Kid Summers

I grew up on a dead end street. At the end of our street was a block size field of alfalfa owned by the College. Sometimes it felt like we lived in our own little world. We could play in the street without fear of cars. For many years only the middle of the road was paved. The shoulders were gravel and dirt. When it rained or in the winter there was mud. Eventually the City paved the whole street and that was a great day.

We had a whole street full of kids. We lived in Aunt Inez’s house, it was the house that my Father’s family grew up in. After their parents died the home became my Aunt Inez’s. She lived in the basement and we lived on the top floor. My Dad’s Brother and his family lived next door to us and and next to them was my Dad’s Sister and her family.

I remember waking up in the morning to the sounds of kids in the street or the sounds of my next door cousins calling to one another. Or their mother calling them to breakfast. We had no air conditioning so in the summer windows were opened all summer long. Laying in bed to the sound  of the crickets or the smell of newly mowed grass. Or the smell of the lilacs in the spring and the other flowering bushes in the summer that grew around our house.

Mother making breakfast and singing in the kitchen. We often had cooked oatmeal or cream of wheat and sometimes cornmeal mush. She often made pancakes or french toast. Some of my favorite breakfasts were when Dad would make poached eggs. He would poach them in cream until the whites were cooked but the yolks were still runny and then they would be served over toast made from Mothers home baked bread. Served with bacon or sausage. The toast soaking up the hot cream and butter. I can almost smell and taste it now.

Each summer the street Mothers would get together and try to set up some rules for the kids. Kids had to get their chores done before they could play. Kids could not go to each others houses until 10 am. They had to be home before dark. Kids were not to leave the street without telling. Mothers needed to know where the kids were. Well these rules lasted maybe a week or two.

Summers in Cedar City were hot. We would turn on the sprinklers and get into our swimsuits and play in the water. The city swimming pool offered swimming lessons in the summer and Mother would take us to the pool in the morning and drop us off. The water was really cold but it was fun to learn how to swim and be safe in the water. Sometimes my Brother Doug would pump me on the bicycle and we would go to the pool by ourselves. After I learned to ride a bike I would pump my younger brother Richard and we would go to the pool and the park.

There was a dirt ditch that ran south of our street that was used to water gardens. When water was running in the ditch we would wade and play in the water. We would race sticks and pretend to fish. We would try to make dams but then we would get into trouble because someone down the line was trying to water their garden and we were slowing the flow.

We would all get together and sleep outside in our sleeping bags either in Uncle Reid’s yard or ours. Uncle Reid’s yard was better because it was away from the street and the street lights. It was great laying there at night and looking at the stars and trying to pick out the big and little dipper and wondering if God was looking down on us. Cedar was still a small enough town that you could see the stars.

There is just too much to talk about so I think I will end this for now and write more later.

Parades

Today is July 24th. To those living in Utah it is a State Holiday. It celebrates the day the Morman Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. It is a big deal in Utah. Salt Lake City always puts on a big parade but growing up in Cedar City 250 miles away we had to make our own fun.

Cedar always had a childrens parade on the 4th of July and on the 24th they would put on a big parade meaning more than kids riding bikes with crape paper streames. It meant flatbed trucks, hay wagons or anything big enough to be decorated in pioneer themes. The different Wards in town would decorate a float to an assigned theme. It was always fun and the town park would have games and food stands set up and a highlight and goal for me would be to get some Cotton Candy and a Pronto Pup. These things were rare and a great treat. You probably all know what Cotton Candy is but you probably have never heard of a Pronto Pup. These were in my young opinion the best thing that was ever invented. They were sold out the side of a trailer and only were available on the 4th and 24th of July. I later found out as I grew up and my experience expanded that the Pronto Pup was only another name for a corn dog. But at this point in time they were the best part of summer.

The childrens parade on the 4th of July was always fun because the company Dad worked for would sponser our street to put together a children’s float. My Aunt Wanda was probably the creative director and Uncle Reid and the other men of the neighborhood were the builders. All the children on the street were involved either pulling or pushing or riding or walking along behind in whatever costume we were put in.

Another reason to celabrate the 24th; it was my brother Doug’s birthday. So we would always have a party of some kind.

