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THE FINAL HIGH SCHOOL CHAPTER

1959, MAY

1959 PENDLETON HIGH SCHOOL
1959 PENDLETON HIGH SCHOOL

I have set the timeline for these High School categories based on the school year calendar…September to September. However, this senior year actually started at the end of our Junior year in May 1959. So, I digress three months.

Because of upcoming senior activities that needed to be organized and dates set, we held our senior class officer`s election in May. Much to my surprise, I was nominated and elected to serve as our senior class president!

The other class officers and myself met with the school principal that same week. We were informed that we would not be able to have a senior class trip this year because the expense was just getting to be too much for some families to afford. The shocking news was mind numbing! We didn`t want to be the first class to not have the experience of a class trip.

We had a meeting with our new class sponsor and offered him several options for us to raise money and subsidize the expense. He supported our effort and desire and we had another meeting with our principal. After presenting our plans, he gave us an extension until the start of school in September. We got busy!

1960 SENIOR CLASS OFFICERS
1960 SENIOR CLASS OFFICERS
1959 PAPER DRIVE
1959 PAPER DRIVE

We had class meetings before school was out for the summer and set up committees and organized volunteer workers to start fund raising projects and seek business and community support. It seemed as though the whole town was behind us. We had businesses donating space and supplies for car washes, storage buildings for paper and scrap drives and spaces to hold rummage sales. We sponsored a street dance downtown in the middle of the main intersection in town. The response from the Pendleton community was awesome!

1959, SEPTEMBER

Meanwhile, back at home, the battle with King Beau and Tippy rages on. I think we all agreed that the daily job of trying to keep them separated was taking its toll on us all. Mother was the first to suggest that it would be easier to find a suitable home for King than it would be for Tippy.

With school and my schedule, many nights I wouldn`t get home till dark and it was putting more stress on Mother and Dad handling the dogs. Mother found a nice family with kids that lived on a farm south of Indianapolis. They agreed that King Beau would be with the family indoors or out and would probably sleep in bed with the boys. That did it and King was off on a new adventure getting all of the attention!

1959 Mother & Tina
1959 Mother & Tina

Dad was putting the finishing touches on the pond and He and Mother found a female Border Collie at Tippy`s breeder`s kennel and named her Tina. She and Tippy got along great even though they were opposites personality wise.

1959 Dad , Tippy & Tina
1959 Dad , Tippy & Tina

 

Tina was calm and liked to be petted and follow us around. Tippy had his own routine and was always on the go.

1959 Mother, Tippy & Tina
1959 Mother, Tippy & Tina

Tippy liked the water more than Tina and would go for a swim every so often.

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1959 FINISHED POND
1959 FINISHED POND
1959 Dad & I
1959 Dad & I

This fall, the Pendleton Welcome Wagon Association was sponsoring an Historic Home Tour of Pendleton area homes and wanted Mother to include our Barn House in the tour  because it was so unique. Since things were setteling down and we did just paint the house and finish the pond, Mother gave in to their request.

1959 HISTORIC HOMES TOUR
1959 HISTORIC HOMES TOUR

What a hectic day! I was in charge of traffic control and parking. I routed the cars around the drive and back up to the top of the hill so that they would have access to the drive out. At several points the cars were lined up all the way around the circle. I had them leave their keys in the car so that I could move them on around the drive to make room for others coming in.

1959 THE DEN
1959 THE DEN

Mother enjoyed being the tour guide and took pride in describing  Her`s and Dad`s accomplishments! As you can see, Cookie, our toy fox terrier was still hanging around.

1960 BARRETTS
1960 BARRETTS

Grandma and Grandpa Barrett were still harvesting, canning and freezing produce from their garden. With the pond enlarged and dug out deeper, there was plenty of water for them to use to irrigate the garden during dry spells. That process greatly increased their yield this year and the highway vegetable stand did a booming business!

1959, OCTOBER

1960 PAPYRUS
1960 PAPYRUS

Publishing the Pendleton High School yearbook, The Papyrus, was one of the main responsibilities of the senior class. Even with all of the fundraising projects being scheduled for our class trip, we all found time to contribute to the success of the Papyrus.

1960 YEARBOOK STAFF
1960 YEARBOOK STAFF

Carole and I both served on the advertising committee staff and were included in some of the advertising copy.

1960 CAROLE LAWS
1960 CAROLE LAWS

Carole was always a great model!

1960 OUR 58` CHEVY
1960 OUR 58` CHEVY

I just had a great car!

Being seniors, we were provided with a list of our high school achievements and activities alongside of our photo in the Papyrus!

1960 CAROLE LAWS
1960 CAROLE LAWS

Carole Laws is the middle of the bottom row.

1960 MARVIN "GENE" "SKIP" EUGENE WOLFF, JR.
1960 MARVIN “GENE” “SKIP” EUGENE WOLFF, JR.

Skip Wolff 3rd row on right.

Carole was still active in her fourth year of participation with the Sunshine Society which held fundraisers to donate and help the patients at Riley Hospital. They also joined with the boy`s Hi-Yi club to sponsor the winter dance which this year had the theme “Winter Fantasy”.

1959 SUNSHINE SOCIETY
1959 SUNSHINE SOCIETY

I continued my third year of activity with the Hi-Yi Club of Pendleton High School.

1960 HI-YI CLUB
1960 HI-YI CLUB

Carole was again serving as an office secretary this year as well as being a teacher`s secretary!

1960 OFFICE ASSISTANTS
1960 OFFICE ASSISTANTS

Her duties included running errands, answering telephone calls and helping keep the teaching staff happy by typing and serving as receptionist.

I continued to serve on the Student Council this year.

1960 STUDENT COUNCIL
1960 STUDENT COUNCIL

As senior class president, I had numerous meetings with our principal to coordinate school activities and fund raising projects for our class trip. I learned quickly how to jump through hoops to accomplish our goals. It was a great learning and leadership developing atmosphere.

1960 SKIP & PRINCIPAL
1960 SKIP & PRINCIPAL
1960 BULLETIN BOARD
1960 BULLETIN BOARD

 

Outside of class meetings, the school hallway bulletin boards were the best means of communication.

 

1960 SENIOR CORDS
1960 SENIOR CORDS

And of course the personalized hand painted senior cords were on display everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

1959, NOVEMBER

1959 Carole
1959 Carole

Along with her busy school activities, Carole found time to accept the honor of representing our area on the Block`s High School Fashion Board in Indianapolis. The school representatives would meet at the Wm. H. Block Department Store once a month for a luncheon and to model, discuss and recommend current fashion trends of the teenage fashion scene. Their photos were displayed on the walls of Block`s Junior Fashion Department.

With basketball season underway, Carole and I were both kept busy with the team and the games. Carole was a 4th year varsity cheerleader and I was now the senior student manager.

1959-60 VARSITY CHEERLEADERS
1959-60 VARSITY CHEERLEADERS
1959 PENDLETON TIMES
1959 PENDLETON TIMES

 

1959-60 PHS CHEERBLOCK
1959-60 PHS CHEER BLOCK

The student body cheer block supporting our Fighting Irish basketball team.

1959-60 Carole
1959-60 Carole

We won our Pendleton Basketball Invitational and Carole celebrated the victory by helping cut down the nets!

1959-60 SENIOR STUDENT MANAGER
1959-60 SENIOR STUDENT MANAGER

My responsibilities as senior manager included overseeing the other student managers to ensure we had clean uniforms, towels, racks of balls for practice and warm up prior to games, fresh water bottles, clipboards and charts to track scoring and various first aid items on hand. We managers were frequently required to fill in at practice to run drills and scrimages.

1959-60 HUDDLE
1959-60 HUDDLE

I personally had to deliver the score book to the official scorer along with our lineup for the game. A lineup had to be made for the public address announcer also. The game ball had to be checked for proper air pressure and delivered to the head referee. There may have been one or two other things thatI had to keep track of before or during games.

1959-60
1959-60

When we had away games, obviously, we had to make certain that we had everything we may possibly need packed and loaded on the bus. After away games, we, the team and the cheerleaders always had a meal, usually a steak dinner, provided at the Post Restaurant.

Thanksgiving rolled around and this year we held a mini Wolff family dinner at The Wolff`s Den. Grandma Wolff and Dad`s brother`s family were home to celebrate.

1959 WOLFF`S THANKSGIVING
1959 WOLFF`S THANKSGIVING

1959, DECEMBER

Another big tree and a quiet family Christmas at home.

1959 CHRISTMAS
1959 CHRISTMAS
1959 MOTHER AND I
1959 MOTHER AND I

Dad made a 45 RPM record changer on its own amplifier to add to his audiophile collection that would play throughout the house. It`s sitting there between the doughboy end tables. I think I got a new stamp album and an electric razor.

During the  winter months, a popular activity was ice skating on the Pendleton Park pond. Metal barrels were used to burn firewood and provide a warming area for the skaters.

1959 PENDLETON FALLS PARK
1959 PENDLETON FALLS PARK

Meanwhile, over at the Barrett`s Roost, Mother`s sisters` families came down for Christmas dinner and gift exchange.

1959 BARRETT`S CHRISTMAS
1959 BARRETT`S CHRISTMAS

Left to right, Jin, Mother, Mae, (sister-in-law)Dot, Grandpa, Marg and Grandma, 22 in all!

1960, FEBRUARY

1960 MASQUE & GAVEL
1960 MASQUE & GAVEL

With my involvement in the variety shows and the fact that I was to be the Student Stage Manager again this year for our Senior Class Play, I joined The Masque and Gavel Club at school.

I had so much free time on my hands that I decided to join the High School Choir.

I still found time to go rabbit hunting with my 22 rifle. I would skin and freeze the rabbits meat to later boil and mix with Tippy`s & Tina`s food.

One winter day I borrowed Grandpa`s 410 shotgun to go hunting with. I kicked up several Doves and Quail with no success. Then, as I was walking through a winter wheat field, a Pheasant flew up right under my feet. The noise of the flapping wings and the sight of the big bird almost in my face, froze me for a second, but I managed to raise the gun and fire a clean shot into the bird. Luckily, it dropped him immediately, because Grandpa`s gun was a bolt action and there would not have been time for a second shot.

I proudly carried my prize home and Mother decided we would have a roast Pheasant feast this Sunday! So, I dressed the bird and put it in the refrigerator till the week-end.

Sunday dinner came and we saw all the trimmings set for the great feast. Grandma and Grandpa joined us for the hunters celebration of his first Pheasant kill. As we all dug in, Mother, Dad and I exchanged quizzical glances with expressions of disbelief as we all started to say “I thought this was supposed to be a delicacy!?”; it tastes like crap.

Grandma and Grandpa, being the only ones to have had Pheasant before, were smiling and complimenting Mother and I on having such a fine feast!

1960, MARCH

Two thirds of the way through our senior year and it has been one hectic roller coaster ride!

sr letter jacket

Grandma and Grandpa were proud of my Senior Athletic Letter for running track and managing cross country and basketball.

Basketball season was winding down and it was time for the seniors to host the annual Senior Pep Rally with a post game sock hop to follow!

1960 SOCK HOP
1960 SOCK HOP

Meanwhile, back at home The Neighbor From Hell was still trying to pull one off. Dad was up in the front yard planting nine weeping willow trees along the fence line to block the view into the unsightly Neighbor From Hell`s backyard. The neighbor comes over to our yard and asks Dad what he thinks he`s doing and continues to complain that the willow roots will grow into his septic lateral system and cause problems! Dad told him that he was free to dig up any roots that strayed into his property and that he should  kindly get his ass back home!

A couple weeks later, Mother and Dad come home from work and find a farm fence fastened to steel posts that are imbedded in cement and run right down the middle of our easement drive. There is just barely eight feet between that fence and the other neighbor`s fence with a drainage ditch running along the edge. With two wheels in the ditch and two wheels on the drive they managed to slowly make their way to our drive.

The next day Mother takes the deed and a recorded property surveyors plat to his lawyer. The deed grants easement rights and with the survey shows that the easement has been in that location for over twenty years and cannot be relocated without Mother and Dad`s permission!

That same week, the work crew was out removing the cemented posts and regrading the drive and putting down fresh crushed stone. Will he never learn?

1960 RESURFACED EASEMENT
1960 RESURFACED EASEMENT

At school we were preparing for the music department`s annual Variety Show. Carole performed in several musical dance numbers and I worked with the sound and lighting crew. Carole and I were involved in many activities together throughout high school, but we had never dated yet…

1960, APRIL

1960 CROSS COUNTRY
1960 CROSS COUNTRY

 

Spring starts the track and cross country season. I never could run distance so I settled on being student manager for the cross country team and running the high hurdles in track.

1960 HURDLES
1960 HURDLES

I am the hurdler on the right. The photographer set up the low hurdles for the photo and you can see by my leg elevation that I was mind set on high hurdles!

track

Class officers were finalizing the class trip projects and we were packing in preparation for our well earned April class trip to Washington D. C. and New York. We held meetings wherever and whenever we could find time. Mr. Parr was our class sponsor and great supporter of our efforts and that`s me leaning against the tree.

1960 PHS CLASS OFFICERS
1960 PHS CLASS OFFICERS

Plans were also being finalized for our Junior-Senior Prom which was to be held at Butler University in Indianapolis this May.

1960 CLASS TRIP
1960 CLASS TRIP

This bus photo reminds me of an incident involving Carole and I during the trip. For some reason, me being class president, the class sponsor and the tour guides thought it would be a good idea for me to help with the daily activity announcements. I would get on the busses and inform everyone of the planned tours and activities for the day. Simple enough; right? One day as I`m in the middle of making the announcements, Carole stands up in the back of the bus and yells, “Why don`t you go sit down? Nobody cares what you`ve got to say!” So I quickly wrapped up the presentation and went to my bus thinking, “You know…she`s absolutely right. That`s what I thought when the chaperones first suggested it!” Two months later we started dating!

