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Kinzua


Many thanx to the members of the KINZUA FACEBOOK GROUP for giving me permission to use these photos.   

Like my blog article concerning Vietnam and another article on my pet peeves, this article is a "work in progress."  Over time,  I  will add more bits.


Though I lived in Kinzua for just a few years, it turns out those years were some of the most formative of my life.




                        This building held Kinzua's restaurant, dance hall, tavern, library.

The library was upstairs, left,  above the tavern.  Mrs. Jewell, the librarian, was the mother of Paul Jewell, a classmate and friend.  

During the time I lived in Kinzua, the only other people I ever saw in the library besides Mrs. Jewell and myself was I once took my brother.  And one night, in winter, when it was extremely cold, I walked past the post office on my way to the library -- saw through the window a girl I recognized from school.   She was shivering, walking back and forth to keep warm.  I entered the post office.

This girl lived with her mother and mother's boyfriend in a little shack out towards the town dump.  The girl said her mother ordered the girl to leave for awhile so the "adults" could have a party.

I told the girl to come with me,  warm up in the library.  She had no idea there was a library in town.

In the library, Mrs. Jewell took me aside, asked me why I brought such "trash" to the library.   As usual in such situations, I told the truth.  "Gosh, Mrs. Jewell, the kid was freezing."

I got the feeling Mrs. Jewell was amused.

Anyway when I arrived in Kinzua, the only Science Fiction I had read was in comic books, especially the pre-comics code EC brand.

Mrs. Jewell turned me on to Science Fiction books.

In one corner of the library there were maybe a half-dozen Science Fiction hardbacks.  Mrs. Jewell, when she ordered books often asked me what I wanted to read.  When I left Kinzua, about half of one wall was full of Science Fiction books.

She did the same when subscribing to magazines.  After a few years, the library had stacks of Scientific American, Science Digest, Popular Science, Mechanix Illustrated, Popular Mechanics.   I was in hog heaven.

When in the library, one picked up all the noises and odors from the tavern underneath.

Music, clicking pool balls,  drunken laughter and loud conversations coupled with the odors of stale urine, cigarette smoke, and beer --  all in all, an interesting library.



                       The above photo is of the school where I attended 7th and 8th grades.

The classrooms were on the left; the gym was on the right.  The 7th and 8th grades shared a classroom.

Underneath the school, someone had carved a small peephole in a wall so that guys could peer into the girls locker room, adjacent the gym.

There was no theater in Kinzua.  During the school year, at night movies would be shown in the hallway of the gym. A 16mm projector was used.  And if I remember correctly we sometimes had popcorn -- not sure about the popcorn; might just be wishful thinking.

I had a huge crush on a girl named Susan Wright.  After the showing of one movie, the classic Science Fiction flick, "20 Million Miles To Earth,"  my brother and I walked down the aisle to the exit.  I then saw Susan and Kenny Wham sitting together, cuddling and holding hands.  I was crushed.  It was the first time I ever had my heart broken!  Unfortunately, not the last time.


During recess at school, most boys played a never-ending game of "work-up baseball."  Myself?  I played "four square" with the girls.  That is until Mr. Scott, our principle, called me into a room, told me "boys did not play four square with girls."

I replied, "That's obviously untrue.  I'm a boy, and I play four square."

Mr. Scott then told me I could no longer play with the girls.  So despite the fact that I found baseball to be outrageously tedious, I had to play the game.



KINZUA'S SIX HOLE GOLF COURSE





i can't be sure, but I think the fellow in this photograph might be Mr. Boring, one of my teachers.  If anyone from Kinzua reading this can either confirm or deny the ID, please let me know.


For awhile there was a sign posted at one end of the golf's course's clubhouse.  The sign said, "LOOK OUT FOR RATTLE SNAKES."

Many thanks to Larry Benson and Raymond Reed for teaching me how to play golf.

For clubs,  I had a brassy (an obsolete type of driver), a wooden shafted putter and five iron.  The five iron I had found at the dump.  Its shaft was broken.   I repaired it with a couple of hose clamps and some electrical tape.

I owned no golf bag, so I carried the clubs in my hands.  I fished golf balls out of a body of water adjoining the course, carried them in my pockets.  I sold the better ones to adult golfers at about half the going retail price.

