Our Family Legacy
I, Verne Samuelson Handy, being of a sound mind and at the persuasion of twenty-five years of my dear wife, do hereby record for posterity my life history. It will be twenty-five years on June the 13th, 1958, just a few months away that we will have been married for that period of time. Before that time comes, I feel it my persuaded duty to put on tape those things that she has been needling me about for such as long time. So with somewhat reluctance and the duty of a dutiful husband, I hereby record those things that to me have been the makings of a rich and a full life that possibly may be uninteresting to others but perhaps some day someone will receive enjoyment from the things that I hereby record. This incident concerning my birth should be at the beginning of my story. I suppose that you would say that I am a child of promise. I have been told I was by authorities who have heard the following story of my birth into this life. In any event, it has always make a deep impression of my life and my actions. My father was an Osteopathic physician in Boise, Idaho when he established practice shortly after my birth. Boise was an independent branch of the Northwestern States Mission. My folks were both returned missionaries and always active in church work. My father was a member of the branch presidency and my mother was Relief Society President. President Melvin J. Ballard, afterwards in 1919 was an apostle, was president of the mission and during a tour visited Boise. My mother was pregnant at the time and requested a release from her position. President Ballard wouldn't hear of it and he gave her a blessing. Among other things he said, "You will not miss a day as president of the Relief Society meeting and the boy who will be born will be an active figure in the church. He will hold responsible positions and will always be close to the church. He will lead many people to accept the teachings of the church and he will always be a source of comfort inasmuch as you bore him in a time of your own activity. He will always stay close to the church and its teachings and your joy and pride in him shall not be misplaced." My mother did not miss one Relief Society meeting. I was almost born in a Relief Society meeting and I was seven days old when I attended my first Relief Society. So I was born in a warm day on August 23, 1911 in a small city which remains in my mind the beautiful place in the world, Boise, Idaho, in the home my father had built one year previous. I came of good parents, pioneer stock and my heritage of goodly parents and a fine home was the foundation of my life. Today it remains one of the finest assets of my life. My mother was born in a covered wagon in Oakly, Cassia County, Idaho where her father, August Samuelson had been called as a pioneered to settle this town by President Joseph F. Smith. It was a rough country and required real pioneering to clear the sage brush, break the ground, dam the streams and irrigate the dry land which they did before they started building their future home. My father's parents were some of the earliest settlers in Franklin, Idaho, the oldest city in Idaho. He was called by the church to settle that country of fine farm land so definitely I am bestowed with a pioneer inheritance. Probably the first habit I formed of many was the act of turning over on my stomach when I was one hour old and frightening my nurse and my mother out of their wits. They were afraid I would smother to death and constantly watched me doing my gymnastics. I still retain this habit. My wife watches me so I won't smother. I remember distinctly things that happened during my first and second years, such as going fishing when I was eighteen months old which formed another habit I or my wife or anybody else for that matter has been unable to break. When I was about a year old I remember my brother got a steam engine and train which to me was a constant source of delight. My folks told me that I got more fun out of it than my brother. I still retain a love of steam or electric trains, another childish habit - or is it childish?
The first exploring episode came when I was just able to crawl. I can't remember this, thank goodness, but mother told it every chance she got to my everlasting sorrow and chagrin. She recently told it in a Relief Society meeting and I had ladies, dear sisters, stop me on the street and remind me of it and then, horrors of horrors - a dear sister told it as an introduction to my talk in a recent High Council visit. Well, here is the story. The next door neighbor had come home tired from his days labor, had stretched out in an easy chair on his front porch. He had removed his shoes. His feet were grimy and perspiring and so that they would cool, he was set for comfort with the evening paper. Probably was reading about a man biting a dog which is a proverbial newsletter when I, foraging around for something, crawled over to investigate conditions. As luck would have it, a nice, big juicy toe was sticking out through his dirty sock and I not having been given my full quota of vitamins, proceeded to put my mouth over the toe and plant my teeth in a sharp shark-like snap so as not to let that tasty morsel escape me. You can imagine the readers chagrin, surprise, regret, remorse, emotion and action. He rose with considerable profanity filling the air, howling for my mother to get this kid and fed him his victuals. The profanity was genuine, earnest and to the point. It wasn't too long after that that the family moved away and I always wondered if I contributed to the hasty departure of our nearest neighbors.