1960 SO MANY SIGHTS
1960 SO MANY SIGHTS
1960 SENIOR CLASS TRIP
1960 SENIOR CLASS TRIP

Most of the kids were disappointed with the group picture because the Capitol Building dome was being painted and was coated with the rust color primer instead of the usual brilliant white. I thought it was neat because this only happens every fifty years or so and we have a photo that captures history with us in it!

1960, MAY

GRAND MARCH
GRAND MARCH

Our Prom was held on the Butler University campus in Indianapolis, Indiana. Carole went with her boyfriend and I went with my girlfriend.

The post-prom traveling breakfasts were still a great hit. Visiting with classmates and realizing that this may be one of the last times we have to share together was very nostalgic. Most of us have been together since grade school and have developed some great bonds and friendships over the years. We were still up at sunrise, not wanting the magic to end.

1960 CAROLE LAWS PHS PROM
1960 CAROLE LAWS PHS PROM
1960 CAROLE LAWS
1960 CAROLE LAWS
1960 PHS PROM
1960 PHS PROM

I managed to make the Familiar Faces section in the Pendleton Times, the local newspaper that was published once a week.

1960
1960

“Pippy Dene”, “Skip”, “Gene” or Marvin, I was finally ready for high school graduation!

IMG_20160504_0008

IMG_20160504_0009

IMG_20160504_0010

1960 PHS SENIOR CLASS
1960 PHS SENIOR CLASS

Turning our Tassels!

1960 SUPERINTENDANT OF SCHOOLS
1960 SUPERINTENDANT OF SCHOOLS

Finally got that paper!

1960, JUNE

Our class went on that summer to organise the First Annual Junior Senior Bicycle Marathon Relay Race. With the cooperation of the police department, downtown merchants and the parks department,  we developed about a mile long course through the Falls Park and around downtown. The Junior and Senior classes put together coed relay teams and the first to complete 100 laps was to be the winner. The prize being, to have bragging rights for the next 12 months!

This exhilerating  journey through the school years  was full of fond memories and awesome foolhardiness. But the decades to come will far overshadow any accomplishments that were achieved during those early years!

1960 MARVIN EUGENE "SKIP" WOLFF, JR.
1960 MARVIN EUGENE “SKIP” WOLFF, JR.
1960 CAROLE ANN LAWS
1960 CAROLE ANN LAWS

 

Bumper Tag & the Neighbor From Hell

1958, SEPTEMBER

A new school year and new learning opportunities with organizations, classes and even after school activities!

1958-9 JUNIORS
1958-9 JUNIORS
1958-9 HI-Y
1958-9 HI-Y
1958-9 STUDENT COUNCIL
1958-9 STUDENT COUNCIL

Back to school for my junior year. I was still involved with the Hi-Y organization and this year I was selected to be a representative on the Student Council!

 

 

1958-9 SUNSHINE SOCIETY
1958-9 SUNSHINE SOCIETY

Carole Laws continued her work with the Sunshine Society and their   charitable activities. She was selected, this year, to be an Office Secretary and help the principal`s staff one class period a day!

Carole was again selected to be a Varsity Cheerleader, this her third year!

1958-59 VARSITY CHEERLEADERS
1958-59 VARSITY CHEERLEADERS

Class pictures were taken as usual and we all tried to look mature. Some did and some didn`t!

1958-9 CLASS PHOTOS
1958-9 CLASS PHOTOS

Carole Laws is in the middle of the fourth row looking cute!

1958-9 CLASS PHOTOS
1958-9 CLASS PHOTOS

With the name Wolff, I was always on the tail-end of any school list or posting. So, as usual I am in the last row, second from the left. We had a whopping 81 students in our Junior Class!

1958, OCTOBER

1958 GRANDMA WOLFF
1958 GRANDMA WOLFF

We had a mild Autumn this year and when we picked up Grandma Wolff for a visit, we went to the Falls Park in Pendleton for an outing with the ducks.

Grandma wasn`t an outdoors person even though she grew up on a farm in Canada. She was an avid reader and loved to sew and crochet. But, she did enjoy short outings and had a nice morning with the ducks.

1958 MOTHER
1958 MOTHER

Of course during the fall baseball series on television, the gang still played our games in the front yard! On one such day we were

1958 DAD AND HIS BOLENS
1958 DAD AND HIS BOLENS

playing ball and dad was using his new Bolens lawn tractor and trailer to spread driveway stone. The Neighbor From Hell made the mistake of coming onto our property and confronting Dad about how Dad should make us stop playing ball. It wasn`t long until Dad had the Neighbor From Hell by the seat of his pants and shirt collar and was escorting him off the property! The Neighbor From Hell immediately jumped in his car and took off for Anderson and his lawyer. Obviously nothing ever came of it, except that Halloween was just around the corner and revenge was sweet!

1958 SECRETARY GERRIE
1958 SECRETARY GERRIE

Mother changed jobs to work in Indianapolis with the Jefferson National Life Insurance Company. She would be the private secretary to one of the vice presidents of the company. She could ride to work with Dad and save her having to drive.

1958 MOTHER & FRAN LATZ VP
1958 MOTHER & FRAN LATZ VP

Meanwhile at school, the new vocational building had been completed and I was taking woodworking and drafting classes. I was working on two majors, science college prep and vocational arts. At this time I was planning on studying civil engineering at Purdue University.

1958 CHEMISTRY CLASS
1958 CHEMISTRY CLASS
1958 STUDENT MANAGER
1958 STUDENT MANAGER

I also began my new duties as the assistant basketball student manager and statistician. This of course required daily after school time, so I drove to school every day.

Often after practice, I would go to Tanky`s Drug Store where Carole worked and have a spanish hamburger on a grilled bun with chocolate milk. We would talk about everything and often time would slip away and I would be late getting home.  She had a feisty personality,  but was very passionate and caring about other people`s feelings. I was dating other girls, but this just seemed like a real nice friendship that didn`t require dating!

We shared a game of “bumper tag” as Carole had a driver`s license and no car and her friend had a car and no license. The game started about sunset with a group of school kids meeting at the school parking lot. The rules were simple. As we drove our cars around

1958 JIMMIES DAIRY BAR
1958 JIMMIES DAIRY BAR

town and into the country, obeying all traffic laws and coming to complete stops at stop signs, we would try to “tag” another`s bumper with our bumper. Score was kept by the honor system and we would meet at Jimmie`s Dairy Bar or some other designated spot, at a designated time, always after dark!

1958 MY 1951 CHEVY
1958 MY 1951 CHEVY

Back then, bumpers were constructed of sturdy, frame mounted, stamped steel and could easily take a “tag” of a couple miles per hour! The trick after dark was to turn off your headlights so you couldn`t be seen from the front and the use of the emergency brake hid your detection from the rear.

Another fun activity, especially around Halloween time, was to plan a cemetery pizza party. Pizzas were just beginning to get popular as Art`s Pizza had recently opened in Anderson. When I first heard about pizza it didn`t sound like a combination I would like, but that changed quick. But I digress. The cemetery pizza parties were bring your own and a car load of kids to a designated cemetery usually late at night. Pizza and pop around the head stones or in the mausoleum if open, was accompanied by horror stories and weird sounds!

1959 IRISH POINT in PENDLETON
1959 IRISH POINT in PENDLETON

Pendleton had its` drive in restaurants where the kids would hang out. Not as fancy as Indy but always packed with friends.

1957 TEE-PEE RESTAURANT
1957 TEE-PEE RESTAURANT

 

 

Indianapolis had the Tee Pee drive in by the State Fair Grounds, but the big drive-in curb service restaurants in Anderson were always a big draw too. Frische`s and the A&W root beer drive-ins were popular places to park and be seen. Police were a common sight to direct traffic in and out as kids made the rounds!

1957 SPUTNIK
1957 SPUTNIK

At this time, on a clear night, we could watch this tiny shiny object cross the evening sky. Sputnik, as it was called in Russian, meant “Elementary Satellite ” and was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on October 4, 1957. It was a 23 inch diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennae to broadcast radio pulses. It was visible all around the Earth and its radio pulses were detectable. This surprise success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race, a part of the larger Cold War.

1958, NOVEMBER

With baseball season over and the gang`s time and interest waining, Dad decided to plant weeping willow trees on the home plate and pitcher`s mound bare spots. I bet the Neighbor From Hell jumped for joy thinking the ballgames were over! They did slack off a little, but we continued to play occasionally, much to his dismay.

With the three of us off to work and school, it was becoming a problem keeping King Beau inside all day while Tippy was out running. They couldn`t be trusted to be together without supervision, so Dad decided to build a kennel and joining dog houses so they could be outdoors all day.

1958 DOG KENNEL
1958 DOG KENNEL

We started digging and framing for the cement runs, which would be up against the cow barn to help protect against the weather. A large shed roof dog house with vents and an inside partition was constructed on the west end. The farm fence enclosure also divided the dog run in to two sides.

As King Beau grew, he was able to jump the fence and the electric wire fence from our horse days had to be installed around the top. When we got home, they were happy to get out and enjoy each other, for the most part!

1958 HI-FI AMPLIFIER
1958 HI-FI AMPLIFIER

Dad was also busy wiring the house for hi-fi speakers in every room. The old tube type receiver-amplifier was going to be updated! He had bought a big oak console hi-fi with built in radio, turntable and duel speakers to take advantage of the “stereo hi-fi” that was soon to be available.

1958 DAD & STEREO
1958 DAD & STEREO

Dad was happy with his new transistorised Hi-Fi Stereo components. In the 1950s, audio manufacturers employed the phrase high fidelity as a marketing term to describe records and equipment intended

1959 HI-FI STEREO RECEIVER
1959 HI-FI STEREO RECEIVER

to provide faithful sound reproduction. Hi-fi became a generic term for home sound equipment, to some extent displacing phonograph and record player.

The old 78 RPM records were easily broken and scratched and could only have one song recorded per side. The new high fidelity quality would propel the switch to a new larger diameter 33 1/3 RPM vinyl record. This slower speed and larger recording space enabled the recording industry to market a complete symphony on a single record!

The radio stations were updating also to compete with the hi-fi craze. The AM stations were being challenged by the higher quality FM stations, however the drawback for the FM stations was that they were broadcast much like a TV signal and didn`t have the long range of an AM station.

Since the end of the war, it seemed as though things were changing at an accelerated pace. New and improved products were being developed and more women remained in the workforce following the war. With two incomes, more and more two-car families were popping up and automobile sales were setting records.

All of this change didn`t go unnoticed in our small town of Pendleton. It even came to change our comings and goings at Pendleton High School! The school trustees had noticed an increase of automobile traffic flowing down East Street in front of the high school. At present on East Street, there was no interruption of traffic flow for several blocks in both directions and the front of the school was becoming a cruse zone for the increased number of high school drivers.

1958 NEW STOP LIGHT
1958 NEW STOP LIGHT

This fall, it was decided to install a traffic signal at the intersection in front of the school. This was great for Carole who lived just across the street on the corner. She now had her own traffic signal to insure her safety during her perilous trek to school! (That`s her house in the background.)

1958, DECEMBER

1958 CHRISTMAS, SKIP
1958 CHRISTMAS, SKIP

Christmas time and another BIG tree of course.

1958 GUINEA PIG
1958 GUINEA PIG

This winter I decided to retire from the rabbit raising industry. It was becoming too time consuming with pressing studies and school activities. But, I found another venture that required much less time and maintenance. Raising Guinea Pigs for Eli Lilly laboratories!

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Winter school activities included the annual Sunshine & Hi-Yi Christmas Dance. Carole and I were dating, but not each other.

1958 CAROLE READY FOR CHRISTMAS DANCE
1958 CAROLE READY FOR CHRISTMAS DANCE

Carole was also selected as the school representative to be on the Blocks High School Fashion Board. She traveled to Indianapolis and the Blocks Department Store each month for a luncheon and fashion discussions with the other board members and the Blocks teen fashion purchasers.

1959, SPRING

1959 PHS INVITATIONAL CHAMPS
1959 PHS INVITATIONAL CHAMPS

As a warmup for March Madness, Pendleton hosted an invitational basketball tourney with many Madison county high school teams participating. This year, the PHS Fighting Irish walked away with the trophy!

Popular demand started the first Madison County Basketball Tournament in 1959 and the new Madison Heights High School hosted the first games.

1959 CAROLE LAWS
1959 CAROLE LAWS

Spring was also time for the PHS Annual Band Variety Show. It was scheduled right after the last home basketball game since the whole gym was transformed into a musical showplace. I was part of the lighting and sound crew and Carole and my girlfriend were part of the dance troupe.

 

1959 TEACHING DANCE LESSONS
1959 TEACHING DANCE LESSONS

I also helped my girlfriend teach dance lessons at her home dance studio which occupied nearly the whole upstairs of the house. She advertised in the High School Year Book.

Spring season was, as always, unpredictable Indiana  weather. An April snow storm swept through, just to keep us off kilter wondering if summer was ever going to show up!

1959 APRIL SNOWSTORM
1959 APRIL SNOWSTORM

1959, MAY

I had been showing Tippy at area American Kennel Club (AKC) dog shows for awhile now and this year we started taking King Beau also.

1956 NASH RAMBLER
1956 NASH RAMBLER

Getting two dogs bathed, trimmed, brushed and ready to travel in the Nash Rambler station wagon was always an adventure. King was big enough now that he was always trying to dethrone Tippy`s dominance as the Alpha Male. These two pictures, taken in 1958, and 1959, show how much King Beau had grown.

