Twentynine Palms Historical Society
29 Palms, California

Desert Kids

By Don LePage

Part 2

Across the desert in a model "T" over a rock strewn hill

Shooting down a 'smoke tree' wash

My God! What a simple thrill.

The Easter Sunrise service down at the Oasis

And early Pioneer Day parades with whiskered western faces.

In June we'd go to the high school prom at the 29 Palms Inn

That's where I first tasted beer what a terrible, awful sin.

Remember Margie Phillips and John Bagley in the pool?

And how they'd splash, and swim and dive

And John the clown and fool.

Denny and I built a real nice fort of Mesquite out in the dunes

And when our mothers said "OK" we'd sleep there 'neath the moon.

And Denny's white dog Skippy, to hear the people tell

Knew every house and road in town he knew the valley well.

You'd see Skippy everywhere he really got around

And he'd get into the car of someone he knew

For a ride back into town.

Our school was small, maybe thirty-eight if you really stretched the tally

Including the kids John Kees brought in from out in Yucca Valley.

Not enough for a football team not enough for baseball too

But we brought home all the ribbons from the track meet in "Berdoo."

The Desert kids were healthy they played in the desert sun

They could swim and they could jump and Lord how they could run!

Out across the greasewood by Tommy Martin's home

Then back past school up Campbell's hill like a horse all covered with foam.

It built steel strong legs and stamina that's really very rare

And healthy hearts and strong, strong lungs for breathing the desert air.

Then in nineteen forty-one the first week in December

The desert saw a tragic change I know you well remember.

Condor Field came to be our "Boys" went off to war

And many of them would not return

they'd be Desert kids no more.

Bill Barnett, the first to go; the Krushats, Stan and Bill

Troy Martin and the Deardorf boys went off to learn to kill.

These few fond memories are all I have and the knowledge I can trust

That this dear Desert will still be here when all else has turned to rust.

And so Dear Friend, I know we'll meet when we get to the other side

And we'll talk "kid talk" of Desert days when we cross the great divide.

We'll go out on the dry lake bed

We'll go out to old Dale

We'll go up to the Monument where we know every rock and trail.

We will meet our friends who went before

We will give each one a nod

because we know how good we are

We are Desert Kids, By God!

Return to PART 1

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