Our Family Legacy
I was born May 8, 1909 in Provo City, Utah in Judge Booth’s home on 500 North between University Avenue and 100 West. My house stood on the south side of the street. When I was about two years old we moved to 700 North and 500 West In Provo where I lived until I was married.
I attended the Brigham Young Training School for the first five years of my education. Then I went to the Timpanogos School and graduated there from the sixth grade. I went to Provo High School for six years and after I graduated from there I went to college at Brigham Young University. I was there for four years. At the end of the four years I married Mary Ann Barton in the Salt Lake temple on June 7, 1934. I graduated from college on June 6, 1934, just one day before my marriage. As you can see it wasn’t very long between the time I graduated from college and the time I was married.
Mary and I moved to Nevada where I worked on the railroad with Mary’s father. I worked with him for about five months. We came back to Provo because I was laid off of the railroad because of a cut back in the numbers of the crew. When we came back to Provo I worked at different jobs. I took up electrical work. I also worked at the Works Progress Administration. I also worked at night school teaching handicrafts. I soon got a job with the Provo City schools as a custodian. I worked for eight years at the Timpanogos School. Then I got a job with United States Steel. First I went to the Ironton Plant south of Provo for a year and a half. Then I went to the Geneva Plant in northwest Orem and finished out there after thirty years. Now I am retired.
Now I will talk about some of the special things I have done. When I was a boy about the first thing I remember was when I was about three years old. My father remodeled our house and my little brother, who was about a year old, and I helped Dad remodel the house. Dad made a little wheelbarrow for me and I would help him haul dirt. I also helped him hold lumber and different things. He built on two rooms, a kitchen and a living room of our old home.
We had a lot of fun. We grew up like normal boys. We played trains. We got little blocks and made little trails around in the dirt and called them tracks. There was a fellow by the name of Mark Richmond that would come over and play with us a lot.
One time my brother Eugene took some rocks up into a box elder tree for bird eggs. He was going up and make a bird’s nest. I happened to get under the nest when one go the rocks fell out and hit me on the head and about knocked me out. I was sick for two or three days from that big bump on the head.
I spent many other times fooling around with electricity. I did it all the time. My mother bought me some batteries and little coils. I would go to the telephone office and they would give me parts of old phones. I got some receivers and transmitters and other things off the old phones. We would then get the old batteries the phone company had that they were going to throw away.
I would put the old battery in a fruit jar and fill it with vinegar. This would kind of revolutionize the battery and we would get a lot more juice out of it. Then we would buy other things.
One day I was fooling around with an old Ford coil that I had hooked up. I took one of the wires for the Ford coil from the screen porch where we were sleeping. I hooked it on to the clothes line. At the other end of the clothes line I hooked another wire. I used the wire to kill ants with. All at once I heard an awful yell. I looked up and there was my sister Celia. She had come out to the line to hang up some clothes and she got the full load of that electricity. She thought I had done it on purpose but I didn’t know she was anywhere around. I didn’t have the slightest idea that she was going to get an electric shock from that wire.
I wired up the chicken coop. I was doing all kinds of crazy things with the wiring. Later on we bought some chickens. My brother and I built a coop for them. I built some devices so that if anyone came around who shouldn’t be there I had the chicken wire all electrified so they would get a charge of electricity. I had a little nail that you reached down with your foot and touched. It would open up a relay and that would open the door so that you could get in and out of the coop. If you didn’t know the secret of that nail you couldn’t get in.
I also fixed up an old alarm clock for the chickens. It would turn the coop lights off and on. I had it on a wooden block and I put some copper on it. It was a twenty four hour clock. I had these little brushes rub the wires and it would turn the lights on and off. I cut it different lengths and had the lights come on at different times. It would then turn another set of brushes that would turn dim lights on. Then the chickens would go to sleep. It would turn the lights on in the morning so that the chickens would get up. Then it would turn them off when it got day light. I changed it around for different seasons.
When I was going to school I got lazy. I fed the chickens at night. I had to go down at a certain time and throw feed to them. To remedy this situation I got another alarm rigged up so when the alarm went off the alarm key on the back of the clock would wind up a string and start an electric fan going. When the fan was going it would open up a little device for the wheat to roll down and the electric fan would throw wheat all over for the chickens to eat. I did this so I wouldn’t have to go down and feed them at night. It left my evenings free. I just had to feed them once a day.
I got tired of packing water down to the chickens so my brother and I dug a well. We put a pitcher pump on it and then we pumped water every morning. Later on we got a cow and I would pump water for both the cow and the chickens. It made it so we didn’t have to carry water down there. The pump is gone now but the pipe is still down in the ground where the pump stood. Somebody broke the pipe and broke the pump. Little by little it got lost and I don’t know where it is now. We had a lot of fun when I was a boy.
I joined the scouts when I was about in the fifth grade. I loved to go out and cook supper. As boys we had a lot of fun. I remember one scout master named Jack Scott. He was about six feet six inches tall. When he would go to bed at night his feet would stick out of the foot of his bed. There weren’t quilts long enough to cover him up. We would get up in the morning and would find a feather from a seagull or some other bird and we would tickle the bottom of his feet and wake him up. It would make him angry and he would chase us all over the place.
One time we were down to Utah Lake by the mouth of the Provo river. There were carp all over. There was just two or three inches of water in the swamps near the river. The carp would come up in the swamps. They were all over. They were swimming around with their fins sticking out of the water. We asked our scout master if we could get up and go out and chase them. He told us to go ahead but that we’d better take our clothes off or we’d get them wet. We stripped off to our birthday suits, ran into the water and went after those big carp. Some of them were fifteen or twenty pound fish. We had to get in the water and get both arms around those big fish and perhaps get a scissor hold on them before we could stop them from flopping and finally bring them up on shore. Sometimes it would take two of us to handle one of those big fish.
We really worked hard. Our scout master, Frank Clayton, sat on shore and laughed and laughed at us. I think that he had more fun watching us than we did trying to get those fish. Anyone with a pitch fork could have loaded up a truck with them there were so many of them.
Those fish were so slimy that to go into that water and try to catch one of them and hold on to them was really something. We could catch them quite easily but to hold on to them was another thing. We would have to work our hands into their gills before we could raise them out of the water. Sometimes we couldn't raise them out of the water. They were too heavy and slippery.
One day we were out camping and our scout master gave us a challenge to see if we could cook a hunter's stew in a paper bag. Our patrol took him up on it. We decided to see if we could cook the hunter's stew. That is a regular good old fashioned stew. It contains onions, meat, potatoes and carrots. The vegetables are all cut up and put in the stew. We got three brown paper sacks and put them inside of each other. Then we made our stew and very carefully got our fire going. We set some hot coals aside and then we poured our stew into the bag. We had the stew a little wetter than we ordinarily did. We knew that if we didn't we couldn't add any more water to it because the top of the sack would burn away. Well, we put the stew in and the water from the stew came through the sack and kept it from burning up. We cooked the stew and got it done and then began to wonder how we were going to get it off the fire. We decided to leave the stew right where it was and we moved the fire away from it and then we got a big long spoon and dished it out. Then we had our supper. We proved that we could cook a stew in a paper sack on a camp fire.
He also challenged us to cook an egg on a hot rock. Well, we had trouble at first because when you get a rock it doesn't matter how level it is you never get one that is perfectly level. When we would break an egg and put it on the rock it would just roll right off the rock into the fire. One of the fellows got the idea of taking a slice of bread and taking the center out of it and putting the bread on the rock. He then suggested that we put the egg inside of the bread. It worked beautifully because we could cook an egg on the hot rock by putting that piece of bread around it. It held the egg and when it was done the egg wouldn't be runny any more and you could easily pick it up.
