This page was last updated 24 June 2011 -- rak.

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My name usually is Dick, unless someone is very angry with me, or is being extremely formal, or doesn't know me. I was born Richard Arnold Kraus to Wanda Myrtle (Casebolt) and Walter Raymond Kraus in Grace Hospital, Hutchinson, Kansas, on 27 August 1937. Mom and dad were then renting the old Eaton House on Algona Street in Arlington, but in short order moved to another rented house on the same street where my first birthday was celebrated. Later we moved to yet another rented house further west in Arlington before moving, when I was three, from Arlington to an apartment house in Wichita, Kansas.

My earliest memories almost all have to do with my grandparents Kraus. I got to spend big chunks of time especially in summer with them on their farm south of Arlington. Sleeping out on the second floor screened-in porch was a delicious luxury, especially when the wind was strong enough to make the screens whistle -- which it often was!

The earliest specific memory that I can date is from age 4. I had a bad cold or the flu. Grandma Kraus had me under 2 or 3 down comforters "sweating" out my cold, making me drink hot tea. Grandpa was listening to the radio. It announced that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. I had no idea what that meant, but I could tell that grandma and grandpa were very upset.

It was not until April 2001 that I realized how traditional this cold cure was. In "Medical and Dental Services in Early Mennonite Communites", AHSGR Journal 7.3, p.19, Solomon Loewen describing his father's medical practice in Marion County, Kansas (where my Krauses and Beltzes first settled0 providing a line drawing of a "Sweating Chamber" used "to cause profuse sweating. After half an hour or so the patient was dried off and placed into a bed. If the fever persisted or would return, another treatment would be given the next day. Many fevers would be gone with one treatment." Well, grandma did not have a "Chamber" but she sweated a cold out of her eldest grandson whenever needed!

I survived and in a year or two we moved to the northern edge of Wichita to a small rented house where the only heat was a small natural-gas-fired stove in a corner of our small living room. I started school in a two-room school a bit further north in Wichita. We, not long thereafter, moved to north-central Missouri where we lived in a "suburb" of Florence (population 10!) and where school was a one-room school way out in the woods.

Missouri was paradise for a young male -- one-room school, hunting, fishing, berrying, mushrooming, hiking, etc. Endless fun things to do! Mom kept me company about half of these adventures, dad on some -- but many were just me tramping the woods on my own.

By the third grade we were back in the metropolis of Arlington, population 450, if you stretched it. Dad and his brother-in-law had purchased (mostly with borrowed money) the local grocery store. I was often the delivery boy.

Starting life as an introvert like mom, growing up mostly without playmates intensified this characteristic.

I started both building things and working for wages in the 3rd grade and by the time I was ready to enter freshman year high school, I had saved enough to almost double the size of our home -- with me paying for all the materials and doing 95% of the work. By then my future wife and I had been going steady for two years.

Life from entry into high school on, is a blur -- high school valdictorian (tied with future wife), two-year college national debate championship, Hutchinson Junior College valdictorian (again tied with future wife), at top of Kansas University junior year class, Harvard MA, Harvard PhD, Assistant Professor in Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard College administration (admissions, financial aid, etc.) rising to Admistrative Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (as such it is my signature on all the Harvard Phd diplomas granted during that period), elected to the Arlington school committee (two terms), elected to the Massachusetts State Senate (three or four terms), president of Cape Cod Community College (six or seven years), and, finally, retirement.

Along the way there were two marriages, one divorce, and two wonderful sons.

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