1958 ME AND KING
1958 ME AND KING

Tippy`s ribbons and trophies can be seen over the mantel.

1959 KING, SKIP & TIPPY
1959 KING, SKIP & TIPPY

Despite the size difference, Tippy maintained his dominance throughout their relationship. On bath day, I would bathe Tippy in the bathtub and he would stand perfectly still throughout the ordeal. I would dry him off and hang the towel up and he would wait for the signal that it was over and he could jump out. Mother would bathe King and it was always a total disaster with soap suds everywhere from floor to ceiling! When he would shake himself dry, before Mother could grab the towel, it was like turning on the sprinkler hose.

During our dog obedience classes, I met a trainer who worked with the Indiana State Police canine training unit. He asked if I would be interested in helping him with some of the training. I said sure and spent the summer working with him and the recruits.

Meanwhile, I still had some school to finish. I was taking a drafting class and our semester assignment was to design the plans for our dream house. Little did I know that 45 years later that dream house would present itself for sale to Carole and myself!

From the outside the Cape Cod style house was just like my design with the one exception. My design had an open breezeway between the house and garage and this house, which was built in 1948, had the breezeway enclosed for an entry at some time. It had the living room bay window, the sunken den, the double built in china cabinets in the dining room, the front upstairs window dormers and the rear shed dormer across the back just like my original plans from 1959. We bought it in 2006, after 11 years of negotiations for the sale of our home to a developer in an increasingly busy business district.

Unbeknownst to Carole, she fell in love with my “Dream House” the first time she saw it, 48 years after I designed it! I know this is a giant leap in the time line, but the story started here in 1959, and this is where it needs  to be told!

2006 WOLFF`S DEN DREAM HOUSE
2006 WOLFF`S DEN DREAM HOUSE

 

1959 JUNIOR CLASS PLAY
1959 JUNIOR CLASS PLAY

 

 

 

 

Back to 1959 and our Junior Class Play, `Susan Steps Out`, which was a great opportunity for many of us to participate in new activities never before experienced.   There was acting, directing, publicizing, sales, advertising, printing, makeup, costumes, stage design, and lighting. I enjoyed the hands on part of being stage manager and creating sets and going with the teacher-director to pick out furniture and props for the show. I didn`t have talent but I did have skills!

Speaking of not having talent, for some reason I tried out for the varsity track team. I made the team, trying to run the 110 yard high hurdles, but I didn`t letter this year. “If at first you don`t succeed…”

1959 GRANDPA & GRANDMA BARRETT
1959 GRANDPA & GRANDMA BARRETT

This Spring was the time for Grandpa and Grandma Barrett to expand their garden to twice its` previous size. It now stretched all the way to the back property line, but keeping the same width. Grandpa was now 69 years old and still working part time running a turret lathe at a machine shop in Anderson. He told them he was thinking of quitting so he could work more with his garden. They offered him a raise to stay! He and Grandma truly loved working with the earth so he retired again and they ordered more fruit trees and berry bushes for the expanded garden!

1959 GARDEN EXPANSION
1959 GARDEN EXPANSION
1959 STRAWBERRIES
1959 STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries, black and red raspberries, apples, peaches, pears, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, white onions, sweet onions, green onions, butternut squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, potatoes and green beans along with huge flower beds surrounding the house kept them happy working together.

Back at school,  our junior class was putting the finishing touches on decorations for the school prom which was hosted by the juniors for the senior class. Carole and I both went to the prom, but again, not with each other! Carole was part of the junior welcoming committee for the prom and was Chairperson of the crowning committee.

1959 PROM
1959 PROM
1959 PHS PROM
1959 PHS PROM

Our class initiated and organized the first post-prom traveling breakfast for Pendleton High School. With a lot of help and parent volunteers, homes and a few businesses were opened up for the various breakfast courses. Our house was one of the stops.

1959, JULY

School was out and the summer activities took over. This included the continuing saga of the neighbor from Hell! We had taken a mini vacation up to see Mackinac Island and the Mackinac Suspension Bridge. (A little side information about the bridge courtesy of the Mackinac Bridge Authority.)

mac“The Mackinac Bridge is currently the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world and It is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. Its total length is 26,372 feet. All suspension bridges are designed to move to accommodate wind, change in temperature, and weight. It is possible that the deck at center span could move as much as 35 feet (east or west) due to high winds. This would only happen under severe wind conditions. The deck would not swing or “sway” but rather move slowly in one direction based on the force and direction of the wind. After the wind subsides, the weight of the vehicles crossing would slowly move it back into center position.”

Ok back to the trip. We returned after a few days and as we drove into the driveway easement, next to the Neighbor from Hell`s garage, and started onto our part of the drive, Dad noticed something liquid  in the tire ruts of the drive and so he pulled over to avoid  driving in it. Good thing! We could smell the odor of raw sewage as we passed over the waste! Once on our property Dad stopped and we got out to investigate. It didn`t take long to figure out that the Neighbor from Hell had gotten sewage from his septic tank and spread it on our end of the easement.

As soon as Mother got out of the car and through the door to the phone, the lines were burning! Calls to the State Board of Health, State Police and the Madison County Health Commissioner were made in her secretarial efficiency and that afternoon there was action!

The police were the first to arrive and after interviewing Mother and Dad and collecting some background, they were off to talk to the Neighbor from Hell. The idiot not only admitted he did it, but that he had every right to do whatever he wanted on his property. The officers informed him as to the definition of an easement and that it was not his property to do with as he wished and that he would have to clean it up immediately.

About this time the Madison County Health Commissioner shows up and gives the Neighbor from Hell 24 hours to decontaminate the site and put down new crushed stone or face prosecution. Off to his lawyer he goes and the next morning, bright and early, a crew was out cleaning and spraying the mess. New crushed stone was put down that afternoon and all was well, for now!

1959 PENDLETON POOL
1959 PENDLETON POOL

This summer Carole was still working at the drug store and she also started working at the Falls Park Pool concession stand. I finally got the nerve to ask her if she would like to go with me for a drive and a coke and she said ok!

1959 SKIP
1959 SKIP

I received my athletic jacket this year and was able to wrangle the convertible every once in a while for special occasions, like taking Carole on our first ride!

 

1959 DAD
1959 DAD

My summer project was helping repaint the Barn House; the high areas especially! The red paint used on the 1953 painting was touted as the best on the marked and guaranteed non-fading. It turned a shade of purple and of course the manufacturer claimed no responsibility. This picture shows the difference in color.

1959 DAD & I
1959 DAD & I

Little did they know, that they were dealing with a bulldog of a gal who didn`t know how to let go! It wasn`t long until replacement paint of a superior quality was delivered to the house for free!

1959 BARN RED
1959 BARN RED

Baling hay was also on my summer work load  Great food and the pay was ok.

1959, AUGUST

A gravel pit company started up along highway 67 just about half a mile northeast of us and it would have an impact on a project of ours. Years ago Dad and I started hand digging a pond in the middle of the back field, by the Cow Barn. Over the years, as we kept enlarging the pond little by little, it was becoming quite the rest spot with its weeping willow trees and fish in the crystal clear pond.

Then this fall, we noticed a continuing drop in the water level and clarity. Mother called some neighbors, who were all on well water, and confirmed that we were all experiencing less water pressure. Here was another “bulldog” crusade for Mother to get her teeth into!

The gravel company tried to assure Mother that this was just a temporary problem and that they were only digging gravel for the construction of the new interstate 69 highway project. Not a good answer and a few days later a work crew with a backhoe and truck from the gravel pit showed up.

1959 DAD & POND
1959 DAD & POND

After we netted the fish to safety, the workers began the project to expand and deepen the pond. They worked around the existing willow trees and followed Mother`s suggestions for the layout of the expanded pond.

1959 DAD`S BRIDGE
1959 DAD`S BRIDGE

Soon Dad was busy planning a bridge walkway across the pond and retainer beams for seating. Some of Grandpa`s fruit trees can be seen in the background.

1959 BOY ON A DOLPHIN FOUNTAIN
1959 BOY ON A DOLPHIN FOUNTAIN

A circulating pump was added to the pond and connected to a cement statue fountain of A Boy on a Dolphin.

9cGrandpa`s fruit trees began producing this year which meant more freezing and canning for this fall. Grandpa and Grandma enjoyed their first peach harvest.

This Junior year of high school was certainly full of exciting experiences and new accomplishments, but this Senior year, which was about to begin, would be filled with more whirlwind experiences than I could have imagined! Let`s follow the musings of the character building activities of my final high school year. It may be revealing!

 

WILL I EVER GET TO DRIVE ?

1957, SEPTEMBER

I am now in the rabbit fur business! One Sunday, during a family dinner, I lamented the fact that I would like to find a way to make my own money. Oh, I got an allowance for doing chores around the house, but I wanted my own hard earned money.

Grandpa Barrett told the story of when he was a youngster in the Indian Territories, he and his Dad would trap for fur pelts. The popular furs then were mink, fox and muskrat. Nowadays, he said, the most used and in demand fur was rabbit. It is used in a variety of clothing including most all outer ware. Even Sears and Roebuck were buying rabbit furs now! Sounded like a good idea to me and to make the most profit, I would do my own butchering and hide tanning.

Grandpa helped me build several rabbit hutches, (that is I helped him), and he found a place to buy my starter rabbits. I bought the rabbit feed, bowls and straw with my allowance money. Now I just had to wait for nature to run its course!

While I was preoccupied with my new project, Mother had been writing and phoning Aunt Jin about a breed of dog Aunt Jin thought Mother might be interested in getting.

One weekend we drove up to visit Aunt Jin and we all went over to  meet the breeder of these Great Pyrenees  dogs. The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, known as the Great Pyrenees in North America, is a large breed of dog used as a livestock guardian dog. Males grow to 110–120 pounds  and 27–32 inches, while females reach 85–100 pounds and 25–29 inches.

1957 THE NEW PUP
1957 THE NEW PUP

 

We all fell in love with the dogs and the puppies. Jin bought a female and we picked out a male. On the drive back home, the new puppy made himself right at home!

But, how would he be received by Tippy, the current alpha at home?

1957 KING BEAU
1957 KING BEAU

Mother checked out her French and came up with the American Kennel Club (AKC), registered name of King Beau Nevois De Wolff; which means, a kingly gentleman abounding in snow. We called him King Beau!

1957 TIPPY & KING BEAU
1957 TIPPY & KING BEAU

 

Nothing to worry about concerning Tippy`s dominance. They got along great and both knew who was the Alpha… for now anyway.

 

1957-8 CAROLE LAWS
1957-8 CAROLE LAWS

 

A big step up to the sophomore year at Pendleton High School! Carole was again a member of the Sunshine Society and was selected to be on the Varsity Cheerleading Squad.

I joined the Hi-Y Club which was the male counterpart to the Sunshine Society. The two groups put on a joint semi formal dance each year. But of course, that is not why I joined!

Somehow I was elected to serve as the Sophomore Class Secretary. This process began with an assembly of the class in the high school auditorium and the class sponsor conducted the meeting. Nominations were taken from the floor for the offices to be filled and these were posted on the bulletin boards located in the hallways.

SOPHOMORE CLASS OFFICERS
SOPHOMORE CLASS OFFICERS

 

 

 

 

 

1957-8 SOPHOMORE
1957-8 SOPHOMORE

 

There was no campaigning, but the classmates did discuss their options for a week and then we had another assembly. Ballots were distributed and the vote taken. The class sponsor collected and tallied the votes and then posted the results on the bulletin boards.

1957-8 PHS
1957-8 PHS

Carole Laws is in the third row from the bottom, second from the right.

The first order of business was selecting a class sweater design and color. We were the first class to shy away from the traditional color wheel selection options. We chose grey with white numbers outlined in red!

My class councilor helped me select a college prep course plan which included a study hall period. I opted for a shop class instead and for one of my electives I added a business math course.

With school all set and underway, I was anxious to sign up for my beginner`s driving permit. Studied the manual, filled out the paperwork and Mother signed me up. Boy was I a nuisance, wanting to drive everywhere!

1957, OCTOBER

1957 GRANDMA BARRETT
1957 GRANDMA BARRETT

Grandma Barrett still picking strawberries from their garden on October 9th that year!

Living out in the outskirts of town, Halloween trick-or-treating was not an evening that took a lot of time. With only five or six houses to visit, it didn`t take long. I never had a store bought costume, instead, Mother would create a clown, hobo, girl or other character with wardrobe and makeup! We also had to go inside the house and let the people guess who we were.

1957 TANKE`S
1957 TANKE`S

Now that I was older, Mother or Dad would drive me to Pendleton where I would meet my school friends downtown. We usually met at Tanke`s Drug Store. They had a lunch counter and soda fountain area where we congregated. Carole Laws had started working there and that was another good reason to go there!

Last year we learned about a high school Halloween tradition and this year we were going to participate! It seemed that just about nightfall, objects began showing up on the high school front lawn. You could see park benches, canoes, lawn chairs, farm wagons, outhouses, swing sets, trailers, dog houses, chicken coops, hay bales, wheelbarrows, farm implements, statues and even a goat tied out on the grass.

1957 HALLOWEEN
1957 HALLOWEEN

The town marshal would patrol the area and shine his car`s spotlight around and everyone would scatter. He would slowly head back to town and the items would keep multiplying!

At school, the following Monday, the farmers and townspeople would show up to claim their items and haul them back home. The school custodians, students from the various club activities and student volunteers would get everything back to normal. No harm, no foul!

1957, NOVEMBER

Thanksgiving rolled around and Grandma Wolff, with some of the Barrett clan, joined us for Thanksgiving dinner.

