Photos Submitted by Dewane
Kidwell except where noted
row left to right: Don 8 and Ron 8 (Twins), Dewane 5 years old
Back row left to right: Bobby 11 and Jerry 9 years old
"This picture was taken the first year I was at Bonny Oaks.
My brothers, prior to Bonny Oaks, lived at
Vine Street Childrens Home in Chattanooga, TN", Dewane
Bobby Kidwell, age 13
Jerry Kidwell, age 11
Don (left) and Ron (right), age 10
Dewane Kidwell, age 7
If you look at the above four pictures closely, you will realize they were
probably wearing the same shirts and coats.
Dewane: "I recognize a lot of faces but forgot their names.
You can see Mrs. Camp and Mr. Hagan, their names are over their heads. I
am located in the 1st row, the last one on the left across from the
Matron. Johnny Evans is located in 1st row, 1st boy on right, next to
male Matron." Don Kidwell submitted dining room photo plus the next three
pictures. Thank you, Don!
The dining room picture includes so many boys that I have scanned it by sections below so
we can see all the boys and adults faces.
Section 1 - left to right
Here are some things Charley Camp noticed about the dining room photo:
(1) Feet do not touch the floor! (2) Boys are in Sunday garb! (3)
Obvious that baths had been taken the night before! (4) Everyone appears
content! Back in those days we didn't know to feel sorry for
ourselves. When you've never had it, you don't miss it. (5) Every
boy then contributed to the common good of all.
The CHOKER and the CHOKER DELUXE, by Dewane Kidwell and Charley Camp:
Dewane Kidwell asked Charley to explain what a "choker" was to
Renee', Dewane's wife. Here is Charley's reply:
"A CHOKER, dear one, is a peanut butter sandwich (bread several days
old!)---with a generous spread of "the stuff" and considered by all
to be a complete evening meal!! I'm sure peanut butter then was not as
well prepared as it is today. Too, I know for a fact the packaging wasn't
as attractive as it is now. The main thing for the children at Bonny Oaks
was it's nourishing benefits. We were full to the gill and choking with
each feeding! I don't recall ever turning a Choker down!! Milk and
water was used to wash it down!! Yes, we certainly complained and joked
about Chokers!! Such was life for a group of boys who, for the most part,
enjoyed dormitory life and each other."
Dewane's additional explanation of the Choker was the "CHOKER
"We all would get 2 peanut butter & jelly sandwiches & take them
to the boiler room & put a poker through them as you would a marshmallow or
lay them on a shovel & open the boiler door that heats the building &
toast the peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. That would make it a
Norma Ruth Games on bed and the girl sitting in the chair is unknown - 1948 or
1949. Thanks, Don!
David Miles on the tractor and Donald Kidwell planting corn. Full
picture, close-ups below.
Close up of David Miles on tractor above (age 15).
Close up of Donald Kidwell and mules.
The mules are Mag and Mandy or Kate & Candy, approximately 1948.
Donald Kidwell, approximately 11 years old. Thank you, Don!
Student Body swimming trip to Warner Park. Submitted by Jerry Kidwell,
Billy Miles (standing) and David Miles. Submitted by Jerry Kidwell
"Coming out of milking barn" - (left to right) Billy Gaines, Bonny
the cow, Jerry Kidwell in rear, and Pat is on the right. Thanks Jerry!
Marcus Morgan (left), Dallas Harshaw (sitting) and Dewane (kneeling on laundry
Submitted by Jerry Kidwell.
Letter from Dewane to his Mother
(notice who helped him
write the letter)
Kidwell boys pictured with their Mother (submitted by Jerry Kidwell)
Letter Mrs. Crabtree wrote to boys' mother in 1944 "Mrs. Crabtree was quite
Mrs. Crabtree's letter mentions a military plane that crashed on the Bonny Oaks
campus two weeks before she wrote this letter to the boys' mother (efforts are
being made to locate
newspaper accounts of the plane crash for the website). Her letter, as you will see,
is a testament to her
sincere interest in the children and it is also a wonderful account of summertime at
Here is the newspaper articles about the above 1944 military plane crash (thank
you, Harry Jackson, for doing the footwork in getting copies from the Library):
Jerry Kidwell - This newspaper article describes Jerry as having an
"All-American Boy" image. The picture is a U.S. Army Photo and
the article is about his accomplishments as a Golden Knight 'Chutist who was
leaving for his fourth tour of duty overseas - Vietnam.
Jerry Kidwell - Parachute Jump, Mid-air.
Practicing for the U. S. Army's Golden Knights
Team - 1965
April 24, 1955 - One day before Dewane's 17th birthday and the day before they
entered the Air Force - newspaper picture of Don, Ron and Dewane in the U. S.
Dewane's U.S. Army photo - 1958 Morocco
Donald's U.S. Air Force photo - 1956
Dewane at Tyner High School
Dewane (Brown Bean), age 8
standing by a car - age 8.
Dewane - Picture taken on a Visiting Day Sunday - Superintendent home in
Jerry Kidwell standing by car (missing a shoe?). Thanks for sending,
Kidwell in a newspaper clipping from Vine Street, earlier children's home (3rd
Newspaper article headlines "Bonny Oaks Eats". Submitted by
Newspaper article on sale of Bonny Oaks Chapel, 1994 - Thanks Jerry!
Dewane and Renee' Kidwell at their son's wedding 1990
Dewane and Renee's sons (left to right) Tim, Marc, Michael and Steve
Marc's wedding day
Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay - October 1956
Mr. Lindsay, May 1961
Mrs. Lindsay - May 1961
Mr. Lindsay - August 1961 - On the back of this picture, Mr. Lindsay wrote
"This is Petie, the little black kitten that the Bonny Oaks boys brought me
one day from the swimming hole. He was a darling and lived to be 13 before
he became paralyzed".
Cofer - Graduated in 1954, Tyner High School
April 1977 visit to Bonny Oaks - Dewane's youngest son and Mr. Adamson (left)
and Mr. Boyd (right)
In November 2001, Dewane and his wife, Renee', visited Bonny Oaks and sent these
pictures of the Chapel. Dewane is standing in front of the Chapel on the
Everyone in our day remembers "SNOOPY"!