The doctor, 40 miles away, didn’t arrive until after Lyle was born. The doctor listed March 2 as Lyle’s birthday on the birth certificate instead of March 1, which Lyle never noticed until he was 23.
“I discovered the mistake when I applied for a birth certificate,” Lyle wrote in his memoir. “Upon entry into the military, I received a birth certificate in the mail that stated I was born on March 2, 1920. This error caused many problems until I had the matter corrected.”
In the early days, water to the house came via a well with a manual pump and buckets that were carried into the house. The bathroom was an outhouse complete with an old Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog
Lyle recalls how, at age 5, taking his Saturday night bath in a round tub filled with lukewarm water next to the wood-burning heater.
“Since I was the youngest, I would be the last of five other kids to take my bath,” Lyle wrote. “By the time it was my turn to jump in, the water was quite cool and dirty. I think at that point it was hard to penetrate the dirt.”
Lyle also smoked his first cigarette at age 5, intrigued because his father smoked.
“One day I sneaked out of the house with a carton (not a pack) under my arm and a box of matches. All of a sudden, the worst thing happened,” Lyle said. “Just as I was in the process of lighting up, my mother appeared. She grabbed me and hauled me inside and gave me a vigorous chastening. That was my first and last cigarette-smoking attempt.”
He also recalled shopping with his mother and, one time, telling the clerk to “charge” an amply supply of candy when his mother was out of earshot.