What can it be like to be a poor kid in Iola? There were five children in our family. When we moved to Iola, my parents bought a ramshackle house on the southeast edge of Iola. Dad joined the police force, a job that he kept for nearly 20 years. We were poor.
Because there were so many of us and the pay was so little, Dad worked three jobs, carrying out groceries and doing carpentry. In Dads 20th year in law enforcement, he was injured during an arrest and never returned to the department. He started doing carpentry work full time. There arent many homes in this town that he has not laid his hammer or paintbrush upon.
We were blessed to have parents who never argued in front of us. We never heard a harsh word spoken between them. What we did hear was Dads truck pulling up in the driveway, the screen door opening and him saying a funny singsong hello. Then he would drop his hat on the counter and grab my mom and give her a big hug.