no image

Journal and Reflections of Grandpa Lee R Richards

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Profile manager: Eowyn Walker private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 62 times.

Journal and Reflections of Grandpa

Lee R. Richards 1997

Transcribed by Sarah F Burnham

Were there any events, world or local, that changed your life?

Yes, there was a great impact on my life and my families’ caused by the depression times followed by the second world war.

We were working toward a scholastic career of some kind when we found that we were broke and headed into anything that paid a salary. I tried several things: sales, mechanics work and construction work. Finally I would up in a survey team and engineering aide work that I liked. I never got very well off at it but we worked our way up from there.

Did you serve in the military? If so, where and when? What do you most remember about the experience?

The nearest I got to the military was ROTC in Junior and Senior High School and ROTC Band in University of Wyoming. I also belonged to the National Guard when I was a senior in high school. This almost cause me to not graduate - the Spanish teacher told me and Si Taylor, who was also in the National Guard Ban, that we had to take the final exam or flunk. On the other hand we had to go to National Guard camp. Miss Groen finally let us off with a D grade and no test and went to camp and also graduated.

During the draft I had a wife and two children and they didn’t want me. The assistant State Highway Engineer made a special trip from Santa Fe to Carlsbad to see that I was no drafted. A year or so after that I was on location surveys and our crew broke up and I went with Otis Rosaker to see if we were qualified for a chief in the Navy as surveyors. I flunked the eye exam and ended my career with the military.

What are you frightened of?

Rattlesnakes. Especially when I am walking out in the rough and don’t see one. I am also scared of my wife, Fay. And other drivers, especially young ones and truck drivers.

What do you feel has been the most significant world event that has taken place during your lifetime and why?

Two world wars, the atomic bombing in Japan, the Nazi atrocities, Pearl Harbor -- all new things leading toward the end of civilization as we had known it.

Also landing on the moon, air travel, flights of the astronauts, radio and TV, the telephone system and electrical distribution.

Lots of things that are most significant just sort of grew like Topsy. Science, urban development, paved roads, etc.

I guess the collapse of Russia needs to be mentioned. I am not sure how that will come out.

What is one word on how to live successfully?

What can I say? Love one another? Know thyself. To thine own self be true. Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Develop an understanding of people.

What is your greatest joy? What is your greatest sorrow?

The word is narrows the concept. As I write I am 83 years old in a few days. Octogenarians don’t have great joy, do they? Our great joy these days may be in going out to have a nice meal, or visiting with family. Yet, such joy is tempered by other things, such as how tired are we? How much trouble is it to get there? What does this do to our regular routine? And son on. Not only old folks, I am sure, have these plus and minus problems, even in their most joyful moments. Great joy would certainly have an aspect of duration. One must consider that pleasure and happy moments occur but how about great joy? Perhaps a true religious belief is our greatest joy, but how many of us have the enduring faith for that?

I guess I have to say that my greatest joy is in my family.

My greatest sorrow is clear in my memory. Although our older family members die and leave us sorrowing, my greatest sorrow was - and is - the loss of our little Bruce in Grants.

Did you go to college or take any special vocational training?

I went to Wyoming University for four years and got an odd degree in Liberal Arts, after having taken two years of engineering training I found my interests were in philosophy, literature and psychology, so I changed to Liberal Arts in college with a major in English, a minor in philosophy, a minor in science - potpourri.

Having done well in philosophy, I got a scholarship in psychology in University of Colorado in Boulder. There I took psychology, philosophy (an abortive try at physiology and functional anatomy) and got a fellowship in psychology. Came away with an M.A. in psychology. Offered a teaching fellowship in Wisconsin, I made a big error and turned it down . Went to Berkeley University to study with (Tollard?) I forget his name. He wa out to lunch for me. I did some work in psychology of advertising and called it quits when my eyes got to bothering me and (married to Fay then) broke. Got a job.

Later I found myself working at construction and highway engineering work. I started an ICS course in engineering. I sailed along in it, partly because I had some repeats from two years in Wyoming. Later I took a test for Civil Engineer License and became a real engineer. Worked at that for the next 35 years in the New Mexico Highway Department and, later, as a consultant with Corrales Watershed Board.

Describe your yard as a child. Did you help with your yard work? Draw a diagram if you can of what it looked like.

Several yards in my childhood. Dad’s work moved us. I remember a yard with a bit of lawn and good neighbors. I got a dog called Rowdy and enjoyed being a preschooler. This was at the edge of Pocatello, Idaho, very near the Portneuf Rivers. When we moved up to mid-town there was a great boulder in the middle of a long lawn in front of the house. I could sit on the rock - nothing else to do but to throw green apples at passing cars. One sour old man chased me into the house. I quit apple throwing.

Moved to Ogden, Utah when I was about twelve years old. A nice big house, facing Lester Park and with a small house in the rear for Grandpa and Grandma Enlow. This was a good place for a kid. School about three doors down the street. Rowdy and I played in the park and all the kids played hide and seek with us. Roller skated around the park and the sidewalk - had a girlfriend that was also an accomplished skater.

We moved to 574 Cross St - towards the north end of Ogden. This was an old farm house and an acre or so of land. Two buildings on the land: the three room house and a “chick sale” outhouse. It took time - and a lot of work to bring this up to standard. I was given the yard, mostly fruit trees and, later, a lot of lawn that we put in. Mom added flower gardens and a BIG vegetable garden. Dad added chickens and a BIG chicken house and yard for the chickens. My yard work kept changing, enlarging. But so was I - through junior and senior high schools.

Describe getting a Christmas tree with your family as a child. How was it decorated, and when did you put it up?

Dad brought home a tree a couple of days before Christmas. I helped him to make a stand and we put it up in the front room and under it the presents. Decorations included strings of cranberries and of popcorn, and a few bought decorations to hang on the tree. I and mother did most of the decorating. No electric lights. Little candle holders were placed carefully on the branches and on Christmas Eve little candles were lit very carefully to keep from setting the tree on fire. If I remember right we kept the tree up through New Years Day.

How did you like being the oldest, youngest, or middle child? Did it have any particular advantages or disadvantages?

Mostly I was the only child and I must admit that I enjoyed the attention I got - and I got a lot. My parents had good friends that were childless and who loves to spoil me. Mother took me back to Kansas with her to see my uncles, aunts and cousins there. They just helped to spoil me, I am afraid. As I grew a little older I even got some attention from bachelor uncles, who introduced me to farm life, even some of the work expected of kids. I enjoyed being made over and taught adult things. One of my cousins, Violet Reynolds, was one day older than me and we were together a lot when we were visiting in Kansas. When we visited the Thompson family, with a family of twelve children, I had fun.

I am sure that my parents, especially my dad, thought that I was growing up to be a “spoiled brat” and when a friend of theirs died, leaving a small boy without a good home, my folks took me in, partly for company for me. Harmon Toller was a couple of years younger than me. We got along fine most of the time. When my older friends came and we went on hikes, I am afraid I was not nice to him. I wanted him to stay home. He wanted to come along. He came along, but stayed back a bit. We called him “Tagalong” finally accepting him into our society. His dad and brother and sister settled in California and sent for Harmon. When I was out of high school I enjoyed a visit with them there.

