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CLARK L. CARLEY AUTOBIOGRAPHY
Written at AGE
16
Copied from original by CLARK L. CARLEY

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Clark L Carley, High School, Age 18, 1948

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Clark, Evelyn and Kenneth - 1934


My Ancestry

My ancestors were mostly from the British Isles, but they came to America so long ago that I have no trace of their arrival. My Grandfather Burdue has French ancestors on his father's side. The name was originally Bordeaux, and means "border of waters," or in simple English it means beach. My grandfather's mother, however, was English. Her maiden name was Eliza Jane Runion. My Great -grandfather Dunn was Irish, and came to Kansas as a pioneer from Kentucky. He and his family came in a covered wagon when my grandmother was five years old. His wife was Rebecca Baily Evans, who also grew up in Kentucky. Evens is an English name.

My father never knew any of his grandparents except his father's mother. She lived a widow thirty years after the death of her husband whose health was damaged during his imprisonment by the Confederates in the Civil War. He was a lieutenant in the Union Army, and when captured he was sent to the Andersonville prison. At the end of the war, he returned to his wife and family. I believe they lived in Ohio at that time. I have his sash, sword, and D.A.R. cap also an excellent tinted tin type picture of him and his wife. He was wearing his uniform in the picture and had the sword across his lap. The officers in that war carried swords.


1997 Correction. By clc.

Great Grand fatter was Lawson Hannibal Also call "Lott" Carley. His wife was Margaret Ann Daigh. They lived in WI, Ks. and he died in NB. and is buried at North Auburn, Nehama Co. Nb. His grave sight has been visited several time by me and Curtis Jay Carley and cousin Dorothy Calkins.. Andersonville Prison has also been visited by Curtis, brother and my self in 1996. I have since also located a great great grand father

Thomas Alonzo Carley. Another was John Stith Daigh, father of wife of Lott. Zachary Taylor Dunn, father of my grand mother Burdues father. Issue Fielding Dunn. Another great grad father was John Robinson Andrew, father of Dora May Carley, my other grand mother. All of the Burdue family in a book ;by a cousin of my mothers, Joseph Burdue.


Additional material from Mother's scrap books added 8-1997 clc

My father's mother's name was Andrew. She is of Scotch-Irish descent. Her mother's name was Hanks. She was a relative of Nancy Hanks, the mother of Lincoln.

(Later learned this way by marriage to a cousin of Nancy Hanks.) (Kind of a long ways off.!)


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Clark Lee at age of 9 months and one week.

Note left eye

 


MY EARLY YEARS

I came into this world, February 22, 1930, at Hays, Kansas. I was the first child of five. I went through the regular routine of cutting teeth and getting the second crop of hair. The first four months of my life I did not gain properly, and later it was discovered that I had pyloric spasms. These spasms of the pylorus caused the food to come back up any old time. But when I got started I made up for lost time and weighed 25 pounds at nine months of age. I should have weighed 22 pounds at a year. When I was four months old my parents took me to an eye doctor who told them I had very little sight in the left eye and only partial sight in the other eye. My left eye has always been smaller than my right. My father's father had eyes like that and for many years could not see out the left eye. Doctors think that I was also injured at birth, causing hemorrhages in both eyes. When I was six years of age, my parents tried to have me fitted with glasses, but were told that I could not use them. No Clarks glasses would benefit me in the least. I have had five doctors examine me, but all have told me the same thing. The doctor began giving me a medicine that sometimes helps clear away the results of the hemorrhages, but in my case it did not seem to be of any help. The doctors tell me to remember how well many blind people have done, and be thankful that I can see to lead as normal a life as possible. They do not think I should plan on a profession because of the extra years of study. I have another doctor in mind that I want to see for my own satisfaction.

During my first years I acquired a sister and a brother. My sister was born on July 4, 1931, and my brother on March 1, 1933. In 1941 on May 23 another brother was born. On my sister's fourteenth birthday, July 4, 1945, my baby sister arrived. Three of us were born on national holidays, the two girls having each just lacked forty minutes of missing the fourth of July.

I talked at an early age, and at two years of age I began forcefully at a peanut I was trying to balance on the end of a stick while I ran around on the bed. The peanut just would not stay on. Mother taught me some nursery rhymes when I was small. She remembers my watching a pretty moon from the kitchen door one night. I said, "I see the moon, and the moon sees me in my 'jamas." During first years at school I was always getting in fights and always getting the worst of it. I still get myself in a fight once in awhile. In the spring of my first year in school we had our first and worst dust storms. In one of them it took my parents half an hour to drive from the east edge of town to West Twelfth Street where we lived. Our teacher would not let us leave the building without an adult during the storms. Mother would come after me and take those who lived along our route home with us. She put a mask over my face so that I would not breath the dust or get it in my eyes. These storms sometimes lasted two or three days. Mother would put us in the middle of the dining room linoleum with damp masks over our faces. Every little bit she would dust the floor. We played with no concern whatsoever.


