Raymond J. Teegarden

Raymond James Teegarden
Born: October 9, 1922 Died: February 20, 2014
Schoolmate to Madelyn Payne

Raymond Teegarden Interview

Interview ID: 12
Recorded: April 3, 2013
Location: His residence in Lakepoint, Augusta, Kansas
Videographer: Steve Cless
Interviewer: Teresa Baumgartner

Interview Summary

Raymond James Teegarden (October 9, 1922-February 20, 2014) walked to school with Madelyn (née Payne) Dunham, who also sometimes informally tutored him. He was also on the Augusta High School football team, and in this oral history, he tells a compelling story about the team’s spontaneous protest against a cafe that refused to serve their fellow teammate, who happened to be the only African American on the team.

Run Time: 50:40

Transcript/Finding Aid:

Finding Aid Notes

0-00.53 Camera, sound adjustments
00.54-13.02 Family and early memories: Raymond James Teegarden’s family moved to Augusta to work for the oil company before he was born, October 9, 1922. His dad was a labor foreman. Raymond worked about 5 months on the Mobil Pipeline before he got drafted. He had one brother. He had a pony, and his family had some chickens and cows, and a shepherd dog. He started school at Washington School “out in the country.” His family moved to town after living in country 3-4 years. Raymond was in second grade, and went to Garfield. He talks a little about how the country kids were treated differently by their classmates. His grandfather lived in the country until he sold his property, then built a house on top of the hill on State Street.
Memories of Madelyn: He met Madelyn walking to school. There was a group of kids who walked together. He remembers her helping him in school. He never asked her for a date in high school. There was a hamburger shop where the kids would all gather. That included Madelyn. It was not downtown. They also hung out at a drug store downtown, but Madelyn didn’t go there as often. He remembers Madelyn’s mom complementing him on his acting ability after the junior play. He remembers that Madelyn’s father was a supervisor and they lived in a company house.
17.31-24.40 Football and a protest against racism: From junior high on, he spent a lot of time playing football. He and Herman Reed were on the football team together for at least one year, and Raymond tells a story about the team walking out on a restaurant that refused to serve Herman. He does not remember the other story, about the team standing up for Herman when they were told he couldn’t be captain. Since they were not in the same graduating class, it is possible Raymond was not on the team when this occurred.
24.41-28.13 Work and the importance of oil to Augusta: Raymond graduated from high school in 1940. He worked for Mobil for a couple of months before his military service. They kept his job and his retirement for him. He worked for them for 42 years. He talked about Mobil’s closing their Augusta refinery and how that affected the community.
38.45-50.40 Military service in the Pacific theatre: He joined and was a weapons manager. He was in the Battle of Okinawa. He talks about some alterations he helped make in the tanks. The end result was some barrels filled with Napalm. They used oxygen and a spark plug to make those barrels into flame throwers. They went to Hawaii, where they practiced using the weapons at the top of the volcano. He didn’t meet his wife until after the war, and talked about how they met and his daughters at the end of the interview.