RUTH SCORUP CLEGG
(Tape #1 of 3)
My name is Ruth Clegg, and I live at 357 East 100 South, Provo, Utah, and I'm getting near my 75th birthday, which will be in June.
Today is Jens Clegg's birthday and he is 12 years old and he will be ordained a Deacon this month and we're very proud of him, and he has received a group of merit badges towards his Eagle at a Court of Honor on Tuesday night. Halvor was highly honored at that time which made us very proud of him. I am grateful that he is working in Scouts and that his sons, Michael and Jens are doing so well in Cub Scouting and Scouting. It's a great honor to be able to participate and know that they are doing this. We're looking forward to others in the family working towards getting their Eagle Scout as Kent did and as Halvor gave him such a good sendoff as all good Scouts should have. I was presented with my Eagle pin at that award which was a great thrill to me.
When we talk about Genealogy and History, it all began long before I was born. I was born June 9, 1908, in Salina, Utah. We lived in a large, two-story rock house, across the road from Grandpa and Grandma Humphrey. Our lives were always tied up closely with Grandpa and Grandma Humphrey.
Grandpa Humphrey came from the South. When they joined the Church, after the Civil War, they had had reverses financially and had lost their property and their finances. They decided that they would go to California to the Gold Fields.
They stopped off in Salt Lake to visit some relatives, the Murphys, who lived in Holiday. They went to church in Mill Creek and while they were there, Grandpa Humphrey saw a young 16 years old girl with long hair. She was a very statuesque girl and he told his mother at that time that she was the girl that she was going to marry. She was Ellen Maria Bailey. She was second eldest in their family. Grandpa and Grandma Bailey had joined the Church in England. They had been married in a very quiet ceremony. Grandma had been washing clothes and she left her washtub and Grandpa came in and they were married.
Shortly after that they (Grandma Bailey and Grandpa Bailey, George Brown Bailey and She was Elizabeth Young) left Liverpool, England. Their first child was born after they arrived in Salt Lake City.
When they first got here Grandpa Bailey was assigned an acre of ground in the center of Salt Lake. They were going to build there, but one of the Authorities' [Heber C. Kimball] wives wanted a home there and so it was decided, President Young called Grandpa in and told him that he would be blessed ten-fold if he would let her have that acre of ground. He could have 10 acres out in Mill Creek. This proved a real challenge because his work was a finisher of woodwork and he was just short of getting his masters papers in England when he joined the Church.
He sang in the bass section of the choir in the Cathedral at Bath, England. He had a wonderful voice. He would walk from Salt Lake out to Mill Creek. Grandma Bailey lived in a wagon box at first with her first boy.
They had a cow and one time the cow strayed away. Grandma Bailey took her little baby and went to look for the cow. She was a very frail, little lady. Soon she tired, and so she put the baby down by a tall sagebrush and went to look for the cow. She finally found the cow, but she couldn't find her baby. So, she knelt down and prayed to Heavenly Father that she might be guided to the baby. She turned around and in just a little short walk, a few bushes, she found her baby and carried him back to the wagon box.
She was very afraid of the Indians. They used to cross Mill Creek close to Grandpa and Grandma's home and it used to frighten her very much when they would come by. She would always be afraid, but the children grew not being afraid.
Grandpa Bailey was Ward Clerk in the Mill Creek Ward for many, many years. He kept wonderful records of the goings on of the people and what was happening there. He was a great horticulturist in many ways. He sent back to England for peach pits. He started a first peach orchard in that area with the peach pits that he got from England. When the trees got to bearing they would dry the peaches for the winter and they would sell them.
At this time there was a woman who came to Grandma Bailey and she said, "Oh sister Bailey, if you'll let me have some squash," which they had an abundance of, "I'll trade you a table for them."
Grandma had been living off of little packing boxes and she thought how wonderful it would be to have a real table to feed her family from. So, she agreed and she gave the woman 10 squash and the woman brought the table. It was about a foot square and it is still in the possession of my sister, Edith Clinger.
They lived in Mill Creek and Grandma Humphrey went to work for Col. Hooper, who was a very well-to-do sheepman. She traveled over a lot of the country of northern Utah and Idaho. Over the years I have found out where Skull Valley is, and where Bear Lake was, through the stories that Grandma told of going with the Hoopers. She was the governess and her education was up to the sixth reader and she taught the Hooper children as their governess.
She picked up swearing and she would say "damn" all the time. They had a negro servant in their home and he said, "Oh miss Nellie, you should never say anything like that! Every time you do it makes a black mark for you." He gave her a plank and a hammer and nails. He said, "Every time you say that, you pound a nail in." So, Grandma did this for a while and then she got to a place where she was feeling ashamed of all these nails in the board. And so he said, "All right, now, when you go to say that and you don't, then you pull a nail out." And she did, but she always maintained that the hole was there.
When they moved down to Salina, they had their little house across from where I was born. They had different farms that Grandpa farmed with the boys. He worked hard and the boys worked hard, but it seemed that he was more generous than wise in lots of his financial dealings.
They had a place that, to me, is still a place of enchanted memories, of flower beds, of blossoming trees, of beautiful gardens, and when there was a new vegetable came out, Grandpa would try it. He had wonderful mulberry trees that grew on his place. He said, "Well the children liked to eat them." He had all kinds of fruit trees. We all enjoyed his industry. I can remember going over and seeing the peonies blooming in the Spring, the bergemot, and the little iris on the path going out to the South gate, the lovely lilacs, white ones and purple ones, and the Persian lilacs, great snowball bushes and sweet rockets, and so many flowers and things. One of the things that I loved the most were the apples.
