High School Brought Many Changes

My sister, Linda, was born when I was 14, right about the time I started high school. I was thrilled to have a little sister. And Linda was an adorable baby with a round, dimpled face surrounded with wispy curls. By then I could drive, so my mom let me get her all fixed up and take her to town to see my girlfriends. She was so cute! Everyone fussed over her. My mom had another baby a year after Linda was born. Larry became the youngest member of the Sprague Family.

Getting my driver’s license was a lot easier than it is today. My dad took me to meet with the sheriff in the Eau Claire County Building. The sheriff pointed at me and asked my dad, “Can she drive?” My dad said, “Yeah, she can drive a car. She even drives a tractor—she’s been helping us in the field for years.” So, he issued me a driver’s license … I didn’t even have to take a test!

Once I started High School, I outgrew tearing around the farm and hanging out with Helen. I got more involved with kids my age. The “farm kids” were greatly outnumbered at the high school. We were considered “outsiders” … sort of second-class citizens. I didn’t care for that! So, I decided to run for class treasurer on what I called the “Farm Ticket.” I won and served as a class officer for the rest of high school. My high school friends liked to pile into my car and drive around. Soon I became very popular and graduated at the top of my class in three years (1945).

I also got a job at the dime store (Woolworth’s). I started as a counter clerk but eventually advanced to counting money, closing up, and handling light bookkeeping. Soon, I became the manager’s right hand! He really liked me!

Looking back, I credit Aunt Helen and the other adults in my life for nurturing my independence, which gave me the confidence to find my way in a high school… and beyond.

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