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Don Friesen is a retired elementary school principal and former avid mountain climber and runner. Don lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with his wife Nancy. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
No man, said one of the Greeks, loves his city because it is great, but because it is his.
How can one begin a worthwhile story without the immortal words Once upon a Time? My Once upon a Time is set in the 1940s and fabulous ’50s, a time where our world was being redefined by a post-war economic boom, all the while remaining true to the universal and unchanging plights and endeavors of humanity that will forever remain untouched by the passage of generations. It is a story of my boyhood in Thomas, Oklahoma, from my earliest childhood memories all the way through high school graduation. And like my world at the time, my story both uniquely defines me and simultaneously reflects my mere commonality to all mankind. Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” implies that everyone and everything will ultimately be forgotten: “Nothing beside remains…” It is this espousal that should compel those of us who have stories to tell, and each of us does, to write them down, to pen them into timeless monuments to the past and heralds to the future before they escape into the mists of history. As we age, our treasured memories age with us . . . evolving into greater and greater historical and personal significance, but fading and calcifying as time marches on. Napoleon said that geography is destiny. I hope you’ll find within these pages that mine was a blessed destiny . . . one each of us can find some relic to share in and relate to as I recount endearing times at home with my family, adventures with my brothers, and infamous school day escapades with my classmates who helped carry the 40’s and 50’s into the memories of our hearts.