Three of us, Eugene and I and Charlie Menzies, decided we would get our cooking merit badge. We called up Roy Passey, who was a judge at the time, and also the examiner for the cooking merit badge. We made a date with him and got everything all ready. We got everything that was required. We had to get a tin can. It was one of those big gallon cans. We had to cut it out and make a place where we could make a fire and cook on it. We had all the requirements read and everything ready. Mr. Passey came just about the time everything was ready. He looked things over and thought it looked fine. He pitched in and started to eat. The first thing he did was eat all our stew and then he ate everything else we had there. We had some rice pudding that we had made and he said, "Oh, we have this for desert, that's fine." I thought we had enough rice pudding for him and for everyone else. He sat down and ate the whole works, everything. When everything was all eaten and out of sight he said, "Boys where are your cards, that was a good supper." He signed our cards and we cleaned up the mess and put things away. Then we went home and had supper. We didn't get any supper with Mr. Passey. I was kind of discouraged about it.
Another time we went on a hike. Where we went there was a little lake. We built a big fire on the ice and were cooking supper on it. We had our stew and our supper all around the fire. We had rocks to hold it and things were going fine. Everything was proceeding according to our plans when all at once there was a splash. Supper, rocks and all disappeared below the water's surface and the water bubbled up and that was all that we could see. We didn't even get our utensils back. We didn't get our bucket or anything. Everything disappeared out of sight. This was another time we didn't have anything to eat and went home hungry.
We had a lot of fun playing what we called "Gray Wooley Wooley." It is a lot like "Run Sheep Run." I don't know whether you've played that or not. We would go over to the river to play it. We would use maybe a couple of acres. We needed a big area to run in. There were wire fences there and everything else, but we would get out and we would run. We would divide into two groups. One group would pick a captain and then we would go out and hide. Our leader would go back and tell the others we were ready. He would yell signals to us and if the other group got close to us he would yell a signal for us to lay low. He had another signal for us to creep toward camp. The object of the game was for the group to get back to camp without getting caught. Sometimes he would yell "Gray Wooley Wooley" and that meant for us to run to camp as hard as we could go because he figured that the other group were far enough away from camp that we could get there without getting caught. We would all run to camp as hard as we could go. There were wire fences and everything else. Some of the fellows would run smack dab into the wire fence and would get their legs cut. We took one fellow to the doctor to have stitches in his leg because he had run into a wire fence. Some of us would run into holes and go sprawling.
Other times we would climb up in the Cottonwood trees. We would climb to the top of them. Someone had cut a bunch of them down and a new bunch had begun to grow up again. We would climb to the top of those and then as the tops bent over we would ride them down. We would cut them up and make lean-tos out of them. We made bridges. Brother Joseph Johnson let us go over to his place and we cut his wood down. If we took care of things and kept it nice and clean he didn't care. We had a wonderful time. We used his place as a Scout camp.
We went down to Utah Lake a lot of times. We would get out into the bull rushes and play "Run Sheep Run." As boys we had a lot of fun there camping. One time we went out on an activity with Wilford Hall. We called him "Pop Hall." We went on New Year's day. It was a snow hike up the mountains. When we got up there in the snow, up where the canyon comes down, we decided we would play "Run Sheep Run" in the snow. I'll tell you, you'd lay down in the snow so the other people wouldn't see you or get behind a bush, and it was cold. We had a lot of fun when we were boys.
My brother and I started up Rock Canyon one day to hike to the top of Provo Peak. We started about 2 AM in the morning. We had what we called a "bug." It was a tin can with a handle on it. We had cut a hole in the bottom of it and had put a candle in it. We then punched some holes in the back of the can and this gave us light. We hiked until day light and then we put the candle in our pocket and threw the can away. We hiked and hiked that day and got way up back of Maple Flat mountain. It was about 2 PM in the afternoon as we got up to a little ridge just south of Provo Peak. I was so tired. We just couldn't make it. It was dark before we got back to the car.
One day after a hike we came back to the car and somebody had taken all of the valve centers out of the tires. We had to hike back down to a service station and buy new valve centers and go back up. We put them back in the tires and pumped them up. We always kept a pump in the car. We got home after dark.
Sometimes we would take the old Model T Ford that we had down to Utah Lake. We would get down on the lake shore and play what we called a game of "Chicken." We would get the car going and then we would all jump in the back seat and let it go and see how long we could go before one of us would jump up in front and steer it out of the water or something. One day none of us would "chicken" and we ran right into the lake and we were in a foot of water before we finally stopped. We tried to get the car out but we were in soft mud and couldn't get it out. We had to walk into shore and get some two inch planks. We brought them back out to the car. We had to raise the wheels up on one side and put them on the planks. We then had to raise up the other side and put those wheels on a plank. Then we would push the car to the end of the planks. Then we would put another set of planks in front of them so we had four planks. We would push the car on to those planks and then we would go back and pick up the first planks and put them in front and that is how we got out of the water.
A Model T car was not as heavy as the cars of today. I could very easily raise one up. I could put my back against the rear tire and take hold of the wheel. As I straightened up my legs I could pull the truck right off the ground. With the new model cars now you can't do that. They are too heavy. With that old Model T I could. Most of the time when we had a flat tire on the Model T lifting them up was the way we jacked them up.
The flat tires we had then were different than the ones we have now. We had to take the tire off. We didn't take the wheel off like we do now. We just had to take the tire off. We had tire irons and we would take the tire off of the rim and patch the tube and put the tire back on. We then had to pump it up and come on home. When the tires wore out we had to scratch around and find a new tire.
We had a lot of fun with those old Model T Fords. We went skiing in them. We went down to Utah Lake in them, in fact, we went all over. We went over across Utah Lake to the west side. One day as we were over there by Top Lift we broke a front spring. The fender started to rub the tire so we took an old rail road tie, that had been taken out of the track and wasn't much good, and laid the tie on the other side of the car. That raised the fender off the tire then we traveled home. The weight of it on the opposite side of the car got us home. Another time we went down to Fairview and burned out a bearing in the car. We took off the pan on the bottom of the engine and saw which cylinder had a bearing burned out. We took an old shoe and used the leather from it. We cut it very carefully and fit it. We placed it, instead of the bobbit in the bearing, put it back on again and drove home. After we got home we got a new bearing and put it in the car.
When I got that old car, my Uncle Leslie Coombs ,who was the husband of my Aunt Ellis, had broken a rear wheel on it and he didn't want it. He told us that we could have it if we could get it home. Dad took me up and we brought another wheel and put on it. It didn't have any tires on it so we wrapped rags around the rims and drove it home. When we got home we got some tires for it.
Our neighbor on the north of us had torn his old car apart. He had a Model T Ford and I had been over there helping him. He would take the pistons and the valves and etc., out. He told me that everything you took off you took a center punch and marked it so that you would know exactly which piston went in which place, which valve went in which place etc. Everything you took off you marked so that you would get it back exactly the same way it came off.
When we brought the old Ford home my brother and I started to take it apart. We had the pistons and valves off. We had the top and bottom off as well. We had the thing all to pieces and it was laying all over the yard. Dad came out and looked at it and said, "When should I call the junk yard?" I said, "We are not going to call the junk yard, We are going to have this running." He looked at it and chuckled and went back into the house. He knew that it wouldn't be long before it would be at the junk yard but he was content to let us go ahead and have our fun.
I got stuck once or twice while I was working on it. I went over to Brother Davis, who I had helped tear his car apart, and he showed me the pieces we had missed. We got it all back together again and got everything working. We got the coils all in and then we tried to start it. It wouldn't run. We put oil in it but we still couldn't crank it and make it run. We took Dad's car and tied the Ford on behind it and drug it around the block. It started to run. After we finally got it going we ran that car for a long time after that. We took it to Aspen Grove and hauled wood home in it.