There were often unbroken tees lying around the tee-off areas; I carried those in my pockets.





THE SAWMILL











                  MY PEERAGE AND PRIVY COUNCIL DURING MY KINZUA YEARS



Many thanx to Glenda Shelton Cox for this photo.  This photo is my absolute favorite from my Kinzua years and might even be my most favorite photo of all time.  I have hundreds of photos, so that's saying something.

Top right is Wayne Cox, my best friend through the eighth grade and into the first part of our freshman year at Wheeler County High.  My family moved to McMinnville, Oregon right after football season of my freshman year.  Wayne and the above-mentioned Glenda married; since I was friends with both, that fact delighted me to no end.

Top center is Stan, Wayne's older brother.  He was one tough kid; pretty much kept the rest of us in line.

I'm top left.  I was 13 years of age when this photo was shot -- about the age I was in my short stories, "Kinzua Kid" and "Jawboning by C.E. Gee."

My brother Bill is bottom left, another tough kid.

Bottom right is Norma Cox.   Even though we were incredibly young, it was obvious to both of us that we had a connection.  The problem was her brothers were always with us whenever we were together.  It was like they were purposely keeping  us in their sight all the time.  Why would they do that?  They all knew what I was like.   Hhmmm. . .  Maybe that was the problem.   And Norma's Dad -- whenever I was around Norma, and her Dad was home,  he watched me like a hawk.

Scroll down this article a bunch more until you see the photo above.  You can then read of Wayne and I playing eight-man football our freshmen year at Wheeler County High in Fossil.



Well before my family moved to Kinzua, we used to visit my paternal grandparents there.  Before the days of dial telephones, my Grandmother, Ethel Gee, operated the town's manual switchboard.   My Grandfather, Charlie Gee (who I was named after) worked in the sawmill.  His job was to line the insides of railroad boxcars that shipped out the lumber.

Anyway, in the above photo, my brother Bill is on the left, my Dad Archie is center, I'm on the right.




Ethel Gee, my paternal grandmother.  As I stated above, she was the town's telephone operator in the days before dial telephones.  There was a switch on her switchboard that allowed her to listen in on phone calls without the the called and calling parties hearing her.

My father often chastised my grandmother for listening, but she never stopped the practice.

My grandmother's best friend was Kinzua's Postmistress.  Between the two of them, they pretty much knew all the towns dirty laundry, and gossiped about such frequently.






The above photo is of the audience at Kinzua Grade School’s 8th Grade graduation ceremony, circa 1961.

The only memory I have of that night is of many of us boys standing on the porch of the school, looking out toward where the cars were being parked.

Some of the girls wore diaphanous dresses.  It was night, and the headlights of the incoming cars shined through the dresses, perfectly outlining what lay beneath.  For 8th grade boys, it was quite a night.



Here I am, visiting my Grandparents.  You might not recognize me; I didn't get glasses 'til I was seven!


Bill, my brother and I with the Grandfolks.


Grandad and Dad.

                              Fishing was my grandfather Charlie Gee's favorite hobby.


Charlie Gee was my paternal grandfather, and my namesake.

He worked at the Kinzua mill, lining the inside of railroad boxcars so that wood being shipped out would not be marred by jostling up against the sides of the boxcars.

After Kinzua got dial telephones my Grandmother no longer was the town's operator, so her and Granddad had to move out of the town's "telephone building."    They moved into a trailer, which was off to the right as you first drove into Kinzua.

As a child, I was fascinated by a bullet hole in the door of the trailer.  Charlie told me his rifle went off while he was cleaning it.  Later, my cousin Lee told me that Charlie was actually covering for him.  Lee’s rifle had shot the hole in the door while he was cleaning it.

During hunting season my Grandpa always carried a rifle in his car, which was a 1958 Chevrolet.

Once, when he and I were on our way to Condon, he suddenly braked to a stop but not turn onto the shoulder of the highway.  He jumped out of the car, grabbed his rifle off  the rear seat, began firing at a deer that was a ways away on the side of a hill.  Charlie fired a few shots, missed.  The deer ran off, much to my amusement. Charlie got back into the car, cursing a blue streak.  My Father later told me it was illegal to fire a firearm from a highway.