MY SCHOOL DAYS

I started to kindergarten a year early. I remember that I had a hard time learning to skip and to tie my shoes. Either Mother tied them, or they went untied. I finally caught on to the skipping. Being younger than the rest of the group, I found kindergarten was difficult. I went from kindergarten through the third grade at Picken School at Fort Hays Kansas State College. I stayed back in the second grade because the teacher thought I was too young for the group I was in. Of course my mothers and father's mother agreed with her so there was little I could do about it.

*Grandmother Dora May Carley made the decision, My parents went along with her. She called the shots*

During the year I was in the third grade the college decided they would have to have our rooms for college classes, and Picken School was discontinued. All but one of my teachers at Picken still teach at the college. By that time we had moved to West Fourth Street, so I had only a block and a half to go to Washington School. I went through fourth, fifth, and sixth grades there with good grades except in English. I next went to Hays High School. There in the seventh grade and the eighth grade I learned to dance and had my first dates. During that time I delivered the Kansas City Star the third hour every school day. Sometimes during storms it took me all that hour and most of noon hour, too. In the summers I worked out at Gala Gardens and delivered papers. At the Gardens I helped clean up after dances and set up and take down my father's sound system.

One time in the summer some of my pals and I were playing tag on top of our house. There was a low radio aerial. I tripped over it and fell off on my head. It knocked me out for some time. I woke up in the tub. Mother said I talked all the time but didn't make sense. I had a large knot on my head, but no broken bones.

In the eighth grade I delivered the papers during the second hour and this made me late to third hour. That summer I worked at the Gardens, selling pop and eats. I made quite a bit in tips, besides what I was paid for my work.

In August we got a 1938 Chevrolet. In the fall Mother and I took Father's route to Stockton while he had the sound jobs (Public address systems) at the football games. In October I began learning to drive on those trips. By the end of the football season I did most of the driving after we got out of town. I was not old enough for a driver's license.

In September I went back to school as a freshman. I delivered papers again but got to use the car. I went to my first formal dance and had the use of the car for dates. In the spring I made two trips to Ellis to run the sound system for dances.

I can not remember just when it was that I ran the sound system for a program at the college here at which Governor Ratter was the main attraction. He came back to see me and told me how pleased he was. He had to know how old I was and such things, and shook hands with me.

At the Gardens that year I set up the sound system while Dad got the ice. Every year I work there they add fifty cents a night to my wages.

I am a sophomore and have passed all my subjects for the first semester. It remains to be seen how I come out the second half. I hope it will be better and better.


DATES AND ROMANCES

My first love was Betty. We played together at her house, and sometimes she came to mine. This started in the fourth grade at Washington School. We were always fighting, and I was always getting jealous. We had a date to the first dance at the high school our first year. Then I met Nelda and fell. At the next dance, I took her and Betty got mad. The next year I just didn't bother any of them. And in my freshman year, June was my girl. We had several dates, the first being to our first formal. Toward spring her father was shipped out and her family moved away. (Air Force Chaplain) Last summer she came back to visit her gang at Hays High School.

During the summer of '45 I rode around a lot with my pals. We would wait at Bob's and take the girls home. And when Bob's was not open we went to A and Z.

So far this year I do not claim a girlfriend, but there is one seems to be chasing me. I guess I have too good a head start. She has not caught up to me yet.


MY FUTURE

I do not have any very definite plans for my future. I want to finish high school and go to college if the army doesn't get me. The newspapers make a pretty good business. I think I would like some training in radio and mechanics. Such things come in handy. I have fiddled with radio quite a bit and find it interesting. I get to run many of the sound jobs for ball grams and the like. It is good experience.

I may go to the Kansas City School for the blind some day. People who are not blind go there if they have poor sight and would benefit by the training offered there. It would be a good place to learn a trade. Art Johnson went to school there. He recommended it to me and would help me get in if I decide to go. I could have gone before now, but my folks thought I was too young to be away from home for such long periods.

Radar would be a nice field. It is similar to radio work. It is going to have many uses and there should 0e many jobs of that kind.

As soon as I can I want to start a savings account at the Building and Loan for a rainy day.      Lee Carley  * Clarkie Lee Carley *


Click to read "Dust Storms" a story about me, written by my Mother .


Photo was taken at 406 West 4th Street around 1938, on East side of house next to the street, which is the north side, and the rocks in front of me is the driveway.

I was 8 years old. I can recall the bushes behind me and the sweater I'm wearing very well.

Click here for Clark Story continued.....