When Uncle Harry’s wife, Mona, died and left three small children that Harry could not care for, Mom and her sisters took the children Joanna came to live with us, Dad adopted her and she became my sister, a late comer, but nice, but a dozen years younger than I. I loved her.

Do you recall any special event which took place on your block or in your neighborhood while you were growing up… deaths, fires, accidents or illnesses?

Oddly, an event occurred in Pocatello, Idaho when we lived in the home with the boulder (rock) in the front yard, that fits almost perfectly into this question.

The next door neighbors kept a maid who, among her many duties, lighted the fires in the home. One morning we awakened to screaming next door. The young lady had used coal oil to start the fire and it had splattered back onto her. We ran out of the house and she burst through their front door on fire - her nightgown was on fire. Dad ran out and threw her to the ground and covered her with his overcoat and put out the fire, but too late. She was so badly burned that she died. Dad’s help was quick and good first aid, but she was burned over most of her body, running with her clothing all afire

This was a terrible experience for a small boy and I will never forget the screams and fire. Possibly we are lucky not to have had more such experiences.

What do you remember about yourself as a teenager? What was important to you? What were your dreams?

I remember this as a very troubled time. My parents tried to be understanding and helpful and gave me money and freedom as I wanted it. I was interested in church and my music and had my buddies, a few boy-girl relationships.

But mostly I remember the wild streak that showed up with desires for gosh knows what. Going to public dances, getting drunk, learning to smoke cigarettes, cussing and entertaining thoughts best suppressed. I don’t know whether the only good thing about it was that I sneaked around, and knew I was doing wrong, or would I have been better off to have made a clean breast of it? Anyhow eventually I got caught and straightened out.

I had good times as a teenager, but bad times, too. I was a person torn apart in some ways and never did really get completely back together again.

As far as I am concerned, the best thing to do about teenagers and their problems - is to skip this part of your life and be better off.

Where did your grandparents live? What was their home like?

When I was a small boy my mama used to take me every summer to visit my grandparents. Both lived in eastern Kansas. Dad’s parents still lived in Parsons right in town. They lived in their big house where Dad had lived as a boy. The house was spic and span, reflecting Grandma Enlow’s personality. The thing I liked best was a big conch shell that served as a door stop and made a noise of the ocean. Since there were Dad’s folks and he did not go with us usually, we didn’t stay long. Grandpa, Dad’s stepfather I was named after (Lee or Leander, take your pick) and we got along OK except that he was deaf from his blacksmith trade.

We left to visit Mom’s family, more numerous. Though we lived at Grandma’s place, it was really Uncle Harry’s place. Grandma ran the house and garden. Short and rotund you knew she was a good cook just to look at her. She had raised five kids of her own - four by Grandpa who I never saw but once - and considered it as no big deal. He lived elsewhere. I had a good time in a sloppy environment. I soon got used to the smell of sour milk and to walking barefoot in chicken manure. The house itself was of no particular interest to me. It was a great place outside, silo and corn crib, barn and hay, chicken house with laying hens, a couple of pugilistic minded geese. A spring house to keep the buttermilk cool and a stream to play in. And the timber with walnuts and filberts and pecans and grapes and strawberries and many other wonders and not too many snakes. I learned to shoot a .22 rifle. Heaven was here at the old Springfield farm and nobody chased off the angels. Describe a favorite vacation in your married years.

I must confess that I was a sort of workaholic. I figured the road project would go wrong somehow without me. So I usually took a vacation at Christmas time when construction was shut down anyhow. But we gathered together, got into the car with a few weiners or something and took off for somewhere. We liked to see the nearby sights and they were free and close. We saw Window Rock and the sandstone spires of Venus and others above the sawmill. There was a road over the mountains at Crystal across to Mexican Springs. There was Zuni Pueblo and weekly rodeos by the Navajo and Inscription Rock.

When we went to Canyon de Chelly we took blankets and figured on sleeping out. Went by way of Window Rock and the old saw mill. There was a place near the old mill where you could find epidots and garnets all over the ground. We stopped there and took off on the old timber haul road for Canyon de Chelly. It had been rainy weather and we soon found that the road was full of mudholes. We navigated some, went around others and finally came to a tourist hung up in one. He had a small trailer that made up for camping and a nice car but he was sure enough stuck. We drove around the hole and backed up, put on our chain and pulled him out. Talk about grateful! We went on together and, sure enough, found the edge of the canyon. The tourists put up their camper sides and top and we built a big campfire and looked into the canyon. Finally went to sleep on our blankets right on the sandstone. Cold! You bet I got complaints.

We went on along the top of the canyon, finally finding our way down to the bottom. Our new friends went along and when we got to the bottom, insisted that we all take the limo ride up the bottom. Finally they won the argument. They had a winning point: they offered to pay. That was our real problem. We never took any money was us on these safaris. They persisted and we took the interesting drive up the canton. The ride itself was special - up the bottom of the sandy draw. But added were old Anasazi ruins along the bottom of the cliffs. The Navajo live and farm in this canyon. It was a most interesting trip. From here - home late but tired and happy: Pa, Ma, and three kids.

It goes to show that money isn’t everything. We thought it was nothing in those days.

Tell a courtship story about your parents, how they met, etc .Then tell the same about you.

This is a bummer. Dad and Mom met somewhere along the Union Pacific or Southern Pacific railroad system, I guess. Dad worked the freight yards mostly and Mom worked in the RR eating houses. She was a Harvey Girl and they were watched over very carefully, but I don’t know how daring they were in their courtship. All I know is that it took place in Nevada somewhere.

Fay and I were even worse. We went together in high school and church events for some seven years before we decided to get married. How come this sudden passion and marriage I don’t know. Up to Evanston, Wyoming we went of a sudden, just before she was to go down to Fillmore to teach and got a license and a J.O. just about ready to go home. Found a witness who turned out to be the Wyoming University band drum major. We sort of knew each other. Went to have a bite to eat and Fay dropped gravy on her first time to wear it dress. Cleared it up, went to see my roommate from Wyoming University - Junior Browns. Had ice cream with him and went back to Ogden. Told nobody in Ogden that we were married. She left for Fillmore and it was awhile before any honeymoon.

I just remember that during the ceremony my knees knocked a bit. Fay’s ring looked like a wedding ring and when we passed it off as an engagement ring my mother took me aside and questioned me about that.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to be more patient. I often find myself reacting too soon, too forcefully, unnecessarily to people, to ideas, even to the news. Of course, at my age I find that the TV or the newspaper are my usual contacts with new ideas.

Of course, at my age I have quite a buildup of prejudices and it is easy to react to a piece of news about Gingrich or the president, or about criminal activity, gangs, or many things. I guess what I want is to control my reactions better. After all, there are a lot of other people out there trying to do something about most of the things that bother me. Probably I should be wanting to do more about the things that I feel strongly about. Sorry to say, at 83, you don’t launch into action easily.

