Opinion

Bob Mitchell: Photo of home schoolers in San Diego

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

All the broadcast talk about schooling came home to us this week as our great-grandchildren in San Diego were shown in photos with their usual mother-made first-day posters even though they will be home schooled at least for the first part of the year.

The three youngsters, Henry, Kate and Ellie, have been attending Catholic school, but with today’s situations, Dr. Andy and mother Janna, an R.N. have decided to keep them under the home school program at least for the present.

It has been the practice for as long as anyone has been in school for Janna to make them a poster outlining their age and year in school. This is a family procedure that will probably follow them for the remainder of their lives.

Family resides in north San Diego

The Parsons family resides on acreage north of San Diego that isn’t all that accessible on a daily basis, which contributed to the schooling decision.

California experiencing what it is in this COVID-19 virus situation also came into play in the decision.

Diego memories

When thinking about our times living in southern California, I’m remembering a seafood place on the West Coast that was a favorite haunt. On U.S. One, down the hill from where we lived was Anthony’s Fish Grotto, where it was about the finest we found in that neck of the woods.

Whenever our envelope-style of living would permit it that was where we could be found enjoying the fares that were offered. We always thought the price was reasonable, and the food was especially delicious.

Things had changed by the time we returned as the business had about tripled in size, moved across the highway to the harbor side and the prices now reflected the cost of doing business these days.

UDT still there

Going back to the Silver Strand, that runs from Coronado back into the mainland near National City, it was good to see Navy Underwater Demolition Teams still training and doing their sand beach running. This particular observation didn’t include their carrying telephone poles, which they often did even going to particular places on the base back in the early 1950s.

We were lucky to have both sides of our family visit during that time frame. Fortunately, we had found another apartment, which provided a visitor’s quarters that we took advantage.

One problem was encountered—neither my mother nor my aunt Bland thought much of riding the ferry across the harbor. So, on most trips to visit Coronado, we drove around for land access.

Sue’s folks, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy the experience, and K.E. had been thoughtful enough to pack his camp stove for the trip and Balboa Park was the scene of several cookouts during their stay.

We seized the opportunity during their visits to have a TV available so they could watch the new-fandangled entertainment that hadn’t reached the Ozarks at that time.

Hometown experiences

During my Navy career, we had the opportunity to see several from Barry County. First there was Lester Antle, who was found looking over Missouri license plates during one stop at the base filling station.

Later there were Ben and Jackie Salyer, after he was assigned to another command on the base, leaving a shipboard billet.

Also Don Carr and Ben Hutton whose ship pulled into the harbor, they got in touch with us, and Sue cooked them a good old Barry County chicken dinner. Still in our slides is one of them admiring the Missouri license plates.

One evening at the Dog Races in Tiajuana, we were seated making our picks when from behind us we heard, “Mitchell, what are you doing here?” Turning around we found Truman Thompson and his cousin from Eagle Rock.

Truman was a longtime elementary principal in Cassville both atop the Seventh Street Hill and a move to the old middle school. He finished his career in the Grandview schools near Kansas City.

Fullerton trips

Many times on alternate weekends, we would be in Fullerton to visit longtime friends, the late John and Barbara Bayless. John was raised north of Cassville and had a sister, Jean. Barbara was a Johnson from Monett.

John’s initial job in California was working in constructing Knott’s Berry Farm, which was a major tourist attraction in that area. He never lost his taste for wildlife, raising rabbits, which he normally fried for dinner when we visited.

In our apartment in San Diego, we slept on the kitchen floor in sleeping bags when they visited, and gave John and Barbara our pull-out bed. In those days, B-36 aircraft landing over our apartment would occasionally interrupt your sleep.

At our age at that time, these incidents were of a humor stage instead of any problem. Two trips to Diego since that time we have discovered nothing but change, as is expected anywhere you might travel these days.

Stay safe everyone! Follow the rules.

Bob Mitchell is the former editor and publisher of the Cassville Democrat. He is a 2017 inductee to both the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame and Missouri Southern State University’s Regional Media Hall of Fame.