Charlie always drove at breakneck speeds, tires squealing as he drove around curves, passing other cars and the like.  Eventually my Mother wouldn’t allow my brother or I to ride in the car with Charlie driving.

My Father, my older cousin Lee, my grandfather and I hunted together.  One hunting trip provided the basis for my story “Jawboning”.

On that particular hunt, my cousin Lee and my Dad dropped Grandpa and me off  to ambush deer that they said they were going to drive towards us.  Many ears later, my Father told me that he and Lee just wanted to get away from the “old man and the kid” so they could do some serious hunting.

We hunted with an assortment of rifles.  My Dad had a model 94 Winchester.  Grandpa had a sporterized military issue Springfield 30-06.  I was fascinated by Lee’s 30-40 Craig, which had been given to him as a gift by his wife.  The rifle was very wicked looking, had a bolt with a straight handle, and was the same model of rifle used by Theodore Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders: in Cuba.

I also had an  unusual rifle.  One day my Dad and I were in the Fossil, Oregon Merchantile.  There was a large wooden barrel near the counter with a bunch of rifles in it.

For $19.95 my Dad bought me a model 1898 Spanish Mauser, which was a copy of the famous German Mauser used in both WWI and WWI.

In those days, at the Fossil, Oregon Merchantile one could purchase individual rounds of ammo. A full box was very expensive to many of the citizens of Wheeler County.   Dad bought me 10 rounds.

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Fishing was Grandpa’s favorite activity.  He was an avid fly fisherman and often took me to a nearby reservoir for fly fishing.

Grandpa and me also often fished a small stream that fed a pond, which in turn was the water source for the mill’s log pond.

Charlie taught me to crawl up to the stream on our stomachs so the trout wouldn’t see us.  In the prone position, behind the stream’s bank, we’d drop our lines into the water.  Later, in Vietnam, as I’d crawl from one position to another, I’d often remember my Grandfather and I crawling up to that stream.

My Grandfather was wildly eccentric.  One time, during the summer, he broke into the school, went to the locker where all the rubber balls were kept.  He threw the balls out on the playground for kids to play with during the summer.  He later declared that “The taxpayers had paid for those balls, and that it was a waste of tax money for those rubber balls to not be used in the summer.”

For those who know me well enough, does that sound familiar?

I inherited many characteristics from my Father’s side of the family.  One that fascinates me is that at gatherings of family or friends both my Father and my Grandfather would often  rather visit with the women than the men.

I’ve had an incredible number of completely platonic female friends in my life.  In fact, a few of these females are amongst the most absolute best friends I’ve ever had.

My Father’s side of the family is descended from American Indians (Osage on Grandpa’s side and Seminole on Grandma’s side).

Physically, I much resemble my Mother’s side of the family, which is largely European.  But my Brother, that’s another story.  At times in his life he looked like a Polynesian warrior.  If you're familiar with the recent reversal  of the famous KON-TIKI theory. . .

Many American Indian tribes are matriarchal, being somewhat similar to classic ancient Greek society.  The women would run the household, own and care for most of the family’s household goods while the men would fight enemies or sit around and politic or philosophize.  I suspect that may be one of the reasons I've always been drawn to a particular type of female.  Genetics is an interesting field of study.

Anyway, my Father visited me in Gleneden Beach, Oregon, where I was living just after I’d returned to the world from Vietnam.

While we visited, I asked my Dad about the family trait of the males having unusually close, what I saw as usually platonic  and friendly relationships with females.

My Father, responding to my question, with a twinkle in his one good eye (the other eye was glass), said, “Why son, it makes it easier to get some.”

In high-school, I’d been a dedicated follower of Jane Goodall’s writings.  Most people think she studied chimps, which she did.  But also, she wrote extensively about baboons.  A mating strategy for baboon males who were not "alphas" (dominant)   is similar to the traits exhibited by me.  I was and still am highly amused.

But I digest.  Let’s get back to my Grandfather.

Like most grandfathers, Charlie frequently gave me with advice.  Perhaps the most important advice he gave me was how to behave in an ambush.  He was referring to hunting mule deer.

