Letters to the Editor: Dust Bowl clarified; Late coach is thanked

Tractors didn’t cause the Dust Bowl

Dear Editor,

I think somebody needs to correct Trudy Wischemann as to why people left the areas of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Tractors had nothing to do with it. In fact, there were very few tractors around in the early 1930s when they started moving. The dust bowl days were the cause, I know, I lived through it.

I was born in Washington County, Arkansas on March 31, 1931. The dust was coming through that area while I was there at times it would get almost totally dark when it was at its worst. My mother always packed newspapers or clothes around the door when it was at its worst, but there would still be three or four inches on the floor by the door. We were never allowed outside when it was blowing. 

One of dad’s horses died and he was worried how he was going to farm with one horse. Then our house burned down, my dad was gone, never knew where, I just never asked him. The only thing my mother go out of the house was a sewing machine and cedar chest. No clothes or anything else. 

My grandparents, my mother’s parents, came over and the lived with us and we walked to their place to have a place to stay that night. 

Later, my grandfather, my dad’s dad, came from central Illinois in a Model A sedan. He took us back to Illinois to stay. 

So take my word for it, it was dust bowl days as to why people left. The other grandparents, my mother’s folks, later went to California to live. They moved to north Orange Street [in Exeter, Calif.] and lived there when we came to visit them in 1946. Later, we moved here in 1947.

Vern Fought

Late coach thanked

Dear Editor,

Several weeks ago, a dear friend and a former COS coach passed away. The Visalia Times Delta published a wonderful tribute to Kirby Mannon, as a super person and a great coach to so many people. What some may not realize is that Kirby’s passion for sports, exercise and keeping fit was extended to the senior population as well. For more than 30 years, Kirby taught “Sit and Fit” exercise classes that were offered through COS and held in Lindsay and Exeter. Kirby faithfully drove from Visalia two times a week to Lindsay and then to Exeter to help keep our seniors fit. For some of this time, he also had a class at a Senior home in Visalia. Even though, it was a COS class, Kirby did not stop for summer vacation; but went year-round. The Exeter class originally started in Farmersville in the 1980s and after a few years moved to the multipurpose room of the Exeter Church of Christ. The Lindsay class started in the Senior Center and then moved to the Wellness Center. The Exeter and Lindsay classes both often had 20 to 30+ seniors that would attend. Even after COS had to drop the class, Kirby continued coming out twice a week to lead these classes. He always told us that he did this exercise for himself as much as for us, and had no plans of stopping. Even when he became ill and was unable to come, we continued to have the classes with a video of him leading us.

All of us here in Exeter and Lindsay want to thank Kirby for his love and dedication to exercise and to his family for allowing us to benefit from having him as a great example of how important exercise is to everyone, including and especially seniors! In Kirby’s honor, we hope to continue our exercise once this Coronavirus pandemic is past us. We welcome new members, any age, both men and women, to come join us on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. If interested call Cathy, 559-799-9575.

Cathy Boone

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