I loved the Red June apples and the Coddling apples that came on just after the Red Junes, and the early Transparents. Grandpa never said, "Children, you can't have any of the fruit." He was always generous. He provided fruit for us, everything from currants and gooseberries clear to the apples and winter pears. He stored them for winter.
He had a nice house. When there wasn't ice in the icehouse he kept his little Banty chickens in there. When spring would come he would let them out so that they could go and get the bugs and worms in the garden. I loved my Grandpa very much. He had swings and he had a dog, whose name was Bingo, that we all loved very much.
When I was a little girl he was going to teach me a very good lesson. I loved to see his setting hens with their little chickens in the long pens. He told me, one time, to go and see to them. So, I did. I went and put the boards in and smothered a bunch of these chickens, because I didn't realize that I shouldn't have put the boards in to keep the hens and the little ones in when they should be out eating and drinking their water.
I can remember him finding the porcupine and a skunk in the back yard. One of the fun things that I remember about Grandpa was that he had a big sled and a team of horses and one year, when there was snow on the ground at Christmas time, he packed us all in the sled with quilts and straw and warm bricks and rocks and we went up into the hills and got our own Christmas tree. This was a real fun time. There are so many stories that we could tell about Grandpa Humphrey.
When it comes to Grandma Humphrey, they're unlimited, because, her place was a haven of peace and love. She was always my champion. I used to sit on the gatepost and wait until I could go over to Grandpa and Grandma's and Mama would time me and say, "Well, in fifteen minutes you can go over." Those were awfully long fifteen minutes. Then I would scurry across the road, across the big ditch, over through the gate. I could see the primroses growing all along the paths. These, Grandpa Humphrey loved very much, because he remembered them from his mission in England.
When I was a little girl (when I was 21 months of age) a great thing happened in our life. Another baby came to our home. It was a wonderful time for me because my father was home at that time. He was a large man. He had big arms and he had a big lap. He had wavy hair. I always was surprised, because he had one eye that was dark and one that was light. He told me that it was because the sun had bleached out one of his eyes from riding down in San Juan. It was always fun when he came home.
I was happy when I had a new little brother. He had a hard time because he cried a lot. So, my mother used to put both of us in the buggy, which was a large, wicker one that held two children very fine for many, many months, and she traveled all over Salina wheeling us. I guess that's the reason that I learned to love people and learned to know so many people in Salina, because Salina was a special place for me, because we visited as we went to keep my brother from crying.
I can remember when my sister Ellen was born that Marden cried and cried because they had him go in the other room to sleep. They told him that he'd have to sleep in the other room from then on. He didn't like that at all. That night Ellen was born. She was born a little too soon and she was frail all her life.
When Edith was born, it was a beautiful October day, all sunshine and beauty. It was the 26th of October. We were allowed to go over to Aunt Alvilda and Uncle Oscar's. They lived in and took care of Grandpa Scorup and Uncle Victor. We played in the leaves and we made leaf piles and we had the privilege of climbing up the stairs to the second floor and we had a most glorious time. Then, Aunt Alvilda, she was the most beautiful, ladylike woman, came out and said, "Alright, children, I have something to tell you. You may go home now. You have a lovely little baby sister at your house."
I can remember, so very well, going home and tiptoeing quietly in to see Mama in the east room. The sun was coming through the windows and there she was with this new baby girl. Someone had gone out and picked light pink chrysanthemums and put them in a bouquet. My father had gone and bought her some candy covered filberts. We thought that that was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened, next to our little baby sister.
We had such a happy home life; such a good time. It was always sorrow when our papa had to go down to the ranch again. I can remember his horse, Old Bally, which was a brown and white-faced horse. He was such a gentle, sweet horse and we were real privileged when we could ride on Bally; and then, there were the pack horses and mules.
Grandma used to churn butter and keep it down in her cellar for months. It had been salted and Papa would take it with him on these pack trips along with his food. He'd take it down and bury it by springs to keep it fresh while he was out on the range. I always thought how good it was that there was a Grandma Humphrey that would do that and Grandpa, who had cows, that would take care of things like that.
We didn't have inside plumbing at the time. I think we must have had cold water, but we had to go down the path to the old-fashioned toilet that was in the corner of the corral. I was mortally afraid because there were old hens that liked to go in under the toilet seats and have their nests and they'd set. When you would go in there, why then they'd fluff up and you'd be scared to even sit down.
We had woodpiles. We had one to the west, in front of the granary, which was a wonderful place because you could crawl under it. I wasn't afraid to crawl under it. I used to go under it to get eggs all the time. I never worried, until I got grown up, that there might have been snakes under there.
My job was to go down and get chips from the west woodpile. My daddy gave me a wash pan to go down and get the chips. I trotted off down to get the chips and started to cry and cry and he said "I don't care. You've got to go get the chips." I kept crying and crying. I'm not sure whether my daddy gave me a whop on the behind for crying or not, or whether he just took hold of my hand and went with me down to the woodpile. We got the chips and he came back to the house with me and the chips.
One of the fun things that was really mine was ... Grandpa Scorup was a short, heavy set, little man, and he had such blue eyes, which my eyes, and some of my family, inherited from Grandpa Scorup, and one time, when I went over to see him, he said he didn't like my name, he said "I can't say Ruth, all I can say is Rut." And he said "I don't like that." He said "I have something to show you." So, I went with Grandpa, and there in the top of a barrel, in a nest of straw, was a mother cat and some kittens. He said, "Here, you may have this one." So, that is how I acquired "Mother Cat" and as she grew up and had her kittens, I loved her more than most anything else. She was such a good kitty and my first real pet.