A very remarkable incident happened early in my life which has shaped my life and given me a basic faith. It has always helped me in my administrations to the sick and needy for I know God lives and hears and answers prayers. I was fifteen to eighteen months old, the details of course I can't remember, but listening to my parents fill in the intervening happenings of the time and remembering some of them myself, I pretty well established the actuality of the incident. I was taken very ill with intestinal and stomach diarrhea. My folks took me to the local hospital and doctors and nothing could be done. I continued to waste away. They took me to Salt Lake where they exhausted every means known to medical science to cure me of my affliction. During all this time my folks had the elders administer to me. My father repeatedly administered to me. He often remarked later that he was afraid and never did say, "Thy will be done." As I continued to waste away, no appetite and nothing staying on my stomach and running a temperature, my weight was eighteen pounds. After four months of this sickness, my parents decided to go to the mountains where they would be in solitude and spend the time in humble prayer and in supplications to the Lord away from everything and everybody. After purchasing some camping equipment, they left home taking all the family. They felt that getting close to God in the mountains and fasting and praying would be the things that would help if anything could cure me. I seemed to be no better and according to my parents, suffered beyond description after spending several weeks in the mountains. Finally in desperation one evening they knelt at the side of my bed and in offering their prayers agreed to dedicate me to the Lord saying, "Thy will be done." Immediately I went to sleep and the next morning I ate a large breakfast and from that time on I regained my normal strength and health. From this incident I have learned several things. The most important is that we should never demand anything from the Lord. Also all the opposition and adversity we come up against in our life should make us stronger and more humble and that we do have a close connection with the Lord's work and he has us as a part of his plan if we fulfill our destiny.
Near our home were the foothills. They were not more than three blocks away and many mornings our family went out and cooked breakfast before going to our daily duties. Some of my choicest and most happy memories are back in those foothills where in the spring each hill was covered with flowers and in the winter each hill was covered with snow. Each and every Easter was spent hunting for eggs the bunny had brought and each Christmas I can remember going out looking for the sleigh marks coming down the hills and stopping at our home. Many names come to my mind, Camelsback, Devilslide, Greenslope, clay pits, and Dead men's Gulch. It was here that my older brother, sister and I found a man with his throat cut. It was my first witnessing of death and even now the horror of a violent death takes me back to that time. We used to get my mother's dish pan and baking tins and slide down the sandy slopes at Devil's Slide and thought we were quite brave to make it all in one piece which frequently we didn't. As our family was growing larger, we moved from this place to where my father could have his doctors office in his home and also his family. My father thought he would like to be a country doctor and a farmer and we moved to the farm near Cove School, eight miles out of Boise. I believe it was the time that we spent on the handy farm that gave me a love and a desire for the soil that has never been satisfied. I can remember the pigs, chickens and the large field of potatoes we harvested. While we lived here there were many pleasant and varied instances that bring back nostalgic memories. I can remember building a large bonfire and roasting potatoes and hunks of mud and how good they were. We used to go hunting down in the lower field. A large drainage ditch and irrigation canal ran past the road in front of our house. The following incident stands out so clearly in my mind whenever I see a child in a red sweater, I think of it. Often we played near the ditch which was one and a half to two feet deep. My mother was very vigilant in watching us though to youngsters water is always fascinating. My brother Claire was 1½ to 2 years old and I was four or five. He slipped and fell in the water and I can still remember that sweater he wore turning over and over under the water. I ran to my mother and she ran to the edge of the ditch and fished him out practically drowned and unconscious. He was revived none the worse for his experience.
At another time our large cellar which I remember was always full of food canned and stored, located in the house with steps leading down about twenty feet with an open door which opened onto the porch. This particular day the door was left open and I was playing near. I backed into the open hole, falling and lighting on my head. When they took me out I was unconscious and bleeding from the ears, nose, mouth and eyes. For several weeks my life hung in the balance but due to faith and administrations, my life was spared. I was blind for four months and I couldn't hear for six months and to this day my left ear is totally deaf. I sometimes I think there was brain damage, there must have been or I am most naturally dense! Later on we moved back into Boise because school facilities and church attendance. We moved right back of the Capitol Building into a large two story home on State Street. We lived two blocks from Central School and I will never forget my first day at school. Insisting that my mother not accompany me as I felt that I was grown up, I went to school and that day stands out in my memory. I can still remember my teacher in first grade.
