Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Early Years

I sat out on the deck this evening after supper and read several more chapters of "The Early Years", an autobiography by Clifford E. Lowell. It is a 265 page  paperback, printed by Morris Publishing of Kearney, NE, Copyright 2000 with a 2nd printing and slight revisions in 2010. The book covers the first 21 years of Mr. Lowell's life from March, 1930 to August, 1951 which took place in the Kearney, Nebraska area. Mr. Lowell moved to Seward during the past few months to be near his daughter, son-in-law and family following the tragic death of his wife in a car-train accident last year. Clifford started coming to Kiwanis a few weeks ago and joined us as a 2nd tenor in the Kitones. It was during the Kiwanis initiation ceremony that he indicated having written this book that is available at the Seward Memorial Library. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading his vivid, detailed writing.  His "story" is so similar to what many of us lived growing up on a farm during those years that it brings back many memories. This evening I came across this description of a fire drill held at Longfellow HS in Kearney during the 1943-44 school year: "Fire drills were held several times during the school year. On one occasion the bells sounded while I was in the library. Miss Amy Figard, the librarian, told us boys we could go out through the round tubular slide that provided an escape from the library. Most of us did." It's ironic that Miss Amy Figard was my English and Literature teacher in Garland HS during the years immediately preceding her going to Kearney and his contact with her. She was one of my favorite HS teachers and part of a prominent Seward family. She and her sister never married and  left a significant gift to our Church Foundation Endowment. It's a small world.

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