a camp ground on the wooded part of the land.  With the lake near by it seemed like a natural.   Tom confided he hadn’t shared this plan with his Dad primarily because of his negative attitude about campers.

We spent several restful days running around the area, visiting points of interest.  The drive along the lake was one of my favorite spots.  We went into Mossyrock and Tom pointed out Les Greer’s home.  We wondered how he was doing in the service.  It was interesting how similar my growing up in the country and the love I had for the ranch was to Tom’s situation, only very different geography.  As the end of our marvelous retreat from reality approached, Tom suggested we go to a dance in nearby Chehalis.  I agreed although I didn’t have any dancing clothes at that point in our outing.  I had one white shirt that had been worn and was a mass of wrinkles. 

The dance was in a large hall with a live band and several hundred people, mostly high school and junior college age.  Tom knew a number of them and introduced me to them.  He was doing well securing dance partners, so I got my nerve to ask one of the girls standing along the side of the dance floor to dance.  To my dismay she turned me down.  After my motivation to approach that girl, I moved down the line and asked another girl with the same results.  This was a tremendous defeat and I decided I was finished asking for a dance.  I wondered what was wrong with me.  I had to admit my wrinkled clothing could have been the problem.  Looking around at the crowd I realized I must have looked like a giant to them.  Tom was shorter than a lot of the kids at Eastern, but here he was taller than most.  Why, I wondered did this community have so many short people?  Without an answer to that question I decided to wonder outside while trying to heal my bruised ego.  There I found several other fellows who had stepped out for a smoke.  They struck up a conversation and that took my mind off my dance disappointment for a minute or two.  That had to be the most embarrassing incident for me since I did the race across the gym as a high school freshman to get a candy kiss from the cheerleader.  Eventually Tom came and suggested we leave for home.  We were planning to get an early start for Eastern the next morning.                                                                            
Tom was up before me and I heard a heated argument between he and his father.  By the time I arose and picked up my belongings, Tom was back in the room steaming about his father’s claim that we had damaged the pickup when we took it around the farm that first morning.  Salem was no place to be seen as we had breakfast, and loaded our things into the car.  I thanked Mrs. Plant for the hospitality and she gave me a big hug.  Tom got a hug also with a plea for him to forgive his Dad.  Tom grumbled for quite a few miles, but eventually he must have taken his mom’s advice and returned to his jolly self.

The remainder of spring quarter went by rapidly.  Tom was so involved in graduation and student teaching that I didn’t see much of him even though we were room mates.  He went into the service immediately upon graduation and it was four years later that we saw each other again.                 

After a number of years Tom’s Mom and Dad had passed away, leaving the farm to him. Tom and his wife moved into the family home.  Tom built a campground on the property as he had planned.  After operating it successfully for a number of years he planted a Christmas tree crop and after the trees matured, harvested the trees for several years.  Tom must have taken his mother’s advice and forgiven his Dad as the dirt mountain road to his home was officially named Salem Plant Road.

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Red's Credit Problem

It started as a rumor, whispered among friends, but typical of rumors it soon was out in the public and students were talking openly about it. It was the State College Board was coming to EWC to hold a hearing about a faculty member’s conduct and records.  Next the word was that the faculty member was Red Reese.  I couldn’t believe it at first, but when Cecle West and Ed Pillings were scheduled to testify it was obviously true.  The extent of the problem would come out later but it reminded me of something Red had said to me several years earlier.  He was lamenting about being stuck in a salary slot with no chance for advancement unless he finished a degree.  It came up when he was advising me to look into the future and keep educating myself to meet the demands of the time.  That was deep conversation for me at the time, but I understood his frustration.  Red had told me he was taking a few courses at the college, but it was taking a long time to accomplish his goal.

The state body arrived one day and set up for hearings in the board room.  It was a closed door series of interviews with some college staff and Red Reese.  The word leaked out that tempers were clashing.  Red was accused of signing up for classes and then putting pressure on the instructors to give him a grade with out his required work being fulfilled.  Some of the staff, because of their position under Red’s administration felt they had no recourse but to give him the grade.  It looked bad for Red’s future with EWC, but the details moderated the charge and Red remained at the college.  We, as a team weren’t in a position to take sides and the future of our basketball play was uncertain.

The State Board held a meeting in the Showalter Auditorium to present their findings and decisions to the college and community.  As might be anticipated, the crowed was large and anxious to hear results.  To quote the college year book, Kinnikinick, “Basketball at Eastern means one thing to most people—William B. (Red) Reese.   A background of 20 years as EWC basketball mentor has given the Red Fox a national reputation as a producer of top teams; always a scrappy team.”  The results were that Red would remain as Basketball and Track coach at Eastern but the title of Athletic Director was removed.  Other results were the resignation of Cecle West and Ed Pillings.  It was their decision because of the adversarial nature of the hearings and their testimony against Red.  They had no other choice.  I was relieved the incident was over and Red had managed to maintain his coaching position. 

