15th Year:    From 11th of October 1942 through 10th of October 1943

High School Junior to Senior
I organized and headed up my own Junior Militia, teaching marching, close order drill, Queen Anne Arms Drill, especially saluting, and the Marine Corps Infantry Manual (contributed by Gus). Obviously we were going to get into a war, and any healthy man over 18 would get drafted into the Army, to fight the Germans, Italians (and/or Russians?) unless they joined the Navy or Marine Corps first, got girls pregnant, or were queer. (I had just learned, vaguely, about some kind of queer boys, not just farmhand cornholers {chasing hens, calves and sheep, or younger boys}: But, I had never heard of female queers --eventually called lesbians--).  High School teenagers' options to avoid drafting was to fail their classes to avoid graduation: But, play football well enough to get kept in school for another year. (Of course knocking-up a girl might work too.)
The prettiest girl on the school bus, Naomi, rode bus with me every day. I shared a seat beside her, which she kept clear for me. We didn't date, but only got together to attend sport events from time to time, after which we were usually allowed to go home via the school bus, after games, we watched together or participated in..
My five year older cousin and (and de facto foster brother), Augustus (Gus) Cowan, had joined the US Marine Corps [USMC], as soon as he had finished Butler High School [BHS], to (eventually, help the Marine Corps take Iwo Jima).
I first succeeded in joining a Missouri State Guard [MSG], Infantry Company, to practice infantry tactics.  (I suspected this was to get both me, and my Junior Militia, vaguely under the control of the US Army, even while we were all too young to join or be drafted.)

Aunt Nancy came to visit, and tell Mother (she thought secretly) she expected to die from diabetes. I asked Mother to explain diabetes and what caused it. She said Aunt Nancy ate too much sugar. (Some time before, on a trip to Butler, asleep in the back of the wagon, I semi-waked-up, sucking on the corner of a two-pound sugar bag. At home, I confessed to Dad. He whipped me for spoiling a quarter-pound of a two-pound bag of sugar.)  This, added to Aunt Nancy’s story, added to my dedication to avoid sugar, for the rest of my life.

In the spring, I broke my arm again, all by myself. The BHS threw a student dance on a Friday night, which my parents forbade me to attend and none of the girls I liked (or was permitted to ask out, without getting into a fight with a gang of town guys or footballers) were allowed to attend either. The dance floor had been treated to make it slick to dance on. On the weekend, they tried to wash it off. That left it dangerously slicker.
At my basket ball practice session, next Monday morning, I was the first to run out of the showers, across the court to practice scoring baskets. I started slipping wildly around the floor, almost falling down. Throwing my hands up to catch myself against a wall, I broke my right arm in two places.  The coach drove me to a doctor’s office (first doctor’s office in my life).  I noticed two previous arm-breaks on an x-ray picture.

The previous breaks I got, playing with Willis Tracy, in grade school, and drew the doctor’s attention to that. This time, doc prescribed me to ware a cast and a sling for six weeks,and learn to write with my left hand. At the end of another month, I learned to write sentences and math formulae from opposite ends, with both hands at the same time. (Ira and I couldn’t work out a way to succeed with this, in two different languages, and still make sense. I could do it with right-side-to with my right hand in English, or he could do it in backward and left handed in Spanish, but not both at the same time, because we got out of tune. The left-side brain and right-side brain couldn’t dance together (properly) communicating through the callosum.
As soon as I took off my cast, Chenoweth challenged me to a boxing match (as far as I knew) to try to show me up as coward in front of Naomi, who rode with us to school every day in the school bus.

I lost, as I was afraid to hit him with my right arm without breaking it again.  (I could not fly a P-40 until the cast was taken off my right arm: So, I took it off as soon as I could, to fly again. There was no real danger of flying with my borken arm, but fighting risked breaking it again, maybe stopping my flying for much longer, maybe forever.)
For some reason, Ira offered to take over, flying with my left arm only: But, I did not agree, as it was too weird to try to explain to Larry, my flight trainer, who would definitely spot me doing it. (Explanation on another Page)

