Min’s Cafe-Part 6

29 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

School

When we were in fifth grade, we were consolidated. For all the years the valley had been populated, the children had tiny schools scattered over the valley. Some of them were far away from the ranch, and the children had to walk through snow drifts to get to school and home again. The names of the schools were the names of the ranchers that built them. There were twenty-six school districts in the relatively small valley. 

Image by Jo Justino from Pixabay

We were taken to Silvercliff on a bus instead of walking to school. I recall one time when the whole class, oh about six people, had to walk because the bus was unavailable. That was fun; we laughed and played the whole mile to the Silvercliffe school. 

I recall riding a bus out to a ranch with some of our ranch friends. Their lives were very different from ours, considering the amount of work they had to do. At one of the farms, I saw my first different child who could not attend school because he had Down’s syndrome. That made me very sad. I must have eaten something I wasn’t used to at another ranch because I got sick. Another place I recall was where I couldn’t get out of bed in the middle of the night. There was furniture around the children’s bed, and I couldn’t get out in the dark. I suppose I went back to sleep and managed to “hold it” until dawn.

Back in town, we had town dances at two different places. One was the upper room of the only grocery store (which in future years was blown off the building). The other was the basketball area at the high school. I loved those dances. We were taken to one of the old ranch schools for a square dance. 

During the town dances, Mrs. Erps played a honky tonk piano. The town quilters had made a beautiful quilt for someone who stopped in the right ring that was painted on the floor. I was thrilled down to my toes when my little brother and I, walking around, stopped in the right place. The quilt had a blue background with flowers and a yellow backing. All the names of the quilter were stitched into the quilt. I was thrilled, but my brother did not need it, so he gave me his half. It wore completely out decades later.

Our parents stayed at the restaurant during the dances, and the people came for refreshments. Mother and Daddy would casually ask, “How are those kids of ours doing?” They were assured the kids were doing fine and having a good time. Everybody looked after everyone else in those days and at that place.

Susie Luthi, whose father had the hotel, taught the children’s Sunday School at the church where Mother sent us. She was sixteen, and I was twelve. She got polio and was sick for a very long time. She asked me if I would take over the teaching because I was the only child interested in the Bible. We only had five children in the class. Over the time of my life, I have taught Sunday school for many years. The last time I saw Susie was at a school reunion not too many years ago, and she was still beautiful and sweet.  

My best friend Patience and I both won a trip to Denver. Mine was for writing a Colorado Young Citizens League speech contest that year, and her’s was for winning the spelling bee at her level. The speeches were about the history of education in Colorado. 

Patience and I had our first banana split at an ice cream parlor. We climbed up on the stools to sit at the marble fountain counter. We ordered the first banana split either of us had ever tasted.

Image by Hans Schwarzkopf from Pixabay

It was terrific, but we couldn’t eat it all. Just as we had vowed to be friends even when we were grandmothers (which we are), we vowed never to forget the ice cream, banana pieces, and syrup left in the bottom of the dish. I’ve only had about three banana splits and never could finish one. At one time, Bill’s sister and her husband shared one with us at a Dairy Queen. The four of us didn’t have any trouble polishing that one off. 

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

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