Tag Archives: Childhood memories. WWII

Canon City

11 Mar

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Canon City

Pronounced Canyon City


We left Lovelock when I was six months old. It was 1939 and Dora’s father, Roger, had died. Because he ran the gas plant, the town needed someone to take over his job. As my father, Ivan, had worked there before and was good with all kinds of machinery we went back to save the day.


DiVoran about three years old.

The gas was called water-gas and it ran all the electricity in town. I looked it up, but I still don’t know anything about it, except two things that Mother told me. She said that when she was a childif the gas lamp over the table started to flicker at supper time, her father had to get up and hurry down to the plant to solve the problem. The other thing Mother told me was that sometimes when Roger came home from work he was groggy and the children had to walk him around the back yard until he began to wake up. I believe there may have been some carbon monoxide from the plant involved. Is this possible? He was 54 when he passed away. His wife, our grandmother, Mabel, died at the same age in 1946.

So from the time I was six months old until I was seven years old, we lived in Canon City. I was three and a half when a baby brother was born to the Bowers household. When they told me where he had been born, I made up my first poem,” Baby David was born at Saint Thomas Moore on the basement floor.” For some reason, Mother didn’t think it was a bit funny, but I just meant that it was the part of the hospital where he was born.” I don’t know if it really was or not.

When America entered World War Two,Ivan didn’t have to go. He was doing vital work and they had a deferment for married men with children. But it was predicted that by 1943 they would run out of single men and the married ones would have to be called up. That’s what happened to Ivan. He was twenty-eight years old and had flat feet, but he had to go.




Dora, David, and I moved to an upstairs apartment in Grandmother and Granddad’s Victorian house on Greenwood Ave. Grandmother Marie had her beauty shop there and Granddad Ira worked as a guard at the Colorado State Penitentiary which had once been the Territorial Prison. Now parts of it are a museum.



Author, Poet and Artist

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.”


21 May

My Take

DiVoran Lites


Our daughter comes to visit every week on her way to Line Dancing. It’s her favorite sport and exercise. She has always loved to dance from the time we danced around the kitchen banging on pot lids with wooden spoons when she and her brother were kids.

Bill and I liked to dance too. We were round-dancers, and square dancers and Bill’s sister even taught a dance exercise class in Germany when the Air Force stationed them there. Dancing must have been in all our genes

Here’s how I got my start.

In 1943, when I was five years old and Daddy was on the front lines, Mother, my brother, and I lived in an upstairs apartment in Grandmother and Granddad’s Victorian house.



Our small town had an apple-blossom festival and I loved the parade with the majorettes swinging their batons. Mother knew it and signed me up for lessons.

But I have one eensy-weensy fault when it comes to learning things. It’s just that I don’t believe in practicing. Or maybe I believe in it, but there are so many other exciting things to do, like read a book.

So after a few lessons when I still couldn’t begin to twirl, the teacher told Mother she was wasting her money. Grandmother stepped in to pay for ballet and tap dance lessons.

For that class, I walked the three blocks to Main Street and climbed the stairs to the dance studio above one of the stores. One day I walked past my friend Kay Lowry’s house, hoping she’d come out so we could play together in her backyard.

It was a wonderful backyard with a huge cherry tree that we could climb, and beautiful flower beds we just knew angels lived in.




So this one day, Kay did come out. We were in the backyard playing when we heard the doorbell ring and in a minute both mothers came out the back door. Mine had my ballet slippers in her hand and I thought, oh, oh. I forgot my slippers.

Mother said it was time to go home now. When we got out on the sidewalk she seemed calm, but she did have a few questions for me.

“Did you go to dancing class?”

“Yes, Mother.”

Whack! The slippers collided with my back-side.

“Who else came to class?”

“Uh,” I thought fast. “Betty, Jane, Anette…”

Whack again.

For each answer, the ballet slippers told me that skipping class and lying about it wasn’t a very good idea. Mother had walked to town and up the stairs thinking it would be pleasant to walk home with me.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to quit dancing. That meant that when it came time to perform for the soldiers at Camp Carson, I could go. Mother made my blue-checked, gingham pinafore, shined my black patent-leather tap shoes, and signed up to drive a car full of little dancers to the one-year-old military base outside Colorado Springs. She dabbed freckles across my nose with an eyebrow pencil. My hair was in two braids with bows on the ends. We sang and danced, just like Shirley Temple. I was the one on the end that watched the other girls but still couldn’t get the steps right.

We danced to “Whistle While You Work,” from Snow White with small brooms resting on our shoulders.



The soldiers gave us a standing ovation. I’m sure we all thought about our daddies who were, “Over There.”

%d bloggers like this: