Roy Goodman and Florence Blocher
Florence Blocher graduated from eighth grade, at Seabrook grade School in Topeka. She asked her father, Noah Blocher, she called him Papa, to let her go to high school for two years, and to what was known as Normal School for two more. After that, she could get a teaching certificate. Her greatest desire was to be a school teacher. In those days, very few girls went on to school after eighth grade. It was assumed they would get married and have a family. All of their schooling, would be wasted, as the husband always made the living for the family. Noah told Florence that he would make her the same deal he made the other girls. He said, “I will send you on one condition: You study hard and promise not to date any of the boys until you are finished with your schooling.”
Florence was so happy to get to go that she would have promised anything. She kept her promise, studied hard, never dated, and after four years she received the prized certificate. She was offered a teaching job in a one room school house at Ravanna, in western Kansas. She would earn seventy-five dollars a month and be boarded at the Byler ranch. A horse would be furnished for her to ride to school. Her first job at the start of each school day Florence was to build a fire in the stove. In her wildest dreams, she never thought she would meet a cowboy in Western Kansas that she would give up teaching for.
Florence had grown up in a staid, hard working, religious family. She was not prepared for the easy, open life on the prairie. It seemed like everyone wanted to meet the new “School Marm” from Topeka. She was invited to all the parties for miles around. One Saturday night, she went to a get-acquainted dance, at the Torson ranch. The Torsons had a large house. One room was bare, except for a large player piano along one wall. That is a piano with rolls of music and all that is needed to get music, is to put a roll in place and pump the pedals. The rest of the room was cleared for dancing. All the young folks from miles around made Mel and Mom Torson’s ranch their second home. There were four pretty Torson girls, so of course, all the cowboys liked the arrangement.
When she took the job, so far away from home, Florence Blocher was afraid she would get homesick. After she met Jenny Torson and Lucy Reed, she was glad she had gone. Of course, all the cowboys wanted to take her out, and when Lucy’s brother Ralph asked her to go to the next literary meeting at the school house with him, she accepted right away. Roy Goodman told this story of their meeting years later, “I could have married any of the girls I grew up with,” he said, ” They all seemed like sisters to me. When I met Florence at the Torsons that night, I knew she was the one I had been waiting for. She was pretty and had a quality about her, that set her off in a class by herself. I set about trying to beat out all the other cowboys. They say, “All is fair in love and war.””
“I got her alone, and told her about a place I knew, called Curiosity Hollow. It was a pretty place out on the prairie. For some unknown reason, the ground was hollowed out in a large circle, with cottonwood trees all around it. Some of the folks thought a large meteorite had fallen there thousands of years ago. I made it sound like she just had to see it, it was such an interesting place. She could not resist my spiel, so the next day, we rode our horses out there. When we got to the “Hollow”, we spread the picnic lunch we had out on a nice grassy spot. While we were eating, told her all the stories I had ever heard about the place. When I couldn’t think of any more to say, I sang a song to her. The name of that song was, “On The Grass of Uncle Sam”. It was a popular song around the time of the first World War. I still remember the words, I don’t have a strong enough voice to sing it anymore. When I thought I had Florence in a romantic mood, I asked her to go to the school doings with me the next week. I was sure surprised when she said “Yes”.”
“On the way home, I caught hold of her horse’s bridle and held her horse close to mine. Then I got the first kiss, from the girl I intended to marry. When her horse heard that kiss, he must have thought I was clucking for him to get up. He started to run off. I kept hollering “Hold on, hold on,” to Florence until the horse stopped. I have always been glad I courted and won “The School Marm” for my wife.” Florence added her side of the story, “I did not have a chance against Roy, because I had never met anyone like him. He could charm the birds right out of the trees. He sure had the Irish gift of Gab. I forgot that I already had a date with Ralph Reed, until later. Then I was in a real pickle! I just had to find a way to break my date with Ralph, so I didn’t hurt his feelings. Before I saw him, someone else told him about my date with Roy. He broke the date himself. Much later, he forgave me and we were all friends again.”
Roy spent the summer on the rodeo circuit. He thought of Florence, and wished she was with him. He was in her thoughts all summer too. She couldn’t wait until school started that fall so she could see him again. They had missed each other so much, they knew they would get married right away. That finished her teaching career. A married woman was not allowed to teach school at that time. They were married in 1920, and moved into a sod house, near John and Estella Goodman’s ranch. Noah and Mary Blocher were not happy, having a cowboy for a new son-in-law. They had an image of a rowdy, dirty, and uncivilized person. I took them a few years to come around. In the end, they couldn’t resist Roy’s magnetic personality. They eventually welcomed him into the family.