1957 THANKSGIVING
1957 THANKSGIVING
1957 MAY WOLFF
1957 MAY WOLFF

Using the need for a picture for my “darkroom project”, I talked Grandma Wolff into sitting still in a rare photo! I was so anxious to capture the moment before she decided to move, that I Jerked the camera and didn`t get a sharp photo. Rats, she still won!

1957, DECEMBER

Another family dinner at the Wolff`s Den with all the fixin`s!

1957 CHRISTMAS
1957 CHRISTMAS
1958 HI-FI AMPLIFIER
1958 HI-FI AMPLIFIER

Dad continued his love of and fascination with audio electronics when he got his Hi-Fi amplifier and audio selector for Christmas!

 

1957 KODAK 8MM
1957 KODAK 8MM

We also found an upgrade model Kodak 8mm movie camera with a turret, three lens selection mount under the tree. This model also had a slow motion mode which moved the film much faster through the camera resulting in much less viewing time per roll of film.

 

1958, JANUARY

Mother was still working at Trop-Arctic, which developed and produced environmental testing and control instruments. One of their clients was the U.S. Army Ballistic Missile Agency. Early in January, a group from the agency came for a follow-up meeting with the Trop-Arctic engineers and staff to thank them for their contributions to the Explorer 1 project and Wernher von Braun was with them! No photographs were allowed, but Mother did get to meet and talk with him.

1954 WALT DISNEY & DR. WERNHER VON BRAUN
1954 WALT DISNEY & DR. WERNHER VON BRAUN

Walt Disney and von Braun, seen in 1954 holding a model of his passenger ship, collaborated on a series of three educational films.

As director of the Development Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Wernher von Braun, with his team,  developed the Jupiter-C, a modified Redstone rocket. The Jupiter-C successfully launched the West’s first satellite, Explorer 1, on January 31, 1958. This event signaled the birth of America’s space program.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German, later an American, aerospace engineer and space architect credited with inventing the V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany and the Saturn V for the United States. He was one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany, where he was a member of the Nazi Party and the SS. Following World War II, he was moved to the United States, along with about 1,500 other scientists, technicians, and engineers, as part of Operation Paperclip, where he developed the rockets that launched United States first space satellite and first series of moon missions.

1958, MARCH

Hoosier Hysteria began with the sectional tournament which was always held at the Anderson Wigwam. Back then there was not a class basketball system. When it came to the IHSAA Tournament, the pairings were strictly by random drawing. Remember the big excitement about tiny Milan winning it all?

This year we drew the Anderson Indians and all of Pendleton were trying to get tickets. We had a good team that had their first winning season in a decade and everyone was optimistic!

The original Anderson High School gymnasium was built in 1925 and burned to the ground later this year. At its peak, the Wigwam attracted 5,000 season-ticket holders to Anderson High School boys’ basketball games. The teams and the crowds measured up to the gym’s 8,996-seat capacity. That made the Wigwam the second-biggest high school gym in America, but Anderson athletic directors still found themselves testifying in divorce hearings over the custody of season tickets.

During sectional competition, the Irish lost a heartbreaking 58-57 game to Anderson`s Indians and tallied a spectacular 62% shooting mark from the field. By combining a semi-stall, a few fast breaks and their fighting spirit, the Irish had the Indians quite confused during most of the game. That was what Hoosier Hysteria was all about.

My school elective, Business Arithmetic, that I took this year proved to be a good choice. The teacher was the high school varsity basketball coach. At mid-term he congratulated me on receiving a perfect score on all of my quizzes and tests. Then he asked if I would be interested in being the team`s statistition and assistant student manager next year. I said I would do my best!

1958, APRIL

1958 CHEVY IMPALA
1958 CHEVY IMPALA

Dad`s mid-life-clock must have gone off this spring, because getting a new car was nothing unusual, but getting a flashy white with red interior convertible was! The new 1958, Chevrolet Impala convertible with the 348 cubic inch engine and 4 barrel carburetor and the new posi-traction rear differential was built for speed! Way to go Dad!

1958 CHEVY IMPALA
1958 CHEVY IMPALA

Dad moved the backup lights to below the trunk and made the taillights six red ones. Fender skirts were added along with dual glass-packed mufflers.

I began harvesting my rabbit pelts this spring. Grandpa taught me how to dress the meat and tan the hide mounted on a stretcher. Most of the meat was cooked and added to supplement the dog food. They really enjoyed that. After the hides cured they were shipped to Sears and Roebuck who would grade and price the pelts and mail me a check! That part I liked!

1958, MAY

Some of the high school fads from this year!

1958 FADS
1958 FADS
1958 FADS
1958 FADS
1958 SKIP
1958 SKIP

Several of us guys signed up for dance lessons that were going to be taught in town by an instructor from Anderson. We finished our class just in time for the annual Sunshine Society and Hi-Y joint charity dance. It turned out that we all went stag, but still had a good time.

1958, JUNE

1958 NEW ARBOR
1958 NEW ARBOR

Mother and Dad ever improving and adding to The Wolff`s Den, built an arbor at the end of the walk and on the other side of the drive. They planted two of Mother`s favorite fragrant plants…honeysuckle vines on either side.

 

1958 MOTHER & COFFEE
1958 MOTHER & COFFEE

Mother and Dad always had a pot of coffee at the ready and Mother enjoyed setting on the front porch and relaxing with a cup.

I almost forgot about Cookie, the toy terrier. She got along with both dogs fine and they seemed to appreciate her size and were very careful with her.

1958 MOTHER & COOKIE
1958 MOTHER & COOKIE

Mother enjoyed wearing Indian moccasins whenever she could.

School was winding down and one of the school classes sponsored a sock hop that was held in the school gym. The popular disc jockey from the Indianapolis radio station WIBC spun the platters.

1958 SOCK HOP
1958 SOCK HOP

1958, JULY

1958 CHEVY 1951 sedan
1958 CHEVY 1951 sedan

Dad drove me to town to take my driving and written tests for my permanent driver`s license. One of the biggest days in my life and I passed the requirements!

A few days later I was totally blown away

1958 CHEVY 1951 FLEETWOOD
1958 CHEVY 1951 FLEETWOOD

when Dad brought home a 1951, Chevy Fleetwood sedan and said it was mine. Happy birthday !!

1958 PHILLIP`S 66
1958 PHILLIP`S 66

I had just turned 16 and this was Dad`s 15th car!                 Most of my classmates already had their driver`s licenses, so I had to drive to Pendleton that evening and hang out with the guys at the local gas station hangout or Jimmie`s Dairy Bar. It was like a new episode of “HAPPY DAYS”!

1958 JIMMIE`s DAIRY BAR
1958 JIMMIE`s DAIRY BAR

 

 

 

 

 

Grandpa and Grandma Barrett were enjoying their garden produce and their many flower beds!

1958 GRANDPA AND GRANDMA BARRETT
1958 GRANDPA AND GRANDMA BARRETT
1958 GRANDMA BARRETT
1958 GRANDMA BARRETT

Mother and Grandma would devour the early nursery catalogues and plan their orders for the new varieties or colors to add to their painting pallet. Grandma loved her hybrid roses!

1958 GRANDMA`s FLOWERS
1958 GRANDMA`s FLOWERS

The garden kept them both busy and Grandpa was selling produce at his roadside stand as fast as he could harvest it. He wished he had a bigger garden!

1958 BARRETT STRAWBERRIES
1958 BARRETT STRAWBERRIES

Many of the strawberries, blackberries and raspberries were frozen and kept for winter desserts. We loved the family dinners!

1958 GRANDPA`S HAEVEST
1958 GRANDPA`S HARVEST

Sweet onions, white onions, potatoes and tomatoes were best when eaten right out of the garden!

1958, AUGUST

1958 MOTHER & KING BEAU
1958 MOTHER & KING BEAU

Mother enrolled King Beau in the puppy obedience class in Pendleton and of course he was the biggest puppy there!

I had taken Tippy to a couple of dog shows in the area and he seemed to enjoy the outing, but I still had to deal with his obsession with wanting to be in control of his environment. He would really rather be home surveying his domain.

1958 TIPPY
1958 TIPPY

Note the tall TV antenna mast at the end of the carport. Indianapolis now had several TV stations broadcasting from various locations around town and a new independent station broadcasting from Bloomington. If we wanted a sharper picture when we changed channels, someone would have to go outside and turn the TV mast until the signal lined up. Guess who got that job?!

Shortly before school was about to begin, a big Barrett family reunion was held and I photographed it for posterity!

1958 BARRETT`S REUNION
1958 BARRETT`S REUNION

Left to right: Marvin & Gerrie Wolff, Jim & Jin Prevo, Jay & Dot Barrett, Fred Scarcelli & Grandma, Marg & Walt Schemmer, Grandpa & May Scarcelli.

Really excited about finally getting to drive to school and not at all going to miss the hour long bus ride! Yahoo for a driver`s license!

A LOWLY ROOKIE AGAIN

1956, SEPTEMBER

I looked forward to starting high school with its` new routine and opportunities even though I would be a lowly freshman. The kids were the same ones I had come to know over the last 4 years and that was unique, given my past grammar school roaming.

1956-7 FRESHMAN OFFICERS
1956-7 FRESHMAN OFFICERS

That cute girl, Carole Laws, was elected Freshman Class treasurer and selected as a junior varsity basketball cheer leader!

She also joined the Sunshine Society which helped support the Riley Hospital patients program.

1956-7 Carole, B-TEAM
1956-7 Carole, B-TEAM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESHMAN CAMERA CLUB
FRESHMAN CAMERA CLUB

I joined the camera club and a dog obedience class that was taught by the camera club sponsor. The class was on the weekends behind the school, weather permitting, or in the old gym. Tippy and I never missed.

 

With school started, Rusty gone and our daily lives settling into our regular routines, Dad continued his habit of tweaking and upgrading the Barn House and landscaping.

1956 DAD & CARPORT
1956 DAD & CARPORT

It`s interesting how looking back at these old photos brings so many stories to mind. This one reminds me of at least three stories.

The foreground and dominant theme is of Dad and his constantly finding aesthetic improvements that were really not necessities, but they always added to the uniqueness and beauty of the Wolff`s Den! This one was a fence around the carport`s flat roof.

The second story, in the mid-field range, shows Grandpa`s 1949 Nash that he kept for a second car. He let me drive it around the circle drive, up and down the hill. That was how I learned to drive a straight shift, three speed on the column automobile! I would intentionally stop on the hill in front of the old Quonset, and on the gravel drive, try to start up the hill without rolling backward or spinning gravel under the tires. Foot off the brake, foot on the gas, let out the clutch…crap! Start over again.

The third story, and the furthest from view, centered around our neighborhood baseball games and the new neighbor from hell. Soon after he moved in, we hit a baseball that just rolled through the front fence and into his yard. As we had many times before, when Leona lived there, one of us went to retrieve the ball. But, this time, the new neighbor comes running out his back door and scoops up the ball and refuses to give it back. After repeated requests to return the ball, he tells us we just need to quit playing ball by his yard!

Now I know we are getting older and stronger, but try as we might, none of us can hit the ball more than a couple feet past the fence, even on a good day. The gauntlet was dropped and stubbornness prevailed! We didn`t go running to our parents. No, we would handle this ourselves.

We pooled our resources and bought extra baseballs. We didn`t need many because seldom could we get one into his yard and he usually wasn`t home. But, when he was, he would run out, get the ball and mark where it landed with a stake or rock. We later found out that this was his”proof” for his lawyer as to how dangerous these baseballs were.

The irony of the dangerous baseballs was, that when he would mow his yard, he would hit the “forgotten” baseball markers and send them flying! Fun and games. We had fun with his house when Halloween came next month!

1956,  OCTOBER

1956 ME & SHOPSMITH
1956 ME & SHOPSMITH

The Quonset was once again clean and reverted back to a workshop. Dad had bought his first power tool and it was a dandy; a Shopsmith wood working station! Dad purchased the optional jig saw attachment which he used to cut out the Wolff`s Den signs. One of them is visible in the background.

1954 SHOPSMITH MARK 5
1954 SHOPSMITH MARK 5

The Shopsmith Mark V (Model 500); Magna America put this American classic 5-in-1 tool into production in 1953.

Shopsmith tools were made in San Francisco by Magna Engineering Corp. from 1947 to the late 1950s. Yuba Power Products, Inc. of Cleveland bought Magna Engineering, but soon sold the Shopsmith line to some employees, who used the name Magna American Corp. They also eventually failed to make a go of it, and the Shopsmith manufacture ceased in 1966.

Shopsmith, Inc., was formed in 1972 to resume manufacturing using all the original equipment. This new company began operations in Troy, but moved to Dayton in the late 1970s.

The Shopsmith was a versatile woodworking machine with a variable speed motor which turned an arbor on one end and on the other a power take off for running the jig saw and other optional tools. The arbor could accommodate a drill chuck, 12 inch saw blade, 12inch sanding disc, drum sander and a faceplate for driving the wood lathe. The rails with the motor could be raised vertically and locked in place to accommodate vertical drilling or drum sanding with the saw table rotated 90 degrees.I was hooked and started my wood working hobby with this machine.

1957 NASH RAMBLER
1957 NASH RAMBLER

Mother had been thinking about going back to work and was checking out various secretarial openings in the area. Dad was looking at the new cars that just came out this fall. He decided on a new 1957, Nash Rambler station wagon, since Mother liked the used one she had. Bright red this time with artificial wood trim!

1956, NOVEMBER

1956 MOTHER
1956 MOTHER

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the baking and dinner preparations began. Note our “new” phone and the wraped  lower sections of the support posts are finished.

1956 MOTHER PAINTING
1956 MOTHER PAINTING

Mother had soooo much free time during the winter, she decided to try her hand at water color painting. Of course we don`t start small and she selected a scene of the fields out back for her first endeavor.

