Ridge Route Communities Museum & Historical Society
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Stories by Robert M. Dorsey
Edited by Bonnie Ketterl Kane


From the Back Cover

This collection of stories gives the reader a wonderful glimpse into life in the 1940's in a small roadside town that once sat along
Highway 99 in Central California . Author, Robert Dorsey, has been very honest about his family life and adventures as a child
and teenager. It is amazing what was dreamed up to entertain a youngster in those days. The World War II experiences are very
real as well. The little community of Wheeler Ridge – no longer there – was located just north of Grapevine Canyon at the southern
end of the San Joaquin Valley .

“I spent a good deal of time looking at the floor while being

bent over father's knee.”

“The bus ride to school each day on the dangerous Highway 99

was a challenge for our driver, Mr. Carter, as he watched for

runaway trucks and passing vehicles on the three lane road.”

“Each day we would see many Air Force trainer planes in the

air out over the valley, practicing for war.”

“At school my desk was located so I could look up on the

mountain at a pile of rocks. Here I thought would be a

good place to fight the enemy with a machine gun.”

“Looking for something to do for fun in 1944 usually meant

poor choices. Many things on our ‘to-do' list turned out to be

lacking in good sense. Planned things to do were non-existent

so we as young teenagers were left to improvise. Slow trucks

traveling south on Hwy 99 provided an invitation for us to hop

on and see what the load was.”

“Our house was the last one on the east side of Wheeler Ridge –

come to think of it, it was the last on the west side too.”

“I could see the lights of the fire camp up ahead and felt

relieved that I had survived another lesson from the

school of hard knocks.”