THE GI BILL
After WWII, the GI Bill made it possible for veterans like my father to go to college. To an Idaho farmboy, this was a true opportunity. He started school at the College of Idaho in the fall of 1946. Dad and mom married 8 June 1947, and their first daughter, Kathleen Diane Call was born 6 April 1948.
Dad graduated from the College of Idaho in 1950 with a major in economics. During college, he worked for Sears, and had planned to go into their manager-training program. Dad writes, “Then in my senior year I changed my mind and planned to go into education. I went to summer school and accepted a position as a 6th grade teacher at Homedale. I taught there for two years.”
Here’s the first picture I have of him with Kathy. It’s on her 4th Birthday, Palm Sunday that year.
Dad wrote in his life story, “When Kathy was born, she was diagnosed with a mild case of cerebral palsy. She was born breech and it was a very difficult birth. She had a difficult time in school. Her reflexes were poor and it was difficult for her to learn. She loved sports and was disappointed that she could not do well in them.”
In 1952, Dad, Mom and Kathy moved to Culver, Oregon, where Dad had accepted a position teaching 4th grade. He taught in Culver for only a year.
I was born in June of 1953, just after school was out.
- Patricia, Kathy, Susan and Kay D Call in 1955
Patricia, Kathy, Susan and Kay D Call in 1955
Dad began teaching the next year in Metolius, 6th and 7th grades, and drove the school bus.
I asked Dad if this was a picture of him at Culver, and he said, “No, it had to have been Metolius, because I recognize that kid looking around the corner. He’s a Zemke.”
Susan, Patricia, Nancy and Kathy Call March 1955 perhaps Easter
Dad writes this telling line in his life story, after mentioning my birth and Nancy’s in 1955″ “Their mother’s health was getting progressively worse as they grew up, but she did the best she could to be a good mother.”
I think this is an Easter photo, because of the bonnets. Nancy was born on March 17th and Easter was on April 10th that year. The Seth Thomas Clock on the mahogany shelf in the background was my Mother’s pride and joy. I can still feel what it felt like to set the hands and wind the key, and I can still hear the chimes sounding on the half hour and the hour.
Susan stands on her little red chair to help her Daddy.
My first memories were of the house we lived in in Madras, before we moved to our first house in Metolius. It was in Madras we got our first television set, and I remember the first show I saw: Mighty Mouse. “Here I come to save the day…”
We moved to Metolius in 1956. My mother’s brother Bill married Joanne Skinner about that time, and they lived in Culver, about four miles away from our home. My mother loved having her brother so near, and my Dad became great friends with Bill and Joanne.
- Kay D Call and Bill Burr with Nancy Call in mountains of Central Oregon about 1958
Kay D Call and Bill Burr sporting beards for the Oregon Centennial, 1959
These shots were obviously designed to show the sedan and station wagon in front of our first Metolius house. I don’t think the sedan was Bill’s — I remember his car was a two-tone 53 Chevy Bel Air — ours was the Ford station wagon. The sedan might have been Grandpa Burr’s.
I loved that old weeping willow in our front yard. I remember Dad making me a whistle one year, in the springtime, when the sap was running in the willow, and he showed me how the bark slipped right off the section of the branch he was carving the whistle from. I never see a willow without thinking back to that tree.
Kay D Call and family June 1958
The writing on the back of this photo says it was taken the day before my 5th birthday. Since we usually traveled to Idaho to visit Dad and Mom’s parents, and because I don’t remember this setting, I think this is from a “vacation” photo that year.
In the 1960-61 school year, Dad was made principal of Metolius Elementary. So he no longer drove a school bus, but he did coach basketball.
Dad coached “Jr. Varsity” basketball at Metolius Elementary
What a bench!
By 1960, Dad not only taught 8th Grade at Metolius Elementary School, he was the Principal. And he coached Jr. Varsity basketball, to boot.
Mom’s brother Bill and his family still lived close by, and we spent a lot of time together.
Susan, Nancy and Kay at the swing set Daddy made for the back yard.
In the summer of 1961, our family took the long trip to Idaho Falls to be sealed in the LDS Temple.
Kathy was 13, I was 8 and Nancy was 6. I had just been baptized, by my father, right after I finished second grade. That summer, Nancy prepared to start school.
Cousins Andrea, Susan, Marty, Kathy, Tamera Alison and Nancy by Grandma and Grandpa Burr’s camping trailer
By this time, Bill and Joanne Burr had four children, and our two families spent quite a lot of time together.