One day we took it out to the old Geneva Resort. There is not much left of the place now. It is on the road right west of the Geneva Steel Plant right on the lake. There is still a grove of trees down there and some lawn. We were down there one night for an activity. When we came out to the car it wouldn't start. I cranked and cranked and there was nothing. One of the other fellows there came up to me and said, "You know it has been known that some people lift the Ford coils out and put paper behind them and then they put the coils back and then you can't start your car." Then when morning came, he said, the people would come back when you weren't around and strip tires and take other things. We lifted the coils out and sure enough there was paper back of them. We pulled it out, put the coils back, the car started and we went home. After that when the car wouldn't start or after it had been sitting out for a while, we kind of looked for something like that.
We got a chance to buy what was called a "Ruxal Gear." That is a gear that has a shifting device in it and a rod up at the front with a lever on it. You would pull it back and forth and it made the car run in a lower gear than otherwise. It was a gear in the rear end of the car. We had a lot of fun with it. We could put the car in "Ruxal Gear", put it in low, and that car would go almost anywhere. One time we were up at Aspen Grove getting a load of wood. My brother was driving. We had it in "Ruxal Gear". He stopped and put it in "Ruxal Gear" and then started out. We had to be careful because sometimes it didn't shift in between and then we didn't have brakes or anything. When he shifted down he hadn't come to a clear stop before shifting down into "Ruxal Gear" so it would have more power to hold it back. We put it in low gear to come down the hill instead of braking and wearing the brakes out. The compression of the engine would hold us back. Well, he put it in "Ruxal Gear" but it didn't go in. We started down the hill and then he couldn't get it in anything. He couldn't stop it. It was just like free wheeling and we had a load of wood on the truck. I looked at him and said "good bye" and jumped out and left the car. I started walking down the hill because I didn't know what to expect. When I came around a bend he was there waiting for me. "Come on," he said, "let's go." I said, "What did you do?" He said, "See that little ravine up there. When I came around this bend I knew I was going so fast I couldn't make the next bend. That little ravine looked awful good and it was up hill. I ran the car right up the hill. When it stopped I shifted into low gear. Let's go." So, we got in the car and away we went. We were awfully careful after that.
I talked to my Uncle Leslie about it. He told me that if the space was too wide that I could take a little washer and narrow it down. We took the gear off of the back of the car and adjusted it. The chances of it getting into that free wheeling mode was not nearly as great as before.
We took that old car to work out on the Provo Bench. We did that a lot. A bunch of us would get in the car and away we'd go. There were about four of us who worked for Jess Cordner. He had a lot of strawberries to hoe. He had us out there before school stopped in the summer and we were hoeing in the strawberry fields. About the time school stopped he gave the four of us a job. He told us that he would keep us hoeing strawberries all summer. He had about twenty eight acres of berries. He gave each of us a brand new hoe and a file. We started hoeing and when we got through the whole patch it was time to start all over again. We spent the whole summer long swinging a hoe. We would go out to his place, take off our shirts, strip down to the waist and work in the summer heat. That is the way I earned a lot of my summer wages.
During the strawberry season when the berries were on we would take our car and go to work hoeing. The girls he had hired were picking the strawberries right close to where we were. One day we got in the car to drive back to Mr. Cordner's house. A bunch of the girls got in a truck. They were all over the truck. Mr. Cordner had an irrigation ditch in his front yard. It wasn't too deep but it had quite a lot of water in it. Everyone had to go through the ditch to get to his house. Well, when we came back to the house with the girls I speeded up and was going just as fast as I could. I hit that water going about thirty miles an hour and just covered everything with water. Everybody was drenched. Of course, nobody cared. It was summertime. The car spit and sputtered and stopped. We had to push it off the road. We had to walk back out to the fields that afternoon while the car dried.
While we were sitting and eating our dinner the girls all went in and had their dinner. After they had eaten they came out with water buckets and started a water fight with us. Of course, when we got through with the water fight we were wetter than ever. We had a lot of fun with those water fights. I talked to quite a lot of the girls who were there and made a date with one of them. I borrowed Dad's car to take her to the show. I went to her place and picked her up and just as we were coming back to the highway a cop stopped me. He said, where are you going?" I said, "We are going to the show." "Where did you get that girl," he said. I told him where I had picked her up and he said, "You can't pick up girls." I said, "Why not, I had the bosses permission." I talked to him for quite a while and he finally let us go. They had had a lot of trouble with girls being picked up by strange fellows and getting into trouble. I took her to the show and back and we had a lot of fun there.
While I was in high school we made a radio set out of spark coils we would hook up. We could broadcast about a mile with it. We used a crystal set to pick it up with. Of course, we couldn't use that now as it would interfere with all the televisions and radios all over. We had a lot of fun with that radio. We were down to one of my friends Houst Potter's place. He had one set that he had bought. It used a boughten spark coil. All the rest of the boys around copied it and we all made sets.
We had a band when I was going to high school. I got in the high school band where I played the Sousaphone. During my Senior year a bunch of us boys got together and started a dance orchestra. We played in different places in the wards in Provo and out on the Provo Bench. We didn't make very much money but we made a little bit. We would go to dances and I learned a lot about dance music.
After I got out of high school I went right to Brigham Young University. I was in the college band under the direction of Brother Sauers. I played in the band in college for one year. We played at the football games. In the spring we took a trip and went south. We traveled all through the southern part of Utah. On the way down to St. George we played at the different schools and stayed at different places at night. We got about thirty miles from St. George and one of our busses broke down. It had burned out a bearing. We sat there from two in the afternoon until about 7 PM when we got into town. Some of the fellows caught rides in and it was about 7 PM before we finally got into town. We had just enough time to get to the concert that night.
When I was in college I went to a lot of social events. I was in the "Mates Social Unit." One night on a Mates party down at Utah Lake we took the boats that were there and went out on to the lake. We had about eight boats. We tied the front ends together in a circle. We all sat in the boats in the circle and had our party in the middle of the lake. Another time when we were down at the lake we spent our time around a big bonfire telling stories. One of the fellows was standing close to the edge of the water telling jokes and lost his balance and fell into the water. When he came out he took about four more of us back in with him. He said he wouldn't be wet alone.
During my college years we had a lot of fun. The last year of my college life I met my wife. I will tell you how we met. I was working up at Sunnyside, Utah tearing down a house. Dad had bought the house and we were going to use the material to remodel our home again. Our place wasn't big enough. Eugene was going to summer school and he had asked a girl he knew to go on the Timp Hike with him. I wanted to go on the hike so I told him that if he would get me a date I would go with him and his date. His girl friend was named Pearl. He asked one of Pearl's girl friends if she would go with me and she said she would. However, when she found out that we would have to go in the old Model T Ford truck because my folks were using their car to go up to Aspen Grove she didn't want to go. It was beneath her dignity. So, she got sick. Mary was boarding at the same place this girl lived and she consented to go with me. She said she didn't mind riding in a truck, It was then arranged for me to take her.
The morning of the hike the other girls brother and cousins came down from Logan to go on the hike and she got better immediately. One of the other girls from the boarding house was on the program at Aspen Grove and consented to go with the girl, brother and cousin.
Well, we four got into the Ford truck and started up Provo Canyon for Aspen Grove. When we were about half way up to Aspen Grove from Wildwood we found them stalled at the side of the road. They had a flat tire and had no spare. They had to take the tire off and patch it. The girl on the program had to get to Aspen Grove and so the two girls had to get in the back of the truck with us. Mary surely got a kick out of that because the girl still had to ride in the old Ford truck the last part of the trip.
