KMA Radio - KMA-FM - FM 99.3 - Clarinda, IA

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This time of year you’ll find Donna Corliss in the bleachers at her local high school, watching yet another generation of young people play the ... See more sport that dominated Donna’s childhood. “Every recess growing up we went to the gym and played basketball,” Donna recalls with a smile. “That was our recess. It was what you grew up with. That was all we knew.” She and her classmates would race to the gym as soon as they could because there were only so many basketballs and the first kids there, got the best ones. Donna and her friends took a shortcut, through the girls bathroom and then the boiler room. “That way we could beat the boys,” she smiles, “because they couldn’t go through the girls bathroom!” Donna Wetzel was born on the family farm, which was three miles from Wales and five miles from Henderson, in 1937. The youngest of three children (twins Charles Jr. and Charlotte were nine years older), Donna recalls those childhood years as most in her generation do – times were tough but there was always food on the table, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads. “I never knew we were hard-up,” she says, “because everyone was.” Still, Donna marvels at the resiliency of that generation. When she was one year old the family’s home was destroyed by fire. The fire occurred just before the school year started, so the children’s yearly new school clothes and shoes were lost. While the family was staying with friends, Donna contracted pneumonia and spent several days in the hospital in Council Bluffs.

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Clarinda - Iowa, United States - English

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