Grampa Noll at Gig Harbor, WA

4. The Day I Got Lost at the Los Angeles Coliseum - 1936

For a couple of years my Mother put the three of us boys in the Lark Ellen School for boys. We understood the reason we were there and that it was only for a short time while she finished her education and then we would have our own home. I was actually too young (four) but they took me because of my brothers. In the home they often took the entire group to outings. On the Fourth of July holiday they took everybody to the Los Angeles Coliseum to see the fireworks show.

Somehow I managed to get lost. Actually I knew where I was, they just didn't know where I was. I wasn't frightened; I was having a good time watching the fireworks. A little time later a very kind policeman asked me if I was lost. I told him I was not lost. I knew exactly where I was. But then realized that the rest of the kids were not in sight. He took me somewhere and they announced on the stadium loudspeaker that, "A little boy by the name of 'Paul Noll' was lost. At least I knew my name. If anyone knew this boy please come and get him." After a bit my Aunt Jo Beard came to get me. I was so excited. I had not seen her for some time. She kept me and eventually got me back to the Lark Ellen group. It was a wondrous time to see someone I knew that I didn't expect. No one was angry with me. They were just concerned with my safety.

Paul at 5