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Changing Team Players

Our team’s record in conference play for 1954 was a miserable five wins to seven loses.  From my point of view there seemed to be a lack of cohesion among the players.  Maybe that’s normal when almost half the team’s players are new.  Besides I sensed Red was searching for a winning combination and it kept eluding him.   Besides Minnick and Roffler who graduated, Grahman, Hancock. And Wright didn’t return.  The new members on the team were: Fletcher Frazier-freshman, Willard McGillivary-sophomore, Dan Sherwood-sophomore, Aubrey Verstegen-sophomore and Bob Berkhart-freshman.

Of all the new players I was most impressed with Frazer.  He was a black man that could jump.  Oh, how he could jump.  He had no problem dunking the ball.  I would have given anything to be able to jump that way.  Red was impressed with his jumping too.  Frazer started many games and I found myself back in the alternant center position.   I roomed with Frazer on trips and tried to find out what he did to develop his leg muscles.  All he would tell me were jokes such as he had to run away from the police a lot while growing up, or his mom made him eat a lot of Mexican jumping beans.  He was interesting to be around.  I hadn’t been with many black people and I thought of the black family that lived close by Brink’s ranch.  This reinforced my observation that all black people aren’t alike, just as all white people differ.  I enjoyed my visits with Frazer, but I felt he was keeping a great deal of information about himself private.
On one of our trips to the coast we stopped at Cashmere, a small orchard town nestled at the approach to Blewett Pass in the Cascade Mountains.  Our bus stopped beside “Tiny’s Fruit Stand” and a huge man put a box of apples on board, and wished us good luck with our games.  He was “Tiny” Dick Graves, a resident and business man of Cashmere.  When Tiny turned out for football at EWC the next fall he was something to be reckoned with.  His fault was his temper which caused his removal from game after game.

Tiny at 360 lbs.

Tiny lived in Sutton Hall and from time to time did some minor damage to the facilities while venting his rage.  He liked going to the malt shop down town with some of the team and ordering hamburgers.  He ate three or four at one meal.  Most of the time Tiny was usually a gentle giant.  He was having the time of his life and was a major
fan of EWC athletics.                                                                          

As a business man he drove a large white car with apples and his logo painted on it.  He hired several college students to drive the highways of eastern Washington, strategically placing signs advertising his fruit stand along the way.                                                                                             

“Tiny” Dick Graves came to a sad end.  He had followed the Cashmere High School basketball team to Chelan for a game.  During the game Tiny became upset at a referee and had such a violent outburst that it triggered a heart attack.  He died instantly in the stands.  He was a popular figure in the area despite his temper and he has been missed.  When I pick up a red delicious apple from Washington State I think of Tiny.

  Earl Enos was the coolest head on the team and Ellis and Edwards contributed normal solid play.  Both Ellis and Enos would graduate in the spring.  Frazer left school and didn’t return for the 1955 season.  I didn’t hear the reason for his departure.

Fun in the Snow:  There were heavy snow storms in Cheney that winter.  The city pushed the snow to the center of the streets, leaving a one-lane road on either side.  The pile in the center was so high it hid vehicles from view of oncoming motorists.  Many drivers installed 8-10 foot whip antennas on their vehicles with a flag attached to the top.  It looked strange to see a flag moving along on the other side of the snow pile.                                      

After basketball practice Bill Ellis loaded as many guys into his old Chevy sedan as it would hold and cruised around until he found an open spot like an intersection.  Given the snow packed street and lack of traffic, he would put the car into a spin and correct into another spin.  He called this “spinning brodies”.  I guess there wasn’t too much danger from his improvised carnival ride.

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Road Trip

One weekend the guys decided we should take a road trip.  We scraped together what little cash we had and started driving east.  It didn’t take long to get to Spokane, but we didn’t stop until we reached Coeur de Lane.  While filling the gas tank and our stomachs our plan was discussed and settled.  Tom wanted to go to the  Montana State line to establish contact with the land of my birth.  It didn’tsound all that profound of a reason, but we were on a road trip and it didn’t have to be logical.

We drove into Wallace, Idaho as the sun was slipping behind the steep mountains that ringed the old mining town.  It looked like this would have to be our over night stop so a search for the least expensive lodging began.  We were lucky and put money down on a single large room with two beds and a rollaway plus the couch.  Of course we had an extensive discussion about who got which bed.  With that settled we left for a dinner search.  Wallace was a historic boom town back in busy mining days.  The town looked tired and run down now.  Most of the central business district closed early and “rolled up the streets” as Dewey put it.  We drove down along the highway through town and found several fast food places open, one with a nice dining area looked fairly clean.  We found the food satisfying and enjoyed people watching.