In October of 1961, Nancy was walking home from school, eager to show Mom the new reader her first grade teacher had finally let her take home. She was struck by a car on the old Culver highway, and died a few minutes later. Someone had seen the accident, called my father, and he was with her when she died.
Nancy’s Funeral. The family outside the Metolius Friends’ Church October 1961
This is Dad and Mom, Kathy and me with Grandpa and Grandma Burr the day of Nancy’s funeral. Dad writes, “After Nancy’s death, Patricia’s parents came to live with us to help take care of Pat. We had our good times and bad times, but I will always be grateful to Mrs. Burr for the help she was to Pat and our family.”
TIME MARCHES ON…
Kay D. Call School Portraits through the years
Here’s how dad describes his history as an educator after he became principal at Metolius in 1961. “When we consolidated with Madras and Warm Springs, I became principal of Buff Elementary in Madras and the Metolius School, which position I held for four years. I was then principal of just Buff for five years. I was then given the Metolius School in addition to Buff until 1979 at which time I had just Buff and was there until my retirement in 1984.”
Kay D Call embraces his resemblance to western movie star John Wayne
Dad tells me the above photo was taken as part of a reading promotion. The student who read the most books got this portrait of Mr. Call, posing as a western hero.
Campfire at Outdoor School, where Dad’s camp name was “Tyee”
I’m sorry this photo didn’t scan well, but I didn’t take it out of it’s frame. This is only part of a very cool double exposure of a campfire at Camp Tamarack, in the Cascade Mountains, where Jefferson County School District held an outdoor school program for years. High School students got to be counselors to sixth graders, who got some practical outdoor skills in maps and compasses, forestry, water testing, weather recording and prediction, hiking, crafts, and of course, CAMPFIRE — complete with songs and skits. Dad was very involved. I would say he was in charge, as it was his sixth graders that got the experience. The highlight of every year was a Story Teller from the Warm Springs Tribe who would share native legends of Central Oregon.
In 1974, my mother, Patricia Call died after a long and painful degenerative illness. We had all shared in taking care of her — husband, daughters, parents. I was 21, and spent a year home from college, helping during that last year.
When I decided I wanted to serve an LDS mission, Dad was super supportive. He somehow worked out how he could send me enough money each month to live on, and I received my call to the Japan, Nagoya Mission in 1975.
Kay and Daughter Susan reading scriptures
Family Home Evening with Grandma and Grandpa Call before Susan’s Mission
In the 1970’s, Dad’s parents had moved to Oregon to be near us. We attended church together, and held Family Home Evening weekly. This is a posed photo, to take to Japan on my mission.
Daughter Susan and Kay D Call in Honolulu at the end of Susan’s LDS mission
Dad came to Hawaii to fly home with me in 1976. I had spent almost a month in a Japanese hospital, had been transferred to Hawaii, and then received a medical release.
Reuben, Kay, Mona and Kathy Call the summer of 1976
In December of 1978, Dad and Kathy came to Provo for my wedding to Marc. Marc and I came up to Oregon Christmas week for a wedding reception in my home town.
Kay D Call hams it up at daughter Susan’s wedding reception
This is one of the fun photos arranged by friend Sharon Mitchell the night of the reception. If there were tears, they were tears of joy (and relief) that I had found a husband.
Kay D Call sings “Teddy Bear” to his first grandchild
And next year he was thrilled to come to Price, Utah, to see his first grandchild, Linda Ann Hutchison. I had sewn that little Teddy Bear for her while I was waiting for her to arrive, and Dad was making it dance to a little rhyming song.
Six months later, we showed up in Oregon, to visit Grandpa.
And he rolled out the red carpet, so to speak, for his little granddaughter.
Linda was always completely at home with him.And she lit up his life.
In 1984, Dad was honored at a retirement dinner. Here he is with Kathy, laughing at a skit about the confusion his name has caused. He had spent 34 years as an educator in Idaho and Oregon. He was beloved by his students, his faculty and staff.
Next week, we will wrap up the celebration of Dad’s 88th Birthday, by taking up the amazing chapter in his life that followed his retirement. Here’s a hint from Dad’s life story:
“I had just about made up my mind that I would never find anyone I cared to marry and that I would remain single for the rest of my life.”
TO BE CONTINUED…