Their first son, Clifford, was born December 31, 1920 in Eminence, Kansas. When he was old enough to travel, Roy and Florence, with his brother, Bob and his wife, Bertie, all went following the rodeos. They traveled all over the West and had many adventures. Like the time an Indian sneaked into their tent and started to kidnap Clifford. Bob happened to see him. He hit that Indian so hard he broke his jawbone. They learned later that some of the Indians were kidnapping children and holding them for ransom.
Most of the time the roads were dusty. When it rained, the mud was hubcap deep. Very few of the roads were paved then. Roy and Bob kept on the move, driving their old car from one rodeo to the next. They camped in a tent at night and cooked over a camp fire. When the coyotes howled at night, Florence picked Clifford up and slept in the car the until daylight. The others laughed at her. They had been hearing coyotes all of their lives, and were not afraid of them. Sometimes Roy or Bob would win a lot of money at the rodeos. But, more often than not, they were broke flatter than a pancake. They were young, and were out to have all the fun they could. This was the pattern of their lives for the next four years.
Roy was working in Grand Island, Nebraska, when their daughter, Josephine June was born on June 17, 1924. Roy was so proud of her, he hurried home from work at night so he could take her out in the baby buggy and show her off. As Josephine grew, she was a tow headed little girl, a bit stubborn, and sometimes she got herself into real danger. For instance, the time Roy heard her say, “Woa, Doker.” He looked over and saw her walking under the belly of an outlaw horse, named Joker, patting his belly as she went. There was not a cowboy around that would have been able to do that without getting kicked. Old Joker, just looked around at Josephine, and stood real still until she was gone, then he went on eating.
Another time, at a rodeo in Cody, Wyoming, Roy had a steer fall on him during the bulldogging event. He was hurt real bad. Florence was selling hamburgers to make a little extra money. She had told Josephine to go to the back of the tent and stay out of her way while she was so busy. Of course, Josephine saw her chance, and slipped out of the tent and went over to play with the Gypsy fortune teller’s children. She had not been out of the tent a minute, when a car went out of control and ran into the tent. The cowboys had just pulled Florence out of the tent when it burst into flames! Roy was at the other end of the street, and when he ran up all he could see was Florence, lying on the ground. She was all covered with raw hamburger and it looked like she was seriously hurt. He was sure his daughter was burning up in the tent. He was so relieved when he found out Florence only had a broken ankle. Then the Gypsy woman walked up, holding Josephine by the hand. The Gypsy had been busy picking up the money off of the street, where it had spilled when the car hit the tent. When they counted it later, all the money was there. That was an honest Gypsy! That was one time Josephine, was hugged and kissed for disobeying her mother.
Because Roy had all the ribs pulled loose from his breastbone in the bulldogging accident, and Florence had a broken ankle, they both had to drive the car to the next rodeo. He worked the foot pedals, and she steered the old Maxwell Touring. This was a car open on the sides, and it had curtains that snapped into place, instead of windows on the sides. Sometimes, they had to hurry and put the curtains up if it started to rain. Roy could not compete at the rodeo at Wolf Point, Montana, but they went anyway, just to be where the action was.
At the next rodeo, in White River, Montana, her parents were still sleeping when Josephine woke up. She quietly put her dress on, the same dirty one she had worn the day before. Then she put her shoes on the wrong feet. Roy said, “Josephine wore her shoes out on the wrong feet.” She sneaked out under the tent, and went out to look the town over. When she came back, she had on a new dress and a new pair of shoes. The strangest thing of all, the new shoes were on the right feet! Roy and Florence asked Josephine where the new things came from. All she would say was, “A nice man buyed them for me.” Later in the day, they met the “Nice Man” and he said, “I thought your daughter was a poor little girl who did not have any clothes, so I took her into a store and dressed her up in new ones and sent her home.” Roy offered to pay for the clothes. The nice man just laughed and said, “Forget it.” Roy never did though, and told the story many times to embarrass Josephine as she grew up.