Other parades of note in Cedar would be the High School and Collage Homecoming. When I was a Senior in High School I had tried out and been accepted into the Pep Club. That year I was put in charge of the Pep Club Homecoming float. I had some helpers and everything went along pretty well and I had asked one of the local car dealers if they would let us use one of their cars to pull the float. When I went to the car dealer to get the car they told me they knew nothing about it and they couldn’t let me have a car. I was devistated. I went back to the float and we hooked up my Dad’s Chevy. It was dirty and we didn’t have time to get it washed so there we were going down the middle of town pulling my beautiful float with my Dad’s dirty car. Then the floats were all dropped off at the Collage football field for the homecoming game and after the car had been unhitched I was trying to get out of the field and I ran the front of the car into the corner of one of the floats. The end of a frustrating day.

When I was in College I was a member of the Drama Club and we made a couple of floats for the Homecoming parade. Making floats is hard work and I have a lot of respect for the people who spend so much time making floats for all the different celebrations.

After I started school when Halloween came around all the kids and teachers would dress up and we would have a costume parade down town. The store clerks and shoppers would come out and clap and cheer for us it was very thrilling. The grade school I went to was only about four blocks from the down town area. Looking back on that now I realize the teachers were very brave to take the whole school on a walk for blocks. I don’t remember doing that as I got in the upper grades only when I was fairly young.

Barbara

Dolls, Jacks, HopScotch

I can not say that I truly remember the years before I started going to school. My Father was a prolific photographer. We have many family photos of Christmas, picnics, Easter, Birthdays and other family outings. As a family we would go up to Cedar Breaks and hike and have a picnic. We would go with Dad to some fishing lake or stream and picnic as he fished. Many happy hours were spent in Zion National Park hiking and picnicking. We were always ready to go to Zion. That meant a hike up to Emerald Pool, Weeping Rock, down the Narrows Trail. Driving through the tunnels and stopping in the middle of the tunnel to feed the chipmunks and squirrels. This tunnel is still there but the pull out windows have been closed off and the tunnel is only one way. More people, bigger cars and no way to make the tunnel wider.

My main playmates were my cousins Charlotte Cox and Phyllis Buhanan. We would play with our dolls and paper dolls. We would play jacks in the hallway of my house and hopscotch out on the sidewalk. Now a word about a place keeper for hopscotch. You could use almost anything but the best was a small chain. You could use a small rock but they would bounce when you dropped them down and you could lose a turn because it would go out of bounds. If your chain was too long it could get over the line. If it was too small it was hard to pick up as you bent down. Or it wasn’t heavy enough to land in the right box. Once you found the right chain it was cherished and protected so it did not get damaged or lost.

Jacks was a fun game of skill, picking up the jacks and catching the ball before it comes down again. Here again the right ball was important. If it bounces funny or not high enough or too high it could throw off the timing needed for good hand and eye co-ordination.

One Christmas my Mother spent hours at night sewing cloths for the doll I was to receive that year. On Christmas morning my new doll had a whole wardrobe, dresses, coats, slacks even a wedding dress with a veil. Of course as soon as I got tired of putting them on the doll I decided that the family cat needed to be dressed up. My Mother tells of seeing that beautiful wedding dress streaking across the lawn on the cat with me close behind.

One of our favorite entertainments was paper dolls. You could get a book of paper dolls for about 10 cents. It would require some work and skill to get them all had cut out. You had to be very careful or the little tags that would hold the cloths on the dolls would tear or get cut off by accident. Then the paper dolls started coming in punch out books but those were tricky too. They would tear and you ended up having to cut them out if you wanted them all in one peace. We had paper dolls of our favorite movie stars, story book characters, action heroes. One of my favorite doll sets was a ballerina. I don’t think I even knew who the ballerina was but I loved the costumes. They were so beautiful. Years later when I had the opportunity to go to Washington DC and the Smithsonian Museums I found in the gift shops replicas of old paper dolls. I wanted to buy them all. But I didn’t.