I can remember World War I. We were near the Capitol Building, living right behind it. The soldiers drilled up and down the street in front of our house. The activity registering at the Capitol Building and in the large park, the recruiting stations with a big sign out in front, "Uncle Sam Needs You", with a big finger pointing to everyone passing by are all memories. A large tent was set up in the park where men slept, drilled, ate and got ready to go into the service. Toward the latter part of the war my father was called to go in as a private as the service did not recognize osteopathy as sufficient for a commission. I can remember the sorrow and unhappiness around our home as he prepared to leave. Then the flu epidemic broke out and it really was bad. We all had it including daddy. Then the cancellation of his draft came through. There were too many sick with the flu for him to be spared from Boise valley. I can remember the many, many nights he never changed clothes. He saved many lives and people really learned to love him because he was a devoted healer. I can recall that many a time he called the family together before going out on a particular difficult case, having us all kneel down and pray for the one who was sick. I believe that the great faith and trust I have now extends back to those times that I saw the power of God manifest in our lives.
My father was a humble, conscientious, sincere, kindly servant of the Lord. Money meant very little to him when a person was sick. Very often people would call other doctors at St. Luke's Hospital and their private offices and they were often asked, "Do you have money to pay for the doctor?" When they said, "No, but we'll have it sometimes" they would say, "You had better call Dr. Handy." He received much of his fees in produce, meat etc. We always had food in the house. I can remember seeing a half of a beef or ham or other produce and vegetables hanging in the cellar. We always enjoyed the many offerings from his patients. My father made many humble converts to the church. As he healed their bodies he taught their souls. I have had many people say, "I'm so grateful I knew him and so grateful that he taught me the gospel." He set an example of righteousness and sincerity that has clung to me and has sustained me through the years.
It was about this time that Barbara was born and I can remember coming down one morning in July and there was Mother in bed with a pretty baby. I always thought that she was the prettiest baby that I had ever seen or have seen since, excepting my own and we really loved her. I enjoyed holding her. I think of her and that a lot of my love for children goes back to that day when we saw her bathed, fed and put to bed and played with. Several interesting incidents stand out in my life in this particular period, one being the time we found a baby lamb about 10 inches long abandoned by its mother during a sheep drive in a hike into the Rocky Canyon Gorge. We brought it home, each of us carrying it lovingly, fed it and soon it was following us around like a dog would, school, play, talk about Mary and her lamb, we certainly had its counterpart. We always enjoyed it. It fed on the grass all around the house. It was the first lawn mower I remember of many that I saw and used since. As it grew bigger, the more attached we became to it and the less we thought of killing it for lamb stew. It made such a nuisance of itself, into everything, in and out of the house, under our feet all the time that Mother was disgusted with it. Daddy was tolerant of it because he liked sheep too. At long last, a lamb no longer but a sheep, still it hung around growing bigger and bigger. We didn't dream or even think about mutton chops. Finally we had to do something about it. What to do? Daddy hired a man to come and kill it. We all raised such a fuss and shed tears trying to get him to change his mind that Daddy finally took it out to Uncle John's. He kept it for years and we visited often and it seemed to know us and played with us. It got to be the largest sheep I ever saw in my life. It stood fully three feet off the ground and was a blue ribbon winner if ever I saw one. Finally a year or two later the coyotes got it along with several others. We were all sorry but our attachment was too distant to make us as sorry as it would have been had it been around us as it was at one time.
Several other incidents during this time stand out in my mind, many happinesses we had during this particular time of my life and many sorrows, of course. I will never forget the times that we enjoyed playing together as a family and we had a big yard. It was on the corner and there was a lot of room on both sides, lots of good places to hide and we got the whole family out one day in a water fight and each of us placed cans of ammunition, water, around behind bushes, trees and all of us had them to use as spares to use in the water fight. We would turn the hose on each other. Many is the time we have drenched each other in a water fight. We would get someone to chase us and as they came around the corner of the house, we reached down into a hidden spot and there get a pail of water and douse them in the face with it. It was during one of these water fights that George stepped on one of the cans that were hidden and although I can't remember actually him cutting off his toes, it is said by others that one of his toes was cut off and they had to go out in the can and get it and daddy of course being a doctor, immediately went to work and sewed the toe back on his foot. Today he is all right. Another incident that made a lasting impression on me was that the electrical company had several large spools that stood ten or twelve feet high from which they had taken the wires to wire the electrical lights along the streets. We acquired one of these and we made a teeter-totter out of it. When we teetered on it we went way up in the air 12 or 15 feet off the ground and it was really wonderful. When we moved up on State Street we wondered how we would transport this large roller, this big wheel. Finally we decided to roll it along the street and as we rolled it along the street, it being in the cold of winter and it having bars across, as we stopped to rest I foolishly put my tongue on one of these iron bars and it was so cold that I stuck right to it. As they frantically went about trying to get some hot water in my adhesion to the bar, I got tired of waiting and jerked my head back and pulled off all the skin on my tongue leaving it on the bar. I can always remember going around for the next week or so with a sore tongue. We moved to 916 State Street and it was in a grove of large trees. We put a swing that was about 50 feet high and I can remember swinging in that swing clear up 30 or 40 feet off the ground and that was our exercise along with going out into the trees and bushes and there playing cowboys and cops and robbers and soldiers. It was at this time that my father bought for me a big, beautiful Bee Bee gun and I surely made the birds hop in the trees and I got to be quite a good shot.