They tell me that when I was just little, that I had so may dolls that...I had some adoring uncles that liked to play tricks on me. They'd put honey on my fingers and give me a feather on one finger. I'd try to get it off and then the honey would stick. They'd think that that was really wonderful. Uncle Wilford told me that they gathered up all of my dolls, which were 21, and decided that they were going to see how smart I was. So, they laid the dolls out on the bed with just their feet showing and then they told me to tell them what the doll's names were. I could tell them, every one of them and I wasn't very old at that time.
Mama kept Marden and I...They said that she was a "workaholic" (in this day and age) because she kept me in light-colored clothes. My dad would never let me have short stockings, or half-socks, because he said he didn't want anybody to think he was so poor he couldn't afford long stockings. So, all my life, I had long stockings. We had harnesses, they called them, that had the garters on, that held these up. In the wintertime we had long underwear that had a flap at the back. I hated those long underwear. When they were washed (the underwear), they could put them out on the line and they'd freeze perfectly and they'd look like a bunch of soldiers.
Papa had a cellar dug to the north of the old cellar. They were going to build a washroom on top of the big cellar. Then they had the vegetable cellar that would hold the potatoes and carrots and onions and turnips and all of that sort of thing, in bins. I guess that we children might have led to some of the downfall of that root cellar because we loved to get in the wagon and go coasting down through the currant bushes and gooseberry bushes, but when the asparagus started coming up, I'll tell you, we didn't bother it because we all loved the asparagus patch.
We had our own chickens and we'd like to go to Grandpa's and he'd let us help gather the eggs. He had an old horse named Belle. We used to hitch her up to the buggy and we could go for rides with old Belle. The first I remember, we had a large surrey. When they talk about the "Surrey with the fringe on top", I know what that is, because we had a surrey. Then Papa got a Studebaker car. Mama used to love to take the Studebaker car and she'd gather up Grandpa and Grandma and all of us kids and two or three others of the people that never got a chance to go for a ride and she'd take us out through Redmond and around towards Axtell, where there was a place to turn around and bring us back. We thought that was a most glorious ride.
One of the fun trips that we had was down to San Juan. I must not have been too old when we went down there. I loved to go to Twin Springs. I loved to go to Bluff because there were lizards all along the banks there. Caroline and Allie and I used to catch those lizards and put them up and down our dresses. Then we went up to Twin Springs, which was the ranch, up in the mountains. It was so beautiful there. I had never been up in the big, tall pines before.
One of the things that happened on the way down to Bluff was that we stopped in Moab. We ate at a restaurant. They brought cucumbers in vinegar in a bowl for each one of us. I thought that that was the most wonderful thing in the world because we had to save all of the cucumbers at home to make pickles with, but here were whole bowls of cucumbers for us to eat.
We had a lot of fun while we were in Bluff. We went swimming in the reservoir and then we went up to Twin Springs. I was intrigued, but scared, because around the fence where the spring was you could get to the water, but around the spring, there was a pole fence, and on the top of the pole fence, the little water snakes would get up there and bask in the sunshine. It scared me nearly to death.
They decided that they were going to see the natural bridges that Papa had been with the discovery party. Mama was so thrilled to think that we were going to take that side trip down there. She told us to stay right close to the ranch and not go wandering off. Well, that didn't help us at all. There was pine gum up in the pine trees, so I don't know who went with me, but some of Uncle Al's girls went with me, up to gather pine gum, and I missed going to the bridges. That was a wonderful trip. I guess it was the one trip that we made as a family down to San Juan. It was such a good one that I never did forget.
(Question about where Twin Spring was)
It must have been in the Henrys, as near as I can remember. There are so many of the places are names to me. There are many places that the names, to me, have become synonymous with the time that my dad spent down in San Juan, like Dark Canyon. I had a woman call the other day, and ask me if there was truly a Dark Canyon down there. I said, "There sure is." I said, "My dad went down into Dark Canyon with some of the other cowboys to get some of the mavericks out."
(Question about where Dark Canyon was)
It must be somewhere south and west of Monticello, as near as I can...I've been going to call Veda, and ask, to be sure about it. I know that there are a lot of those places where they went to find cattle down there. It seems to me that in the "Hole in the Rock" it mentioned Dark Canyon. It must be somewhere close to the Colorado.
One of the things that I can remember in my early life was that we visited with Uncle Pete and Aunt Rose and their family, but we never were terrifically close to them until after Aunt Rose passed away. Two or three of the funny things that happened with Uncle Pete, that I think might be interesting, was the fact that he had a Dodge. When I think about all of the cute little, old Dodges we've had in the family, it seems funny to me because, his Dodge, they had the top down and he put Lacey and Albert and probably Dee in the back seat and then he'd drive. In those days, he was a fast driver on rough roads, and he'd drive down the middle of the road.
One day, he was going just as fast as he could and Lacey yelled and yelled at him. Finally he stopped and he'd bounced Albert out on his head back on the road. So, when anyone drives down the middle of the road, we tell them they're driving like Uncle Pete. He was very good to us. Many of the good, kind things that he did for us after Papa and Mama died I will never forget. He took us to the circus in Richfield. I can still see the gals swinging by their teeth in butterfly wings. I thought that was the most beautiful thing in the world. I tried it, but it didn't work. We tried it out in the barn, which was one of our favorite places to play.
He took us to Fish Lake. After Mama died, they had a family reunion up at Monroe Springs. Papa went with us. He wasn't feeling in a very joyful, celebrating mood. He stood on the side of the pool, and I think, as I remember it, he held Edith a lot in his arms, and he stood there, and when he got out of the pool, he'd been standing where the hot water came into the pool, and he had blisters on his shoulders that were just awful.
