. . . but 60 years ago this coming Friday, Mildred Franke Tyler gave birth to Dr. Dosido, the only son and second child of Wade Edward Tyler. They named him Paul Leslie. They brought him home to a warm and comfortable house at the very eastern edge of Hoagland, Indiana. Only the school, Madison-Marion Consolidated School, better known as Hoagland Elementary and Hoagland High School (all in one) stood between the Tyler house and the flat, fertile farmland that stretched east about a dozen miles to the Indiana-Ohio state line and beyond.
Fields of crops, mostly corn and soybeans, were visible across the road and right behind the long back yard of the Tyler house. Hoagland was not very big in 1950. And even when Paul left for college, beginning the trek through higher education that would transform him into Dr. Dosido, the town’s population numbered only 500. However, Hoagland itself was always bigger than the houses set within the limits of the unincorporated entity known as Hoagland.
If you measured Hoagland by the public school, two whole rural townships were Wildcat territory. If you measured it by the rural postal routes covered by the Hoagland post office, it was a bit smaller, as some “Hoaglanders” addresses were Rural Route 10 from Fort Wayne (the big city), or Rural Route 2 from Monroeville (home of the rival Cubs).
Hoagland was and still is, in fact, a community of feeling. It encompassed a large open country network of farm families, former farm families turned to factory work and other occupations, and new arrivals, mostly escapees from Fort Wayne. Many people identified their networks as Hoagland, because of the draw of the school or Three Kings, the local tavern with a family room that enjoyed a near monopoly. The world of officialdom did little to define the boundaries or even recognize the importance of Hoagland. But people did. Hoagland was a community enacted through regular assemblies that met the peoples’s needs for local organization. It could be the Volunteer Fire Department or the Hoagland Area Advancement Association or the baseball diamonds filled every summer evening with youth games or church league softball. An important nexus in all these networks was the Hoagland Hayloft, a bank barn refurbished as a reception hall.
The Hoagland Hayloft is where many wedding receptions, anniversary parties, and club socials were held. The first floor of the Hayloft had a large kitchen and plenty of long tables for the feeding of guests. The whole upstairs was a sprung wooden dance floor with a raised platform for the band set in the middle of the long east wall. The bands who were booked to play the Hayloft had to be good for three kinds of dances: slow dances (for the older folks), fast dances (for the young folks), and square dances (for everyone).
This is where Dr. Dosido’s journey began. To be continued.
As Paul’s older sister, I can say that I was there from the start.
Paul’s family and extended “musical” family should know about two particular events in our long-ago youth, memories of Paul’s and my shared past: our road trip with Mom and Dad to the Black Hills of South Dakota in the late spring of 1968. I think these illustrate something about who Paul is and who he has become.
Back story: Paul had begun teaching himself to play the guitar at some point after the summer of ’63, when the Boys from Liverpool created a sensation in America. Later, Paul joined a band called The Feavers, wearing signature motorcycle boots with a silver chain around the ankle. But that was later . . . .
In late May of 1968, Paul had just graduated from Hoagland High School, and I had just finished my junior year at Valparaiso University. All the way to South Dakota and home again, with Dad driving, Paul and I sang Beatles songs as he accompanied us on his old guitar. One of our favorites was McCartney’s “When I’m 64,” which we personalized by substituting friends’ names for the song’s grandchildren, “Vera, Chuck, and Dave.”
Late in the night on June 4, 1968, in Yankton, on the eastern edge of South Dakota, a ferocious wind/lightning/rain storm drove us from our little fold-down camper to the relative safety of the car. We turned on the radio and managed to get a signal from somewhere on the West Coast, only to hear that Bobby Kennedy had just been assassinated. In the midst of the storm’s violence, the four of us agreed that God was sharing our collective grief because the third progressive icon of the ’60s had been taken from America and the world.
Many years later I read “The Body” by Stephen King, on which the movie “Stand By Me” is based. The novel’s narrator, Gordie, expresses during a similar storm that God is angry–although, as he says with irony, no educated person really believes in the Pathetic Fallacy. Gordie did believe, though, and so did the Tyler family on that memorable night in South Dakota so long ago. We didn’t know the term “Pathetic Fallacy,” but even then we knew that it was more than a fallacy.
Music and progressive ideals and a road trip to South Dakota. These recollections forever unite in my mind Paul’s and my past and the beginnings of what has come to be the legacy of my brother, Dr. Dosido.
I was there. I thought you all should know.
Much love to you, my brother. Happy 60th Birthday. Our parents would be so proud, as I am and always will be.
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