A Patchwork of Memories

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RAYMOND LIST

I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Chickasha, Oklahoma, born there in the late evening of, December 24, 1904. My sister arrived in June of 1906. We left Chickasha following the end of World War I. Moving to Oklahoma City, Sis and I enrolled with the sophomore class at Oklahoma City Central High School. My youthful interests were dominated by an intense desire to play the piano. Following my high school graduation in 1924, I spent the next six years in and out of the University of Oklahoma, finally graduating with a bachelors degree in Supervision of Public School Music.

My professional career began as Director of the high school band at Idabel, Oklahoma in 1931. I met my wife Louise and we were married on June 30, 1936. After my marriage my life long interest in the piano led me back to the University and graduate school, to earn my Masters Degree in Applied Music, Piano.

The year following the culmination of my graduate work; was the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese whereupon, I spent the next two years in the United States Army. My entire military life was spent in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma and Camp Hood, (Ft. Hood, Texas). Louise and I returned to Idabel after the war.

We were saddened by the loss of our first born, Anita Louise, on September 9, 1945, she lived only a few hours. It was not until the mid-forties that we became the proud parents of two healthy children, <name withheld> born November 5, 1948 and <name withheld> born October 10, 1949.

Disaster struck for me in 1958, when an acute case of bursitis in my left shoulder put a stop to my piano playing. After nearly thirty years on the faculty of' the Idabel High School, I resigned. In association with the Beasley Music Company of Texarkana, Texas, I became their sales representative and piano technician. During the latter years of my employment, my wife passed away, January 1970. The following years my children completed their education at Oklahoma State University. I retired from the Beasley Company, December of 1977 and moved to Tulsa. At the age of 78 years, I'm "Grandaddy" to four very healthy young grandsons.

JENIFER AND KRISTO

By: Raymond List

It was a forty minute stroll from my apartment clown South Peoria Avenue to the Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School. I usually took this morning exercise immediately following an early breakfast. There were very few people on this avenue until my return from the school building and then for 3 or 4 blocks I ran the gauntlet of several hundred school kids, first through sixth grades, on their way to school. They never paid any attention to me, just walked along in singles and pairs, then in groups of a half-dozen or more, chattering away like a bunch of sparrows.

One morning on my return walk back to my apartment, and after I had passed all of these children, I found a clean, white, legal size envelope with writing on one end of the envelope, laying all by itself on the sidewalk. Curiously, I picked it up and read the following notation:

"Lunch money for Jenifer and Kristo"

A dollar bill was visible through the envelope and coins could be felt inside.

The next morning early I reached the school building a good half-hour before the door opened for the pupils and presenting the sealed envelope to the lady attendant in the Principal's office, I asked, "Might you know of these two young ones named Jenifer and Kristo?" Sure enough, she knew them. I was happy to return the money to the rightful owners and accepting the thanks of the office lady I betook myself on my way.

A double dose of excitement came to me on my way back to my apartment. First, while making a street crossing a couple of blocks from the schoolhouse, I saw a dollar bill lying in the middle of the street which I retrieved in a hurry to avoid oncoming traffic! Then, after passing through and around-about groups of chattering grade-schoolers I came upon two little girls, one little one a third grade pupil I presumed and an older child, probably in the fourth grade and I'm sure an older sister. Both were dark complexioned with very dark brown curls of hair reminding me of children I had seen from Iran and the Middle East.

As usual, I stepped aside and as they passed I could see that the little one with both arms around school books also held in her grasp a long, white envelope exactly like the one I'd picked up the day before. My first impulse was to speak to the little girls, but on second thought I refrained for fear of their unfavorable reaction to the attentions of a strange man. After another half-dozen steps I could no longer deny the fulfillment of my curiosity and turning around looking at the backs of the retreating children I called out, "Jenifer."

The two little girls turned around instantly: I'll never forget the look on the face of that little one! Her eyes "bugged out", so big and beautifully brown. I guessed rightly when I asked the older girl if she was Jenifer.

"You lost your lunch money yesterday, didn't you!" I said.

"She lost it!' returned Jenifer, pointing an accusing finger at Kristo.

Kristo's beautiful brown eyes betrayed her guilt. Not wishing to get into a discussion of this issue, I quickly changed the subject telling them that they must go to the Principal's office for their lost lunch money.

In the few minutes I had with these two very young ladies, I had progressed from a total stranger to an accepted acquaintance and though they never inquired as to who I was they waved a friendly "good-bye" as we resumed our separate ways. --Finis--

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