Roy wanted to enter the bulldogging event in White River. Florence tried to talk him out of it, because she was afraid he would get hurt again. Roy promised her if he got hurt again he would quit rodeoing, forever. He had tried to quit many times before. It seemed like it was a fever in his blood. He just could not get it out of his system. That day in White River, he was so sure he would win, he taped up his sore ribs and entered the bulldogging event. He jumped off of his horse and caught the bull by the horns. That bull fell right on top of his chest! Roy knew all of his ribs were broken again. After the doctor taped them back in place, Florence reminded him of his promise. Right then, he got down on his knees and swore to, “Almighty God,” he would never compete in another rodeo as long as he lived. He never did. All the rest of his life, he told tales of the rodeo days. Roy was a good storyteller, and everyone found his stories interesting. His children and grandchildren liked them best of all.
The next two years, Roy worked on a large cattle ranch near Valentine, Nebraska. This ranch was owned by W.T. Bachelor. It was here that Josephine and Clifford decided to go swimming in one of the many lakes on the ranch. It was lucky for the children that Roy and Ted Bachelor, one of old W.T.s’ sons, were fixing fence nearby. The men saw them before they got in the deep part of the lake. Roy rode his horse into the water and pulled both children out. Josephine started to laugh and said, “My dolly is fimming, my dolly is fimmin.” Sure enough, her doll was floating on top of the water, out in the middle of the lake. After they had rescued the doll, it started falling apart. In those days, dolls were made of pressed sawdust. They were not made to go swimming with their owners. Josephine cried all the way home because her doll was ruined. When her mother asked, “Why did you take your dolly swimming?” all she gave as a reason was the same answer she always gave when in trouble, “Clifford let me do it.”
Florence went to Gordon, Nebraska to stay for awhile when Josephine was four years old. When she came back, she had a new baby. Josephine did not like that one bit. She was very jealous of her new baby brother because up until then, she had been the center of attention. They named the boy Francis Dwayne. Since Roy had a brother named Francis, they always called their boy, Dwayne. After he grew up, he spent many years in the army. He was nick-named Frank there. None of the family could ever remember to call him, Frank, however.
Roy found a steer hide in a haystack while feeding cattle one day. He didn’t think very much about it at that time. Later this same hide was found by a range detective. He was hired by a neighboring rancher, named Birthol Brown. The hide was wearing Brown’s brand and he accused W. T. of rustling and butchering one of his steers. The two ranchers had been enemies for years, and that fact came out at the trial. Roy testified that he just saw the hide. He didn’t know at that time it was branded with Brown’s brand. He said he never helped with the butchering. As long as he was at the ranch, he said he never saw a steer butchered with a bar T brand. As it well known around there that W. T. Bachelor and Brown had been accusing each other of rustling for many years, the jury thought Brown could have planted the hide in the haystack. Old W. T. got out of the rustling charge. Telling of the incident years later, Roy said, “I am sure neither one of those old ranchers ever butchered one of their own steers. They would not have known what one of their steers tasted like.”
Roy quit working for W. T. Bachelor, and moved Florence and the three children to Cheyenne, Wyoming. He and his old buddy, Phil Meyers, went to Yellowstone Park to work. Their job was building roads and cabins, to develop the park for a tourist attraction. They never thought this park would be as popular as it turned out to be.
Florence received a wire, telling her that her father, Noah Blocher, had a mild heart attack. He wanted Roy to come to Topeka, and help him in the blacksmith shop. If Roy was interested, he could take over the shop when Noah retired. Roy thought he would like that kind of work, so he left his job in the park. Florence took the children and boarded a train for Topeka. Roy met them there, and they had high hopes for the future. After working with Noah for awhile, Roy learned a lot about blacksmithing. Noah would not slow down, and the next heart attack cost him his life. He died in 1930 at the age of sixty-nine.
It was at the start of the great depression of the thirties. The farmers felt the pinch first. When they did not bring their work in, Roy did not make any money either. As the depression deepened, money became scarce. Roy and Florence, left the table hungry many times, so the children would have enough to eat. He took a job at night, as a bouncer at a night club. A bouncer is the man hired to throw out the trouble-makers. Prohibition was in full swing, and it was illegal to sell alcoholic beverages. Anyone could buy it, if they were willing to buy bootleg liquor.
