My hometown(s)

I was born in Quanah, Texas (192 miles northwest of Fort Worth, 8 miles south of the Red River on the Oklahoma/Texas state line) in 1954. I was always told by my mom, who grew up there, it was named after Chief Quanah Parker, a famous cattle baron and war chief, etc. As we moved from Quanah to Richardson, Texas, when I was 2, that is all I can say about that.

Richardson held many memories for me as I grew up age 2 through fourth grade. Back then, we knew who our neighbors were, and we played with the other children! Next door was Nancee, and between playing Barbies, eating fresh fried squash or canned peaches, sleeping over, or going to church, we were across the street playing outdoor games with the girls and boys. I could walk to school! I played on people’s porches, had sleep overs and I remember my teachers, and looking after my younger brother. I was in my classroom when the announcement came over the speaker the stunning news that President Kennedy had been shot. My fathers office was in downtown Dallas, three blocks away from where the tragedy occurred. That will be forever etched in my memory.

That summer, we moved to Wilmette, Illinois, where I stayed until I graduated high school at New Trier in 1972. Friends and neighbors could not believe we were moving to “Yankee Country” where we moved into a two-story house with a basement! I stood out and was teased my fifth grade year, with my funny haircut and Texas accent, even having to take speech, which annoyed my mom, because, as she told the principal, “Karen talks just FINE” spoken in the most southern Texas twang you can imagine! (Even I saw the humor!) I adjusted with great neighbors, children to play with and wonderful times ahead. The funniest memory was that mom had a cow bell that she would ring when it was time for dinner. We had to be within hearing range, so it was like a chain reaction of children going down the neighberhood block to let the Dunn children know they better high tail it to supper! Once a Texan, always a Texan!

(Karen has been living in Dodge City, Kansas, since 1978.)

Karen Dunn can be reached at [email protected].