Those in charge had a good camp fire program. After the program we fooled around until about 2 AM when we started up the trail to the top of Timp. We were just about to Emerald Lake when we stopped and waited for the sun to come up. Then we continued on to the top. When we got back down to Aspen Grove we were tired. Mary and Pearl went into my folk's tent and laid down to rest. Eugene and I had laid down under a pine tree on a blanket. The girls woke up first. Mary said she was going to wake us up. She took a cup of water from the water bucket and came over and threw it in our faces. Then she started to run. Of course, I got up and chased her and caught her. We had fun. I started dating her my Senior year and the next year I married her.
Aspen Grove was a wonderful place. Dad taught summer school for BYU up there every summer. There are too many students at the University now to have classes there like they used to. When I was in high school I went up there a lot. We would spend the summer up there living and hiking. Dad had one of the cabins to live in. We would hike up to the top of Timp. I have been to the top of the mountain twenty seven times. I have been up the peaks in every direction. I have come in from hikes so wet, because of rain storms, when the water was coming down in torrents. I have been out in snow storms in July and in hail storms as well.
You got so you ran instead of walked. I went up there one year to Summer School. I worked up there as their carpenter for a year after Mary and I were married.
There are a lot of areas up on Mt. Timpanogos. The first year after we were married Mary and I went up and spent one night at Chipman Flat. We went on our anniversary. There was a Salamander Lake about two miles from Aspen Grove. We would hike up there and go in and catch salamanders. They look like a baby alligator.
During the winter vacation we would go to Wildwood, up Provo canyon. We would then walk from there to Aspen Grove. We had to carry our week's provisions, our sleeping bags and all that we would need with us. About ten of us would go. We always took Chauncy Harris with us. Then we would stay in Brother Franklin S. Harris's cabin. He was the president of BYU. We stayed there and skied and had a lot of fun. One year when we went up there there was twenty three feet of snow. When we got to the cabins they were all out of sight. Some of them had just a little bit of the top of the roof sticking out of the snow. Some had just a little mound of snow showing where they were. We went to the Harris cabin because it had plenty of room for us to sleep. We put our sleeping bags down and had plenty of wood to keep us warm. We skied and hiked around.
If you want to see a beautiful place you want to go up there in the winter time. When we were there we didn't have any ski lifts. All we had we our skis. Most of them were home made. We would take a rope and tie a hook in the end and put a loop over the front of the ski. We would then wrap the rope around the ski and tie it on to our foot strap. By doing this the skis would not slip. They would be more like snow shoes and we could walk all over. When we got to a place where we could slide down hill we would just undo the rope and away we'd go. When you fell over in that much snow it was different than falling in just a little snow. We would be buried in the snow with just our feet and skis sticking out and we would be hanging head down in the snow. We would have to work our way back up to the top of the snow then take our skis off and pull ourselves back upon to the skis. I don't know what would have happened if we had lost one of our skis. We kept our skis tied to us and we also kept our ski poles tied so we couldn't lose them. We lost one ski up there and we took our skis off and just stood there and poked the skis up and down in the snow until we found the lost ski. One of the boys broke a ski. We took him back to camp and took a board and nailed it on top of where the ski was broken. That held it together so we could get back down to Wildwood. You just couldn't walk in snow of that depth. One of the fellows tried to and he went about ten feet and gave up and went back to his skis. We couldn't go anywhere without skis on.
It is so different to see snow that deep. All of the shubbery is gone. All there is to see is trees sticking out of the snow. You walk over the tops of the bushes. Most of the trees were also covered so they looked like hay stacks as they were so full of snow.
I was going down one place zigging and zagging around the trees. I got messed up and one of my feet went on one side of a small aspen and the other foot went on the other side. I hit it right good and hard. The next thing I knew they had laid four skis together and were taking me back to camp as I woke up. I was all right. I just had the wind knocked out of me.
We didn't have the fancy ski riggings that people have now. There were no ski lifts but I think that we had just as much fun as they do now.
I will tell you some of the things that we have done since we have been married. I have spent a lot of time in Scouting work. I have been on many trips with the boys. I have been a lot of places with the Explorers.
While I was in high school I joined a lot of clubs. I was also the Snap Shot Editor of the year book. I took the pictures. I had a little flash gun that used flash powder. We didn't have flash cubes or flash bulbs at that time. I would pour a little flash powder ( a couple of teaspoons full) in a little holder. I had a little gun that would shoot it off. I would hold it up and open up the camera. Then I would flash it and it would close the camera. I took a lot of pictures that way. I would always put a cloth over my hand because there would be a back lash and a puff of smoke as it went off and I might have burned my hand if some of the flash powder had fallen on me.
One day I followed the girls out on a hobo hike to take pictures of them. I was hunting for the girl who was in charge of the group to get her permission to go take the pictures. I followed them down the tracks and took a lot of pictures. I wanted to go to the bonfire but I didn't hardly dare. I found out later that the woman I was taking pictures of was the chaperone and I didn't know it. I went into another place where the girls were having a big dress up affair. They were all dressed up in funny costumes. I took quite a few pictures there.
That year in high school I did not take too many credit hours. I took just enough to fill my required groups.
When I was about five or six years old my father bought a farm down by Monroe. He took us down there and we lived one summer in a tent there on the farm. I don't remember how big the farm was but it seemed like it was thirty or forty acres. Most of it was high ground or pasture land. When we went down there Dad cleaned off sage brush and planted alfalfa. He took his whole family down there with him. My job was to be down there and help. I rode the horses. We played there in the sage brush. One day we found a snake. We ran back to camp and told Mother that there was a big snake out there. She went out with us. It was a Blow snake. It was about six feet long laying there on the road. She got a shovel and killed it. At other time we caught horned toads and played with them.
Some of the time we went out with Dad and worked and some of the time we were in camp by ourselves. We would ride back and forth to Grandma Lorena Larsen's place in Monroe. She had a nice lawn and a big wood pile. The men in the family would go up in the hills. My dad and my Uncle Clarence, who was living at home at the time, would go up in the hills and cut pine, pinion and other kinds of wood and bring it down to Grandma's place. This was the kind of fuel that they would burn all winter long to keep warm. They didn't use coal. Grandma Larsen had a hay barn where they would put the hay. I would watch them. They didn't let me help but I could watch them.
I remember that they had an old horse that they called Pet. They had another that was called Belle. These two were a team and we used them to go back and forth from the farm with. We would come into town from our camp maybe once a week. It was about three miles. This was one of my first recollections of being on the farm.
After I got married I didn't have a job or even a sign of one. It was during the depression and money was hard to get. My father-in-law who was living in Osino, Nevada, near Elko, wrote us a post card and said that if we would come out to Nevada he had a job for me on a section gang. That was quite a change from a college graduate to a section hand. We went out there immediately. We got the card on a Friday and on the following Monday morning we were there. Mary took care of her mother who was ill and I worked with my father-in-law on the section. The first day or two when we came in from work my hands and my back were so tired. I would have to pry my hands loose from the tamping bar. We were tamping ties, changing ties, etc. It wasn't long though until I toughened up so I could take the work.
There were about six Mexicans working there and most of them could hardly speak enough English to make their wants known. They spoke mostly Spanish. My father-in-law gave them their instructions in Spanish. I was dumb not to have learned more Spanish than I did. I had the opportunity to learn quite a lot of the language but I was too lazy.
We would get out the motor car from the tool shed, put it on the track, and then we would go maybe one to five miles one way or another along the track. Mary's father had about fifteen miles of track in his section that he had to maintain and fix. Some times there would be a low spot. The road master would leave word for Mary's father. The road master rode in the back of the train and he could tell just exactly where the track needed work. When the area was identified we would go and fix it. Some days we would go riding along in the motor car watching for bolts that had come loose or were out of the track. Anything that went wrong on our section we would have to go out and fix it.
