Dan was living with his parents in Thebes, Illinois during the 1940 census. Dan was living with Yvette at Traveler's Trailer Park during the 1950s and 1960s. Dan lived with Yvette at 568 Palomar St CV, San Diego, California in 1971.
Dan's Stories - As a young boy, Dan remembers when a tornado in 1940 blew the roof off the Thebes courthouse. He and his brothers used to collect snakes (poisonous ones, too) and then take them home and let them go or burn them. He and his brothers used to play a lot along Bean Ridge, which is just north of Thebes village. The kids would walk to Rock Springs by taking the old covered foot bridge over the railroad tracks, near where the current Thebes Post Office is located. Brown Brothers store used to be located across the street from the present Post Office. The old Post Office in Thebes used to be located just across the street from the Sweetwater Saloon at the bottom of the Thebes steps (Ed Mansker, Dan's grandfather, used to be Postmaster and mail carrier for Thebes).
In 1947, Dan and his siblings used to cut cotton, and weed soybeans and corn eight hours for $1.00 a day. They worked on a truck farming plantation owned by George Bader at South Cape Road in East Cape (just off the Illinois side of the Cape Girardeau bridge). There they also raised and butchered Berkshire Hogs. Dan, Bill, and Jacob always ran around together as kids. They would walk to Cape Girardeau to watch movies and buy sweets. Along the way, they would swim and play in the Mississippi River and the several islands just south of the bridge to Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Dan had a paper route in Thebes delivering the Cairo Evening Sentinel.
Dan and Bill went to school at McClure during the 8th and 9th grades. After moving to Alma, Illinois, Dan worked at the Standard Station and Park Hotel in Salem, Illinois at age 15. In Salem, Dan worked for Dr. Horseman and built the fence behind the high school.
Dan served in the US Army from 1953 to 1956. He was an MP in Colorado and Kansas.
In 1957, Dan and some friends put together a band in Centralia called the Dixie Rockers. Dan played bass and the other members were Jimmy Dupree, Jessie Cuno, Fred Cuno, and Bob Luman. They played with Kiddie Wells & Johnny and Jack. Aside from playing at the Palace in Sandoval, their first show was in Flora at the fair. They also played in Northern Illinois, and DuQuoin, Illinois, and in Missouri they played at Rolla, Jefferson City, and Dexter. Jessie is married to Tammy Wynette's step-daughter.
Dan said he played with members of the Grand Ole Opry, but never actually played on the Opry stage. Jim Ed Brown, Hank Thompson, Wanda Jackson, Hank Williams Band were just a few of those he played with.
Dan worked at, and then owned his own towing business in San Diego, California for a period of 51 years. The business was operated from an old stage coach building. He was good friends with actor Gregory Peck's dad, and also knew Red Skelton's wife.
In the late 1960s, Dan bought and raced a racehorse and won his first horse race on 15 Mar 1969 with a prize of $100,000. He later owned up to 24 racehorses.
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