During this period of my life we used to go down to the river to fish down near Julia Davis Park. I guess part of my fishing skill and my desire for fishing comes from this period of my life. I used to buy doughnuts and we would take the soft inside of the doughnuts and put it on our hook and catch big carp which in turn we sold to get more doughnuts to catch more carp. This was the round of events in our lives. I can remember climbing on this bridge hanging above the water of the Boise River by my heels practically, all the fish that I caught, the first time that I ever ate frog legs. I will never forget that day when we cooked them and how they squirmed in the pan. I have eaten them several times since and whenever I do I think of that day when we had those frog legs for breakfast. The river, the Julia Davis Park was beautiful and it has always remained in my mind as one of the choice spots where we could go and rest from our labors and cares. I will never forget an incident that happened down on the river as I was fishing I turned around and there was an immense snake 4 or 5 feet long coming toward me, green with red stripes on it and sticking out of its head were great long horns and as it got closer and my calling for my brother and sister to come and help me and them frantically trying to get to me to see what the trouble was and finally we found out what it was, it was a big water snake with an immense frog that it had swallowed and the frog was only half way swallowed and its hind legs were sticking out giving it the appearance of horns. No wonder it scared me and I have been afraid of snakes ever since. We spent many days on the river, happy days skipping and throwing rocks, swimming in the pools and I can still remember the beautiful foliage of the banks along the Boise River and also my declaring that some day right on this bluff above the river and above a big lake that had backed up that I would have my home and there I would spend the rest of my days. I can also remember at this particular home that we had a large stone step and on a trip back in 1947 to that home, they were just tearing it down and I had the good fortune of getting one of those big blocks of stone where I had spent my childhood and on it were the marks of many days of cracking walnuts, of gouging it out with screw drivers and other sharp instruments and I had the privilege of bringing that rock home to Long Beach and today it is in the water fall and rock display that I have in our back yard. It is the large stone there at the base of the water fall at 5215 Walton Street in Long Beach. I will never forget the fire that we had next door when during the night we were all awakened and it was my first experience with fire. The barn had caught on fire and there were several cars that were in it and they burned and I can still remember the flames flashing through the windows of our home and how we went out in the middle of the night and tried to help the firemen and the citizens put out this fire, never dreaming and realizing that some day I would be a fireman. I remember the terror that we had that night. It was about this time in the latter part of the year that we took a trip down into Southwestern Idaho and on my eighth birthday, my father took me to a large indoor swimming pool and since we had hunted all day for a place to suitably baptize me and not finding a place, finally resorted to this large swimming pool. My father baptized me in that pool. It was a memorable day in life and every time I see someone being baptized or I baptize someone, I think of that day when I entered the church as a member of the kingdom of our Heavenly Father. We later moved to 1717 State Street where we bought a home, a nice home that had a lot of each side with sufficient room that we could build our trenches and our caves and we enjoyed that home. The neighbors finally requested that we move to the outside lot so that we wouldn't make so much noise and wouldn't disturb them and we had a cave on that lot that was 40 or 50 feet long covered over by boards where we had many happy times.