Cut Toe

I think one of my earliest memories is of riding my tricycle back and forth in front of Uncle Owen and Aunt Claria’s home. There was a birthday party going on but it was for the big kids. It was August 4th, 1949. I know because that is the day my younger brother Richard was born. I don’t think I was aware of my little brothers entrance into the world. All I was interested in was that party. As I pedaled up and back my foot slipped and my bare toe got caught in the spokes of the wheel and I started to cry because my toe was cut and bleeding. I ran into our house. My Grandmother Sorensen was there and she took care of me. That is what I remember. What I do not remember but what I have learned later in my life is that on that day my Mother was fighting for her life. My Grandmother was very upset with me and my cut toe was just one more problem that she did not want to deal with.

What happened was after my Mother gave birth she was resting when she said she felt a sudden rush and she was soaked in blood. They said later that all of the afterbirth had not been delivered completly and she was hemorrhaging. She lost a lot of blood, my Dad was very worried as was my Grandmother. I was only three years old so I was unaware of all this drama. I only had a hurt toe and could not go to the birthday party.

My Dad and Uncle Reid gave Mother a Priesthood blessing and I think they had to give her blood transfusions. When she finaly came home she was very weak and spent a lot of time resting. One day she was resting and my older brother Doug and cousin John were out in the back yard trying to build a tree house in a tree just out side Mother’s room. Suddenly Doug screamed “John hit me on the head with the axe.” Mother met them at the back door, blood all over the place. What happened was John was up the tree and he dropped the small axe and it hit Doug on the head. The head bleeds very easly. It was a small cut that required some stiches but not life threatning. We had a very active childhood.

That tricycle of mine played a big part in my life. My Mother told me I had a wandering spirit. I would start riding and pretty soon, I would be blocks away from home. Mother said she would call up Dad and say Barbara is missing AGAIN. He would drive around and find me merrily rolling along. Sometimes neighbors in other neighborhoods would spot me and call my Mother. One lady said I thought she was my Grandmother. I remember making my way to a little corner grocery store all the way down town. The grocery store man told me to wait until I recognized someone. Uncle Orwin from across the street came in and I grabbed him around the legs and held on for dear life. You need to realize that from where we lived to the down town area of Cedar City I would have passed the College, the High School, the Jr. High School and the Grade School. It was close to two miles for a little girl to peddle her trike. Of course I do not remember the complete time line but I think that incident probably cured me of my wandering ways or else my Mother tied me to the house until I was ready to go to school.

Early Memories

This may take a while to get the memory juices flowing but here goes.

Some of my early memories are of growing up in Cedar City, Utah. Of course I do not remember this but I was born March 29th, 1946. My Father Edwin Charles Cox was working for the Electrical Power Company and he was the manager of the office in Hurricane, Utah. It is a small town Northeast of St. George, Utah. My parents already had three children two girls and one boy. Sandra, Kathryn and Douglas.

My parents met in Cedar City the night my Father returned from his L. D. S.  Mission to the Central States. My Mother, Mary LaVerle Sorensen was visiting with her sister in Cedar City, Utah. My Mother always told us that the first sight she had of Dad was his long legs as he was getting bags out of the trunk of his car. One of the car dealers in town had contacted him to drive a new car from Detroit on his return home. Mission rules were much different then. That would have been about 1941. My Dad always said that his first look at my Mother was infatuation. He asked her to go to a fireside, fishing a dance and a picnic. Then My Mother had to return to Pocatello, Idaho. They continued to write to one another and they arranged to meet in Salt Lake City the first part of October for L. D. S. General Conference. My Mother told me that she laughed so much that weekend. Dad brought one of his friends from Cedar and Mother had one of her friends from Pocatello.

Mother and Dad were married in her Mother’s living room the end of October 1941 by the Stake President. The Idaho Falls Temple was closed for cleaning and Grandmother Sorensen could not travel to Salt Lake. Dad brought his Sister Inez with him. So they were married and then they headed back to Cedar City. My Mother said that it was pheasant season and my Dad brought his shotgun. So it was Dad driving then the shotgun, then Mother and then Aunt Inez.

About a week after they returned to Cedar City they went to The St. George Temple and were sealed for time and eternity. My Dad got a job with the Electrical Power Company. His first day was December 7th, 1941.

My sister Sandra was born July 30th, 1942, My sister Kathryn, August 31, 1943. Over the next few months my Dad had to serve in the Army. He got assigned to the Air Corp. When my Dad had to go on active service my Mother moved back to Pocatello, Idaho. While she was there she gave birth to Douglas, July 24th, 1944. Dad never did see any active fighting. He did spend some time in the South Pacific but the war was about over by then. He was always grateful that he did not have to see combat.

