Kenneth Caruthers, 89, remembers growing up in the small Texas town of York Town. “They used to have 1,000 people. Now they may have 1,001,” he chuckled.
He was the second to the oldest, with three brothers and three sisters. His father could repair guns and even create them from scratch. He was also a whiz at construction. “You could tell him what size house you wanted,” he remembered. “He’d draw plans, order all the stuff. It would be delivered, he’d cut it up and get started. He didn’t have book learning, but he had a lot of smarts,” said Mr. Caruthers, now a Vacaville resident. In fact, his father was a genius. He could take a Model T engine apart and put it back together. “I learned from him,” said Mr. Caruthers proudly. “It was 1935, and it was full-time Depression. We had a hard time,” he remembered. “We had to hunt rabbits to eat. We’d pick vegetables—corn, beans, peas, anything that would help out,” he recalled.