Roy was approached by some bootleggers, and offered a lot of money if he would let his house be used as a warehouse for their liquor. They said they would truck it in and store it in his house until the owners of the speakeasies in Topeka could come and get it. Florence was expecting their fourth baby at any time, and Roy was desperate. He needed money to pay bills and feed his family. So, he said he would do it. Everything went well for awhile. The baby was born on October 22, 1930. It was a boy and they named him Dale Galen. He was born one day after his daddy’s birthday.
The Federal Agents found out the liquor was coming into town from the west, near Sims Avenue. That was the street Roy lived on. The Feds blocked off the street at both ends. The owners of the clubs could not get in to get their orders. A way had to be found to get rid of it before the agents found the house it was stored in. It was lucky there wasn’t very much of the stuff in the house at that time. Florence saved the day. She lined the bottom of Dale’s baby buggy with whiskey bottles. She put the mattress in and laid Dale on top. She covered the whole thing with baby blankets. She then wheeled the buggy right by the noses of the Federal Agents. She made several trips that day. One trip, the minister of her mother’s church gave her a ride. He never suspected he was helping a bootlegger! Clifford even got in the act. He put some liquor in gallon jugs, and telling everyone it was kerosene, he carried them right out in the open. Who would suspect a ten year old boy of bootlegging? Josephine helped too, she pushed the baby buggy, when her mother got tired.
The agents gave up trying to catch the suppliers, and began searching the houses one night. A friendly neighbor tipped Roy off that they were coming. He and Florence dumped all the rest of the liquor down the kitchen drain. They took the bottles out behind a shed and broke them. They had a problem with some home brew they were making to drink themselves. It would not go down the drain. Roy carried it out and fed it to a pig he was fattening in the shed. That poor pig was drunk for a week! The Feds could smell the liquor when they came in the house. They could not take a smell to court as evidence. Roy and his wife were not charged with bootlegging. It was a close call. Josephine was old enough to know that if her parents were caught, they could be taken to jail. She had been cautioned, time after time, never to tell anyone about the liquor being in the house. She heard enough that night to have nightmares for a long time. Roy didn’t think the money was worth the risks, and after that narrow escape, he never did anymore bootlegging.
When Roy was riding in the rodeos, he had his boots custom made, at the Hyer Foot Factory, in Olathe, Kansas. His boots, saddle and belt were all made of hand tooled leather. They were decorated with a western design he had sketched himself. He had kept his saddle, moving it from place to place, hoping some day he could buy a horse and ride again. In Topeka, he had to sell it for a few dollars, to buy food for the table. The children cried, when the pretty saddle was taken away. They liked to sit on it and pretend they were riding a bucking bronco. Roy wore his boots out. He kept his belt for many years, the last memento of his rodeo days. Then all that was left were the stories. He used to amuse the neighborhood children. He took a rope and showed them how to make a lariat out of it. He tied a honda in the end, that is the eyelet that is used to form the loop. He lassoed them as they tried to run away. He could also do rope tricks. He made a large loop and twirled it over his head, jumping in and out of it, as he twirled. All the other kids in the neighborhood called him, Uncle Roy. They envied his children because, they had a real cowboy for a father.
Josephine was never happier than when she could dress up in Clifford’s old castoff corduroy knickerbockers, short pants that ended just below the knees, and a pair of his old boots. She went tagging after him everywhere he went. Clifford could do no wrong in her eyes. In 1930, little girls were still supposed to wear dresses and not, heaven forbid, boys pants. They should wear their hair long and in curls, not cut short like a boy. A neighbor woman told Florence, if Josephine was her girl, she would not be such tomboy. Florence looked her right in the eye, and said, “well, she is not your girl, she is mine and I will let her dress any way she wants to.”
Poor Grandma Blocher, to have a tomboy for a granddaughter. She thought she would try to get her interested in girlish things. She tried to teach Josephine to sew. She would teach her to make a quilt. It would be a nine patch, that was an easy one to piece. Well, Josephine tried and tried, but the thread tangled, the stitches were too big. And, besides, it was so much more fun to climb a tree, or go fishing with Clifford and his friends. The quilt turned into a disaster. Grandma gave up the attempt to teach her tomboy granddaughter to sew. Grandma would have been surprised if she could have known that Josephine did learn to make quilts. She made many of them when she was a Grandma, too. Never, never nine patch though. Aunt Eva even tried to do something about the tomboy’s hair. She waved it every day with sticky lotion, hoping it would grow out and be wavy. The next day, it was a mess again. After all, if a girl had to be thinking about her hair all the time, how could she ever learn to hang by her heels in the trees?