Fay would appreciate any progress I can make with patience. Maybe others. I’ll try!

What is your favorite time of day?

I like the morning best. Get up early and let the dogs out and get the bathroom duties over. Go get the paper (take a dog along). Read the paper, think about what will it be for breakfast.

Tell about the birth of your first child.

This is not an easy question for a father to answer. But Fay helped me with the details. My mother came to stay with us a month ahead of the expected birth date. Since we were living in downtown Oakland and the Mason family lived in San Francisco this was a month of revelry. Of course, the baby was late. But we had planned everything perfectly. When the pains were just right we jumped into the little Ford Coupe and took off. When I encountered San Pablo Blvd, I remembered to get on it and go to the hospital. Went the wrong direction on San Pablo. After a few miles, turned around and went the other way. Got there with lots of time.

In the waiting room I slept until it was all over. Fay stayed in the hospital for five days. She had a little operation with the birth and had to stay in bed for a couple of weeks at home. About then my mother went home and Fay’s mother came. It all happened at night and I had some excuse for going wrong on San Pablo - and for sleeping. He was a cute baby and well behaved as far as I was concerned.

Tell about some of your neighbors as a child.

My folks were very neighborly and, although they didn’t live by other people with kids, I had friends that were adults mostly up until I went to school. No problems with neighbors that I remember in Pocatello, though next door was a Scotsman who played the pipes and loved to sing. His brother came over and joined him. They fought sometimes and our neighbor lost an eye, but he had good old Scottish music.

Dad had a friend who visited us a lot and he took me to shows and went with us on picnics. I would fall asleep at the show and he carried me home, where miraculously I recovered and told him “you can let me down now, Bill”. Bill wouldn’t!

When we moved to Ogden we didn’t know our neighbors until we moved to Cross Street. There we knew them all. There was Mrs. Clark across the street and next to her the Leavitts with a bunch of kids, the Calls living a couple of places up the street and the Andros next door down after the Purcells, my favorites. On down the street were the DeWeese family and the Gales, the Barrets and one place that made concrete caskets. Lots of neighbors, and all good ones. We borrowed back and forth and had such diversified stuff to trade that we were always at it. For example, we had raspberries, loganberries, apples, plums, cherries, chickens, eggs, vegetables. Some of this was also sold. Neighbors had apricots, melons, potatoes, etc. Some, like us, lived on the remnants of little farms.

What did your father do for a living?

My dad was a railroader. If there was anything to know about the refrigerated freight business on the railroad, he knew all about it and people came to him for advice.

He started out on banana boats as a young fellow, caught malaria and went to work in the freight yards. A quick learner and with an excellent memory, he advanced rapidly. When we were in Pocatello he was agent over a big outfit, including an icehouse and ice tracks for loading ice in the cars.

In Ogen, he was diversion clerk, responsible for the cars reaching proper destinations. Here’s where his wonderful memory came in handy - he remembered the numbers on the freight cars. He could also add up a column of five figures in his head. He worked from eight to five except that his helpers could call him anytime for information. He carried a lunch and had friends in the office. He “came up in the hard way” and knew the business. There was no special training. He trained people around the office.

Dad’s days off were spent working at home and in his duties at the church.

Tell about any exciting experiences in scouting, camping or hunting.

My best buddy was Si Taylor, we rode bikes back and forth to high school, took pretty much the same classes in school, and knew the nearby mountains by hiking, skiing and living off the farmers along the way.

Si and I were band members in high school and in the National Guard Band. About to graduate from High School, we decided to take a trip to Yellowstone, hitchhiking up and back and through the park. We could check out army packs, blankets, shelter-halves, even clothing if necessary.

All clear except we had to go to National Band Encampment and if we went we would miss our final test in Spanish, and if we missed the test we flunked Spanish, and if we flunked Spanish we would not graduate from high school. Our maneuvers at high school were ineffectual so we went to Guard vamp. Finally Miss Green showed a heart of gold, gave us each a “D” and was glad to get rid of us. And were we glad too!

Our plans were simple: hitchhike to Yellowstone and around it, hitchhike home again and be gone for two weeks. I think each of us took along ten dollars.

We found hitchhiking to be easy. The first day took us from Ogden to the West Entrance to Yellowstone. Once there and camped alongside the river we met our hosts for the next couple weeks: two young fellows, perhaps a year or so older than us, with a strip-down model T Ford and a bit better set up for camping than we were. They were waiting for the harvest to open up in Idaho and had a couple of weeks of time on their hands. It turned out better than we deserved.

Part of the ensuing fun was that strip-down Ford. To start it you cranked it while one rear wheel was off the ground. The Park Service favored small logs to delineate parking space and roadways. One of these little logs under the rear axle was all we need to start up. The model T had no body, but the driver and other front seater sat on a board that reached from side from members. The back of their seat was a wooden box which was also our seat. Feet had to be held out of spokes, wheels, ground, etc but a better place to see the park in reverse you couldn’t imagine.

We stopped in campgrounds, preferring a beach if possible. We stopped at each point of interest, hiking, fishing, swimming and joining in. We soon gave up fishing, so many people wondered if we had enough to eat they gave us fish. Swimming in the lake over some hot springs was certainly a good way to take a bath, wash clothing, etc.

We chased the bears out of camp at Fishing Bridge. Later, at the Grand Canyon we came back from viewing only find a crowd around the model T where a couple of bears were trying to tear our packs up. We scattered the crowd and the bears. No other animal stories except when we parted with our friends and started walking again toward the South Entrance and Jackson Hole. We found a little cub following us. When we passed through the ranger station I told him about the cub. He said go ahead. He won’t stay with you long. Sure enough, the trees quit and the desert was around us. Goodbye cub.

We slept at Lake Hart and made it to Jackson the next day, and over the Tetons (a long walk) and got home in our two week allotment. A great time!

What were your father’s best traits? His worst? Ones you share?

He was honest and hard working. He was big hearted, giving to a deserving cause or person. But he was careful with his money. We all worked and contributed.

When we needed new clothes Dad bought the best for us but he did not buy showy things. I think my allowance was a dollar a month and if I needed to go on the street car and this did not stretch I got a bit extra. Actually, I can’t remember whether he or Mom dispensed the dollar. If I needed money all I had to do was ask for it. When I earned money I turned it into the family pot.

Dad would play with us. He loved baseball and was good at most sports. He taught me to play marbles and tops, how to make a willow whistle and helped us with boy scout stuff. We seldom camped out, but he was adept at camping skills. Neither of us cared to fish not to hunt, although I might plunk a game bird once in a while.

Dad was understanding about me being an only child and tried to help by encouraging my friendships and helping us to plan and take trips, etc. He saw to it that I had skis, skates, etc and got out to use them.

Dad had a temper but seldom used it around home or on me. Some of the work he set for himself was enough to try the patience of Job. I was usually his single helper and if things did not go smoothly it was no wonder.

