Saturday, January 12, 2008

Walnut Grove Wolves

I started this blog saying I would write about my childhood memories. A huge part of that is my grade school, Walnut Grove. The address was either rural route Cicero or Arcadia, Indiana. Not the Walnut Grove from Little House on the Prairie....but not far off in concept! A very small school with only about 20 students per grade with all 12 grades in the same building. Those classmates are the kids that I saw every single day for 9 years (Kindergarten through 8th grade) and were my childhood chums.

Our school colors were Gold and Purple...and we were the Wolves. I remember a mounted wolf inside a glass case in the school as the official mascot. Note, we didn't bother with costumes with someone dressed up running around the gym floor...we had the real thing back then!!!

One day, mom asked me if I knew the story about how the wolf got there and of course, I had no idea, so she sent me a photo of the "capture" and I've posted what she wrote below it:

"Maybe I was 5 or 6 years old. I was spending the night with my Aunt Muriel
House who lived between Cicero and Walnut Grove in White River Twp.
Indiana. There had been a wolf getting into the farmers sheep and killing
them. So they organized a hunt to kill it. That was legal and encouraged
at that time. Every one who gathered took their vehicles out into a field
and were in a circle so they could shine their head lights together and
could see to kill the wolf, while others were chasing the wolf into that
direction. My Aunt had warned me to be very quiet, not to scare the wolf if
it showed itself. She warned me and warned me.. However, the minute that
wolf showed up in the circle of lights, I stood up and shouted "There it
is" I was so excited. What she did to me, I do not remember!!! Later,
the wolf was Mounted and put in a glass case in the Walnut Grove School and
was there for years. They were known as the Walnut Grove Wolves. I was
told my Uncle Charlie shot the wolf. If you know of other stories about the
last wolf in White Rive Twp, let me know."

So if you have photos or stories about the Walnut Grove Wolf, please email them to me and I will send them on to mom (Annabel House Moore) and I'm sure she will email you back!

Funny what I remember about that scared the crap out of me! I never like it....but it was the source of great pride...and great enthusiasm. It was our mascot and we were the Wolves....and we cheered like nothing else at basketball games.

As an artist, perhaps we each need a mascot that can be our source of pride, can cause us to be enthusiastic, and can cheer us on as we endeavor to design new things for others to enjoy. Ah! That childhood spirit...the ability to scream at the top of our lungs about a ball going into a basket...the sheer joy of great victory when your team wins...we could all use that a little bit every day!

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