There are so many things you could talk about in your growing up and what you did and how you did. I loved school, but when I learned to read it made me so mad because I wanted to really read, and I hated little words like "the" and "and" and "but". I couldn't figure out why they couldn't leave those out and let me read big words. I really made a fuss.
Mama, bless her heart, was really a good public relations person. She always, at least once or twice a year, invited the faculty of the grade school and high school, or most of them, to come down home, and she had a lovely dinner prepared for them. I can remember that we had a principal that loved pine-nuts. Of course, we had a lot of pine-nuts at that time because Papa would send them or bring them from San Juan. That man could sit and crack them just like a chipmunk and eat pine-nuts. It was so fun to watch him.
Some of Mama's friends taught school. When I started school, my first teacher was Miss Sylvester. Then I had Emma Christensen in second grade. When I got to third grade, it's kind of a blank in my mind, I think Doretta Larsen was my teacher, and she said, "Well, there's no need of keeping her in third grade". So they had me have a special promotion into fourth grade, and there's where I lost my multiplication tables. I've had a hard time with multiplication tables and mathematics ever since. My fourth grade teacher was Petra Atkins. She was such a lovely, ladylike person. Then, I had another of the Christensens. I can't even remember her name. One of the Christensen girls was my teacher in the upper grades. Ruth Godfredson was another one. Ruth Godfredson was a lovely person. She had a sister whose name was Ruby. They were all my mother's friends and friends of Aunt Stena and Aunt Olivia and Aunt Alvilda. They were a lovely group of young women. One of the things that has always stayed with me is the fact that my teachers sang "Whispering Hope" as a duet. That's been one of my very favorite songs all my life.
While I was in grade school I was going down the stairs, hurrying, and a boy came along and gave me a push. I fell down about ten steps and hit my arm on a screw and split the flesh on my left arm. I still carry the scar on that place.
They started the six-three-three program about then and I went into junior high. I started working on the "North Star" when I was just in junior high, which was the high school paper. That was a great joy and a great experience for me, because I worked on that all the time from then until I graduated from high school. I received a great deal of experience writing. It helped me all through my life.
I had some wonderful teachers when I got into junior and senior high school. I took part in musicals and was scholastically in the upper part of the class. There was one thing I learned when I was in school that I never did forget. There was a girl in my English class. She would write the answers to the examination papers on her desk and go in and answer, like spelling words. She'd write them down and she always got a hundred. Then, Aunt Stena would get after me, because if I missed one, that was a terrible thing. Aunt Stena felt that because I was her niece, and all of our family, all of her nieces and nephews, should get the top because she expected the best from us. In many ways Aunt Arla is much like Aunt Stena with my Grandmother Humphrey's sweet disposition. Scholastically they expected the best.
When I was a junior they decided that they would take the highest scholars out of the English class and put them with Miss Cardon. I thought Miss Cardon was really something. She was really little and cute. She wore her hair so beautifully in curls up on the back of her head, such a lot of them. She invited a bunch of us to come and see them. So, we went up to Crane's one night. It must have been a Halloween night, because it was in the Fall. We went there and one of her friends had sent her a sack of pecans and I had never seen or tasted pecans before. She gave us all that we could eat and talked to us.
That year was a challenge. I learned about art, about oil paints and about beautiful music from her and about the classics. In fact, she told Howard Madsen that if he'd read "Les Miserables" she would give him an "A" for that year's English. He did and I thought, "Now, boy, that's a challenge." He went on anyway and became a postal inspector, and I thought that maybe he got a push along with some of the rest of us.
Aunt Stena gave me such a wonderful background in English. We had a Principal, his name was C. Ray Evans. They used to call him "Pope" Evans. He was a short, fat man. He used to stride through the high school and some of the boys even got so that they'd bow when he went by.
In my junior year I was really busy. I worked as associate editor of the "North Star". That year I think I was in either five or six plays and had a minor part in "H. M. S. Pinafore". That was really something. I had one line that I sang and it nearly scared me to death. That was a full year. I'd go home and lie down and then get up and go to rehearsal. Finally, Grandma said, "When you get into your last year, you're not going to do all of those things." So, the last year I was the editor of the "North Star." It was a great year.
I've always regretted, in a way, not choosing the one twin as my business manager for the "North Star", because he was really a go-getter. But, I felt that his quiet brother might do a better job. I gave them a dinner at the close of the year, which I prepared with a little help. We served it at the high school.
During my high school we had a teacher that taught us how to make candy. She used to weigh out the sugar and the other ingredients. She knew right to the grain of sugar. You would get the return back again. I did learn much that year. The people that learned to make candy, sold candy. It had to be good quality candy. We redid the home economics kitchen that year with the proceeds with making the candy. It's been something that I learned that I've used all my life.
When it came time for graduation, I missed being valedictorian by just a whisk. I always felt that maybe Aunt Stena bowed to a little stretching by the one who won the valedictorian, because I was her niece. After school, after I graduated...
Oh there were many things in between times. I had had friends, but I never had an awful lot of real buddy friends until I was along about thirteen or fourteen. Then Angeline came along. Her name was Angeline Funk. She was the only daughter in a family of boys. Her dad ran a service station. They lived on the road a couple of blocks from us. She was my first close friend and one of the best friends I ever had. On my fourteenth birthday I was sort of initiated into the group. That was really a fun thing to have happen. We had a birthday party at home. Grandma, who was so good to us, had such a wonderful meal. They gave me a necklace that had like an acorn at the bottom. It had perfume on wax or something in this acorn. I knew then that I'd made it.