I think I share a few of Dad’s bad habits, whatever they were. I know I failed to take up all of his good ones.

Tell about any pets you had as a child.

I never had but one pet. There were cats around sometimes but I never bothered with them.

My pet came as a birthday surprise before I went to school. I had him all my life, though we both would admit he was Mom’s dog long before that. But all through my grade school years he was mine and there was no doubt about it. When I finally went away to work and to college he took up with Mom. By that time he was old and lazy anyhow.

Talk about a good dog! I think he was really a Border Collie, though no one knew for sure. One time a sheepherder wanted to buy him from us.

Dad brought him home in a shoe box and I found out what the mysterious gift was by putting my hand down in the box, into the fur and receiving a lick. Brought forth from the box he was the cutest puppy you ever saw. Mostly black and brown with a bit of white markings, he was beautiful. At a time when a toy train or a tricycle might have been the ultimate, Rowdy was the greatest of gifts.

Rowdy was our watch dog. Strangers had to be introduced to him. He knew our lot boundary lines exactly and kept them free of dogs, people and all. He played ball and hide and seek with the kids, could herd straying pullets back into their yard.

A perfect dog. I believe he was eighteen years old when he died, but from overfeeding by that time, loved by all.

Do you remember any special feelings you had as a child regarding fears, fantasies, etc?

I was scared of the dark. Some neighbor kids came over to tell ghost stories at night and they shut me up in a dark closet then left me there. I was scared of the dark after that.

I wasn’t scared of people or animals, though I picked up a dead rattlesnake one time and scared the hell out of them. Spoiled the party you might say. Dad was afraid of snakes, Mom wasn’t. I was sort of in between. I wandered the timber by myself in Kansas and never was scared.

For awhile I was frightened of water. Mrs. Wilkin (our great family friend) finally taught me to swim in the shallows of the San Joachin River in California. I almost drowned Charley Wilkin after that. He had me on his shoulders, stepped into a deep hole and ducked me - so I tightened my arms around his neck. He was lucky the hole wasn’t longer. I had him.

I never was afraid of heights. I loved rock climbing the flat irons near Boulder, Colorado. My life’s work included bridge work and I didn’t mind the high steel.

What is your favorite holiday? How do you celebrate?

This has changed during the years, due to changing circumstances.

My favorite was everybody’s - Christmas. But when I lived with the Wilkins in the summer the Fourth of July came close to edging out Christmas. On the Fourth we went all out with fireworks. Fun started at the Chinatown stores where we shopped and continued through the Fourth, shooting everything off.

But Christmas always wins out - Christmas time, presents, luminarios, shopping for presents - all the fun, and then opening presents and a great big Christmas dinner. People visiting and playing in the snow or on new toys. All the ingredients of a good time.

I would like to celebrate with the whole family around us, children, grandchildren, and all. But they are far separated and this is too much trouble, too expensive for travel, etc. I would prefer to give a gift to each and every one for Christmas, but Fay and I compromised on this long ago and send money for each individual.

Mostly I sit back and hope that nobody spent too much on me. To begin with I have enough and my remaining years don’t require a lot of stuff.

Thinking back, was there a teacher or class that had a great influence on you?

I had two English teachers - one in grade school and one in high school that helped me. The second one, in high school, knew my parents and was perhaps influenced by that. But her teaching was interesting and called for a lot of work that I liked to do and was good at. Reading reports, essays and background reading was my favorite school work. She certainly gave me motivation to improve in this work and I made good use in later school years of the skills she had encouraged. Her name was Mrs. Maucombe.

Tell about your teenage social life. Tell about your friends, dances, movies, dating, outings and church functions.

I had some boy friends in junior high school and we stayed together in high school pretty much. We went to school and back together and took the same courses, went home together and sometimes visited after school. We were mobile with our bikes. We planned hikes together. Si Taylor was my particular buddy. Alf Unuderquroi was his neighbor and our third member, though not quite as sticky and permanent.

Aside from these, who did not attend some of the school functions, I had other friends from band and orchestra.

The girls in Ogden HIgh were mostly Mormon girls, used to ward dances, etc. I was shy and didn’t do much dancing until my last year or so of high school, when I began to join in more. This was mostly after I began to go with Fay Cardon, a cute little girl who was a grade behind me, a member of the orchestra and of the harmony class. Since she played the piano I got into the habit of going to her place for harmony help. We dated and went to church functions of her church and mine and to DeMilay affairs and son on. Before that I had done some fairly innocent dating with my friend Mike Gale. I tried to learn how to kiss. That all came to conclusion when I went with Fay.

In college my friends and roommates and I stuck together. We did not date, dance or go to school functions. Once in a while we joined in a drinking bout, but couldn’t afford much of that.

How did your mother spend her time?

She ran the place. Dad may have argued a point now and then. Grandpa and I never did. Of course, Dad had ultimate authority, but we didn’t have any family problems because of that. At least I never argued.

Mom was the housekeeper - the boss of the house. She did household chores, cooking, etc, without any strain. She did the shopping, a lot of knitting and crocheting and clothing repairs.

When we decided on a project in the house, say putting in a bathroom or new stove or refrigerator, or some cupboards, we all worked at it. She helped with painting, wall-papering and that stuff. She mostly gave me advice on cleaning the wall-paper ( a job I hated). But when she put up fruit or vegetables she kept us all busy. We were a bust outfit and she seemed to hold up her share (though I remember seeing her in that little rocking chair quite often). She and Dad liked to have people in for card games or visits and we had family evenings. Dad was a good reader and Mom liked to do her fancywork at the evening session. I just lazed back and enjoyed it. We all waited impatiently for the next magazine issue so we could get on with the continue novel.

Mom help up our share of visiting the neighbors. It seemed to me that she carried a full load at home, but she managed to get off down the street every once in a while - she and Rowdy.

What is the biggest lesson in life you have found to be true?

To be honest and to tell the truth.

I did not learn this from politicians, and it will probably not be found to be the way to the presidency. Clinton, for example, lies.

I learned it from my parents and teachers.

It is not difficult to be honest but it is not always easy to know the truth. Move oer Diogenes.

Mark Twain said it best -

And Polonius had it mind in speaking to his son Laertes.

The second biggest lesson is that honestly will not necessarily win the days. If you want to win, lie.

What is your advice to those younger than you?

Don’t get old!

Did you wish you had more sisters or brothers? Why?

I was satisfied with being a single spoiled kid. Why should I change a good thing that was working fine?

My folks fixed me up with a brother and sister at late dates. Joanne was adopted and took over my place of being a single spoiled kid while I was in college. That was particularly nice because Dad retired and they needed company. And I was busy in school and in different jobs.

Harmon Toller’s parents did not have much money, several kids and then his Dad died. My folks wanted to adopt Harmon and he was a good boy but his mother and family got back on their feet with the aircraft industry out in California and wanted Harmon back. When I went out to visit him he was selling papers on the pier and happy. We still felt like brothers.

What sports do you enjoy watching, and which sports do you enjoy doing?