It was about this time that I went to Park School and I can still remember some of the fine teachers that I had there and of the wonderful experiences that we had. Mr. Marshall was our principal and he was an athlete and he encouraged athletics. It was during this time that I won the city championship on the 75 yard dash and I still remember the cheers and the wonderful time that we had on that day and the tribute by the people of those athletes. I learned my love for football during this time and I was a teammate of Willis Smith who afterwards went to the University of Idaho and there became outstanding and had honorable mention on the All American team for the whole United States. I still love football and enjoy it very much. Almost every summer our family would leave to go on a trip and we would go for two or three weeks and would get to a spot and start camping and finally when the two or three weeks were up we would not want to go home and daddy would leave us and go home to work for a month or so and then he would come back whenever he could to enjoy vacations with us. So we would be gone practically for the whole summer fishing out in the mountains, enjoying the many things of nature. Possibly that is why I love nature so much now is because I was brought up in the out of doors and I have never gotten over my love for nature and for the trees, hills, mountains, the sky and all the things that we enjoyed. We had many happy times together for we were a family that got together and enjoyed these things. Part of the summer was always spent at Uncle John's farm where he had 20 or 25 acres with a big irrigation ditch running down through the field. We would go out and hoe weeds, weed the corn and work in the garden, helped with the hay and then at noon we would all go for a swim. Many times we would take 4 or 5 watermelons over to the old swimming pool. Many are the happy times that we spent on the farm. They are the highlights of my life and some of the most enjoyable times that I can remember in my youth. During this time of course, we were very closely associated with the church. It was our life. We went two or three times to church. My mother was very close to the Authorities of the church, having lived with President Joseph F. Smith in his home in Salt Lake. She was also a missionary on the temple block for several months prior to her mission in the Western States. She was acquainted with quite a few of the Authorities of the church and later on when daddy was going to school in Los Angeles in 1909, Apostle George Albert Smith, later the president of the church, was in very poor health and on two different occasions he lived at my mother's boarding house where he regained his health and strength and always remembered the kind and motherly care of my parents and what they had extended in his behalf. During this period of time I was being promoted from one step of the priesthood to another. I was a deacon in 1924, ordained by Bishop J. Elmer Harris, good old, kind, lovable bishop that I will never forget. When in August of 1925, I was ordained a teacher by my father and I was president of the class of deacons and teachers and also held other offices as counselors in those steps of the priesthood. We were always active. We attended church. I learned to pay tithing during these very habit forming years and I can still remember the stories my parents told about them paying tithing during times of distress and how that they were always taken care of and always blessed. It was during this time when one of the most memorable events of my life transpired. I will never forget it. During July of 1925, it was the 4th, we left Uncle John, Rex, Katherine, and my cousin Roland to go on a trip to the mountains. We went up to a place near Carrie, Idaho, near the Wood River, to a place called Fish Reservoir and we really caught the fish, fish as long as my arm and of course my arm at that time wasn't as long as it is now, but I mean at that time they were as long as my arm. We really caught them and we brought back many many fish and had pictures to prove it. It was during this time that I really learned to love trout fishing. The trips that we took fishing would be too numerous to mention, but at this time my father's health failed and so we had to anticipate going to another spot in California more than likely and in 1926 we left our home in Boise and moved to Long Beach where we became acquainted with many many fine people in the church. We liked Long Beach from the start and we enjoyed the people, the schools; we mixed in and then when we sold our home in Boise we enjoyed being considered residents of Long Beach, California. In the church we were active. In Jan 15, 1928, I was ordained a priest by Bishop Parley T. Wright and it was during this time that I was the priest quorum secretary to the bishop. I was also, during this time, Jr. M Men president and other offices in the church I held and I look back with a great deal of happiness and memory on the fine time that we had down in the old church on Atlantic Avenue dancing, and our parties, because there weren't many of us in those days, just a few members of the Church. If we got 40 or 50 out to any of the meetings, we were very fortunate and lucky. Some of the old timers are still living. I see them now as I go around my various duties in the church activity. I graduated with honors from Franklin Junior High School with one of the highest citizenships that they give. I earned three letters my last year there. This was in 1927 that I was associated with athletics. We won the city speedball championship. I played on the basketball team. Incidentally I played with Saxon Elliot, who is the best or one of the best coaches in Southern California at the present time in one of the larger colleges. Then I won a first place in gymnastics for the third letter during that school year. I went to Poly in the fall for a semester and then transferred to Woodrow Wilson where I graduated in due time. During these high school years, I captained many intramural football teams. My folks wouldn't let me play football because of the danger that they felt was present in football but my heart yearned to play football. I was a good runner, a good athlete and I had the honor of almost beating out the school champion in the hundred yard dash during an intramural meet that we had at the school and the coach went to my folks begging them to let me come out for athletics. It was just about this time that I got a job in a mercantile establishment, a store where I would go earlier than time for school, 7 or 7:30 in the morning and sweep out the store and then return to the store at night and work until 7:30 or 8:00 o'clock. This was my life. I earned money to pay my way. I rode a bicycle from Orange Avenue clear out to Woodrow Wilson High School for two years until I finally graduated. The school work didn't come too easy for me because perhaps I didn't have too good a