The Secmen house, across the road from the Engelhart farm, fell vacant, and the house fell into disrepair.  A travelling painter got a job of painting it and “subcontracted” me to do the actual painting.  When I finished painting the house, the (A** H***) painter went to the house’s new owner, collected the wages and skipped town, without paying me. I complained to Dad for help, with a sheriff, or something. He chose to whip me with his belt, instead, for not asking him first for permission to take the job. I refused to submit and ran away from him. Chasing me a quarter of a mile, almost killed him from a heart attack, or heat stroke, and frightened me (and astonishingly, Ira, half to his death): But, running away saved me from my last actual parental whipping, but not my last real threat.
Somebody had dumped a Jack Russell terrier on Dad. Perhaps, a small make-up effort, he assigned Jack to me. The two dogs, the big cross-collie/shepard pup and small grown-up terrier often fought for dominance. Once, I tried to separate then, earning a severe bite from the terrier, by mistake… I assumed. Only a couple of weeks later, they were reported to have been seen chasing sheep on the Engelhard farm: And, one or two of the sheep were found dead and partly eaten.
The Engelhard widow (her husband had recently fallen off his wagon, broke his neck and died) came to see Dad, and insisted that my dogs had to be killed. I objected strenuously, arguing that the sheep could have been killed by a gang of coyotes from Kansas I had recently heard about. (Totally rejected: The sheriff [Estupido!] would not believe coyotes would cross the Kansas border.) So, I argued, if the dogs had been involved at all, the dominate, grown-up terrier had led the attack, and pup, Wolf, had only followed the terrier, not actually harassing the sheep. Dad negotiated a settlement on the condition that I kill the terrier myself, but confine Wolf  in the barn for a month, then release him under strict probation: That, if he ever even chased any sheep again, I had to kill Wolf too. 
I killed the terrier with the high-calibre, old Savage, inherited from Uncle Charlie Yancy, in full view by Wolf. Later that summer, I took Wolf with me to hunt coyotes, to show Wolf that it was permitted to kill coyotes (or dogs) which chased (or killed) sheep. He seemed to get the idea, and would chase even packs of coyotes: But, I had to shoot (at least one) of them, if they  turned to defend themselves, instead of running away.
* Footnote on the Stunt Pilot. He only used Larry as his name. When I asked for his last (family) name, he said, after a long pause, “Long”. I suspected some hesitation and checked in the Library. The only “Long” was Lazarus Long, who was Jewish and very, very old. I also found that “Lazarus Long” was only mentioned by a writer named Robert A Heinlein, who turned out to be a (very rare) writer-born-in-Butler.

(I had missed meeting him, on USS Lady Lex, I had heard about as her former Radio Operator. I began to suspect Heinlein of setting me up, to land on the Lex, And, upon the second time mistaken for Miss Amelia. Earhart.   Then I started to read him, like I always did, every book written by a writer that I had read and liked.  Years later, I remember a book (or story) of a stunt pilot visiting a hotel in Butler, and flying from a nearby field, probably by Robert A Heinlein, but I have since lost track of that story, so far.
After Gus' departure, I shared, with Mother and Dad,

1.   the care of 500 new chicks every spring

2.   and, I, especially, 20 renegade brooding hens (and their chicks), hiding in the woods

3.    hand milking (with Mother and Dad) 20 Jersey and Guernsey milch cows (twice a day)

4.   arranging for their annual breeding and

5.   caring for their resultant calves

6.   twice-a-day slopping two sows and (occasionally) delivering about 16 pigs

7.   killing with a hammer, cutting his throat, and butchering a huge barrow for our winter table

8.   chopping the heads off  excessive Sunday roosters or gobblers

9.   building a fire under a iron kettle to make lard (and cracklings) from the barrow's fat, combining it with ashes (from under the kettle) and lye, to make soap

10.                    training Wolf to herd the cows back to the barn every evening

11.                     herding them to the north pasture after after-evening milking and back to the barn in the morning, and

12.                    most evenings (sometimes unsuccessfully) to get the 30 turkeys back from two or three miles away to a barnyard tree, instead of any tree where they found themselves at dusk, and

13.                    get the 500 chickens back to roost in their coops, or (unluckily)

14.                    into the hen house when bigger, every night.