I like to watch baseball and football, sometimes tennis. I guess my favorite is football.

I walk - that is my sport - with two dogs or at least one. Preferably away from Albuquerque in some nice place and take Fay with me!

I would probably enjoy some games, but I am a bit deaf and slowing down in my reactions. I used to enjoy chess.

T.V. being what it is, I watch almost anything in the line of sports that shows up on the tube.

What do you remember about shopping with your mother? Any particular store? What was your favorite store?

When I was quite small I went with Mom, mostly, I remember, to clothing stores. I can’t remember being very inspired by shopping and don’t remember particular stores - no favorites.

What special things did you do with your father?

As a little sport my Dad often took me because Mom worked in a lady’s wear store. Dad liked to shoot pool at the Elk’s Club and I liked the ice cream bars there.

We also went to the Masonic Hall. Dad was a high up Mason in the Scottish Rite and I guess he was learning some of the work. I liked to saunter around and look at the knights armor in glass cases along the wall. I guess this was the other part of the Masonic work - the Knights Templar, I think.

Dad took me to work with him sometimes. This was very exciting in some ways. In the office I played with the typewriter or other stuff. Out in the yard I got to jump the tracks and see the switchmen and finally go to the ice house, walk along above the railroad cars where the ice was put into the bunkers, go to where they were sliding the blocks of ice, and inside where they made the ice.

This was in Pocatello, Idaho before I was twelve. In Ogden both of us were busy. I did go to Dad’s office once in awhile. But mostly our get togethers were on weekends, possibly to ball games, shows, going out for dinner or church functions. Dad loved baseball and we followed the local team.

When we moved out to Cross Street Dad would play ball with me and my friends out in the street. He was great. He liked playing marbles with us, too, and was the best kid on the block.

What instrument do you play or wish you could play?

It is what did I play. I payed the French horn, a bit on the flute and a small amount on the piano.

For awhile, after I couldn’t follow with the other instruments much longer, Mike gave me a soprano recorder. I got pretty good on that and enjoyed it very much. I got interested in the church choir and enjoyed singing the Mormon Hymns.

I wish I had played more attention to the piano. But that is Fay’s instrument and we both get a lot of good out of it.

What political party comes closest to representing your own point of view? How do you feel about politics?

I am a registered Democrat. I haven’t voted straight Democrat in years. At first, I tried to vote for the best man for each position as far as I could determine. Finally I determined that in many cases there seemed to be no very big difference between candidates.

Finally I decided to go with the party that seemed to hold the best views on the issues, with an occasional switch for certain candidates who impressed me with their integrity.

I find myself now voting straight Republican, though I know many good men who are Democrats. If I am convinced of his integrity I will change my vote for that position. But this is seldom any more. Party people have sold out to the party view. If I don’t agree with the party view, I don’t vote for the candidate who holds it.

I feel that the politics of today are lacking in ethics and seem to be getting worse. Most politicians are out to help themselves. I find that greed and personal ambition are their motivation. We had one statesman and just voted for a big boob over him for president. If you are looking for a way to better the world don’t waste your time with politics.

Would you choose differently if you could choose your occupation again? Why, how and any advice?

I did choose differently in the beginning. I intended to be a teacher or scholar - probably in the fields of psychology or philosophy.

Unfortunately I found that I had to earn a living for myself and family and my chosen occupations were not available with high pay. So I looked around and found salesmans jobs available and I tried a couple. Unfortunately as a salesman I appeared to be a bust. I found jobs in construction work that paid a living wage and I could do them - and did. And got back this way to earning a living.

Eventually my background of engineering education showed itself on the job and I began to get ahead in engineering work. I liked the work but my qualifications were not sufficient to get ahead. So I took an ICS course in engineering and learned on the job, took a better job when it appeared. Surprisingly, I received a lot of help advice from engineers that surprised me. And I got to liking the job and stayed on.

My occupation was not a singular thing. I did construction surveying, location surveying, inspection of various materials and methods, supervisory work on project level, on district level and in general office work. It was always changing, sometimes demanding and always interesting - I liked it.

If I were to try another occupation I would need to study it and learn a lot about it in order to be happy with it.

Describe the perfect summer day.

A pleasant, quiet day, somewhere in the woods, near a small lake or stream, with a bit of shade. Or a quiet day in the desert with the bit of shade. A nice day without rain or with little rain, dry underfoot for walking.

Enough to eat some modest meals and a place to sit or lie and enjoy the gentle sounds of the birds and small animals.

Time to enjoy the day, nice trails to follow, a temperate climate, perhaps a bit of music.

Ah wilderness were paradise enough.

Between the ages of five and ten, what was your favorite activity?

Lacking much chance to play with other kids I was stuck with toys I and my Dad made and that I could do by myself. I could play marble or tops games by myself if necessary. As soon as I could read I did, starting with kids books and progressing to adult books. I liked to run my bike around and roller skate. Ball games only when Dad was home.

Both Mom and Dad took me out a lot and found something to keep me under control. When one or both of them took me to the movies I was mighty well pleased.

Once in a while we had a picnic or went on vacation in Idaho or Wyoming. Great stuff!

Describe a typical day as a child in elementary school.

At my age I am lucky to say that I even went to elementary school. One thing I remember: my first grade teacher went to school in Kansas with my Dad. And they liked each other I guess. I never had any problems in first grade as far as I remember. I got there on time and got home on time. What the next did - I did.

Tell about how, when and where you learned to drive, and any memorable experiences while learning.

My dad taught me how to drive. He had my number and I listened to him and tried to do what he said. He gave me short practice runs and once in a while Mom would need a ride and I was pretty soon a driver.

The only experience I recall in my early driving was when they told me to drive the model T to town. I knew little enough about the Kansas town and a little less about the model T. I had drive only my Dad’s Jewett car with a stick shift.

I had no problem driving to town. The trick was to get into the two ruts and keep the wheels there. When I got to town I parked diagonally into the curb like everybody else was doing.

The trouble came when we were ready to back out of the parking place. I pushed hopefully on one of the pedals, released the emergency brake - and jumped the curb. That wasn’t the way to back up. A few more tries and I got it right. Lucky nobody was ahead of us and we didn’t go far! What do you think about movies? What is your favorite movie?

I was quite a fan back in the days of Tom Mix, William S. Hart, Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy, not to mention Charley Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle. When they changed to sound and color I was not so good an audience. For one thing, I think the price went up and I got interested in girls (mainly Fay).

I took my gal to an occasional movie like Ben Hur or Cleopatra came along.

Now I think movies are OK. At least they give you a chance to see something that isn’t too bad. As a rival to usual TV far, movies are +.

Describe the home you live in now.

It is just the right size home for a family with children still at home. For two octogenarians wandering in it, it is too big but we are taking care of that by putting extra junk away in the extra bedrooms.

We use the den most of the time, the kitchen/dining room most of the rest of the time, the large bedroom to sleep in and the large bathroom for me, the one with the large bedroom is Fay’s and the rest of it is given to visitors and visiting family, if any.

