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American History
Chilocco - Today and Yesterday

Home Four

January 30, 2004 saw a handful of former students meeting at the Chilocco Arch. Thankfully the heaters in their cars were all in good working order. Just a step out into the air met them with a chilling reminder of what month it was.

One couple came from Tulsa. A graduate of 1947 came from the Ponca tribe. A reporter from a leading newspaper was there along with her photographer.  My brother and a friend came with me  to worry with my cars eccentricities. It would have been a nice outing for my handicapped daughter and the two-year old if the car was more dependable. We always have to think ahead for those who cannot walk when a break down in frigid weather could mean disaster for them.

All were bundled up against the knife like winds sweeping down over this prairie location. Thank heaven for Kapok and other insulation materials in puffy warm coats. My own wool coat with a hood and a scarf served me well

Sharply dressed in a heavy long slim  tailored woolen coat, tall warm boots and a cap pulled over long beautiful tresses of curly dark hair was our reporter, Dawn Marks. She was incredible young it seemed with carefully stylish make-up on lovely pale clear skin.  “You are beautiful,” one of the former students told her. Indeed she was.

While the reporter, photographers and former students worried with photo taking and story writing my friend,  who is a scientist kept to our own site seeing. Most people of the area have never been allowed to see the whole school. This was a privilege for him although, of course, these were only the bones and ghostly spirits of what once was. He couldn't get enough picture taking. There was no keeping him still in the car with his camera. “These buildings, these buildings!”  He kept muttering.

While he took in the sites of bothered ancient stone work overgrown with vines and grasses my heart went to other times and places. If I looked very hard and long across the oval would I be able to see some of my friends, youthful and full of energy still waving to me. Could I still see the mischievous  grins of my favorites?  Of course I can, I thought. In my mind will always be the glow of happy childhood countenances with unconquerable  spirit.  Some are in the cold ground with  promised resurrection. It is true.  Will we all walk that Happy Hunting ground together?

Yes we will,  surely as we walked this oval during lawn social.

Only the photograph of Home Four, girls building, remains. This mammoth structure burned in 1933. The Home Four building on the grounds now was rebuilt as the modern structure it is. Home Four,  new building's lines are square and box like. There are not the gables, vines, portico and general romantic castle like base as in this picture. Two of the other buildings, Home Three and Home Two,  with this same romantic grace were torn down in the fifties.

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