The car I remember the most traveling to Idaho in was a Chevy two tone, four door, coup. Mom and Dad would sit in the front with Richard usually and Sandra, Kathryn, Douglas and I would sit in the back. When we were little it wasn’t too bad but as we grew it got more and more crowded. I remember being little enough to lay on the shelf in the back window. It was really cool to watch the night sky filled with stars. We would leave at 4:30 in the morning and drive all day and get to Idaho sometime in the afternoon. We would all have our pillows and sleep. There was no freeway then the highway was all two way. There would be a break in Salt Lake to visit Aunt Delihlia and then on to Pocatello. Mother would bring cheese and crackers and sandwiches and other easy snacks. Dad would do all the driving. We would play games such as seeing who could find the alphabet on the bill boards along the highway. But the best part of our car trips was when Dad would tell us stories and recite his poetry. Some of the stories were sung but most were narratives. There was the “Cremation of Sam Mcgee”, “The Strawberry Roan” and many others that I knew by heart but can not name any more. Sorry Dad. Dad made a tape of him reciting many of these stories and poems for each of us many years latter and it is a treasure.
We would usually stop at Grandmas first and I remember always trying to imagine Mother living in that small house as a young girl and again when she lived there with Grandma and Sandra and Kathryn while Dad was in the Army. Then on to Uncle Richards and Aunt Vera’s.
There is a hot springs resort close to Pocatello and I remember going there a few times on our trips. Dad never swam and I remember Mother getting into a bathing suit when I was young but never when I got older.
I remember one trip where we stopped at Lagoon for the afternoon. Lagoon had a huge swimming pool and we all went swimming. I don’t remember how old I was but I could not swim very well but I found that if I bobbed down to the bottom of the pool and pushed up again I could travel along and get where I wanted to go. There were some platforms out in the middle of the pool and I wanted to get out to them. So I was doing my bobbing and pushing and my sister Kathryn was sure I was drowning so she came to rescue me. She couldn’t swim any better than me and she wouldn’t let me go out to the platform. Oh well, I felt like I knew what I was doing but to her it looked like I was in real trouble. It all depends on who’s perspective you’re looking at. After swimming we would go on some of the rides. There were not as many rides as there are today. We would go in the fun house, some of us would ride the roller coaster and the ferris wheel and the merry-go-round. Mom and Dad always tried to help us have fun and have new experiences.
My Mothers’ family lived in Pocatello, Idaho so almost every summer we would make a trip to see Grandma Sorensen, Uncle Richard and Norma, Aunt Vera and Keith. Mother had a sister Delihla that lived in Salt Lake City so we would always stop there on our way to Pocatello. Aunt Delihlas’ Husband Ed was really a very nice man but as a kid he scared me to death. I remember hiding behind my Mothers skirts so that Uncle Ed couldn’t see me and grab me. They had three children. Carol was Kathy’s age and Jane was my age. Their son Mark was older that Sandra and didn’t have much to do with the little kids. Aunt Delihlia, like my Mother was a very good cook. I remember having cabbage rolls at her house and they were so good. I don’t think I had ever had them before. Uncle Ed had a model railroad set up in the basement of their home. We were not allowed to touch. I think I only saw it run maybe once or twice.
Uncle Ed never got over his child chasing ways. I went to Salt Lake with Mother and Dad when I had two kids of my own. David and Patricia, as we came into Aunt Delihlias we could hear someone playing the violin. She said it was Uncle Ed. I was so surprised I never knew he played the Violin. A few minutes later the music stopped and up came Uncle Ed around a corner with a mask on his head and growling at David and Patty they screamed and ran. Mission accomplished.
Then it would be on to Pocatello. Grandma Sorensen lived in a very small house very close to the railroads. I had a really hard time picturing my Mother growing up in such a small house. I don’t remember ever staying there the “girls” were always sent to stay with Uncle Richard and Aunt Norma. They had six girls three of which were the same age as us. Uncle Richard worked for an Insurance company. I thought they were the richest people I ever knew. They had a nice big house and the girls always had really nice clothes and toys. They also had Television. I think I really frustrated my hosts all I wanted to do was watch TV. I couldn’t wait to see the Mickey Mouse Club. We didn’t have a Television in podunk Cedar City. I really felt like the country cousin when we would visit Pocatello. Doug and Richard would stay at Aunt Vera’s and Uncle Keith’s. They had mostly girls but they were younger than us. I think Mom and Dad would stay there also. There would be family get togethers and picnics in the park. We always had a good time. I looked forward to those trips.