But in Vietnam, I found that old Charlie’s advice applied when ambushing humans.

Don’t move, be quiet, be patient, don’t smoke, don’t go to sleep unless you have a buddy to wake you up if you make noise.  Make sure the safety is off on your rifle –- every second counts.  And here’s a word of advice that I came up with on my own.  If you’re badly outnumbered, don’t shoot!  Let ‘em go on by.  Being outnumbered is not a problem with deer.  But with humans. . .  

One more story about old Charlie, then we’ll move on.  Actually, he wasn’t there when the following event happened.

I was 11 years old, living in Alaska.  My Father gave me my first rifle, a Stevens .22 caliber semi-automatic with a 14 round (for .22 caliber long rifle ammo) tubular magazine.

Apparently, presenting a boy with his first rifle was a big deal in my Dad’s family,  for after he presented me with the rifle,  my Father wept.  My Mother asked, “What’s wrong Archie?”

My Dad replied that he was upset that his own Father (Grandpa Charlie) was not there to witness me getting my first rifle.





With Mom and Dad near Kinzua.  I suspect Bill, my Brother took this photo.



Many thanks to Glenda Shelton Cox, Wayne's wife.  She posted this photo and also gave me permission to use it. 


Over the many, many years of my life I've accumulated hundreds of photos.  This photo I treasure very much.  It's at the very top of my list.

Anyway, Wayne is top right, I'm at top left, right next to the house.

Wayne convinced me to play football our freshman year at Wheeler County High.


Those of us who have played organized football at any level know that the experience changed us, tempering attributes we may have already possessed, adding attributes previously unknown to us.

I survived Vietnam (circa 1968) because of many reasons, one of which was I played football during much of my youth.

During my school years, indeed during my entire life, I was a nerdy geek of the highest order, always spaced out, even when playing  football.  Thus, I was frequently blind-sided, and subsequently learned from football how to take a hit and keep on going.  In Vietnam, I took a hit, kept on going.

If you’ve ever played football outdoors, especially in the west or the midwest you learn to ignore extremes in weather.  For when practice starts in August, it’s hotter than blue-blazes, but by the time it gets to late in the season, say in October or so, it’s cold and rainy.  Thus, one learns to endure, even ignore, environmental extremes.  Believe me, if you spend a year or so in Southeast Asia, you have to endure some outrageous extremes in the weather

Football teaches you how to work with others.  The Marines call it Gung-ho, Chinese for “working together, working in harmony.”  Playing football, you’ve got to get along with your teammates:  placid offensive linemen, mindlessly running their pre-planned assignments; drooling, piratical defensive linemen cackling over the prospect of drawing blood; fiendishly psycho linebackers; arrogant, conceited, totally self-involved defensive secondary; elitist ball carriers; loner kickers; spoiled, high minded, snobby quarterbacks; anal, single-minded, foul-mouthed coaches; yes my friends, you have to learn to get along with all these types, and more.  In the military, especially in war zone you have to get along with all types, variations on the above.

Then there’s the fear factor.  You ever play football, you learn how to be afraid and still function.  You learn how to be hyper-vigilant, alert to danger coming at you from any direction, at any time.  You learn to use fear as a tool; it heightens your senses, increases the probability of your survival.  I was scared many times in Vietnam.  I survived.

Discipline is one of the most important factors acquired  from playing football.  I’m not only referring to the type of discipline required to function in difficult circumstances, I’m also referring  to the discipline needed to submit willingly to the directions and desires of others: teammates, team leaders, coaches.

I hope my readers realize how such above-mentioned traits helps one survive combat.   I have mixed feelings about the growing trend of parents not allowing their kids to play football.  Our only hope is the increasing use by the military of drones and robots.

I started playing football in the 7th Grade because my best friend at the time, Carroll Sizemore was into it.  In the 8th Grade, Carroll became our Quarterback.  I myself never became much more than a scrub, coming in off the bench most of the time.

During the summer between 7th grade and 8th grade, Carroll and I had a falling out arguing over the origins of Batman.  Yes, I am that much of a geek.  However, Carroll’s influence forever changed my life.

But I digest [sic].  Let’s get back to football.  We played standard 11-man flag football at Kinzua Grade School.