Tom informed us that Wallace was famous for its red light district.  The suggestion was that we take in some of the local color before we tried our new beds.  There was some common sense in the group that reminded us we didn’t have money or desire to get involved in that business, but it wouldn’t hurt to look a little.  On that note we took a walking tour through the area of ill repute.  It was sad but interesting at the same time.  I had never experienced such an open display of histories second oldest businesses.  When asked what business was older, Tom replied, “picking apples”.  We headed back to our room lamenting the fact that squeaky clean civilizations didn’t exist any longer as if they ever had.

Our plan was to drive to Lookout Pass in the morning, step across the Montana State line and then return to Cheney, no matter how late it got.  We needed a good nights sleep to accomplish that task tomorrow.  The beds surprised us, but those on the couch and roll away did some grumbling.  I guess they finally got to sleep.

It was dark when Tom pulled off the highway and headed up the hill toward Sutton Hall.  Everyone had been quiet the last miles.  There had been so much talk, silence was welcome.  Each of us was mentally reviewing our road trip and the fun we had experienced with each other.  A strong bond was formed that would last the rest of our lives.

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.

Fun and Studies as a Junior

Another summer slid by and before I realized, it was time to prepare for college again.  The train ride was getting boring, so I was glad when it pulled into the Cheney station. I preferred coming in this way rather than the way I left last spring.  I had two incompletes on my transcript that showed the change to grades, but no explanation concerning the circumstances.  There wasn’t a space for notation about my mumps even if the folks in the records office had wanted to cite one.  I felt it could be a source for questions by any party reviewing my transcript.
My schedule was beginning to load with courses that would be important for me as a teacher.  I realized the next two years would concrntrate on my major and I was glad to see the Industrial Arts classes sprinkled among the education offerings.  The thought of becoming a shop teacher was growing on me, but not without nervousness.  I noted that “ENGLISH CLEARANCE” had been stamped on my transcript for fall quarter, 1954.  I liked that, as it meant there wouldn’t be any more required English courses for me.  I was looking forward to the Mathematics Fundamentals class.  My five credit Education class was Educational Psychology and was tough for me.  The Sociology class “The Family” was interesting, but required an excessive amount of reading and again I am a confessed slow reader.  My PE course was Golf, a welcome diversion and my Industrial Art class was Architectural Drawing I, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Dick Edwards and I happened to be passing a photo shoot for the Kinnikinick (college annual) when they asked all juniors to gather to one side and participate in a representative picture.  It was impossible to gather all class members for a picture. I hardly knew other students in this picture except Dick standing beside me and Wayne Avery, standing in the back row on the extreme left.  Wayne was a Montana boy from Stevensville.  Dick and I had on our usual uniform; low maintenance jeans, letterman jacket and white tea shirt.  As I recall Dick suggested I crouch and he stood on tip toes to give the impression he was taller than I.  I measured 6 feet 8 inches, so there apparently were several other tall people shown based on this photo.

I didn’t make a conscious effort to become involved in college activity, but various opportunities seemed to come my way.  My studies, basketball and my job kept me busy.  I was enjoying a second year of swimming pool maintenance as my beat.  I had learned the process and received good reports from the head janitor.

I was asked to serve on the Associated Student Body (A. S. B.) Council to represent student athletics concerns before the council.  Bill Ellis was the senior representative with the same assignment.  This Eastern student governing body had several constitutional amendments pertaining to Homecoming that were ratified by the student body.  Also, an old tradition of exchanging programs with other colleges was reinstated.  This current year, Eastern, under the sponsorship of A.S.B., exchanged talent shows with Whitworth College.

The R.O.T.C. functioned in its second year on the Eastern campus.  A Sponsor Corps, an auxiliary of the local cadet-training unit, made up of females was established this year.  All young men were encouraged to join the cadet training resulting in various benefits and advanced placement upon entering the service.  After my experience in Spokane draft screening which resulted in a 4F classification, I had no interest in getting involved with R.O.T.C. but many of the students did and the program became an integral part of the college.

My roommate group hadn’t change from last year.  We chummed and explored new venues.  Tom had a car and as long as we would keep him in gas money he was ready to go.  Some days we would drive around looking for bottles we could turn in for deposits.  On poor days of hunting we made enough to pay for the gas used in the search.  Occasionally we would discovered a drinking party site and made expenses plus on bottle deposits.

We liked going to grange dances on weekends.  The local grange wasn’t far from the campus, nestled in the scrubby pine trees that grew in the area.  The crowd was a cross section of college kids and local residents.  The music was good and I got up nerve to dance.  I think it was being among strangers that made it seem less embarrassing if you were turned down occasionally.  It helped me feel more confident about dancing at the college on Wednesday mixer nights.

*Taken from "Which Road Should I Follow?, Volume 1, Growing up in the country", an autobiography by Edwin K. Hill.