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This article contains the first four chapters of Arnold Bodtker' s autobiography. When preparing the autobiography for publication we decided that these chapters offered a significant piece of local history which deserved to be printed independently of the complete work. It tells a "coming of age" story that is an insightful and valuable contribution to the understanding of rural life in general, and Junction City, Oregon, in particular, from Arnold's birth in 1904 until his high school graduation in 1923.