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Palmer was pretty talented athlete in his day

Fray Palmer grew up in the 1930s, when the Dust Bowl wiped out most agricultural endeavors and sent farmers and their families on the great migration to California.

The Palmers also pulled up stakes, but they stayed closer to home.

Dwyte Fray Palmer moved his family from Chattanooga to Lawton in 1933. He settled in as a barber; Dwyte Fray Jr. made new friends, ignored the dust and took to the playgrounds for fun and games.

"You couldn't keep us in," said Palmer, who will celebrate his 89th birthday next month.

But the dust …

"It wasn't that bad," he said. "It was bad, but you could still do what you wanted to do."

So Fray Palmer, Leroy Montgomery, Lew Johnson, Frankie Burt, Clinton Herring, Conway Garner and a host of allies became teammates on a journey through the war years.

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