I was born in a small rented house in Beaverton, Michigan on September 5, 1939. At age 4 my family moved to a small farm just outside of town. The farm was owned by my grandfather, Frank Methner. That’s where my middle name came from, Jerry Frank Methner. My grandparents had lived on the family farm for many years. Eventually Grandpa Frank had a serious stroke and could neither talk plainly nor walk more than one unsteady shuffle at a time.
I remember, when my older siblings would irritate grandpa, then retreat to the safety of the upstairs steps. They’d watch as grandpa would shuffle along shaking his finger (the pointer) at each of us. (Except sweet Jerry.) His muttering sounded kind of like kunny-kunny-kay.
As kids we hadn’t yet developed the character trait of compassion. We were just adventuresome “characters” at best. Besides, it was kind of exciting. Sort of like getting away from a fearful ogre. We didn’t fully understand about strokes, nor why grandpa acted that way. After grandpa passed on, I suspect that he forgave us. I attended Beaverton schools through high school. Upon graduation, I went to Lamoni, Iowa where I earned a BA in Elementary Education at Graceland College.