We had such fun. All they needed to do was say party and we'd have a party. One time we decided to have a party. We all had five cents apiece. So, we went up to a butcher shop and bought dill pickles for five cents apiece and went out and sat along the railing in front of the butcher shop and ate dill pickles. Another time... You could buy drinks for five cents. We went into the drugstore and bought drinks for five cents. It was great fun. We had candy pulls and ice cream parties.
They decided once, a few years after I'd had my hair cut, they decided I needed to have a trim. So, the girls all decided to trim it. I'd never had bangs. So, they cut my bangs and they stuck right straight out, about an inch. That ended my bang cutting. We thought we were so smart, up at Cleo Crane's, having this party. We were whooping it up. The boys were having what they called a "Chicory" across the river at one of the places. They'd take their chickens and fry them and eat them and have a big time. We thought that everybody was over there. Little did we know that the boys had sneaked back and climbed up a tree and were watching us.
We really had lots of fun that year. We had beautiful junior prom dresses. Angeline's was turquoise blue with crystal bugle beads all around the tiers. Mine was a fuschia satin with white embroidery. Oh, we thought we were really...
Once I had a slumber party, one of the few times that I thought that I was going to get to go to a slumber party. It was on Halloween and we were all dressed up in costumes. We were really having a great time, when what should happen, who should come for me? Grandma and Ellen. I didn't get to stay to the slumber party. That was the only slumber party I was ever supposed to go to. It was ten-thirty. It was time for me to be home.
One time there was a carload of boys from Centerfield came over, and some of the girls went in the car with them and the others walked. We went up to Belle Peterson's. We were sitting there yakking. There was none of this "pitching woo" like they do now. We just sat there talking in the full moon and when we got up, one of the girls started to sniff, and she about died. She'd sat on a place where the chickens had roosted.
I don't know whether it was the same night or not, but Belle's older sister really thought she was smart. She was out on a date with Vernon Anderson. He was a real popular guy in high school. We were having one of these bread and milk and onion parties. It was another night. Anyway, one of the girls came up to Vernon Anderson with this onion all peeled and asked him if he wanted a bite. Belle's sister could have crowned us all "Queen of the May". He about wilted.
Along about that time we decided to hike up the stone quarry, a bunch of us. Having seen War and Peace and the sequel, I think about my Grandmother and how she would have had fits.
There was a Jewish family that had a store in Salina at the time. Mrs. Wax was a real gentle, lovely lady. She kind of ran things. Ikie was kind of a high tempered mean little man. He and Uncle Tom had had a rassle over him wanting to get into the mail sacks. Uncle Tom had up and whopped him because he was delivering the mail to the Post Office. So he got hailed into the Justice of Peace and fined for disorderly conduct for hitting Ikie Wax.
Anyway, going back to hiking up to the stone quarry. This bunch of boys came along and they wanted to know did we want to hike up to the stone quarry. We decided we would. So, we kind of paired off and lo and behold, who did I pair off with? Harry Wax. He was such a cute little guy. He really was a good-looking little feller. We hiked up on the stone quarry and sat on the rocks. And what did we talk about? Not the moon, not romance, not school, not anything, but shoes, and how you got them and how they were made and who had the best ones. That was the romantic evening of walking up to the stone quarry.
We went to Ball's mine once when I was in high school. We had cleanup day in May and cleaned up the high school and the grounds. Then they either hiked or road on a hay wagon. Most of us walked up through Murphyville, up through the hills and up to Ball's mine. It was an old mine that had been closed. It was so exciting to go in through those dark tunnels and have to watch out for water and what have you. That was one of the fun excursions that I had when I was in school. Everybody had such a good time. It was as a group.
The group of girls and boys that we had parties with and went around with, there was never any romantic stuff too much. Once, Angeline was going with Howard. She felt sorry for him because his mother had arthritis and his dad had deserted the family. She had been going with him on and off the last year. She felt sorry for him, because when his birthday came she said, "I think he needs a birthday party." So, we gathered up eggs and decided to make him an angel-food cake. The first layer was a dozen and a half egg whites. We made the angel-food in a milk can and put a glass in the middle of it. Oh, it was a very luscious, beautiful cake when it was finished. With the others we did a dozen eggs in each of them. Heaven only knows how many dozens we used, but it was a very elegant birthday party.
Grandma was very charitable towards people less fortunate than we were, but I'll tell you she wasn't very killed about us hobknobbing with them. Although, at Thanksgiving time, as long as Grandpa was able, and then after, he had somebody help him, he always killed pork at Thanksgiving time. Then they dressed out a bunch of the older chickens. They might have even had beef, I imagine.
One of the interesting places that we liked to go, when I was a little girl, was over to Grandma and Grandpa's place to their granary. It had bins in it and in the fall it was full of grain. We could go in there and get the grain out to feed the chickens and the pigs. We thought that that was really wonderful. It had a loft in it. Aunt Rhoda had a lot of magazines that she stored up there. A lot of them were the Etudes which eventually I loved with all my heart because I could play the music out of them.
In the granary was a place for some very interesting people who came and stayed at Grandpa and Grandma's. There was one man whose name was Bemus. He was a simple-minded man, but we used to love to have him sing to us. He used to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and count on his fingers. We thought that that was really extraordinary. Then there was the colored man whose name was Mooney that worked for Grandpa. He played baseball for Salina. He was a very good baseball player.
It fascinated the children because there was a colored man in town. Then the people from down in Dixie, Saint George, but we called it Dixie, used to come up in wagons. It was there that we got our first introduction to pomegranates and good, old sorghum that you can't even find anymore. They were such good people. We even had almonds to eat. I guess I must have eaten too many because they've never been one of my favorite nuts.