After I was born we lived for a time in Hurricane. My earliest memories are of growing up on 9th west in Cedar City. My younger brother Richard was born August 4th, 1949. As far as I am concerned 9th West was the best place to grow up. My Dad’s Brother Reid Cox and His Sister Mary Buhanan, His Sister Inez and Aunt Mima all lived on the same street along with their families. Uncle Reid and Aunt Wanda had four children, Lyona, John, Charlette and Nellie. Uncle Morris and Aunt Mary had five children, Dale, Phyllis, Paul, Nancy and Bonnie. Aunt Inez and Aunt Mima never married. Aunt Mima Hamilton was My Dad’s Mothers Sister. Us cousins were all pretty much the same age. Lyona and Dale were the oldest and did not have much to do with the little kids. John and Kathryn are the same age. Phyllis and Doug are the same age. I am in between Charlotte and Nellie. Then Paul and then my brother Richard. Nancy and Bonnie were born about ten years later. I remember when Bonnie was born I had gone to get Phyllis to go to Sunday School. As we were leaving Uncle Morris was taking Aunt Mary to the Hospital. I remember walking into church all smiles. Seeing my Dad up on the stand and knowing something no one else knew. I was probably about ten.

Well I have been all over the place in this post. Ramblings is right.

More Ramblings

While I was in Dallas, Rebecca made sure we visited one of the local yarn shops. The Saturday before I left, Becca’s friend Cat came over and we all went to find yarn. We found a very well stocked yarn shop and I got some yarn to make socks for Becca and Cat and a sweater for Izaiah. The lady who owned the shop knew the man who owns the yarn shop in Provo that I get almost all my supplies from. Heindselman’s has been in business in Provo since 1904. I learned how to knit socks from their excellent teachers. I guess these people meet at conferences and shows. It is fun when I visit other places and they know the same peaple I do business with. The Ladies in Denver’s Shower of Flowers store knew of Heindselman’s also.

Now it begins

Jim has inspired me to start writing my life story. You can read his blog here. I would like to start with my trip to Dallas to be with Rebecca and Glynn when their new baby was born. Rebecca called and told me that her Doctor wanted her to stay off her feet until the baby was born. I felt like I needed to get there earlier than I had planned so that I could help her. So I left May 15th, right away I ran into problems. The flight from Salt Lake was delayed. I had to change plans in New Mexico and we got there just 10 minutes before that flight left. But we did get to Dallas on time.

Rebecca meet me at the airport and we made the short trip to her new home. Izaiah has grown so much and he was very friendly to me. He showed me all his trains and cars. Their new home is very nice and they have fixed it up very comfortably. Rebecca had a follow up appointment that she had to take care of for her work. She was scheduled to have her baby May 21st but Tuesday May 20th she woke up having contractions. She and Glynn went to the hospital and they sent her home. They said the contractions were not close enough and they were really busy and they could not fit her in. This, of course, because she was scheduled for a cesarian the next morning. So they came home but by 8pm she was having harder contractions and then she had a bloody show. Glynn took her back to the hospital and little Jaxon was born 20 minutes from the time they walked in the door. But baby was born with out any drugs or cutting. She recovered so fast. The baby is so beautiful. Rebecca’s friend Cathryn came over and stayed and took care of Izaiah. We had a good time. She entertained Izaiah and I knitted. Life is good.

The next weekend Glynn’s Mom along with his Sister and her family came for Jaxon’s blessing. We had quite a house full.

Finally it was time to come home. Izaiah had been coughing almost the whole time I was there and I think I picked up something from him. Flying from Dallas to New Mexico I was very cold on the plane and really did not feel very good. When we got to New Mexico there was supposed to be a three hour layover but that flight was delayed. We didn’t leave until about 5:45pm I was so glad to get home. It took me more than two weeks to get over the cough and miseries. Jim and I had tickets to go to Wendover, Nv. to see “The Golden Boy’s” It was Bobby Rydell, Fabian, and Franky Avalon. Teen idols from the late fifties. the concert was for Friday night June 13th. I was still sick but we went anyway. It was really fun to see these guys.

I think that is all for today.