TITLE: Part II GROWING UP WITH GAYLORD
By Verna Mull
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As we grew older, Gaylord’s love for airplanes changed from wooden models to a kit that one could make an airplane from balsa wood, some kind of paper, and some really smelly glue, and paing. He worked at that painstakingly, and had a very perfect model airplane. .As I recall, he also had a motor that burned some kind of denatured alcohol. The day came to fly the plane! We took it to the pasture, and I was to catch it when he brought it down. Well, I missed it, and that was not a good time! Even then, I did feel so sorry for him. I knew how many hours he had worked on that plane. I’m not sure if it ever got put together or not.
Ah yes, Gaylord had another close friend, Dan Osier. His sister Wendy, was a friend of mine. One day when I was about 12 years old, Dan came to visit, and showed Gaylord how to make a “spruce goose”, which was made by folding paper many ways, and it became a bird. When you pulled the bird’s tail, the wings flapped! It was fascinating to me. Gaylord and I both tried to make one. Mine worked the first time, and I had to show Gaylord one of the folds. “Dumb bell” was SO proud! (may God forgive me!0 It was such an uplifting moment , that I occasionally make a “spruce goose” for the little children to play with, even today, and at this writing, this incident was approximately 66 years ago!
Another of my proudest moments took place when I was probably about 13 years old. At that time, we had moved from the “River Place” to another farm south of Marble Rock. My mother bought a black sweater for me, and I dressed to go somewhere with Gaylord. When I came out of my room, he whistled at me! He wasn’t full of compliments, (especially for me) so that was a miracle moment for me.
Another memory that stands out in my mind was a time that Gaylord took me to school for a band concert or some other activity. A lot of my friends were attending a dance at the town hall a little while after the other activity was finished. By then, Gaylord had a girlfriend and was taking her somewhere for a while and I was to walk to the café in town as soon as the dance began, and he was going to pick me up there. Well, my friends and I walked up and down the streets together until time for the dance. They stopped at the town hall, and I started to walk to the restaurant, probably not more than a block away. I saw 2 guys coming up the street that appeared to be drunk, and I was a little frightened. The youngest one started to run towards me. My mother had always told me not to look directly at strangers when I met them but to ignore them... She seemed to think that looking at them was a “come on” Well, I looked across the street, but heard him approaching. At that moment, he grabbed me and tried to pull me in the alley beside the locker, stating that he had something to show me. He had just grabbed one arm, and I hit him as hard as I could with my free arm. He staggered. I could not yell, or make a noise until I started to cry, and we were shuffling on the street. Our school janitor was just crossing the street on Main Street. He saw the shuffle and came running up the street. By then the other guy was there too, but they let me go, and ran! “Pops”, which is what a lot of us called him, wiped my tears, tried to calm me down, and walked me to the restaurant, and saw that I was safely inside. When Gaylord arrived, he could tell that I was terribly upset, and asked me what had happened. When I told him, he began to search the town for those guys. We drove most of the streets. I begged him that we should just go home, which is what we had to do, when we had no luck in finding them. I was praying that we wouldn’t find them because I was afraid they’d kill Gaylord, and drag me off somewhere. (So, Gaylord, that is why you never found them.) That was, however, a defining moment to see my brother really cared so much for me that he would actually risk his life for me. Neither of us ever told my parents. I didn’t want to tell them because I thought I would never get to go anywhere again! It was many years later that I shared this incident with my mother. Gaylord and I did have a bond of protecting one another.
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