This has been an interesting project and a lot of fun for me. I had been thinking about my home town and some of the people in it, and began to wonder just how much I could remember of my younger days. In an effort to quantify the project or put some kind of bounds on it, I decided to consider the business district and the years 1945, when I was 9, through 1957, when I was 20. I’m sure that I mixed up the locations of some stores and misspelled some names. What surprises me, is that after 70 or 75 years, how much I remembered about the shopkeepers, their spouses, their families, where they lived, what kinds of cars they drove, and a lot of other little things. I knew the people that ran almost every store in town, and they knew me. It always a pleasure to go downtown, and the people I saw were pretty decent folks.
There were a lot more people to know in our small town. The largest employer in town was the Mobil Refinery. I’ll bet that by the time I was 12, I could stand by the gate at quitting time and identify more than half the men as they came out.
Augusta served as a bedroom community for the aviation industry of Wichita. Some of our townspeople worked at Beech, Boeing, and Cessna. All of this helped add to our circle of acquaintances.
Our town was also surrounded by family farms, and I was privileged to know a lot of those families as well. For instance, Glen Chalmers went to a country school in his early years, but I looked forward to seeing him and his parents and sister at Sunday School and church every week.
Flexing your memory and cleaning out the rust can be a fun thing to do.