Even with all the help I got from Wolf, with turkeys, cows and chickens, I barely missed a cut jugular and instant death, by two inch and a half slashs, from a single strand of barbed wire, strung in front of the chicken house door to keep the cows from trampling the potato plants in the potato patch, on their way up from the milking barn to the north, night-time pasture.
A little too dark for me to see the barbed wire (I hadn't been told about). I chased a renegade chicken, who wanted to roost in a tree with the turkeys Wolf had rounded up, instead of going to roost in the chicken house via the chicken house door (which I always closed and locked, after dusk, against foxs' and opossums' raids).
I was found stunned, laid flat and bleeding on the ground with two, ten-inch-long, half-inch deep, gashes, across my chest, just below my throat. My gashes were treated; washed out with coil-oil (kerosene) as a cleanser, and filled with salt, as a disinfectant. At least, that stopped the bleeding, blood poisoning or lock jaw (from tetanus), and made sewing-up unnecessary.
(The scars, a half inch wide, I explained to girls, on Gussie's suggestion, as caused by two, crossed, Japanese Samurai Swords in two, quick, opposite, simultaneous slashes (How could that, actually, have been done??). If they were eager, I reluctantly added the part about being hired by the Canadians, getting caught by the Japanese in China, while I was looking for wrecks, secret plans, or both, of Mitsubishi Zeros to replace P-51s in case the English lost the war, and the source of their Merlin engines. (Close but not quite true. The Japanese never caught me, and I never received any of the six  wrecked Zeros I shot down, I eventually credited to Adelaid Everhardt. I never admitted even looking for the one in the Aleutian Islands. Most girls quickly lost interest in my too long, obviously made-up story: But, they were not exactly right about that either.)
Next, our farm house, barns, chicken houses and most of our 500 chickens (which were my sole special responsibility, along with the turkeys), and cows, along with hogs and horses (the males I had learned to castrate) were all scattered everywhere while the barns, chicken coops, houses and the roof of the house were blown away by a tornado.
That happened in 1943, in March, about 6pm. I had been reading something in my bedroom (fortunately for her, N. Eversole, had moved back home). Dad had just come in to get Mother and me to go to the milk barn and start milking, after Wolf had brought all the milch cows into the barn from the south pasture.
There was an unusual, howling gust of wind across the roof. Very dark clouds quickly seemed to have shut off the sunlight until I could no longer read. Getting up to find a match and light a coal-oil lamp, I glanced out the window to see the 500 half-grown chickens running madly around their coops.
I leaned against the window:  And, then felt the wall of the house lean away from me. The roof did not seem to be falling on top of me: But, the bottom of the wall opened up a eight-inch gap between it and the foundation. Mother and Dad called me desperately to help Dad open the back door. Before I could arrive to help him, the (inward-only opening) door suddenly banged open, and we could get out of the house (before the roof came down on us). We all dived into the storm cellar, with Mother carrying baby, Gary Keith, in her arms: And, slammed the cellar door shut, for protection.  All was totally quiet (and dark) for five minutes: Then, we opened the door and stuck our heads up: To see no barns, smokehouse, chicken coops, chicken houses nor our house’s roof.
We came up from the storm cellar (with my new brother) to tell Wolf to get the cows together, again, to finish milking. Wolf succeeded: But, the cows were too nervous to submit to milking, even during their painful suffering, until they settled down next morning, to get relief. The unmissed (at least by me) turkeys totally disappeared forever, though most of the chickens could be reassembled in the cobbled back together coops (in the cloudless, moonlit night). As far as I know, the possums and foxes did not attack (for chicken meat) until their protection could be reinstated, but more chicken hawks actively re-appeared and were somewhat more active.
Re-arranging the cans of tomatoes, beef and sour-kraut, in the storm-cellar, made enough room for us to sleep on the shelves several more nights. We stayed for days to recover the still-living animals and keep them fed, from the remaining grain in piles where the barns had been, and prevent them from foundering (dying), by eating too much.. We cleaned and cooked some of the dead chickens, one duck and a guinea hen, over fire-pits in the yard, to eat: As, they were safe to eat, if cooked within a day after they died. The rest we buried, to prevent the chicken hawks coming for a feast (the only fearful-interest from Ira).
The Butler High School  [BHS] Principal, whom I worked for as a school secretary, let me walk the two-and-a-half miles to school from the farm Dad found, in another part of the county: But, eight miles closer to Butler. The next school year, I would have to attend high school in another district, which offered only (English) Reading, ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic ... and Agriculture:  But, no physics, chemistry or foreign languages.

(Ira was very upset, about no foreign languages. Later. I found out that Ira, whoever HIS father was, he IS/WAS my ALTER, mostly, living on the right side of my brain)

I had a major problem with Dad, who wanted me to be a farmer, or a far-distant, second choice, a teacher, like Mother.  Gus and Dad had always got along very well, and Gus seemed to be very happy about being a farmer, even if he had to be in a war, temporarily. Their only possible conflict had been the total destruction (by burning) of the out-door toilet (privy). I never knew what had happened, and no one was ever even suspected. The only possible suspects were (non-or-totally-secret smoking) Gus, or some renegade smoker who had never been seen in the neighbourhood. Impossible to have been me (or Ira, without my knowledge), nor my non-smoking Mother or Dad.
I had got nowhere, asking my parents to send me to Butler to live, even if that was accepted, to keep me going to BHS, rather than the agriculture high school nearby. My Principal in BHS was trying to get me into University of Missouri in Columbia, to study Journalism. If my family could afford it, it would be okay: If, I finished in BHS, but not from that other school.
During my last couple of months at BHS I spend at least half the time investigating the possibility of continuing college studying agriculture, which might be predefined if I finished my senior year in that other school, (or no college at all). In that case the sole remaining options would to stay on the farm, under Dad, indefinitely, or join the Navy as soon as I got to 17 years of age, and could get family permission.

Overall, if, in any case, I was going to stay on a farm, I had to reorganize my farm completely. Much more like a wild forest, with food and shelter available for both people and animals: Which, they could browse for and not have to cultivate (and harvest) to feed people: And, fed to the animals so the animals could be butchered to be feed predators (people).
Agriculture was only taught in schools: to make farms into factories, not into places like that. (For the first time, I began to grasp Aldus Huxley’s intended point in Brave New World, after I read it in 1932.)  That is, why the noble savage was so unhappy in the “mass production” world.) From what I could find out about agriculture taught in schools, it seemed unlikely to be possible to have a farm, in my lifetime, which was not organized around Henry Ford's techniques of mass production. So, I preferred to improve mass production, rather that live on the kind of farm imitating a mass production factory. (Hopefully, it might be possible to improve mass production so that “mass production” factory-like farms were unnecessary.)
To get anywhere with that, I had to rejoin my study of physics, chemistry, mathematics and science and, maybe, languages. I also needed to find out what was needed and could be found to improve ways of living and defend people, animals and birds against war makers (like Hitler, Hirohito, Mussolini and Stalin) and climate and weather (like the dust-bowls, violent storms, floods and tornadoes).