Sometimes we had to change rails or change the ties when they wore out. It was all right at first but later on in the summer it started to get hot. The rails would get so hot that we had to wear gloves to touch them. The steel was just too hot to touch in that good old Nevada sun. Then the bugs started to come in. The gnats got so bad that we had to wear a veil like a bee veil and long sleeved shirts to keep the gnats away from our skin. The gnats would eat us up. Some days I would be the flag man. I would go out about a half a mile or so away from where they were working. If a train came along I would flag it down and have them proceed slowly. We tried to get our work done between trains. We weren't supposed to stop any passenger trains, We could slow down the freight trains but not a passenger train unless there was an emergency. I used what they called a tamping pick. That was the hardest job because my back was bent over and I would tamp the dirt under the ties to hold them up. Things went along pretty well.
Later on it got cold and I can tell you that when it gets cold in Nevada at night it gets cold. It just didn't seem like we could get enough clothes to wear to keep warm. It was still only September and it wasn't supposed to get cold yet.
When I first went out there I learned that come Saturday I was supposed to take a bath. Well, they got out this little round tub. It was about two feet in diameter. We put water in it and then I was supposed to sit down in it and wash. I had to put one foot in at a time and then one leg and then the other. My wife tried to show me how to take a bath in that little tin tub. She had been taking baths in a tub all her life. She could sit down in that tub curling up her legs and feet. I tried it only once. The next week I went down to the Humbolt River. I took my soap and towel down to the river. It wasn't very far from where we lived and there was quite a lot of brush around there. I went there to take my baths. I took my weekly bath in the Humbolt River. It was much easier than using that little tiny tin tub.
We had coyotes out there. You could hear them come in and then howl at night.
I sent for my gun. I had some shots at some of them but they were too far away. I didn't get them.
One time we were told about some semi precious stones that were around there. They were supposed to be about three or four miles from Osino. We went up there. I filled my pockets with the agate like material. They made up into beautiful stones. The people out there used the stone in rock gardens and for other purposes. About thirty years later I went back up there and tried to find some more of that material. It was just dropped out there in that area, big pieces of it. But, when I went back out there the second time to where it had been every bit of it was gone. People had been going up there taking every bit of it they could get. They had even dug holes down into the ground and taken it out. There wasn't any left.
When we first went there we went to church in Elko. I was made Assistant Sunday School superintendent. All the time I was there I worked in the Sunday School. That was the first time I ever had any calling of that type. We got along fine and we had a wonderful Sunday School there in the Elko Branch.
After I came back to Utah from working on the railroad in Osina I worked for my father remodeling his home. My dad needed a bigger place. We dug out a basement and wheel barrowed the dirt out from the north side under the west living room. Glen Turner and my brother Ronald helped me. We dug it out and cemented it up. Then we put the house up on back there. We put the roof on it and built two bedrooms upstairs. We also built a big studio for Dad to paint in. We also put a bathroom up there. I wired it and everything. There were times when I went out and did electrical wiring jobs on the side. I also taught night school during this time for the Works Progress Administration. The classes were held at the high school. I taught handicrafts for them two nights a week. It helped our income.
When I was walking home one day Aldous dixon, who was the Superintendent of the Provo City School district, stopped me. He asked me if I would like a job as a custodian in the school district. At this time I was his assistant in the Sunday School superintendency of the Provo Third Ward. I didn't have any other job. I had been planning, if I didn't find something to do, to go down to California. My brother-in-law down there had told me to come down and he thought I could find work down there. This offer from Brother Dixon looked pretty good so I took the job. I started at the old Timpanogos School. I stayed there one year. The next summer they tore the old school down as they were building a new school just north of the old building. It is the school building that is there now. The first year in the new building I had an awful time. There weren't any sidewalks and there were no lawns or anything. School started and when it rained for the first time we were knee deep in mud. The little kids would all walk in the mud puddles and then they would walk into that building. Instead of sweeping the dirt out I had to shovel it out. The floors really took a beating.
One morning the principal came to me and took me down to the Kindergarten room. He wrote with his finger in the dust on the seats. The dust was so thick that it didn't look like I had dusted there for a month. The fact was that I had dusted there that morning. The next morning after dusting I went to the principal's office and took him down to the Kindergarten room. I asked him if it looked all right and he said, "Yes, it looks fine." Everything was fine. Then just before school started I went back to his office and asked him to come with me that I wanted to show him something. I again took him to the Kindergarten room and when we got there I started writing with my finger in the dust on the desks. The dust was just as thick that morning as it was the morning before. Dirt was also under the desks where the kids had their feet. It was bad.
After that they soon put in some lawn and some side walks. After that we didn't have so much trouble.
I worked there for eight years. It was about that time that World War II came along and they called me up to the employment office to take a test. It was a general test on all types of work. About two weeks later they called me up again. I went back and took another test that was strictly geared to electrical work. I got kind of jittery. I wondered if they were going to call me for draft labor like they were calling men for the Army. I didn't want to be sent somewhere that I didn't want to go. I went to the Post Office and asked the Post Master if they had any place for Electricians. There was one place on Midway Island. That was a long way from home and I decided that was too far away for me. I tried to see if there wasn't a place in the continental United States that I could go to. About six months later the Japanese conquered Midway Island and took it away from the Allies. If I had been there I would have been a prisoner of war. I would have probably been there for the duration of the war. I don't know what would have happened.
About this same time I went out to Orem where they were constructing the Geneva Steel plant to see what they would do for me. They wouldn't talk to me unless I got a permit from the Union. I went over and talked to the Union representative. He wouldn't talk to me because I was working for the school district as a custodian. From there I went over near Springville to the Ironton Plant to see what they had available. I talked to a Mr. Rooney. He looked at my application. When he saw that I was a college graduate with a degree in physics and that I had also done a lot of electrical work he turned my application over to see how many dependents I had. "Yes," he said, "I think we can use you. We would like to have you here but I don't have an opening for an electrician right now. Why don't you start on labor and then as soon as an electrician's job opens up we will give it to you." He said he thought there would be one opening up in about two weeks.
I went back to the school district and told them that I would give them two weeks notice as I was going to quit and go to work at Ironton.
In two weeks I went over to Ironton. I worked there on the common labor gang. I did about every labor job there was to do. I worked on the track gang. I worked cleaning up around in different areas of the plant. I worked in the blast furnace and the coke plant. They even had me up on the mill in the coke plant mixing mud that they used to line the doors with before they sealed them. While I was there at the coke plant Mr. Rooney came to me one day and told me to report the next morning to the maintenance shop's electrical department. They wanted to start me out there. He also told me that I hadn't had enough experience to work with direct current. Because of that I would be an apprentice for four or five months and then I would go into my electrical work. That suited me just fine so I started. I was now making a lot more money that I had made at the Timpanogos School
I worked at Ironton for about a year and I was on shift work. One of the jobs I had took me around to the different motors in the plant. I would check all of their electrical controls. When men were on the graveyard shift they had to go around and put coal in the two locomotives at the plant. They also had to fill the cranes up so that at 8 AM in the morning they would be ready to go It saved the men waiting around until the engines would be ready to run. That was a new and different experience for me.
I got an instrument technician job at the #2 plant in Ironton and I went there for a while. This was a brand new experience for me. There was no instrument technician at Ironton. I was the only one there, I didn't know very much about instruments so I went to work with my tools in one hand and an instruction manual in the other. For the next eight months I did all the instrument work following the instructions from the book.
After I had been at the Ironton Plant for some time the Geneva Steel Plant in Orem started up and I had a chance to transfer to Geneva. I went as an instrument technician. They started me out in the open hearth. I worked all over the area. I worked about a year at the blast furnace, four months in the coke plant, about two months in the cindering plant, about a month in the benzene plant, about a year in the ammonia plant, about three years in the rolling mills, and about eight years in the power house. The rest of my time at Geneva was spent in central maintenance. I had a work bench and things to be repaired would be brought to me. I fixed all of the first aid equipment. They would send it out to be checked for gases at different places. We serviced all of the meters, electrical meters, and indicating meters.
