Stephen Jepson from neverleavetheplayground.com returns to his old stomping grounds

playground.Stephen.Jepson playground.neverleavetheplayground.com

 

The week before last (labor day weekend) I attended an all school reunion for Central high school in Sioux City, Iowa.  My school was called the ” Castle on the hill” because that is what it looked like.  Central was completed in the late 1800s with classes beginning at the end of the 1890s. The school was closed to teaching in 1972 when three brand-new high schools were built. So there were no students at the reunion who graduated after 1972. There was a female student in attendance who graduated in 1941, the year I was born. My most memorable time during the two evening event was at dinner on Saturday night talking with Stan Smith (Dr. Stan Smith radiologist Petoskey, Michigan). He and I had been friends in high school; both of us had been captains on the swim team in consecutive years; he in 1958 and I in 1959. I found our conversation quite interesting.

Our host in Sioux City was Greg Cabana – and a great host he was. He took us on extended driving tours of the Sioux City area. We stopped and saw Sheryl Warfield Brosamle at her antique store (T and S Antiques). An interesting side note: Sheryl’s brother Maris Warfield dated my mother and in 1937 or 38 they were parked by Floyd Monument one night when a young farm boy with a pistol kidnapped them and had them drive west into Nebraska. The kidnapper wrote to my mother from prison.

Greg drove us up to Le Mars, Iowa to have a “tavern” sandwich (a Sioux City name for a loose meat sandwich) and then to the Blue Bunny ice cream store where I had a world-class hot fudge sundae. We went to the local farmers market twice; on Wednesday and Saturday morning. Saturday morning is a pretty big deal; booth after booth with freshly harvested vegetables. There was a booth preparing omelettes, which turned out to be first rate. There was more than one stand selling coffee. In fact one concession sold coffee made from beans they had roasted.

We went on two steak fries (this is what my mother and father called picnics) in beautiful Stone Park. I absolutely love that place. I started going there in my mama’s tummy when she was pregnant with me. After I was born they took me there in a wicker clothes basket. My brother and two sisters and I wandered far and wide in Stone Park. Sometime perhaps I will tell you all about the trick I played on a group of students on a moonlight hike in the 1950s in the park.

Sioux City has quite a lovely public museum and that was one of our visits.

One day I took a long walk from downtown to about 2 miles north. I stopped and looked at a couple of family houses that were important to me. I walked up to the highest hill in Sioux City where two massive concrete reservoirs are situated. They are located in Grandview Park. My family owned a home across the street from this wonderful park for several years. I did the last mile of the walk barefoot.

Greg took us to a family fish fry where there were a number of his relatives and lots of tasty food.

Vara and I drove up to Okoboji to visit Joe and Linda Weir. We are only there for a few hours but it was a warm and friendly time. They took us out to dinner and in the morning Linda treated us to a delicious home-cooked breakfast.

It was good to drive around Sioux City and visit some of the old haunts. The area has had a lot of rain so the landscape was richly green.

Now – the source of the photographs; our host Greg lives a short distance from leif Erickson swimming pool, where I was a lifeguard in the early 60s. Today there is quite a large modern playground. Early one morning I walked over and briefly climbed around on the various things designed to be climbed on. Later in the day I climbed all over the place and Vara photographed me. It was great fun! Does it appear as though I was having fun?

Warmly, Stephen

labor day fun

 

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Thank You,

Stephen Jepson

[email protected]

Stephen [email protected]

Jepsonpottery.com

Neverleavetheplayground.com