I have finally established myself as winner over the yard. It is mostly gravel and shrubs that need no water. The back is in lawn with automatic sprinklers, some trees that are big and hearty and it belongs to the dogs.

The garage is full of junk and lost tools. The rest of the lot is full of RV and I just wish I could get it out on the road. This wish goes on for months.

What is the most important lesson, message or advice you’ve learned that you’ll like to pass on for others to profit by?

If you have a tendency to be trusting expect to be let down fairly often. Members of your family can be trusted, I find, but don’t expect too much of all of them. In general, if you like to help other people, expect little in return and keep in mind that most people are highly motivated in their own interest, not yours.

That doesn’t mean to ignore the needs of others around you, but if you find that you can help them, don’t ignore your own interests.

Remember your own and your families’ interests. And remember that as your family grows it has its own best interests and must be true to itself.

Tell about any handed-down talents.

I guess talents = skills.

My family read and I was an early reader.

The talents listed I can’t claim except for foods. I got in on a lot of that. Mother dried and preserved much of the vegetables and fruits that we grew, including many, many bottles of raspberries. We loved them and ate them through the year. Cherries, pears, apricots, plums and apples got “put up” or dried on the porch roof. I had a hand in all this and also got to be used to eating well.

Mom also showed me how to make pie crust and cakes. Dad showed me how to make Tom & Jerry batter. Mom and I took long train trips and to break the monotony she taught me to knit and crochet. I guess I should add that I could use the sewing machine to fasten quilt blocks together. And so on. Make yourself useful was the message I got. Ironing, doing dishes were something I could do if I couldn’t find my way out of it.

I had lots of ways out. Lots of yard work, care of the furnace and all kept me fairly busy and then we kept five hundred laying hens: feed, eggs, straw, clean roots boards. A good thing the work had Saturday and Sunday in it, though Sunday was partly taken up with church and theater.

Did you have a bicycle? What was it like?

When we had got moved out to Cross Street and I guess I was in Junior High School or at least ready for it there came a Christmas when I got my first bike. Dad bought it second hand, fixed it up and painted it a nice red.

That was just about the best Christmas I ever had. And I rode that bike everywhere. We were not exactly centrally located and I went everywhere to see friends, go to the store, etc. Later, when I went to High School I rode my bike whenever the weather permitted. My best friend Josiah Taylor rode along with me.

We concocted rides up Ogden Canyon, up to the mountains, to swimming pools and everywhere kids gathered. Miles didn’t both us. In the summertime Josiah (Si) and I went together and generally had some others along with us. It was about our only freedom. We probably left some work undone at home but we did have fun.

There was nothing special about the bike, I guess, except a sturdy frame, pneumatic tires and mud guards over the wheels. No gadgets. Very little maintenance.

Describe a childhood Christmas.

Little Lee was up ahead of everybody, clamoring to open Christmas presents. Always seemed to get some good ones and started playing. Special treats to eat and I ate them. People coming and going, bringing and leaving presents. If there was a sled or something to play outside, was quickly dressed and using it. Good things to eat - a special Christmas dinner. Games that we could all play, or a train or something to center attention on kept us all more or less together. Finally wore out - nothing broken - yet.

Tell about your favorite aunt.

I had three aunts, maybe four, back in Kansas and when Mom took me there to visit her family I visited each aunt, kissed them and minded them and liked them all. But most of my time was spent with cousins and uncles, who kept going, seldom sat for hours visiting.

But I had another “auntie” who was really no relation and who sported an “uncle” too. These two I loved and they made my life special. Mom very often took me to see them and left me with them for the summer.

Aunty Wilkin was a hard taskmaster and had an earned nickname of “fussy”. I couldn’t use the nickname but I did approve of it. I called her “aunty” and we spent a lot of time together. I came out of this pretty well polished in manners and pretty well trained in housework.

They were not “blessed” with children. Uncle Charley had one nephew, older than me, who sometimes came for a visit. We were linked forthwith and sent out on the town (with extra shekles in our pockets).

With this aunt and uncle I lived a great life. We took many trips, did a lot of sight seeing, moved around California and enjoyed it all.

I loved them both.

Tell about any religion practiced in your home. Tell of any faith promoting stories.

We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Not often, but at supper every night. In between times as it appears needed.

Other than that, I rub Hotay’s little fat belly once in awhile and partake of his good nature. Once in a while you need someone with good nature to spread around a bit of good will.

Other than this, we have a Navajo’s medicine bag. I never make any use of it. But it can’t do any harm I think.

I guess I am out of faith promoting stories.

What things do you enjoy doing today that you also enjoyed as a child?

The joy of living, breathing, having fun are just as great as I thought as a child.

Having friends and giving and receiving were every day things as a child. I still enjoy them, but not so often anymore.

As a child I enjoyed walking about the country, I still do.

As a child I loved my dog, I still do.

Living with the assurances of my home was the center of enjoyment. It still is, though I have exchanged father and mother relationships for the husband and wife relationship.

Tell about home cures, or old wives tales such as hiccups, warts, toothaches, colds, earaches, etc.

I am not sure that an old grandpa is qualified for this question.

Hiccups were cured with a glass of water - drink it all without breathing. Warts can be cured by magic if you have an uncle who can perform this magic act. Toothaches - use cinnamon oil on a toothpick. Colds - use cough drops, rub on mentholatum or vaseline - or slop a concoction of honey and onions cooked together and put on chest and neck. Use acepheditin in a little bag, tied around your neck. Use an inhaler with mentholatum. Go to bed. Earaches - get to the doctor. Birth control consisted of condoms and a lot of questionable advice from friends. Never mentioned at home. Arthritis - go to the hot springs and soak. Aspirin.

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

We would buy a new car, new clothes and whatever we need. Then I would bundle up give $100,000 bundles, give one to each of the kids, to Marian and Joan first. Then take off in the RV and leave $100,000 with Jean, then go to Bart’s place with his bundle. Then I would ask Mike or one of his boys to come over and pick up their bundle.

Then I would go to those places that we have missed and would like to see. Then come home and live a good life. But we would not be throwing money away. The casinos wouldn’t see us but the desert probably would.

The rest of the money would be in the best care I could find - and left there.

Where were you and what were you doing the day President Kennedy was shot and the day the first man landed on the moon?

We were in Albuquerque when Kennedy was shot. I can’t remember just where I was when the first moon landing was made. However, I remember that we watched it on T.V.

Tell about a special date you had with a girlfriend or fiance.

I remember that it was special when Fay came out to Boulder to see me get my Masters degree. Mom brought Joanne from Kansas and Fay came and we all took the car back to Utah together. On the way we went up to Ester Park. Coming down from there the river was wild and the road was barely out of the water part of the way.

In Laramie we stopped for gas and Joanne’s turtle got out of his shoe box and wandered out from under the car, almost scaring the gas attendant to death. He had never before seen a turtle. Excitement.

Fay and I made good use of the days that summer while I was home and had a lot of dates to where the car would take us.