Then there were the people who came from over in Emery County. They would go to the Temple. They would come and stay at Salina and stay at Grandpa and Grandma's house and camp out in their yard. Grandma always fed everybody that came. When conferences came she'd have two or three settings of tables for the people who came to conference. The children always got fed last. Aunt Rhoda always was quite unhappy because of all of the dishes and all of the food that the visitors consumed and all of the work that we had to do. Grandma was the Relief Society President and Grandpa sustained her in her goodness. He was a good man. He was a generous man. He was overly generous. He obeyed the counsel of loving his neighbor as himself. He did much good. When he was Justice of the Peace he meted out justice.
The story was told when I was a young girl, Grandma was mending a rag carpet one Christmas Eve, lamenting because they didn't have anything much for Christmas. She was feeling so bad for herself. A knock came at the door and it was a woman and her two daughters. They asked for protection from Grandpa and Grandma from her husband. He was drinking. She had everything in the world that money could buy but happiness and a marriage. Grandma said it taught her a great lesson in being grateful for what you had.
When I was eight years old, we had acquired a Studebaker in the meantime, it was an eight-passenger Studebaker, they decided that we would all go over to the Rocky Ford Canal across the river and Uncle Ray would baptize me. At that time my daddy was home. We always called him "Papa". He was driving the car. There was Mama and the rest of the family. There was Grandma and Grandpa and we children. My brother, Jim, decided that he needed one of his pals to go with us to the baptism, so he invited Gadon Yates to go with us. Papa was so upset because he felt that it was a family affair and a very sacred one. He resented anybody else being there.
I can remember so very well, when we got over there the sun was coming down through the willows along the banks of the canal. Uncle Ray was all dressed in white and he went into the canal and had me come in there with him. I thought, "Surely there couldn't be anybody that looked more like an angel than Uncle Ray at that time." He baptized me in Rocky Ford Canal on June the 9th, 1916. Then we went back home and Grandpa and Papa and Uncle Ray confirmed me a member of the Church. I knew then that I had received a testimony of the Gospel and it has remained with me all my life. I knew that something very special [She had her Calling and Election Made Sure at this time.] had happened. Uncle Ray has always been that very special person. When I got older and read about Sir Galahad in literature I always think about Uncle Ray. "My strength is as the strength of ten because my heart is pure", and that's my tribute to Uncle Ray.
When I came up out of the water, when I was baptized, there was light and I knew that the Gospel was true. When they layed their hands on my head I knew that I had received the Holy Ghost and it was a guide all my life. I was so grateful for it, particularly as I grew older and I lost my parents. There were times when that spirit whispered to me very strongly and advised me to do things. One time I was out with a group and they wanted us all to go riding in a car and I was all ready to get in the car and the voice said "Go home, go home." And I got out of the car quickly and ran home. I found out later that there were terrible things planned that the boy that I was with planned to do that night. I know that that Spirit or the spirit of my mother spoke and told me to go home. I know that this can happen.
There were a lot of wonderful people that had an effect on my life. We had Aunt Hattie and Uncle Hyrum Gates that lived kitty-corner across the road. They truly weren't our aunt and uncle, but we always called them Aunt Hattie and Uncle Hyrum. He had sheep. Jim just loved to follow the sheep down to the field when Uncle Hyrum would take his sheep down there. I was more interested in the sheepwagon because it was so compact. Helen had let me go there and we'd play house in the sheepwagon. I'd have to take goodies from our place. If I had an allowance or could take eggs to the store and get goodies then I could take them over to Helen's in the sheepwagon and share with her. She always got the bigger part of the goodies, but I had a good time and it was a fun place to be.
Other good neighbors were the Burgesses. I used to play alot with Ada. I always lamented the fact that they were not members of the Church or that they weren't interested in the Church. I thought it was really quite interesting because they went to the Presbyterian Church. There was a minister whose name was Miss Elliot that taught school and preached the sermons on Sunday. We never talked about religion very much, but I'd always think about them when the bell would ring on Sunday morning when I'd hear the Presbyterian bell ring along with our church bell, I'd think "Oh you're not nearly as pretty as our church bell."
Ada and I used to play in the ditch in the sand. One time there were gypsies that camped over in the park across from Burgesses. Ada and I crawled through the culvert to watch the gypsies go by. I think that one of the gypsy girls knew that we were there. The girl that everybody kind of frowned upon, and didn't want us to play with, she went to the gypsy camp all the time. We crawled there and while we were under there, this gypsy girl came along and whirled right over the top of the culvert and she didn't have on any underclothes and Ada and I were so suprised.
One time we were at Fish Lake. We were invited to go to the cabin that Burgesses and Ole Nelson's had. I never tasted such good wholewheat bread in all my life as Mrs. Burgess provided at that time for us. Her mother lived next door. She had yeast. Ada and I loved to get on the Black Locust branches on the trees and on the hedge and swing. As we'd swing out and across by the yeast they'd make loud hissing noises and yell at us and Grandma Poulsen would come out and really scold us in Swedish. That was one of the exciting moments of my growing up.
Hans Ditlefson, when summer time would come, would come along, there was a coddling apple tree that stood in the corner of Grandpa's place, and he loved to eat those coddling apples. Grandma Poulsen came out one time when he was eating there. "Ditlefson", she said, (with her thick Swedish accent) "You quit eating those apples with your great big Alligator mouth". We always have laughed about the "Alligator mouth".
There were so many people that affected my life. Jim Jensen and his wife, Amelia, were always very good friends of ours. He had such a beautiful singing voice. He led the singing in Sunday School and Church. We really enjoyed singing for him. His wife was so good to us and was so kind to Grandma all the time. One of the Matson boys built a house next to Aunt Liza Gates'. We thought that that was the most marvelous house in our growing up because it had hardwood floors and a music room and that pleased me no end.
