Life in Ottawa, KS

Life in Ottawa, KS

While Uncle Sam shipped Dad to France and then Germany during WW II, Mom and I stayed in Ottawa, Kansas. Here we are in front of our home at 212 W. 5th. The house still stands today.

Mom managed a clothing store there. She hired a sitter, Leota, who was probably in her late 50s at the time. She’d never married. Usually Leota took care of elderly people. I proved to be quite a handful for this dear lady who was not accustomed to small children–especially those who never stopped.

Mrs. Kingsley lived next door. She had a boyfriend I called Smiffy. I often visited Mrs. Kingsley. We’d have tea and cookies together. I don’t ever recall Smiffy joining our tea parties.

When the war was over in 1945 Dad got to come home in October. Soon we moved back to Fort Scott, Kansas. Mom stayed home for a while and Dad managed Edmiston’s Department Store until he and his brother-in-law opened an Oldsmobile dealership in about 1950. With the war over, everyone wanted a car they had been unable to purchase during the war years.

I cover these years in my book Hard Times in the Heartland.

To see my books visit

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