Growing up in Wichita Kansas last part

Before I go forward I left something out of yesterdays post. One of the earlier memories I have about living in that house was our telephone. It was in the small hallway between the bedrooms, in a little built-in made for the phone. Our number was amerest 75547. The amerest was for am the first two letters in our number. We had no area codes back then and long distance calls were very expensive. We also had a party line. If the other party was on the phone line you had to wait until they got off before you could use it. We used to pick the phone up, put our hand over the mouthpiece and listen in to the other family on our line.
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Hamilton Junior High was my last school in Wichita. At the time it was grades 7 through 9. These were very formative years in my life that would set me up for High School. This was my first school that wasn’t all white. It had a small population of Hispanics but still no African-Americans. I seem to have fewer memories of this school than all the others. This where my grades started to go down hill to Cs and Ds and I had my parents on me all the time about that. I had to walk just over a mile to get to this school, again no buses back then. I wonder how many less obese kids we would have in this country if they walked a mile to school each way everyday. There was a cafeteria this school and I got 50 cents a day for lunch. Everyday I would eat the same thing, three dinner rolls and a chocolate milk, leaving me enough for a pack of cigarets on the way home from school.
I was short and stocky much like I am today, I was always walking around with a chip on my shoulder I felt I had something to prove. We had this one area right off the school grounds where everyday somebody would be fighting about something. I used to get into a scrap a couple of times a month myself. One day I got in to it with a Hispanic because I had dared to flirt with one of their girls. This kid beat the living tar out of me but I kept getting up for more,which earned me respect with them and a trip to the ER for several stitches, that did not go over to well at home.
From then on I hung out with the Mexican kids, I was the only white boy allowed in their click. Naturally this put me in a strange situation with all the other white kids, which were the majority in that school,but I didn’t care I felt at home. All the Mexicans back then carried knives and weren’t afraid to use them so naturally I had to carry one as well. All through Junior high all of my girlfriends were Mexican, to this day I am still a sucker for brown eyes. Every day after school we all went to hang out at this little Mexican restaurant right next to the school. On weekends I would hang out with my old white buddies at the pool hall. A lot of people didn’t understand back then how I could have friends from two different races but it seem natural to me. My parents had to come to school one day because I was in trouble for something, who knows what. When they found out I was hanging out with Mexicans the crap hit the fan. In the late 50’s it wasn’t considered the norm for different races to interact. Looking back my parents were racist as were all parents in my neighborhood, I think it was the way they were raised. So naturally I rebelled against them and hung out with whomever I wanted to. It was like overnight I had become the black sheep of the whole neighborhood, no parents wanted their kids to have anything to do with me. I didn’t realize it at the time but I believe all of this is what lead me to taking a path through life outside what most people would consider the normal one. I was always comfortable on that path and still am today. The only difference in my life now that I am older is that I don’t have to prove myself to anyone anymore. Simply put I am who I am and not willing to make any major changes in my life or lifestyle.

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This Photo has nothing to do with the post, it was next to the Mexican restaurant I used to hang out at.I have always liked Victorian styled homes so I just threw this shot up.



13 thoughts on “Growing up in Wichita Kansas last part

  1. yeah we had a party line as well. Used to pick up all sorts of gossip 🙂 I grew up during the apartheid years here in South Africa, so I know what you are talking about *Brigid

  2. Oh man, can you imagine if kids today had to use a party line?!? their heads would explode. LOL

    I can’t image growing up surrounded by that kind of racist mindset, you can’t hang around with someone just because they are different… If it weren’t for people like you who dared to go against the grain we all might still live like that today, scary thought!
    : )
    I love the photo of the old house too btw

  3. I can relate to having friends of different races, makes for a richer personality. Thank you for visiting my blog.

  4. It is sad that there was so much racism back in the day — it kept a lot of kids growing up then from meeting and getting to know people who might have become great friends had it not been for the racial barriers.
    The house is really beautiful — I really like that style of house as well, and I’m glad you included a picture of it!

    • Thank you Becky, many fond memories of that old house. Racism was much more widespread but sadly it still exist in quite a bit of this country.

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