The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 11, 2006 · Page 29
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 29

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Hays, Kansas
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Sunday, June 11, 2006
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Page 29
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Family album PageD2, SUNDAY, JUNE 11,2006 NOR'WESTER THE HAYS DAILY NEWS Lawrence Tedford, Goodland, in his living room littered with materials for his upcoming autobiography. Tedford has compiled mementos and memories go- Ing back to his early childhood. 9 S G OODLAND — Some people have a hard time talking about themselves, let alone writing about themselves. Lawrence Tedford of Goodland is not one of those people. Tedford has nearly completed his autobiography after two years of digging through mementos and jotting down stories and memories from as far back as when he was 2 years old. It was upon the suggestion of a friend that he write a book, but it was initially going to be about his flying experience. Tedford said he gave it some thought and realized that because he has collected so many experiences and has led an interesting life, he should write an autobiography. "I'm taking everything I've got and, in the middle of June, I'm going back to Leathers Publishing — I've been there twice — and see how much more I need to do," he said. Leathers Publishing is in Kansas City, Mo. Tedford has pages upon pages of material for his book and has had help typing it after he writes it out. His living room floor and dining room table are covered with piles of memorabilia from his life as a farm boy, a soldier, a conservationist and a pilot. There's also school yearbooks, books, photographs, letters, war maps, newspaper clippings and travel books. "I guess I'm one of these guys that keeps things," Tedford said. He even has a Japanese rifle with a bayonet attached that he smuggled home in pieces from World War II. Tedford was born in November 1926 about 6 miles south of Minneola in southwest Kansas. He was a farm boy who helped milk cows and feed the chickens. In February 1945, he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in Leyte, Philippines, for 14 months. He was discharged October 1946. I guess I'm one of these guys that keeps things. ff Lawrence Tedford, Goodland resident "We had to throw live hand grenades (during training). That makes you grow up," Tedford said. "They went off in 4K seconds. You had to hold it for three seconds or the Japs would throw it back at you." In a brown leather diary, Tedford kept a daily journal of his life in the military. Much of that diary will be published in Tedford's book. He wrote about when he went to Sunday services and when he was feeling under the weather, along with several other instances. One entry told about when he went to the gas chamber, he breathed in too much gas and got sick. A Japanese prisoner of war created a sculpture of a war plane out of ammunition for him. It was a fitting sculpture because of Tedford's love of flying. "My uncle flew all through the 1930s about 30 miles away, so I was interested in flying when I was real small," he said. Several times he rode with his uncle in the open cockpit of Eagle Rock. He took an aeronautics course in high school and was hooked. While in the Philippines, Tedford was stationed 3 miles from a P-38 aircraft base. He and a friend climbed in one and had a picture taken. After Tedford got back home from the war, he took flying lessons in a wheat field. He owned a Taylorcraft airplane for three years. He had a great love of soaring through the air and shares many stories in his book of his experiences in the sky Tedford went back to the farm after the war and attended Sterling College for two years. He transferred to Fort Hays State University and graduated in 1951 with a bachelor's degree. He also moved to Goodland and married his wife, Evelyn, that same year. The couple has three children; Joliene, Terry and Donald, Until 1981, Tedford was a U.S. Department of Agriculture soil conservationist for Sherman County Tedford has been chairman of Goodland's tree board for 20 years. During that tenure, more than 500 trees have been planted in the city. He has belonged to the Goodland Lions Club for 50 years. Reporter Stacie Ft. Sandall can be reached at (785) 6281081, ext. 136, or by e-mail at 88andaliqdailynew8.net. ABOVE: Among the mementos Tedford has collected is a Japanese rifle with its bayonet. Tedford smuggled the rifle home in pieces after serving In the Philippines in World War II. BELOW: Dog tags from Tedford's service in World War II. Models and pictures of planes, Including this Lockheed P-38, adorn Tedford'a home. Tedford took up flying when he returned home after being stationed near a P-38 aircraft base in the Philippines, STIIYIY STAGIER. SANDALL NITISIV JAMIE ROPER

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