Another person that had a great influence on my life in growing up was brother Mikkelson from over in Redmond. When we'd go to church, he'd come. He must have been on the High Council, and he was a speaker. I never could quite understand him because he always talked with his teeth together and he had a handle-bar mustache that wiggled when he talked. I never questioned that he knew that the Gospel was true because you could almost feel the fire in his speaking.
The Herberts were very close friends to the family. They always called fuschia "Herbert pink." Their girls had kind of auburn hair and they insisted on wearing "Herbert pink" and it clashed like everything. They had an icehouse and we could go down there and buy ice quite a long time in the Summer and then we'd make ice cream and have it in cold water. In the wintertime we'd go down and get, they'd make alot of sauerkraut because he had stomach trouble, and we could go down and buy sauerkraut. We'd bring a panful home and it was always so nice and cold and we enjoyed it alot.
One time Herberts had a tragedy happen in their family. Their one son was out riding on a horse and it tripped and fell and the boy's neck was broken. His mother, Bertha, made such a fuss. She carried on and screamed and hollered and made an awful time. Grandpa finally said, "Well, a bawling cow soon forgets her calf."
There were alot of wonderful people that had a great influence on our lives. For the most part, life was really happy and a joyful growing up time. We had an orchard and one of my favorite things to do was take a book and climb up in the early harvest apple tree and sit and read and eat apples. When they were through, I'd even enjoy the Crabapples to eat out in the orchard. We had long grass out there and I enjoyed that. I never knew, until I was grown up, that we had a row of Rome Beauty apples along the east side of our lot. I enjoyed it particularly in the fall.
Grandpa always had such a lot of different apples. He had Red Junes and Yellow Transparents, Winesaps and Rome Beauties and Rhode Island Greenings and Astrican apples and we made the most fabulous jelly in all of the world. I always thought it was kind of a joke because they filled everything that they could find with jelly. We always enjoyed it such alot.
The story is told that it was Falltime and the people were bringing peaches from Dixie to sell there in Salina. Mama said to Papa, just as he was leaving to go down to San Juan, "Don't you think that we'd better get another bushel of peaches so that we'll have plenty in the cellar." He said, "No, I think we've got plenty. I don't want anymore peaches, and I think you've got all that you need down there." He left in kind of a huff. My mother felt quite badly about it. As he was going out of town he met one of these people with a load of peaches and instead of having one bushel of peaches delivered, he had ten, so my mother was blessed tenfold.
I can remember on washdays, it seemed to me that washdays were a forever day. They had clothes hung on all the lines and things like stockings and overalls and things like that they'd put on the fences. One of my memories in my growing up was the underwear freezing in the Winter and the wind blowing and filling them out and seeing them blowing in the wind. It was quite exciting.
They had a colony of Jews that were brought out from New York because they were so terrifically poor. They settled out west of Fayette. These people were professional people. They didn't know siccum about farming or anything like that and here they were placed on the Sevier River to farm. They were of the Jewish religion. They'd come to Salina every once in a while to trade. They really had a hard time of it. We had a plum tree down towards the corral and it was loaded with plums this year that they were there, just great big plums. We never only ate just a few of them because they were so sour. She told these people that they could have the plums if they wanted them. They were so thrilled. I can still hear those grown people dancing around under the tree and picking those plums and being so very, very grateful for fresh fruit. Over the years I have come to appreciate those people more than I ever did.
I had alot of real good Jewish friends. Max Cohen and his wife, Annie, lived down the street from us. They had three girls and finally, a boy. Goldie was the oldest girl. She was more verbal than the other two girls. When her little brother was born we learned about what they do to little Jewish boys when they're eight days old, in graphic detail. Max Cohen was a Russian Jew, a very gentle, sweet, progressive man. I could easily understand how the Savior could come from his religion. Annie was a german Jew and she was very agressive. She never let him forget that she was of a better quality Jew than he was.
We encouraged their kids to go to Sunday School and the two younger girls went to Sunday School. The older of the two even gave two-and-a-half-minute talks and the Sacrement Gem in Sunday School, and nobody questioned it. They thought that that was just wonderful to think those girls were participating.
When I was in high school, one of my finest friends that I met was Doctor Marcus, who was the publisher of the Richfield Reaper. He published the North Star. The year that I was the editor he gave me a green, lifetime fountain pen for my work. He had all of the editors there to a lovely banquet in Richfield. He eventually came up to Provo. We had the opportunity of entertaining him at Uncle Alber's home. I appreciated him alot.
Another person, Louie Jacobs, he had a kind of a, I was going to say, a junky store, but if you ever wanted anything, you always went to Louie Jacobs and you could always get it. It was a fun place, because he had, for the most part, the best penny candy in Salina. We quite enjoyed going into his store. Grandma would send us there quite often to get something that she knew she couldn't get anyplace else.
Some of the other people that had an effect on my early life were Gus and Dodie Peterson. Gus had been married before. I knew his daughters. They lived next door to us. He and his first wife would be married and then they'd be divorced then they'd be married and then divorced. They had three daughters and one son. Finally he said, "We can't get married anymore." So, he "called it quits" and married Dodie. She was a very worldly-wise person from California, but she was good for Gus. They had the butcher shop and variety store. She was a very good friend to our family and particularly to me. She and Gus were very good to Uncle Tom while he lived with us. I felt that they made a great contribution to our lives.
Another group of friends were the Ovesons. They lived down in Burgesses' home for a while, while Burgesses were away at Logan with their kids going to school. That was when we had our first vocal lessons. Mr. Oveson taught us. One of the things that I remember is the Thanksgiving Hymn. Those were some of the few vocal lessons that we as a family had. He and Mr. Wright sang together. Mr. Wright was the music teacher at the high school and Mr. Oveson was principal of the grade school. They were very good friends. For many, many years after I was married, I would meet Mrs. Wright and enjoy visiting with her. I always felt they were some of the best friends we had.