voice but I did enjoy singing with the selected ones who had to pass a test to get in the Glee Club. I was fortunate enough to be with them. Upon my graduation in 1929, Jerry Greenburg who was the man I was working for, a real fine Jewish fellow, and his wife opened up another store at Hill and Atlantic, a men's furnishing store, and they put me in as manager. I was eighteen years old at the time and I went in to manage this store. I had many fine experiences there in business, buying, selling, decorating the store and many of the things that I learned there were valuable to me later on in life although I didn't follow that profession. But I did have a wonderful experience there. I was enabled during this time to save up quite a bit of money so that I could go on my mission. I foolishly bought a car which I regretted later but I was preparing to go on a mission and eventually I received my call. We were all still active in the church and still enjoying church work and I was ordained an elder Feb. 16, 1930 by President Leo J. Muir, president of Los Angeles Stake and preparing to go on my mission that spring and finally going to Salt Lake in April of that year and going through the experience of preparing to be a missionary in the Salt Lake Mission Home was one of the rare privileges of my life. It was a grand awakening to me of the many things that the gospel means. It was the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the church and we had a very fine conference. We enjoyed the speakers. We enjoyed the meeting and I was thrilled to be a member of the church and above all to be prepared to go on a mission for and in behalf of the church. I had many friends, many people who had given me a dollar or two or more to go on my mission. I still look back with a love of those people in their sacrifice during those hard times of depression where they were willing to give of their means to send me out into the world to preach the gospel. Many friends that I had at that time, I left behind and not knowing, I was seeing for the last time my father who died some months later while I was in the mission field of which I will tell you about later on in my story. I can still remember the trip that we took between here and Salt Lake. My father taking my sister, Barbara, myself and mother on that trip, of my shooting my gun that my father had bought for me, my last gift from him, and then him taking the gun and wrapping it up and preserving it for me when I got back. I will never forget the parties that were given for me before I left to go into the mission field. Many of my friends, they even had a poker game at which they all contributed, did I say friends? Some of the fellows that I was with in Mutual contributed each part of the pot toward a gift for me, a gift that I never did receive, but I was told that it was purchased but had never been sent to me and to this day it still isn't in my possession. Finally the day came to leave Salt Lake on my mission and I was appointed to take charge of 15 or so elders who were going to leave for various points across the United States. Some left at Denver, some at Kansas City, some at Independence and finally four of us who were called to the Southern States arrived in Atlanta Georgia, where we were sent to various fields of labor. Elder William Palmer and myself were sent to South Carolina where we arrived in due time to be missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ and to preach the gospel to the members and investigators.
Many things happened in the mission field. When I have more time I will complete my diary of my missionary efforts and those things that are therein recorded. Needless to say we had a wonderful time among the Southern people. They are a wonderful people and I learned to love them dearly. In Jan 1932 I was appointed as district president of the South Carolina District. I served until Jun. of 1932 when I was released to come home from the mission field, having served 26 months in the mission. My mission, as I stated before, was interrupted by my father passing away in the fall of 1930 and my coming home long enough to console my mother and attend my father's funeral service. After a few weeks at home, I then had the privilege of going back to the mission field and I grade it one of the nicest experiences of my life, of leaving the Los Angeles harbor in the boat, the S.S. California of the Panama Lines and spending nineteen days going down the coast through the Panama Canal, up to Porto Rico and Havanna and on up to New York. The food was wonderful. The voyage was marvelous. The company was nice. We had a wonderful trip and some day I'm going to take it again, going over this route with my family. You can read also about this trip in a small paper I wrote at one time telling about the beauties of the trip down through the Panama Canal and up to New York. Arriving in New York, I took the plane at the air port and flew to New Jersey and from there on to Washington D.C. where I went through the Smithsonian Institute, the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Bureau of Engraving, Pennsylvania Station, Arlington Cemetery and saw all the sights that are so wonderful in Washington D.C. I then took the train down to South Carolina where I was welcomed into the mission field and I completed my mission in the South Carolina District. Upon my release from the mission field, Elder Erban Van Steward and myself, he was district president in the Alabama District, got in his car and drove across the United States, going from South Carolina up to Virginia, North Carolina, up through Washington where we stopped and saw the sights that I had seen before and on up to New York where we saw many interesting and beautiful things, up to Palmyra and spent the night at the Joseph Smith farm, sleeping in the bed that the prophet Joseph Smith slept in and in the room where he slept, visiting the sacred grove, the Hill Cumorah, the printing press where the Book of Mormon was printed, David Whitmer's farm, the Susquehanna River where the Aaronic Priesthood was restored, the Kirkland Temple, the Nauvoo Temple, Carthage jail and in fact we covered pretty well the territory all the way across to Salt Lake in his car, enjoying the trip immensely and really having a fitting climax to our missionary labors. We arrived in Salt lake and enjoyed the first dance after not dancing for two years. We really had a wonderful time. Elder Palmer had already been released and I met him in Salt Lake and we really had a good time together renewing our old friendship and reviewing some of the experiences that we had had in the past. I then met Barbara in Salt lake and the two of us took a bus trip up to Yellowstone National park and spent several days at Ponds resort fishing, resting and enjoying the scenery and it wasn't until August of 1932 that finally I got home to meet all my friends in Long Beach and to there enjoy their companionship and friendship.
