Iris Mabel Stevenson


December 17, 1915 -


Story by Iris Stevenson-Henderson, written June 1968


My statistics: Born in Salina, Kansas, December 17, 1915. A.B. Fort Hays KSC, Hays, Kansas 1938; M.S. 1940. Assistant in Psychology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 1937-41; studied at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California 1946-7; served in WAVES 1943- 1946, stationed in the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Washington, D,C. (Ensign and Lieutenant J.G.)

Photo of Clara, Iris, Bruce Henderson and baby Ricky

When about four years of age, moved with her mother and sister to Hill City and lived there until 1931, when the family moved to Hays, Kansas.

I suppose we had the usual small-town childhood - a combination of chores and free time to play. Each summer we spent several weeks o the farms of Aunt Jennie and Aunt Florence which were the highlights for us. When we went to Aunt Jennie's we would spend hours in her attic eating crackers and reading the books and magazines she would bring home from her school to keep during the summer. At Aunt Florence's we played outside mostly, with Vera and Avis, and in the evening Uncle Arthur would play croquet with us.

Once at Aunt Jennie's when Lavon also was visiting, we discovered one of Uncle Frank's calves in the yard, and spent most of the morning trying to catch it, unsuccessfully. Uncle Frank was not at all happy with us when he came in that noon - he had left the calf out on purpose.
Photo of Mildred, Herland Loyd, Lavon Loyd, Iris
Vera Morris and Edward Gilliland (1925)
Another time, Mildred and I discovered it was great fun to stand on the foot of the bed, hold ourselves stiff, and fall back. We bounced beautifully! Aunt Jennie walked in while we were doing this, and we expected quite a severe punishment. However, much to our surprise, Aunt Jennie said, "Well, that looks like fun," and jumped on the bed to try it herself! I guess we were about average in naughtiness - we would as Aunt Jennie to play the piano and sing the "Star Spangled Banner" - and then sit in the dining room and laugh.

Each spring we were expected to help plant and weed the garden. The only part we enjoyed was planting potatoes because then we could go barefooted. Late in the summer Aunt Jennie, Mother, Millie and I would pick sand hill plums and wild grapes along the river. This was most tiring, hot and dusty, but when we would complain, Mother would say, "Yes, but think how good the jelly will taste on hot biscuits next winter."

Our favorite play spot was the empty barn behind our house, and our favorite sport was to hold onto a broom and "walk" up the outside to the hay loft door while our friends pulled from above. Our fun was spoiled the day we found the door nailed shut, and reinforced with planks. Years later, Mother told us a neighbor had seen us and reported to Mother.

There was also the time when we decided that our Sunday School nickels could be spent for a better purpose than at Sunday School - so we spent them for candy at the drug store on the way home. (I'm sure Mother knew about it and left the matter to our consciences - and it took only a few times for us to feel guilty!)

Even though Mother was kept busy supporting the family, she still found time for us, and when we played soft ball in the vacant lot, she could always hit the ball farther than anyone.

When we were in college and dating, Millie and I always teased her about our boy friends. She would always retire to the kitchen when they arrived - and we always found the boys in the kitchen chatting with Mother!

For Ray Parsons' home page and related stories use your "BACK button".

Send mail to Ray Parsons by clicking here.