The painting may have to wait for awhile, Mother took an office manager job in Muncie with an environmental testing equipment company, Trop-Arctic.

1957, SPRING

1957 MOTHER & TIPPY
1957 MOTHER & TIPPY

Spring sprang early this year and Tippy was feeling his oats as the weather began to warm up. Tippy loved to run and his herding and territorial instincts rapidly developed over the winter.

As part of his obedience training, I would walk him, with his leash and choke chain collar, around the five acre boundaries. He was to “heel”, that is to walk at my heel and not try to lead, as we made our rounds. He was the smartest dog I had ever had or been around.

Sadly this spring, my dog obedience teacher from school passed away. She was so active with everything she was involved with and her passing was a total surprise.

1957 MISS ESSIE HALLOWELL
1957 MISS ESSIE HALLOWELL

In the short time we had together, she taught me the importance of discipline and patience, not only when working with dog obedience, but also in photography.

1957, SUMMER

1957 TIPPY WAItING
1957 TIPPY WAItING

Continuing our training, Tippy quickly learned not to go through a gate unless called or invited. I could walk all the way to the back field and he would still be laying by the gate waiting for the “come” command. With that one word, he would be sitting by my side within seconds.

By the middle of summer, we were finishing up hand signals for heel, stay, come, stop, sit and lay down.

I had a growth spurt over the winter and as I turned 15 this July, I was 6 feet tall.

1957 MOTHER & I
1957 MOTHER & I

Mother`s flower beds kept her busy and at times Dad had to call her to come in at dark! She loved the dirt and growing new species. She and Grandma Barrett joined the Pendleton Flower Club and would take turns hosting the meetings.

1957, BARRETT`S CHICKEN HOUSE
1957, BARRETT`S CHICKEN HOUSE

Grandma kept busy in her flower beds when not in the vegetable garden helping Grandpa. She continued to do this with high blood pressure and diagnosed congestive heart problems!

Grandpa loved gardening and once said, if he had a good mule and 10 acres he could feed the whole town! He was at it from dawn to dusk, enjoying every minute.

1957 SKIP
1957 SKIP

The harvest was great! September was approaching and the sophomore year was awaiting, but some cousins came down to visit Grandpa and Grandma before school started.

1957 BCKING COOKIES
1957 BCKING COOKIES

Barbara and I made early Christmas cookies for the family dinner. We had a small early family Christmas for some members who were going to be away for the holidays.

Always something unusual going on at The Wolff`s Den!

 

More Building and Relaxing

1955, JANUARY

Last Fall, Grandma and Grandpa started thinking about retirement as Grandpa would turn 65 this year. They both loved gardening and the outdoors so they talked to Mother and Dad about the possibility of buying a little ground from them for a retirement home. Mother and Dad decided it  would be nice to have family around so they sold them the chicken house and the garden area they had been working. They had Nealis do the contractor work on the chicken house for a dining room, kitchen and bath. An addition was joined on the South end for the living room and bed room.

BARRETT`S NEW METAL CABINETS
BARRETT`S NEW METAL CABINETS

The inside was finished in knotty pine boards and we helped seal the wood with a Fabulon finish which was a step up from shellac and prior to polyurethane. They sold the machine shop and started moving in this winter.

1955, APRIL

Dad was still working second shift at Circle Engraving Company in downtown Indianapolis. With the long drives and overtime work, he still kept pushing himself to complete projects while still starting new ones.

1955 DAD @ CIRCLE ENGRAVING
1955 DAD @ CIRCLE ENGRAVING

Dad`s camera is to his left. It was on a roller track to serve as a zoom feature of the camera. The arc lamp in the foreground provided the intense light needed to photograph the fine detail of the copy print. These same lights are what contributed to Dad`s macular degeneration in his later years.

We managed to find time for our first real vacation this spring! It was decided that a trip to Grandma`s native Canada may help her relax and be better prepared to sort out her  future.

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1955 MOTHER & DAD
1955 MOTHER & DAD

Dad had just bought a new 1954, Oldsmobile 88 with the new “Rocket V-8″ engine. Maybe that was more of a reason for a vacation trip?

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We stopped at Niagara Falls on our way to Canada and that was when reality set in for Grandma that she was actually going back to Canada. Then the anxiety started. If she went back to Canada would they keep her and not let her return home? We finally convinced her that all was legal and she would return home safely.

1955 KODAK BROWNIE
1955 KODAK BROWNIE

I got my very own Kodak Brownie Camera for Easter,  just in time for our trip! This model came with a detachable flash attachment and of course you had to by the disposable flash bulbs as needed. The roll of film had to be loaded from the back of the camera. An empty spool had to be threaded with the lead paper end from the new roll of film. Once the back was closed, a winding knob on the side of the camera was turned to advance the film into position for a shot. The back of the camera was fitted with a round red plastic window through which the progression of the film could be monitored. It started with arrows pointing the direction of winding, followed by a series of small dots indicating that the first number was coming up. With the number one centered in the window, the camera was ready. After the shot, you had to remember to wind the film to the next number or you would get a “double exposure”.

After the last picture was taken, you would have to rewind the film back onto it`s spool and have it developed. In a week or two your prints and the negative film could be picked up and shared via social media…AKA… personal contact!

1955 KODAK MOVIE CAMERA
1955 KODAK MOVIE CAMERA

Mother and Dad updated their 8mm movie camera too. Also a Kodak Brownie model which used 8mm movie film on a reversible 25ft reel.  No battery power, had to wind the spring motor to progress the film. After one side  was used, you had to open the case in a darkened room and reverse the spools and rethread the film to run through again. The movie film reel was put in a tin case and sealed with tape to keep the light out and as with print film, sent off for processing. One roll of processed film produced about a 5 minute show.

When the movies were returned, the reel had to be mounted and the film threaded through a movie projector and then projected on a reflective screen in a darkened room. Popcorn was a must and history was preserved!

1955 PRINCE
1955 PRINCE

When we returned home from vacation, we went to pick up Prince who had been boarded at Doc Shirley`s in Pendleton. He was so excited to be home, he didn`t want to stay outside and romp. He just kept looking in the kitchen window!

When we let him in, he had a short visit with everyone and headed to his comfy spot in the utility room by the furnace.

1955 PRINCE
1955 PRINCE

We all felt the same way after our first real vacation; we were ready to flop!

The next day Dad started right in on the sidewalk project while Mother worked on banking dirt around the porch area for more flower beds.

1955 SIDEWALKS
1955 SIDEWALKS

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A great deal of back breaking sod removal and grading for the gravel base, but Dad did borrow Grandpa Barrett`s rototiller to help break up the hard clay ground. Hand laid brick edging kept the stone in place and out of the yard.

1955 MAY

With the passing of Grandpa Wolff last year, Grandma elected to sell her house . At the time, she didn`t have any idea of where she wanted to live. It was discussed and decided that it would be best to move by us until she had time to collect her thoughts and figure out where she wanted to settle.

1955 GRANDMA`S TRAILER
1955 GRANDMA`S TRAILER

A used travel trailer, (today a mobile home), was set up between the Quonset Hut and Barrett`s Chicken House and we helped settle Grandma in as well as possible.

1955 RUSTY
1955 RUSTY

About the same time, unbeknownst to me, the plans were being formed to purchase a horse for the menagerie. This was done without even using the $7.50 I had saved in the piggy jar! Hey, I still had to buy my own comic books, bubblegum baseball cards, ammunition and arrows. I didn`t have much left to save!

We installed an electric fence around the front yard, (baseball diamond), and converted the north end of the Quonset Hut into a

1955 MOTHER
1955 MOTHER

stable. Saddle, bit and harness, curry combs and brushes, oats and molasses along with bales of straw and alfalfa were stored in the new stable.

Wow this was a dream come true! Riding from dawn to dusk over hill and dale, what a life. I couldn`t wait for school to be out! We quickly learned how to bridle and saddle Rusty. Learning to properly ride was another matter all together. Rusty was smarter than we were!

1955, JUNE

With school out and more time available for  riding, I got along pretty well with Rusty. I learned pretty quick that there is a great deal of maintenance that goes along with having a horse, but it was worth it.

1955 DAD
1955 DAD

We had a scare one stormy night. I discovered Rusty had evidently been scared by the lightning and broke out of the stable and headed up the drive toward the highway. Somehow a trucker, rounding the curve, spotted Rusty in his headlights and stopped. He helped Dad calm him down so we could lead him back home. We closed the front gate for the night and secured the stable door. What a relief.

1955 Skip
1955 Skip

Spring brings thoughts of baseball and all of us  guys play Little League or Babe Ruth ball in Pendleton. Little league baseball came to the Falls Park in the 50s. More property was acquired for this exciting addition and a Babe Ruth diamond was built adjacent to the Little League field. Pendleton`s senior league was called Pony League back then.

1955 CAROLE LAWS
1955 CAROLE LAWS

 

The opening day parade featured the Pendleton marching band, floats and all the baseball teams. That cute girl, Carole,  was a majorette in the band.

 

 

1955, JULY

One of my birthday gifts was a pair of steel spiked baseball shoes for “Pony League”. The first time I wore them on the diamond, I felt as though I was running twice as fast as I had before. It was an awesome feeling!

Dad also set me up with the chemicals and light box needed to develop and print my own film! I could close off the bathroom window and set up my darkroom. It was great!

Always progressing with the Wolff`s Den, Dad would prove to be one who liked to close things in. It must have been from something in his genes that required “closure” to a project! The project that required finishing was the newly added sun porch just added to the den.

1955 DAD& DOYLE
1955 DAD& DOYLE

Doyle was home on leave from the marines, so this seemed the perfect opportunity to complete the project.

1955 Skip
1955 Skip

With that project still ongoing, we started to finish off the den with horizontally run knotty pine boards. The ceiling would be finished with gypsum board. I got to be pretty proficient with a hammer and nail set. The boards were tongue and groove like flooring so the nails didn`t show.

1955 AUGUST

1955 GARDEN
1955 GARDEN

With the start of school just around the corner and looking back, this was a fantastic year! Grandpa and Grandma were completing their fall harvest and preparing for canning and freezing the fruits of their labors.  I was taking pictures with my new camera and looking forward to my junior high school days and the adventures to come!

1955, SEPTEMBER

Eighth grade started and friendships were renewed after a summer`s absence.

1955 EIGHTH GRADE
1955 EIGHTH GRADE

Carole laws is the first one of the third row and I am the second one on the last row.

1955 SKIP EIGHTH GRADE
1955 SKIP EIGHTH GRADE

We took Grandma Wolff with us on a visit up north to a Barrett family celebration for Grandpa and Grandma Barrett`s wedding anniversary. I managed to get a rare photo of my two grandmothers together. Grandma Wolff would turn or put her hand up to her face if she saw a camera so this photo is special!

1955 GRANDMA BARRETT & GRANDMA WOLFF
1955 GRANDMA BARRETT & GRANDMA WOLFF

1955,  NOVEMBER

1955 Dad
1955 Dad

The first snow of the season and Dad is out planting evergreens along the new walkway.

Leona`s flower shop didn`t take off and she sold the house on the highway and moved to Anderson. The new owner would give new meaning to the phrase “neighbor from Hell”! More on that later.

1955 SUNROOM
1955 SUNROOM

 

The sunroom was completed and we continued work on the den paneling.

 

 

1955 THANKSGIVING
1955 THANKSGIVING

The Barrett clan all came down for Thanksgiving at the recently finished Barrett`s Roost. Left to right; Aunts Mae and Jin, Mother, Grandpa, Aunt Marg, Grandma and Uncle Jay. With us and all the cousins and in-laws, they had 22 family members for a great Thanksgiving reunion at the old chicken house, just like we did three years ago in the old barn house!

1956, WINTER

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It was finally a pretty mild winter this year. Still busy feeding and watering the animals and finishing the paneling and ceiling molding in the den.

Grandma Wolff decided to go back to Park Place in Anderson. She rented a house on College Drive which was within walking distance of the drugstore, the Park and Shop grocery, the Church of God and also the city bus route came right by her front door. It was a great location for her and we soon had her settled in and her television hooked up so she wouldn`t miss any of her soaps!

1956 ME AND PRINCE
1956 ME AND PRINCE

 

Prince helped keep me warm in my hayloft bedroom. We had to remember not to get up too quickly as the loft ceiling angled just over our heads!

Dad traded up to the 1956, Oldsmobile 98, four-door hardtop sedan. At mid-year, Olds introduced the new pillarless four-door hardtop body, dubbed the Holiday sedan, in the 98 series. Perhaps because of the popularity of the new 4-door hardtop body style total 98 sales set a new record of 118,626.

1956 OLDSMOBILE 98
1956 OLDSMOBILE 98

As it was the top-line Oldsmobile, the series had the most technologically advanced items available, such as the four speed Hydramatic automatic transmission, the Autronic Eye, an automatic headlight oldsmobile-98-holiday-sedan-02dimmer, and Twilight Sentinel (a feature that automatically turned the headlights on and off via a timer, as controlled by the driver), and the highest-grade interior and exterior trim. It weighed over two tons and sold for around $3,000.

Standard equipment included armrests, bumper guards, lined trunk, rotary door latches, dual horns, cigarette lighter, turn signals, rubber floor mats, aluminum door sill plates, sun visors, front and rear carpeting, foam rubber seat cushions, courtesy lights, front fender medallions, deck lid ’98’ script, back-up light moldings, electric clock, Jetaway Hydramatic Drive, padded dash, power steering, windshield washers and Deluxe steering wheel.

The new padded dash safety feature was not a favorite of Dad`s. He couldn`t polish it to a bright shine as he could the old painted steel dash!

