kansas farm boy

The Kansas Farm Boy



mile brick besides
main enough building
army wheat baseball
join subject excellent
navy air force first time
settle attend government
dryer against washing machine



Patty talks about her grandfather, Charlie

Farm Boy in Kansas

Kansas is famous for its wheat farms. This is where Charles “Charlie” Hudson was born.

As a child, he helped his parents with the farmwork. He got up early in the morning and milked the cows.

Then he and his brothers and sisters walked to the village school, about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers away). Their schoolhouse was a one-room, brick building.


Baseball and Radio

When the children got older, they rode a bus to a high school in the main town.

Besides studying school subjects, Charlie played baseball. He was also in the radio club and Boy Scouts

Though he was an excellent student, he couldn’t go to university, because his family didn’t have enough money.

So he stayed on the farm and worked with his father. But he got bored with farm life, so he joined the army.


The Army

The army sent him to California. It was the first time he traveled more than 5 miles (5 km) from the farm! There he saw the ocean and big cities for the first time.

Army Veteran

After the army, Charlie settled in Los Angeles, California.

Now he could attend university because the government paid for it. He studied engineering, then worked in a factory.

Soon Charlie married Gretchen, his long-time girlfriend. They bought a home, two cars, a washing machine, dryer — and of course, a television.

They had four children.


In 1986, Charlie retired. He and Gretchen then spent their time playing golf, traveling, and working in their garden.


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1. Charlie spent most of his childhood watching TV. True or false?

2. His parents drove them to school in a car. Yes or no?

3. Did Charlie only study, or did he also do other things?

4. He wanted to attend university. Is this right or wrong? Did he attend college? Why didn’t he attend university after high school?

5. Did Charlie remain on the farm for his whole life? What did he do?

6. Was California a shock for him? Why?

7. He became a career solider. Is this correct or incorrect? What did he do after his discharge from the military?

8. Describe his family and his family life. Was it different from his old life

9. What did he do after he retired?
A. Was your father, grandfather or great-grandfather in the military, i.e. army, navy, air force or marines?

B. Have you, your parents or grandparents moved from a village or farm to a city?

C. If yes, what was it like for them? Did they experience culture shock or difficulties adjusting?

E. Who in your family experienced the greatest change in their lives?

F. What are some great changes that you have experienced in your society and life?



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