Immediately I went to work teaching in various organization in the priesthood, Mutual, becoming active in the church and whenever they would call for a standing vote of those who were active in the various positions, I stood on everything practically but the Relief Society. My mother said, "Why don't you stand on that because I've been the president for so many years. I was ordained a seventy in 1933 by President Brigham H. Roberts. I became secretary of the 218 Quorum of Seventy under Dr. Henry M. Carlson who was a very fine man. I was teacher of the missionary class. I filled a Stake Mission in the Los Angeles Stake in 1932 to 1934. I was active in all the phases of the gospel, teaching genealogy and in every way trying to fulfill my duties and obligations as a member of the church. In 1932 I got a job at J.C. Penny Co. where I worked for six months at $50.00 per month, having to work seventy hours a week sometimes and it was taking care of the elevator, selling on Saturdays and Friday nights and receiving all the merchandise and getting it up to the floor. It really was a terrific job. It was about this time that I met my wife and fell madly in love with her because of her dark hair, her green eyes and the red rose. I asked her for a date, she being at the dance with another person and immediately thereafter we started going regularly together. It wasn't long until I had proposed to her at the "Last Supper" window in Glendale at the Forest lawn Memorial Park. She accepted and we were engaged. The time of the earthquake hastened perhaps our marriage because we spent many happy hours together inasmuch as their home was wrecked and they came out to live on our property near our home on 2724 Daisy. These were some of the happiest days of my life, courtship days, days of being with one that you knew was to be the mother of your children and your mate for eternal life. Truly she has been a wonderful person and I love, respect and cherish her more than anything else in my life. I can recall now the many happy times we had together, where we used to walk down to the park (Lincoln) during our lunch hour to be together, even though we were tired and worn out. Then I recall at this time the day that we became engaged. It was in January of 1933 and I had bought the ring and had it all made up and she didn't know anything about it or even suspect. I, of course, talked to her mother and asked her if I had her permission to ask Macel to be my wife. Her mother said, "Oh no not yet." I said, "Well, I'm going to go ahead with it. I just want your permission and wanted to tell out about it." So when we went up to Forest Lawn, I was waiting for the opportune time to give her her ring. The funny part about it was that I left the ring out in the car because I wasn't sure that that was the place that I wanted to ask her, but as we got in front of the Last Supper window, Standing there together by ourselves, I asked her to be my wife. Macel often says that she could hardly tell what I was saying because my heart was beating so fast and truly and then hers started to beat fast because we made a bee-line for the car where I got the ring out and she had accepted me without even seeing the ring - how big it was or how little. I was always grateful for that. We had many happy times together, wandering over the fields that now are occupied by houses, schools and residences, where we played golf and shot rabbits and we also went up into the mountains and used the things that I had given her, her snow suit, sweater, cap, boots and pants, for Christmas and one of the happiest times we had together was when we went to Glenn's Ranch and hiked up over the hills for we both loved nature and the things in nature. It was during these times that we learned to know and get acquainted with each other and be sure that we were meant for each other for time and for all eternity. We were married then in June 1933 in the Mesa Temple where we went with friends, Margaret Bryan, Jonnie Taylor, Elmer Fullmer and his wife and others. We really had a wonderful time there. Jonnie Taylor and Elmer Fullmer and his wife were with us on that trip and we had a happy time. We took our honeymoon in San Diego where we stayed at the St. James Hotel for several days until our money ran out and then on the way home we bought gladiolas with the last of our money so that we could bring some flowers home to our folks. We took my mothers 1930 Chevrolet sedan and we had a wonderful time on this trip. We arrived home and both of us went back to work and our marriage where we lived on Olive in Sister Farr's apartment in the 1300 block. Very soon we were expecting an addition to our family and Carol was born in the hospital on Atlantic Avenue -- Buffum's Maternity Home. There is an interesting incident in her birth that I think should become a part of the history of our family. Macel had gone there prior to the Christmas