Now this guy may seem like a very innocent sort of guy but I grew up with him and knew his every move. Actually Hugh Allen as we called him was a membrer of the Grainola 5 and sometimes 6 if Joy Frank was around and then there was one year Ralph joined us when we had 7. This group was not the Osage Mofia or affiliated with it but we did have an element of trouble making and of course if there was anything happening you could bet that Hugh Allen was in on it. You should also know that this group was closely nit for eitght years and did I mention it that we started this outfit when on average we were about six years old?
The first grade was where it all got started and Geneva Snyder was our first teacher. She was the sister to Snyd (Vernon) Snyder who I am doing research on who was a prisoner of war during WWII and in the Batan Death March. The sad thing was Miss Snyder (Aunt Geve to me) got a brain tumor and had to quit after just a few months and then later passed away. She was a cool lady as she collected small glassware from around the world. Her hair was always in a big bun on her head. In fact I remember the first time I saw her at her house and she had her hair down combing it. It was down below her waist and it was kind of a dish pan gray color. She loved us kids and laughed a lot at our oneriness. Which brings me back to Hugh Allen.
I think out of the class of 5 and sometimes 6 at least three of us would be diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, Hugh Allen, Jon Tanny and me. But Hugh Allen was smart, hilarious and loved to laugh in a big way and he was extremely competitive. In fact this particular characteristic is what made him a great United States Marine. He was one of the few I believe could become a Ranger or Navy Seal. His grit and toughness was incredible. I was always dramatically bigger than him but Hugh Allen was ALWAYS willing to wrestle or play some competitive game like Alligators (previous story) where he would sacrifice his entire body at the risk of breaking something. But one of my favorite stories was when we were in the first or second grade and Mrs. Casslemen was our teacher. Hugh Allen and I got in this contest to see who could write the smallest and also who could count on paper to 1,000 again using the smallest writing but it had to be readible. Mrs. Casselmen even encouraged our behavior as I think she knew we needed plenty to do to keep our busy minds engaged. By the way Hugh Allen won that contest as he could write legibly where each number was about as small as "nat shit". Think about that for a minute.
Now you are probably wondering where that term came from and it is a story that I love to tell. My dad, Cliff Olson, always had this great ability to come up with little sayings and you would just wonder how he even thought them up. One day we were planting bermuda grass seed and it is extremely small, smaller than a mustard seed by far. Anyway dad coined that phrase, "smaller than nat shit" that day and I laughed so hard just thinking about how small that must be. Have you ever seen a pile of the stuff? Not even under a microscope could you.
The other thing about Hugh Allen is he NEVER was out of energy. He could run forever like an Eveready Battery bunny. I am sure his folks thought the same thing. Anyway one of the other things that happened every year was the apple man would come by the school to sell apples. I guess it was just how he made a living and I never knew his name but the funny thing was every year as he would drive away we would chase his truck and Hugh Allen was fast enough that he caught the truck and procurred an apple. Now some would call that a crime but we saw it as a contest and it worked pretty well except the one year Mr. Lewis Morris caught us and since Hugh Allen won the prize by getting an apple he also got the prize of being in big trouble with Mr. Morris. Some folks don't have a since of humor and come to think of it neither did our parents on this one.
Ok, now about those spankings. When the Grainola Grubbers or the Grainola 5 and sometimes 6 passed the 8th grade we all went to the big town of Shidler for high school. Now if you were driving straight there it is 12 miles from Grainola to Shidler with two big 100 mile an hour curves at Grainola and two small curves close to Shidler but other than that it was about 10 miles straight. During those years we road the bus and if you were like our house we were the first ones Don Conner would pick up each morning and we road the bus for well over an hour each way. Anyway during what I believe was our sophomore year at Shidler, Hugh Allen got this contest going to see who could get the most spankings. Now I don't know if Hugh Allen was just getting ready for the Marines or what but he led the pack that year and as I remember he got 23 spankings. It really was a badge of honor.
Hugh Allen also assisted that year in getting the nicest guy in school a spanking, Harold Codding. Harold had never been spanked by anyone as he was the nicest person you would and still will ever meet. Well that year the football coachs had made a rule that if your locker was left unlocked you got two licks with a paddle which hung in the coaches office. Back then we had those combination locks on our lockers and somehow Hugh Allen knew Harolds number. Well Harold, Chuckles, was dilligently working out lifting weights and being obedient and a bunch of us were talking to the coach and we suggested that Chuckles had never gotten a spanking. So we proceeded to unlock Harold's locker. One of the guys then ran up to Harold to tell him his locker was unlocked and he should go get it locked. Harold took off running to get it locked. But just about the time Harold got to the ramp down to the locker room the coach walked out with the paddle! Harold ran back up the stairs and grabbed one of those big pieces of foam and stuffed it in his shorts. Everyone was laughing including the coach and Chuckles was laughing as well. However there was no leniency and Harold got his first and probably last and only swats on the bottom in his life. Harold was no longer perfect.
Well, what do you leaern from the Osage?
- don't always trust your buddies
- No one is perfect except Jesus Christ
- Hyperactive kids just need things to do, encourage them, don't punish them unless they really did somehting wrong
- Even a little trouble can be fun as long as you don't hurt someone else, except Hugh Allen but he loved being beat up
- Thanks Hugh Allen for some great memories
Thanks for your time,