A little Harry’s Diary

I woke up at 3AM yesterday and couldn’t go back to sleep because I was mulling over Trump nation. That happened often last year and the chaotic beginning of his new Administration isn’t offering any peace of mind. Is funny but this is a switch for me. It used to be all school related insomnia that kept me awake – the Red Plan, ousting Art Johnston etc. Now it’s all worry for the good of the nation.

I got up and spent the next three hours pounding out a long post. At 6AM I realized it was a messy casserole and I pulled an Abe Lincoln. When he got mad at someone he wrote them an angry letter then put it in his hat to think about. Invariably he would read it later and throw it away. He just needed to blow off a little steam but didn’t need to unnecessarily make friends and enemies even ornerier. I’m not living in a Civil War, at least not yet, so its not so critical in my case but at times like this morning I put messy thoughts on standby and then don’t post them.

Last week with my Uncle in Colorado I had a fun time, not even bitter sweet, asking him questions about the past I never got around to asking my Dad about before his death in 1987. It was that and palavering about our bumptious new President’s many outrages. Uncle Frank’s family, despite coming from five states, was in general agreement. We were all suffering from shock and awe. At one point it occurred to me that we represented four Blue states, California, Colorado, Minnesota and Massachusetts so no big surprise. Red state Montana was represented too but my cousin explained that her recently deceased husband always shook his head at election time because he knew his wife would cancel out all his votes. They didn’t talk politics.

For the past couple of days I’ve been typing up my notes and that is proving bittersweet. My Uncle followed my Mother as the editor of the Topeka High School Yearbook called the “Sunflower.” I have some fun new stories about that school at the end of World War II. As I paged through the annuals from 1945 and 1946, the latter one edited by my Mom, I noticed a couple interesting things.

In 1946 my Mother (daughter of a war hero)’s annual made no mention of Alumni lost in the war. But in 1945 there was such a list at the beginning of the annual which would have been printed four months before Japan surrendered. There were 91 dead Topeka High School boys on that roll.

I also got curious about the teachers my Uncle Frank mentioned in his tales. I noticed there were a lot of unmarried women teachers. Twenty-five years earlier his Mother, Ruth Marsh, was required to quit teaching when she got married but that proscription had ended at Topeka High by 1945 – there were 8 married women teachers. However the old ethos had not faded away. There were far more spinster teachers – 22 to be exact.

Just got a call. My Uncle Frank died yesterday. From now on I’m responsible for the smudgepots.

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