I don't know whether were supposed to tell about exciting people in an autobiography, but one of the most exciting people, in my growing up, was a teacher that I had, named Miss VanJohnson. She was really a colorful lady. She had very definite ideas. She was our physical education teacher. One of the statements that she made was, "Ladies never chew gum except under the bed." I always have remembered that and I don't chew gum very often. "Once a month", she said, "If you need to sign that you don't want to take physical education and aren't supposed to, why, just put on your red garters, and I'll know that it's OK." So, the girls all knew about "red garters." All of a sudden, things kind of got exciting. We got to hearing whispers about her. Sam Jorgenson was a member of the School Board. He was making these trips to Richfield all the time and when he'd go to Richfield, Miss Johnson would go with him. Before long they were having a real torrid affair. Eventually, he moved her up to Midvale, over one of the drugstores. That was really juicy.
Our Principal at that time, his name was C. Ray Evans, walked with a bounce. Finally some wit called him "Pope C. Ray" and that's what he went by as he bounced up the stairs. Miss Fuller was our sewing for a long time. The one that I really enjoyed a lot was Mr. Bjorkman. He was a young fellow. He was so gentle I didn't resent taking physics from him because he was so gentle. We always had excitement in that physics class because it was in the basement. It took everybody a long time to get from the third floor down to the basement.
Lloyd and Floyd Johnson were twins and they were always mischievous. They sat right behind Osmond Whiting. One day, Lloyd said, "Do you want to see Ozzie take a rise?" I said, "Sure." So he put a pin in the end of his shoe and stuck it up through the crack of the seat and Ozzie "rose." We laughed, but it wasn't really that funny, but then we laughed anyway. I learned much that year in physics. It gave me nerve enough to take physics from Dr. Eyring when I came to the BYU.
There are so many things that are tied up in my memories of home. One of the first things that I can remember about homemaking, oh, we were always having quiltings, Aunt Hattie Gates and Grandma and Mama owned a set of quilting frames. Between the three places, they'd trade back and forth when there was a quilt. Everybody would congregate and quilt. Those were fun because I would either help prepare the lunch or sit under the quilt. I sure thought that that was the funnest place to play when I was a little girl. One of their favorite lunches was canned salmon and hot bread and butter and postum and jam and jelly. I can't remember anything else, but I used to think that that canned salmon was the most wonderful thing in the world. I thought "When I get older I'm going to serve hot postum and quilt." But, I never have.
Grandma and Mama were very progressive in homemaking. They got one of the very first pressure cookers that came around. The put a table in front of the kitchen door and gave a demonstration on how to prepare and how to do pressure cooking. I've been a pressure cooker fan ever since.
After Grandma came to live with us we were encouraged to go into 4-H and many were the demonstrations that were held in front of that kitchen door the same way that Grandma and Mama had done.
One of the exciting things in our growing up was when Ole Nelson or Mr. Burgess would catch great big Mackinaws [Lake Trout] and bring them and we'd get to eat them. I guess that there were a lot of things that happened to us that other children never had. We always had good music. We had a phonograph with a big bell on it. Mama would crank up the cylinders and play by the hour. One of our very favorites, singing, was Henry Burr. I can remember Sir Harry Louder singing "Roamin' in the Gloamin' with my Bonnie by My Side" and "A Preacher Went Out Hunting, All on a Sunday Morn, Of Course It Was Against His Religion, So He Took His Gun Along", and so forth. That was fun and we used to really enjoy it. After Papa and Mama died we acquired a big phonograph with thick records and we played that.
We never had the kind of records that Aunt Olivia had at her place. I loved to go up there and tend the kids. I'd play her Victorola and hear the opera singers, Pagliacci, Il Travatore, Rigoletto and Caruso. I gained a great deal of music appreciation through what I had had started in my home by my mother and my grandmother. Gradually, through my music teachers I learned to love good music and I still appreciate classical music and good literature.
I've always been an avid reader. Some of my first books were given to me by Aunt Rhoda; Pollyanna, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Heidi and many more of the classics. She always encouraged me to read the very best that I could. I was quite a disappointment to her that I didn't finish college, because she felt that I had capability. I always felt that my capability was more inclined to teach children in church and teach my own family. That's been my great joy and satisfaction. I've surely had some conscious and unconscious rewards from it.
In Papa's will, and I can remember Mr. Crandall reading it, after Papa's funeral, the part wherein Papa requested that we four children have good educations. Marden and I both had two years. Ellen graduated from college Magna Cum Laude. Edith did the same. She has her Master's Degree in Chemistry and Bacteriology. Her daughters have all had college educations. Ellen graduated from BYU in elementary education. She was an excellent teacher. She taught third grade for a long time until her health got so that she couldn't do that anymore because of her leg. So, she was advised by the doctor to go into other employment. She went to work at Telluride Electrical and worked there as a bookeeper and secretary. From there Uncle Albert had her moved to Moab and become assistant cashier in the Moab State Bank. She worked there until she married. She acquired stock in the bank. Through her stock in Indian Creek too, I think probably she invested some of that in bank stock. There was quite a bit bank stock in her estate. They disposed of it just before it went into Walker bank. They pulled a fast one on that. They told us that there would be no change in the bank or it would remain the same. Edith and I disposed of our stock in the bank and Aunt Rhoda hung on to hers. I always can see a group of lawyers standing together, dickering, I'll do this if you'll do that. I have very little respect for it.