After graduating from the Kinzua, Oregon grade school, I then became a freshman at Wheeler County High School, located in the nearby community of Fossil, Oregon.

This is when Wayne Cox, my best friend during the 8th grade and our freshman year, became a key influence.  One of the most important influences he had on me was that he talked me into going out for football our first year in high-school.

If I remember correctly, Wayne and I were the smallest guys in our class.  I suspect his brother Stan, who was an excellent football player, tough as nails, may have talked Wayne into playing the sport.  Also, Wayne’s Father was a strict disciplinarian, may have told Wayne to play football.  Whatever the case, Wayne changed my life.

It was in 1961, as a freshman at Wheeler County High located in the town of Fossil, Oregon that I played eight-man football.

If you ever find yourself in Fossil, Oregon, county seat of Wheeler County, there’s two things you need to do.  First of all, go out behind the high school, there to dig fossils.  It’s surprisingly easy; though you might come away disappointed; most of the fossils are tree leaves.

The other thing you need to do is visit the museum in “downtown” Fossil.  That's assuming it's still there.  It's been years since I visited the area.

Upon entering the museum, be sure to make a donation.  Then look for the collection of yearbooks of Wheeler County High School.  Get the 1962 edition, then flip through until you find photos of the football team.

There were only four freshmen who played football in Wheeler County High, circa 1961 - 1962.  Bobby, Kenny, Wayne, and me.  In the photo, I’m the scrawny, geeky looking fellow with the glasses.  Hazing was a reality in 1961 at Wheeler County High.  Apparently, we four were the only freshmen who could or would endure the hazing of the time.

We freshmen players put up with a lot of verbal abuse, ridicule, being pushed around, slapping of wet towels in the shower room, that sort of thing.

Now let’s get down to the actual game of eight man football.  Eight man football is exactly like the 11 man football of that era, except it's missing the two tackles and one of the half-backs.  Since the field of play is the same size as 11 man football, the game is much faster, given there’s the same area to cover, but less players to cover it.

Passes out to the flat, lots of end runs and sweeps and reverses dominate eight man football.  Speed rather than size and power come to dictate the desired attributes of the players.  Wayne and I, not big, were very fast so we did okay.

Football games at Wheeler County High in the era we’re dealing with here -- home games were played at the Rodeo Grounds, which, if memory serves, were located about 200 or 300 yards or so from our school.  This is being written more that 50 years later, so the my judgment of the distance may not be precise.

The Rodeo Grounds had a sizable, covered grandstand to one side.  There was NO turf.  The chalk outlines of the football field were laid down on the bare dirt and dust of the Rodeo Grounds.

That’s right my friends, bare dirt.

By the time fall football season rolled around, the Rodeo Grounds had not been used by rodeos for some time.

However, young girls practiced barrel racing there all year round.  So occasionally, when playing football, one would occasionally encounter a pile of “road apples.” (Google it, if you don’t know.)

Since the Rodeo Grounds (football field) was so far from the High School, at half-time the teams would withdraw to fenced stockyards at the opposing ends of the field.  Our assistant coach would patrol around the stockyard, keeping a sharp watch so that no one could sneak up to listen in as our coach issued his adjustments and other dictates.

If, during halftime, a player needed to relieve himself,  you'd go outside the stockyard, to the side opposite the grandstand (for privacy), and out there, in the cold open air, whip out your trouser snake and direct a stream into the dust and dirt.

If during a game or at halftime, if one needed to “drop the kids off at the pool,” there were two choices.  You could trot all the way back up to the High School, or use the public facilities under the grandstand.

Most guys chose to make the run back to the schoolhouse;  going to the restroom under the grandstand was just too much of a hassle.  Old men would want to shake your hand, tell you what a great job you were doing, then deliver specific advice on what plays to run, how to play your position more effectively, etc..   It was just too much a hassle.  Now that I’m an old man myself, I avoid giving young men verbal advice unless they specifically ask for such.  (Unless those young men are unfortunate enough to be my son or son-in-law.)

