This page was last updated 1 July 2011 -- rak.

Reserved for their photo

Mom and Dad about 1961

Walter Raymond Kraus and Wanda Myrtle Casebolt were married 14 June 1936 at the Casebolt family home in Cedar Vale, Chautauqua County, Kansas. They had gone together some and then more steadily ever since dad returned from his trip to California looking for work. Mom was then in the midst of a one-year teaching stint in the Arlington elementary school.

She had gone to the town telephone office to call her mom back in Cedarvale. In those days in Arlington, one had to go to the town telephone office in order to make a long-distance telephone call. Dad went there that day to call a friend to report on his Califonia trip. Mom, as my brother John said while admiring the photo of her that I printed up for her memorial service and funeral, was a babe! When dad walked in he took one look and he was a gonner!

For many years I seriously doubted that my parents were legally married. Although I was quite experienced in using county court house records, I could find no trace of their marriage in the Reno County court house - there were marriage licenses for other family members including dad's brother, my brother and myself, but nothing for mom and dad.

Then one day I was looking for records of some of our cousins in the Kingman County (next county south of Reno) court house ... and there was the "missing" license!! I asked dad about it and he fessed up.

Dad had borrowed $10 from the "richest" man in Arlington to use to finance a nice honeymoon. However, as he was driving to the wedding, he suddenly realized that in his nervousness he had forgotten to obtain a marriage license! So he stopped at the Kingman court house and got one. It cost him all the money he had - the honeymoon $10. Just before the ceremony he confessed to mom who hurriedly arranged for the use of a married sister's apartment in nearby Arkansas City for one night. That was very brief, but I am not certain that they really noticed. Mom and dad were always a very physical and demonstrative couple ... I never heard any complaints about that honeymoon!

I showed up a proper 13 months later. My brother John Harl (named for both of our grandfathers) came along a bit over six years later. Two or three years after that we almost had a sister, but she was born dead - far too premature. The accompanying complications ended mom's ability to bear children. Dad lamented much of the rest of his life that he did not have a daughter.

Our parents were very extremely good parents. They set an example of married love that we learned but failed to fully emulate. Dad knew buidling and electricity and could fix virtually anything electric ... same for car engines and other motors. Construction with wood or cement blocks was in his blood. Brother John and I both learned the carpentry/construction from him, as well as important chunks of the electrical stuff. John alone picked up the motor/engine stuff.

Mom loved children, but really liked such beings when they became able to converse with her. She was a natural-born teacher. She had more time for me in the childhood growing up process, than she did for John - during much of his growing-up time she was either in school studying hard on her masters, or was at work teaching school. For me she was best friend and companion.

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