Austin Pickell: When and where were you born?
Paul Jungers: I was born in Hospers, Iowa, July 5th, 1941.
Where did you grow up and what was it like?
I grew up on a family farm in Northwest Iowa. Cows, pigs, and chickens. We grew corn, soybeans, oats, and alfalfa. My job was to milk the cows every morning before I went to school and when I came home from school.
How would you describe yourself as a child? Were you happy?
I had a very happy childhood. I am the oldest of seven kids. My parents did a lot of things with us.
What was your best childhood memory?
Every summer we would go to Lake Okoboji, Iowa and spend time there on the rides in the amusement park. We did fishing and camping.
Why did you decide to become a substitute teacher?
I became a substitute teacher after I retired at the Oakland School in 2003. I have been a substitute teacher for over 15 years now.
Tell me about your first day as a teacher.
My first experience as a teacher was in a country school by Martinsburg, Nebraska. The school itself had no electricity. So it got very dark on cloudy days. We had no indoor bathrooms. I had to bring drinking water to school. I also started the furnace or oil burner in the winter time.
Tell me about a time when teaching made you hopeful.
I knew when I was younger that I always wanted to be a teacher. Like I said, there were seven kids in our family. There were five boys. I knew we all couldn’t stay working at the farm. So I thought I would like to be a teacher. My Grandpa Jungers didn’t want me to go to college. He wanted me to stay on the farm and work. So I kinda went against my Grandpa Jungers.
How has Lyons changed over the years?
The Lyons Community has changed big time. There is a lot less businesses then when I first moved here. I first moved here in 1967. There was a movie theater I could go to Sunday and Saturday nights. The stores were opened in the town. It isn’t that way today. During the night, it’s very quiet and stores were closed. I used to go bowling all the time. My two boys were both on a bowling league. The bowling alley is gone so young people don’t have that for entertainment anymore.
What advice do have for me at my age?
Try to always do the best you can. If you’re working at a job, again, do the best you can to please your employer and the people around you. You need to be able to work with other people. It’s a give and take. You have to take advice from others and sometimes you have to give advice.