Zee Ka Tow, Jamestown ND

William Krivobok – Modern Problems – JHS 1968

You know by now that I love reading. Most years I’m thick into books, with a lengthy “to-read” list, and a couple of books on the shelf being read. Not that many years ago I finally phased out of my magazine reading period. One day I was in a money-saving mood and added up what I was spending every year for magazines. Hundreds of dollars. Every day of the year the mail carrier would deliver a couple of magazines. I struggled to keep up, but it was wonderful. There was always something new in Newsweek, something to learn in Science News, and tips on the business world in Business Week. The pictures in National Geographic were wonderful, and that was the last print magazine to come to the house in my name.

Back in Jamestown High School all students took Civics in their junior year. Mr Krivobok taught us everything we needed to know about the US Constitution, voting, how congress works, and how to keep up with all the political happenings in the world. You know how there are some teachers you love? The ones who teach you lessons that stick for a lifetime, that show you how even a low-life like me can succeed and be happy in this world. I’ve had several of them, Ms Bowen, Ms Frances, Mr Schnell. Krivobok is not on my favorites list. Maybe some of my high school buddies can shed some light on this, but I just didn’t like him. Continue reading

The Jamestown Post Office

Post Office and Court House, Jamestown, ND

Post Office and Court House, Jamestown, ND

The Jamestown ND Post Office is a big and beautiful old building. When I was in school, the post office took the main floor, the court rooms were upstairs. I never got upstairs, but driving past the post office these days brings up some pleasant memories. Maybe not quite pleasant, because the ones I’m thinking of today are of some stressful times.

Do you remember my story about taking lessons from the National Radio Institute to learn television repair? That involved a few dealings with the mail man. Money must have been important to me then, because that story and the next few stories all involve schemes to make money. Those damned ads in the back of comic books drew me in. One involved selling advertising trinkets to local merchants. Reading the ad made the process look so easy. Every little business needs to advertise, and these little matchbooks would sell themselves. That and a nickel would buy a cup of coffee at White Drug in downtown Jamestown. Not that an eleven year old kid drank much coffee. What did I know?

Undeterred, I picked up the little package at the post office and started my career in advertising. The kit included several sample matchbook covers and a catalog of other things business owners could use to increase their business. The package didn’t include the more expensive items, like coffee cups or pencils. I decided to specialize in matchbook covers. Everyone smoked in those days, so that would be an easy sell, eh? Continue reading

Kunsmiller Junior High

Eric writes:

I went to Kunsmiller Junior High School. That was before they started calling them Middle Schools. I was there from seventh through ninth grades. My favorite teacher was Jeff Guilford. He was my science teacher. I really loved science. I was a lab assistant for him in eighth and ninth grades in addition to my science classes. I also really enjoyed playing in the band. I was in the orchestra and the jazz band. I played the baritone and trumpet.

My worst experience at that school was on Martin Luther King Day. Back then the Denver Public School system was trying to integrate races at the schools. Since all the schools in Northeast Denver were Black and all the Southwest schools were white, there was a lot of bussing of students to try to equalize the numbers. I always thought it was a bunch of shit. I was lucky I never had to be bussed.

But one of my better fiends in school was bussed from across town. Anyway on MLK day, right after school there was a gang of black kids wandering the halls.

I had stayed after to help out in the science lab for a bit after class. As I was walking down the hall, I heard someone yell at me. When I turned around to see who it was, I saw about a dozen black kids running at me. So I took off running. I got to the third floor stairwell and started down. I made it to the second landing when they caught up with me.

I don’t think I was really hurt, but mostly shook up. I went to the Principal’s office to report the incident. He asked if I could identify any of the kids. Since my glasses were knocked off and broken with almost the first punch, I didn’t see who it was that hit me. So the Principal said nothing could be done about it and I should just go home.

It made me angry that I was beaten up in my school like that. It took me many years to get over the prejudice I learned that day.

— Eric H

1955 Plymouth

This is the interior of the 1955 Plymouth. My interest was not in the car that day.

This is the interior of the 1955 Plymouth. The car is not what held my interest that day.

The old Plymouth was quite the car. It had a little V-8 that I thought could take on the world. The two-speed automatic had a shifter on the dash-board, one of the few cars in town that did that. I put hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles on that car. Right after learning to drive I disappeared from the house to spend the nights cruising main.

On one particular trip to Jamestown College, perhaps to see a play, perhaps just cruising somewhere, the parking was exceptionally crowded. Cars were everywhere, on the sidewalk, double parked, everywhere. That didn’t stop me, so I tried to get through. Not knowing exactly how wide or long the car was, the rear passenger door found the bumper of another car. Naturally when my mother saw that crease several days later I claimed to know nothing, saying that it must have happened when she was downtown that day. That was an easy one to remember when Lon started driving and apparently had the same experience at Barlow’s. It is a family tradition. Continue reading