William Falwell moved in with his daughter, Mary, after his wife died in California. He was born in 1846, near St. Joseph, Missouri. The greatest thrill of his life, was when he was a teenage boy. He shook hands with President Lincoln. He told his great-grandchildren of this event, several times. As William grew older, he was a little childish. He took care of his daughter’s chickens. Sometimes, he forgot if he had fed them that day and he would feed them again. Chicken feed would be several inches deep on the floor of the chicken house, if Mary did not watch him carefully.
One day, he took the notion, the roof of the house needed fixing. When his daughter came home; he was on top of the three story house fixing the roof! It took the fire department to get him down. William was still looking for his fortune in the mail box every day. He claimed an inheritance from his mother’s aunt. His dreams never were realized, he died a poor man in 1936, just a few days before his ninetieth birthday. Josephine often remembered the wonderful times she had at Grandma Blocher’s house, near Twenty-first and Gage.
The five Blocher girls, as they were called, helped their mother cook the delicious holiday dinner. Uncle Harve Blocher took his brothers-in-law out behind the blacksmith shop for a horseshoe pitching contest. When dinner was ready, everyone went into the long dining room to eat. This room was Josephine’s favorite of all the rooms in the large house. The nice china cabinet that Noah had made out of an old piano was there. The long narrow shelf along one wall held Grandma’s famous plate collection. She had been saving them for years. Everyone she knew would give her a plate, and she had many beautiful ones. Years later, Josephine was given two of these plates. She kept them in her china cabinet. She never looked at them without remembering Fourth of July or Christmas at Grandma’s house.
Waiting for dinner, the Goodman and Blocher cousins, large and small, played the games children play. Hide and seek was so much fun. They could hide behind one of the many flower bushes or in one of the outbuildings, if they could run fast enough to get there before the child who was (it) quit counting. A good place to hide was behind the blacksmith shop. Sometimes, it was hot, and the girls played jacks on the big front porch. After dinner, the mothers wouldn’t let their children run and play, until their food had a chance to settle. Then they sat in the parlor and looked at the funny picture cards through the stereoscope. The picture cards had two pictures on them. They looked alike, but they were a little different. When they were put in the stereoscope, the pictures merged into one picture. This picture looked three dimensional. Oh! how the girls laughed at the fashions the people were wearing. Of course, none of the girls dreamed that in fifteen years, they would be able to see moving pictures on a television set in their own living rooms. That would have been thought of as a miracle then.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president in 1933. He put a program of public works into effect and most of the men got jobs. Life was a little easier for the Goodman family. Roy decided to take the family to visit his folks. They went in an old Model T. roadster. Since all of them could not get in the front seat, Roy made a rumble seat in the trunk. He took the trunk lid off of the hinges, then he reversed it and put it back on. Florence padded the lid and they put a seat in the trunk space. They had the only Model T with a rumble seat. Three of the children rode in the back and the other one took turns riding with Roy and Florence.
They camped out behind the billboards at night, and a camp fire cooked their meals. One day, a long way from town, the car fell apart. Roy just cut a piece of barbed wire out of a fence and wired it back together again. A little way down the road, the radiator was boiling, so he dipped water out of an irrigation ditch and poured it in. The car would not start again, Roy got so mad he began kicking one of the fenders. When he got back in the car, it started right away! They saw all the Goodman relatives. That was the last time Josephine ever saw her grandpa and grandma John and Estella Goodman. Roy and Florence visited with a lot of their old friends. The Torson girls were all married, with children of their own. Roy took the children to see the old Ravanna School house. School was not held in it anymore, but it was still in good shape. The old court house was in ruins. This was the same court house that the records were stolen from, so long ago. They drove north to the old Goodman homestead. The corners of the sod house that Roy was born in were all that was left of the house. John had built for his bride, Estella. Roy stopped out on the prairie, and showed the children the graves of old Soc and Mary Ellen Goodman.
It was very hot that day and Roy told the children, he would take them out to the old swimming hole. He said it was a deep place in the river. He and his brothers used to go swimming there when they were boys. They used to get wet and then hit each other with soap weed, Yucca Plant, then get back in the water and rinse the soap suds off. One day, as they were swimming nude, they heard a voice calling, “Here I come.” They looked up. It was Lucy Reed, a neighbor girl. She was stripped off too. She jumped in the river and went swimming with them. When he got to the river, Roy looked around. The only water in the river was a little mud puddle, where he used to swim. “Well,” he said, “It used to be deep anyway.” It was a grand trip, even if that old Model T. rattled and shook all the way out there and back.