We got things to fix from Ironton, from the coal mines and other places. We did a lot of different work. From central maintenance I went to the switch house, It is in the switch house that all the power is distributed throughout the plant. I went to the sub stations of the switch house where power is further distributed. There they had meters, control circuits and protective relays. They are like a fuse plug. If they got too much power or short circuited these relays would open up and take the circuit out to protect the lines and thus the equipment. I often worked on them. Clyde Konold and I worked together on them for a long time. As I said we did a variety of work there in central maintenance. We had to make thermal couplers. Sometimes folks would bring pressure gauges to us and we would have to readjust them. Often they needed to be rebuilt and we would do that.
We had Northrup recording and indicating meters to work on. They were something like a typewriter. They would automatically write down the temperature and the pressure. Often it was quite a surprise to us when they would bring a strange meter in to us, set it on our desk and say, "repair it." We would look at them and say, "what is it?" Often we had never seen one like it before. We got into some where they used super sonic beams. They could measure the thickness of steel by sending a sound beam through it. The time it took the beam to go through and back was used to determine the thickness of the steel. The same super sonic instruments could be put on the edge of a sheet of steel and sound waves would travel through the steel and back. When it came back it gave a pip on the gauge (something like a television screen). A little line would come across the screen. It would put a pip when it started, then another line and another pip. If any pip came in between on that line it denoted trouble. If there was a crack or a flaw in the steel or if there was something wrong in the plate it would detect it right now.
The same instrument was also used in the pipe mill. It was just north of the Geneva Plant. I worked in the pipe mill quite a lot. They had a rubber wheel that rolled up the pipe right after it was made. It turned the steel around and welded it together. This machine would roll a wheel along it and send the super sonic beam into it. The sound would travel around through the pipe and back again if everything was fine. If there weren't any flaws in it things would go along fine. As soon as it hit a flaw it would ring a bell and spray the pipe with white paint, as it was coming out, in the area where the flaw was. When the flaw would end the bell and the paint would stop. The workers would then cut out the flawed section of pipe and it was taken out to the scrap pile. We had a lot of different kinds of equipment that we used on gas meters, steam meters, water meters and etc.
In the switch house they had a man sitting in front of a big panel. All of the meters for the entire plant were sitting out in front of him. He had the controls all around him. He could control the flow of water, steam, gas and power, etc. He had, right at his finger tips, the whole process of power in the plant no matter where it was going. If trouble occurred somewhere he immediately dispatched workmen, by radio or telephone, to fix it. He would call us if some of our controls were out and we would have to go where the trouble was and repair it. This was a very challenging job. As a job it didn't pay much but it was highly technical. We had a different challenge almost every day and that was something that I liked.
Toward the last of my career there they installed a very interesting device by the railroad track. As the trains would come into Geneva they had a scales on the track. These scales were controlled by strain gauges. The readings were sent to a computer and then read into a typewriter to be printed out. The train would roll along at about five miles an hour. When the first set of wheels would go over the scales it would weigh each set. The weights would be added together. Then when the last set of wheels went over the scales it would weigh those and add them together and then write on the chart provided exactly what the weight was. They had another device sitting to the side of the track that scanned the cars as they went by. If you have ever noticed the side of a railroad car there is a little card about ten inches square. It has a lot of lines running through it crossways. It is made of different colors. A scanner would catch these lines and a photo electric cell would pick up the pulses from it. It would automatically write the number of the car and the weight of the cars would be recorded. This was quite a system. I didn't learn it too well. I wasn't there long enough. The train would go by the scales at about five miles an hour and it didn't take very long to weigh the whole train. When it got to the Dispatcher he would know exactly what was in each car and he could send it down and the switch engine would send the cars to the different areas to be unloaded.
There were about five or six big books that we were given and we were supposed to know everything that was in them. I was only going to be working at the plant for about another year. I learned some, in fact I learned quite a bit, as I had time to read. Gradually I let some of the other fellows take over. It was surely interesting to get into those kinds of controls.
When I first went over to Geneva they only had one type of control. The Leeds and Northrup Company had a control that had two vacuum tubes in it. It was the only control that had a vacuum tube in it in the whole plant. Everything else was either done by relays, by air, hydraulics or liquids (oil in water). Temperature gauges were all done with thermo couplers feeding into a galvanometer. Then the galvanometer, through mechanical means, measured the temperature. When I retired from Geneva practically all of the instruments had been converted over to electronic instruments. When I started, everything used vacuum tubes. One by one they started replacing all the instruments. Before I left they all had transistors and integrated circuits. Towards the last of my career everything was integrated circuits and transistors. It kept us busy studying because they were coming in so fast and there were so many different kinds.
On January 31, 1973 I retired from Geneva. Sometime before I retired some of the fellows that I worked with came around and started asking me why I didn't go down to the office and see what my retirement would be. I had thirty years of employment in. I laughed and said "no." I had determined to stay until I was sixty five years old. I felt that I couldn't afford to retire early. I felt it took my salary for us to live and I couldn't afford a big wage cut. I finally went to my boss and asked him if I could take some time and go down to the office and check things out. He said he had been wondering why I hadn't done it. I went down to the office and talked to the fellow there who was in charge of retirement. He figured things up for me looking at what I would have after thirty years. He then figured eighty per cent of my Social Security and added it all together. He told me what I would make a month. I looked at the figures and as I reviewed things I found that if I continued to work I would be working for less than a dollar an hour more than if I retired. That was figuring my take home pay not my gross pay as the company was still taking deductions out. I couldn't afford not to retire with the sort of benefits that I had. It cost me five or six dollars a week to go back and forth to work, I also had to buy my work clothes and my lunch. I would be lots better off staying home. So, as I said, I retired on January 31, 1973.
The fellows at Geneva gave me a retirement party at Bill and Iva's Cafe in Orem. Most of the instrument men and their wives were there along with my supervisors. Most of my family were there as well. I think that only Joe and Kenneth were absent. We had a plan at the plant where each person, as people retired, chipped in a dollar or two and bought the one retiring some presents. The fellows bought me a sleeping bag, a Skill Saw and some luggage. They were pretty nice things. I still have them. We had a wonderful time at the party.
After I retired from Geneva I started working every day at the Provo Temple. I would go up with Mary as she went to work at her job at the BYU Housing Office. I would come home with her at dinner time. I was really enjoying myself. The next thing I knew I received a call to be interviewed to work there as a regular temple worker. I started as a veil worker. I worked there about ten months and then we were called on our mission.
We told the bishop that we were ready to go into the mission field. He gave us some forms to fill out. We got that done and had our physicals. The doctor said that we could go. Mary had had a heart attack, or some trouble with her heart, about a year before. The doctor checked her over and said she could go if she would take care of herself. So, we went on a mission to Southern Florida.
When we got home from our mission I went back to the temple and started working again. I am working there now two days each week.
When I was a boy I received my Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class and Star awards. I couldn't swim enough to get my Swimming merit badge so I didn't get my Life Scout badge until I was grown. I took the National Red Cross first aid course and certified January 13, 1950. I was then qualified to be an instructor in first aid courses. I kept an active card for many years and taught many first aid courses.
I went to scout survival camp at Stead Air Force Base in Nevada and got a certificate for participation in survival training. I was there from June 25th to July 1, 1955. It was the same course that the pilots took as part of their training. They took us up there as explorer scouts. I was permitted to go from the council as the leader of the group of explorers.
I received my Eagle Scout badge on March 31, 1956. I was scoutmaster at the time. I took a group of boys to Park Ro-Shee in Springville so they could learn to swim and get their swimming and life saving merit badges. While taking the boys there I learned how to swim and got my badges also.
