Just thought the other day that many of you don't know who MUD is.  Here is a short (for me it will be short) trip through my life you might enjoy.

I was born in Wichita, Kansas and had two sisters and one brother.  My Dad was employed by Beech Aircraft in Quality Control.  Mom spent a lot of our life at home but finally became a worker at St Joseph's Hospital and then after training for a year an LPN at Westley Medical Center.   We lived on Byrd Street just north of the Beech Plant number 1 on East Central Avenue.  

When I grew up, we were the baby Boomer generation and there was no shortage of kids in the neighborhood.  They kept expanding the school and most of us attended Minneha Elementary and then Minneha Junior High from kindergarten through the 9th grade.  My next door neighbor was my kindergarten teacher and Ron's Mom and dad were both employed at Minneha.  The principal for the elementary school lived in our neighborhood and I think at one time he lived across the street.  I don't remember it but my mom was one of the lunch ladies at one time.

My first friend was Harvey.  he had a bunch of sisters and I had two older sisters and I think we became friends out of male preservation in a female dominated world.  Later on, Ronny came into our group and even later Eugene moved into Harvey's old house when his dad built the concrete palace.  

In the early 60's, there were a lot of drunks in the neighborhood but little drugs.  Many of us kids tried beer and in the end mostly just drank till you puked.  I am pretty sure you cannot die of alcohol intoxication on 3.2 beer.  I did try to drown in a mud puddle once but Denny L. saved me.  

Because of some misunderstanding with the City of Wichita, the kids in my high school years were not allowed to attend Southeast High School on the east side of Wichita.  We were given the choice of East High, Downtown Wichita, the new school Wichita Heights way the hell up north or Andover.  For some strange reason, the girls in my neighborhood choose Heights and most of the guys chose East.  Back then Andover was smaller than Minneha.  

During High School, I worked almost a full time job trying to support my car and a girl friend. The good news is that both of them went away before I had to support them or additions to the family. After managing to graduate in the bottom of my class in high School, I  started at Wichita State University in the fall of 1965. Wonderful job of taking the Freshman wash out classes and I had a stellar 2.0 average.  2nd Semester I started playing 10 point pitch in the Campus Activity Center and withdrew with a 4.0 average in cards and what would have been a 0.0 average in classes. 

ROTC was mandatory at WSU and had I applied, I could have had a deferment from the draft.  Didn't go there and guess what?  Yep at the grand old age of 19 the Draft Board in Wichita had my name and I was sent to KC for a "Pre-Induction Physical."  What that meant was if you were going to run to Canada they gave you fair warning.  In my family I cannot imagine what they would have thought about that.  I think there was a Petty in uniform in every war fought by our country.  

From Private to Colonel
During the Induction process at Fort Leonard Wood, we were tested between trips to the barber, the uniform store and meals.  I remember that for three days we were in and out of the testing building a lot.  Those of us that scored high the first day were given the Officer Classification Battery on day three.  One day out in the middle of some activity, the Company Commander called 6 or seven of us together and told us that we had scored high enough to go to OCS.  Because the Army was expanding to about half a million in Vietnam is a year or so they needed all the young officers they could get.  I said heck yes and didn't look back.  I went to my Advanced Individual training at Fort Sill and was in an OCS Preparatory class.  Following that I went to Robinson Barracks and did 23 weeks learning to be an Officer and Gentlemen.

The heavy emphasis was on Gunnery and Forward Observing.  I was OK in Fire Direction and on the guns but I could really understand maps and the terrain.  I could call fire and hit targets well.  Good thing, my future was Fort Irwin, California  to help form and deploy a 155mm Howitzer Battalion for Vietnam.

During the time I was at Fort Irwin, I met the love of the rest of my life.  Barbara lived one mile South and one mile west of the Union Depot in Yermo, California.   I will spare you the details but will tell you if Barbara and I ever split up, she would probably get custody of my family.  

I spent a year in Vietnam and then came home to return to school with a renewed vigor to graduate.   It only took me from 1965 to 1975 to pin that sheepskin on the wall.

The rest has been here in my blog ad nausea.    I think this reads a lot like a dry history and not the fun adventure it really was.  I have lived life to about the fullest and had more fun than a barrel of monkeys. If I were to die today I would not be unhappy, but slide into my grave all dirty and worn out shouting Yahoo! with the hope that I could get there at least a day before the Devil knows I'm gone.  I plan to spend some time at Fiddler's Green drinking canteen cups of grog with my departed life and war buddies.  There will be great times had and lots of war stories told.  There might be a tale or two told but mostly because our memories are so bad and that was a long time ago.



  1. I always loved hearing your stories. Grandma Petty had a knack for story telling as well. I could seriously sit and listen to her stories all day!

  2. By the time you were old enough to remember, My Grandmother, Erma was getting old and you probably didn't get to see her in her finest hour. She could tell Virginia under the table when it came to stories. I would listen to her tell tall tales by the hour. Very late in my life when I retired, I got to spend a lot more time with mother and listened to her stories by the hour. I come by my story telling naturally and miss sitting with mom and hearing her talk.