LINDEN, Texas - When they moved in across the street from us in 1942, I already knew all about the new kid on the block, Stanley Monroe. He was the cousin of my little friend, Alta Mae Wright. She and her family had recently moved to Imlay from Sparks, then shortly after, the Monroe's arrived. Stanley was a tall skinny kid of about ten or eleven, and the only child. His father was also long and lean, and the other railroaders had a nickname for him. (The other railroaders had a nickname for every other railroader)

It took Stanley only about one day to get acquainted with every kid in town. We were in the fifth grade, the 'Big Room,' and by noon , he was known by all. We shared recess time and space with the 'Little Room' kids. That day, Stanley and I became buddies that lasted until yesterday, when he left us for his eternal life. Here is a little history of Stanley, as I remember.

Over the years, I saw Stanley whenever in Imlay, visiting my family there, and kept in touch by phone. In the last few years, most of my telephone conversations have been with his lovely wife Janiece, because of his hearing loss.

We rode the school bus from Imlay to Lovelock for high school. Stanley's soon to be love, the love of his life, also rode the school bus. Janiece Augustus Monroe graduated from Tungsten mines 8th. grade, as the only graduating student that year. In high school, she and Stanley soon became an item. They were married shortly after school. Uncle Sam asked Stanley very nicely if he would serve a few years in the military for his country. This was during the Korean spat, that our government doesn't even consider a war. (They refer to it as a 'conflict')

Stan was stationed at a military base in Texas, near Austin. They lived within sight of the Texas State Capital Building. At the same time, I was stationed at a military base near El Paso, Texas, and from my rented house, could see all of downtown El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. Eventually old Uncle Sam let us go home, and resume our civilian lives. Stan and Janiece in Imlay, me in Texas.

We had a lot of fun in Imlay during the WW11 years. Most of our play time was outside back then. In the winter, it was snowball fighting, and ice skating on Rye Patch, or the Humboldt River and canal below town. Stanley well remembered the day he broke through the ice in the river below town. It was about a mile back to town, and he almost froze before getting home.

My calling Stanley 'Mister Imlay' should not offend anyone. There are other men that particular moniker could be bestowed upon, but in the mix, Stanley would be right at the top for that honor. Most of you Imlayites would agree. So long old buddy, it would be nice to visit you again someday, so we can talk of our days on polluted planet Earth, Third Rock from the Sun.

Roy Bale can be reached at roybalemail@yahoo.com.