My two older boys, Joe and Kenneth, were working towards getting their Eagle badge. Mary and I told them that the one that got his Eagle first would get $10.00 I finally got my Eagle earned. One night Kenneth said, "Dad, will you pass me off on Dog Care? I have everything done but one merit badge and then I will get the $10.00." I told him to wait until after supper. While we were eating Joe came home from delivering newspapers. He came up to me and said, "Dad, here is my last merit badge for my Eagle." So, they both got $10.00. My two sons and I received our Eagle badges at the same court of honor. A few years later our third son, Bart, earned his Eagle when he was 13 years old, He also received $10.00 for getting his Eagle.
In Provo a National Rifle Association's Hunter Safety course was offered. Everyone had to take it before getting their first hunting license. Those taking the course had to receive a certificate indicating that they had passed the course. I went to them and qualified for an instructor's rating. I could teach the course to the young men in the ward.
The Church announced a program about that time called "The Deseret Recognition." It was an award given that the boys could earn. On February 14, 1947 I received my Deseret Recognition badge from the YMMIA. This award was later replaced by the Duty To God award. Our three boys all got their Duty To God awards. Adults could not receive this award. The Order of the Arrow program was also started in scouting. In the summer of 1967 I received my Ordeal up at Scout Camp while I was scoutmaster there. I was tapped out and had my Ordeal Ceremony there at camp. Then later the next year I went through the Brotherhood Ceremony. It was the next step up. The Order of the Arrow is a special fraternity or lodge in scouting to help promote camping. In 1970 I was called out to receive the Vigil Honor award in the Order. It is the highest honor in the Order of the Arrow. The Brotherhood award is received after having completed the Ordeal and serve faithfully for at least ten months. In order to gain the Vigil Honor award you have to be chosen by the council on your merit. My three sons all belong to the Order of the Arrow and Kenneth and Bart are Vigil Honors. Bart, who was Lodge Chief, called me out when I received my Vigil Honor. It was a great honor to be called out by my son.
On November 29, 1948 I received my Explorer Ranger badge. It was when I was the advisor for exploring. I had been their advisor for about three years. The Ranger process was something like the Eagle Trail except that you had a lot of different groups to go through. You first of all had to get your Apprentice badge. It was something similar to starting out on the Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class trail. We had to learn knots, signaling and etc. After the Apprentice badge was earned the Woodsman came next. To earn this award you had to learn such skills as backwoods engineering, fire techniques, cooking, stalking, communications and etc. From there you went on to qualify for the Frontiersman award. It was more of the same types of things only harder. It was like trying now to pass off your Star and Life badges. There were a lot of different requirements and it was supposed to appeal to the older boys. It was similar to the Eagle trail. The Ranger program was still harder. By the time you had traveled this trail it was like a Scout getting his Eagle badge.
Another thing that the boys could get was their Senior Scout Titles. This is something that you don't often hear about. If you look on my merit badge plaque you will see some little plaques that are around a large badge. One is the scout airman, scout artist, scout seaman, scout naturalist, scout sportsman, scout journalist, scout citizen and scout craftsman. I have some of them, however, I didn't get them all. Explorers would get three or four merit badges in a group and then they would get one of these Senior Scout Titles
The Ranger program went on for a while and then they decided to change it to the Silver program. This program was quite similar to the Ranger program. They tried to make it a little more enticing to the young men. They made it not so much like the Boy Scout program. They wanted it to be more advanced. The program started out with the Apprentice. It then went on to the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. Each one of these was about like the others to get. I received my Silver award on December 28, 1953.
I have taught a lot of training courses and I have attended a lot of training courses. I was looking through my certificates for the training courses and I have thirty one of them. Most of them are for senior scouts and some are from boy scout and cub scout training courses.
For five years Mary and I were the chairmen of the Cub Scout Pow Wow. We did training for the cub scout leaders throughout the northern part of Utah County. Mary wanted to get her Den Mother's Award and one of the requirements was to attend a cub scout pow wow. She kept asking at the roundtable meetings when they were going to have a pow wow. At a meeting at Camp Maple Dell, our scout executive, Rulon Skinner said, "Well we will have a pow wow this year and we will have you and Rex as chairmen." So, that is how I got into leading a cub scout pow wow. We had a wonderful pow wow that year.
We took a number of trips. I have taken two trips to Hill Field with the explorer scouts. We went up to the base and stayed there during the Thanksgiving holidays. The boys lived there for about four days. The people there took us around and showed us the airplanes and how different things worked. It was very educational for us. On Saturday night the MIA. girls from the area came up to the Base and had a dance for the boys.
I have been to the Uintah's with the explorers about three times. We back packed after arriving at Moon Lake and hiked about ten miles from Moon Lake to Brown Duck Lake. The first year we just stayed there and fished. The next two years we went from Brown Duck Lake into another lake called Clement's Lake. We were far enough away that people couldn't walk it in one day and the fishing was great. I have never been in a place where fishing was so good. The first trip I used a little Colorado Spinner on my line. I would throw it out and retrieve it and almost every time I would have a fish. I released a lot of the fish back into the lake. I even bent the barbs on the hook so when I released the tension the fish would get off the hook. I had three or four spinners and one by one I lost them on snags in the lake. When I only had one left I would take off my clothes and go into the lake and retrieve the hook by diving down and freeing it from the snag.
While we were up there we had a laundry day. Everyone took off their clothes and washed them. We hung them up to dry and while they were drying we all went swimming.
I put up my tent down by the edge of the lake with some of the boys. Two or three of the boys wanted to put their camp up in the brush so they did. The first night the bugs about drove me crazy. It was too hot to stay under the covers and if you got out of the covers the bugs took over. The next night I discovered that the boys up in the brush hadn't had any trouble with bugs so we all moved up into the brush.
I had three boys along with me who had never caught a trout. I took them over to the lake and stationed them on a little point. I told them not to bring more fish back to camp than they wanted to eat as we didn't want to eat any. I showed them how to carefully take them off the hook and put them back into the water. I came back about two hours later and asked them how they were coming along. They said they were tired of taking fish off the hooks. I asked them how many they had caught and they said they had quit counting when they reached sixty. It was easy with explorers because they were old enough to be responsible for themselves. They had to stay at least in twos and leave word on a paper as to where they were going. Everyone went their own way and we had a wonderful time.
We went to the Scout Jamboree at Irvins Ranch in Southern California. I was one of the scoutmasters. We were on the trip for two weeks. We went by bus to San Francisco. The Council had about ten buses. We had a police escort through the city. We went to Fisherman's Wharf. We rode the cable cars and we saw the city. We then drove to Los Angeles and spent the night there. We did all this on our way down to Irvins Ranch. We had boys from all over the world there. There were about 50,000 boys. The boys would sit all over the hill side to watch the programs. We had a large public address system. Hollywood stars came out to entertain us. We had an air show over head. We went down to the ocean to swim. The boys got sun burned and tired but they enjoyed it.
We went to Stead Air Force Base. It was quite an experience. We went down there for about a week. Twenty-five boys went from the Provo area. My son Joe was one of them. We went down there to show the boys just exactly what a survival course was like. We were taken through the base and then out on the survival training course. We had the Air Force Survival Instructors with us. There was one instructor for about ten boys and one leader for each ten boys. We had to live off of the land. They gave us a little bit to eat and showed us how to set snares for small animals. They showed us what food was good to eat. We dig squaw potatoes, blue kamas and etc. Some of the boys caught rabbits and some of them caught fish with their hands. Some caught chipmunks and squirrels. We had a very interesting time.