1956 SPRING

1954 GRANDPA`S TRAILER
1954 GRANDPA`S TRAILER

Spring had sprung and Dad was eager to clean out the Cow Barn and Quonset of their stored “junk”. So, one day, while Mother was shopping, we loaded up the trailer with the “junk” and headed to the Pendleton city dump. We returned home about the same time as Mother. She asked what we had been up to and the next thing I knew we were heading back to the dump site with the empty trailer.

When we pulled in and headed toward our dumping area we noticed several people in the area with there arms full of “junk”.  Our “junk”! It took a lot of explaining and begging on Dad`s part, but we were able to retrieve most of our “junk”. As it turned out, Mother knew the value of her collections and Dad never messed with them again.

1956 DAD & SNAPPING TURTLE
1956 DAD & SNAPPING TURTLE

 

Dad`s first self propelled power mower was a Snapping Turtle that was designed to walk behind, but Dad soon engineered a tractor seat mounted on a two wheel axel that attached to the back of the mower. No springs or suspension and the rough turf beat your butt sore. We usually preferred to walk behind!

Mother had a long flower bed that ran the length of the front drive entrance. It kept her pretty busy especially in the spring. Dad planted Multaflora Rose Bushes along the side of the drive and ended up cussing them every year.

1956 FLOWER BED
1956 FLOWER BED

The highway department used these dense growing small flowered shrubs along the highways and medians to help prevent automobile run-offs and accidents. They had sharp rose thorns and spread so much that they had to be trimmed each spring so they wouldn`t scratch the car.  When Dad would finish the trimming and we would haul the brush to the burn pile in back, Mother would be waiting with iodine and bandages for Dad`s arms.

1956, JULY

1956 TIPPY
1956 TIPPY

I received the most wonderful present for my 14th birthday, a Scottish Border Collie! He and all of the responsibility of taking care of him was to be mine. He had a white tip on his tail so I named him Tippy.

 

1956 FRONT PORCH
1956 FRONT PORCH

Dad and I finished the porch for the front entryway after we finally got the mixing, pouring and grading done on the cement walkways this fall.

Dad made a small Wolff`s Den sign to hang over the walkway leading from the carport to the front entry. Mother used the wood burner tool to burn the name into the sign.

Uncle Jim and Aunt Jin came down for a visit and while they were here,  cousin Becky and I, Grandpa and Dad, shucked some sweet corn from Grandpa`s garden. Boy, that was the best sweet corn!

1956 CORN SHUCKING
1956 CORN SHUCKING

1956, AUGUST

Mother and I just started another bought with bronchitis and sinus infection and the doctor making the house call commented on the horse in the front field. This could be a strong contributor to our allergies and congestion. This made sense, as we recalled that all of this trouble started shortly  after we got Rusty.

Well, we sold Rusty and with masks in place, cleaned out the quonset hut stable. It was a great ride, but I resigned myself to the fact that I would not grow up to be a cowboy! With my freshman year of high school about to start, we will just have to follow the course of the journey and discover which road it takes!

 

BUSY SUMMER THIS YEAR

1954, JUNE

Big, big doings at The Wolff`s Den this summer! School is out and Doyle graduated this year and heading to the marines.. The gang is starting our summer adventures. Mother and Dad are progressing with the remodel and landscaping. Grandpa and Grandma Barrett are planning a big garden just south of the chicken house.

Dad`s first project was to dig a hole for the post that was to hold the Wolff`s Den sign at the gated entrance to our long drive.

1954 THE LONG DRIVE
1954 THE LONG DRIVE

The start of Mother`s long flowerbed runs along the left of the drive. The drive crested the hill and then went down and curved in front of the house and back up the other side then across the top of the hill. This was my daily walk to and from the school bus each school day. As you can see, it was up hill both ways with 3 ft. of snow in the winter and heavy wind and rain in the spring, but it built character…. and a character!

CHEST FREEZER
CHEST FREEZER

In Indiana, the spring weather spauns many tornadoes and since Mother was in a terrible one as a child in Oklahoma, she was deathly afraid of storms. Whenever a storm would pop up, it was the drill for everyone to head for the basement. A storm at night and a pallet was made for me to sleep on top of the chest type freezer in the basement. I remember begging, “Just let it blow me away so I can be in my bed!”.

Spring was also kite flying time and this year we added a new twist. We four boys each asked for bow and arrow sets for Christmas, not the toy sets but the longbow target shooting sets and we got them! They were so stiff we could just barely bend them enough to loop the cord over the bow.

After we finally figured out how to shoot the arrow without the cord leaving a burn mark on our wrists, we were ready for some serious targets. The most obvious and challenging targets were of course our kites. This was great for awhile, but retrieving the arrows from clear across the field soon became tedious. Some other target had to be found that didn`t require all this retrieval.

A few days later, we devised a game that solved the problem. The “brilliant idea” was to get in a circle and one of us would shoot an arrow straight up in the air. The object then was to maneuver yourself to be the closest to the arrow as it hit the ground. We got points based on our distance from the arrow and the bonus was we didn`t have to chase after the arrows, wow how awesome! It was funny to watch someone just take off running because they had lost sight of the arrow and wanted to get out of the target area. Luckily we all survived the summer and our parents never learned of the game till years later!

1954 FIREPLACE/QUONSET
1954 FIREPLACE/QUONSET

Dad finished the masonry stone work on the outdoor fireplace grill and Mother painted the Quonset barn red. The work on the sunporch and carport continued.

1954 CARPORT
1954 CARPORT

As the sunporch and carport were being finished, Dad always wanting to be one step ahead of today, started on the front entry way and porch.

Some of the receipts for building materials, back then, shows how prices have really changed over time.

Roll roofing $3.40 each, bundle of shingles $2.55 each, 1 3/4 roofing nails 25 cents #, no. 6 finish nails 12 cents #, 330 board feet 1/6 clear pine boards $72.60, 3/8 in 4×8 plasterboard $1.76 each, 30# blu nails $6.00 and crushed stone $3.20 a ton. It took 41 tons of crushed stone to cover the drive. Then we had to grade and rake it out and of course Dad wanted to do that in one day!

1954 DRIVE TO CARPORT
1954 DRIVE TO CARPORT

We extended the drive to the carport as it was finished. Mother is on the new front porch and the used, tan, 1954, Nash Rambler station wagon is parked in the carport.

1954, JULY

Summertime was also swimming time at Pendleton Falls Park. Well, more like frolicking and splashing, as I couldn`t swim. Mother and Mike and Jeff`s mom would bring picnic lunches and sit under the shady trees on the hill while we boys played in the swimming pool below.

154 FALLS PARK POOL
154 FALLS PARK POOL

On one of these days, I was following the shorter boys across the swimming area that was roped off from the deeper falls area for safety. We were heading to the concession stand and walking along the rope buoys as this was the shortest distance.

PENDLETON FALLS PARK POOL
PENDLETON FALLS PARK POOL

Suddenly my foot went in a hole and I fell over under the rope. I tried to regain my footing but the sloped gravel bottom just slid me toward the deep falls area. I frantically tried to reach the surface for a breath of air, but could never quite make it. After some time, my life didn`t flash before my eyes as they say, I was just so exhausted that it felt like a welcome relief that the struggle was over. I just relaxed into a peaceful state of resignation when I felt an arm around me. After some coughing and hacking I was fine. The boys went running to Mother to tell her I was O.K. and when I got there the hugs and kisses turned into lectures and threats of not returning to the pool.

I promised to stay well away from the buoy markers and to take swimming lessons at the YMCA and Mother relented. On completion of my swimming classes, I still could not swim! A second course proved just as futile. We kids continued our trips to the pool, but with more respect for the water.

1954 MOTHER & I
1954 MOTHER & I

The sunporch was finished and Grandpa and Grandma`s garden was starting to produce. Grandpa would load his trailer with the garden produce and set up a roadside sale in the area across highway 67, where highway 9 junctions. Shortly after he started his enterprise, he would have customers waiting for him to come and set up and he would be sold out in a short time!

1954 GRANDMA & GRANDPA BARRETT
1954 GRANDMA & GRANDPA BARRETT
1954 GARDEN PRODUCE
1954 GARDEN PRODUCE
1954 GRANDPA`S TRAILER
1954 GRANDPA`S TRAILER

This summer, to earn some money, I went home to Chicago Heights with Grandpa and Grandma to work with Grandpa in his machine shop. I stayed a week or two and learned how to safely operate several metal working machines and have my first exposure to what a machinist did.

Besides the new work, I enjoyed the TV programing available in the Chicago area. The network market was much larger in Chicago and I was able to watch many more of my favorite hero shows.

I earned enough money to buy the 22, rifle I had been wanting since Christmas. The purchase was conditional on my completing a firearms safety course at the Indiana State Police Post in Pendleton. All of the gang took and passed the course and we were anxious to purchase our guns.

1954 AUGUST

While waiting for our rifles we planned our target range in the back field. We started saving the wax cardboard milk containers to fill with water for a splashing target and tin cans for jumping targets.

Another pastime was our version of Mumbley Peg. The game gets its name from a stick driven into the ground by the winner of the game, which the loser must pull out of the ground with his teeth. There are different variations of Mumbley Peg. One version involves two opponents who stand opposite from one another, feet shoulder-width apart. The first player takes his pocket knife and throws it at the ground, so that it sticks into the ground as close as possible to his own foot. The second player take his knife and does the same. The player who sticks his knife closest to his own foot wins. A player could automatically win if he purposely stuck his knife into his own foot.

Our version was more interesting and took more skill and time to complete a round. We faced each other, but we had to take the point of the blade between the first and second fingers of the right hand, and flip it with a jerk so that the knife turns once around in the air and strikes the point into the ground next to the OTHER PERSON`S foot! Then, if the knife stuck in the ground, that person had to spread his foot out to the edge of the knife and if the knife didn`t stick a turn was lost. The person to get their opponent to spread out and lose their balance and fall over would win the round. This was an outdoor game that developed strategy, dexterity and comradeship. Somewhat different from todays electronic thumb manipulated games.

1954 GEIST FISHING
1954 GEIST FISHING

The family would take the short trip to Geist Reservoir occasionally to do some fishing and relax and recharge our batteries. This was before any streets or houses were developed. This site is where the current north end of Carroll Road meets the bridge.  Big houses there now!

Gerrie

Mother didn`t mind baiting hooks but we had to clean the fish for her to fry!

1943, SEPTEMBER

Summer winding down and we boys have gotten to be pretty good marksmen. Now we were off to the neighboring fields and small creek that provided more challenges. The creek that eventually found its` way into Falls Creek and on to the Falls Park pool, was our favorite shooting gallery. The floating twigs, leaves and occasional water snake provided great moving targets.

Surprisingly, given our past record of devising FUN activities, we never had a close call or unsafe act. Well, except for the time we were trying to shoot crows as they flew overhead. Not having any luck with our 22s, I borrowed Grandpa Barrett`s 410 shotgun to give us a better pattern of fire. One crisp fall morning, we hid in the corn field and waited for the crows to circle overhead. Great plan! Here they came: straight overhead and we blasted away. Didn`t hit a thing. But, shortly we could hear the 410 pellets falling back to earth, striking the dried corn stalks all around us. Lesson learned; don`t shoot straight up!

School starting and I will be in Junior High 7th grade. We get to move upstairs and have our own locker and change classes at the bell! Wow, big time.

1954 SKIP 7TH GRADE
1954 SKIP 7TH GRADE

1954 CAROLE LAWS
1954 CAROLE LAWS

 

 

I met a nice girl at school this year. We shared several classes together and I let her copy from my test paper. We traded class photos and I thought she was cute. Her name was Carole Laws.

 

 

Some of the wild cats stuck around to join our menagerie and a couple eventually became semi-house-cats.

1954 CAT LINEUP
1954 CAT LINEUP

 

 

 

 

 

 

1954 Skip
1954 SKIP & CAT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1954, DECEMBER

1954 WINTER
1954 WINTER

 

We had our worst winter yet at the Barn House this year. Mother and Dad used the grader blade on the David Bradley tractor to clear a path down the drive. This is Mother taking her turn!

 

1954 SKIP
1954 SKIP

It was deep! I kept busy feeding and watering the animals that congregated in the Cow Barn as if it were a Noah`s Ark!

Christmas was soon upon us and my wish for an English type bicycle was granted. It was prominently displayed beside our giant Christmas tree.

1954 CHRISTMAS
1954 CHRISTMAS

Our dog, Prince, was even excited! A great two plus years at The Wolff`s Den!

 

Officially “The Wolff`s Den”

1953, November

Closing out the fruitful year, we celebrated Thanksgiving Day with Grandpa and Grandma Wolff and family on High Street. After we came home Mother painted another waterproofing coat of paint on the Den fish pond. Dad finished the steps from the Den up to the hallway leading into the upstairs. I finished stapeling the remaining insulation on the Den walls.

1953 MABEL AND BOB
1953 MABEL AND BOB

 

As we were finishing Aunt Mae and Uncle Fred showed up for a visit. The next day Mabel and Bob stopped by for coffee and a chat at our round oak dining table.

 

1953 MOTHER AND COOKIE
1953 MOTHER AND COOKIE

Mother and Cookie got a chance to rest in the old Morris Recliner in the Den. The brick steps leading to the upstairs that Dad just finished are in the background to the left.

 

Even in November if the weather permitted, we hauled limestone gravel to top off the drive.

1953 SKIP
1953 SKIP

IMG_20151218_0002Mother was kept busy chasing the ducks away from the ground level windows. They had a taste for the glazing putty holding the windows in the frames.

Grandpa and Grandma Wolff were out for a Christmas visit and opened presents in the Den.