Away games were something else.  Fossil, Oregon is about as far from anywhere as one could get, so away games often involved spending hours traveling in a school bus.  The games were usually played in the evenings, so we’d not get back to Fossil ‘til late.  Then, those of us who lived in Kinzua had to make the long drive (usually with an upperclassman who owned a car) over a curvy, narrow road to get home.  Bobby, who lived in Camp 5, had it even worse.  Camp 5 was an logging camp located 11 more miles up the road from Kinzua, and the road was gravel, sometimes torn up in spots because of log trucks.

Bobby had a sister named Sue; she served an interesting role in my freshman year.  Sue was a year or so ahead of me in school, a sophomore I’d guess.  What I’m about to tell you may seem a little strange, given the alleged sexual repressions of our society prior to the late 1960s.

In the state or Oregon, at that particular time (early 1960s), playing high school football usually required the purchase of some personal items – specifically cleats (football shoes), socks, jocks, tee-shirts.

And one was responsible for one’s own laundry.  Besides the above-mentioned, there were one or more practice jerseys, home and away jerseys, pants.  Players would always get their moms to do said laundry.

However, Wheeler County was one of the poorest, if not the poorest county in the State of Oregon -– poorest in terms of income per capita.  So the High School, one would assume via instructions from the School District, provided all previously mentioned gear plus did the laundry.

The year I played football at Wheeler County High, Bobby’s sister Sue was the laundry girl.  The School District paid her a wage to stay after school and do the laundry for the football team.

The washing machine and dryer were in the boy’s locker room, down a short flight of stairs and against the wall  to the left.

The showers and most of the locker room were to the right as one came in, around a corner in a roughly “L-shaped” room.  But we freshmen were forced to use cubbies out in the same room as the washing machine and dryer.  The upperclassmen were in the room closer to the showers, out of sight.

Bobby, Sue’s brother, and I had cubbies right next to one another, about 30 feet or so from the laundry equipment.  Wayne and Kenny, the other freshmen players, if I remember correctly were in the same room, but down the wall a bit.

Sue tended to her laundry,  always kept her back discretely turned toward us while we changed clothes.  I myself, shy with females, a bit of a priss, kept watch on Sue out the corner of an eye, and I did catch her sneaking quick, discrete glances every once in a while.

To Sue’s credit, she’d always wait until I was fully dressed before she’d leave her station to come over to talk to Bobby and I.

Sue and I had this strange affinity.  The truth is, we barely knew each other.  But there always seemed to be something to it whenever we were together.  You know how it is -– the glances, the body language, whatever.

Anyway, Sue’s brother Bobby was highly amused at the situation.  His sister was a girl who lived in Camp 5.  Camp 5 girls (cough)(smirk), badly isolated from more polite society, shall we say they seemed more wise in the ways of life than the girls from Fossil or Kinzua -- precocious, like the young girls of this more modern era.

And I was a geek of the highest order.  I’d moved to Kinzua from Alaska, which in itself made me strange.  I must have seemed a really odd creature to these kids of Central Oregon of the late 50s and early 60s.  I wore glasses, I read books, I listened to music, I played golf.  I spoke understandable English, but it was (to them) in some strange, poly-syllabic form, full of strange words not found in their daily lexicon.  For I spoke often of religion, relativity, literature, science and technology, history, science-fiction and space travel.

Anyway, when Sue approached me in the locker room, and her brother and I and her would talk, I’d tremble, uncontrollably afraid.  At the same time, I’d marvel out how I could summon up enough courage and bravado to play a vicious sport like football, whilst at the same time, be so afraid of such a lovely and delightful girl.

                               THE PEOPLE OF KINZUA


The people of Kinzua had a tremendous influence on my life.

I’m not going to name any names here.  (Actually I do name just a few in this section. LOL)

But below are some specific influences on me caused by people of Kinzua (mostly the youth).

As stated at the top of this article, this is very much a work in progress.  

In this particular section, as I was writing of the teachers of the Kinzua School I realized I had too much to say to finish this article quickly.  Specifically, I was going to write a section on Mr. Ekstrom, realized it was going to be very long.  So I think I’ll stop at that point ‘til next time.

