About "Tip" Coleman's Background

I was born at a very early age in 1933, therefore I remember little until about the age of three years.  That is where this story starts - age three.  In 1936.   No use in trying to remember what happened at age one or two is there?  

And, I wrote this mainly for myself.  I'm getting old, fast, and I may not remember some of these episodes without help from somewhere down the line.  It could be that someday this may well be all I have left........memories.  They are some good ones, some bad ones, but they are all mine.   

 My legal name is "Clifton Lane Coleman".  (Well, actually, on my birth certificate it says "Edward Clifton Lane Coleman" but I've never used the 'Edward' part - kinda like tonsils - there, but useless.  Most people know me as simply "Tip Coleman", which is fine by me.  My parents were Claude and Marie Coleman, and they were both highly respected school teachers in various schools in and around St. Clair County, Mo.  Why they were "highly respected" while being burdened with me as being their only brat until the age of 13 is a mystery to me, but they overcame this handicap.  We moved around a lot, because of their occupation.  I have one sister, Vickie, who was born when I was 13 years old, and she only played a minor part in my boyhood due to the age difference.  She was only five years old when I left home.  We are great friends now, and take every opportunity to visit and travel together.

My mother had two brothers.  Leslie Carpenter, and Murlin Carpenter.  Murlin had two children who were too young to participate in my childhood adventures.   Leslie had 8 children, the first four were approximately my age, and were either enemies or playmates during my childhood.  They were Jack, Eva, Wanda, & Leslie (nicknamed Bill).  The four younger ones did not participate much in my younger years, as they were too young at the time.

My dad had two sisters who had a role in my life.  Blanche, married to Elmer Sagaser and Leta, married to Lundy.  I never knew Lundy's first name, he hated it and would never use it himself.  The only cousin I had on this side of the family who played any role in my boyhood, was cousin Bob, son of Leta.

My cousins on my mother's side (Jack, Eva, Wanda and Bill) were very much participants in some of my adventures.  They lived on the family farm about 12 miles northwest of Monegaw.  We had a lot of fun, and some heartaches together.  We were very close, and shared a lot of adventures.

The cousin on my dad's side of the family that had any part of my boyhood was Bob, son of Leta.  They lived in Kansas City, and would only come to Monegaw Springs to sneer at us for living in such primitive surroundings.  I did not like anyone, except Bob, on that side of the family.  My parents would make a trip once or twice a year to visit them, and I hated it.

After graduation from high school I was facing the draft for the Korean "Police Action".  Yes, I did make it back, physically undamaged.

I was born in Rockville, Missouri in 1933, and as of now I am still around - and living in Arizona with my wonderful wife, Erline.  

Somewhere around the age of three, we moved from near Lowery City, MO, to the outskirts of Monegaw Springs, MO., which was in the process of becoming a ghost town.  This move is my earliest clear memory.  The following stories are all true, as I remember them, and of course they all involved me in some way or another.  They are the stories similar to countless other young boy's stories who grew up in this area and during this period in our history.  A time of real freedom, when we were not afraid to let children be children.  We did not have to "not speak to strangers", wear helmets while riding bicycles, or be terrified of guns.   Nor were we convinced that the end of the world was coming due to some political "global warming" nor did we worry about "Islam".  First of all, we had never heard of "Islam", "Global Warming", or other catastrophes.

When we did worry, it was about polio, the Second World War, and were the fish biting or not.  We found it useless to worry about polio because there was nothing to be done about it, the vaccine had not yet been invented.  The Second World War was far removed from our everyday lives, as we had no television, no daily news paper, and very little radio.  It was something happening in another world, as far as we were concerned.  We did not worry long about the fish biting, because we tried them out about four or five times a week and pretty well kept up with that aspect of our lives. 

My parents were both school teachers.  We moved frequently to wherever the next year's school contract led them, but we were always close to Monegaw.  Most of the time, we lived right in the town, with either my mother or dad being the town's current teacher for the year.  It was a one room school, grades one thru eight, and only required one teacher at a time.  The same was true of other schools around the area in which my parents taught from time to time.

We lived in this town from the time I was four years old until I went into the Army at age eighteen, with the exception of a few years my parents were teaching in neighboring towns.  These "lost" years were my 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 7th, 9th and 10th grades.  These five years were, and are, almost blanks in my life.  I was miserable during these years, and begged my parents to go back to Monegaw every chance we got so I could play with my true friends.  This we did practically every weekend, and this helped me thru my misery.  In this regard, I was a spoiled brat.

The stories told here cover the period roughly between 1936 and 1953.  They are true, and the names are true names, except in a few instances for obvious reasons.  Some people in these stories are still around, no use embarrassing them. 

"About age 4"
"About Age 5"
"1st Grade"
"My 2nd and 3rd Grades"
"My 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade"
"7th Grade"
"8th Grade"
"High School"
"9th Grade"
"10th Grade"
"11th & 12th Grades"
"Joining the Air Force (Almost)"
"Joining the Army (For real)"
"Time in Korea"
"Back from Korea"
"Where are the People"
"Back to Index"