1953 GRANDPA WOLFF
1953 GRANDPA WOLFF
1953 GRANDMA WOLFF
1953 GRANDMA WOLFF

The “Big TV” with the useful knobs and behind it is the deer feet lamp that Elmer had made after one of his hunting trips.

1953 CHRISTMAS
1953 CHRISTMAS

I took this Christmas dinner picture of Doyle, Dad, Mother, Grandpa and Grandma Barrett. Note the post to the right isn`t finished yet. Mother and Dad still look exhausted. I can`t imagine why!

1954, FEBRUARY

Dad, Doyle and I went to Anderson to visit Grandpa Wolff who hadn`t been feeling well lately. On the way back home we were involved in a five car pileup on highway 67 just before we got to our driveway. One of the cars that had already been hit, crossed the centerline and headed straight toward us. We were all in the front seat of the 1940 Buick and I remember Dad putting his arm out in front of me as he turned the wheel and headed toward the ditch. This kept us from being  hit head-on but the left rear wheel area was impacted and straightened us out as we went into the ditch. We checked ourselves and decided we were fine and lucky. Dad sent Doyle to tell Mother that all was well and we would be a little late. Doyle was so pumped with adrenalin that he ran the whole way to the Barn House, tripping and stumbling all the way. When he found Mother all he could say was, “Wreck……..all ok……….be late!”, as he regained his breath.

Shortly after that, Dad bought a new 1954, Oldsmobile, two-tone blue and grey coupe. It was the new model with the V-8 engine called the rocket 88.

1954 BEDROOM WINDOW
1954 BEDROOM WINDOW

Winter didn`t stop the renovation progress on the Barn House. New windows were installed during this time. This was before the time of self contained storm and screen windows. Just above and below the windows we added the fasteners and hooks to hold the external storm and screen windows in place. This advancement in weatherizing created another chore for me; every spring and fall my job was to swap-out the storm and screen windows.

1954 NEW WINDOWS
1954 NEW WINDOWS

 

1954, MARCH MADNESS

1954 DAD
1954 DAD

 

Early spring and Dad took time to construct a basketball goal on the cow barn for us. We had some rough one on one and HORSE games out there.

1954 PREVOS
1954 PREVOS

Uncle Jim was a high school basketball fan from the northern Indiana region. The state finals were always held in Indianapolis and televised on a local TV station. The TV signal, then not traveling much more than 50 miles, was not received at his house. So each year at tournament time they would come down to watch the broadcasts with us. Dad`s new Oldsmobile is parked behind Uncle Jim`s wagon and the Quonset is in the background.

This year would be special since little underdog Milan would be in the state tournament for the second time. Sandwiches, chips and popcorn were ready and the living room was packed.

The Indianapolis Star reported on the finals;

1954 MILAN GUYS
1954 MILAN GUYS

“Of all the legends of Indiana high school basketball, one of the most enduring is the story of the 1954 state championship game in which tiny Milan High School won on a last-second shot by Bobby Plump.

The story was further mythologized by the 1986 movie “Hoosiers” in which fictional Hickory High School prevails against all odds. But the real-life Milan team was more experienced than their wide-eyed movie counterparts. Milan had gone to the state championship the year before.

1954 CHAMPS MILAN HS
1954 CHAMPS MILAN HS

The story of the Milan championship is also inevitably linked with the issue of classbasketball. Milan was the smallest school to play in the Final Four two years in a row since tiny Wingate in 1913 and 1914. Milan beat powerhouse Muncie Central 32 – 30. Tied at 30 in the last seconds of the game, Bobby Plump hit a 14-footer as time expired to get the win and in the process, denied Muncie a fifth state title.”

1954 STETE CHAMPS
1954 STATE CHAMPS

March found us finishing some projects and starting others. The living room windows were finished and a new carport project was started.

1954 LIVING ROOM WINDOWS
1954 LIVING ROOM WINDOWS
1954 PRINCE AND DAD
1954 PRINCE AND DAD

I thought we were finished with the cement mixer, but around here I learned that we were never finished with anything! Along with a cement floor for the carport, They started a sunporch addition off the den.

1954 SUNROOM
1954 SUNROOM

The sunporch was on the back side of the Barn House just through the double French doors in the den. The chicken house and Seybert`s field are in the background.

1954 GRANDPA AND GRANDMA BARRETT
1954 GRANDPA AND GRANDMA BARRETT

Grandpa and Grandma Barrett came down again with more plants and trees for spring planting. Portulaca was planted around the water trough fish pond. A window box flower planter was added to the Cow Barn shed along with a coat of trim paint to help spruce the old building up. Spring had sprung!

1954, APRIL 1ST

My Grandpa Felix Wolff passed away today at the age of 75, following a two week illness at Saint John`s Hospital in Anderson. This hit me especially hard. Not only was this my Grandpa, but it was the first time in my life that I had to process the grief of losing someone dear to me.

FELIX WOLFF
FELIX WOLFF

The Wolffs were very reserved emotionally, seldom outwardly showing or expressing their emotions, but carrying deep within them the devotion and love of family.

One of my fondest memories of Grandpa was when I was very young and he lifted me up on his lap. I had been moping around because it was raining and I couldn`t go outside. He was going to fix it and make it better! He took out one of his bookbinding spools of heavy thread and measured out a yard of cord by holding the spool to his nose and extending his hand, with the pinched cord, straight out to his side. Then he cut the cord at the desired length with his pocket knife. Grandma`s button tin was on the end table and he asked me to pick out a big button. After a careful search, I found a big oval shaped button that Grandpa said was just right! He had me put the two cord ends through two of the button holes and then he tied the ends together. Holding my hands with the cord looped around my thumbs, he positioned the button in the center of the loop. Now we twirled the button and the cord till it wound itself up and then as we pulled on the ends of the loped cord, the button started spinning and buzzing as it unwound and rewound itself in the opposite direction. When the button stopped, another pull would start the process in the other direction, creating a perpetual buzzing noise.  Grandpa called it a button buzzer and he saved the day!

1900 FELIX WOLFF
1901 FELIX WOLFF

Grandpa joined the Gospel Trumpet Company in Moundsville, West Virginia on July 11, 1901, at 23 years old. Here he is operating  a paper shear.

1901 FELIX WOLFF
1901 FELIX WOLFF

Grandpa was working on religious mottos which became one of the mainstays of the Trumpet Family.

The Gospel Trumpet was planning a move to Anderson, Indiana and Grandpa made several early trips to help settle the site. His journal details one such trip.

March 21, 1906, left home with my brother for Huntsville. Had pictures taken $2.50 for six. Stayed overnight in Huntsville.

22nd  Left Huntsville at 1:40 p.m. for Anderson, on the N.C. & St. Louis to Dichend, then to Nashville, from there on the L. & N. to Louisville from Louisville to Anderson on the “Big Four” R.R. arriving there at 12:25 noon the 23rd.

25th  Attended my first meeting in Anderson – on the third floor of office building. Frank Shaw made a talk. Bro. Tasher preached. In the afternoon Bro. Shaw took me over the city in a buggy – and took my trunk to the depot. Clay Weiss, Melvin Bamford and I took a walk out in the city after supper.

24th  Evening went to fire department to see them “hook up” when the alarm was given.

26th  Left Anderson for Moundsville

Left Anderson via “Big Four”          5:25 a.m.

Arrived Union City (50 miles)        7:10 ”

Left Union City D & N R.R.               7:10 ”

Arrived Dayton “Big Four”               8:40 ”

Left Dayton “Big Four”                       9:53 ”

Arrived Columbus (70 miles)        11:35 ”

Left Columbus B&O                            11:40 ”

Arrive Benwood (138 miles)            4:02 p.m.

Arrive Moundsville (6 miles)            5:39 ”

 

This attention to detail was a hallmark of the Wolff family and is still evident in the generations that followed. I don`t know if it`s a blessing or a curse but we live with it!

In 1949 The Indianapolis Star newspaper did an article about Grandpa being the “Bible Doctor”.

1949 THE BIBLE DOCTOR
1949 THE BIBLE DOCTOR
1945 FELIX WOLFF
1945 FELIX WOLFF

Grandpa`s life was devoted to his family, The Church of God and The Gospel Trumpet and his work with bookbinding. Following his retirement in 1945 he never took time to write any more in his journal. When we would arrive for a visit he would always be running up the basement stairs from his shop to great us.

1950 FELIX BACKING BOOK
1950 FELIX BACKING BOOK
1950 FELIX STAMPING GOLD LEAF
1950 FELIX STAMPING GOLD LEAF

This hot stamping machine was one of the machines Grandpa designed and built to emboss gold leaf and colored foils into leather book covers and mottos. He also built a whole house water softener system of his own design.

Grandpa loved The Popular Mechanics Magazine and saved many of the early issues from the 1920`s. After he retired, he leather bound those issues into several large volumes of books. We are lucky to still have a few of these to enjoy today and remind us of our first Pack Leader!

1954 JUNE

1954 Mother
1954 Mother

I think Grandpa Wolff`s passing started Mother and Dad thinking more about our heritage and the Wolff namesake. They evolved the idea of The Wolff`s Den as sort of a “brand” for the family. Dad did some sketching at work and Mother drew up some ideas at home for a sign to hang at the entrance of the driveway. Dad cut out the sign on the Shop Smith and Mother painted their collective Wolff idea.

1954 ORIGINAL SIGN
1954 ORIGINAL SIGN

The Wolff`s Den Was christened!!

 

THE UPSTAIRS DAYS

1953, APRIL 

Spring has sprung and that means our annual Easter best is showcased as we return from Easter Service.

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Grandma, Me, Dad and Grandpa Wolff on Easter morning after church. Grandpa Wolff was 77 years old and at 6 foot 3 still very active and agile. Grandma Wolff was 69 and very spry. Many times Grandpa would take the Trailways bus from Anderson and come work on the Barn or yard. He almost had a problem on one such trip when he decided to bring his big scythe with him to cut down the weeds around the Barn. After some discussion, it was decided to put the scythe under the bus in the luggage compartment for safe keeping! (You youngsters may want to Google or Wikipedia “scythe”.)

Grandpa and Grandma Barrett were down from Chicago Heights every chance they got. Grandpa would be 63 years old and Grandma 56 this year. Grandpa was also tall at a good 6 foot 2 and very active and hard working in their machine shop. They looked forward to preparing a small plot for a garden this spring, south of the chicken house. They usually showed up with a trunk full of plants and tree saplings which they helped us plant.

We were glad to be upstairs with bedrooms, more space and a new dial phone. We were still on a party line but we could now dial our own phone calls. Our number was 525-R, the “R” meaning rural. We didn`t own the phone. It was leased from Ma Bell. When we wanted to make a call we had to check for a dial tone and make sure no one was on the line. Long distance calls still needed an operator. Dial zero and wait for the operator to come on line and then ask for long distance and state whether we wanted a person to person call or anybody that answered. We also had the option of reversing the charges if the callee accepted the charges.

1953 WE THREE
1953 WE THREE

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This was a later photo but the only one that shows the stairway going up to my open beamed bedroom loft. The brick wallpaper is on the master bedroom.

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This is the double window in the living room looking out to the back yard and fields.

With the upstairs nearly finished and the weather breaking our time was well spent outdoors and Mother was already adding to our menagerie.

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Nanny and her kids joined another goat that Dad had gotten earlier from a friend at work. Mother and I learned how to milk Nanny and we drank rich goat milk for quite some time. It went good with the big duck eggs we gathered from Daisy and Lazy. If a recipe called for two eggs, we only needed one!

School wasn`t quite out for the summer but we four boys spent as much time outside as we could. Exploring the creek and the woods out back was a daily adventure and springtime brought the new challenge of kite flying. The field next door had a high hill which provided open spaces and a great wind updraft. Four kites flying at one time introduced the fun of kite fights with newspaper and scotch tape on hand for  the many needed repairs.

Steve had the only paved driveway and basketball goal, so his house was the basketball arena. Our front pasture/yard, which Dad kept mowed by hand, was the only large open area for baseball games. We made a wire fence backstop and a pitchers mound. The turf was rough and fielding ground balls was always an adventure. That`s how I broke my front tooth in half that first summer!

I had other mishaps and bruises playing in the great outdoors, but the one that scared Mother the most was a fall I took one afternoon

1953 MADISON COUNTY JAIL DOOR
1953 MADISON COUNTY JAIL DOOR

after Dad had gone to work. One of the old Madison County jail doors that Elmer had salvaged from one of his projects became a landscape backdrop for the kitchen porch. It also made a great place for me to practice my balancing walk on it`s edge. Only today I fell with my knee gouging into the corner of the door and puncturing a triangular shaped hole beside my kneecap. With no car and in no-mans-land between Anderson and Pendleton, Mother called the Indiana State Police Post in Pendleton. A trooper came out and drove us to Saint John`s E.R. where they cleaned the wound, sprinkled some sulfur powder on it and said to be more careful. I was lucky, no stitches just a badge of honor scar to go with my cinder imbedded scar.

1953, MAY

This spring it turned out that we four each had new BB guns. We spent a lot of time down at the creek shooting at leaves and twigs as they floated by. As we became more proficient at hitting our targets, we advanced to a more precise game. War games!! Naturally we were such accomplished marksmen by now, what could possibly go wrong? Surely the safety rules of no shooting above the waist would protect us from any harm. Without our parents knowledge or consent we managed to survive without any serious injuries.

1953 Mike & Jeff

With all of  this mayhem going on, Mother, Dad and Doyle continued making progress on landscaping and finishing upstairs work.

1953 WATER TROUGH
1953 WATER TROUGH

Another of Elmer`s salvage items found it`s way into the landscape. The water trough was buried into the back yard slope and turned into a water feature and flower bed.

I have no idea of how these cement rollers were manhandled into position and landscaped with the water trough. I obviously was off on some adventure.