Mondays through Thursdays I write Science Fiction.  Fridays I work on blog articles.  This article has become a priority.
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Health

I Never smoked.  Doctors have been telling me for decades that not smoking was the smartest thing I ever did.  A good friend of mine in Kinzua stole a pack of Salems from the merchantile.  We then sat on the nearby railroad tracks.  My friend lit up, passed me the cigarette, said, “Wanna try it?”  It took a drag, said, “You’ve gotta be kidding.”   My friend replied, “Makes you look cool.”  My comment?  “I fail to see how drawing hot smoke into your lungs can be good for you.  Besides, I don’t wanna look cool.  I’m not that kinda person.”
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When I arrived in Kinzua, I was a skinny nerd.  But a friend talked me into playing football.  The exercise bulked me up.  I was never the same after that, became something of an oddity –- a geeky nerd who could fight and defend himself!
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My family was so poor, especially while living in Kinzua, we rarely had much meat.  Later in life I pretty much gave up eating meat, became a fanatical flexitarian. (Google it)
Believe me, I’m healthier because of that.
             

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Football.

Not only did football help save my life in Vietnam, my annual blog column of handicapping football is the most popular article of my blog during the NFL season.  Also, let’s not forget wagering on football.  LOL
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Science Fiction.

The Kinzua librarian got me hooked on Science Fiction books.  I was so hooked on Science Fiction, I once owned a Science Fiction bookstore.  I learned to type because of Science Fiction, which believe it or not, helped save my life in Vietnam.  Also, I became a Science Fiction author.  Learning to write led me to start this blog, which led to this article!
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Girls.

I’m definitely not a ladies man.  However, the girls of Kinzua introduced me to the joys of female companionship.  There are more than a half-dozen Kinzua girls I shall never ever forget.  And not for the obvious reason.

For example, a Kinzua girl helped me with my algebra when I was a freshman at Wheeler County High.  I never would have become proficient at the subject without her.  And algebra has been a great help to me with handicapping football and in my cosmological theories, which I often use in my Science Fiction writings.

I discovered the writings of C.S. Forester because of a Kinzua girl.  C.S Forester has been a great aid to me in becoming an author, and has also provided me with much entertainment.  I’ve read and greatly enjoyed all of C.S. Forester’s books.  Said books include The African Queen, the Hornblower series, Sink the Bismark, The Sky and the Forest, etc..
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Most males are well aware of how self-obsessed females are –- it’s a genetic trait induced by the fact that in the animal kingdom, humans are one of the very view creatures where it’s the female that has to attract and hold a mate. Most animals, it’s the male that has the imposing figure, plumage, mane, struts its stuff, etc. to attract a mate.

Anyway, in my life there’s been only three females that were concerned about my well-being over theirs.  I married one of them.  Another one, the very first, was a Kinzua girl.

I could go on and on about the Kinzua girls.  However, this blog is PG rated.  ‘nough said.
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Teachers.

Mr. Scott, the school’s principle gave me my first IQ test.  He then put me into a special class session he taught for students who had high intelligence.  Jess Hudson and Becky Schroeder (whoops, I wasn’t going to drop any names! LOL) were in that class.  That class taught me that I was actually a gifted and unique individual and forever changed my image of myself and my relative place in our culture.

And my being an attendee of that glass greatly improved my self-confidence, gave me reason to attack some of the great challenges of my life.  
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Mr. Boring, at a barbecue at his house he put on for his students, showed me a way of living that I’d not before experienced.  My parents were depression era Oakies.  I was raised in white-trash society.  My family was very poor.   At the barbecue, as I marveled at Mr. Boring’s house, which had paintings and photos on the walls, doilies on the furniture, a piano, etc., -- well, Mr. Boring must have seen me taking it all in.  He took me aside, explained to me there was a different world out there, a world that was not like Eastern Oregon or Alaska.  Mr. Boring enlightened me.  I shall never forget that.  Of all the things he taught me, that was the most important.
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Mr. Ekstrom.  I think I’ll stop here for a bit –- too much to say.  I’ll come back later, add to this section.  As stated above, this article is a work in progress.  I'll add to it as time permits. 

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Click here for this blog's TABLE OF CONTENTS.

C.E. Gee in his Las Vegas studio

Thanks for reading!

NAMASTE

For a BIO of the author of this article, credits for clip art and photos, comments about this blog's contributors, CLICK HERE.













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