The next addition to the growing family was a girl, named Myrna Louise. She was born after the trip to Western Kansas, on October 11, 1936. Josephine desperately wanted a sister this time. As she left the house to go to the neighbors, she told the doctor that came to the house to deliver the baby. “If the baby is not a girl, I may never come back home.”
Several hours later, when she saw the doctor out on the porch, and she knew the baby was born, she went home. The doctor thought it would be funny to tease her a little, so he said, “I am real sorry to have to tell you this but, the baby turned out to be a boy.” Josephine just turned around and started to go back to the neighbors. The old doctor had to talk fast then, and tell her the truth. Then she was so happy! She treated Myrna like a little doll and spoiled her rotten.
When Myrna was about seven months old, Florence sold a lot that her father, Noah, left her when he died. They bought forty acres in Cedar County, Missouri. All that summer they camped out in the woods while Roy and Florence, with a lot of help from Clifford, built a log cabin. They cut the trees on the land and carried the logs on their shoulders to the cabin site. The children mixed straw with clay and chinked up the cracks. It was a snug home by winter time. That was the winter Josephine was thirteen and her brother, Clifford, brought the tall, good looking, hillbilly boy home from town. This boy was named Ray Routh. She did not think much about him for the next two years. Oh, she saw him around town or at the church meetings. She wasn’t interested in him, he was just a friend of Clifford’s.
Josephine was not very happy at this time of her life. After being used to the large Junior High School in Topeka, she could not get interested at the little one room school in the Ozarks. When she was not helping her mamma, she took care of the babies, or helped with the other chores. She liked to go walking. Sometimes she took a book into the woods and read, until darkness forced her to go home. That was the only thing that helped her in this difficult time. She begged and borrowed every book he could to read. Reading was a passion with her. She forgot her tomboy ways. Through her books, she could travel all over the world. Explore the jungles, space, meet people of all nationalities, and be anyone she wanted to be. By reading, she could escape the reality of the grinding, poverty, the Goodman family found themselves in that winter.
Roy spent all of the money he had saved out of the sale of the lot. Nobody could afford to pay him to do blacksmith work. Soon all they had to eat was some corn. This corn was ground on a hand mill and turned into a coarse cornmeal. Florence boiled the cornmeal for breakfast. At noon, she fried the cold mush in fat until it was a nice crispy brown. When all the fat was gone, it was boiled mush for all three meals, every day for three weeks. This was eaten without sugar or milk. The milk goat gave a pint of milk a day. That was saved for Myrna, she needed milk most.
Roy forgot his pride and applied for emergency relief food. He later got a job on the W.P.A. Life was a little easier then. Florence gave birth to her sixth baby on February 2, 1939. It was another girl. They named her Shirley Loree. Josephine was not as thrilled about her new sister, as she had been when Myrna was born two years before. She could not figure out why her parents could possibly want another mouth to feed, when they could not feed the ones they had. They welcomed the new baby with love, however, just as they had the other children.
When she graduated from eight grade, Josephine did not have a nice dress to wear. She was to make a speech and hated the thought of standing up in front of all those people in her old dress. On the day before the exercises, she came home from school and found her mamma sewing. Clifford had gone to Stockton and worked all day to buy the pretty blue organdy material, knowing Florence, with her sewing skill, could make a beautiful dress. It was an unselfish thing to do. One of the many nice things he did for his sister.
That summer, every time Josephine saw Ray Routh in town, he tried to make a date with her. She noticed what a good-looking boy he was, with his piercing blue eyes, wavy hair, and that sexy cleft in his chin. She was a little afraid of him. She thought he was at least twenty years old. He looked so mature. She always told him, “No” It seemed like that only made him more determined to take her out.
When Uncle Harve came to see them, he offered to take Josephine to Topeka with him. He would send her home by bus when she wanted to go. She had a good time visiting with her Grandma Blocher, all of her cousins and some of her old girlfriends. The other girls were always talking about their boyfriends. When they asked her if she had a boyfriend, Josephine thought fast. Guess who popped into her head? None other than Ray Routh, because he was much better looking than their boyfriends. They all looked like children compared to him. Never mind if she was not really going with him. He was always asking her for a date, wasn’t he?