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root: The World Cup is here!
parent: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The World Cup is here!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The World Cup is here! by N.E. Thornsberry on 2004-05-16 11:25:30
I too enjoyed the cool waters of the Guadalupe, but somewhat earlier apparently than you. My time was from January 1942 to April 1945. I had my 8th birthday there in March 1942. Having moved to New Braunfels where may aunt lived to escape the very real potential of the Japanese invading the West Coast, my Dad was made fire chief at Randolph Field. My mother took a job as what would now be termed executive assistant to the director of the new field of space medicine. My grandmother was in charge of me as my parents would leave early and get home late. No one worried about terrible things happening to the kids. There was a war on and all the town looked out for the kids. The saying "that it takes a village to raise a child" has a lot of meaning for me. We lived just outside of town in a subdivision known as Morningside Acres (My dad's old 8mm movies of the place bring back a lot of memories.) I attended Carl Schurtz grammer school, now gone but I do have a pen and ink of the old building. Myself and my buddies looked forward to summer. During that time we frequented Landa Park one day and Camp Warneke the next. Oh yeah, and the gravel pit next to the Morningside water tower that itself was filled with water. We would hit one place or the other at 9:00AM and leave at closing time, 9:00PM. At that time Landa Park was the place to go where the girls were. Yep, at nine years old I found out how much smarter they were than I. No sex just nine year old intellectual stuff. We were able to get away from our elders constant war talk. But, we found out the Camp Warneke was the place to supplement whatever meager allowance we were given. Mine was 10 cents a week. How? Well, Camp Warneke was built on the grounds of the old mill (flour, I believe). The dam by the mill had a great opening in it that provided a rip roaring water mill race. Wow, did the water ever come shooting through that opening. This was great fun for everyone especially when the owner introduced innertubes for rent. Boy were they patched. Again, there was a war on. Soldiers and airmen from Ft. Sam Houston, Randolph Field and Kelly Air base would come up for the fun on weekends. The owner had strung ropes across the river about 200 yards downstream from the mill race. The troops would rent the innertubes, form a chain, feet under armpits, and take off. Invariably, someone would tip. Well, when they did us boys, who could all swim like fish and even hold our breath for as long as 2 1/2 minutes, would dive into the mill race and began to collect our treasures. Everything from watches, to rings, to billfolds. We were really honest. If our parents found out we were not our fathers would have kicked our butts. No child abuse then for that kind of behavior. So, we turned our finds into the counter and one of us would hang around and wait. There was a sign on the desk telling the customers to check for lost items that might have been retrieved from the water. Believe it or not, I would make more from rewards in a week than my dad made working. He was bringing home about $42 a week. It was nothing for us boys each to knock down $100 a day during those summer weekends. What a great place was Warneke. Well, we left town in early 1945 when my dad took a job in Orange, Texas working for three times what his salary was as Fire Chief, as an electrician building destroyer escorts. Then the war ended and we returned to California. I returned to New Braunfels in 1985. Old friends were dead or had moved away. My old girl friend had kids of her own and had put on as much weight as I, my aunt's husband (Doctor Marvin Ollom) had died and she was in a rest home, her kids, my cousins were either dead or moved and worst of all Camp Warneke was now just another water park playground, like all the rest. Landa Park seemed to have gotten smaller as well what with the fence around it. Well, things change, but the memories linger on. N.E. Thornsberry firstname.lastname@example.org
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