I was born Vernon Lomax Smith in Wichita, on the flat plains of Kansas, January 1, 1927 in the years leading to the Great Depression. Like many of my generation I am a product of the strange circumstances of survival, and of successes built on tragedy. This narrative is written from memory and impressions, which are notoriously subject to error. Therefore I have carefully verified certain dates and events from family records, newspaper clippings and published Wichita history that provide some mileposts for accuracy checks.
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