Tell us about each of your children.

Mike was our first, born in Berkeley, California - hospital out on San Pablo somewhere. Fay soon home with him in Oakland, near the lake downtown. I was selling sewing machines and we were always broke. Moved soon to Utah. The trip was Thanksgiving time and we stopped in Sacramento to visit the Wilkins and headed across Nevada - except for Mike who was bundled up and the dog who was in front of the heater. The heater was new and pulled some heat off the engine but the model A coupe had fabric top and sides and lost the heat immediately.

We got to Ogden with Mike, couldn’t find work and wished we were back in Oakland.

Moved around a couple of times. Couldn’t find a good job. Finally got on at the Arsenal. Then along came Marian. I was in bed with pneumonia at the time. At least we both had good doctors, Grandparents all around and made it. About the time Marian started walking I got a job with the New Mexico State Highway Department. Our first little home was in Loving, New Mexico in a house with holes for the winter wind to blow through. This was in 1943.

Moved to Las Cruces, shortly, then Roswell then Carlsbad. Bought an eighteen foot trailer house for us all to live in. Bruce came along to help fill up the trailer.

Bruce was born in Albuquerque during one of our many transfers. This was in 1945. We continued in the trailer until I finally asked for a job that would be more or less permanent.

Transferred to Gallup, New Mexico and stayed for three years. Built lots of roads. I was on construction, not location now. Sold the trailer and bought a house to live in with rental places in the backyard - a $5000 value. Lived there long enough to start fixing it up. Transfer again.

Kirtland, Gallup again, Lordsburg, where twins were a new thing - never had any in the hospital, first for the doctor, unexpected and caught me in the night with the necessity of buying diapers, etc. Fortunately, the owner of the merchandise store opened p and I bought enough to get by on.

Twins were very small (4.5 and 5.6 lbs as I remember). Everybody was scared they wouldn’t make it, especially when the hospital had one bed and a drawer to put them in. Taken home, one had a mucus problem. The doctor hurried over in the middle of the night and took care of her. Everything special of course, for little preemie. Ate well and cried (alternately) all the time it seemed to me. Then we had to transfer to Taos. The doctor made us stop for a night half way there. Elevation difference was more than they could take in one day. They were OK when we got there - eating OK, less bawling.

While we were in Grants, Bruce was in school and the Mexican kids were giving him a hard time so we put him into the Grants school and he went by school bus. And got run over. This was fatal accident. Fay was by herself to take care of it. I was in Albuquerque. I finally caught up with them in Gallup. Too late to save Bruce. Buried him in Gallup Cemetery 1954.

Our final child was born the next year. Bruce had been a lovely child. The new baby took his place- a good boy. Of course, nobody takes the place of anyone else. But we were blessed with two good boys.

Bart got to move around like the other kids did. Our move into Albuquerque was hard on Marian, in high school, not much of a problem for Mike, who was headed for NMSU in Las Cruces. Bart and the twins got to go to school in Albuquerque, then in Santa Fe, where we all lived for about three years, then back to Albuquerque. Last move. Back to the home we had bought before we went up to Santa Fe. Fay and I are still there.

Do you believe in life after death?

Although we quit going regularly to church, we still have the beliefs we had and life after death is one of them.

I consider the Doctrine and Covenants to be a bit rigid and hard to believe.

I believe we all get up to see our loved ones in the next life. No rigid rules or regulations pertain. My early teaching in the church was that we would be rewarded in accordance with our lives here. So be it.

Tell about all the places you’ve worked.

When I was in High School and Junior High:

I worked picking fruit and vegetables. I worked in the canning factory, shooting cans and hauling them in the warehouse.

When I was in college:

I worked at truck driving a dump truck. I worked at building construction on the Liberal Arts building in Laramie, Wyoming. One summer I worked for Uncle Ray Snavely to build a little house for his bride-to-be. I did odd jobs on Uncle Ray’s and Uncle Harry’s farms, plowing the corn, etc.

Out of college I worked around my folks’ place. Got married and got a truck driving job (soda water from Salt Lake City to Ogden). Wen to California - got a job with Singer Sewing Machine Company. We almost starved, Mike came along and we went back to Ogden. Got a job building construction at Ogden Arsenal. From this moved to work for the Arsenal on a road building job.

Went from Ogden Arsenal after a couple of years and moved to New Mexico. Working for the Highway Department. Moved in 1943 to Loving, New Mexico and continue with the NMHD from then on. Retired in 1978.

What is a special smell you remember from your childhood?

I remember when Dad used to take us for a ride in the evening between Pocatello and American Falls. The smell I remember came from the loads of beet pulp where we got behind a truck.

Tell about any civic or political activities you are involved in.

I vote. I pay taxes. I sit at the TV and see the mistakes we made in electing the idiots. I worry that they don’t know where to spend our money. Once in a while I voice an opinion towards the Republican side. Fortunately, nobody gives a damn about my opinions on politics, much less on civic affairs.

Where did you go to school?

Got to sixth grade in Pocatello, Idaho. Sixth through high school in Ogden to 1932. Four years in University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. B.A. 1936. Two years in Colorado University in Boulder. M.A. 1938. One semester at University of California in Berkeley. Quit!

Took an ICS correspondence school course - 1940 until I got through the course. It was a good elementary engineering course. I added it to my two years of engineering in Laramie.

What was your favorite Saturday activity as a child?

Probably the western movie show.

My folks were in charge of weekends. They took care that I had some Saturday fun.

If you could redo an event in your life which event would it be?

I should have gone from Boulder to Wisconsin where I had a good offer. I turned it down. I should have quit Berkeley University of California sooner and got a better job with comfort of Fay and the kids in mind. I needed to get rid of some ego right then.

What games did you play in your house or neighborhood?

In the house: card games. We played Pinochle and bridge in the family. With neighbor kids there were kids cards games. We also played such games as hide and seek, and other kids games, tag.

Outside we played whatever the group was doing - basketball, football (touch), hide and seek, a game that included yelling and throwing the ball over the house. We played tag.

Rowy, the old dog, loved to play with the kids and he was included into most games. He excelled at hide and seek.

What would you like to be remembered for?

A good man. A good husband and father.

Also, I would like for my friends and acquaintances to think of me as a fair man and an honest one.

To the people I worked with I would like to be remembered as a good engineer and a fair and honest employee and boss.

I had thought that i would be remembered as the guy who built much of the Interstate roads, etc. This was a fond thought. Nobody today remembers what projects I built or what part I played in Interstate building.

I guess I want to be remembered as a part of our family, forgetting the things not worthy and remembering the better things I did.

I would like people to remember that I was an old man who didn’t complain about everything.

Did you and your father share any interest? Tell about your relationship.

One great tie we had together was baseball. He had been a prep school player - a pitcher at one time when he was young. He had hurt his arm and was down to pitching side arm and underhand, but he was very good at those.

He taught me to play, got me a mask and catchers mitt and ball and bat. I was used then, of course, with the sandlotters, but Dad and I reserved some time together - playing catch or practicing hitting. We enjoyed doing it down the street and me and a couple of my good friends were there.