I went to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. The first time I went down I went for explorer training. I have four tapes of the instructions that were given there. It is very interesting to listen to them. The staff showed us just what training they give the boys when they get to Philmont. Philmont is a big ranch. The man who owns Philips 66 gas stations was the original owner. He had a large ranch of thousands of acres and he gave it to the Boy Scouts of America so scouts would have a place to hike and to do outdoor activities. So that the scouts could run the place and pay their expenses he gave them a seven story office building in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The income from renting the offices there was used to support the scout ranch so that the boys and the scouters coming there would not have to pay too much. It made it available to boys from all over the United States.
At the present time they are running cattle on the ranch. They have a group of cowboys that run the cattle, put up the hay and etc. This is a place for boys to train to be cattlemen and ranchers. Scouts come from all over the country to spend two weeks at Philmont. They have different groups of scouts coming in each day and a group leaving each afternoon. There are different training areas and trails all through the ranch. The boys pick out the trail or the training they want before they arrive at Philmont. There must be a leader come with each group of boys. The Philmont ranch puts one or two of their leaders with each group of boys. The boys leave the main Headquarters and start out on their trail. Along the trails are various base camps. When they arrive at a base camp they pick up their food for the next two days. Each boy must bring his own equipment and back pack it. They pick up their food one morning and that night they are camping out on the trail. The next night they arrive at another base camp. In this manner they hike from base camp to base camp with one night out between camps. The boys hike for fifty miles or so and it takes them one and a half to two weeks to complete the distance.
There are other areas of training given at Philmont. You can be instructed in gold mining, panning for gold, etc. They have an old gold mine on the ranch. You can learn to raise cattle. They do archeological diggings in old Indian ruins. They show the boys how to properly dig and preserve the artifacts they find. They have all kinds of different training areas that would be found in the mountains. They have groups learning compass training. There are surveying courses where the boys learn to be scout leaders. The boys might want to go fishing so they are taught to braid their own lines from the weeds in the area. They then put their hook on the line and go down to the creek and cut a willow for a pole. They then dig their bait and go fishing.
The adults go to Philmont for specialized training in the different areas of scouting such as cubbing, scouting and exploring. We went there for the explorer training and were given all the new data on exploring.
Philmont is a wonderful place for a man to take his family on vacation. They are prepared to entertain and care for the family while the husband is taking classes. They take the tiny children from babies to five years of age to the kiddy corral. It is about two miles from the main camp. They are fed and put down to take naps and there is a play ground there for small children to play in. It is all under good supervision. They have nurses and baby sitters with the group. The children are taken at 9 AM and brought back at 4:30 PM. The mothers are free to enjoy their programs and do not have to worry about their children.
They put the children six years of age and older in different groups. There is one for the girls and one for the boys. They have different programs for each of them. The boys from eight up take part in cubbing and scouting programs. They took the children horse back riding and to the archery range. They were taken to the handicraft area and taught different handicrafts. They were taken to a museum. There was something different each day and each part of each day. They were kept busy all the time. Each group had a picnic one day and were taken on a special outing on buses.
The older girls had a special program. They planned a dance and decorated for it their final night there. There was a dance for just the teenagers and there was one for the adults.
The boys of scout age earned merit badges and different scouting skills.
The mothers had special programs and entertainment. It was just a wonderful place for a vacation.
The explorer boys were taken out on the trail for a week's hiking in the mountains. It was a shorter course than for the boys who had come down especially for the two weeks training period.
The second time that we went down to the ranch I went for the cubbing programs. I learned all about cubbing. They had the same set up as I have described before. The women could also take cubbing training if they so desired. If they didn't want the training there was a special program for them. The boys who were cubs and working with the cubbing program built pinewood derby cars and raced them. We had a lot of fun at Philmont.
The last night at Philmont they have a program and then a dance. Each group furnishes a number for the program. The women couldn't come up with a part for the program so Mary volunteered Bart to do his Indian hoop dance. Bart was out in the hills with the explorers. The other women kind of hesitated but when they couldn't come up with another number they agreed to have Bart dance. When Bart danced and got working with an increasing number of hoops the group got enthused. They started clapping with the drum beat for the last few formations. When he finished with the twenty-two hoops they gave him a standing ovation.
I have taken many local trips with the scouts. We went up to Camp Maple Dell five times and stayed for a week each time. That is quite a training ground as well. I think that every boy, as he goes through scouting, should spend at least one summer camping at a scout camp. All of the training that they receive is wonderful. I have taken different boys to Fairview, Strawberry and Gooseberry reservoirs, up Mount Timpanogos and down to Utah Lake where we have camped over night. We have been up Hobble Creek many times. We have gone up Y Mountain and many other places. We have camped in the snow, in the fall, in the summer. We have camped just any time of year.
I started in scouting when I was about fourteen years old. I was behind in school due to the flu epidemic. I was small for my age and mother didn't care for me to start in scouting any earlier. I had to go about three fourths of a mile to scout meeting and she worried. She waited until later to send me to scout meetings.
I was a Tenderfoot for about two years. At that time our leaders planned a big trip down to Bryce Canyon. Only First Class scouts and above could go. It didn't take me long to become a First Class Scout. I have thought a lot about that since. If you give the boys something to shoot for, a goal to meet in order to get something special, it won't take them long to do it if he wants to have the reward.
On the trip to Bryce Canyon we drove right up to the canyon's edge. You can't drive there now as they have it all blocked off. We drove right to the edge in the car and stayed in the car and looked out, over and down into the canyon. This trip took place before there were any cabins there. There was no store. You had to take all of your own food down with you. You had to cut your own firewood and you could stay almost any place you wanted to camp. On the way home we went up to Fish Lake. I went out with my brother Eugene. He was the fisherman and caught most of the fish. We had a lot of fun there.
When I was a boy I had trouble with my ears and I couldn't go swimming like I should have done. That is why I didn't get my swimming and life saving merit badges. It was long after I was married and when I was older that I got those badges.
I received my Silver Beaver in 1953. It was a special occasion because when we went to the fellowship banquet and they called out my name to receive the award my son Joe came down with another scout to escort me up to receive my Silver Beaver. That was a very wonderful experience.
In 1956 I received the Provo Peak award. I received the Scoutmaster's Key for exploring and the Scouter's Key. I have been inducted into the Order of the Arrow. I received my Deseret Recognition and Hunter's Safety certificate. I have taught many classes I have taught in the University of Scouting. I have taught classes in safety, basketry, electricity, first aid and many other classes. I have taught classes at scouting merit badge pow wows.
I was also Provo Peak scouters president for five years. During that time we made a film strip on Camp Maple Dell. I have a copy of it. I took about three fourths of the slides for the film strip. I went up to scout camp during the winter time and also in the summer time to take pictures of the boys participating in the various activities so that we could have special slides of what went on at Scout Camp.
In the Church I was ordained a deacon, teacher and priest in the Provo Third Ward. I was also made an elder in the Third Ward. I was living in the Third Ward when I got married.
I was ordained a seventy in the Rivergrove Ward. I was one of the seven presidents of the seventy in the West Utah Stake I was with the group long enough that I advanced to the senior president of the quorum. I had to work shift work at Geneva and had to be released from the presidency. I was made a high priest and later I became a high priest's group leader. I am at present the high priest's group leader in the Rivergrove First Ward.
I have worked in the Sunday School. I taught Sunday School classes when I was quite young and also after I was married and we lived in the Third Ward. When I was married I was a leader in the scout troop. After I was married and we went out to Nevada I was put in as an assistant in the Sunday School superintendency for a while. Then when I came back to Provo I was put in as an assistant in the Sunday School under Aldous Dixon. Then they put me in the MIA as scout leader. I was then made explorer advisor for about eleven years. I was scoutmaster for about six years. I was stake area neighborhood commissioner for about nine years. I was stake cub scout advisor for about one year and the stake explorer advisor for several years. Now I am working in the Provo Temple. I had been working at the temple about ten months when they called me on a mission to Florida. After I finished my mission I came back and I am working at the temple now. I also work with the high priests.
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