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These steel banded cement rollers were made to be connected together with an axel through the center pipe in the cement. Once connected together at the proper width they were pulled behind a bulldozer to roll out and pack down the base material for a road or runway. Elmer must have used these in his construction business. Now they serve as seating areas around the water trough.

More landscape improvements included topping off the driveway bed stone with crushed limestone.

1953 KITCHEN PATIO AND DRIVE
1953 KITCHEN PATIO AND DRIVE

This also served as the base for the kitchen patio entrance.

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It seemed like a long time ago, looking back at the quonset hut days…but then time flies when you`re having fun!!

1953 QUONSET HUT AND CHICKEN HOUSE
1953 QUONSET HUT AND CHICKEN HOUSE

1953, JUNE

The cement porch area was finished and it was decided it was time to make our barn house “The little Red Barn” they dreamed of. We all pitched in on this project with Doyle tackling the high peaks.

1953 RED BARN
1953 RED BARN

As was usual, Dad engineered the weather sealing of the 1×12 redwood vertical plank siding. Each seam had to be caulked and then 1×2 furring strips were  nailed over the seams before painting.

The early Barn House plans that were sketched out on scale grid paper called for a den addition on the high end of the barn. This just happened to be the end with a big dirt mound drive for the tractor to have access to the loft. Start shoveling!

1953 DAD, ME AND DOYLE
1953 DAD, ME AND DOYLE

We bought a David Bradley tractor which was very versatile. It was designed to mount various accessories to the front or rear of the tractor frame. This tractor became our trailer, plow and front blade grader and snow plow.

 

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Prince 1953
Prince 1953

Grandpa Wolff helped add the roof to the kitchen porch entry way. Additions were new windows upstairs, the oil tank for  the furnace, more trees and a new Dalmatian dog, Prince.

1953 DAD AND GRANDPA WOLFF
1953 DAD AND GRANDPA WOLFF

 

 

Grandpa Wolff came out to offer his masonry skills he learned while helping build the original Gospel Trumpet building in Anderson. We were in need of a chimney for the oil furnace.

 

 

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Mixing the footing for the chimney blocks required a supervisor. We did have a powered cement mixer to mix the mortar and later the cement for the den floor.

1953 DEN FOOTING
1953 DEN FOOTING

 

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The foundation blocks were laid and ready for the cement floor to be poured. Grandpa Barrett helped with the framing to close off the barn doors. When Doyle wasn`t busy helping us, he worked at the Flower Shop for Leona.

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Our future den for the Wolff`s Den!

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After the Den roof was flashed and attached to the Barn, the remaining furring strips were added. The opening for the Franklin wood/coal burning stove insert is on the end of the den. School was out for the summer and I was kept busy shoveling gravel and cement and carrying wood scraps to the burn pile.

1953, AUGUST

1940 BUICK SUPER COUPE
1940 BUICK SUPER COUPE

After our ordeal with my fall and not having a car here, Dad bought a 1940 Buick Super Coupe for a second car. Of course he had to upgrade it to his satisfaction.

 

We continued work on the den while still taking time to landscape and plant 17 more trees this weekend.

1953 MOTHER
1953 MOTHER
1953 DAD, ME AND DOYLE
1953 DAD, ME AND DOYLE
1953  GRANDPA BARRETT, ME AND DAD
1953 GRANDPA BARRETT, ME AND DAD

1953, SEPTEMBER

One great, fantastic, fun filled, summer adventure was coming to a close. School was about to begin for my sixth grade. It was awesome to be in the same school with the same friends for two years in a row! I am the buzz head on the right end of the second row.

1953 SIXTH GRADE
1953 SIXTH GRADE

For the sixth grade, we were moved from the grade school to the basement floor of the high school. Big kids now even though we were not allowed upstairs.

I received my first corporal punishment in school with a quick whack from the teacher. She had left the room and I turned around in my desk with my knees in the seat to talk to the kid behind me. Nobody gave me any warning as she snuck up behind me and delivered the blow with her paddle. “Corporal punishment” means the moderate use of physical force or physical contact by a teacher or principal as may be necessary to maintain discipline or to enforce school rule. Now if the school rule was enforced in the principal`s office, the office door remained open so that the reverberating whacks could be heard all up and down the hallways.

Evidently talking, whispering or communicating was really frowned upon! This was only my second time to get caught talking in my long history of talking in schools. The other time was when I mistakenly thought that the boys restroom was a freedom of speech area. The second grade teacher at Seventh Street School grabbed me by the chin as I came out of the restroom and proceeded to chew me out in a manner I thought was way more disruptive than the infraction that I committed. Her only problem was that she left scratches on my chin and when Mother noticed them and heard the story, the phone line to the superintendent`s office was humming. Needless to say, I never did learn to keep my mouth shut!

1953, OCTOBER

1953 PRINCE AND MOTHER
1953 PRINCE AND MOTHER

 

Prince loved to get into everything and this required many bathes if he was to be allowed in the house.

 

 

1953 FALL COOKOUT
1953 FALL COOKOUT

As fall approached, Grandpa and Grandma Barrett still came down almost every weekend as we continued work on the Den and more landscaping. The Franklin Stove served as an outdoor cook stove and gathering area prior to its` installation in the Den.

We stapled Kraft aluminum foil backed insulation to the Den walls in preparation for the knotty pine planks to be nailed up. Mother and Dad designed and built a fish pond into the corner of Den with brick and waterproof painted block.

1953 FISH POND
1953 FISH POND

The Franklin Stove was the next project to be completed.

1953 FRANKLIN STOVE
1953 FRANKLIN STOVE

I still enjoyed my Western outfits with my Roy Rodgers two gun leather holster set.

I still can`t believe all that was accomplished in one short year! With Dad driving 60 miles a day to work and back while working much overtime with little sleep, it seems an impossible task. It took the two of them and a joined dream to bring it all together and there is still much more to accomplish!

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DOWNSTAIRS

1952 NOVEMBER, HOME IN TIME FOR THANKSGIVING

We eagerly moved into the downstairs, which served as our luxury quarters, while we finished the extensive work required on the upstairs. The use of the word “we” is a misnomer in that I was usually playing or exploring the fields, woods and adjacent creek that flowed through the fields behind us. “We” included Doyle, a high school neighbor boy who lived across the highway. He had heard of the “crazy” family, over the hill,  that was living in a barn and he came to see for himself. Doyle thought it was an exciting idea and soon was like one of the family!

This was taken on the day we moved in! Mother and Dad look exhausted and they were! The horse stall sliding doors for the utility room show up good in this shot. Grandpa and Grandma Barrett came down to help us move in and took this picture with their new Polaroid Land Camera. The streaks in the photo are from the chemical that had to be wiped on the print after the 60 second development wait time. Not bad though after all these years!

1952 JUST MOVED IN
1952 JUST MOVED IN

Mother loved her new Sears` metal sink and cabinets!

Our first Thanksgiving dinner in The Wolff`s Den!

1952 GRANDMA WOLFF
1952 GRANDMA WOLFF
1952 DAD
1952 DAD

The first thing Mother wanted to do was have Thanksgiving dinner for the family in our new home. The place was packed but we had the best family get together that I could ever remember!

In the photo below, note the ceramic pig cookie jar sitting on top of the refrigerator. Besides surviving me growing up constantly sneaking cookies from the jar, this pig had another use assigned to it. I reasoned, since we were finally in the country, now would be a good time to get a pony. Mother always being the diplomat and lesson teacher, offered to donate five dollars to the pig toward the purchase of a pony. Wow! The lesson was, I could add my allowance and chore money too, until we reached my goal. Are you kidding??!!

IRONRITE MANGLE IRONER
IRONRITE MANGLE IRONER

This is a view from the kitchen door looking toward the bathroom door. The laundry area in the corner included the Ironrite Mangle Ironer.

imagesIt’s an ironing machine consisting of of a big metal box with a huge roller in the middle that you move up and down with a knee pedals and hand controls. The actual name of it is the “Ironrite Mangle Ironer” — sounds like your clothes wouldn’t make it through, right? But actually, if you knew how to use it, you could get dry cleaner-perfect results. I well remember watching as Mother fed slacks, pillowcases, and shirt sleeves into the machine, and the resulting smell of steam and heated cotton.

This being pre-polyester blend wrinkle free, we ironed nearly everything. Now the “we” is me too! I got pretty speedy with flatwork.

Dad made Mother a vanity mirror and makeup area in the bathroom.

BATHROOM VANITY
BATHROOM VANITY

The bathroom fixtures were 50`s green but the early color film did not retain it`s color hues for very long.

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This is looking at the area where Dad removed the stairway and closed off the upstairs until later. This also served as our living/bed room area.

1952 LIVING ROOM
1952 LIVING ROOM

I can`t believe there were not more pictures taken ,of this epic moment in their lives, but looking at that first photo I think I understand!

Now that we were settled inside, Dad prepared for winter outside. A curving driveway path was laid out in the grass and many dump truck loads of road base stone were spread out along the markers. Doyle being around sure helped save Mother a lot of backache. We men graded, raked and tamped the new stone into place. I even got to drive the Kaiser around the drive to help pack it down!

1952 KAISER
1952 KAISER

Mentioning the Kaiser reminds me that Dad traded for a new 1952 Kaiser with automatic transmission and power steering which were new innovations in design.

When we first moved in, a telephone line was finally run to the house and being in no-mans-land, between Anderson and Pendleton, we were first issued Pensacola--Seville-Historic-District--BW-Properties_18an old hand crank phone. Being on a six party line, our ring was four long rings. If we wanted to talk to someone on our party line, we just cranked the handle to correspond to their home ring: one full crank for a long ring and half a crank for a short ring. However, if we wanted an “outside line”, we had to click the receiver for the operator to place the call. This usually followed a short conversation with the local operator concerning everybody`s wellbeing and any news that should be passed on.

Whenever we left the house to run an errand or go for a visit it always included a side trip through the country. We were either  looking for saplings to transplant or large rocks or field stones to gather  for the landscaping.

Farmers used to pile the stones they turned out while plowing in the corners of the fields. I can`t remember going anywhere without stopping by a field and loading the trunk of the car with field stones which we used to line the flower beds and driveway. Dad even took time to build an outdoor fireplace and grill out of field stones.

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Work continued upstairs during the winter. Insulation was added to the walls and what would become the open beam ceiling. The redwood flooring was power sanded and interior framing with gypsum board (dry wall) was put up forming the bedroom and upstairs loft bedroom. Windows and an entry door were added.

 

1952 DAISY 25 PUMP BB GUN
1952 DAISY 25 PUMP BB GUN

 

 

Christmas was pretty calm this year. Except, now that we were out in the country, I was able to have my first BB gun! A Daisy pump action was different from what the other kids wanted, but it resembled my Grandpa Barrett`s pump action 22 caliber rifle and I was thrilled!

As winter was winding down, Mother and Dad were putting the finishing touches on the downstairs. This included a breakfast nook built into the corner behind the brick planter. The new crank out windows offered a nice view onto the porch and patio garden area.

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The stairway was rebuilt with a landing and going the opposite direction from the original to save floor space. Doyle provided the necessary helping hands.

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As the barn house downstairs was finished, and spring was around the corner,, we prepared and planned for the long awaited warm weather and the outside activities that followed!

 

FLOWERS

Flowers we have had, include the featured Wisteria vine that we trained to be a tree. My Grandpa and Grandma Barrett did this back in the 50`s and I loved it.

!957 GRANDMA BARRETT
!957 GRANDMA BARRETT

 

92 chinese wisteria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was our beginning in 1992, at The Scatterfield Road Wolff`s Den.

1999 WISTERIA "TREE"
1999 WISTERIA “TREE”

Just seven years later!

FLOWERS AND PLANTS AROUND THE WOLFF`S DEN

FOUNDATION PLANTINGS
FOUNDATION PLANTINGS

Hydrangeas, Hostas, Coreopsis, Impatients, Bachelor Buttons, Balloon Flowers, Columbine, Short Ornamental Grasses, Asparagus and Japanese Painted Ferns and a Japanese Red Maple.

FOUNDATION PLANTINGS
FOUNDATION PLANTINGS

Resurrection  Lillies, Variegated Grass, Hostas and Coleus in the old cast iron kettle.

SIDE WALKWAY
SIDE WALKWAY

Rose of Sharon bush, Hostas, Lilly of the Valley.Funnel Ferns and variegated ground cover.

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The side walk leads back to the pergola and fire pit area.

RED BUD AND CRABAPPLE
RED BUD AND CRABAPPLE

Off the screen room in the back, a Crabapple and Red Bud tree were fighting for dominance as volunteer saplings, so I am trying to prune them so that they grow up together. DSC00029

I think the dark and light pink blossoms complement each other.

CATALPA TREE
CATALPA TREE

 

The Catalpa tree behind us has great summer blooms.

 

 

 

DSC00597The flower bed in the middle of the back yard has Zinnia, Autumn Sedum, Coreopsis, Shasta Daisies, Day Lilies, Gaillardia and Cone Flowers.

 

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Across the back yard are many Ornamental Grasses interspersed with Rose of Sharon, Creeping Geranium, Black Eyed Susan, Russian Sage, Cone Flowers and Daisies.

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This is a view toward the Wisteria arbor in the back yard.

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There are many beautiful blossoms popping out in the spring!

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This is the view from the screen room in back.

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LAMBS EAR
LAMBS EAR

 

Lambs Ear helps line the walkway along with Autumn Sedum and Variegated Sea Grass.

 

 

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SEA GRASS
SEA GRASS

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAISIES
DAISIES

 

Daisies, Cone Flowers and a Variegated Ground Cover help fill in the texture.

 

 

CONE FLOWERS
CONE FLOWERS

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