Of course as genealogists we know legal documents can reveal our ancestors’ social history, family relations, work environments and more. But have you actively searched for these legal documents. Find A Case search is an online holding of over 5.5 million legal cases. I did an inquiry for Harold Strader, my father and grandfather’s name on the Find A Case website. And expecting nothing, I was quite surprised. The day of Pappo’s stroke was chronicled in Find A Case: Strader v. Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. This Kansas Supreme Court case detailed information on my Grandfather’s health, the day he had a stroke, where he worked and more. I never knew there was such a Kansas Supreme Court case.
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I Was Four When He Had The Stroke!
All I can remember is the principal coming across the hall to the kindergarten room and asking me to take a phone call. I was 4 years old and it was 9 Sep 1965. Grandma explained that I needed to tell Daddy that Pappo was very sick. Daddy was to call immediately.
I attended kindergarten at the same school that my father taught 5th grade. Brother Lance was in first grade down the hall. And Daddy was upstairs (that’s where they taught the big kids).
I hung up the phone and walked quickly (running not allowed) to my father’s classroom. He was teaching Math at the time. His back was towards me, and all the big 5th graders stared at me when I entered the room. It was hot, the windows were opened and it stunk. Grant Elementary, an all black school, was down-wind from the slaughterhouse.
Daddy rescued me from my paralyzed state at his classroom door, and picked me up. I remember feeling safe but having difficulty giving the message. I concentrated. Grandma said it was VERY important and she had repeated it twice on the phone. I was in Kindergarten and a big girl. Plus Lance would tease me if I got it all wrong. He was mad I got to go to kindergarten at the age of four. He had to wait until six.
I stumbled over the message, but managed to get out that Pappo was VERY sick and Daddy was to call Grandma immediately. Lyons Kansas still had a pseudo party line, so finding Grandma wasn’t an issue I imagine. I don’t remember writing down a phone number. But I do remember relating that Pappo was at the hospital.
Daddy was proud of me, but he took Lance and me out of school. We picked up Mama in the Dodge Dart from Northeast Jr. High School where she taught, and we went home, and got the “little boys” Baby Rhett was only 12 weeks old. The next few hours were hectic: suitcases diaper changing, and then the long ride to Lyons, KS. Grandpa had had a massive stroke.
I don’t remember Grandpa before the stroke. I remember sitting in the parking lot holding the baby while my parents went into the hospital. I remember Todd hanging out the car window trying to get us all into trouble. He was only 2.5 but already misbehaving. I didn’t get into trouble, but Lance and Todd did.
Grandpa was paralyzed on his left side but was able to regain his speech. He was left handed so I only knew him to have horrific handwriting using his right hand. His car was a stick shift, and he put a ball on the steering wheel so he could drive it. Sometimes his reflexes were slow, so by the time he shifted the gears and regained the steering wheel ball, we were heading towards the middle of the street. But it was the one sheriff town of Lyons Kansas. Pappo died in 1994.
The day of his stroke was chronicled in Find A Case: Strader v. Kansas Public Employees Retirement System. I never knew there was such a Kansas Supreme Court case.
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