time. I was working for Sears Roebuck at that time and we were expecting our baby about the 12th or 14th but she had gone back and forth to the hospital ten or 12 times, having pains afternoon and night and going home in the morning expecting every day to have the baby. Finally on the 17th our first baby, Carol was born. We loved and appreciated her so much! It was during this time that she had to stay 10 days in the hospital so I spent Christmas alone although I had an additional Christmas present that I loved. Macel, in the meantime had contacted my sister and had had her buy a present for me and she had purchased a fishing pole and real that Macel had hid under the bed and Christmas morning I came with a small Christmas tree that I had decorated and I brought gifts that I had bought for my wife and baby. I will never forget the little teddy bear that I had dressed up, put a dress and bonnet and little shoes and presented it to Macel and she kept it for many years and all the children enjoyed playing with that little teddy bear. Truly it was a fine Christmas except for one thing. I had lost my job at Sears after having been promised that I would be put on steady and that I wouldn't have to worry about losing my job. Those were rough years. We went from job to job working a few days at a time trying to keep up our spirits and our money. We never did starve but there were some lean days of no pay days at all. After being a milk man, a grocery clerk, a salesman for magazines, selling shoes, playground director, almost everything you can imagine, even a strike breaker out at the harbor working as a stevedore I became experienced in many things. All these things I did to get a little money and then going back to Sears Roebuck where I spent the next 7 1/2 years as a member of that firm.
All this time of course, I was active in the church doing my duty, paying our tithing and it might be said that Macel was the one who always spurred me on and I appreciated so much her help and her assistance. It wasn't long until another baby was born to us, a boy to carry our name. I had the privilege of being in the room when he was born as well as when Carol was born. The experiences of those times are indelibly impressed on my memory and I will never forget those hectic days and nights that we spent trying to get our babies here, particularly Stanton, although Carol was an instrument baby, Stanton was one too and I still remember the doctor asking me to hold Macel's shoulders while he placed the instruments in the proper place and put his foot on the edge of the operating table and pulled as hard as he could pull in order to get Stanton into this life. He was so battered and bruised that I despaired of him ever being normal but it wasn't long until he had recuperated from his ordeal and Macel had recuperated also and we had a very fine handsome, blonde, curly headed boy that we loved so much. These were happy days and hectic, days that tried our souls but we trusted in the Lord and he did bless us with these two fine children. I feel sure that through the administration of the elders in both their births that these children are here and are with us today because most certainly we did ask the Lord in humble sincere prayer for them and their lives and to spare the life of Macel. I'm sure that our prayers were answered.
There were many incidents at this time that we enjoyed as a member of the church, a stake missionary, a teacher. We learned to know and love many people. It was in 1937 that I became the first Master Men man in the Long Beach Stake. Shortly after that in 1937 I was ordained a High Councilor and a High Priest in the church, having been ordained in 1937 by Apostle Melvin J. Ballard and became one of the stake high council. This was indeed an honor and a privilege, I being 26 years old at the time. I had the privilege of serving in various capacities, advisor to the Sunday School, and MIA, advisor to Relief Society, also serving in various capacities as advisor to other organizations. During this period of time, that we moved to our home on Roycroft, we lived here rented 12 or 15 homes previously. We lived in a 12 by 20 foot garage that we had done over and had put plumbing in and there lived until we were able to get a large enough equity that we could get FHA on our land and build a home. It was during this time, just as we got our home built that Sharon was born, a beautiful, dark complexioned, lovely baby. We moved mother and baby into a new home on Roycroft. I was released as a member of the high council in 1942 to become a teacher in the various organizations and to still enjoy close contact with the church and to make many friends in the old Park Ward where Bishop Carlson was our bishop. We lived next door to the Reed Durham family where we made friendships with them and spent many happy hours.
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