Dad didn’t like fishing nor hunting but we did picnic and hike.

He loved baseball games or football games that were played locally and we went to them together. I will never forget going to the baseball games in Pocatello. We went to every one. We watched the World Series at the newspaper office. They had an announcer and a rig on the front of their building and could show on it where the hits went.

When we were both a bit older we went together to the Salt Lake City football games with the University of Utah. Dad was fun at games.

Tell about the houses you lived in during your childhood. Do you remember the addresses or phone numbers?

I remember that the house we lived in when I started school was a modest house not far from the river on the edge of town. Landscaping it had not. I played in the dirt and loved it. There was a cat and Rowdy to play with there.

When we moved from there into town we were in a nice brick house with a big lawn out front and a big rock in the middle of the lawn. I liked to sit on the rock. Next door were the McDougals, brothers who fought each other and I don’t think there was a woman in the house. There was a maid. She caught herself on fire and died while we watched. Our house was nice and I remember scarcely anything about it.

When we moved to Ogden the house was brick and two storied and in back was a small house that Grandma and Grandpa Enlow moved into. I liked the place and we lived there are a couple of years. All I can recall of its location was that it faced Lester Park and was two doors down from the school.

Mom got an inheritance from her father. She and Dad agreed to buy a house out north in Ogden - 574 Cross Street, an old orchard and house and not much else. We built it up and had a great place. Nothing to the house but three rooms, pot-bellied stove for heat and a great kitchen range for cooking, a two bit basement, a screened in back porch and a two-holer. I was in high school now and a worker - as we all were.

What is your favorite dessert?

It is about a tie between a piece of chocolate cake and a bowl of ice cream - any flavor except fruit.

Tell about your father, his personality, characteristics, stature, coloring, talents, temperament, family stories, etc.

Dad was a real man and was accepted as such by other men.

He was about my size - 5’6” tall, well built and strong. He was dark complected. He had been an athlete in his youth, playing semi-professional baseball. A pitcher, he hurt his arm and played the field. He had worked on the railroad, in the yards, as a clerk, and before that on banana boats.

He belonged to clubs, the Elks, the Masons, the Shrine. He was active and prominent in church. A Congregationalist after his family, he was secretary of our church in Ogden.

He was a good card player. Mama discouraged his visits to the poker palace, but he was in pinochle and bridge clubs and played a technical game, generally won. Wasn’t a good loser. He liked to visit and to have people in.

Mom ran things around the house, but Dad did the work. He was good at it, too, a bit of anything. Lots of carpentering and yard work - with me. Once in a while he lost his temper at things, not people. He led the family. He was the motivater and decided whether we would go to a play or the movies or stay home. He was big hearted and we were glad that he made most decisions.

Dad was the best guy I knew. He took care of his aging parents, took care of Mom and me. He sent us off on vacations that he couldn’t go on. His railroad job tied him down.

When he could go on a trip we usually drove and enjoyed Yellowstone or some place in the woods. He was not a fisherman or hunter but we always had a good time on trips, sometimes meeting relatives or friends on them.

He almost cleaned us out of relatives the time he drove us over Teton Pass. They walked. It was a bit venturesome in the 20s, especially for people from eastern Kansas.

Dad was always dressed up for work or church or going out, but at home liked to wear a pair of coveralls for work. He looked like a business man but at home like a farmer. When he bought any of us clothes they were the best and most expensive.

What are some of your hobbies right now?

This is my notable hobby right now, though I keep thinking I am going to write a book. Perhaps this will turn out to be a book.

Fay and I are always together. Her big hobby is crossword puzzles. Mine is reading books and magazines. She plays the piano once in a while but I have given up my music.

I guess T.V. watching would be considered our main hobby.

What did your grandfather do for a living?

Grandpa Snavely did nothing that any of us ever heard of. He lived apart and came home once in a great while. Sold the stock on the farm and any thing he could get a dollar out of and disappeared. I never knew him and his kids hated him. The best thing he ever did was to die somewhere in Illinois, leave us all a nice corn farm he had there and we had never heard of. My mother talked about his occasional visits to the Kansas farm. He had his money hid away and she managed to steal some from him. She was not his favorite kid.

Grandpa Enlow was different. He came from a time and place where people were civilized. He worked hard all his life, was a deacon in his church, had a nice home in Parsons, Kansas. Grandma browbeat him - she had an unfortunate love affair and she was lonely and away from her sister. He had a good job with the railroad until the workers went on strike. The RR offered to take him back - not far from his retirement, but he was hardheaded, didn’t want to be a “scab” and stayed out on strike. Lost his job - guess this was in the 20’s. From then on he moved to where Dad lived and Dad always kept him in work. When I was a teenager he lived with us, gave my mother a hard time and taught me a lot about the man skills he had, working rock, steel, wood. A hardheaded, nice old man. I loved him.

Do you recall any outstanding family trips or summer holidays you experienced as a child?

Looking back, I don’t know how we managed so many trips and holidays. I remember seeing Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, Yosemite, San Francisco, Chicago, Eastern Kansas, Colorado Springs and the Colorado Mountains, Montana fishing, scenic spots in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Either the whole family went or Mom and I went when Dad could not get time off. We went to places like Yellowstone and Jackson Hole several times. Relatives came from Kansas and we all took off for Yellowstone.

Some summers I spent with the Wilkins and we saw everything in California from desert to Kings Canyon, and the coast. We went to some rather exotic spots - Monterey and Carmel - and to the tourist spots in San Francisco.

They conspired, the Wilkins and my folks and the relatives in Kansas, to spoil me and did.

What was the first piece of furniture you bought?

I was about 22 years old and in my first year at Boulder. I had a room to myself but no one to visit with. I wanted a radio to keep me company so I went down and bought one at a store downtown. No money so I bought it on time and gave my professor’s name on the contract. Afterward the professor told me to ask before I used his name.

The radio kept me company and lasted for years.

What do you think about television?

I think that TV missed its opportunity to grow up. Now it is so solidly immersed in soap that it will never make it.

Public television shows signs of carrying on some culture but it is financially hung up.

Now that computers have reached the stage of being in almost every household I think the Internet and other educational applications will make TV straighten up some. But there are so many low IQ people watching and enjoying TV I see no hope for it, or them.

Describe your first “crush” and what she was like.

My first crush was a young lady who roomed at our house in Ogden. I thought she and her roommate were the greatest females in the town and I bothered them. They moved our shortly.

My next crush was the neighbor’s babysitter. Part of this attraction may have been the chocolate fudge we shared with the young ones. But she was a smooth girl, with nice bobbed blond hair, nice ways and no bad habits that I ever knew about - about my size and age?

After that I wouldn’t call them crushes. They were mostly just girls that were sort of available or something. The whole thing was pure and non-sexed.

What convinced you most in your choice of a spouse?

I figured it might last, after seven years of going together. She compared favorably with the girls I associated with in college. She wanted to go get married - same as me.


Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.