Girls wore dresses to school. The only time we could wear pants was when we had a field day. But just because I had to wear a dress did not slow me down when it came to recess. I think I must have been pretty rambunctious. There was a tall metal slide in the play yard. I would run up the slide from the bottom and slide back down on my stomach. One day I was doing this and I lost my footing and fell over the slide and hit the concrete. I think it might have knocked me out. I got a pretty good bump on the head. Another time I was chasing a ball and it rolled down a small hill to a parking area where teachers parked their cars. As I chased the ball I slipped on the gravel and fell into the bumper of one of the cars and hit my face just below my eye and got a pretty good cut. I had to have several stitches. The Doctor told my Mother that after the stitches came out I should rub the scar with cod liver oil and it would help it to heal and not leave a scar. He was right but I can still smell that horrible cod liver oil. Towards the end of my third grade I got very ill. The Doctors said it was a very bad kidney infection. I had to miss the last three or four weeks of school. I remember that my back hurt very much. The Doctor also told me I should not drink carbonated drinks. They would harm my kidneys. For years I only drank orange non carbonated drinks.
I learned to play softball in the fourth grade. I loved to play at school. I think I was a pretty good hitter. I could almost always hit a home run. Also, in the fourth grade we learned how to square dance. My Fourth grade teacher Mr. Bauer and my Fifth grade teacher Mr. Adams both belonged to square dancing groups. So I guess they thought it was a good thing to teach the kids.
The restrooms were in the basement of the West Elementary and the boys restroom windows faced the play ground. When I was in the sixth grade I guess for some reason I thought it would be funny to kick at the window when I saw a boy come into the room. So for a few days I would kick at the window and then run away. One day I kicked too hard and the window broke and glass flew up and cut me. I also had to go to the principal’s office. I thought for sure I was going to get the dreaded paddle. But he told me I would have to pay for the window. I had to stay after school and work. I don’t remember how long I had to work but I guess it all turned out OK. I never kicked the boys bathroom window again. After this incident my sixth grade teacher remarked to me “What happened to you Barbara you were such a sweet little girl when I student taught you in the second grade.” I did not remember her and I had no answer for her.
Once a week after school, we would go to Primary. When I was really young we went to the old College Ward. My Aunt Wanda was often the song leader. She was very enthusiastic. I can still see her in my minds eye encouraging us to sing. There are some of the songs in the hymn book today that every time we sing them I am reminded of Aunt Wanda. Then when I was in the Fourth or Fifth Grade, our ward was divided and we moved to a new building that was just north of our street at the end of the College alfalfa field. My Dad was called to be the Bishop. He served in that position for nine years. I was working at the Grand Canyon North Rim in 1964 when Mom and Dad came and surprised me and then he told me that he had been released. Men are rarely allowed to stay in that position for more that five years today.
My Sister Sandra writes that the Lund Hotel was probably the El Escalante Hotel. She worked there so she probably remembers better than I do. At least I know that someone is reading this. Anyway I wanted to set the record straight.
My Husband and I were in Cedar City yesterday and as we drove down Main Street I looked around and realized that so much has changed. The old Library building has been torn down, and new offices have replaced it. The Post Office is now the City Administrator. The Movie Theaters have been closed for several years. The El Escalante Hotel had been torn down and a New Hotel and Sizzler restaurant now occupy that space. The Union Pacific station is still there but it has been incorporated into a hotel, pizza parlor and gift shop complex. Trains do not stop here any more. The JC Penny’s store is a little Mini Mall. The down town district is still a pretty vibrant shopping district. I love the mix of old and new. Many of the old buildings have been preserved to show the old architecture as they house updated businesses.
This is another insight from my sister Sandra “I honestly don’t remember where we went for those Rotary Club luncheons. I just remember El Escalante because I used to work there. I do remember the luncheons and I do remember how much we liked to go and how weird I thought it was that Dad would get fined for bringing three kids or not bringing three or dumb things like that and it really used to make me want to jump up and defend him. He finally had to explain to me that the fines were all in fun and a way of raising money and not a way of punishing people. Maybe Kathy remembers where they were held?”